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Rebuilding Your Classic Car’s Clock for less than $15 <o:p></o:p>
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After spending hours trying to get my 65’s clock running and succeeding in about 5 seconds of service I decided to try and do a modification to keep the original look but have modern reliability. A search of the internet for 12v clock movements came back with disappointing results. I was almost resigned to a battery operated movement.
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A trip to the junkyard solved my dilemma. I obtained a donor quartz clock out of an 86 Cougar and a clock out of a 65 Gal for a whopping $10.
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Here’s what you will need:
* Your old clock to rebuild {hereafter known as the 65}
* A donor quarts clock {hereafter known as the cougar}
* A small tube of 2 part liquid epoxy
* Small Phillips and Standard screwdrivers
* A small set of side cutters/dikes (jewelers or hobby)
* 2 small pairs of pliers (needle nose work great)
* 1 small set of end cutters/ nippers (jewelers/hobby)
* Tin Snips
* Drill and a small drill bit
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Although this mod was done on a 65 Galaxie dash clock I am sure it would work well for most others.
PROs: THE CLOCK WORKS!!!!!
CONS: The adjuster knob has to be moved from the stock location.
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Before you get started get familiar with my nomenclature:
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Chrome bezel: The shiny part you see around the clock on the dash
Lens: The clear piece over the clock
Trim cover plate: The black piece behind the lens
Face:The plate with the numbers
Mounting plate: The heavier metal plate that the movement and face mount to
Movement: The actual workings of the clock
Adjuster shaft and knob: The thing you pull and turn to set the time

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With the Donor Clock:<o:p></o:p>
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Step 1:<o:p></o:p>
Take the housing off of the donor clock movement by prying the 8 small tabs from around the face.
Pull the movement from the housing and clip the 2 wires where they are connected at the back of the housing.

<o:p> </o:p>
Step 2:<o:p></o:p>
Pull the adjuster knob out from the clock as if you were going to adjust the time and grasp the shaft with pliers. Unscrew the knob off counter clockwise, after 20 to 40 years of being attached; you may need to use the second set of pliers to get it started. (The pic is of the 65)

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Step 3:<o:p></o:p>
The face plate on the Cougar clock was held on with melted plastic heads. Use the side cutters to clip these off and remove the clear lens.

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Step 4:<o:p></o:p>
WARNING: This one of the most important steps on both of the clock mechanisms:
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CAREFULLY slip the end cutters under the second hand… DO NOT SQUEZE the handles or you will cut off the second hand and ruin the movement.
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GENTLY pull straight up on the second hand with the end cutters. The second hand is press fit and will come off with gentle persuasion. Do the same with the minute and hour hand. On the Cougar movement the second hand was metal but the hour and minute hands were plastic and promptly shattered on removal. The metal ones from the 65 were the correct size and will be used.

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Step 5:<o:p></o:p>
Pry up the tabs on the back of the face and remove the face from the donor movement.
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With the 65 clock:<o:p></o:p>
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Step 6:<o:p></o:p>
Remove the housing from the clock by removing the 3 screws on the back. If the housing sticks remove it by pressing on the positive post of the clock protruding from the back of the housing.


Step 7: <o:p></o:p>
Remove the adjustment knob from the clock as described in step 2 above
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Step 8:<o:p></o:p>
Remove the hands from the clock as in step 4 above.
The hands on the Galaxie clock are metal with a small cut in the bezel to allow expansion over the clock movement shaft.
The picture below emphasizes the difference in the hands of the clocks. For the new clock we will be using the hour and minute hands of the Galaxie clock and; due to the differences in shaft length (see picture) the second hand of the Cougar clock.

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Step 9:<o:p></o:p>
Remove the face of the clock by prying up the 3 tabs on the back of the face. Remove the bezel, trim bezel, lens, and face of the clock.
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Step 10: <o:p></o:p>
Remove ALL attachments and the clock mechanism from the mounting plate of the 65 clock. There is a spring which releases much of this by pushing it upward and off.
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Use the snips to remove the clock adjustment knob and shaft. Press flat the 2 protruding tabs on the mounting plate.

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Step 11:<o:p></o:p>
Place the face plate of the 65 clock on the mounting plate/movement assembly of the Cougar clock. The adjustment knob should be at the 6 o’clock position.

Mark the mounting plate of the Cougar movement to fit the 65 face. {draw around the face onto the mounting plate} The adjustment knob will be BELOW the face and should be excluded from the marking.
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Trim the mounting plate of the Cougar clock to fit behind (slightly smaller than) the face of the 65 clock. DO NOT trim off the adjustment knob.


