Author Topic: Clock stops and starts randomly  (Read 277 times)

stros

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1447
Clock stops and starts randomly
« on: April 20, 2019, 10:50:14 AM »
Hi - I bought a reproduction OER Tach/Clock combo.  The clock on it starts and stops randomly.  Any idea why this could be happening?

The clock on the original gauge never worked. 

The rest of the gauges have always functioned ok.

Thanks
Darryl

'77 black TA Hardtop LS3 / 4L70E swap
Build thread:
http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=61066

Grand73Am

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 9737
Re: Clock stops and starts randomly
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2019, 12:20:24 PM »
The original clocks up through 1978 were electro-mechanical clocks, basically wind-up clocks with an electric wind-up mechanism. When they wind down to a certain point, an electrical solenoid winds it back up, and it runs some more until it winds down, electrically winds up again, over and over. They were never very reliable to start with.

So, if the OER clock is a reproduction of the mechanical wind-up clock, I'd have to wonder why they'd reproduce something that wasn't very reliable to begin with. Smart thing would be to make them with quartz clocks in my opinion, even if quartz wasn't original for the year of car.

I believe in late 78, the factory started phasing in some quartz clocks, which are much more dependable. In 79, the clocks actually say "quartz" on the face. I have a couple 79's and the clocks still work well and keep good time.

As far as your problem, I think you'd have to make sure the electrical connections to the clock are good and getting constant power all the time, even with the key off. If you confirm that, then you must have gotten a bad clock.
Steve F.

stros

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1447
Re: Clock stops and starts randomly
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2019, 01:00:47 PM »
Thanks - the repop OER  gauge does include a quartz clock.  It’s this one:

https://www.firebirdcentral.com/1976_1978_Firebird_Dash_Tachometer_and_Clock_p/das-2019.htm
Darryl

'77 black TA Hardtop LS3 / 4L70E swap
Build thread:
http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=61066

Aus78Formula

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 9079
Re: Clock stops and starts randomly
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2019, 06:44:13 PM »
Yes, even for the early models the repro now uses a Quartz clock, don't think they do 79+ yet. I don't have any ideas, my OER tacho does similar.

stros

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1447
Re: Clock stops and starts randomly
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2019, 06:57:08 PM »
Yes, even for the early models the repro now uses a Quartz clock, don't think they do 79+ yet. I don't have any ideas, my OER tacho does similar.

Interesting to hear your OER gauge does the same.  The clock is totally useless right now - working probably 10% of the time.  The tach works ok.
Darryl

'77 black TA Hardtop LS3 / 4L70E swap
Build thread:
http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=61066

Re: Clock stops and starts randomly
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2019, 06:57:08 PM »

Jack

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 10213
  • 1971 Esprit TA Clone W72 1972 Formula 68 350 HO
Re: Clock stops and starts randomly
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2019, 07:00:37 PM »
Is it working for few minutes, hours at a time or it just starts and stops?




Regards, Jack

Aus78Formula

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 9079
Re: Clock stops and starts randomly
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2019, 07:02:19 PM »
I'm not able to tell if mine is actually the tacho at fault since the rest if the electrical is likely terrible, it just has bad days that pop up as soon as you think there bad days were over.

stros

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1447
Re: Clock stops and starts randomly
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2019, 07:12:43 PM »
Is it working for few minutes, hours at a time or it just starts and stops?

Just a few minutes at a time.  It normally starts up again after driving for a few minutes but then it quits again.
Darryl

'77 black TA Hardtop LS3 / 4L70E swap
Build thread:
http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=61066

Warren Seale

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 732
Re: Clock stops and starts randomly
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2019, 09:58:36 AM »
The original clocks up through 1978 were electro-mechanical clocks, basically wind-up clocks with an electric wind-up mechanism. When they wind down to a certain point, an electrical solenoid winds it back up, and it runs some more until it winds down, electrically winds up again, over and over. They were never very reliable to start with.

So, if the OER clock is a reproduction of the mechanical wind-up clock, I'd have to wonder why they'd reproduce something that wasn't very reliable to begin with. Smart thing would be to make them with quartz clocks in my opinion, even if quartz wasn't original for the year of car.

