GERALD´S CADILLACS


WWW.ELDORADO-SEVILLE.COM

1974 CADILLAC DIGITAL ROTARY DRUM CLOCK REPAIR AND SERVICE

I'm working on my 74 over the winter and just replaced the heater core. Today I took out the clock as it was so easily accessible while the dash was apart.
The clock still works on warm summer days or when the heat is on, but it can get stuck from time to time and does not work on colder days at all.
Its a clear sign that it needs a good cleaning and some fresh oil. My guess is that it was never serviced as the car is a low mileage beauty which was stored for longer periods of time.
While I have successfully brought some regular clocks from 1958 to 1967 back to life in the past , I have never worked on a digital rotating drum clock before, and somehow I can't find any information on the internet about it...
I have already showed it to the clockmaker in my town and asked if he could service it, but he did not even want to touch it...

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The removed clock out of my 74.
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The 1974 Cadillac clocks were produced by General Time Corp. They were used up to 1978, but 1978 had different connectors on the back.

I contacted the excellent Cadillac La Salle Club forum and got valuable tips on how these clocks can be serviced by oneself.
Unfortunately these tips came a little late as I had already sent out the clock to a professional clock restorer in the USA. A company called "The Clockworks" will do the service for me. I cant wait to get the clock back hopefully by the end of February 2016.

Nevertheless here are the instructions on how the clock could be repaired by user "Aprules2" who was so kind to take pictures and upload them to the CLC forum:
All pictures and description © Aprules2



"OK, I finally got around to getting some pictures for you. The clock is super simple, nothing like what you're used to. I apologize that its dirty I apparently took it apart, cleaned and oiled it and never put it back together and it sat in my tool box all this time.So this is a picture of the front of the clock - this part wont come off.edgeOnce this case is open you'll be able to see this. This is the black cover that protects the clock motor. Just carefully get under that silver ring and work it off so you can remove the cover.edgeNow you'll be looking at this that thin round piece standing in the middle is what I was calling the little record - thats actually the armature of the motor. Try not to get any oil on it but it's not the end of the world if you do. Just drip some on the ends of the shaft it rides on and put a bunch on any gear you see including the one on the end of the shaft the record rides on. If you do get oil on the armature just wipe it carefully with a q tip with rubbing alcohol on it.edgeHeres another shot of the motor that round brown part is what I called the record.edgeMake sure to really oil these gears you want to try and get oil on every tooth you see. This isn't like the old school mechanical clocks that wont run right with too much oil. These seem to run better when oiled.edgeHeres the back side of the clock put a liberal amount of oil between each reel, and you'll notice the real with the seconds on it has a gear built into it try to oil all those teeth too. Sometimes once it's running Ill dribble some on while it rotates.edgeOnce you've done all that plug it in with it still apart. If it doesn't start instantly, give the clock a slight shake or GENTLY roll the record just to get it started, it should start spinning and your clock will now keep time. I usually leave it to run all night, and if it stops in the middle of the night I add some oil and restart it. Im pretty sure it's the same issue as most old mechanical clocks and watches the oil dries up and becomes sticky and because the motor has very little torque it cant keep the clock running. But adding the slot car oil loosens it up, its just got to migrate through all the friction points. So it's not uncommon to have it stop 2 or 3 times, before it starts running reliably, which is why I like to bench test them. "


Thank you Aprules2 for this great description - whenever I need to service another clock like this in the future I will definitely do it myself.

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1967 CADILLAC BORG CLOCKS REPAIR AND A PROBLEM WITH A PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD.


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The 1967/1968 Cadillac Westclox clock out of my 67 Eldorado.


The last time I tried to repair the clock in my 67 Cadillac DeVille I totally failed. This was in 1998…
After I got the clocks in all the other Cadillacs moving again - I could no longer stand watching the dead clocks in my 67 Eldorado and DeVille.
So I decided to try to repair them as well.
The last repair attempt at my 67 Eldorado was very disappointing.