<o:p> </o:p>
Step 12:<o:p></o:p>
Place the face of the 65 clock over the trimmed movement/mounting plate, with the shaft going through the hole in the middle. The adjustment shaft should be at the 6 o’clock position.
<o:p> </o:p>
Place the trim cover plate over that assembly. {Basically we are dry assembling the face without the hands.}
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Mark the bottom of the trim cover plate where it impacts the adjustment knob, and trim the cover plate accordingly so it will not impact the adjuster shaft. {see pic below}
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Place the Chrome faceplate over this assembly, and align them. Note and mark the position where the adjustment knob impacts the chrome face plate. You will need to drill a new hole here for the new adjustment knob shaft. The hole will need to be slightly larger than the shaft so as not to impede operation of the adjuster.

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Step 13:<o:p></o:p>
I noted when test assembling that the face stood too far off of the clock movement to allow the hands to be mounted. Trim the tabs on the back of the face to move it closer to the movement. (I used a dremmel tool to accomplish this) See pic below.

Step 14:<o:p></o:p>
Clean up the face of the 65 clock and reattach it to it’s mounting plate. Don’t forget the green tinted light diffuser in between the 2 pieces.

Take this assembly and using the epoxy, attach it to the mounting plate of the cougar clock movement. The adjuster shaft should be at the 6 o’clock position and the clock shaft should be centered in the hole in the face.
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Use care not to get epoxy on the adjuster, the shaft of the movement (where the hands attach), or any of the gears.
**IMPORTANT! Do not do anything else with this assembly until the epoxy is completely dry.
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Step 15:<o:p></o:p>
While the epoxy is drying take the trim cover plate and the chrome bezel and refurbish them. I polished the chrome with a buffer (damn pitting!) and repainted the trim cover and black areas of the chrome bezel (with new adjuster hole drilled) with semi gloss black. Polish the plastic lens with automotive paint polish. It works great on clear plastic trim.
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Step 16:<o:p></o:p>
When the epoxy is dry, CAREFULLY press the hour hand onto the bottom lobe of the shaft. Do not let it touch the face of the clock. Set this hand at 12 o’clock.
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Next, press the minute hand onto the upper lobe of the shaft making sure it does not touch the hour hand, move it to the 12 o’clock position.
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At this point make sure that the hands are not bent and will not strike each other as they go around.
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Finally set the pin of the second hand into the shaft at the 12 o’clock position. Note that it is too long. Mark, and trim the hand so that it will stay within the face and press the second hand into the shaft.
{NOTE: in the pictures the minute hand is at the 12:05 position…Both the minute and hour hands should be at 12 o’clock.}


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Step 17:<o:p></o:p>
Using a 9 volt battery test the clock movement. Let it run for at least 1 hour to ensure that none of the hands are binding.
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Step 18:<o:p></o:p>
If everything is operating normally then test fit the new assembly into the housing.
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Mark the housing where the adjuster rod impacts it and trim the housing so that the movement seats properly.

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Step 19:<o:p></o:p>
Run the wires from the clock out through the hole with the grommet, {the other one is for the light} and seat the movement assembly in the housing.
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Place the cover plate, lens, and chrome bezel on the assembly and replace the 3 retaining screws to hold the clock together.
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Screw the 65 clock adjustment knob onto the adjuster post. Retest the movement with the 9 volt battery to ensure none of the movement was misaligned during reassembly, and you are done.

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For electrical simplicity you can solder the ground wire on the clock to the grounding tab on the housing. {The housing must be grounded for the light bulb to illuminate.}
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For those who wish a cover can be fabricated to cover the adjuster notch in the housing.
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As an added BONUS <o:p></o:p>
For those who care:<o:p></o:p>
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WHY DOESN’T MY ANTIQUE DASH CLOCK WORK ANYMORE?<o:p></o:p>
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Ford, like most companies, contract out small assemblies on their automobiles to other manufacturers in order to keep production costs down. In the sixties the clock company Westclox had the contract for at least some of the in dash analog clocks for Ford automobiles. In their infinite wisdom the rocket scientists there decided that a 12 volt clock should run on points type of system in order to keep time……. That’s right boys and girls…points….like in a pre-electronic ignition. Anyone who has been around a points ignition system can tell you they work great for a while then…. they wear out, they burn out, power spikes from any number of things can cause them to fuse and stick together, or if they are out of adjustment…..no spark. Generally they work great for a while…..then not.

Hmmmm anyone know the gap on the clock points by chance????
 

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Make sure anybody who rides in your car sees that the clock works. After that ask them....

"Did you see the clock works?"

Good job and thanks for the tech.
 

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Nice write up. I did this to my Gran Torino way back, used a clock from a new {then} 81 cougar. I think I must have taken it apart a little more as I didn't cut anything. IIRC it was kind of a R&R deal and my adjuster still worked. Might be the difference with the 65 clock. You should be able to do this to all the clocks with a B {Borg?} stamped on the case. Vendors also sell just the quartz works in Hemmings. But if your like most of us more time than money, junk yard is the way to go.
 