I believe in late 78, the factory started phasing in some quartz clocks, which are much more dependable. In 79, the clocks actually say "quartz" on the face. I have a couple 79's and the clocks still work well and keep good time.

As far as your problem, I think you'd have to make sure the electrical connections to the clock are good and getting constant power all the time, even with the key off. If you confirm that, then you must have gotten a bad clock.

Steve, I've seen early 79s with the mechanical clock.

Warren
79 T/A,WS6,403,A3
96 T/A,WS6(#1344),M6
72 442,W30,A3
96 Vette Grand Sport convertible,F45,LT4,M6
06 Vette convertible,Z51,M6

firebirdparts

  • Jedi Council
  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 18331
Re: Clock stops and starts randomly
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2019, 06:45:08 AM »
If it's not intermittent power to the clock, then I don't know how you'd fix it.  If you get it out you could do some wiggle testing and you might find the issue.
I want to be like Paul Kenny when I grow up
Joe Bays
1977 Y82 4-speed (red interior)
1978 Skybird 350
1978 Redbird 305
1979 Redbird 301 4-speed
1992 Lincoln Mark VII LSC/SE (red)
1970 Datsun Pickup
1953 Chevy pickup (converted 4x4)
1988 T-bird Turbo Coupe

stros

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1447
Re: Clock stops and starts randomly
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2019, 05:43:43 PM »
If it's not intermittent power to the clock, then I don't know how you'd fix it.  If you get it out you could do some wiggle testing and you might find the issue.

Yeah, I'm assuming that the gauge/clock is bad if the power is going to the clock ok.  Just don't want to waste the time and effort reinstalling a replacement from OER if they're known to have issues.
Darryl

'77 black TA Hardtop LS3 / 4L70E swap
Build thread:
http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=61066

b_hill_86

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 208
Re: Clock stops and starts randomly
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2019, 09:40:38 PM »
Maybe you could use the quartz conversion meant for the electromechanical clocks instead. I know there are some differences but maybe it could be made to work. Even though I got my electromechanical clock mechanism to work I converted it to a quartz movement and have been happy with it. Keeps good time.
-Brian-

1977 Trans Am 400 4 speed

Aus78Formula

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 9079
Re: Clock stops and starts randomly
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2019, 11:38:14 PM »
The OER tacho costs far too much already to then swap in an older clock and then buy the overly expensive conversion kit, only to find that it wasn't the fault of the gauge anyway and still exists.

stros

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1447
Re: Clock stops and starts randomly
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2019, 10:46:39 AM »
The OER tacho costs far too much already to then swap in an older clock and then buy the overly expensive conversion kit, only to find that it wasn't the fault of the gauge anyway and still exists.

Agreed - I’ll be returning it if I confirm that I’ve got power.  For the price of the gauge I’m expecting both tach and clock to work.
Darryl

'77 black TA Hardtop LS3 / 4L70E swap
Build thread:
http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=61066

Aus78Formula

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 9079
Re: Clock stops and starts randomly
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2019, 10:49:52 AM »
If it's a recent purchase I'd be definitely getting on touch with them, even if not sure what it could be, just to be safe.

Re: Clock stops and starts randomly
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2019, 10:49:52 AM »



stros

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1447
Re: Clock stops and starts randomly
« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2019, 10:54:57 AM »
Yeah it looks like OER puts a warranty of 12 months on all of their parts so I’m still within that window.
Darryl

'77 black TA Hardtop LS3 / 4L70E swap
Build thread:
http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=61066

b_hill_86

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 208
Re: Clock stops and starts randomly
« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2019, 07:35:08 AM »
 Sorry I must’ve missed the other solutions being offered
-Brian-

1977 Trans Am 400 4 speed

stros

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1447
Re: Clock stops and starts randomly
« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2019, 04:47:15 PM »
FYI checked power, grounds etc and it has to be something wrong with the clock intervals.  Guess I’ll call OER to figure out a return.
Darryl

'77 black TA Hardtop LS3 / 4L70E swap
Build thread:
http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=61066

Re: Clock stops and starts randomly
« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2019, 04:47:15 PM »
You can help support TAC!