VW Camper Van Clock Quartz Repair / Conversion. (Smiths Clock T2 76-79 OE Style Black Face 12v AC957069)
I was asked to do this by a client. Its not that difficult to do but you will need:
- Mini or handheld angle grinder iwth thin disks
- An electronic quarts movement. Get long one with a 20mm spindle. It doest matter if its a bit larger or smaller by a mm or two. You
- A donor clock e.g. a 1970s plastic carriage clock from a charity shop – MUST have a ticking second hand.
- Araldite / epoxy ashesive or P38. I used araldite but wished Id gone for p38 car body filler.
- white spray paint (optional)
How to do it
- Uncrimp the brass ring on the edge of the clock with a small screwdriver. Just lift it enough so you can wrangle it off. If you bend it too much you will deform the edge of the brass that shows which is a bit of a bummer dude (hey your probably a surfer reading this article!)
- Remove the hands. These are friction fitted pulll off easily.These you are going to replace these although you can use the old ones if you need to. To use the old ones you will have to use your imagination a bit as they are guaged to fit a spindle that no longer comes as an option on modern movements. You WILL however keep the lovely orange ticking hand if you undertake this conversion.
- Take of the brass ring and glass plate as well as the inner ring and face.
- You will see the movement now. Take it out. It is fixed to the tin chasis at the back on a small solder point. Break this and just get the movement out.
- Angle grind the top layer of the jelly mould shaped casing. This creates a nice round hole to work with.
- Place blutak on the rear corners of the movment and put it in place so the that spindle is central to the face. Check this by putting the face on. You MUST align the movement to the “12 o clock” postion or it will suck.
- look at the back of the assembly. You will see the battery compartment slightly exposed and what you have to cut away to completely expose the compartment. You obviously need to be able to change the battery after all.
- Cut / add the battery hole and you should end up with something that looks like an arched door shape.
- You can leave the blu-tak in place for the next bit. You need to mix up the araldite adhesive and then pour it around the movment while avoiding getting any on the time adjustment wheel on the movement (or you will glue it in place and freeze the setting of your clock forever!).
- One its dried put the face on again and the black ring. You will notice the spindle is supporting the face. This is no good so cut movement shaped bits of carboard (with a hole for the spindle) and stack them on the front of the movement so that it sits on them as opposed to the spindle. Now glue all the layers together with impact adhesive. The last thing to apply glue to the rear of the face and then place it in position.
- Stick a small scredriver into the face plate holes for the two black headed face screws and then simply push them into thier holes. They will adhere with the glue thats soaked into the carboard beneath.
- Take the carriage clock you bought from a charity shop that has a seconds hand. You can see it fixes to the face by means of a small cylinder that fits on the seconds hand spiggot. You need just the tube so remove it with a mini angle grinder – you need to preserve as much of its length as you can.
- Remove the plastic insert in the original seconds hand that is encased in a spring on the base of the hand.
- Insert the spiggot tube you salvaged into the spring casing you now have free on the seconds hand.
- Your movment will have come with aluminium plain hands. These can be easily shortened and fashioned with a file or wet and dry paper so they look at least like the originals. You will need to spray paint them white or if you want to be flash, just off white like the originals.
- Lastly angle grind off the time changer in the glass in the face. You dont want the bar poking in to set the time anymore so just get rid of it as you will find sombody will push it and shear off the new hands you put on. You can superglue the outher knob on to keep the look.
- Put brass glass face on and you are done. One repaired and converted T2 76-79 OE.
If you cant be bothered with all this you can buy a new one for about £125, but as you can see from the price its time well spent refurbishing the clock. Also you get an accurate modern clock in the van.