1963-1982 Corvette Clock Quartz Rebuild

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Posted June 15, 2012 by Zip Corvette in Corvette Technical Articles
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The one common problem most 1963-1982 Corvettes have is a clock that does not work. These electric clocks all seem to self destruct or if they do work, they are so slow, you might as well not have a clock at all. The remedy for this is a Corvette Clock Quartz Movement Conversion. Our Project 64′s clock didn’t work so we called Zip Corvette Parts, 8067 Fast Lane, Mechanicsville, VA 23111, (800) 962-9632. They have a complete line of Quartz Movements for all 1963-1982 Corvettes. They also supplied us with the correct needle paint, bezel paint and a new lens to complete our project. The whole conversion takes about 2 to 3 hours, a little mechanical aptitude and a few tools, but having a clock that keeps accurate time is well worth the effort. Follow along as we convert our 64′s Corvette clock from the old electric movement to the modern Quartz movement.

Click on the images for expanded views – it’s much easier on the eyes. 
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Step 1

01: After you have removed your clock as per your Corvette shop manual’s instructions, you will need these tools and supplies for the conversion: Small pliers, needle nose pliers, flat blade screwdriver, 5/16″ nut driver, needle paint, paint brush, bezel paint, new clock lens and quartz movement.
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Step 2

02: Hold the set stem with a pair of pliers and unscrew the set stem knob counter-clockwise. You may have to hold the stem with one pair of pliers and twist off the set knob with another pair.
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Step 3

03: Use the flat blade screwdriver to open the crimped areas where the two halves of the clock housing come together. After they are open, carefully separate the two halves.
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Step 4

04: Take the nut driver and remove the power terminals so that you can remove the clock movement from the housing. Make a note as to how the terminals are aligned. When you re-assemble the clock, the terminals will have to be aligned as they were originally to accept the clock power source plug.
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Step 5

05: Carefully grab the clock hands underneath their hubs and remove them one at a time.
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Step 6

06: Now is a good time to polish and re-paint your Corvette’s clock hands. This way they will be dry when you re-assemble the clock. The needle paint is very thick so you will want to make your brush strokes in one pull on each side of the needle. This will eliminate unsightly brush strokes.
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Step 7

07: After the needles are removed, you can then remove the dial face. Carefully straighten the tabs and remove the face.
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Step 8

08: Remove the dial plate nuts or retainers and the grommets. (New retainers and grommets are provided.) Now you can remove the old movement.
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Step 9

09: You will need to remove and save the old minute wheel and hour wheel assemblies and washers.
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Step 10

10: Install the new dial plate grommets into the dial plate.
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Step 11

11: Install the minute wheel, new motion wheel, hour wheel, new idler wheel and hour washer onto the quartz movement as per the instructions. Make sure that the power terminal on the new quartz movement is the same as the old movement. Make sure that you use only the new color-coded gears that match the number of teeth in your old gears.
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Step 12

12: Install the movement onto the dial plate and fasten the movement with the retainers or dial plate nuts. Now re-align the dial face and bend the tabs over to secure the face to the dial plate.
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Step 13

13: Align the clock hands at twelve o’clock and carefully push them onto the center shaft. Hour hand first, minute hand second, second hand last.
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Step 14

14: We wanted to replace our lens and re-paint our bezel so we first had to separate the bezel from the clock housing. Use a flat bladed screwdriver to push in the bezel retaining tabs. After the bezel is separated from the housing, use a flat bladed screwdriver to carefully remove the inner clock finish bezel from the housing. Pry it up over the clock bezel tabs. After the inner bezel is removed, you can then remove the lens. If your bezel has a chrome edge, cover this with 1/8″ masking tape before you begin painting.
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Step 15

15: Now clean the bezel and then use a 3M scuff pad to prepare the surface for refinishing. Remember to clean the painted surface of the bezel with a tar and wax remover, PrepSol or acetone to remove any type of grease or silicone.
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Step 16

16: Zip Products provided us with the correct silver for our bezel. Spray this paint on in 2 or 3 light coats. This will give it the right appearance without any runs.
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Step 17

17: After the bezel has dried thoroughly, align your new lens into place and set it into place.
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Step 18

18: Set the housing half and clock inner bezel onto the mounting tabs. Place a flat bladed screwdriver between the two tabs and tap the top of the screwdriver firmly with your free hand. This will cause the housing and bezel to snap back over the mounting tabs.
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Step 19

19: Align the mounting tab on the housing and re-crimp the two halves back together.
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Step 20

20: Make sure the power terminals are aligned correctly to accept the power source plug.
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Step 21

21: Here is the finished Corvette clock completed and ready to be re-installed and you can say you did it yourself.
Quartz Clock Conversion: 1963-1982 Corvette Clock Rebuild

By: Greg Donahue
Photos by: Author

Source: Zip Corvette Parts
8067 Fast Lane | Mechanicsville, VA 23111 | (800) 962-9632


About the Author

Zip Corvette


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