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 Post subject: 4003 truss rod question
 Post Posted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:45 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:22 pm
Posts: 8
Good evening all;
After 40+ years of playing bass I finally nabbed myself a Ric. The question I have is. What are the truss rods made of? Are they just cold rolled? My 4003 was built in Oct/84. The ends of the truss rods are both bent down. And adjustability doesn't seem to be working like it should. I was thinking about getting a couple truss rods made. It looks like cold rolled to me. If it is. Has anyone tried stainless or titanium? I believe this is one of the earliest models where you adjust the neck at the bottom under the split pickguard. Thanks in advance. Great forum by the way.


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 Post subject: Re: 4003 truss rod question
 Post Posted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:45 am 
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Bent rods are simply a matter of someone using the wrong tool to adjust the neck rather than any strength issue. The rods are mild steel, chosen with a mind to resonance. Stainless or titanium would certainly be stronger, though not necessarily stiffer, but also are almost guaranteed to "ring", leading to hot and cold notes.


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 Post subject: Re: 4003 truss rod question
 Post Posted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:00 am 
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Thanks for the reply Mr. Hall. I'll stick to fabing up the new ones out of cold rolled then, unless they are available from Ric. Thanks again for the quick reply.


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 Post subject: Re: 4003 truss rod question
 Post Posted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:45 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2008 6:58 am
Posts: 84
Location: Michigan
I have an early 4003. The truss rod nuts are 3/8 inch hex, instead of the usual 1/4 inch hex. The factory approved nutdriver ( Xcelite L8 ) is 1/4 inch and obviously won't fit, but I couldn't get any 3/8 nutdriver to fit because of body inerference. I used an old small Craftsman 3/8 ignition wrench ( p/n 43948 ) and very light pressure to adjust mine. Don't know what tools the factory used. My bass is very solid an needs no periodic adjustments.

This is the same truss rod system as a 4001 only flipped around. Lots of info around on 4001 truss rods and adjustment. The owners manual (under the service tab) has adjustment procedures also. Don't just tighten the nuts, you could crack the neck.

Your truss rods could easily be removed, straightened, threads chased with a 10-32 die, re-installed, adjusted (correctly), and be good as new.


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 Post subject: Re: 4003 truss rod question
 Post Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:54 am 
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steve4001 wrote:
Your truss rods could easily be removed, straightened, threads chased with a 10-32 die, re-installed, adjusted (correctly), and be good as new.


And has been discussed before, you can shorten them. The last 2 inches (5 cm) or so do nothing, so if you trim away damaged area on the rod, you can rethread it.


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 Post subject: Re: 4003 truss rod question
 Post Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:17 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 1:00 pm
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Location: Texas
You could also just buy them from the boutique, instead of having to make them:

http://boutique.rickenbacker.com/Trussrods_c_22.html


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 Post subject: Re: 4003 truss rod question
 Post Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:25 am 
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Clifton wrote:
You could also just buy them from the boutique, instead of having to make them:

http://boutique.rickenbacker.com/Trussrods_c_22.html

Those won't work for basses that used the old style "folded" truss rods such as 4001 and early 4003 models...


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 Post subject: Re: 4003 truss rod question
 Post Posted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:04 am 
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The truss rods in the link above, won't work in my 4003. Mfg'd date of Oct. 84. It's hard to tell if they've been cut once before or not. But by the looks of it. The truss rods need to be removed by going out the top of the neck. It also looks as if they have started to pull thru as they are not even and the threaded ends. One shows a half inch longer thread showing. At the headstock, the ends of the truss rods are of a small rectangle shape of which I would have to assume has a shoulder on them. Doesn't look like there would be alot of meat on the neck to stop them from pulling through. I see now why the design change. This is starting to look like a pricey repair. I have a feeling the fret board is going to have to come off to get an even pull of both truss rods. I guess I can try and use round core strings like the DR sunbeams that have less tension than the hex core. Or maybe a set of TI jazz rounds with less tension yet to achieve the string height I prefer and less neck relief. With the strings off the neck it is perfectly straight. If I didn't love the sound and the way it feels. This 4003 would become a wall hanger.


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 Post subject: Re: 4003 truss rod question
 Post Posted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 6:53 am 
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Ok, so since my previous post I've done some searching as nothing was making sense. I see that I have the two piece (folded) truss rods. They come out via the body side. Not sure why one is longer than the other (threaded end) and the longer one has less tension on it. But I did find a couple of real good threads on here to reference to. The folded TR makes sense to me now after seeing a couple pics of it. These really are a totally different animal to what I'm used to.


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 Post subject: Re: 4003 truss rod question
 Post Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:26 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2008 6:58 am
Posts: 84
Location: Michigan
I don't think there is anything wrong with your bass, you just have to get the truss rods to do their job.

The truss rods will come out on the body side, or the headstock side if you remove the nuts and use a punch to tap the truss rod forward until you can grab it from the headstock channel under the truss rod cover. If the truss rods are badly bent I would probably remove them from the body side.

Straighten or repair the threaded end and the chisel end as needed. There should be one strip of electrical tape between the two halves of each truss rod.

In this case, to help the truss rods work better, don't install them perfectly straight. Put a sweeping "backbow" arc in them by carefully bending them by hand. Do not put a kink in it. Be sure you arc them in the right direction.

I think it's easier to install arched rods at the headstock end, but the truss rod threaded end could scrape the channel a little. Others may say the body end is the correct way to reinstall them.

Modern truss rods bolt tight against the wood. The folded type truss rod sort of "float" in the channel. So when the nuts on a folded truss rod are tightened against the aluminum block, there may be a small gap between the aluminum block and the wood.

You should be able to use any strings you want.

I'm no expert, but I have owned an early 4003 for 30 years. Any comments or corrections are welcome.


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