#1
Okay, so over the past year, the bridge of my Mexican strat kept raising further and further off of the body in the back. It got to a point where there was probably a third of an inch up in the air in the back. Is this normal? And if not, what should I do to correct it? I took off all of the strings tonight. I know this is not a good idea, but everything needed a good cleaning and I thought this would be a good time to ask if there is any way I can correct this problem. Should I tighten or loosen the screw in the front in order to keep the back low? On another mexican strat I played, the back of the bridge was completely flat and I thought the action was wonderful. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
#2
Dont touch the screws on the front. Put strings back on it and then take the back plate off. You should see 2 or 3 springs and the screws going into your guitar in the direction of the neck. Just slowy screw the in until your bridge is back to normal.

But this probably started happening because you changed strings and accidently got a higher gage. Like you probably had 9's on it to start and bought 10's and put them on which would create more tension thus lifting the bridge off the body.
#3
Quote by bmac85
Okay, so over the past year, the bridge of my Mexican strat kept raising further and further off of the body in the back. It got to a point where there was probably a third of an inch up in the air in the back. Is this normal? And if not, what should I do to correct it? I took off all of the strings tonight. I know this is not a good idea, but everything needed a good cleaning and I thought this would be a good time to ask if there is any way I can correct this problem. Should I tighten or loosen the screw in the front in order to keep the back low? On another mexican strat I played, the back of the bridge was completely flat and I thought the action was wonderful. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

This could be due to a combination of factors and can be fixed in one or two ways.

1. You could replace your springs with stiffer ones or just add some more; and/or,
2. You could tighten the 2 screws holding the tremolo claw in the back.

#4
I've done a combination of the above. Not sure where you are now TS since you said you took your strings off to clean. Do you have replacement stings and what gauge on low E? 9 or 10 or what?

EDIT: WOW...sorry for length....i got carried away a bit.
EDIT: but since it is long already - And another important point that I foget too is to strech your stings with your hands BEFORE tightening down and tuning. When you re-string your stings should initially be about 3 fingers length from bottom of neck (4 inches or so).

Also, what these guys have said above is not incorrect imo but i've def tightened the bridge screws on top to get the desired 'play'. Sometimes i have it tight against the body and sometimes i have 1/2 inch play in there. That depends on how much float you want your vibrato arm to have. if you don't like that amount of play then new springs, extra springs, and tightening the 2 screws underneath at Claw is not going to help much.

I have a MIM strat and the most important thing for you right now is to not adjust anything until you get new strings on. Once the strings are on and assuming they are the same gauge (.09s prolly) then tune the guitar the way you normally would. If you are not sure how, then Search on that first and do dat.

You CAN tighten the bridge screws down but you need to do it slowly. There are 6 screws correct? Connecting your Bridge to the guitar on neck side of bridge? One under each string.

Personally, I would go in small incremets and keep retuning. Even after you think you are done, the next day you will want to re-adjust/tune.

The springs that hold bridge block to Claw are important too but they are not strong enought to make the most affect. Those springs by the way get stretched over time and need to be replaced at some point. Additionally, you can swap back and forth from 5 to 3 to 5 springs whatever to tighten or loosen. The 2 screws that tighten the claw to the guitar wood on back side underneath backplate need to be tight too but I see that as a final adjustment after everything else is considered.

If you increase gauge to .10s or higher then the process is the same just remember that the new strings will pull everything tighter on their own.

The key is to not make any drastic changes or your neck will suffer and it becomes harder to diagnose what the new problems are.

Again, part of the combinations mentioned above are preference and as far as I know it is perfectly fine to leave the bridge in 'float' mode (raised) as long as everything else is cool and your guitar is not going out of tune constantly. Personally, my MIM strat stays in tune for almost a week without retuning.

Sorry for long post. Maybe someone else has a diff opinion.

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Last edited by 311ZOSOVHJH at May 28, 2008,
#5
Tighten the 2 screws in the back of the guitar, if that isn't enough add another spring.

The screws on the front of the bridge should be fine the way they are, but what I do is tighten the outside two all the way then loosen the middle four so they're sitting off the bridge a little bit.
#6
+1

that's cool.

i guess i got to the point where those 2 claw screws in back where a far in as i could get them. then after adding spings to claw - i still couldn't pull bridge all the way down.

i think all 6 screws on front get loose if you use the vibro bar too much (like me) so just tighten them down slowly in small increments.

+1 - i'll have to try your recommendation Hoser of tightening top and bottom only and loosening teh middle ones. Out of curiousty - what does that buy you?

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