Gibson brand B50.. any hope?

Discussion in 'The Great Bigsby forum' started by englishman, Jan 5, 2019.

  1. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Age:
    61
    Apr 5, 2014
    Detroit
    I have a 70s SG in for some R&R and the owner wanted me to see if I could get the Bigsby functional. It has never had an arm on it for as long as he's had it (20+ years). I attached an arm and predictably it is not even close to coming back to pitch either up or down.
    It appears to have nylon bushings, but I haven't torn into it yet.

    Did these ever work?

    IMG_6562.JPG
     
  2. Tinman46

    Tinman46 Country Gent

    Age:
    50
    Dec 19, 2011
    Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
    Well, you know how I feel about tension bar Bigsby's, The only one I ever got to function properly was on a Corvette with a Biggsfix.
    I hope you can get it sorted.
     
  3. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    Just a B5 right? Maybe try the Biggsfix?
    New spring and file the nut, did you even search for threads on Bigsby problems:D
     
  4. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Age:
    61
    Apr 5, 2014
    Detroit
    Like no B5 I’ve seen.

    Anyone have an idea where to get replacements for these nylon bushings?

    @Wayne Gretschzky ?

    1776848B-4602-4600-847E-14D7C8183AB9.jpeg 258D74ED-55D4-4BCF-A6BE-1D4CF2F5C8EB.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
  5. BuddieGreen

    BuddieGreen Gretschie

    115
    Sep 3, 2018
    usa
    the one on my 72 sg seems to work fine. the only one from that age frame iv had experience with. the newer one on my jet i really dont like, altho i seem to have finally gotten it useable.
     
  6. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Age:
    53
    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    On the first sight these strange bushings do not look all-too bad.
    Nylon usually does not dry out like many other plastics do over time.
    Maybe some simple lubing will help?
     
  7. wabash slim

    wabash slim Friend of Fred

    Age:
    69
    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    Eman---any chance you could find an automotive link to nylon bushings that you need? Also, look at McMasters-Carr or Newark Electronics for possible pieces. They might have to be reworked to be useful, tho, I'd suspect that Bigsby used something easier to obtain.
     
  8. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Age:
    61
    Apr 5, 2014
    Detroit
    I will, of course, try this first.

    As a back up plan, I found this:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/192461083932
     
  9. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Age:
    53
    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    Good to know that there is a scource for something like that.
    I used to search high and low for custom bushings for my motorbike.
     
  10. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Age:
    61
    Apr 5, 2014
    Detroit
    The front shaft spins nicely in just the bushings but not at all in the unit. I popped it off and of course it’s warped. Shaft spins in the unit when it’s not screwed down so I’ll surface the underside and see if it cures that.

    84B52CA8-4493-4E66-A2CA-232CF119CC5B.jpeg
     
    Henry likes this.
  11. Tinman46

    Tinman46 Country Gent

    Age:
    50
    Dec 19, 2011
    Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
    In my google search I found one reference to these particular Gibson branded B5's where the guy replaced the bushings with roller bearings. He said he had to bore the holes a little bigger to press fit the bearings.
    Link
     
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  12. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Country Gent

    Mar 6, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    I’d press in some needle bearing Eman, those nylon bushings suck. The roller bar is not as bad as the main shaft, maybe some of type of bronze oil-impregnated bushing like the typical B5.
     
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  13. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    Yes, I would replace those plastic sleeves by needle bearings... I have a similar problem with 2 Gold B6LH Gretsch that are jammed...

    Eman, if you find the correct bearings, then let me know the dimensions and references (and why not the supplier)... I live in a country where everything is metric, so... :confused:

    A+!
     
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  14. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    That thing looks super flimsy, any chance a new B5 would line up with the screw holes. I have a new one and it works flawlessly for around 100 bux.
     
    hcsterg likes this.
  15. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Age:
    61
    Apr 5, 2014
    Detroit
    He has a sentimental connection with this as is. After I corrected the warp and cleaned the bushings, it moves quite freely so we'll see how it goes.
     
    wildeman likes this.
  16. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Age:
    61
    Apr 5, 2014
    Detroit
    I flattened the base, cleaned and lubed the bushings and shafts and put it back together. After the fret job I strung it up and so far it's working just fine, returns to pitch nicely.

    It's a year older than my 74 but it has neck binding and rosewood board.

    IMG_0157.JPG
     
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  17. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    Nice. But I like the color of yours better, a bit more lively and 3d.
     
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  18. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Age:
    61
    Apr 5, 2014
    Detroit
    I prefer the ebony board and the neck profile is a little slimmer (which I like). Mine was originally cherry but it must have sat in the sun a long time. Big difference in color front to back.
     
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  19. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    Fine ! I wouldn't have bet on that, I must confess...

    A+!
     
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  20. Tinman46

    Tinman46 Country Gent

    Age:
    50
    Dec 19, 2011
    Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
    Glad you got it sorted.