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And now to the Roadmaster clock.....


Drakeule
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I have just started working on the 40 Roadmaster clock. The face crumbled upon disassembly; I filed the points, cleaned and oiled some and when I apply juice the solenoid rewind appears to go into "A Fib" vigorously buzzes, but doesn't spring the arm back to rewound position.

 

Any takers on this question?

 

Thanks,

CD

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7 hours ago, Drakeule said:

I have just started working on the 40 Roadmaster clock. The face crumbled upon disassembly; I filed the points, cleaned and oiled some and when I apply juice the solenoid rewind appears to go into "A Fib" vigorously buzzes, but doesn't spring the arm back to rewound position.

 

Any takers on this question?

 

Thanks,

CD

 

Afib? Take it to the hospital, but don't tell them it has a DNR or Obamakill will just give it morphine and say it died with dignity.

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If you manually wind the clock by advancing the magnet pole, does the clock run? If it does, as it winds down, do the points "toggle" closed? That is, snap closed solidly?

I believe there is some adjustment of the little "blade" mount between the moving magnet pole and points. It is important this moves crisply.

 

These clocks are a PITA if they do not run for a while. I think the points tend to oxidize.

DSCN1759.JPG

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Don:

 

Many thanks; great picture. I have brought the clock inside and applied some watchmaker's oil (after some WD 40) to the ratchet pawl (which appeared to be lazy) on the magnet pole. I will let it sit overnight, and hit it with 6V tomorrow to see if it still goes into "A Fib." I think the pawl wasn't catching on the gear, hence magnet pole slips and points bounce continually. I will check that blade too!

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I hope it works for you.

It is critical that everything work very freely.

Washing / soaking the actual clock mechanism, without the electricals, would be a good idea. I dont think WD-40 is good enough. I might be considered a heretic, but soaking in gasoline will remove the old sticky oil. Then oil it with the clock oil. That has worked for me.

Be careful, it is really easy to damage that little toggle mechanism on the contact lever.

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The clock is now moving the magnet pole at approx. 2 minute intervals. Hopefully, this is good enough. I'll let it go for a while and see if it's OK.

 

Now, I need a new clock face and glove box mercury switch. I think I'll post another question on these.

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I have worked on a few 1937 Buick Clocks. A local clock repairman friend suggested cleaning the mechanical parts with an oilless spray and use as little clock oil as possible. Gasoline will work. I personally have used brake cleaner spray. I think that the oil in the WD-40 is probably going to gum up the mechanism over time. I would suggest you reclean the mechanicals with brake cleaner or something similar. After that, you can very sparingly oil the pivot points with a small amount of clock oil. My clock repairman friend said that too much oil is much worse than no oil at all. 

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On 3/1/2022 at 5:41 AM, Morgan Wright said:

don't tell them it has a DNR or Obamakill will just give it morphine

Isn't that exactly what you want to happen with a DNR? aka do not resuscitate. It takes the "what to do" away from everyone except the patient's wishes.

 

WD-40 is not a good clock oil. You only want to drop clock type oil on certain spots and keep the rest of the mechanism clean.

Edited by Frank DuVal (see edit history)
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Good to see that you have some life now. 2 minutes is a bit short, but probably OK.

One of the things I have found is that if the clocks are kept running they will be OK. But if they sit for a long period of time with the battery disconnected, they get cranky and dont want to work electrically.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Clock is back in, but runs for a while then stops. I think I'll try cleaning it better. I have read that you can use an electronics cleaner. Some actually have lub in them so you don't have to oil afterwards.

Any input?

Thanks,

CD

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NEVER use WD-40 on any clock movement !   That product dries to a gum .  It can only be removed with more WD-40 . Pay to have it overhauled by someone knowledgeable .  Disassemble to clean properly . Polish the pivots and use good clock oil . Not 3 in one oil .

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You don't want any cleaner with lubricant in it. Too much oil or else the electircal contacts needing to be cleaned are the two most likely reasons that yours is now running for a while and stopping. Clean the mechanism, clean up the contact points, and then sparingly apply clock oil and it should work for you. 

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I have fiddled with this clock for several days, with very little success. Somehow, I think that just cleaning it (which I have done numerous times with brake cleaner) and applying oil to the pivots (which I have also done after each cleaning) are not enough to get it going. The points are firing ok. but It runs for about an hour, then quits.

 

Maybe there is more to it?

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Not an expert, but as I understand it, the solenoid pops to wind the spring and when it winds down the points touch to make the solenoid pop again. Sounds like maybe your mechanism is too stiff to let the spring wind down. Can you rig it on the bench and watch it?

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I gave up on trying to get car clocks to function properly years ago. I've wasted enough of my time on them. I've accepted the fact that those old electrical 50 & 60 year old wind down clocks with the internal points will NEVER stay working properly no matter how many times I remove them from the car, disassemble them and clean the points & internals. Sometimes they would work for an hour or two or maybe for a day if I was lucky. I quit. THE DEAD CLOCKS WON OUT, they stopped working way back when the cars were only a few years old and they certainly don't want to start ticking again half a century later. As far as I'm concerned they are for appearance purposes only and clock deletes should be filling those holes in the dashboard!

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8 hours ago, The 55er said:

I gave up on trying to get car clocks to function properly years ago. I've wasted enough of my time on them. I've accepted the fact that those old electrical 50 & 60 year old wind down clocks with the internal points will NEVER stay working properly no matter how many times I remove them from the car, disassemble them and clean the points & internals. Sometimes they would work for an hour or two or maybe for a day if I was lucky. I quit. THE DEAD CLOCKS WON OUT, they stopped working way back when the cars were only a few years old and they certainly don't want to start ticking again half a century later. As far as I'm concerned they are for appearance purposes only and clock deletes should be filling those holes in the dashboard!

Maybe they did a better job making clocks in 1937, or maybe I have just been lucky. I have found that, at least on my 1937 Buick clocks, they are easy to maintain. I have had at least one 1937 Buick clock running for the past nine years in my garage. I currently own two 1937 Buicks and they both have working original clocks. They do need the winding mechanism points cleaned up every 3 or 4 years, but each of mine have otherwide only needed cleaning and reoiling once. 

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I've never taken apart any automotive clocks from the late thirties but I've tried to fix at least a dozen electric clocks from about the 1949-1967 time period with no success at all. Many years ago I sent a 1949 clock out to some repair shop that was advertised in HMN or some other publication. They repaired it, it worked fine until about the time the warranty was up then it stopped again. That's the only one I ever had professionally $$$$ repaired and that wasn't a permanent fix either. I'm done with car clocks, maybe some other folks have had better luck with them than I have. 

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