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Thread: '51 Clock on the Fritz -- suggestions for troubleshooting?

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb '51 Clock on the Fritz -- suggestions for troubleshooting?

    The optional clock inside my '51 Champion is now not running, even though it lights up at night (so I know that electricity is making it to the mechanism.)

    This is a NOS accessory installed about a year ago. And while it doesn't keep perfect time, it's serviceable -- until recently.

    Any suggestions on clock experts who can help troubleshoot?

  2. #2
    President Member TWChamp's Avatar
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    The light should be a different circuit than the power to the electromagnet to rewind the clock. I've used a toothpick and ATF to lubricate car clocks in the past, and that got them working OK. I put a drop on each shaft bearing, then a light coat on the gear teeth. This may not be the best lubricant for clocks, but it worked for me.

  3. #3
    Golden Hawk Member rockne10's Avatar
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    More often than not the problem is dirty points in the clock.
    As Tom indicated, the illumination is on the dash light circuit and does not effect the clock mechanism.
    These are actually mechanical spring wound clocks just like our old pocket watches; except that when the spring winds down, which it does every five minutes or so, a set of points closes and sends a split second shot to rewind the spring. You can actually hear the little "zip" each time the spring gets wound. They are not called electric clocks; they are referred to as "electrically wound" clocks. That's why these clocks can run a long, long time without consuming much battery.
    Chances are, with clean points you will be set to go. There ARE clock people who will charge for the service if you don't feel up to it.
    And there IS a small adjuster on the back that is marked "F-S" (faster-slower) that can be moved to correct inaccurate timekeeping.

  4. #4
    President Member TWChamp's Avatar
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    Also, some clocks automatically advance or retard the clock's speed each time you adjust the time.
    I don't recall if the Studebaker clocks do this, or if it was another automobile clock that has this feature.

  5. #5
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    Also, be aware that if you allow your battery to loose its charge due to prolonged storage, or any other reason, the reduced voltage prevents the points from operating as designed and they can becomes damaged.
    Perry
    \'50 Business Champ,
    \'50 Starlight Champ,
    \'60 Lark Convertible,
    \'63 GT R1,
    \'67 Triumph TR4A

  6. #6
    President Member TWChamp's Avatar
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    That's a good point about a low battery damaging the contacts in the clock. I didn't even think about that, but when I installed an NOS clock in my 50 Champion, I also installed a toggle switch to the power wire, so I only run the clock when I run the car.

  7. #7
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    Well lo and behold -- after a couple of days, the clock started working again! Car had been in the shop for most of a week. Not sure why the unit ran down, but apparently it did. It's running again, thankfully. And thanks all for your suggestions, which I'll keep for next time!

  8. #8
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    When in doubt about clocks, I use Clockworks.com, and they have given me great repair service on clocks. Good people.

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