Tremolo bar too stiff

gibson11

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The whammy bar on my Strat build feel very stiff to use, hard to push down. I have the 6 bridge screws not all the way down and I am floating the tail piece. Have had good luck setting up my other 3 Strats but this one is really frustrating me today. Are the springs too stiff?

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Telenator

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Is the front edge of the bridge hitting the pickguard?

How many springs are you using?
 

gibson11

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Using 2 springs, tried 3 and it made it even more stiff. Bridge not hitting pick guard, do springs need to break in? Its a new Fender American tremolo bridge.
 

Fenderbaum

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Your screws seems backed off a little too much. Screw them in so they grab the plate, back them out a quarter turn.
You can try back out the middle four screws a little more so you got a sort of 2-point trem. see if that helps

Eventualy loosen all string and re-setup the tremolo. Keep it loose. take springs off so it lies free. Then screw in the screws. when the tremolo plate lifts up as you screw down, back off until it touches down flat and back off a quarter turn more. Repeat on all the remaining 5 screws. In a floating setting, You should be able to do a pull-back on the trem all the way until it stops. When you hold it decked, the neckplate should just kiss the screw heads.

2022-08-14 21.34.18.jpg
 
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Fenderbaum

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Another thing i also notice is your tremolo bar.. It is very "90 degrees".. It makes it harder to do whammy´s.
I would chop the thread-in shorter, thread it up more and bend the tip more upwards. That would give you more torque on whammy..
Like this:
2022-08-14 21.41.06.jpg

But if you like it that way i wont say that you should do it. But atleast i would bend the tip more upwards.
 

gibson11

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what does "I would chop the thread-in shorter" mean? use a hack saw? I did some sanding and the whammy still is not up to snuff, will bend the bar and try different springs.
 

gibson11

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Tried two other whammy bars and that barely helped, must be these new springs, guess they need to break in.
 

Alex_C

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Springs vary wildly. I've had some that were so soft that they couldn't return the guitar t pitch and others that felt like steel rods. I see that you noticed some interference between the bridge and body. That was my other suggestion 'check for binding between moving parts and the body'. How do you have the claw adjusted?
 

Boreas

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Don't do anything with the bar until you get the springs sorted. Bend the bar if needed once you get the tension and height set.
 

gibson11

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Picking up some springs tomorrow, I set up my other 3 Strats to perfection but this one has been a project.
 

Platefire

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For floating on the Six Screw Trems I set the two outsides screws head flat surface 1/16" above the bridge plate and the four middle ones 1/8" above the bridge plate. I can't tell for sure by the angle of the picture in your post showing the height of bridge plate in the back but----I always adjust my springs so the back of the bridge plate is 1/8" off the body. I usually use three springs. One on each extreme side and one in the middle. I do have one with two springs, one on the extreme outsides. This always works for me on the classic style trems.

On the trem arms that need adjusting, I drill a hole in a piece of 2x4 board where the arm fits pretty tight
in the hole and bend by hand in small increments testing it between each bend before going to the next. You could do the same thing in a vice but you would need to be careful not to mess up the treads. Platefire
 

Platefire

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This isn't for everybody but I like to use the Fender whammy bar tension spring that will hold the bar in the position you leave it in without fallen down completely vertical when you let it go
 




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