SPRING REPLACEMENT




Of all the parts to wear on a TransTrem, the spring is probably one of the last you'll need to replace.  They are pretty strong and can handle the rather easy workload the tremolo creates.  If anything the spring will start to look worse than it operates, with the metal tarnishing and the paint wearing.  This doesn't really hamper it's operation.  However if you're inclined to "renovate" your trem, replacing the spring is a job that can be done in minutes and only cost a few bucks. 

Just like the bearings, the spring used in the TransTrem and S-Trem is a standard type.  Ned did this on purpose.  That way manufacturing and replacement would be easy (and cheaper) since it's not a custom ordered item.  Technically these are called "die springs", and they follow the SAE/English/inch measurements rather than metric.  They come in an enormous range of sizes and can usually only be found through specialty spring or industrial supply houses.  Figuring out how to order the one can be challenging.  But as you've probably guessed we've done that work for you.

First off stiffness can vary.  Ned used what's called a "medium duty" die spring in his design.  It's general specifications meet the requirements to adequately counteract the string tension and allow the trem to adequately float, yet provide for a full range of motion to the transposing positions (whew!).   There is a universal coloring code all spring makers use to indicate the duty (use) rating of the spring, and for medium duty it's blue (as seen in the pic above).  That is why most trems have blue springs even though all of the other parts are black.  Some later Zen-On made ones do have black springs, which we assume were painted black to the manufacturer's custom specs.  By all accounts they are the same type of spring, though reports are the standard blue ones work better.

The graphic below outlines some of the dimensions we need to determine the exact replacement spring needed:


The first measurement is L - the free length or uncompressed length.  For the guitar (Type1 TT, Type2 TT and ST) it is 1 3/4" (1.75"); for bass TT's this is 2".  Next comes the minimum hole diameter (sometimes labeled H), which roughly correlates to the outside diameter (OD) of the spring.  This is 5/8" (.625") for guitar and 3/4" (.75") for bass.  The inside shaft diameter S is pretty much determined by the hole diameter for standard springs.

The table below shows some technical specs for the springs we've outlined (if you're into this kind of stuff):

M
Medium-Duty
Die Springs

Raymond Medium-Duty Die Springs - Schematic



MíR
Medium-Duty Die Springs
(Order No.)

 

Free-
Length
(L)

 

Shaft
Dia.
(S)

Force-
Constant
Lbs/Inch
(K)

Low Deflection

Medium Deflection

Maximum Deflection

Travel
to
Solid

Inches
Deflection

Lbs.
Force

Inches
Deflection

Lbs.
Force

Inches
Deflection

Lbs.
Force

( T = L x 25% )

( T = L x 35% )

( T = L x 40%)

(T Ľ L x 50%)

         For 0.625 (5/8) Hole Diameter (H)

Raymond
     M62-175-RAY

1.75

0.344

96

0.44

42

0.61

59

0.70

67

0.88

Dayton MaxLife
     M62-175

1.75

0.344

112

0.44

49

0.70

78

0.88

98

0.98

For 0.750 (3/4) Hole Diameter (H)

Raymond
     M75-200-RAY

2.00

0.375

144

0.50

72

0.70

101

0.80

115

1.00

Dayton MaxLife
     M75-200

2.00

0.375

161

0.50

81

0.80

129

1.00

161

1.08

We know what size we need.  What now?  As we've stated before really the only place to find this type of spring is an industrial supplier.  You can try local shops but it's probably wasted effort.  Even if a place carries them most require minimum order numbers, as these items are normally used in large scale production environments.

Fortunately we've found an online supplier who doesn't require these usual minimum order numbers.  The company is Clark & Osborne, and you can click here to connect to their online ordering website.

The two different springs for each dimension represent two different manufacturers: Dayton MaxLife and Raymond.   Ned recalls the name Raymond as the brand Steinberger originally used.  The difference between the two is that the Dayton uses a flatter trapezoidal wire.  In conversations about this, Ned thought that the Dayton might be a better choice as the flatter wire might provide a little more stiffness and range of motion. The specs for each spring are very close (as you can see in the table above) so really it's your own personal call.

Also the online ordering part number is different than the if you call the order in.  Since Raymond is a more popular brand (owning about 60+% market share) the online site only shows those and uses a different part number.  If you want to order the Dayton MaxLife you'll need to phone it in.  The ordering tables below list both Raymond part numbers for ease of ordering.

The springs we've described are the same ones shown in the table above, the contents of which we copied from Clark & Osborne site.  Phone numbers for ordering are listed on the left of the linked pages. All of these are usually "in-stock" items that ship same day.  They accept major credit cards (Visa, MC, AmEx).  Again there is no minimum order though they do charge a minimum for shipping (UPS Ground is about $6-$7).   Because the shipping costs are more than a single spring, it's probably best to order several.  But you can always order just one if you're inclined. 

As of 9/1/14, prices for a single spring were:

Raymond Medium Duty (Blue) Die Springs


Guitar

5/8" HD x 1.75" L

Part #: 341-1007

$1.97 ea.


Bass

3/4" HD x 2.00" L

Part #: 341-1208

$2.91 ea.


Dayton MaxLife Medium Duty (Blue) Die Springs


Guitar


5/8" HD x 1.75" L

Part #: M62-175

$1.94 ea.


Bass

3/4" HD x 2.00" L

Part #: M75-200

$2.86 ea.


Discounts are available for larger orders. 


R-Trem Spring

For those interested in fixing their R-Trem, it uses the same diameter of medium duty die spring for guitar (5/8"), but it is 1/4"longer.  Exact dimensions are 2.00" long with a hole diameter of .625" (5/8") and a shaft diameter of .344". 

Part number from the supplier linked to above is 341-1008.  Click here to go to their product page for this item.