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Where to ground clock on 1949 buick?

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I think I may have figured out my clock problem on my '49 roadmaster.. While looking under my dashboard and gazing at all of my connections, I noticed that on the back of my clock there is a little "stud" sticking out, and under it written GRN. I'm assuming this is the ground location. If it is, then I am missing a wire and a ground connection.

What could I use to ground this clock, and where do I ground it to? I am pretty sure I have a New Haven clock in my vehicle..

Any help is appreciated! I don't see any info on the ground location in my manual.


1949 Roadmaster

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Confirmed. Tried to take a pic, but camera too close considering I was under the dash.. I DO have a New Haven Clock, and, there is definitely NO ground wire connected to the terminal with letters "GND" (not "GRN" as I previously stated).

I need to know if there is any "quick fix" for me to ground this clock.. if there is any wire that I can purchase easily at any local hardware or automotive store.

I purchased a 6volt battery charger, and have been charging my battery, but now I think perhaps it is the clock draining my battery even though it never ran for me since i bought it. Good thing is, all of my wires and connection under my dash look really good even after 63 years of doing their job!!

Just for fun, I also noticed a date stamped on the back of my fuel gauge while gazing under the dash like a madman..... "JUN 14? 1949"

Jerry Case

1949 Roadmaster 4 Door

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Jerry, I presume the casing of the clock is metal, and the clock sits in the metal of the dashboard. It's probably held in place by a bracket which is bolted to the back of the clock, and pushes against the metal on the back of the dash.

If so, unless that stud has some sort of insulator around it, the clock is automatically grounded. But it's good news that your under dash wires look okay.

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John. I was thinking what you are saying, until I looked under the dash last night and found the little stub sticking out of the back of my New Haven clock last night. The stub is threaded, and says "ND" next to it.. it is missing a ground wire and nut. I consulted my manual and yes, the wiring schematic shows that the clock does have a ground. However, in the manual, whenever a part needs grounding, it never shows exactly where to ground to. I am guessing that if nobody has a definitive answer on this, then I will just have to wing it and connect a ground wire from the clock ground to another adjacent device's ground post/location..

Just curious, but is there not any '49 Buick owners out here? Roadmaster owners (1949)??

I appreciate you posting john. Thank you.

Jerry Case

1949 Buick Roadmaster 4Door

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You can probably do what you suggest. Any ground will do, but most electrical applications will be grounded like I mentioned. It cuts the wiring needs in half. If your clock is not working most likely the problem is the electrical point contact set inside of it is seized. The clocks generally do not have electrical motors in them. The old ones like this are powered by a contact point set. When the points meet the electrical spark will push the free arm of the point set, and that winds up a spring loaded counter balance.

These point sets are cleanable, and you can probably remove the clock, disassemble the case from the back, blow some compressed air at the parts ( not too hard though) to clean any dirt, then spray the mechanicals with some electrical contact cleaner solution, and then carefully separate the points. Use a emery board to run between the points themselves, just enough to flatten any pits in the surface. Then I would lube the gears and mechanism with light oil. Not WD 40. That is technically a drying agent, not an oil. That will work short time but not hold up. 3 in 1 oil or similar lightweight oil should work. Just enough to lube the mechanism. Then bench test your clock to see if it's working.

BTW, I'd also be careful to do as much of this with the face of the clock up. You don't want to drop anything into the face area unless it looks like you can get that off without any damages ( which in a 49 I assume you probably can do anyways. Newer clocks can be quite a challenge to get the faces off. )

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Jerry, upon second thought, you may be correct, that you need a ground wire. I grabbed a 69 electra clock off my shelf and took some pics and in the process discovered that there is, what I assume to be, an electro magnet attached to the "fixed " side of the points. Let me try to describe what I see happening:

The power holds the fixed side of the points to the metal bracket surrounding the electromagnet.

The "swing" side of the points is attached to a spring loaded cam.

When the swing side makes contact with the fixed side, the spring loaded cam overcomes the electromagnet and the fixed side separates from the frame of the electromagnet.

Then the electric flow travels to the point of contact where the discharge pushes the spring loaded cam to it's "wound" position.

Now, I'm not any more familiar with all his stuff. I don't know why that electromagnet is needed unless it is a polarizing thing where there's not really a spark that separates the points but instead two same polarity magnets pushing against each other. In any case I don't know for a fact that the 49 Clock is identical in this regard as the 69 clock. What I do know is both clocks share the same spring loaded cam for moving the clock mechanism.

In my case, I merely lubricated my clock with some non detergent electricial oil I have on hand, and if I move the spring loaded cam my clock works.

The pics below show:

The clock in it's case, with the simple bend tabs that hold the case together. Just undoing two of them my case separated.

The black insulator I mentioned above, indicating that my metal case is not a ground, and a separate ground wire is necessary in my case.

The point set, which for reference contains a damaged point on the spring loaded cam. for whatever reason the point on my cam is bent outward at an angle.






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Looking at the last picture I see that indeed my clock's case is a ground. Note the small copper tab leading to the plate the mechanism is on. The plate is metal and held to the clock's case by 4 more tabs. I assume this ground is for the dashboard lights which I belive are a single wire sockets, using the rim of the socket as a ground.

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