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  1. #1
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    Default How to install mainspring 8 Day T&S

    I have a cheap 8 Day T&S clock learning how to clean the clock and lubricating the spring. I am working from two books (The clock repair primer - Balcomb & Clock Repair Basics - Conover). These are both great books and I learned a lot. I am still a bit confused on installing a new mainspring to the great wheel arbor. The big question I have is whether I need to adjust the spring to secure it around the hook on the arbor. The Balcomb book states that "Main springs are partially wound and restrained at the factory and are usually ready for installation in the movement".

    I have recently taken apart this clock and removed the springs to lubricate them. The clock went back together fine per the instructions from both books. Both springs were wound and the clock was working when the spring on the Time Great Wheel sprung loose. I dissembled the clock and looked at the spring and it appears defective so I have another one on order. I am not sure why this spring disengaged unless the click was stuck. But now when I rewind that spring there is a major gap in the center of the spring making me think it is defective. Attached is a picture of this potentially bad spring.

    Please let me know if this springs appears bad and if I need to adjust the spring when mounting it to the Great Wheel Arbor hook. How much play can there be between the hole in the spring and the hook on the arbor? Also is there a special needle nose plier for adjusting this?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. I am learning about clocks and having much joy with this hobby.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails mainspring.jpg  

  2. #2
    Registered User LaBounty's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to install mainspring 8 Day T&S (RE: dalesr)

    Hi Dalesr-

    I have a screwdriver which I have ground the edges off, so the sides are round, and use that to wedge into the inner coils to properly shape them. You should just barely be able to insert the arbor into the inner loop of the mainspring. If it goes on too loose, the arbor hook might not catch the hole in the mainspring an you won't be able to wind it up. Too tight isn't a problem .

  3. #3
    Forums Administrator harold bain's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to install mainspring 8 Day T&S (RE: LaBounty)

    Dale, this is a problem that you will also run into with new mainsprings, so before your new spring comes, practice with the old one at reforming the center coils to catch the arbor hook. Often, when removing the spring from the arbor, it is necessary to bend the spring slightly to release it from the hook. You then have to bend it again to re-hook it.
    harold bain, Member ch 33
    "If it won't "tick",
    let me "tock" to it"

  4. #4
    Registered User Scottie-TX's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to install mainspring 8 Day T&S (RE: harold bain)

    As LAB writes - I form the innermost coil undersized so much that arbor must be forced into it. The arbor is pushed into that coil such that the hook can pass thru the small gap left by the unclosed coil. Now hook MUST catch.

  5. #5

    Default Re: How to install mainspring 8 Day T&S (RE: dalesr)

    dal,

    Look closely at the hook also before you fit the spring. There are many different types of hooks but, no matter what type, it should stick out far enough to go completely through the hole, plus enough to see on the other side. And, it should have a keen edge with 'draw', that is the leading edge should not be rounded and have enough of an angle to pull the edge of the spring's hole toward the center. With experience, it will take only a quick glance to say the hook is safe, but until you gain more experience it might be good to study this area closely and also look at some repair book pictures.

    If the hook is poor, no amount of care fitting the mainspring will help.

    A spring that has uneven coils (like in your picture) might be OK. The odd bends might be due to the sudden unwinging from a failed hook, or click.

    You can stretch the spring out straight to examine it, to see if the odd curve is caused by a crack or a series of cracks. Uneven coils are a good indicator that something is wrong. Don't try to straighten the inner 3 or 4 coils though, best to leave them alone except for the adjustments mentioned by David to fit the innermost coil on the arbor.

    Good luck, Willie X

  6. #6

    Default Re: How to install mainspring 8 Day T&S (RE: Willie X)

    Get yourself a cheap loop end mainspring winder from Timesavers. Part number 13473 ($7.00). It will make your life a lot easier You may have to enlarge the center hole to fit your main wheel arbor, but that's ok to do. You'll also need some clamps (20082 - $6.00) or some wire to tie off the springs when fully wound.

  7. #7
    Registered User Kevin W.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: How to install mainspring 8 Day T&S (RE: shutterbug)

    Dalesr what did you use when you first put your mainsprings in your movement? What kind of winder?
    One clock at a time. Kevin West
    http://www.global-horology.com/GHMB/

  8. #8
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    Default Re: How to install mainspring 8 Day T&S (RE: Kevin W.)

    Thank you all for the advice on installing a mainspring and the importance of securing inner loop with arbor to prevent hook from disengaging. I will try the screw driver with rounded edges and test on my existing spring. I am using Joe Collins spring winder which works great.

    I will examine my spring for cracks and not straighten out the last three or four inner coils. I am concerned that my mainspring has uneven coils and did order a replacement.

  9. #9
    Registered User Kevin W.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: How to install mainspring 8 Day T&S (RE: dalesr)

    Dalesr you have a good winder then.You will gain more experience and with the help here ,main springs will be easier for you to install.
    Ask questions anytime you need help.that is what we like to do, help people.
    One clock at a time. Kevin West
    http://www.global-horology.com/GHMB/

  10. #10

    Default Re: How to install mainspring 8 Day T&S (RE: Kevin W.)

    Sorry Dale. I thought it sounded like you were installing the spring into the movement with it expanded. Not impossible, but a pain in the butt

  11. #11
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    Default Clock running slow (RE: shutterbug)

    I am learning on a 8 Day Time & Strike clock which costs about $50 dollars. I have taken the clock apart, oiled and adjusted strike. The clock strikes on the right hour and 1/2 hour but the clock is running very slow. I have adjusted the pendulum to its highest height and still slow. Within 5 hours the clock is already 45 minutes out of time. I did have a problem with the Time mainspring where the click spring was loose and the mainspring unwinded rapidly. I did order a replacement but still able to use old spring even though it is slightly deformed. The question I have is what can cause this clock to run slow. The leader to hang the pendulum was not shortened. I just bent the leader to hang the pendulum.

    Can my mainspring cause this slowness or should I be shortening the leader where the pendulum connects to?

  12. #12

    Default Re: How to install mainspring 8 Day T&S (RE: dalesr)

    If the leader has not been changed, it's not the problem. If it has been, sure, shortening it (or switching it out) would work. I think a pic of the movement from both sides (including leader and pendulum) would help us advise you.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: How to install mainspring 8 Day T&S (RE: shutterbug)

    This is a new clock with leader that has not been adjusted. I thought I just had to make a loop to hang pendulum. Attached is a picture of clock with leader and pendulum.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 8 Day clock pendulum view.jpg  

  14. #14

    Default Re: How to install mainspring 8 Day T&S (RE: dalesr)

    Oh, just a typical suspension spring. Sure, you can cut that shorter and put a new bend in it. You'd be safe with 3/4" for the first cut, then go slower.
    I'd set the pendulum adjustment back to the middle position, then when you get close you'll be able to go either way. Another option is to wrap a rubber band several times around the wire and hook your bob to it with a paper clip. You can move the band up and down, and when you get the regulation where you want it, put your bend right where the paper clip hooks onto the bob. It will be very close to where you need it.
    Last edited by shutterbug; 10-07-2009 at 05:02 PM.

  15. #15
    Registered User Kevin W.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: How to install mainspring 8 Day T&S (RE: shutterbug)

    I am not clear on what kind of a 8 day clock case this came from.Looks like a gingerbread movement.Is it possible the complete pendulum rod is too long?
    Maybe i am not cluing into the actual problem here.
    One clock at a time. Kevin West
    http://www.global-horology.com/GHMB/

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