Bought 1989 Fender Strat Plus with "maxed" truss rod, please help

BoomTexan

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So, I just got this beauty.
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1989 Fender Stratocaster Plus, player worn, but absolutely beautiful. It's my first USA strat, and I'm super excited. I can't figure out if it's a nitro finish, so if anyone can help with that, please let me know. It's got a couple big scratches on the back, the neck pocket is beat up and cracked as usual, someone changed out the pots and the tuners, but it's a players dream. There is one issue...

The seller claims that the truss rod is maxed out. I'm dubious about this claim.

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As you can see, the bullet-style truss rod is pretty far out. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't maxed out be really far in? I've looked at pictures of the neck straight on, and righty tighty lefty loosey makes me feel like an innie bullet is the maxed one. There could be a difference here, but I'm betting on there just being something scraping up in there. A little WD-40 might do the trick here? As you can see, the truss rod has been replaced before, the fretboard has been off the guitar at some point, the first fret is pretty beat up.

Anyways, do y'all think this is really maxed, and any tips if it is? Any help is appreciated.
 

brenn

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Why would your '89 Strat Plus have a "bullet" truss rod? the adjustment hole isn't very clear there, but I don't see the truss-rod nut at all. Looks to me like just the wood inlay, polished and scuffed from being messed with a lot.
 

AAT65

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You shouldn’t see the truss rod nut moving in/out - it runs against the wood of the neck and applies more or less force to put tension on the truss rod.

I don’t think a Strat Plus has a bullet adjuster though, and your photo is pretty low-res but it looks like a walnut plug with a truss rod access hole to me. Have you actually seen this guitar or are those the seller’s photos?

From this reverb listing you can see the headstock, clearly a walnut plug with truss rod access.
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BoomTexan

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You shouldn’t see the truss rod nut moving in/out - it runs against the wood of the neck and applies more or less force to put tension on the truss rod.

I don’t think a Strat Plus has a bullet adjuster though, and your photo is pretty low-res but it looks like a walnut plug with a truss rod access hole to me. Have you actually seen this guitar or are those the seller’s photos?

From this reverb listing you can see the headstock, clearly a walnut plug with truss rod access.
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Okay, thanks. The picture was very low res and it just looked so much like a bullet to me.

Well, any tips for getting just that little bit extra from a truss rod?
 

brenn

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Okay, thanks. The picture was very low res and it just looked so much like a bullet to me.

Well, any tips for getting just that little bit extra from a truss rod?
Depends on exactly what is wrong. Nut stripped where the wrench goes in? Threads stripped in the nut? Thread stripped on the rod? You should probably take it to a professional.

 

JustABluesGuy

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I can’t imagine why a seller would say the truss rod was maxxed if it isn’t. It’s very likely that it will need to see a luthier or good tech. I have seen washers used in some cases to extend the usefulness.

I saw this in a video where a luthier was finally “actually” fixing it. It had about 6 washers in it! I don’t remember if he put in a new truss rod or not.

I would make sure there is a deep discount if I was buying it. Enough discount to pay for a luthier to replace the truss rod, or discounted by the amount a new neck would cost.

Buyer beware.
 

Kev-wilson

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Okay, thanks. The picture was very low res and it just looked so much like a bullet to me.

Well, any tips for getting just that little bit extra from a truss rod?
I needed a washer/spacer for a bodge up on a strat copy tother year, and found the rollers on the inside of a bicycle chain link were a good fit for under a bullet nut.
 
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Platefire

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I had a maxed out nut on a 1989 Affinity Strat. I found the right size washer that would go inside the truss rod hole and with a hole that the truss rod would go through. I had to put at least 6 washers in before it settled down and held the neck adjustment. It holds solid now. Platefire
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