Author Topic: Has anyone experienced a loud clicking from the electric clock  (Read 990 times)

Offline hearn

  • Posts: 119
  • CLC Number: 21791
  • Name: Jim Hearn
Has anyone experienced a loud clicking from the electric clock
« on: December 11, 2017, 06:00:07 PM »
My electric clock is in my 1954 Cad, but I'm wondering if anyone has gotten this sound in any clocks in this era?  The sound is an extremely loud clicking.  It was so loud I thought it was a sound coming from outside somewhere.  This is not the original clock, but it is a new old stock of the correct vintage and it has worked now for years.  All of a sudden while in the garage for winter, it started this loud clicking only in bursts of say 10 clicks and then just every so often so it has been difficult to find the clock as the source of the sound.  The battery is completely up with trickler on and I have always be careful to keep the battery up so the clock didn't loose power.  I always understood that if the clock had low power that it could cause it to burn up the contacts.  Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.  Jim

Re: Has anyone experienced a loud clicking from the electric clock
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2017, 09:50:47 PM »
That "clicking sound" is from the contacts in the clock.  It's trying to
rewind itself but apparently that system is not working properly.  These
are, as you likely know, electro-mechanical systems.  The clock functions
like a "wind-up" unit but a motor does the rewinding.  You should hear
only one "click" when this happens.

I'm surprised that you leave the battery connected during storage.  The
safe way is to use a battery disconnect switch to isolate it from the car.
The charger can keep the battery level up this way just fine.

Also, your clock when reconnected (provided it's working properly) will
work fine.  No need to keep it running all winter. 

Mike
1955 Cadillac Eldorado
1973 Cadillac Eldorado
1995 Cadillac Seville
2004 Escalade
1997 GMC Suburban 4X4, 454 engine, 3/4 ton
custom built by Santa Fe in Evansville, IN
2011 Buick Lucerne CX
-------------------------------------
CLCMRC Museum Benefactor #38
Past: VP International Affiliates, Museum Board Director, President / Director Pittsburgh Region

Offline hearn

  • Posts: 119
  • CLC Number: 21791
  • Name: Jim Hearn
Re: Has anyone experienced a loud clicking from the electric clock
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2017, 12:20:28 AM »
Mike, I heard somewhere that those clocks preferred juice all the time rather than dormant all winter with no juice.  That's why I do it.  Have you been inside of one?  Any tips?  Thanks, Jim

Re: Has anyone experienced a loud clicking from the electric clock
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2017, 01:20:02 AM »
Nope, never personally been inside.  However, I had mine rebuilt about
15 years ago and always shut the power down in winter when she's
sleeping in the garage.  I never had any issues.

Even though my car had a completely new wiring harness installed, there
is really no good reason to keep juice on all winter.  I disconnect it (with a
battery disconnect switch) for safety.  My clock never minded.  I should
point out that my garage is climate controlled, so there is little chance of
anything rusting or corroding due to moisture.

Mike
1955 Cadillac Eldorado
1973 Cadillac Eldorado
1995 Cadillac Seville
2004 Escalade
1997 GMC Suburban 4X4, 454 engine, 3/4 ton
custom built by Santa Fe in Evansville, IN
2011 Buick Lucerne CX
-------------------------------------
CLCMRC Museum Benefactor #38
Past: VP International Affiliates, Museum Board Director, President / Director Pittsburgh Region

Offline bcroe

  • Posts: 3893
Has anyone experienced a loud clicking from the electric clock
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2017, 11:51:52 AM »
All batteries in cars, tractor, gen set etc should have a battery
maintainer for long standby.  A simple trickle charger isn't really
a good solution.  This will cover needs even if the battery isn't disconnected. 

Contacts breaking inductive loads have tough service dealing
with the arc.  But that action assures that the beginning of
any oxide will be burned away.  If the contact is unused long
enough, oxide will form so that no contact is made.  Just how
long that takes will vary a lot.  Bruce Roe

Re: Has anyone experienced a loud clicking from the electric clock
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2017, 01:19:13 PM »
Hi Bruce:

I agree on the use of a "Battery Tender" type unit -- I have 4 of them in
service.  A trickle charger is not the best idea.

As to the contacts in the clock, if this is a real concern, then why can the
points in the ignition system sit for months without a problem?  It's the
same issue as I see it.  Just curious!

Mike
1955 Cadillac Eldorado
1973 Cadillac Eldorado
1995 Cadillac Seville
2004 Escalade
1997 GMC Suburban 4X4, 454 engine, 3/4 ton
custom built by Santa Fe in Evansville, IN
2011 Buick Lucerne CX
-------------------------------------
CLCMRC Museum Benefactor #38
Past: VP International Affiliates, Museum Board Director, President / Director Pittsburgh Region

Offline Dan LeBlanc

  • Posts: 4813
  • Name: Dan LeBlanc
Re: Has anyone experienced a loud clicking from the electric clock
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2017, 01:47:06 PM »
I'm pretty sure that this would be a Westclox movement.  When something internally has failed, they go into a winding frenzy until eventually they burn out the coils.  Basically, instead of winding down every 3 minutes and re-winding with the normal ker-chunk, it's winding down very quickly and rewinding more often than it should.

