All done now.
Here's a brief history of the job, which actually pretty easy (compared to rewiring the faulty active circuit on my 5 string bass - still not working, long story):
Here are the bits to be installed:
1) New Wilkinson 6 point vintage floating tremolo bridge, with all hardware.
2) Set of Wilkinson hot single coils, with all fittings
3) 3x Goldo 250k pots and Harley Benton knobs
4) 1 Goldo 22nf capacitor (the second one in the picture is a spare - they can be easily damaged)
5) 1 Harley Benton white pickguard
6) Fender 5 way switch
7) Some new strings
I had decided to take a gamble on there being enough room in the space that the humbucker had occupied to allow for the angled single coil to fit without having to rout out the body any more. It paid off
The first things were to remove the rear body cover to allow access to the tremolo springs and mechanism for later. Then off came the strings:
Just about everything is attached to the body by screws, it's just a matter of unscrewing all of them carefully. Clearly the ones holding the bridge are rather firmly inserted. On mine the bridge had been completely screwed down flat at the factory, so there was in effect no tremolo. Removing the springs can be done by either the cunning deployment of a slotted screwdriver and careful leverage, or by partly undoing the spring retaining plate at the neck end and just lifting the springs from the bridge block.
In the first picture above the old pickguard had had the jack connections and the two earth wires, one from the body cavity, one from the bridge spring retainer, removed. The second image shows the body cavities with the original bridge still in place.
The next job was to replace the bridge. The Wilkinson bridge is somewhat heavier than the stock item, and also just a few millimetres deeper. It also did not quite align with the six existing screw holes, despite having some offset built in through the use of oval rather than round screw holes. It was, however, only a millimetre or so out of line and it still floats properly. This video
from the Fender University was invaluable. How to install a classic bridge is from around 3:12 in the video.
That done, it was on to the wiring. I searched internet before ordering my bits and bobs and selected a vintage 50's wiring diagram from the choices that popped up on google.
Having mounted all of the relevant articles I fired up the soldering iron and set to. It really was very simple to do, although with the spare bits of wire just scrunched up in a bundle behind the pots it does look a bit of a mess. At this stage I tested the newly wired pickguard to make sure that there was a signal by tapping each of the pickups with a screwdirver in turn and with the selector in each position to make sure that it was all wired up the right way. Note that the Goldo pots are rather larger than the originals, but they do (just about) fit in the body cavity. Unfortunately the new pickguard screw holes did not line up with the old ones, so I cut down some matchsticks coated in wood glue and filled the errant holes before carefully drilling the replacement ones in the right place.
After that it was just a matter of screwing it all back together, restringing, setting the action, adjusting the intonation - in short basic set up. I have now restrung again with the set of Elixir strings.
Outcome, much vintage jangliness but with hot pickups giving a wide variety of tones and a cheapo Strat that can really drive the amplifier. Overall what I would call well worth doing, and all for less than Â£80.