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MIM Strat: Trem arm is loose

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Grandma's Tele, Dec 10, 2009.

  1. Grandma's Tele

    Grandma's Tele Tele-Meister

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    My MIM Strat sounds good with Vintage Noiseless pickups, however, the trem arm is always loose and it's very annoying!

    Is there an easy fix for that or would I need to get a new trem? I've seen a few MIM like that.

    Would Teflon tape work and if so, last?
     
  2. DaleH

    DaleH Tele-Meister

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    A couple of wraps of teflon tape on the threads is good for a month or so.
     
  3. Grandma's Tele

    Grandma's Tele Tele-Meister

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    Ok! Thank's!

    I guess it means that you tried it too!

    I will start by that then I'll see. Changing the whole trem would make the guitar more expensive though I paid only 345$ CAD for it, brand new, after christmas last year. It's a 08. If the teflon tape works fine, maybe it's not worth the investment.
     
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  5. JimInMO

    JimInMO Tele-Meister

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    I have heard that there is supposed to be spring in the bottom of the hole that puts upward pressure on the arm to keep it tight against the threads. Have never seen one in captivity though. I think they escape when the arm is unscrewed so one can shut the lid on the guitar case. I have used the teflon tape for years.
     
  6. Weazel

    Weazel Tele-Meister

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    If the spring is gone, you could roll a small ball of cotton to put in the hole. It will compress enough to keep the arm in position. It's still working in my '81.
     
  7. Thin69

    Thin69 Tele-Afflicted

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    If it just does not stay in position teflon tape on the threads worked good for me also but needs to be redone periodically.

    The springs have never really worked for me. They tend to fall out or get crushed in the bottom of the hole and stuck.

    But if the trem arm rocks in the hole when it is screwed down it would be better to replace the block and or arm depending where the offending threads are. I had this problem on a Squier but never on American made ones.
     
  8. Grandma's Tele

    Grandma's Tele Tele-Meister

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    I doubt the problem is the arm itself. It has more to do with the block being poorly made. Also, I have a USA Tele. I guess they use the same cases for Teles and Strats because there was a trem arm in my Tele hard shell case!

    I tried it and it's loose too.

    The USA Tele neck stays straight and hardly ever needs truss rod adjustments. The MIM Strat neck needs adjustment every season. They both sound very good but the USA one has better craftmanship. We really get what we pay for, me think!

    --------
    Now I just need to go get some teflon tape.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2009
  9. Ron Garson

    Ron Garson Friend of Leo's

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  10. Kid Klash

    Kid Klash Tele-Meister

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    I've used teflon tape, and I've used the springs... the tape wears out quickly, and the springs compress. Two cheap ways to keep the trem arm from flopping around :

    1. wrap a small rubber band around the trem arm, just above the treaded area, so tha when you screw in the arm, the rubber band comes into contact between the trem arm and trem plate. It gives you enough tension that the arm won't flop around, but you can still flip it out of the way if you want to, and you can remove it when you put it in the case.

    2. same idea, but use a short piece of rubber tubing... the stuff used for making sling shots. Choose a tubing with an inside diameter that is a bit smaller than the outside diameter of the trem arm. Cut a piece of the tubing, and slide it over and just past the threaded part of the trem arm. Screw the trem arm in, and tighten it until the friction of the tubing keeps the arm from flopping around.
     
  11. fadingcaptain

    fadingcaptain TDPRI Member

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  12. zag1

    zag1 Tele-Meister

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    Best thing I ever did was put a "better" tremolo block in my Strat, and get two advantages, 1) no more of that swingin', loose trem arm, and 2) better sustain! Check out; callahamguitars.com. Better than Fender USA as well.
     
  13. Grandma's Tele

    Grandma's Tele Tele-Meister

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    I'm using teflon for now but I'm still thinking about changing the tremolo if it can make the guitar sounds better.

    I'll take the time to think about it though because I tried a Classic Player 60, (I think it is), the light blue one, almost white and it sounds and plays great... Don't know if I'm gonna upgrade my MIM again or just get another one!
     
  14. hoops

    hoops TDPRI Member

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    +1 for the rubber tubing, works perfectly. Arm now sits snugly but still easy to move around, it stays where you leave it, which works well for me.

    I used a very small piece, maybe 1/8", just above where the thread stops so it's not visible when you screw it in.
     
  15. Steve Z

    Steve Z TDPRI Member

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    I am in a similar boat except that the trem arm on my MIJ E series strat is missing. Where to find a trem arm for an E series? So I am looking into just replacing the trem block, which would come with a new arm. As with Grandma's Tele, my E series was is rather inexpensive under $250 so investing in a trem block nearly half that cost seems hard to swallow. Any comments on pros/cons of GFS trem blocks? Perhaps a replacement GFS trem block assembly would solve Grandma's Tele's issue.

    GFS Trem blocks... average cost around $37. for standard strat

    Callaham strat trems... price around $127 for mine... $167 for the MIM strat.

    Seems like investing in a Callaham seems like a poor investment, although they are likely better made.
     
  16. flyingbanana

    flyingbanana Poster Extraordinaire

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    Tin foil I say...tin foil.
     
  17. voided3

    voided3 Tele-Afflicted

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    I stuck a 1/2" long piece of skrink tubing over the trem arm right around where the arm contacts the top of the bridge plate.
     
  18. Kid Klash

    Kid Klash Tele-Meister

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    The GFS trem assemblies with the steel trem blocks are a great deal for the money. I installed one in my '95 MIM Strat, and in a couple of modded Bullets. The trem assembly isn't that much more than just the trem block, plus you get a new trem arm to go with it. With the trem block made of steel, the trem arm doesn't loosen up and flop around like it does in the stock (and much softer) zinc trem block.
     
  19. Steve Z

    Steve Z TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the input. Greatly appreciated.
     
  20. Stratt

    Stratt NEW MEMBER!

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    This works brilliantly and doesn't fall out, just fixed my 18mnth old strat with it. Remove the cotton from end of 1 cotton bud and stuff it down the hole. No need to buy new block or springs that fall out. I gotta say if your listening 'Fender' it shouldn't be necessary on a fairly new guitar. Time to change your crap design!
     
  21. colchar

    colchar Friend of Leo's

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    Nice necropost, this thread was three years old.
     
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