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Clock repairs

Clock Repairs

I have an XK140 OTS with a clock that has never worked. Has anyone ever repaired or replaced theirs? Any information appreciated. - Ron Kutrieb

Ronald, I have had the same problem with my clock and although I collect clocks etc., I couldn't fix it. In the end I got an electronic conversion from the UK - Autoflux (Tel 01579 320459) Cost was 45 pounds. - Roger Herrick

I had my clock done (along with the tach and speedometer) by Bob Constanata last spring and so far I am delighted in every way. I love walking into the garage when it is very quiet and hearing the clock ticking. Thee car is ALIVE! even with ignition off. Bob's phone number is 914-381-1952 in Mamaroneck, NY. The charge for the work on the clock was $85. - Bruce Cunningham, '53 OTS

I wonder if this (Autoflux) is the unit that XKs Unlimited sells for about $275 US. - Mike Plechaty

There is a company in England that will convert clocks for XKs and E types. Autoflux Higher Derricombe Twowatersfoot, Liskeard Cornwall PL14 6HS # 01579 320459 price quoted for conversion was 39 pounds plus postage. - Ron, '59 150 dhc

Was that at "Nysenger Instruments"~ an instrument rebuild service located in Mamaroneck (there cant be too many Mamaronecks..) I had all my Smiths guages rebuilt there and they seem to have done a fine job. - Chris Van Brummen

Yes - that's the place - I had Bob's name in my notes without the business name. Thanks for the clarification. - Bruce Cunningham, '53 OTS

Hello to all, Here is a note I posted last December regarding clock repair. I don't know if the fees quoted are still accurate.

Hello to all, The recent thread on non functioning clocks reminds me that I found some information on places where they could be repaired. I was going to have mine fixed but then I realized that a inoperative clock was the least of my problems. In any event, the three places listed below will fix clocks, but I can not vouch for any of them.

Clock Doc 125 University Ave. Sewanee, Tennessee 37375 614-598-9174 1 800 256-5362 He will convert the clock to quartz for $175.00. It still uses your car's electrical system rather than a a battery like the quartz watches. It is guaranteed for five years.

Nisonger Instrument Sale and Service 570 Mamaroneck Ave. Mamaroneck New York 10543 914-381-1952 He will replace the points that burn away and stop the clock from working. He charges $85.00 and guarantees it for a year.

Palo Alto Speedometer 718 Emerson St. Palo Alto, California 94301 415-323-0234 I have not talked to anyone here so I can not say what they do. Their add in Hemmings suggests they do quartz conversions but I do not know their charges. Hope this helps. - Don Sime, XK-150, FHC

I sure would be interested in how to save the contacts on my 47 year old clock with a transistor. I have redone the contact two times now. Like a Timex, it keeps on ticking, but the contacts sure take a licking. - Larry J, 660636

Some time ago on this list we had an astonishingly erudite analysis of the GREAT XK CLOCK PROBLEM from Mike..... I repeat it here absolutely illegally.... ("Those in ignorance of the past are fated to repeat it forever ...!"). My advice is - get a quartz insert (but see below) or leave it alone.- John Spence

Has anybody had one of these timepieces converted to a quartz movement, or in any way resolved their irritating habit of their usually not working, even after having the contacts cleaned either "professionally" My Dad was an and auto electrician, instrument repairer amd Jag lover in the 1950s and 60s, and had a love/hate relationship with the Smiths clocks as used in Jaguars and other quality vehicles. The problem, as I recall it goes something like this... The stationary contact for the clock solenoid is made of a springy material which is not a good conductor, and to make it work as a contact, it was plated (I think with silver). The moving contact on the balance wheel doesn't just hit it, but "wipes" the stationary contact, ensuring that it stays clean. This works fine for a few years, until the wiping action rubs the plating off, and then no amount of cleaning will keep the clock working reliably. It would seem simple to add a transistor circuit to amplify the current and take the load off of the contact. This does work, but not always totally reliably, I think because the contact with it's plating worn off makes a very unreliable connection. There is however another small complication... The operation of the clock depends not only on the regular opening and closing of the contact, but also on the "dwell time" (just like the ignition). When the clock is running normally, the dwell automatically adjusts to allow for small variations in friction in the clock movement. If the swing of the balance wheel starts to reduce, due to increased friction or decreased battery voltage, it swings slower and the dwell time increases, increasing the length of the current pulse through the coil, and restoring the amount of swing of the balance wheel. Any electronic wizardry added to the clock should have a similar amplitude feedback mechanism. I remember an article in a British electronics magazine in the 1970s (probably Practical Electonics of about 1972) which gave details of a transistorised "dwell extender" circuit for Smiths clocks. We built one for my mother's MkII, and the clock kept running, but after a few days, we noticed that the timekeeping was not very good (it was gaining even more than it usually lost!) and ticking was louder than previously. On closer (internal) inspection, we found that the balance wheel was hitting its end stops due to the dwell of the transistorised circuit being fixed and rather excessive. These days, it would not be too hard to design an electronic circuit based on a quartz crystal to give correctly timed pulses to make the clock keep perfect time. I am not quite sure how to provide the amplitude feedback to keep the swing of the balance wheel correct. I will solve this by the time my XK150 restoration is completed, but you might have to wait another year or two (or three). - best regards. Mike Plechaty

There is a company in England that will convert clocks for XKs and E types. Autoflux Higher Derricombe Twowatersfoot, Liskeard Cornwall PL14 6HS # 01579 320459 price quoted for conversion was 39 pounds plus postage - Ron, '59 150 dhc

John, I didn't know anyone else knew the operating secrets of those clocks! I have recoated the wiping contact with silver solder a couple of times, and it is indeed a feat to achieve the proper wipe adjustment. Another secret is the judicious use of Nyes clock oil to make it easy starting when I disconnect it for the non-driving and show periods to eliminate the battery discharge. - Larry J, 660636

Larry/John, etc- I own XK-120 OTS #671792 and my clock has been inoperative since day one of my ownership (22 years). I am interested in knowing whether or not there is a quartz retrofit available for this clock. I had an old Mercedes several years ago and I changed it over and it worked quite well with no detraction from original appearance. If you or anybody has any information on this, please advise. Thanks. - Jeff Schellinger

I had my 120 clock fixed last winter by Nisonger Instrument Sales & Service in Mamaroneck, NY (914-381-1952) for only $85 and it has been running beautifully for almost a year. One of the things that pleases me is the sound of the ticking. It is loud enough that you can hear it whenever you are anywhere near the car and the garage is quiet. I would miss that with a quartz movement. (They also did a nice job on the tach and speedo for only $100 each.) - Bruce Cunningham

Through previous research I discovered a restorer who will convert your clock to a quartz movement for $275. The movement uses your car's electical system for power and is guaranteed for five years. The actual movement is located outside of the clock and is designed to be anchored to the tach cable very close to the clock housing. The restorer is: Clock Doc, 125 University Avenue, Swanee, TN 37375. I believe the phone is 931-598-5986 or possibly 800-256-5362. After considering this and other options I sent my clock to Nisonger Instrument for the $85 plus $5 shipping with the repair guaranteed for one year. Their address is 570 Mamaroneck Ave., Mamaroneck, NY 10543. Phone 914-381-1952 - Ron Kutrieb

Jeff, Since it wasn't that hard to fix the ole 'ticker', I never looked for a quartz replacement, but maybe there are some now. There wasn't any awhile ago. - Larry J

If you have any questions or comments send e-mail to: ted@jag-lovers.org
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