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1977 El Camino Clock - Electro-mechanical

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Published on Jan 30, 2012

This clock came from a 1977 Chevrolet El Camino, and is located on the dashboard of the car, and is an electromechanical analog timepiece. The clock runs on 12V DC, and winds up a very small mainspring, which drives the motionworks for the hands and the balance wheel to regulate the speed. The electrical contacts are connected to the field coil on one side of the circuit, and the other side of the circuit is actually the plates and gear train. They are insulated from each other by means of polycarbonate back plate, to prevent a short. The circuit is connected on the mainwheel, where the mainspring resides. There is a rotating ratchet click that is spring loaded, and has a contact attached, which when it rotates, the contacts meet near the coil, and a winding arm is magnetized and flings the ratchet click around the mainwheel's ratchet wheel, which disconnects the circuit, and lets the clock run for another 30-40 seconds until the wheel rotates around, again touching contacts. The clock had run for nearly 40 years without service, and had worn on a couple bearings, and cemented itself shut with the original oils installed at the factory. The beauty of analog devices is that they can be rebuilt, and made new again. This clock was tested for several days on a rectifier, and performed marvelously, and kept time right around 18000 BPH. The one aggravating part of the design is how the balance is "automatically" adjusted every time the time is set from the handshaft. The idea was that if the clock is losing time, that when you set the hands forward, it adjusts the balance simultaneously, so as that you won't lose time after several time-settings. However, anyone who may experience a dead battery, or even a momentary power loss from the car, will need to set the time to adjust appropriately, but may not need to adjust the balance if it was keeping good time under power. This piece has been computer timed and set, but between being disconnected to go home and being put back in the car, if the customer tries to set the time forward or back, the balance timing will be set faster or slower respectively. The best way to keep the factory set timing, without having to move the hands, would be either to install a separate clock switch, to turn it off and on at the correct time, or perhaps to pull the fuse (which would probably deactivate other important dash function such as tach- or speedometer, which is less than preferable). If you have an analog clock, mechanical, electromechanical, or otherwise, let us know if you need service or restoration. This clock was not running when it came to us, and was made to intentionally not be disassembled, but was broken down, rebuilt, and runs like a champ with a year warranty as well. We handle projects nationwide, coast to coast, north to south, and can get you the best horological services no matter what kind of timepiece you have. Just get in touch with us @ GulfCoastClock.com.

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