I always add a 1 amp inline fuse to my clock circuit as to protect the coils should the movement fail.  They're normally on the body feed circuit with a high amperage fuse with more than enough current to burn out the coils before the fuse blows.  A quick splice in of the inline fuse takes all of a few minutes.

I've been inside a few of these clocks and usually revitalize them with a good cleaning and lube if the coils test out fine.  In fact, I've got a 53 clock sitting on my bench that will be going for sale soon on eBay now that I've sold the car.  It works - doesn't keep perfect time, though.
Dan LeBlanc
1977 Lincoln Continental Town Car

Offline hearn

  • Posts: 119
  • CLC Number: 21791
  • Name: Jim Hearn
Re: Has anyone experienced a loud clicking from the electric clock
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2017, 05:36:52 PM »
How do you test the coils Dan?  Is a 53 clock the same as a 54 clock?  If it is and you want to sell it before going to ebay, please let me know.  Also Dan, I have two hot leads going to my clock.  Is this correct?  Thanks, Jim
« Last Edit: December 12, 2017, 05:44:43 PM by hearn »

Offline bcroe

  • Posts: 3893
Has anyone experienced a loud clicking from the electric clock
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2017, 06:50:57 PM »
Quote from: Mike Josephic  CLC #3877
    Hi Bruce:
As to the contacts in the clock, if this is a real concern, then why can the
points in the ignition system sit for months without a problem?  It's the
same issue as I see it.  Just curious!  Mike   

Before getting rid of all points ign, I DID get a car that had been sitting
quite a while (I don't know how long), and the points were oxidized
over.  I put the points in series with a 150W 120VAC lamp to provide
enough voltage to burn through, and then flipped the points enough
times that they would work back in the 12V car.  Have also read of
others having the problem, usually they replaced points. 

The same problem happens to me, when I drive a car for years
without using the horn.  Then when I try it, its very feeble or
no response.  My suggestion is exercise all this stuff so it doesn't
get into that state.  Beep that occasional driver when you get it out. 

Can't make any accurate prediction of when/how long before such
failures, too many variables.  Wind up clocks got replaced with
electronic here, but I like the idea of putting a minimal size fuse
in series with a wind up to avoid a coil damaging failure event. 
Bruce Roe

Offline Dan LeBlanc

  • Posts: 4813
  • Name: Dan LeBlanc
Re: Has anyone experienced a loud clicking from the electric clock
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2017, 07:59:03 AM »
This is the face of the 53 clock. It may be the same as 54 but I don't know. I know in the 53, there were two leads on the hot wire. The clock grounded through the body. The other hot wire fed the glove box light.
Dan LeBlanc
1977 Lincoln Continental Town Car

Offline fishnjim

  • Posts: 2416
  • Name: J. Bozin
Re: Has anyone experienced a loud clicking from the electric clock
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2017, 10:06:17 AM »
I couldn't be too concerned about noises that appear in the winter months in early electro-mechanical systems.   I remember in extreme cold, the speedo cable grease would gel up and it'd squeal until the interior warmed up.   Sometimes the clocks would tick louder.  Bias ply tires would thump, etc.   Just another period thing.   It'll probably go away once it warms up, if not, then pursue a repair.

Offline hearn

  • Posts: 119
  • CLC Number: 21791
  • Name: Jim Hearn
Re: Has anyone experienced a loud clicking from the electric clock
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2017, 01:32:09 AM »
I'm pretty sure that this would be a Westclox movement.  When something internally has failed, they go into a winding frenzy until eventually they burn out the coils.  Basically, instead of winding down every 3 minutes and re-winding with the normal ker-chunk, it's winding down very quickly and rewinding more often than it should.

I always add a 1 amp inline fuse to my clock circuit as to protect the coils should the movement fail.  They're normally on the body feed circuit with a high amperage fuse with more than enough current to burn out the coils before the fuse blows.  A quick splice in of the inline fuse takes all of a few minutes.

I've been inside a few of these clocks and usually revitalize them with a good cleaning and lube if the coils test out fine.  In fact, I've got a 53 clock sitting on my bench that will be going for sale soon on eBay now that I've sold the car.  It works - doesn't keep perfect time, though.

It will wind down slowly, but as soon as the contact touches it starts to stutter violently.  It is receiving the charge, but not holding in the cocked position.

The clock in your photo looks like the 54 clock.  I'll check the parts book tomorrow to make sure.  Thanks for posting the photo.

Offline bullet bob

  • Posts: 165
  • Name: b beebe
Re: Has anyone experienced a loud clicking from the electric clock
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2017, 10:13:45 AM »
It will wind down slowly, but as soon as the contact touches it starts to stutter violently.  It is receiving the charge, but not holding in the cocked position.

The clock in your photo looks like the 54 clock.  I'll check the parts book tomorrow to make sure.  Thanks for posting the photo.
Sure looks identical to my '53, albeit a touch nicer...
Honda Goldwing 1800  "I don't need no stinkin' map, I've still got gas"

 

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