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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Problem on a Mustang

wrnchbndr
Contributing Member
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New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Jun 26th, 2017 06:51 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

This is a fairly new Crafted in Japan. Its all set up and plays really well. The problem is with the trem. It does not return to a constant place. The instability is almost a full semitone. Gently flat the strings with the whammy bar and let it gently rise on its own and the pitch remains flat. Gently sharp the strings and gently let it return and the strings stay sharp. You can see that it does not return to a common location. The bridge rocks freely and is elevated in the cups as it should be.

The adjustable tail screw pivot bolts are clean but the base plate holes that the pivot bolts rock within looked poorly finished. I cleaned up the holes and greased them but it didn't help.

Is there hope for this type of trem? Is there an Fender American made part that might be superior?

wrnchbndr
Contributing Member
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New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Jun 27th, 2017 09:21 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I spoke to a really decent guy at Fender. He looked up the trem and the same trem is used on all Mustangs regardless of where they are made. It might be that I just have a defective part.

Cal-Woody

USA/California

Why do I keep fixing things that work?
Jun 27th, 2017 09:53 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

It almost sounds like a sticky nut problem but there have been a few conversations here concerning the setup and adjustments to this unit and I had hoped someone here had already directed you to that article by now!
It may have been in the Squier forum talking about the J.Macias models, but do believe the content to be relevant.
I have nothing to compare notes with you for your dilemma, but I think a search on here had some reference to their resolve and some YouTube 'how to' videos.
Best regards, as always- Woody

Peegoo
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I walk

between the raindrops
Jun 27th, 2017 12:16 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Is the bridge (not the tailpiece) properly rocking in its little steel cups? Each end of the bridge has a hole that accepts a hex wrnch that fits a grub screw. The grub screw has a little point on it and that allows the bridge to rock just a bit.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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I walk

between the raindrops
Jun 27th, 2017 12:19 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Also, is the tailpiece properly strung? The strings run backwards through the bar, then under the bar and up over the bridge saddles.


wrnchbndr
Contributing Member
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New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Jun 27th, 2017 02:15 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

If it were the nut, the pitch would be reversed. Flatten via the whammy bar, release, and the pitch would be sharp instead of flat -- pull up on the whammy bar, release and the pitch would be flat. It's not the nut. The cups and the height screws are correct - the bridge pivots with no restriction. It clearly is the trem unit. Unfortunately, you can't see the springs in action or the underside of the trem with this style of trem.

Peegoo
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Jun 27th, 2017 02:24 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Add a drop of machine oil to the places where the springs anchor (the two posts and the bridge plate) and see if that helps.

Hammond101
Contributing Member
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So. Cal. USA

Jun 27th, 2017 04:47 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

It is a bridge pivot issue....somewhere. These seem to either work or not work. Odd tailpiece to begin with. I've had a couple I just replaced. They are about $30.

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Jun 28th, 2017 04:18 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Could it be a warpage issue? I know for sure that on a Bigsby, if the frame is twisted or warped such that the two borings for the arm bearings are not perfectly co-axial, it will introduce enough friction into the arm motion that the system will not reliably return to pitch.

Again on a Bigsby, it's easy enough to test: With the unit off the guitar, hold it up with the arm hanging down, pull the arm to one side and release it. If the arm does not swing like a pendulum through several cycles, the unit is suspect.

I'm not familiar with the Mustang trem, but I wonder if some similar test could be devised?

Peegoo
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Jun 28th, 2017 06:05 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

It's a steel plate with two holes that have a knife edge, supporting two studs with V grooves. A much simpler design than the Strat's vibrato bridge.

It works just like a Floyd, except upside down: instead of the two studs remaining stationary and the plate pivoting on the studs, the studs extend downward from the string anchor bar and pivot against a stationary plate.

Here it is, downside topwise.

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Jun 30th, 2017 11:51 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Having studied up on the design a little more, I now doubt that warpage is an issue. The link goes to the patent on the design. If you click on the second small thumbnail, you get a pretty good cross-sectional view.

I think it's a problematic design from a friction point of view, not as good as the Strat trem.

The only specific advice I can offer (other than checking for any place that could be rubbing and greasing the heck out of all contact points) is to make sure that the two descending posts for the pivot are very close to perpendicular to the plate when strung up to pitch. This may require moving the springs to a different groove on the pivot posts, depending on the string gauge used.

Patent No. US 3241418 A

amphead4

Cincinnati, USA

Jun 30th, 2017 01:24 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

With the springs in a V configuration, there would be a slight rotation around the posts (hooks) as they move. So each end would be need to be snag-free with that respect. Not sure if that's enough to cause the problem though.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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I walk

between the raindrops
Jun 30th, 2017 02:31 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I always lube the spring ends on my '66 Mustang...as well as the pivot points.

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Problem on a Mustang




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