Currently doing a tuneup on a nice 12-yr-old Gibson Hummingbird... setting the action, new strings, oil the fretboard, polish the frets, etc.  

One of the Grover tuners is really tight, regardless of how much tension is (or isn't) on the knob screw. These are supposedly "sealed-for-life" units and also, supposedly, need no lubrication.

The knob screw is a phillips head, which I've heard that indicates the tuner was made in Asia, as opposed to the slothead which means made in the U.S.  

At any rate, has anyone got an idea for loosening-up a tight sealed Grover? Or maybe just chalk it up to a defective tuner and replace it?  

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Mike, I've read where people say they removed the back when the shaft was loose by using the loose screw to tap the plug out. If it' s not loose, I don't know of any way to do this with out messing up the plug.


Often on these machines, if you remove the button and wiggle the shaft you will feel it come loose from the inner gear... Once the shaft is loose you can push on the face or the dome on the back and it will pop the cover inwards. Then you can get into them and do what you need.

Mike just a word of exp. They have a life time Guaranted on them. Email Grover and they will ask you to send the tuner and they will replace  it. Bill..............

Seeing as though it's a customers' tuner, maybe I'll forego the experimentation process this time and go directly to the Grover guarantee.  I can put a "loaner" from the parts box on for him while we wait for Grover do a swap-out.

When my "loaner" comes back, into the innards we go... just to see how that shaft extracts and the dome wants to come loose.  

Thanks for the good info... always a never-ending learning process :)

Mike,  before I sent it off, I would put a hair dryer on high blowing on it for about ten mins, with occasional turning of the knob to get all the worm gear. The heat may melt some of the grease, and your problem may be solved.

I have done this before and it has worked.

And you really should try Dustin's suggestion above. I have also used this method, and the dome'd back just pops right off, and snaps right back in, with no indication that it was ever off...  

RE: Mr. Eden's suggestion about the 'Grover' so-called guarantee......I contacted the company last year about a set of' 'Sta-Tites' that I bought that wouldn't and was told by E/M to take my guitar to a qualified repair person and to get them to contact Grover; a 150mi. trip for me. Needless to say, I will never purchase any new Grover tuners again.


Most of us on the forum have a shop of some sort and we represent ourselves as qualified practitioners. Given that information, I've always had 100% backing from Grover...they even replaced a late 50's Gold Rotomatic for me several years ago w/a NOS machine.!!! They've been consistently gracious.

You may not have a shop (even if it's only a bench in the utility room), therefore they wanted you to have a pro verify the need for a replacement. If that's not the case, maybe you just called on a bad day.

Mike K: re: the Philips tension screws..yes, the USA made machines used slot screws and the Asain ones use Philips. Grover has been using off shore manufacturing for a couple decades now. As far as I know, all of their tuners are made overseas. BTW: I'm in the camp that, through experience, have come to the conclusion that the Asain made machines are actually more reliable & smoother than their obsolete USA made counterparts.I have no QC concerns about them.

Also, the cast machines seem soooooo heavy that nowadays that I'm converting (as I can afford to) all my 3x3 instruments w/ cast machines to 18:1 Sta-Tites (because only my customers can afford Waverly's ;). They're fab tuners for the price.

Have a great day, guys :)

I too am a big fan of the 18:1 Stay-Tites. Classic looks, smooth action, easy to maintain, and consistent high quality product. Oh and though not cheap they do keep within budget.

As a follow-up to the whole dilemma, I used the "hair dryer" trick to heat the grease and it worked. The guitar's back home and the customer's happy, so I never had to contact Grover to see about a warranted replacement.

In any event, the discussion itself was an education and an eye-opener. Thanks for all the input!

Well maybe like Paul says they don't treat every one the same.But I had a set of Sta-Tites that one of them were giving me a hard time so I E mailed Grover and told them that I was a builder and that I had bought three sets and I was having trouble with one of the tuners on the one set.They E-mailed me back and said to send all three sets back and they would send me three new sets as they had a better stile tuner now. Well I had already installed the other two sets in other guitars so I could not send them back.So I just sent the one tuner and they sent me a whole set.That was my Exp. anyway thanks Bill................


I sent you a PM. Check your inbox :)

I'm so glad that the hair dryer thing worked for you.


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