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OEM Veglia clock services ?

Discussion in 'Vintage (thru 365 GTC4)' started by TTR, Jan 14, 2021.

  1. TTR

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    I apologize for posting this in "Vintage" rather than "Technical", but figured it might produce better results here.

    Does anyone here have (extensive) first-hand experience with a good service provider for OEM Veglia clock, like ones found on Daytona, for example.
    It seems the "usual suspects" (at least in U.S.) do not wish to attempt to service OEM mechanisms and only offer "Quartz" conversions.
     
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  3. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

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    Your very best information on that would be to ask one or a few of the many well reguarded restoration shops around the US. .

    I would probably also contact O.D.D. Parts.
     
  4. TTR

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    Thanks Brian.
    I thought of making such calls, but figured I try this first.
    While some of the “professionals” in these “shops” don’t actively participate here, they do occasionally seem to view topics and at times contact others (like me) directly.
     
  5. gcalex

    gcalex Karting
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    Has D&M dropped-out of such things?

    http://dandmrestoration.com/

    When i was trying to get my clock fixed (over a year ago), they were willing to give it a go. In the end, the problem turned out to be pretty minor, so I never sent it in.

    All the other folks that various threads point to had given-up on these mechanical clocks. I got the impression that the big problem was not so much that they could not fix them, but rather that the re-failure rate was too high, and there were too many disgruntled customers...

    D&M were the only folks who *encouraged* trying to repair the original movement... :)
     
  6. TTR

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    Thank Alex.
    I've used them before on some vintage American car instrument repairs/services, but that was probably 10+ years ago.
    I'll give them a call.
    I believe one of the contributors to (potential) failure rates of older electric clocks/instruments/etc is their so infrequent use as many older vintage cars often seem sit around extended periods with battery disconnected.

    I'm actually half tempted to tackle this "service" myself, since I currently have two* client Daytonas needing to get their clocks working and in worse case scenario, if my attempts aren't successful, I can always have them converted. I've repaired/restored/serviced similar items (gauges, radios, 16 2/3 RPM record players, automatic headlight & mirror dimmers, cruise controls, etc) in '50s/'60s cars before, but if there's someone else qualified specializing in given services, I prefer to contract something like this out.
    As mostly a one-man shop, I can only do so much with my time.

    * Both very low mileage examples with their clocks likely suffering from aforementioned lack of frequent use, rather than excessive wear or other damage.
     
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  8. gcalex

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    The mechanism is not that complicated.

    My clock (1) had oxidation on the "brush", (2) needed oiling, and (3) needed to have the position of the escapement shifted because a small crack in the wheel changed the geometry just enough to make it "stick" occasionally.

    Ok, maybe that is not all that "minor"... :)

    But as long as the various bearing holes have not been worn to the point that they are out-of-round, and nothing plastic has failed big-time, restoring basic function should be possible...
     
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  9. daytonaman

    daytonaman Formula Junior

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    Timo I have a spare (mechanical) overhauled by North Hollywood Speedo
     
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  10. TTR

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    Thanks Howard, I’ll keep that in mind.
    Have you checked/tested it recently by “running” it continuously for few days or longer ?
     
  11. daytonaman

    daytonaman Formula Junior

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    Mmnnn looks like I need to find a clockmaker now as well
     
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  13. gcalex

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    Based on the way the mechanism works (and assuming no parts are actually badly broken), there are three likely “failure modes” (assuming that the clock was once working ok, and has not been dropped, or something like that):

    1) Someone used grease/oil in the mechanism, that hardened into “goo”; lacquer thinner has a good chance of dissolving the stuff, and then you need to re-oil.

    2) The little brush that turns the “motor” on and off has high resistance (could be some old lubricant, could be carbon from arcing, could be oxidation; clean it (very gently).

    3) (and this is a tricky one) When the clock was last turned-off, for some reason it stopped with the brush not “on” (there is a little catch on the brush that is supposed to prevent this from happening, but when I opened my clock, it was not in the right position); if this has happened, then obviously, the clock won’t start when you turn it back on. A push on the rotor will get the clock running, but then you are left with the question of why it stopped in the wrong position in the first place. As an insurance policy, I tweaked a few things, so the catch on the brush was more effective, but now it works too well, and to get the clock to start I need to tap it a few times to get it to start; to me, this was a worthwhile trade off, because opening the clock is such a hassle.
     
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  14. enio45

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    momo gauges?
     
  15. 365man

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  16. gcalex

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    It would be great if Timo (or others) could report which places were willing to attempt the work.

    As I mentioned, my info is over a year old, and shops may be thinking differently these days, or I may have just "caught them on a bad day".

    And of course, it seems to me like generally random folks sending email (like myself) don't get the most accommodating/hopeful responses from most vendors; which might be reasonable, since they don't know if such a person is just a "tire kicker", so someone like Timo might get a very different response than I did.

    That said, I did contact everyone that came-up on a pretty wide Google search, and D&M seemed like the only likely candidate.

    On a separate note I personally found the quartz conversions that I saw on several cars to be sort of odd with their one-tick-per-second action.

    Has anyone ever seen a conversion that attempted to mimic the rapid-tick (more like four-ticks-per-second) of the original mechanical movement?
     
