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Dual truss rod falling/coming out!!! Why?

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Just got an Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro with Silverburst finish on Ebay, serial number says Jan. 2018 manf. date. It's my first Les Paul type of guitar, I've got several "Strat" types (Fenders and Ibanez) as well as an 80's original Steinberger. 

I wanted to adjust the truss rod, but it seemed very tight, and didn't want to force it. I tried both directions, it turned 1/8 turn either way but then became very stiff and I was leery about turning it harder.

I did see a slight result in both directions, but my goal was add some relief, so I did try loosening it again, (less than 1/4 turn), but then it got VERY loose;  something seemed not right like it wasn't even engaged in any threads anymore!  And then, when I pulled the allen key out, the truss rod came out with it! (at least as far as the tool cut out would allow). 

The strings were at proper tension, but I had no perceptible relief at the 8th fret, (there was a bit at the 3 and 4th fret, but the nut seems high), but why is the truss rod coming out? And even with it out, (and loose), there's still no relief! I pushed it back in, turned it clockwise,  it seemed to then feel like it was catching some threads, but it then got extremely tight, (like before) so I left it there. But it's not helping my situation, namely to  gain some relief. 

Also, if I hold the guitar and I bump the back of the neck with the palm of my hand, I can hear and feel the truss rod wobbling around inside!

Also, as soon as I got the guitar, I noticed the neck flexed very easily, meaning that I can bow it in with just a tiny, light push on the head stock - I can see the strings wobble and hear a note dip. In fact, with a tuner plugged in, if I lay the guitar down on it's back, as soon as the end of the head stock touches down, the tuner goes flat by 50 cents, with a dip in tone accordingly. It's all flex, meaning it's not loose at the glue joint, and there's no noticeable cracks at the head, but there is a very tiny crack in the inlay at the bottom corner of the nut, on one side. 

Is that normal for these? Are these necks that weak? Or is it because of my (apparent) truss rod issue? And do I have a serious truss rod problem, or am I doing something wrong?


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As far as I can tell, these Epiphones all have the "dual action" truss rod. There's no nut on the end, only a hex socket. It pulls out about 1.5" and is a smooth cylinder on the outside. 

I know these dual action rods have what people are calling a "dead spot"; apparently meaning that there's several turns in either direction where it seems to not be engaged with anything when turning it. I'm not sure if that's the case or not.

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