Struggling with Bi-Flex Truss Rod

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by lepaulo, Jul 8, 2020.

  1. lepaulo

    lepaulo TDPRI Member

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    I've been working on my 2mo Tele Ultra and finally gave it the fret levelling and crowning treatment yesterday. I'm sure I'm not the only one here indebted to @Ronkirn for de-mystifying the process. Thanks Ron!

    In the process of levelling and adjusting, I've been spending more time adjusting and fine-tuning the truss rod and had to confront a problem that has been there for a while but I could ignore after the initial set-up.

    The truss rod doesn't turn normally - instead I have to load up some tension which seems to twist the rod rather than spin the bolt. Adding a bit more tension finally turns the bolt in a jerky, noisy way. It sounds like a door hinge that is completely seized up and only opens slowly in jerky, sudden motions. It has made fine adjustments of the truss rod impossible.

    The problem is the same with, and without string tension and the squeaking is the same tightening and releasing the bolt. I've also untightened completely to make sure the bolt isn't jammed or cross-threaded somewhere.

    The rod does its job in adjusting relief but needs a bit of force which I want to avoid. As the guitar is new (and already replaced under warranty), does anyone have other suggestions?
     
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  2. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    since the Bi Flex rods tend to be more or less square in cross section, the mechanism really cant turn in the channel.. unless it was cut too wide... so it's probably OK but needs a little lube... remove the nut... take a toothpick and use a little swimming pool filter silicone grease ..to reach in and apply a very small amount.. then do so to the threads in the nut and the flat base where it meets the washer... reassemble and rock on..

    r
     
  3. lepaulo

    lepaulo TDPRI Member

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    Thanks Ron - I've got a walnut plug that stops me removing the nut but I tried to back the nut out completely and squirt a very small amount of Ballistol across the top of the nut to (hopefully) reach the other side. Didn't seem to do anything.

    The nuts are essentially flush with the bore, correct? If so, it's gonna be hard to get lube on the far side of the nut!
     
  4. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    yes... and yes... your only real chance is that the Ballistol can wick it's way down the threads.. but be careful, get too much in there and it will be absorbed by the wood and work it way to the surface creating a discoloration under the finish, and possibly causing the finish to separate from the surface.

    If the thing works, noisy as it is... leave it alone and and just rock that baby..

    r
     
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  5. vhilts1

    vhilts1 Tele-Holic

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    " I've been working on my 2mo Tele Ultra...."

    " The truss rod doesn't turn normally..... "

    " It has made fine adjustments of the truss rod impossible....."

    " I've also untightened completely...... "

    " As the guitar is new..... "

    " (and already replaced under warranty) ..... "

    " I've got a walnut plug that stops me removing the nut.... "

    " it's probably OK but....."

    " remove the nut... "

    " reassemble ...."


    There are many reasons Fender recommends authorized repairs by certified Fender repairmen only. Re-read those above comments. FWIW truss rods rarely need adjusted more than maybe once or twice every few years

    I know there will be some who disagree but Fender Gibson Martin etc etc etc agree with me. Lol. Most guys who "do there own work" really miss alot and suffer greatly following youtube level "advice" that goes against good practice
     
  6. lepaulo

    lepaulo TDPRI Member

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    I agree that it's not advisable to fiddle with the truss rod unnecessarily. But when it's time to adjust it, it's time to adjust it and the thing should work as designed.

    My options are either get the relief close and then leave it as-is (as Ron suggested) or contact Fender for advice. I'm leaning towards the former! :)
     
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  7. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    most do not know how to correctly adjust the rod.. you always pull or tighten the rod to the desired position.. that way there is always tension on it... even if you elect to adjust so the fingerboard is flat... that way if conditions arise that would compile the neck to flex.. it's doing so against the underlying tension and less likely to surrender...

    If you loosen the rod to the desired position, those changing conditions will still cause the wood to react, possibly flexing too, but this time it will meet far less, if any resistance posed by the rod, resulting in greater "movement" due to the flexing..

    r
     
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  8. tessting1two

    tessting1two Tele-Holic

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    While I wouldn't consider this normal for such a new guitar, it is not uncommon to have to "help" a truss rod by clamping the neck into a slight backbow and then making the truss rod adjustment. The more important issue is whether or not the neck will hold adjustment. This would indicate deeper issues that you would want fixed under warranty.
     
    lepaulo likes this.
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