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Thread: stuck tremolo arm

  1. #1

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    stuck tremolo arm

    Hello...

    I've got a strange issue with a tremolo arm that won't come out. I will preface this to say that I have read through a lot of old posts of people experiencing the same, but none of the solutions are helping me.

    I own a few EBMM guitars, a couple with push/pull trem arms and I have never had any problem. Recently bought my son a Sterling Luke for his first real guitar. Bought it online and it came without the arm inserted. Can't say for certain that it's been out since I first set everything up, but I think that it has. Fast forward to yesterday and he asks if it comes out, and I said sure, just pull on it. Nope. It is stuck like crazy. He insists that he hasn't done anything crazy to it, and I believe him as he loves the guitar more than anything else he owns and does a good job of taking care of it. I have loosened the small hex screw on the side of the bridge without success. Finally took the whole bridge out and have loosened every screw I have encountered and the arm won't release. It spins freely, and the screw on the side will lock it down as I'd expect. I even wrapped the arm in a towel to keep it from getting torn up and tried a set of pliers.

    Thoughts? I'm far from a guitar setup expert, but have owned many over the years, and can normally fix most issues that I encounter, but I'm lost on this one.

    Appreciate anyone who has any insight they can shared.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails stuck tremolo arm-img_0855-1-jpg   stuck tremolo arm-img_0856-1-jpg   stuck tremolo arm-img_0857-1-jpg  
    EBMM Morse Y2D Darklord
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    EBMM Luke III BFR
    A variety of non EBMM

  2. #2

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    Hey cameronp,

    I am sure you have thought or tried this, but since you removed the bridge, some good ol' WD-40 might do the trick quite nicely.

    On a different note, based on your pics, you might want to look into the saddles height screws once finished fixing this issue, specially towards the low E.

  3. #3

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    fer.geraci...

    Thank you for your suggestion. WD-40 did not help. I can move the trem arm up and down about a millimeter or two but it won't come out.

    Thanks also for the note on the saddle screws. I actually noticed the same thing when I was disassembling but so focued on the tremolo, I didn't mess with them. Not sure how I hadn't noticed already, but it was playing pretty well and slipped by the QC department haha!

    Thanks again. Anyone else???
    EBMM Morse Y2D Darklord
    EBMM Morse Signature
    EBMM Axis
    EBMM Luke III BFR
    A variety of non EBMM

  4. #4

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    Had the exact same problem with a Sterling AL! One of my friends called me because his trem arm was stuck in the block. He thought I could help. I tried WD40 as well. But the arm wouldn't budge! When I applied just a bit of pressure, it broke in. I guess I'll have to drill in it to remove it. Sucks!
    AL SSS BFR Pinkburst
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  5. #5

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    You could try a bit of heat, it might help to loosen it enough to get out. Try using a lighter or something like that for a little, heat, then try to remove (aka wiggle or anything) if it doesn't help try a little bit more heat. Since you have the trem assembly out of the guitar.

    Glenn |B)
    Silhouette Special SSS in the first Fuschia Sparkle (Hardtail) [1/01/2002] [2001 NAMM piece, 1 of a kind from CLB]
    Silhouette Special HSS in Gold Sparkle (Hardtail) [7/12/2002] [Made for Matchbox 20]
    Albert Lee 3 MM90's in White Sparkle (Hardtail) [8/14/2001] [NOS Just pure awesomeness]
    Albert Lee HH in Black Sugar (Hartail) [1/06/2011] [BFR with the 12th fret logo]


    Like BP said in the Chapman video "You've got a room full of guitars, and no money!! @ 6:00"

  6. #6

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    Is this of use...?

    Strat Elite - Jammed Tremolo Arm — Haze Guitars

    Or this...

    Stratocaster Has Jammed Whammy Bar - YouTube

    And I know this video is probably moot at this point but it may be useful down the line for somebody else...

    Stuck Trem Bar? Try this! - YouTube
    Last edited by DrKev; 11-30-2020 at 12:43 AM.
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  7. #7

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    Is it possible that the term arm is too wide?

    I purchased my blue dawn JP from a reputable retailer years ago and had this issue.

    When I compared it with the term arm with another JP that I had, I discovered this to be the issue.

    I contacted customer service and had a new trem arm within a week or so.
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  8. #8

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    Thanks for all of the suggestions. So far, none appear to do the trick. Was hopeful with one of the YouTube videos, but the Strat bridge is apparently a little different. This one has a cut on one side but not all the way through. The only thing I haven't tried is the heat, because quite honestly, I'm not sure how I'd do it, and if this becomes a warranty situation, I don't want to compound the problem.

    Sent an email to customer service this morning to see what they suggest. I'll update the thread with their response since others have dealt with similar issues.

    Thanks again everyone...fingers crossed that it turns out to be a simple fix.
    EBMM Morse Y2D Darklord
    EBMM Morse Signature
    EBMM Axis
    EBMM Luke III BFR
    A variety of non EBMM

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by cameronp View Post
    Thanks for all of the suggestions. So far, none appear to do the trick. Was hopeful with one of the YouTube videos, but the Strat bridge is apparently a little different. This one has a cut on one side but not all the way through. The only thing I haven't tried is the heat, because quite honestly, I'm not sure how I'd do it, and if this becomes a warranty situation, I don't want to compound the problem.

    Sent an email to customer service this morning to see what they suggest. I'll update the thread with their response since others have dealt with similar issues.

    Thanks again everyone...fingers crossed that it turns out to be a simple fix.
    If it's not a warranty issue, you could get one of those bic lighter sticks, and use that, it's a low flame. I had an issue a week ago with my grill, I replacing the burner tubes and one of the tubes was stuck on one end, added a little heat wiggled it some, still didn't move added a little more heat and it wiggled free.

    Good luck, hope you get it unstuck. Glenn |B)
    Silhouette Special SSS in the first Fuschia Sparkle (Hardtail) [1/01/2002] [2001 NAMM piece, 1 of a kind from CLB]
    Silhouette Special HSS in Gold Sparkle (Hardtail) [7/12/2002] [Made for Matchbox 20]
    Albert Lee 3 MM90's in White Sparkle (Hardtail) [8/14/2001] [NOS Just pure awesomeness]
    Albert Lee HH in Black Sugar (Hartail) [1/06/2011] [BFR with the 12th fret logo]


    Like BP said in the Chapman video "You've got a room full of guitars, and no money!! @ 6:00"

  10. #10

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    Quick update if anyone runs into this in the future. The part is being replaced under warranty. Customer service tried to help and offered a few suggestions, but nothing ever seemed to work. Thanks again to everyone who offered suggestions!
    EBMM Morse Y2D Darklord
    EBMM Morse Signature
    EBMM Axis
    EBMM Luke III BFR
    A variety of non EBMM

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