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Tips, Tricks and Road Stories


How To: Replace The Tuners On Your Stratocaster or Telecaster

December 5, 2011;

Many changes to your Fender Stratocaster or Telecaster can be technical and slightly complicated, but this isn’t one of them. Replacing your Stratocaster/Telecaster tuners with new locking tuners ensures that your guitar maintains a consistent tuning through a gig or extensive studio session.  A set of Fender Schaller Locking Tuners is one of the great features that puts “ Deluxe” in the American Deluxe Stratocaster.

Over time, guitar tuners can get loose and worn down, creating problems with anywhere between one and all six strings. Changing out those tuners in favor of newer, affordable locking tuners instills confidence that you’ll only need to tune your Stratocaster or Telecaster on an occasional basis.

External equipment needed:
•    Drill
•    1/16th inch drill bit
•    3/32nd inch drill bit
•    Masking tape
•    Straight edge
•    Phillips “1” or “0” screwdriver
•    10 mm wrench

1. First, unwind and remove your strings from the tuners. The order with which you remove the strings is not particularly important.

2. With a Phillips “0” or “1” point screwdriver, (depending on the type of guitar you are operating on) unscrew the current tuners and set them aside.

3. Place the new tuners into each corresponding peg hole, and tighten the nut so the tuners are loosely held in place. Since they’re all the same, there’s no wrong way to align all six tuners on your Fender.

4. Using a straight edge, align the tuners into an even line, and tighten the nuts with a 10 millimeter wrench. Make sure they are screwed firmly into place.

5. Loosen and remove the nuts and tuners so the tightening marks are exposed. Take note of the indentation marks on the Stratocaster or Telecaster head.

6. Wrap the 1/16 drill bit in tape at the ¼ inch mark, and drill holes for the tuner screws until the tape tip comes flush with the guitar’s head.

7. Using a 3/32-inch drill bit with tape signaling the ¼-inch mark, drill a hole using the pilot holes just created.

8. Install the tuning ferrules into each hole, followed by the tuners.

9. Insert each retaining nut onto the tuning pegs and tighten them with the 10 millimeter wrench.

10. Re-string the guitar, and lock your tuning in place by rotating each wheel under the tuner housing to the right. You can loosen the tuning lock by rotating the wheel to the left.

Locking tuners are a simple, affordable way to improve your Fender Stratocaster and/or Telecaster. Sam Ash has a wide array of Fender accessories and replacement tuners, all of which can be shipped for free, so call or click now to start upgrading your Stratocaster or Telecaster.