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Bumblebee,
Thanks for this involved and excellent post. Between your post and this one from Old Cars Weekly, I'm tentatively confident I can fix our inoperative 1963 Galaxie clock.

I'm hoping you can give me some advice on clock work. My initial problem is disconnecting some of the wires going into the clock. Check out the picture below of the clock. On the left of the back of the clock is the power wire (I get 12.4 volts at this wire) and to remove it, I simply remove the nut attaching it to the clock.

The wire on the right is the problem. This goes (I presume) to the clock light. Problem is, the wire does not want to leave the clock assembly. It is very firmly attached to the clock housing. I really don't want to break something on this clock removing it from the dash. Am I an idiot and doing something wrong? Does the wire to the light remain attached to the housing, while the clock internals come out for repair?

Hopefully this clock bears some resemblance to your 1965. Thanks for your, ahem, timely help.

--Jay

 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hey Jay

The wire on the right looks like a bulb assembly as you surmised. Most of the 60s era fords used lamp bases with multiple metal "teeth" around the perimeter which "snap" into a hole in the housing. They use tension to retain the lamp base in place and therefore the "teeth are actually larger than the hole. You may need to take a small flat bladed screwdriver and work it under the lip of the lamp base then pry gently. As you apply pressure the "teeth" flex inward and allow the base to be extracted. Most of the bases were metal and should withstand some pressure from the screwdriver. Remember that these were designed to be removed for bulb replacement. another thing you could try is to twist the base while pulling. Remember to pull on the base and not the wire. Here is an e-bay pic of a typical socket with the retaining "teeth. Good Luck and I hope this helps

Keith/Bumble
 

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Keith, Did you find a slider on your mechanism that would allow it to be automatically calibrated as mentioned in the Old Car article? I'm assuming from that article that the points just need to be lightly sanded and the gap would be the same and check the solenoid wire. Are the Ford clocks primary parts built like the GMs? Thanks, Dave
 

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This is a great thread, hat's off to Bumblebee for putting that together. Does anyone know if he/she is still around?? I checked last activity and it was back in 2012. Also, does anyone have the pictures that were included in this thread? As you can see, they are all gone now.

Appreciate any help on the pictures and/or getting in contact with Bumblebee. Thanks.
 

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This is a great thread, hat's off to Bumblebee for putting that together. Does anyone know if he/she is still around?? I checked last activity and it was back in 2012. Also, does anyone have the pictures that were included in this thread? As you can see, they are all gone now.

Appreciate any help on the pictures and/or getting in contact with Bumblebee. Thanks.
I did a conversion with a cheap ass alarm clock. The size of these small alarm clocks will fit in the mounting hole (on a 65 Galaxie anyway)
 

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I ended up doing the conversion following Bumblebee's process. However, I didn't drill a hole in the chrome bezel for the adjuster post. Instead I wanted it to look completely stock with the `85 Cougar adjuster post coming through the same hole on the beze as the `65-66 Galaxie Westclox clock.

However, doing so was another story. It took a lot of detail work and some precision.

The way the Cougar clock is setup, there are two idler gears between the adjuster gear and the main drive gear on the assembly. The two idler gears and the adjuster gear are actually identical, having the same number of gears and circumference.

I ended up uninstalling the adjuster post from the movement assembly, then removing the two extra idler gears. Then I drilled a new hole for the adjuster post and re-installed. That's the part that required precision. The new hole has to be near exact in terms of its placement both within the adjuster hole on the bezel as well as its proximity to the main drive gear.

There were several other challenges. First was that there is a sleeve holding the adjuster post to the assembly which needs to be removed. In order for the adjuster post to be re-mounted, the sleeve needs to be pressing back into place. That required drilling a hole that was just a hair smaller, then pushing the sleeve into place.

For me, it just wasn't a strong enough press to hold, so I had to JB-Weld the sleeve into place. I cleaned all surfaces thorough first, then scuffed before applied two layers of JB Weld, with each drying thorough in between. Then I used a Dremel tool to shape the material so everything could fit together.

The other challenge was mating the `85 Cougar movement with the housing and bezel assemblies. I ended up cutting the Galaxie backplate in such a way that I could use it to help clamp the entire assembly together. It required shaping with the Dremel tool and some finesse.

Good news is that once it was all together, it actually worked. Better yet, the adjuster post comes through the stock adjuster hole on the 1965-66 Galaxie clock. I followed Bumblebee's process of testing it for an hour using a 9V batter and it worked fine. Ready to bolt in now ...

Thanks again to Bumblebee for mapping out the process. Likewise, kudos to Mr Bear and anyone else who comes up with other processes for converting to quartz.
 
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