Mexican Stratocaster Rebuild Project

Shawn T. from Indiana rebuilt a Mexican Stratocaster from the ground up. He calls it Betty and here's what he did:

I picked up a used Mexican Fat Strat for $299 (normally $499) with a nice off white finish and a rosewood neck that played well with the idea of hot rodding it a little. This turned into a complete overhaul project. I ended up replacing everything on the guitar except for the body itself. Upgrades:

1. Eric Clapton TBX/Mid Boost active circuit2. Seymour Duncan Humbucker Bridge P/UP3. Vintage Noiseless Fender Mid and Neck P/UP's (tried stacked buckers in the N/M positions originally - more later)4. Babicz full contact tremolo bridge5. Mighty Mite Maple 'V' Neck6. Fender LSR Roller Nut7. Fender Locking Heads8. Greasy Groove Pin-up Pick Guard and Back Plate

This project had it all - routing, rewiring, neck and bridge/tremolo spring adjustments, and shielding. I used copper tape for most of the shielding, and man what a difference from the cheap and in some cases complete lack of shielding on the Mexican Stratocaster.

As mentioned I tried stacked humbuckers in the neck and mid originally (a Dimarzio and a Seymour Duncan), but the combination with the active mid boost was WAY too hot for my tastes. My main guitar, a Deluxe American Strat, has noiseless P/up's in the N/M position, so I ordered these and dropped them in - HUGE difference, and sounds amazing with the EC boost.

I spent a lot of time on set-up and neck adjustments (the Mighty Mite neck is advertised as "finished", however I had to apply 3 coats of tongue Oil, and will be adding a 4th next time I restring just to smooth out the top coat. Also, the neck height was about 4/64th's higher at the bolt on area and was causing some strings to fret out - I shaved off the neck a bit in the bolt on area and refitted, much better.

I could go on and on about how to do stuff and what I learned, as this was my first major project guitar and I built it up basically from scratch, however I just want to say thanks to J.B. for this great "go to" site for additional information.

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