Support / Fender Stratocaster Wiring Diagram & Fitting Instructions
The good news is Stratocaster’s are one of the more simple guitars to replace the wiring harness, because the wiring harness is attached to the large pickguard, which can be removed and worked on with ease.
- Find somewhere safe, dry and secure to place your Stratocaster guitar while you work on it.
- Remove Strings.
- Undo the screws that hold the pickguard to the body. Do not undo the 6 x pickup screws by mistake.
- Undo the 2 x screws that hold the jack socket housing.
- Carefully lift the pickguard up and cut all wires from the body to the pickguard closest to the pots. These are a few ground wires (normally black in colour) and the 2 x wires coming from the jack socket hole.
- Remove the jack socket housing and the pickguard away from the guitar.
- Put the guitar safely out the way for the time being.
- Working on the pickguard, cut the 3 x pickup ground wires from the back of the pots, Normally soldered to the volume pot.
- Cut the 3 pickup hot wires from the switch, at the switch leaving the wires as long as possible.
- You should now be able to remove all 3 old pots and switch from the pickguard.
- At this point you may want to clean the front of pickguard where the old pots have been.
- You will need to check the size of the holes for the pots as on some pickguards they are drilled small for cheap electrical components. If they are small, the best way to enlarge them to 10mm to fit CTS pots, is to use a round file.
- The pickguard is now ready to fit the new harness.
- From here everything is in reverse using the wiring diagram below.
- Fit the new wiring harness into the pickguard.
- Solder the 3 x ground pickup wires to the back of the new volume pot (refer to wiring diagram).
- Solder the 3 pickup hot wires to the new 3 way switch (refer to wiring diagram).
- The pickguard is now ready to go back into the guitar.
- With the pickguard resting next to the guitar, put the jack wires x 2 through to the jack socket area via the internal hole.
- Solder the ground leads to the volume pot.
- Fit the pickguard back into place, but don’t screw it down yet.
- Now replace the jack socket on the jack housing with the new one and solder the 2 x jack wires to it (refer to wiring diagram). You may need to shorten the wires.
- Screw the jack housing back into place.
- Plug the guitar into an amp and with something small and metal you should get a response from the pickups by gently tapping the pickup poles/posts. – Or you may have a Multimeter!
- If Everything is working, screw the pickguard into place and re-string.
Tools & Equipment
- Philips (Cross head) Screwdriver.
- Flat headed screwdriver on some models
- Small adjustable spanner/wrench.
- Good quality soldering iron.
- Wire Cutters.
- Masking tape for keeping things in place or out the way while working.
- When soldering the wires to the back of a pot, do not overheat / cook the pot.
- Keep wires tidy and neat and make sure all components are grounded.