Defective bridge on 2017 Epi P90 Special 1!

Discussion in 'Other Guitars' started by Michael7, May 10, 2018.

  1. Michael7

    Michael7 Squier-holic

    I recently bought an almost brand new guitar for $45 as mentioned on a recent thread. Now I think I know why the seller let it go so cheaply. I was trying to adjust the bridge downward for better action, but even with no string tension and a special T-handle tool I have for this job, I couldn't move the low E side post up or down. When I tried the high E side, the post was turning, but on closer inspection, it was actually the splined insert turning in the body! It turns out that both posts are either cross-threaded into the inserts, or the posts have different threads from the inserts and were incompatible and should not have been installed. It is the original Epi marked bridge, not something the seller installed.


    Has anyone else heard of this issue? What a disappointing surprise.







     
  2. mkgearhead

    mkgearhead Squier-holic

    Dec 18, 2009
    Fort Morgan, CO
    I have a couple of Badass style bridges. You can have one if you need it.
     
  3. Michael7

    Michael7 Squier-holic

    Thanks, Mkgearhead! That is very generous. I already have a couple of those bridges in my spares at home, so I'm set. That's what I'll replace it with if it fits.

    Perhaps you know if the insert outside diameters are standardized? Tomorrow when I get to my shop, I'll pull the one that is spinning and measure it. Now that hole is going to be loose, so what do you recommend for adding something to the bore so it will hold the replacement inserts tightly? I was thinking of maybe painting the bare wood with water thin CA, since it would mostly sink into the wood and not be too thick. Would let it fully dry before installing the insert.

    Thanks for any suggestions.
     
  4. Gloveberg

    Gloveberg Squier-holic

    Aug 30, 2015
    West Texas
    If you have some aluminum tape (like what a/c guys use on ducting, but NOT regular duct tape) just wrap a layer of that tightly on the bushing serrations and it should be enough to hold the insert tight without you having to do any woodwork. I did this to an Agile LP I had and it worked perfectly.
     
  5. Michael7

    Michael7 Squier-holic

    Thanks for that suggestion. I don't have that tape but will look into it.
     
  6. so1om

    so1om Dr. Squier

    Age:
    51
    Feb 10, 2010
    Chicago
    And add some tightbond glue when reinserting the splined bushing.

    This likely occurred when trying to lower or raise the bridge when there was tension on the strings. All the strings have to be loosened before raising and lowering the bridge. It may be possible. But there is a right way and no so right way.
     
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  7. Gloveberg

    Gloveberg Squier-holic

    Aug 30, 2015
    West Texas
    Lowe’s or Home Depot.
     
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  8. Michael7

    Michael7 Squier-holic

    I suspect you are correct about how it occurred. Before I drove 45 minutes on one of California's twistiest roads to get it, I asked the seller if there was any damage not visible in the CL pics, but that might put me off when I got there. He did honestly reply that there was some slight screwdriver damage to the post slots, but I knew that happens to these pot metal posts even with gentle use, so I said it was not an issue with me. But it probably happened because he was trying to adjust the high action with full string tension.

    Lesson learned about next time I'm buying site-unseen!
     
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  9. DrBeGood

    DrBeGood Squier-holic

    Dec 9, 2014
    Sutton QC, CANADA
    It's a minor problem, especially regarding how much you paid for it :)

    Wood glue on the wall of the hole before re inserting a bushing is a good way to fix it. Don't put too much though, it could isolate the ground wire.

    Be sure to let it dry thoroughly before reassembling the bridge, 24+ hours.
     
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  10. Michael7

    Michael7 Squier-holic

    Thanks, that is exactly what I'll do. Will protect the ground wire so it still makes good contact with the insert.
     
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  11. DrBeGood

    DrBeGood Squier-holic

    Dec 9, 2014
    Sutton QC, CANADA
    I don't know if it's done, but could steel wool help at bottom of cavity ? Or foil ?
     
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  12. Michael7

    Michael7 Squier-holic

    Here is what I learned after pulling the inserts out. The screws were so galled into the insert that I had to use a vise holding the inserts and a Vise-grip to turn the screws, and they came out very slowly, even with penetrant. I think these inserts and screws were either badly machined or machined to size and then plated to be too thick. You can see the brass that was exposed by backing them out. Probably not detectable by the assembler on the line with an air tool, but impossible to turn with a screwdriver or even my homemade tool, shown.

