Dad Help! I bought this Mustang!

Discussion in 'Other Guitars' started by Rollmeaway, Jan 23, 2018.

  1. Rollmeaway

    Rollmeaway Squier-Nut

    Age:
    64
    832
    Feb 7, 2016
    Fayetteville, NC
    Well, my son picked this up in a local pawn shop a while back. I don't know what he paid for it and I ain't gonna ask. I took a brief look at it when he got it. He brought it over because it was "grounding out". That was an easy but temporary fix. When I pulled my brand new patch cord out, it was covered in rust. I just pulled the control cover off, sprayed it out with some contact cleaner, rolled up some fine sandpaper and cleaned the rust from inside the output jack. Sprayed it again and that solved that problem for a while.

    I think my son just bought this guitar because he had a fixation with Nirvana and the "grunge" thing. I think it's a '73 or '74. Maybe someone could help me here, at least by the neck plate number. I know it's called "Competition Red" color.

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  2. theflow

    theflow Squier-holic

    Age:
    59
    Feb 16, 2017
    Palmetto,FL
    Looks pretty cool ! I hope you are doing good brother !:)
     
  3. Rollmeaway

    Rollmeaway Squier-Nut

    Age:
    64
    832
    Feb 7, 2016
    Fayetteville, NC
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    Its well worn. I don't think it's artificially distressed either. Someone played the heck out of this thing. It has a rusty SD hot rail pup at the bridge. It seems upside down. The SD logo is facing toward the headstock. Unless the previous owner put it in that way on purpose. So after bringing it to my house, here are some of the problems I found without pulling anything apart.

    The frets are really worn down. I'm not sure there is enough meat left to do a fret level. I'll see once I pull the strings and clean them up a little. I'm pretty sure it's already had a level/crown done in the past.

    The slide switches are bad. Moving them makes horrible sounds that contact cleaner won't help. They feel worn out. You know, like a switch that doesn't feel solid when moving it from side to side. I'm pretty sure they will have to be replaced. I have an original wiring diagram for this guitar but that is for stock pups. I don't know what they did when they wired in the SD. I'm trying to convince my son to go back to a stock pup but he wants the SD.

    This is one of those guitars that you don't know what was replaced or what the previous owner did to it. The high E string pops out of the nut slot when you play a little too hard. That one is a simple fix. The string tree spacer seems way too tall. So tall, there is almost no break angle of the high E and B strings over the nut. The strings just go almost in a straight line from the tree through the nut.

    The bridge assembly. I am not at all familiar with the Mustang bridge. I'll have to do some research on that. The barrel saddles seem like some have been filed and slotted. I don't know if they can be flipped over to see if the other side has not been messed with.

    Well that's about all I can see from a quick look on the out side. Tomorrow I'll pull the strings and start my new project. I know my son gave me this just to get me motivated. He usually has a guitar tech change his strings and do his setups.

    Any observations or tech tips are welcome and will be appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
  4. Cavediver

    Cavediver Squier-Nut

    655
    Jul 28, 2014
    Eagle, Idaho
    That is a great looking guitar! It is well worth putting some effort and $$ into getting it right. I love Fender Mustangs and own two of them.
     
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  5. porkpie

    porkpie Squier-Nut

    Age:
    63
    838
    Mar 16, 2015
    Idaho
    According to that serial # it's a 1973.
     
  6. fendereedo

    fendereedo Squier-Meister

    133
    Aug 12, 2015
    UK
    Beautiful! Your son did good!
     
  7. Merv_j

    Merv_j Squier-Nut

    Age:
    41
    738
    Aug 6, 2017
    Lincoln uk
    That's the first Mustang ever to give me GAS! I like that a lot!
     
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  8. so1om

    so1om Dr. Squier

    Age:
    51
    Feb 10, 2010
    Chicago
    Well.. If anyone can get it up to snuff, you can. No doubt or worries about that. It looks like a very clean example of that model (in the relative age and originality aspects) and I hope he decides to keep it that way.

    I suspect the SD is oriented that way because of the routings inside. We also know that slide switches can be pried apart and cleaned and all that if necessary. I'm sure a Squier VM assembly can be had as well -slide switches are minor.

    My daughter just got her VM Mustang and the tremolo is something new for me as well. It is nice and responsive and all that, but to adjust it you have to remove the whole assembly and then position the springs, bolt it back on... a lot of work! The other odd thing (at least on the VM) is the bar is VERY high relative to the body and is not parallel to the body. There are just some weird tricks to it, but if he decided to have the trem, it'll be fine.

    As for the frets, wow.. that's a tough one. I've never worn down any guitar that was too far going for a little dressing at most. So maybe just leave that until you get the other items in order.

    From the pic of the bridge, that looks normal. Once you get in, you'll know more. While the VM Jags and Jazzs have very close replications of the Fenders, the VM Mustang bridge barrels are nothing like the Fenders (the one your son has). Again, an inexpensive repro may be the easiest fix.

