FIX A LOOSE INPUT JACK ON FENDER GUITARS – ‘GOOD AND PROPER’
Published on Thursday 2nd April 2015 by Lenny / comments (0) / posted in
Everyone and anyone who owns a Fender guitar or bass will know the problem… the input jack has come loose. It’s that annoying problem that recurs every few months. You end up tightening it and then it works its way loose again. So here’s how to fix the problem ‘good and proper’ and you’ll never have to worry about it again.
Here’s a video of some maniac showing you how to fix the guitar input jack the traditional way.
By now you’d have thought some bright spark at Fender would have designed a better input jack – y’know, maybe one that never that never came loose or something. (And all those smart arses who are thinking “why don’t you just buy a Gibson instead, you fucker”, will be ignored).
This is one of those problems that is annoying because the guitar still works when the input jack is loose, so like most lazy musicians its easy to sort of ignore it, like an itchy scab, and get on with your day.
However if left unfixed, the cable connection to the amp gets crackly and then eventually, because of the twisting and turning of the jack, the wires connecting to the jack eventually snap off from the solder. When this happens, the guitar no longer works. Which is really annoying, especially if it happens at a gig, or in a rehearsal – as Lenny found out.
So unless you’re the type of guy that happens to keep a soldering iron in his back pocket and a reel of solder wire in your gig bag, then this solution is what you need.
The (sticky) solution
Here’s the glue you need. A tube of Loctite 243.
So how do you fix the input jack and stop it from coming loose? The solution is simple. the solution is GLUE. That’s right folks, glue the fucking nut in place. But before you get carried away, you don’t want to just slap on some superglue and hope for the best, otherwise you will never get be able to unscrew the input jack. Of course any old glue wont work. And obviously wood glue isn’t gonna work either (just in case some moron decides to try using some PVC wood-glue and ends out ruining the lacquer finish on their thousand dollar axe.)
So what type of glue? Car glue. Actually that’s not its technical name. But its the type of glue that you use on machinery to stop nuts and bolts working themselves loose. It’s called “Loctite 243 – Lock and Seal Thread Lock”. It sounds exotic but its available at most local hardware stores and popular online stores. Its designed to prevent nuts and screws from working themselves loose because of vibrations – and when you think about it, that’s exactly what happens to a guitar’s input jack. The jack comes loose because of the general knocks and vibrations the guitar gets when playing and being carted around in a gig bag. This glue is ace because it holds the jack nut firmly in place, but the glue’s bond can be broken with a twist of a spanner or wrench, should you need to get in the back of the input jack and make any alterations. So here’s what you do:
Step 1: unscrew the jack
Step 1 – unscrew the jack plate.
Using a screw driver unscrew the input jack from the guitar body. Then using a half-inch socket wrench or some pincers/pliers unscrew the nut that holds the jack to the jack plate. You want to unscrew it enough so that there is space to apply the glue on the thread.
Step 2: apply the glue
Step 2 – apply the glue.
Apply the glue to the thread of the Jack. Try not to get it everywhere. Its best to apply the glue between the nut and the jack plate. You don’t need much – just enough to ensure a few threads are covered for when the nut is tightened.
Step 3: tighten the nut
Once you’ve applied the glue tighten the nut using the spanner or pliers. You will need to hold the jack at the back of the jack plate to stop the input jack from rotating as you tighten the nut. Once you’ve tightened the nut, screw the jack plate back on the body.
Job’s a good ‘un
All done – job’s a good ‘un and you’ll never have to worry about the input jack on your guitar coming loose ever again. The pics are from Lenny’s Highway One Strat, but the method can be used on any Fender guitar or Fender bass guitar that has this type of input jack.
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