Got a cheap strat copy two months ago. Pickups are rubbish and it needs a setup bad. The neck is bizarrely round, I like my guitars with some relief on them. I'm going to be swapping the pickups out of it when I get access to a soldering iron. Have the pickups bought and all.
Has anyone ever done anything like this? Some advice on what to watch out for would be great, seems fairly simple to do.
Don't use a gooseberry fool soldering iron and buy lead solder on ebay. Heat both ends of the things for about 5-10 seconds before feeding the solder into the joint with 1 hand while applying heat with the solder tip in the other.
Make sure the solder tip has a thin layer of solder on it and isn't black. Use a chisel tip or it won't work.
Thanks very much Gecko, done a bit of soldering in the past, but we are talking over 10 years ago.
I don't think the neck needs completely replaced, just that the truss rod needs adjusted so that it is not convex. The intonation is off slightly. The guitar has also been setup for lighter gauge strings, so the bridge is not fully flush to the body, and the tuning is a bit unstable. Hoping to get the pickups put in and then I'll take it to a shop to set it up.
Pacifica's are great instruments. My first guitar was a 012. I don't have it anymore, but I have a Yamaha BB424 bass and an AES420. Both are decent guitars.
Check for cold joints, reflow solder, try using a desolder pump, use less solder not more, use contact cleaner before soldering / isopropyl alcohol / white spirit. Also there's no risk at all plugging it in to a transistor amp while working on it now and then.
Check there aren't any shorts in the pickup selector with magnifying loupe / macro lens camera and especially check the volume pot. Make sure the terminals are correct on the pots.
When taking it apart first time mark everything with a red marker or similar, a set of sharpies is great.
You'll get it working again!
Also make sure you're heating BOTH parts for 5-10 seconds before feeding in a solder, this is the main cause of cold joints besides a crappy iron.
Try some silver solder online or get lead on ebay. The old guitars will have used lead anyway. Mixing up different types of solder is a bad idea.
If you use lead it will all flow together nice. But make sure it's ventilated or wear a mask.
I've a 40w Iron, I was a bit rubbish at soldering that guitar (the practice guitar had bigger pots and a different design of lugs on them which was easier).
I swapped two pickups out, both mounted fairly easy on the scratchplate. Made a complete balls of one of the five way selector lugs (for the neck position). Gonna have to clean up the solder and hope the lug is still intact.
Very stupid question, the volume pot has the usual three lugs for Ground, Output and Input. The ground wire from the pickups, I assumed they were just wired to the back of the pot. Are these wrapped around the ground lug and then soldered to the pot?