    Note also the thin shim of wood that had been installed around the insert on the high E side. You can see the lines where the insert was biting into it. That had to be done at the factory due to a sloppy hole in the original body drilling. With the shim out, the insert just falls loosely into the hole!

    These inserts have very smooth-sided splines. Once I add some glue to reduce the bore size on the loose one, I hope to have sharper edge splined inserts to use with the replacement bridge.

    IMG_20180510_172513993_HDR.jpg IMG_20180510_172858248.jpg IMG_20180510_172838525.jpg IMG_20180510_175055984.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
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  13. DrBeGood

    DrBeGood Squier-holic

    Dec 9, 2014
    Sutton QC, CANADA
    Looks like previous owner messed it up somehow. Can't believe it came out of the factory like that, with shims and all.
     
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  14. Gloveberg

    Gloveberg Squier-holic

    Aug 30, 2015
    West Texas
    Wow, how does one even do that??? That's pretty sloppy right there but not unfixable (is that even a word?...lol)
     
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  15. Michael7

    Michael7 Squier-holic

    I've texted the seller to see if the screws were that way when he got it. The slots in the studs were marred from a screwdriver when I bought it, so I think he tried unsuccessfully to adjust the bridge. I told him I was not unhappy and would fix it, but was curious if it was that way out of the box. We'll see if he replies.
     
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  16. Michael7

    Michael7 Squier-holic

    The seller texted me back that it came that way from an Guitar Center purchase.
    Since it is a 2017 serial number, I assumed that he bought it new, but don't know 100% that is correct. I guess there is a small possibility someone owned it before him.

    He was unable to adjust the screws at all manually, so used an impact screw-driver, which chewed up the slots. Then he gave up.

    I'm inclined to think this was a factory error, due to the over-sized insert hole in the body on the high E site, and professional quality repair with the super thin wood shim, correctly grain oriented, in the hole. Since the seller gave up on the adjustment when he couldn't move the screws, I know he didn't do the repair.

    I have a ton of walnut veneer that someone gave me, so will do some tests to see if I can make that curl to a small diameter and then glue it into the hole. If not, will reduce the hole diameter with thin coats of wood glue as needed. Will pull the ground wire back into its drilling so when the repair is complete, I'll pull the bare wire ends into the body hole before I install the insert.

    The guitar is still at my office in Calif, so it will be a couple of months before I go there again and can revisit this project.
     
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  17. DrBeGood

    DrBeGood Squier-holic

    Dec 9, 2014
    Sutton QC, CANADA
    :confused::p:D:eek:o_O
    REALLY ?
     
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  18. Michael7

    Michael7 Squier-holic

    I know! Seems wild. That's what he told me. Old school, when in doubt, get a BFH! lol

    I'm surprised that both insert assemblies had not spun to the point that neither would fit snugly in the body, but the low E side is still good.

    The ground wire enters the insert hole right near the face of the guitar, and the bare wires bend down into the bore of the insert hole. I'll get the ground out of the way while I repair the insert hole, and then reopen that small drilling and pull the bare wire ends down into the bore before installing the insert. These inserts are only .75" long at the splined part and the holes in the guitar are probably more than a half inch longer than is needed. I poured a lot of sawdust out of the bottom of the loose one.

    Here's the Wilkinson version of a Badass bridge. Pretty nice piece. Can't find these any more, even from the seller I got this one from. Just checked that it is the right stud spacing for the Special.

    Wilnsonwrap2.jpg
     
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  19. dbrian66

    dbrian66 Squier-holic

    Age:
    48
    Jul 14, 2017
    Maryland, USA
    I bought a Les Paul Special 1 awhile back and the high e post was leaning forward towards the neck. Took it apart and found a shim in it just like the one you found. I thought it was done by the previous owner but it looked exactly like yours so maybe it is a factory fix.

    I filled the front side of the hole with the shim and a mixture of fine saw dust and wood glue. Pressed the insert in and let it dry for a few days. Seems to be holding up just fine now.
     
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  20. DrBeGood

    DrBeGood Squier-holic

    Dec 9, 2014
    Sutton QC, CANADA
    Nice indeed.