Fender Bi Flex Truss Rod Woes

hitrome

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I recently purchased a 2018 Fender American Stratocaster Special at a discount because of a "bad neck". When it arrived the walnut plug was not glued in and the neck was convex (hump in the middle of the neck). I took the walnut plug out, installed a brand new nut, glued in the walnut plug and turned the truss rod nut counterclockwise to try and bring the neck level and I achieved no results. The neck wouldn't budge. It felt to me when adjusting the truss rod nut that there would be some pressure against the plug and then none at all. I concluded that I must've run out of threads or the plug didn't go deep enough. I tried to remove the walnut plug again after it had been glued in place but it wouldn't come out. I decided (wrongly) to drill out the walnut plug and install a new plug from made from scratch (I had unfortunately widened the original hole). When installing the new plug I oversized it to accommodate the oversized hole that I made and ended up cracking the wood on the first fret and lifted it up so that it's no longer a true radius. I knew that this was a big mistake and decided to remove the walnut plug I had made and leave the neck alone for a week or two and come back to it fresh. I really screwed this one up bad I'm ashamed to admit. I would've been better off not touching the thing from the start but unfortunately I compounded my errors. I'm ready to come back to this mess I've made but I'd like some advice on what to do. The truss rod nut is not currently installed, neither is a new walnut plug, the neck in also still in a convex shape. I've tried to force it into a concave shape with clamps but I've had no luck. Any advice on how to proceed would be greatly appreciated.

Here are some pictures:
 

ARandall

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You've cracked the neck wood for one. You could maybe manage to wick in some superglue, but you would still have to pull (some) frets, re-do the radius, Put in a new truss rod, refret, possible do a refinish to the re-radiused area.

Thats effectively as much work as making a new neck.

Not to mention your clamp thing is not wanting to make the neck into a more naturally straight resting position. and you didn't manage to install the rod and get it to work the first time.

It would be worth doing the work........to use it as a learning experience for how to do repairing. I would not necessarily expect it to be all that great, although it may well turn out ok..........and that neck now has zero resale possibility.
 

moreles

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ARandall's advice is sound. I would imagine that the seller tried adjusting the neck, so I'm surprised that you thought you would be able to just adjust out the hump, and that you proceeded with other parts of the job before trying that first. With a crack starting right down the middle of the face of the fretboard, the future is not bright because that's where truss rod stress will occur if you ever were to get the rid to work. A ARandall says, there is some possibility that you might be able to repair everything, and if you want a project, you've got it. Personally, even though I love to repair messes, I think a Fender-style neck is just really cool when you get a good one -- most are good -- and I would not enjoy having one that is fundamentally unsound and cobbled together on top of that. I can fix lots of things, but the few bad necks I've tried to save never ended up being wonderful. Why play a bad neck?
 

BPW666

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How many legendary strats have been cobbled together from random other guitars? Clapton's blackie springs to mind but there are plenty of others. Totally agree a new neck is the way to go here, easy replacement is half the reason for the bolt on construction.

Ben
 

B. Howard

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First, stop, just stop.....

This neck is toast so get a new one.

Next time you have the urge to fix it yourself, take it to someone.
 




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