  17. TTR

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    I do not wish to single out any, but in 30+ years have done business with* and recently contacted most of the “usual suspects” and none were willing to consider anything other than “conversion”, as indicated in my OP.

    I’ve since decided to try service the OEM movements myself and if not successful, I can always have them “converted”.

    * I even used to do subcontract jobs for and had direct access to equipment/facilities/parts/etc in one of the oldest automotive instrument shops in the U.S., but unfortunately due to over-expansion and questionable business management they closed doors over a decade ago.
     
  18. Edward 96GTS

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    the tricky part is removing the chrome ring without destroying it. i think replacement rings are available.
     
  19. Jumprun

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    Could you please share the source for the replacement rings?
     
  20. Lowell

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    Moma is very good for gauges. I have used them.

    They had no ability to fix clocks as of about ten years ago.
     
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  21. JP365

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    I have never given a car clock to Father Time Antiques, but they have done several vintage watches and clocks for me. They are howlingly expensive, but they are the best in Chicago. Can’t guarantee they would do a Veglia clock, but I have complete trust in their quality of work. Their number is 773-880-5599.
    https://fathertimeantiques.com/index.php
     
  22. Motob

    Motob Formula 3
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    We have sent original electric Veglia clocks to all of the gauge repair shops (Moma, North Hollywood Speedometer, and Palo Alto Speedometer). They will work for "some days" as the Italians say, but they all stop working after a few months to a few years.

    If you look at the clock movement and how it functions, you will see that it is just an electric motor that works against a spring. With it off, there is a electrical contact that powers the motor against the spring. When you connect power to it, the contact causes the motor to turn against the spring. After the armature moves, the contact is broken, and the spring returns the armature to its resting place where it again hits the electrical contact. The power is then sent to the armature causing the whole process to start over again. The main problem is that the electrical contact is very sensitive to dirt/corrosion/adjustment.

    We have had multiple clocks that have been repaired, only to not work after having been shipped back. So they are sensitive enough to be damaged just due to shipping. Some repair guys have said that the clocks work fine if you just give them a quick flick of wrist to get the movement started. That might work fine when you are bench testing the clock, but it is very difficult to give the whole car a quick flick of the wrist once the clock is installed in the dash.

    Some people did not like the first quartz clock conversions because the second hand did not move with a click, but rather a constant movement.
    The quartz conversion that is done by Palo Alto Speedometer now has a second hand that moves in a ticking manner, just like the original. You cannot tell the difference between one of their conversions and an original, except that I have never had one of their quartz movements stop working.

    I totally believe in keeping old technology things (like Marelli distributors with mechanical points) as original as possible, but after having sent in the same Veglia clock (which has an electric movement, just not quartz) for repair for the third time, I threw in the towel and went for the quartz conversion. After seeing the quality of the conversion, I will never go back to trying to repair an original electrical movement.

    On the earlier Veglia clocks that have a wind up mechanical movement, I would never convert them to an electrical/quartz movement, but they don't have the same issues as the electric Veglia clocks.

    Brian Brown
    San Francisco Motorsports
     
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  23. gcalex

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    Yup, in my case, I tweaked my clock "right on the edge". Often the act of setting the time "jiggles" things enough to get the movement going, but on some occasions, a few hard taps with a finger nail are needed; good thing the lens is real glass... :)

    Wow, ok, so you are saying that in response to my query earlier in the thread, you would say "yes, Palo Alto's conversion ticks 4-times-per-second"?

    When I talked to them about my clock, they said "the pattern of ticks is different", and I assumed that they meant theirs had the same 1-time-per-second pattern that I often saw when I looked at cars that I was inspecting.
     
  24. TTR

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    Thank you very much Brian.
    This is the kind of feedback/reply I was hoping for, based on extensive(?) firsthand experience.
    While mine is likely a lot less than yours, I too have had gauges/instruments repaired/restored by all aforementioned vendors, along with D & M and couple of others to varying degree of extent and results.
    And as I mentioned earlier, I’ve repaired/serviced some myself, including few that had not faired well or maintained their settings during return shipping, etc.
     
  25. Edward 96GTS

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    my last clock repair lasted 10 yrs. original just needed cleaning. maybe periodic maintenance is not unreasonable, just like a fine watch.
     
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  26. TTR

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    ... or just like any other mechanical apparatus, be it a household appliance, daily driver, excavator or shop equipment. Even the kitchen knives need to be sharpened occasionally/periodically.
    Unfortunately, most classic/collectible/vintage vehicles don't seem to receive such respect from their owners, even and perhaps specifically after extensive/full restorations.
    Most just end up becoming subjected to (slow) "death by storage" mentality, often carried over by subsequent owners.
     
  27. Colin Angell

    Colin Angell Karting

    Jun 17, 2004
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    Slightly off topic, I have experienced the usual Veglia clock problems, which included damaging the bezel whilst getting it apart. I couldn't find a replacement at the time so ended up making one. I started by turning the inside diameters and then making an expanding collet to hold it so I could turn the outside (they are very thin!). I cut a series of tabs on the back edge, which were much easier to tuck around the back of the clock case on reassembly. I made it in mild steel and then plated it. Image Unavailable, Please Login Image Unavailable, Please Login Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  28. John Vardanian

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    Bravo Colin! This work is to be appreciated.
    How did you make the notches?

    john
     

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