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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:33 pm 
356 Fan

Joined: Sat May 17, 2008 3:05 pm
Posts: 504
I have an original 1958 6V VDO clock that worked for years. But last year it stopped. When I pulled the adjustment knob (at the bottom) and pushed it back it started working again. Sometimes for a few hours, but sometimes only for a few minutes. I connected it directly to the battery but no improvement. I removed it from the car and connected it to a 6.5V phone charger. It kept going for days. Then I connected the clock to the (Optima) battery that gave 6.3V and I heard the typical sound of recharging the mechanism inside the clock. But after a few hours it stopped working….. When I disconnect it and connect it again, I hear that sound again and the clock starts ticking again, but only for a limited time. The same result with a normal lead acid battery.

Does anyone know what the problem could be with my clock? I don’t want to convert it to a quartz clock because I like that charge/recharge sound every couple of minutes and the movement of the second hand.

Thanks!

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Etienne Kerkhoffs


1958 356A T2 Sunroof Coupe



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:59 pm 
356 Fan

Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:06 pm
Posts: 1020
Location: Orinda, CA
Certainly not a lot of experience with these clocks, but I believe they use a set of points to actuate the winding mechanism, so it sounds like the points might need cleaning as they apparently are sometimes not making contact so the clock does not wind and stops.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:08 pm 
356 Fan

Joined: Sat May 17, 2008 3:05 pm
Posts: 504
Thanks for your reaction. I will check the inside and clean it.

Can it be that the reason that the clock does not stop when connected to the 6.5V phone charger is because of a current difference?

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Etienne Kerkhoffs


1958 356A T2 Sunroof Coupe



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:14 pm 
356 Fan

Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:06 pm
Posts: 1020
Location: Orinda, CA
Could be the points are on the verge of passing current and maybe the phone charger has a "ripple voltage" rather than a pure DC voltage that is just enough to cause the points to pass current. Any EE's in the crowd?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:27 pm 
356 Fan
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Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:40 pm
Posts: 730
Location: Shoreline, Washington, USA
Tag: Ex 356 Mechanic
The points are one possibility. Another is that it's dirty and needs a cleaning. North Hollywood Speedo to the rescue!

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Richard Shilling
1965 356C dolphingrey 


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:38 pm 
356 Fan
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Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 4:37 pm
Posts: 4053
Location: SW Los Angeles
I have cleaned the mechanisms with electronic cleaner then follow up with watch oil on the moving parts. The points could also need cleaning.

I'm sure there are some videos on how to remove the cover from the rear of the clock.

Mike

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Mike Wilson
Lomita, CA
'63 B coupe


Last edited by Mike Wilson on Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:48 pm 
356 Fan

Joined: Sat May 17, 2008 3:05 pm
Posts: 504
Thanks! I will take it apart this week and clean it. I will let you know the result.

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Etienne Kerkhoffs


1958 356A T2 Sunroof Coupe



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:57 pm 
356 Fan
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Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2014 2:02 pm
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Location: Carson City, NV
I have taken apart and fixed many of these VDO clocks. As mentioned above, there is a set of points that close when the clock wind down. They operate a solenoid that winds the clock, which will then run for tens of minutes, then repeat the process. When the clock mechanism is dirty enough, the winding mechanism sticks, the points get hot, and, just like in the distributor, the burn. Many times this will also cause the fusible link to melt, it which case the clock won't run at all. Open the clock (by far the hardest part), burnish the points, and lightly blow out the crap. It the fusible link is burned, you need to replace it (I use a piece of solder) You need a VERY light oil to lube the mechanism. I've used spray teflon (Tri-Flo) with some success.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:25 pm 
356 Fan
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Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2015 9:12 pm
Posts: 704
Location: Sunshine Coast Australia
Paul is right. I have repaired quite a few of these clocks and they are an imperfect instrument. The points degrade and can burn, the fusible link breaks or the clockwork mechanism gets sticky. Cleaning with a good electronic fast drying cleaner and then using a little, light 'clock oil' (eBay) on the pivots and shafts is a good idea. Fusible links can be easily replaced and points cleaned. I had a bucket of old clocks and found that this was all that was needed with several of them. A small amount of dielectric grease on the points can help preserve their condition. If the clockwork mechanism is damaged and the cogs worn or the rotating spindle off balance there is a need for rebuilding. The coil and its thin contacts can also burn or deform and then needs rebuilding in some cases. Each can have different issues but some are easily salvageable.

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TYP356
1963 356B T6
1968 911 SWB


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:13 pm 
356 Fan

Joined: Sat May 17, 2008 3:05 pm
Posts: 504
Sounds like a nice job to do. As the clock is still working with the phone charger, I guess that the points are not burned and that the fusible link is not broken. I will post a picture when I have taken the clock apart.

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1958 356A T2 Sunroof Coupe



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