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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Rickenbacker 4001 tuners, 1970's

vomer
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Broke Down

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Jul 21st, 2017 10:53 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have in a 1970's 4001 with closed-back Grover tuners. On two of them, the case is loose and pops off when tuning up- the post pushes back through the headstock under string tension. It's a press fit of four studs on the case, into holes in the tuner plate. The others are very secure which makes me think that these were never meant to come apart (I could be wrong) and the two faulty ones are unserviceable.

There are a couple of choices of non-identical replacements on the market, but does anyone know if these originals are fixable? I can't see how myself, if the holes or posts are worn.


FDP pic. Bye bye Photobucket.

(This message was last edited by vomer at 02:14 PM, Jul 21st, 2017)

vomer
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Jul 21st, 2017 02:34 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

From looking around on t'internet it appears these are supposed to be rivets, not pop on and off studs. I've found mention of taking a hammer and nail to the stud to splay out the end of the stud, I assume, but no detail was given. (I have a centre punch, better than a nail.)

I also wondered if ordinary solder might hold strongly enough.

And these tuners were used for a short time up until 1973 and are apparently rare as hen's teeth. There is one listing on ebay for two, and the seller is asking £100 each. So I'd like to see if these can be saved.

Peegoo
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Jul 21st, 2017 02:50 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Rescuing these is extremely difficult because the peened pin ends are broken. The little circular end of the pin that spreads out and locks the cover on is very thin and easily breaks off when the tuner handle takes a hit.

You could try to re-peen the pins into the backing plate, but you'll probably need to use a countersink to deepen the chamfer on each hole. That gives the newly-peened metal something to anchor against. You might get lucky doing this, but it's not a solid fix.

Soldering will not fix it because the plating and base metal are not solderable.

There are two possible good fixes:

The best option is to drill out each pin, thread the four holes, and install four small matching screws through the backing plate. This option requires watchmaker-like precision because the threaded holes and screws are extremely small.

The other option is to meticulously clean the mating surfaces of the backing plate and the cover, and use CA gel to bond the cover on. Take care not to get any CA on the tuner's handle.

Whichever option you choose, swap that repaired tuner with the low E tuner because it's a repair, and may not survive another hit. The two tuners at the end of the headstock are the ones that get the most abuse.

vomer
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Broke Down

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Jul 21st, 2017 03:51 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thanks Peegoo. "the peened pin ends are broken." Yes, after posting I had a closer look at the ebay listing and I could see what the 'good' ones look like, that circular rim in place.

I also found a post on a Rick forum which detailed the screw repair, "I use Loctited, countersunk stainless flathead Phillips machine screws, 2-56X 1/4" long."

Not something I could take on myself, but I know an engineer who probably could.

Another forum poster used epoxy on the pins and posted back a couple of months later that it was holding.

I'll report back to the owner with the options of me glueing it or my engineer buddy tapping it for screws. Thanks again.

wrnchbndr
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Jul 21st, 2017 03:52 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Peegoo inspired an idea...
Considering the value of these tuners and the bass itself...
Think about taking it to a watch maker or a vintage clock repair guy. It would be a solid fix

Peegoo
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Jul 21st, 2017 03:55 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yep. They have the tools to do it.

vomer
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Broke Down

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Jul 21st, 2017 04:27 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Good thought, thanks. It appears we have a couple of watch and clock specialists in the area, that could be the answer.

Can I ask, if I go the glue route, do you gentlemen have any preference for straight CA or 'Superglue Epoxy'?

Peegoo
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The rain sounds like

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Jul 21st, 2017 04:33 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Either one (gel CA or 5-min Epoxy) will work, but the critical thing is to clean the mating surfaces first. Use Q-Tips and alcohol, several times. Rotate to a clean end and repeat.

vomer
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Broke Down

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Jul 21st, 2017 05:06 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thanks.

And what wrnchbndr said is sinking in... "Considering the value of these tuners and the bass itself..." I hope the owner will consider the tap & screw fix.

I'll post again when we have some results.

vomer
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Broke Down

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Aug 9th, 2017 05:05 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I was lucky to find an engineer friend of a friend who has done exactly what I hoped for. Lovely job with threads which feel perfect and very secure depite being so small. I've reassembled and they're ready to go back on the guitar.

I did try a couple of watch & clock repairers, one didn't reply and the other said he is closed and possibly not re-opening, he didn't say why, could be a sign of the times, fewer people wearing watches I suppose.

Pic in profile.

Peegoo
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The rain sounds like

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Aug 9th, 2017 05:38 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Wow, that is PRO work!

Very cool.

Mick Reid
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Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Aug 9th, 2017 07:10 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Nice. Always a good feeling to know something done right and not have to worry about it ever again.

vomer
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Broke Down

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Aug 10th, 2017 03:51 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yes, I'm very happy with it, hope the owner is too! Peegoo, my engineer friend who couldn't do it but took it to his engineer friend, said he was really impressed with the precision of his work, how he got everything aligned just right, and checked the newly tapped threads with a ah... thread checker. I'd like to have seen how he did it, I do like neat engineering.

This Rick is back in its case and ready to go home tomorrow, and I've got Project Withdrawal Syndrome now.

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Rickenbacker 4001 tuners, 1970's




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