In 1998 I took the clock out of my 67 DeVille the last time, and after my repair attempt the hands started spinning in an extremely fast pace - like a ventilator. So I had to disconnect the power to the clock at the printed circuit at the back of the instrument cluster. When I did that I forgot to disconnect the battery and when the power feed touched some metal I had a short somewhere and some smoke came out of the dash… I could not locate where the smoke was coming from - all wires looked perfect. So I just insulated the clock coil power feed and gave up on the repair and forgot about what had happened.
As I found out now - some connection of the printed circuit board got burned back then…

After the failed repair of the 67 Eldorados clock last fall, I decided to try to find a good used clock. Once again Arizona Vintage Parts - my favorite source for parts - came to the rescue. He sold me two non working Borg clocks for a really good price. Unfortunately by now he has run out of stock for them.

So I tried to repair the clocks he sent me - appearance wise they were in very good condition, and I got one back to life for a short time by just cleaning it.
So I put it back into the car and then I made a stupid mistake and ruined it completely. I wanted to tighten the mounting screws and accidentally grabbed the connector for the coil - as you have to work inside the dash without being able to see what you are doing - and so I overtightened it… This stripped the threads of the coil… I had to cut the nut off then and somehow the oscillator wheel inside the mechanism did no longer work properly and when I tried to adjust the stepper it broke off :-(
BTW - Do not use WD40 for cleaning and lubricating a clock like I did… This will ruin the clock as I found out when it was already too late… There are special clock oils available to lubricate clocks.

The other clock I got had a defective oscillator wheel and I could not repair it as well…
So I contacted Arizona Vintage Parts once again for some new clocks but he had sold all his stock on clocks to Sweden…

I had to contact all the Cadillac Parts dealers I found in Hemmings Motor News for two Borg clocks, but I was unsuccessful or they were exorbitantly expensive. Some of the well known Cadillac Parts dealers either did not have them, did not react to my inquiries or asked up to $ 385.- for a used, rebuilt clock. Others asked up to $180.- for a non working clock.

Luckily I found a company called “The Clockworks" which was highly recommended on some Cadillac and other classic car forums for their good work in repairing clocks and also converting them to a quartz movement.
Everybody seems to recommend to convert your clock to a much more reliable and cheaper quartz movement. I thought about it for a while but I decided that I wanted to go for an original movement for authenticity reasons. If you convert to quartz the "tic-toc" movement will be gone and you can tell by just looking at the clock…

I ordered two rebuilt Borg clock movements for my clocks from "The Clockworks". Their service was excellent and they were a great help. Great customer service! I would buy from them again or have my clocks rebuilt by them anytime.

After I received the movements I installed them and put everything back together. You have the keep the adjustment stem and the housing from your old clocks if you replace the movement.
When I put the clock back into the 67 DeVille it did not work though. I soon found out that no power was coming to the coil through the printed circuit board.
I then remembered about my failed repair attempt 17 years ago and the smoke that came out of the dash… Somewhere the circuit board was burned. So I connected the orange cable going into the multiple terminal connector at #7 terminal to the clock directly and it worked again.
So I installed a cable directly to the clock. This is a temporary fix until I´ll have a new circuit board. Installing a new board requires to take the dash completely apart to replace it.

A printed circuit board is available new here: https://www.opgi.com/cadillac/CE11091/


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The 1967 Cadillac Westclox clock out of my 67 Eldorado. Seen from the top with the clock face removed. The clock face on the Westclox is mounted differently than on the Borg.
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The 1967 Cadillac Borg clock. The housing cover in place - as you can see it looks completely different than the one on the Westclox.
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The 1967 Cadillac Borg clock out of my 67 DeVille.
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The Borg replacement clock I got from Arizona Vintage Parts.
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The Borg replacement clock I got from Arizona Vintage Parts - this is the original movement removed from the housing.
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The rebuilt Borg movement I got from "The Clockworks"
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There is a difference in the second arms: On the left the one from a Borg Clock - on the right one from a Westclox. They are not interchangeable. Also the housing of the clocks is different. You cant interchange parts between these two clock types.

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I repainted the setting stem in semi gloss black.

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The 1967 Cadillac printed circuit. The one for the Eldorado is slightly different though.

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