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Old 16th Aug 2023, 12:52 pm   #1
NottsIan
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Default Smiths car clock 1973 (ish)

Good afternoon all,

I'm about to start repairing a Smith's car clock from the early 70s.

The first job will be removing the movement from the case. How do I remove the hand setting knob? It's the type which passes through a hole in the front glass near to the figure 5.

What would be the best way to clean any gummy oil and what to lubricate with afterwards?

Thanks

Ian.
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Old 16th Aug 2023, 12:53 pm   #2
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Default Re: Smiths car clock 1973 (ish)

I think we need a picture.
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Old 16th Aug 2023, 1:30 pm   #3
NottsIan
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Default Re: Smiths car clock 1973 (ish)

I don't have a picture with me but here's a couple from the internet.
It looks like it just pulls off but I didn't want to force it before asking!!
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Old 16th Aug 2023, 3:03 pm   #4
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Default Re: Smiths car clock 1973 (ish)

Normally the knob pulls off, then you rotate the black bezel around the rear body part so that the little tangs on the bezel match the cutouts on the body and then the bezel and glass pull off.
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Old 16th Aug 2023, 6:31 pm   #5
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Default Re: Smiths car clock 1973 (ish)

It looks as though it should pull off, but take care as it is 50 year old plastic!
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Old 16th Aug 2023, 7:07 pm   #6
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Default Re: Smiths car clock 1973 (ish)

As a second thought, it may be safer to leave it in place and just ‘unroll’ the bezel edge and remove any movement fixings from the rear and lift it it all from the front. It could be a Sectronic or possibly a French Jaeger movement. If it’s a Sectronic type it could be damaged or loose coils, if it’s the Jeager, it could be a broken balance pivot, they are prone to heavy wear due to the balance wheel being heavy with magnets and counterbalance weights.
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Old 16th Aug 2023, 8:10 pm   #7
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Default Re: Smiths car clock 1973 (ish)

Assemblies gummed up with old oil or grease- careful application of petrol. (WD40 simply isn't aggressive enough as a solvent for clods of gunge) Don't get petrol on painted surfaces such as clock faces as the ethanol strips some paints.

Any parts that can (and should) be oiled, probably clock oil (expensive?) or 3 in 1 (but not the heavy grade used for mowers and bicycles)

Opinions will differ..

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Old 16th Aug 2023, 9:29 pm   #8
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Default Re: Smiths car clock 1973 (ish)

Thanks for the helpful replies.
Says Jaeger made in France at the top of the dial. Not quite what I expected inside (I thought it would be a Sectronic). It's also much cleaner inside than the outside would suggest.
The balance wheel pivot isn't obviously broken but I've not yet been able to look at the tip. It swings very freely if the movement is held upside down but noticeably stiffer the right way up. looks like a devil of a job to get it out.
I don't have a 12v supply to hand but did briefly dob on a PP3 and it sort of runs so I guess the coils and electronics are probably OK.
I've got some lighter fuel which could be good for cleaning - not sure what to do with the plastic parts though. Perhaps nothing?
I have clock oil and sewing machine oil.
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Old 21st Aug 2023, 3:14 pm   #9
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Default Re: Smiths car clock 1973 (ish)

Ah, it was the Jaeger movement, that is a heavy balance wheel. The fact that it moves freely upside down, makes me suspect wear to the lower staff, this will result in the pivot shoulder contacting the jewel setting. You might get away with cleaning as it could be dried oil. The end float is adjustable by screwing in the jewel setting as necessary. Take care when removing the jewel setting as the balance magnets can scrape the delicate coil windings resulting in an open circuit.
Lighter fuel should be ok on the plastic parts, I've always used it successfully.
Good luck.R
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Old 21st Aug 2023, 7:07 pm   #10
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Default Re: Smiths car clock 1973 (ish)

I will be very interested to hear how you get on with this. I have had them refuse to run when only a few years old but I have one in my 1975 car which is still running ok. I also bought one from an autojumble for £3 15 or so years ago and that is still running. There doesn't seem to be any consistency in the reliability of them.

I have to say that, although I have some experience in cleaning clocks, I have never successfully repaired one of these. I seem to remember that they have quite fine pivots so lower viscosity clock oil would probably be best to use. It isn't particularly expensive. Ideally you would completely strip it down and clean out all the pivots and pivot holes but I don't know whether it is possible with these which were probably only designed to last the life of the car and not to be repaired.
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Old 24th Aug 2023, 1:34 pm   #11
NottsIan
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Default Re: Smiths car clock 1973 (ish)

I'm not going to be able to work on this for a few days but when I'm back on it I'll give a progress report with pictures.

Ian.
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