    Looking forward to seeing your work in action! Keep us posted! We can't worry about what he paid for it, I'm sure it's worth it for him.
     
  9. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Squier-holic

    Age:
    39
    Oct 5, 2014
    Gilbert, AZ
    Nice score, Son of Rollmeaway!
    Subscribed as well to see you get this one up to snuff again..
     
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  10. Rollmeaway

    Rollmeaway Squier-Nut

    Age:
    64
    832
    Feb 7, 2016
    Fayetteville, NC
    Thanks man, that's a lot of good info put the way I like to hear it.

    So, I've gotten pretty good at working with frets. No fear! Most of them are badly worn or someone stopped halfway thru a level job and left them flat/uncrowned. That and the wear at the cowboy chords (you know how they get those divots) is pretty severe. My question is: if it needs a refret, is it worth it? The rosewood is fine. The neck has wear and age spots on it. (character?) It's solid and straight tho. I have to check the truss rod when I get to that point. In the heel and all that. Right now it needs a tiny bit of relief.

    But it has 9's on it. My son wants 10's when I put it back together. Maybe that will pull it right where I want it. OK let me go pull the strings and get started.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
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  11. so1om

    so1om Dr. Squier

    Age:
    51
    Feb 10, 2010
    Chicago
    I thought about it more. Maybe it's so out of whack that after addressing the tree, the nut, the bridge and trem, you'll be able to asses the neck. Maybe with fresh strings and if a truss adjustment is necessary (and final resort, tilting with a narrow shim) the frets won't be an issue.

    Just like the old days of tearing down a bike and restoring it for a daily rider!
     
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  12. radiotech

    radiotech Dr. Squier

    Apr 23, 2014
    Chicago
    Could be worse... he could’ve brought home one of these ‘74 Mustang’s to fix up...
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    ;)

    This phrase has officially been added to my meme collection...

    Hahahaha
     
  13. jskeen

    jskeen Squier-holic

    Feb 9, 2016
    Texas
    Nice project! I'm picking up a box tomorrow that has most (seller says all, but well, you know how that goes) of the parts for a duosonic about that same vintage, but the body's been sorta stripped and will need paint.

    I ordered a bunch of those switches a while back for a project and had leftovers, so if you want a pair of new ones, shoot me your address. I can't remember though, are mustangs the dpst or dpdt? two positions, or three?
     
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  14. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Squier-holic

    Age:
    39
    Oct 5, 2014
    Gilbert, AZ
    3-position, DP3T.
     
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  15. Rollmeaway

    Rollmeaway Squier-Nut

    Age:
    64
    832
    Feb 7, 2016
    Fayetteville, NC
    Sorry, bro. I nodded out in the middle of writing the above reply. I think I fixed it up right tho.

    workingbwit? What the heck is that?

    But yea, you're right let me get into it and I'll go as far as my ability let's me.
     
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  16. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Squier-holic

    Age:
    39
    Oct 5, 2014
    Gilbert, AZ
    Sure would be to me, pending anything seriously wrong with the rod. Don't sand out those wear marks though!
     
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  17. Caddy

    Caddy Dr. Squier

    Age:
    71
    Nov 29, 2010
    Indiana
    @so1om , I believe you can adjust the trem on the VM Mustangs using the two hex screws recessed in the top of the bar. Included was a hex wrench which fit those and seemed to tighten it down to compensate for the 11's I put on it.
     
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  18. Caddy

    Caddy Dr. Squier

    Age:
    71
    Nov 29, 2010
    Indiana
    Nice find and nice guitar. Well worth getting in playing order, even if you have to do a refret.
     
  19. jskeen

    jskeen Squier-holic

    Feb 9, 2016
    Texas
    I wouldn't get all up in the air about a refret until you have leveled out the existing frets, crowned them and then set the guitar up as good as it can get, and let him play it for a while. Lots of people tend to remove frets that are perfectly capable of being recrowned and playing just fine for many years just because they aren't as tall as they were originally, but Hey, for a long time a lot of guitars were factory fretted brand new with some pretty short frets, and they played fine. It's a personal taste thing, and for some players, they just gotta have those tall frets, but a lot of people try smaller ones and like them just fine. As long as they aren't down level with the board, it's worth the time to grind them level and crown them to see. If you don't already have one, invest in a small triangle file and sand the corners smooth, it will let you crown frets that a regular concave crowning file would be difficult to work with.
     
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  20. so1om

    so1om Dr. Squier

    Age:
    51
    Feb 10, 2010
    Chicago
    Yes, that adjusts how much break angle there is at the bridge and some of the bar angle. But to adjust the spring tension, there are 3 notches on the each of those posts internal to the guitar. If you want more or less tension, then you gotta pop open the hood.
     
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