Has anyone here had any success removing a headstock adjustment Fender style truss rod without removing the fingerboard?  I've seen one online article where a section of the neck heel was removed to get at the anchor and the rod pulled out.  The new rod and anchor was re-installed and the heel patched (all invisible when assembled).

This seems on the face of it to be a simple solution but not having tried it, I wonder how easy it would be to reinstall the replacement rod.

All wisdom gained through experience will be warmly welcome!


Tags: Truss, replacement, rod

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Hi Dave , yes I have done this , I drilled down through the rod from the back , right next to the anchor cylinder , the anchor should fall out now , then drill a hole in the butt of neck so you can push the rod out through the headstock , I used a cheap eBay truss rod which had a T shaped anchor , I carved out a suitable notch in the butt to receive this anchor , and cut the rod to length and also arched it a bit , this was a cranky neck which wouldn't come straight and so broke the original rod , but it came straight enough to play well with a bit of relief .  See my post "Strat broken rod" april 2019 .

Thanks Len - a neat variation on the version I'd seen before. 

Just one question - what was the purpose of drilling the skunk stripe?  Wouldn't drilling down through the centre of the anchor release the rod anyhow?

I think my big concern would be getting the new rod to thread along the channel without digging in.  Did you pre-bend the rod or do anything else to ease it through?

I'm going to give this a go on a nasty junk neck but will try drilling an oversize hole at the but end, big enough to be able to spot weld the new rod into the existing anchor and then plug the hole with a maple dowel.

I'll let you know how it goes!


Hi Dave , I assumed that the rod was threaded into the anchor , so I wanted to cut it off next to the block . I think it was threaded from memory . I don't have welding ability . I did pre bend the rod until it would neatly push through the neck , I seem to recall that there is a metal hoop in the middle of the neck but it wasn't a problem . Good luck. Remember to get some pics for .

Great stuff!  Thanks. D

This might be helpful, though I don't know if you're describing a bullet truss rod or one under the walnut plug:

Though Dan doesn't say so, I am pretty certain this truss rod was unscrewed from the anchor via a cross threaded or frozen truss rod nut.  I've seen this happen on a heel adjust Jazz Bass. The anchor was accessed by removing the big rectangular inlay and some fingerboard. Not totally invisible but pretty elegant (by the late Ed Murray, EuCo Fretts Boston).

 If this is a walnut plug rod, I guess you would remove the plug, remove the truss rod nut, fabricate a jam nut and proceed as in the video. This might be problematic if the truss rod is secure in the anchor.

Thanks Joshua

I hadn't seen that video - it does have elements of Len's work!

I have the Schatten puller so drilling out the middle of the anchor as Len did should release the nut.  At worse, it might require drilling the rod outside of the anchor in case it was threaded or welded on the headstock side of the anchor.  Then thread it (or a new anchor) to take a threaded truss rod and reinstall as Dan did.  That would avoid any alteration to the heel other than a threaded hole in the middle of the anchor which could then accommodate a grub screw to further prevent the rod from unscrewing.  Easy to disassemble if it ever failed again in the future.



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