I picked up a new MIM Fender Strat a few months ago and replaced the strings with heavier strings 12-52...the first month or two the action seemed great...now the action is getting higher and higher and the intonation on upper frets seems off...

The bridge is extending up a bit...

What's the best way to handle this to get the tension and action right???

Do I need to adjust the bridge or the truss rod or both?
you need to add springs to the back of the guitar and adjust the saddles. i use 5 springs on mine.

Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Coming soon: Egnater Tweaker

It has that capability (I guess that's why the bridge is coming up), I don't have the tremolo bar in though.
Thanks gtr_101, is there anything online that would tell more... how do I do it? Where do I get the springs (guitar center?)
adjust trem springs, adjust truss rod and adjust string saddles (on bridge). basically what you would do for an intonation setup.
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Quote by superportal
It has that capability (I guess that's why the bridge is coming up), I don't have the tremolo bar in though.

perhaps adjust the claw in the trem cavity? im not sure tho
Get off this damn forum and play your damn guitar.
Quote by superportal
It has that capability (I guess that's why the bridge is coming up), I don't have the tremolo bar in though.

tremolo bar has nothing to do with it, just try tightening the screws in the back and add springs if needed.
Ok where do I get the springs?

I was told to take this into somebody but I want to learn how to do it!!!
You already have the springs in there man otherwise the damn thing would fall out. Because you put in heavier gauge strings you need them in higher tension to have them in tune as before. What tuning are you using? The same I'm guessing as when you had the lighter gauge strings. Heavier strings are "generally" used because you're going to be playing in a lower tuning like drop C for example, and be able to maintain "regular" tension. So you basically end up with the same tension on the strings as lighter gauge tuned to E standard. Either switch back to lighter gauge strings or reset your bridge to suit the heavier gauge and greater tension your putting on it.
Cool, thanks DeanESPJackson, that makes perfect sense...

I used to play with lighter strings, but I'm digging the heavies now, but never had that issue before. I will take your advice and just tighten up the springs, and maybe experiment with the dropped tuning too and see how that affects the tension/action/sound...
hmm this is something new to me.... i know how to set the intonation and everything...
but what does tighting and loosing the springs really do?
just wondering...
It increases or decreases the tension on the spring side to counteract the tension from the strings. Basically the bridge is balanced ("floating") by the strings on one side and the springs on the other. What you want is to have the bridge pulled from both directions with the right amount of tension to get it parrallel with the body. Thats why floating trems are a bit of a pain. Tighten the springs, then your pitch goes up and you need to tune down to pitch, hopefully getting the bridge where you want it. It can take some time to get that bugger balanced properly.
oh ok i understand, will that have an effect on the intonation? i wouldnt think so because the saddles arnt being moved but only with the brigde its self?
well the bridge is either flat, or angled up/down in the back. If your bridge angles up or down then effectively your actual string length is shorter or longer than when its in the flat position (its really minor but it still is). Intonation is about having equal lengths of string on either side if the 12th fret. (please correct me if im wrong). So yeah, in whatever position the bridge ends up being in it does affect intonation, but that can be adjusted even if the bridge is a bit high or low. I think its best to adjust intonation after the bridge is where you want it.
Hi everybody,

I just wanted to update this thread.

I took apart the back and got to the springs. There were 3 tremolo springs. I tightened the springs as much as I could. The screws had some more room to go but I couldn't tighten them anymore, they were starting to feel like they might strip. And I am pretty strong (no drill, by hand). The bridge and action was still raised way too much.

So then I went to Guitar Center and got a pack of 3 Fender Start tremolo springs, which were only like $8.

I added 2 springs to the remaining spaces where you can add them. It sucked trying to get those springs on (I loosed the screws but not all the way), but eventually I did.

Now the bridge is perfect and the action is much lower!

Thanks all for the ideas! and gtr_101 for suggesting more springs.