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Author Topic: Help - My Trem is knackered  (Read 1189 times)

Offline Wheresthedug

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Help - My Trem is knackered
« on: July 04, 2019, 03:57:01 PM »
I recently bought a used 1997 Fly Deluxe.

When I unpacked it and started to play it I noticed that the trem Balance Wheel was incredibly stiff and didn't seem to want to budge. I tried to dive the trem the spring snapped. It appeared that the Balance Wheel had been seriously over tightened. I assumed this was the reason the Balance Wheel was so difficult to turn.

I made a block to hard tail it while I waited for a replacement spring; which arrived today.

Tonight I set to work trying to replace the spring. The Balance Wheel was still pretty stiff and seemed to want to wander out of square with the screw goes through the middle of the wheel and holds the retaining claw. Eventually I got the spring fitted and started to re tension the trem. However, I was struggling to get the wheel and the screw square as it always wanted to drift out of true. I finally thought I had it seated properly and started tightening. It turned easily for a while then went really stiff again. I kept trying to move it as I had noticed previously that there seemed to be a point in the travel where it would get stiff but I would eventually pass this and loosen up again but this time it didn't loosen. Quite the opposite it completely jammed. It appears that the thread may have been damaged previously (or I may have just failed to seat the thread properly) and the Balance Wheel is now stuck fast. It won't budge in either direction.

Given the position of the wheel it appears to be almost impossible to get sufficient access to prize it out or apply enough leverage to force it loose. I am also reluctant to force the wheel any further as the screw section is held in place by a bar inside the cavity and I don't want to break that too.


Anyone ever had to deal with a similar issue? If so how did you manage to remove the adjustment wheel and screw?

Other than the Trem, the guitar seems to be in excellent condition and plays like a dream.

Re: Help - My Trem is knackered

Offline sybersitizen

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Re: Help - My Trem is knackered
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2019, 05:27:40 PM »
Hard to say what happened .. but I think I would carefully apply some WD40 or penetrating oil and let it sit for a while, then keep trying to release the wheel. Assuming that works and you can get everything out, carefully inspect the threads on the wheel and the shaft. If either is damaged, look for a replacement on eBay. I know I've seen replacement balance wheels there, but I don't recall seeing shafts.
'01 Fly Deluxe|'69 SG Standard|'69 EB-3|Pignose Strat|Savannah SGO-16CE|Glen Burton GE47|Dean Vendetta 7-String|Loog 3-String|Fishman Aura Spectrum|Roland Amplifiers

Re: Help - My Trem is knackered

Offline Wheresthedug

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Re: Help - My Trem is knackered
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2019, 02:10:44 AM »
Thanks.

I don’t think WD40 is going to do it but I’ll definitely give it a try.

There a tiny metal fragments on the screw which suggests the threads have crossed and it has been chewed.

I decided to order some spare parts anyway just to be on the safe side. It turns out wiguitar.com has both available.

It will probably take a couple of weeks for them to arrive from the US which is a pain but at least it gives me plenty of time to fina a way to get the current one out.

Re: Help - My Trem is knackered

Offline Wheresthedug

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Re: Help - My Trem is knackered
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2019, 01:28:54 AM »
Well, I tried sybesitizen’s WD40 suggestion. I would have bet the farm this wouldn’t work due to the threads being apparently cross threaded. Fortunately, I don’t have a farm as would have lost that bet :D

It took several attempts and gradually moved a little each time then I backed it off to where it had been and tried again, and a again, and.......... eventually it screwed out.

I inspected the threads and there were metal filings showing and some gunk. There were signs of some threads being chewed a little but not as badly As I had expected and none of the threads were actually completely gone. I cleaned both the screw and the wheel threads and very carefully tried it again. After working it a few times from each end the wheel was spinning freely. I put back in the guitar ans very carefully screwed it out to hold the spring. I strung up to pitch and set the spring tension. It is now working almost perfectly.

I have a new wheel and screw coming by post anyway but at the moment everything seems fine. Thanks again for the input sybersitizen



One more question though. Well two actually!

Which way should the wheel be fitted - large metal rim towards strap or neck side? Is there meant to be any sort of washer between the wheel and the body?

Re: Help - My Trem is knackered

Offline sybersitizen

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Re: Help - My Trem is knackered
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2019, 09:14:49 AM »
Congrats!

Which way should the wheel be fitted - large metal rim towards strap or neck side? Is there meant to be any sort of washer between the wheel and the body?

No washer. The side with more metal is considered the bearing surface and should face the wood.
'01 Fly Deluxe|'69 SG Standard|'69 EB-3|Pignose Strat|Savannah SGO-16CE|Glen Burton GE47|Dean Vendetta 7-String|Loog 3-String|Fishman Aura Spectrum|Roland Amplifiers

Re: Help - My Trem is knackered

Offline jb63

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Re: Help - My Trem is knackered
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2019, 03:00:02 PM »
That’s a head’s up to grab an extra wheel! Where did i you find it?
I’m glad this got sorted out and was an easy fix. I haven’t had to move my wheel in years!

Re: Help - My Trem is knackered

Offline Wheresthedug

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Re: Help - My Trem is knackered
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2019, 09:52:07 AM »
I got them off eBay from seller WiGuitar