I recently inherited an E series MIJ from the 80's. I have heard good things about these guitars but this one hasn't been particularly well looked after. It's got badly dented frets so will definitely need a dress, hopefully not a replacement. The neck has some pretty deep dents from string bending. My uncle beat the hell out of this thing for about 30 years by the looks of it. The volume and tone knobs seem kind of loose too.

Obviously it's going to be impossible to give any sort of estimate as to the cost of getting this thing sounding nice, even if it's possible, without having a proper look and playing. I'm just wondering if anyone has any experience repairing guitars in this kind of shape and if it turns out worth the expense.

The MIJ strats are supposed to be really nice instruments and it does have some sentimental value. I just don't want to sink hundreds into something that is never going to play well again. Here are a few pictures I took today. (I only just pulled the strings off to clean it up)

http://imgur.com/a/p0jYf [1]

My main concern is the bridge as it looks like it has been exposed to damp and rusted. I don't know if this can be taken apart and polished or something.
Wow, look at those divots!

I don't see why it wouldn't play well after a tune-up. If the only thing wrong with it is that it needs some fret work and a good scrub on the bridge, you're in great shape.

Cleaning the bridge could be as easy as a toothbrush and a bit of water. If you really want to get the gunk out of it you could remove it from the guitar, take it apart entirely, and then give it a soak in some vinegar or lemon juice or cola or whatever metal cleaning product you have lying around. Bridges like that are resilient, they just look like hell when they're dirty. It probably works fine.
It will probably cost $200ish if you do most of the work yourself (besides the fret dress). And that is all new pots and possibly pickups if you want a different flavor

You can take the bridge apart and soak it in Rem-Oil for a few days to loosen up all the corrosion. If all else fails you can just get a new set of roller saddles for <$15 www.guitarfetish.com/Roller-Saddles-Upgrade-your-Trem-Hardened-Steel-Set-of-Six_p_662.html
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Last edited by Robbgnarly at Sep 24, 2014,
The neck can be repaired or even replaced if necessary. Not sure of the cost of repair vs replacement though. It looks like the bridge just needs to be taken apart and given a good cleaning. The pits on the bridge won't hurt the playability. If it were me, I'd fix it up especially if it has sentimental value.
Doesn't look too bad to me. I've seen much worse frets, and I wouldn't call that beat up from the pictures you posted. It looks like any well played 30 year old guitar. Those groves in the fretboard looks interesting though. Not sure how you'd play to get those.

Anyway, if it isn't somehow much worse than it looks it shouldn't cost you that much to return it to perfect playing condition. Take it to a good luthier and ask for a quote.

If the frets actually need to be replaced, which I from the pictures think is highly unlikely, make sure that the fretboard is kept in the current condition. Would be a shame if it is was sanded and refinished.
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looks like a solid keeper to me. Clean it up and address any issues that seem bad (sticky pots, excessive grime, etc) put it together and play it. definitely worth fixing up, nice strat man!
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