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i might need my clock cleaned! Empty i might need my clock cleaned!

Post by clanceman427 on Mon Jul 04, 2016 3:00 pm

Don't all line up at once, hehe! But seriously, my 73 Chevelle ss clock seems to work for a little while th en stops. Adjusting the clock in either direction sometimes gets it going again but it doesn't last long. I had my cluster out yesterday and verified that the connector is getting 12v all the time as long as the battery is connected. The terminals are clean and I shined them up and applied dielectric grease since in was in there to be sure. I looked the 1973 Chevrolet service manual and there was no diagnostics for it, just how to remove and replace. I noticed my owners manual states "have your clock cleaned and oiled by a competent clock serviceman every two years. I'd venture to guess that my clock has never been serviced. Anybody know how to service the clock or know of any clock gurus out there?
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Post by Roadcaptain S3 on Mon Jul 04, 2016 3:15 pm

Nope. But there are plenty of guys around that specialize in auto clocks.
All over the internet and in Hemmings etc.

I'd just try cleaning it up and if you screw it up, send it off.

I'm pretty sure I recall someone here did it before so it's probably posted somewhere.

I just bought a clock off Ebay (my 77 came without one) and my wallet is still cussing at me. But I figure and NOS clock for $65 ain't too bad.
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Post by bitterfitter on Mon Jul 04, 2016 3:33 pm

I had a clock doing the same thing. I took it out, used air to blow it clean, used a little spray lube and put it back together. It seemed to just need a little lube to keep it from getting hung up. I have done this with 2 clocks and they both have been running for years now. Good luck.

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Post by clanceman427 on Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:09 pm

Great thanks guys I'll try that!
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Post by Mcarlo77 on Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:58 pm

i might need my clock cleaned! Innerc10

Yep..sounds like it just needs a little lubrication.  I've pulled apart dozens of these and probably half of them just need some spray on the inner workings (other half have burnt coils).  Pull the hands, lift the three tabs around the edge of the clock face and lift up on the face.  It won't come off all the way as the set knob shaft will hold it back at the base.  But, it lifts enough to access 4-5 crimped tabs on the top of the housing.  I usually go further with disassembly and loosen those tabs and that allows total removal of the insides...but, this may not be necessary if your's still shows signs of life.  Just spray inside and you should be good to go.
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Post by clanceman427 on Mon Jul 04, 2016 8:53 pm

Mcsrlo77; thank you! Very helpful guidance and picture, I would not have known all that. Much appreciated!
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Post by clanceman427 on Tue Jul 05, 2016 9:15 pm

I got the 3 tabs bent back and the face is ready to come off, but how do you pull the hands?  I tried to lift the second hand but met resistance so I stopped.  Is there a trick to pulling the hands?  I didn't want to break anything.i might need my clock cleaned! Imag1414
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Post by Mcarlo77 on Tue Jul 05, 2016 11:52 pm

It can be a little stubborn.  I have a small tack puller that makes it easier to straddle the center shaft and pull upwards with a steady pressure while gently wiggling it back and forth.  It helps keep even pressure at the center so you don't bend the hand.  But, it will come straight off.  Minute and hour hands just slide over the center peg and are easy to remove.

After thinking about this a little more, I'm not sure you'll be able to get to all the critical inner workings with spray lube without removing the housing plate just beneath the face plate.  As I mentioned, there are several spots along the edge where it's crimped over to secure the inside assembly.  Need to bend those straight to allow separation.  At that point, I push up on the electrical prongs on the bottom to help unseat it.
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Post by clanceman427 on Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:39 pm

Got it!  Thanks again!

i might need my clock cleaned! Imag1416
i might need my clock cleaned! Imag1415
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Post by Mcarlo77 on Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:02 pm

You're the man!  Looks clean inside.  Should last a long time if kept lubricated periodically.  Biggest reason they burn out is that the "works" get dirty to the point where the two electrical contacts that snap apart when they touch during the unwind/rewind process don't...and, the prolonged electrical current burns out the coil windings.
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Post by clanceman427 on Wed Jul 06, 2016 3:26 pm

Interesting insight, thanks! I was a little freaked out last night when I unplugged the clock from the connector and it kept going (not for long though), it was like a Christine moment Smile

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Post by Mcarlo77 on Wed Jul 06, 2016 3:37 pm

Ha...the cycle time for wind/unwind is approx. 45 secs.  I've had to manually "cock" the mechanism and flick the flywheel a couple of times on really dirty mechanisms to get them to free up and work on their own after lubing them.  You'll have to let me know if it keeps reasonably accurate time.  They seldom do.  Supposedly, you can adjust them by turning the hands clockwise and counterclockwise to speed it up or down...but, I've never had any luck with that.
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Post by clanceman427 on Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:47 pm

