Tools Featured in this Teardown

Introduction

Teardown of electric guitar

This teardown is not a repair guide. To repair your Squier Strat Guitar, use our service manual.

Pull off the three tone/volume caps.
  • Pull off the three tone/volume caps.

If you're only trying to gain access to your electronics, remove your strings from the tuners and drape them over the back of the guitar leaving the string ferrules still in the body. Then omit Steps 1-4 and go directly to step 5 and then 9. Most electronic repairs can be made at Step 9 with whatever additional disassembly might be needed to make that particular repair. Or go here: Squier Strat Guitar Pickups Replacement

Steve Austin - Reply

Pull off the end cap on the pickup selector.
  • Pull off the end cap on the pickup selector.

  • Note: This is not how the switch should normally look. This one is bent slightly; the tip should be pointing straight up.

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Unscrew the three bolts holding the tone/volume potentiometers to the scratch plate.
  • Unscrew the three bolts holding the tone/volume potentiometers to the scratch plate.

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Remove the 3 washers from the tone/volume potentiometers
  • Remove the 3 washers from the tone/volume potentiometers

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Unscrew the eight screws which hold the pick guard to the main body.
  • Unscrew the eight screws which hold the pick guard to the main body.

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Unscrew the two screws holding the pickup selector in place.
  • Unscrew the two screws holding the pickup selector in place.

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unscrew the six screws holding the three pickups in place.
  • unscrew the six screws holding the three pickups in place.

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Lift off the scratch plate, revealing the electronics inside the main body Lift off the scratch plate, revealing the electronics inside the main body
  • Lift off the scratch plate, revealing the electronics inside the main body

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Another method of dis-assembly: remove the pickguard screws (leaving pickup screws, pots and switch untouched).
  • Another method of dis-assembly: remove the pickguard screws (leaving pickup screws, pots and switch untouched).

  • Remove the jack plate, desolder or cut the output jack wires, flip over the guitar and desolder the ground wire on the tremolo. Remove the pickguard with all electronics attached.

  • This method gives easy access to do electronics repairs/mods, without having to readjust pickup heights and individual components won't move around when you're soldering.

Pick guard assembly should be removed second, after removal of strings. Many fewer loose parts to deal with.

frank - Reply

Lift off the three pickup covers.
  • Lift off the three pickup covers.

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Deck the Halls
With tools and Fix Kits
Remove the springs which were on the underside of the pickups.
  • Remove the springs which were on the underside of the pickups.

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Unscrew the two screws holding the lead input cover in place and lift off the cover.
  • Unscrew the two screws holding the lead input cover in place and lift off the cover.

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Unscrew the input threaded bolt, which holds the output jack in place.
  • Unscrew the input threaded bolt, which holds the output jack in place.

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Unscrew the screw holding the bottom strap button in position. Unscrew the screw holding the bottom strap button in position.
  • Unscrew the screw holding the bottom strap button in position.

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Carry out the same process to remove the top strap button.
  • Carry out the same process to remove the top strap button.

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Remove the six screws securing the bridge to the body.
  • Remove the six screws securing the bridge to the body.

Remove back plate (spring cover) and "tremelo" springs first, before bridge.

frank - Reply

Take out the six screws holding the white back plate in place.
  • Take out the six screws holding the white back plate in place.

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Remove the three tremolo springs from the spring claw and tremolo block.
  • Remove the three tremolo springs from the spring claw and tremolo block.

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Unscrew the two screws holding the spring claw to the body.
  • Unscrew the two screws holding the spring claw to the body.

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Remove Bridge from main body.
  • Remove Bridge from main body.

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Unscrew chrome parts.
  • Unscrew chrome parts.

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Undo the 6 screws holding the saddles to the bridge. Then remove the spring and unscrew the 12 threaded bars. Undo the 6 screws holding the saddles to the bridge. Then remove the spring and unscrew the 12 threaded bars. Undo the 6 screws holding the saddles to the bridge. Then remove the spring and unscrew the 12 threaded bars.
  • Undo the 6 screws holding the saddles to the bridge. Then remove the spring and unscrew the 12 threaded bars.

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Unscrew bridge from the tremolo block.
  • Unscrew bridge from the tremolo block.

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Remove the four wood screws holding the neck to the body of the guitar.
  • Remove the four wood screws holding the neck to the body of the guitar.

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Pull neck away from main body.
  • Pull neck away from main body.

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Unscrew the two small screws securing the string trees to the headstock.
  • Unscrew the two small screws securing the string trees to the headstock.

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Unscrew the tuner bushings with a 10mm hex driver
  • Unscrew the tuner bushings with a 10mm hex driver

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Push the tuners from the front to pop them loose. It make take a bit of force if the alignment peg is stuck. Some use screws instead.
  • Push the tuners from the front to pop them loose. It make take a bit of force if the alignment peg is stuck. Some use screws instead.

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Remove the tension screw followed by the tuner button, metal and then fiber washer.
  • Remove the tension screw followed by the tuner button, metal and then fiber washer.

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Guitar group

Member since: 02/17/2010

259 Reputation

1 Guide authored

9 Comments

Awesome teardown! Keep up the good work!

Matt Newsom - Reply

totally agree

lon -

Great for a "tear-down" per-se, but horrible first steps for anyone to use to get inside their Fender Strat.

To get inside, don't unscrew every screw from the surface as is described here. The faceplate of a Fender Strat (and many other guitars) holds all the electronics to itself, so you only need to undo the screws around the edges and then lift off the faceplate to get to everything inside. From here you can remove the components that matter and solder or re-wire as is necessary, and then replace the faceplate as a single unit.

The steps in this article will lead to far more work than is necessary if you plan on fixing or replacing aspects of the guitar.

Topher Kessler - Reply

when I pulled off the knobs they pulled out a metal pin and the pin will not come out of the knob and I cant get the knob and pin to go back in

nellasemaj2000 - Reply

I'm having the same problem. Does anyone know the fix or have you found a solution?

Manny OK -

Thanks for the guide. Thinking of replacing my bridge, which got chewed up by a clueless Guitar Center tech. Someone else said unhooking the tremolo springs before unmounting the bridge... I kinda figured that out on my own. This is a nice guide on how the parts go together, not necessarily a sequence of events.

bundito - Reply

I need to replace the top bridge at the top of the neck and thought that I mite make my own what are size or specks

travis - Reply

Good info. For those dissing these guys after going to all the work to tear down the guitar and photographing all the steps, note the title of the article, "Squier Strat Guitar Teardown". A teardown is a complete disassembly, not just removing the pickguard and electronics although it wouldn't have hurt to put step 9 between steps 5 and 6. As in any manual it doesn't hurt to read it all the way through before beginning the "teardown". As you read through the steps it becomes quickly evident you don't have to pull the neck and tuners off to get to the electronics. Thanks for posting the info guys.

Steve Austin - Reply

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