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I've been able to resuscitate original style (non-quartz) dash clocks made by general time. They utilize a "points" type electric mechanism similar to a distributor. When the two contacts touch electricity energizes a coil which pushes an arm that one of the contacts is mounted on. This is how the clock is wound. As it ticks along the arm is pushed back towards the other contact via the clock's spring until the contacts meet again and the cycle repeats. An original clock makes a very distinctive sound:

*CLICK* tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic *CLICK* tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic *CLICK* tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic

What kills these clocks is that there is sometimes a spark associated with the contacts touching. Over time this leaves a build up of carbon and even pits the metal, much in the same way distributor breaker points do. After a while they need to be cleaned with emory paper or a distributor file to brighten the contacts. A light smear of dielectric grease can help keep the contacts cleaner for longer. I've gotten few clocks running again just by a light contact cleaning.

The other thing that kills clocks is just the dirt associated with age. Those little gears don't mesh as well as they used to, or their pivots are crudded up and the friction just makes them grind to a halt. I've swabbed what I can get at with alcohol on a tightly wrapped q-tip or pipe cleaner and then followed up with a penetrating oil (Liquid Wrench not WD40) dabbed on. Ideally, clock oil is the preferred medium as it very light and won't harden with age (like WD40 will.) Wipe off as much excess as possible. You don't want to attract and trap more dirt in the future.

The best method would be to first disassemble the seconds sweep and hour/minutes hands. Take the clock face off, being very careful not to touch the painted numbers and lines or get them wet (water based paint, very ugly if sprayed with a cleaner and wiped. There WILL be swearing!) Remove the clock movement from the back cover by bending tabs straight. Once apart, the utmost care must be taken with the flywheel/escarpment spring. Do not damage them. Clean the contacts then take the movement to a clock cleaner near you and have them clean and oil the movement. Make sure the mechanism is thoroughly dry before reconnecting it to power for testing. DO NOT USE COMPRESSED AIR - as this WILL damage the hair-thin escarpment spring. Then your clock will be trash. Add a clean little smear of dielectric to the contacts then hook 'er up to a battery to test. You should hear that wonderful sound.

Disassembly









 
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