Chevy OEM dash clock repair - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-01-2015, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
 
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
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Chevy OEM dash clock repair

Did you ever try to repair the big clock in the dash? I have a 67 Impala and started this process. Learned several things I thought I'd share.

My clock was mostly good, just got dirty and stuck. So a cleaning with alcohol and a toothbrush did some good, then I made a mistake and over lubricated it with a silicon spray. That made the spring on the escape wheel fall off but I didn't catch the mistake until much later and lots of research. Here's what it looks like:


See how the gear in the middle is resting on the brass shelf and there is a small gap between it and the axle spring? that's not good. basically the escape gear just spins as quick as the arms can fly around the face of the clock very fast. It's funny to watch, but it can't be good for the electronics, ha. OH, and see that red wire in the bottom right? Apparently that burns out quite often in these clocks when the battery runs low. Check there and solder in a jump wire if yours is broken.

I cleaned the excess lube off. Learned there are only 3 spots to lube, now I know why. A drop of superglue will hold that spring onto the escape gear.

Then setting the clock with a timer while it's on the bench is a very good idea. Set it at noon and start your cellphone timer. There is a lever you can adjust manually while disassembled that you can't get when in the dash. Once in the dash, you can get it accurate within minutes or seconds with patience by going forward 12 hours or back 12 hours as this is a self-adjusting feature that makes the clock run a little faster or little slower. i.e. if your clock is going too fast, then adjust it backwards by 12 hours. If too slow, adjust it forward by 12 hours.

GOT A REPAIR TO MAKE AND NEED HELP?
Here's my experience with the Repair shops. I looked them all up emailed them each. Only some took time to reply to me with any detail at all for advice and quotes. Some offered a DIY kit to go to Quartz... a very reasonable worry-free choice.

if you have a Borg clock like mine, the DIY quartz kit from Instrument Services aka http://clocksandgauges.com/ 800-558-2674 was the best price and the best customer service I got over email. The quartz conversion kit is #S-3015 for $65.00 + $14.00 shipping and handling(within the US). Or a full service $110 installation.

A lot of folks recommend http://www.clockwks.com/The_Clock_Worx.html but their kit was 95 and 150 for full service by comparison plus shipping. They offered no tech advice for my symptoms.

The only place that actually diagnosed my broken clock correctly was Omicronclock. They were friendly and helpful and list the DIY kit here http://www.omicronclock.auctivacomme...-P2396866.aspx for the kit $82. He offered full service repairs too.

D&M Restoration was the least helpful reply and highest price for a full-service restoration only and it was 185-225.

I hope this helps everyone dealing with a ~60's Chevy original dash clock. I like the original clock for as long as it will work, but if it breaks again, the Quartz kit looks like a low-hassle swap.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-07-2015, 11:06 PM
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I actually never repaired mine. According to my father, they never really worked anyway. I ended up taking out my clock and slipping a Corvette tachometer in it's place with a new distributor that could operate it and an MSD Electronic Ignition system. I do still have my clock in a box in the basement though.

1967 Chevrolet Impala 4 door "post" sedan
327 5.4L V8 - 3-speed TH350
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-08-2015, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Classiccarman View Post
I actually never repaired mine. According to my father, they never really worked anyway. I ended up taking out my clock and slipping a Corvette tachometer in it's place with a new distributor that could operate it and an MSD Electronic Ignition system. I do still have my clock in a box in the basement though.
Aaron your father is correct, those clocks where very unreliable. In an age before cell phones and women's watches that where so small and hard to read that they were only worn as jewelry the car's clock not working was my mother's favorite excuse for being late to meetings and appointments.

A Quartz movement was a popular upgrade to factory clocks back in the day since the very expensive pre-Rolex age Accutron men's quartz movement watch was all the rage.

Big Dave
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-20-2015, 03:57 AM
 
 
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Good post.
I've used the quartz conversion on several of my vintage cars. I'm a stickler for having options work properly and this clock repair is easy and affordable. It makes me wonder sometimes when I see a nicely restored car at a show, where the owner has obviously spent thousands on a detailed restoration, but then the clock doesn't work. It's not like these quartz conversions are a secret. And they are very reliable.
Just my two cents.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-20-2015, 08:24 AM
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When I restored my '65 clock, I had the original clock repaired in order to maintain the original motion of the second hand. Never did work right. So when I restored my '67 I did the quartz conversion and it keeps perfect time.

Point is, maybe the cars that Greg has spotted at car shows are truly period correct: the clocks never did work!

Mike

1965 Impala SS 396
1967 SS427
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-20-2015, 02:22 PM
 
 
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Ha ha!
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-09-2015, 10:25 PM
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I just pulled the clock from my '67 this weekend, did you have to bend back those little tabs to see all of the gears? Also the hands on the clock do not want to pull out how did you get them out without breaking things?

I also have my speedo out since the odometer isn't working. I have a spare speedo that seems to work with using a drill, but I'm going to replace the whole cable since it likes to bounce back and forth 10 mpg once you get over 35 or 40. Any advice on removing the needle here would help. Anyone ever zero out the miles? I thought why not it hasn't worked in 20 plus years and starting fresh when I swap out the 327 would be nice.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-10-2015, 09:17 AM
BA.
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Such an awesome post Brian, I can't believe I missed it when you posted it.

HOW A NOVICE REBUILDS A 66 IMPALA CONVERTIBLE:
http://www.impalas.net/forums/blog.php?u=1432
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