Got it back in.  Only stopped once in th 30.or 40.minutes since I plugged it in and was still screwing around with the car.  Question:  I found a rectangular piece of paper with reflective silver on one side.  I also had the thin metal strip that fell out after I removed the clock bezel.  I'm holding that in the position I think it was in.  I wonder want those are for.  Maybe the paper is there to reflect the backlighting towards the clock?
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Post by clanceman427 on Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:50 pm

i might need my clock cleaned! Imag1418
i might need my clock cleaned! Imag1419
i might need my clock cleaned! Imag1417
i might need my clock cleaned! Imag1420
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Post by Mcarlo77 on Thu Jul 07, 2016 12:06 am

Those silver tags are inconsequential and are supposed to have a number on them. For instance, one I have handy has 503 0433. Could be a GM part number? They always fall out when I remove a clock and I just toss them.

I've often wondered what purpose that metal strap serves, too. Perhaps a ground strap? It does look like you've replaced it in the proper position, though.

Good job!
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Post by pila on Thu Jul 07, 2016 7:43 pm

In all the years of cars I've had, I've not had a clock that kept decent time They would slow down in winter & have to be reset when warm weather arrived !
So my Elco & Malibu have gauges in place of the clocks !

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Post by clanceman427 on Thu Jul 07, 2016 11:23 pm

I hear ya steely Bill, this was more of a learning experience & lesson in preservation. Been 24 hours and still tickin'! I drove the car multiple times today. I''ll check in here in a week hopefully with good news that it's still running.
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Post by Hs1973 on Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:29 am

My old 73 elcamino almost caught fire in the dash. I had smoke so i pulled the power. I took it apart and the wire that goes to the clock was all melted and burnt. The clock had stopped working some time before that. I dont know why the fuse did not Blow. But i was lucky to be in the car when it started. Othervise i Think it would have burnt out.
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Post by ant7377 on Fri Jul 08, 2016 7:44 am

Could the metal strap be in there to keep it from vibrating? I think it has a little tenaion on it since it slways flys off if you remove the clock.
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Post by clanceman427 on Fri Jul 08, 2016 9:06 am

Hs1973 wrote:My old 73 elcamino almost caught fire in the dash. I had smoke so i pulled the power. I took it apart and the wire that goes to the clock was all melted and burnt. The clock had stopped working some time before that. I dont know why the fuse did not Blow. But i was lucky to be in the car when it started. Othervise i Think it would have burnt out.

Wow that is a little scary. I looked at my owners manual, and the clock is on a 25A circuit. Did you pull that fuse for that circuit after the incident and check it? Some folks have, in a pinch, substituted fuses with cut pieces of metal round, or wrapped blown fuses in aluminum foil to keep the electricals functioning if they didn't have a proper fuse on-hand. I'm curious what the root cause of that was the car was designed with fuses for a reason.
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Post by clanceman427 on Mon Jul 11, 2016 1:54 pm

clanceman427 wrote:I hear ya steely Bill, this was more of a learning experience & lesson in preservation.  Been 24 hours and still tickin'!  I drove the car multiple times today.  I''ll check in here in a week hopefully with good news that it's still running.

well, sometime between thursday night and sunday night, the clock stopped working. Battery is still fine. That's OK because I still had a blast learning how all that stuff goes together and taking it apart and all.

I did notice that the "clunk" for when each minute went past was pretty noticable, but I don't know if that is just how they always worked.

This was also a good learning experience to see how the entire cluster goes in and out, and gave me opportunity to replace some bulbs, AND send my tach to a certain somebody that we know of to get converted to solid state, but that update is coming on another thread that already has several pages Smile
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Post by Mcarlo77 on Mon Jul 11, 2016 3:46 pm

The clock rewind action produces an audible "clunk". It's the sound heard when the contacts touch and you get the subsequent snap from the electrical spark that kicks the contacts apart again.

Don't give up on that clock. I'm guessing you didn't get it lubricated well enough? Blast it with some WD40. It's not going to hurt it. I know I'm old school and many would send it out for a digital conversion...but, I love having original working components in my cars if at all possible. I'd bet it still has some life left in it.
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Post by riddick75 on Fri Jul 15, 2016 6:41 am

what I did with my clock when I had it apart was spray some brake clean in the mechanism to get all the crap and dust out and since it doesn't leave a residue. then took some silicone spray to lubricate it. got mine ticking again, otherwise it would tick for 5 seconds and get stuck.
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Post by clanceman427 on Sat May 13, 2017 10:25 am

Well it's still ticking strong! Maybe a little too strong, seems to run about an hour fast over a weeks time. I'm fine with that as long as it keeps working Smile
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