American PW Decisions, decisions. There's glue in my Gruen

Discussion in 'Watch Repair' started by saskjoe, Mar 20, 2015.

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  1. saskjoe

    saskjoe Registered User

    Dec 1, 2011
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    #1 saskjoe, Mar 20, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2015
    Oh brother, I bought a group lot of fixer uppers, and the 552 rss Gruen turns out to have inteIrnals smothered in green rubbery glue. I got it mostly clean but the hairspring is still partially glued and somewhat mangled. The balance refused to spin freely and I found the face side balance hole jewel to be worn out as well as both cap jewels. I lost the balance cock hole jewel during blow drying. The estimate for the parts needed from
    Perrins is $50 for jewel sets and $50 for the hairspring. I'd love to see the thing run again, but I can't justify the costs.
     
  2. Nedredbeard

    Nedredbeard Registered User

    Mar 7, 2015
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    thats crazy talk. those movements (i believe) are standard 1686 base calibers. very common watch. parts are everywhere. $100 for those parts is out of line. snap a picture of the plates just so I can make sure i'm not thinking of a different watch.
     
  3. saskjoe

    saskjoe Registered User

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    Thanks for the reply. That 1686 no. is right. I'm away from home for the day, so I can't upload a pic anytime soon, but from what I've seen online it is a very common movement.
     
  4. saskjoe

    saskjoe Registered User

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    Does anyone have a suggestion as to where I can find these parts
    for a cheaper price? As much as I'd like to fix this watch, $100 really grinds
    my gears. Also, would a fiberglass pen be a good tool to clean the remnants of
    green goop stuck between the escape wheel leaves? Even soaking in brake cleaner won't loosen that stuff. Thanks.
     
  5. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Sounds like a WD 40 lube job, Joe. They say a fresh coat of WD 40 will loosen the old crap, making cleanup easier with your ultrasonic.
     
  6. Nedredbeard

    Nedredbeard Registered User

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    Ok, I cant take it anymore. send me private message with your address and i'll sent you a complete one. I think I have at least 30 of these things.
     
  7. saskjoe

    saskjoe Registered User

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    #7 saskjoe, Mar 23, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2015
    Message sent! And thanks Harold for the WD 40 tip. I will give it a try. I don't own an ultrasonic as of yet. Seems like I'm going to need one though--not just for this watch, but also for other project clocks and watches.
     
  8. psfred

    psfred Registered User

    Sep 25, 2009
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    Green goo sounds more like Solo-lube than WD-40. The latter turns into something like rubber cement with age (it contains fish oil) and can be a real pain, but it does come off nicely with methylene chloride (aka liquid paint stripper, although you need to watch for strippers containing caustic as they are very corrosive).

    Solo-lube was one of the first "spray clean and lube one step" cleaners, and it's truly horrible stuff. Alcohol sometimes takes it off, try rubbing alcohol or denatured, but don't clean the balance or pallet, as the stone will usually come loose. MEK will get some of it off, too.

    This sort of produce used to drive typewriter repair people crazy too, as they get everywhere and cause endless trouble when they go bad. Nothing like scraping goo out of the typebar slots on a full sized typewriter....

    Peter
     
  9. saskjoe

    saskjoe Registered User

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    I've never heard of Solo lube, but it is definitely rubber-like residue. Most of it's off, except for in the EW pinion leaves. Now I've got a Waltham 18s, also with the winding/ setting works jammed up with green goo. This stuff smells more like automotive rear axle hypoid lube. Both are local watches, so maybe someone was on a repair campaign, lol.
     
  10. MINI

    MINI Registered User

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    I think I've used that Solo-Lube stuff on the chain drive of my garage door....
     
  11. psfred

    psfred Registered User

    Sep 25, 2009
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    It might be OK on a garage door opener, but it's not good for watches.

    There are a number of "one step" clean and lubricate products out there, and they are all junk. They consist of oil of some sort dissolved in a hydrocarbon based solvent, the idea being you can simply take the movement out of the case, remove hands and dial, and soak in the "one step" to remove dirt and assorted lint, etc. The oil remaining after the solvent dries is supposed to lubricate the watch without taking it apart.

    Copious quantities of WD-40 is also a common "repair" when someone thinks a watch needs to be "oiled", leaving a rubbery mess.

    Solo-Lube was one of the first of these products, mid 60's I'd say at a guess, since that was when the "spray clean and lube" stuff started to appear for typewriters too. It's particularly bad because the residual oil turns into hard green crud that appears to be able to survive a direct thermo-nuclear explosion. Nasty stuff indeed, and it gets into cap jewels, too.

    Peter
     
  12. unreformed66

    unreformed66 Registered User
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    Mar 28, 2015
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    I've run into this crap more times than I care to remember. As far as I can tell it is indeed the remnants of "one-step" cleaning processes and is exceptionally difficult to deal with. When I was in business I wouldn't take a watch with this stuff in it in for repair, it was simply too much work with no guarantee of good results no matter how good my work was. I had decent results soaking all the parts in plain old naptha for a few days and then quickly running them through the cleaning machine before the crud could dry back up, but even that didn't work over 80% of the time. I'd like to put my foot in the butt of whoever developed and marketed that stuff.
     
  13. saskjoe

    saskjoe Registered User

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    I'd never run into this problem before, and then I get two in a row. In addition to gumming up the works, the stuff glued the mainspring winding works down and made letting the mainsprings down very difficult. It also glued the Waltham balance cock down. I had to work a razor blade under it to break it free. With the watch reassembled and the green cleaned away the balance staff has no endplay. No need to worry though, as I've read most of the posts on fixing that. Thank goodness the lube didn't get into the pivots and cogs, on the Waltham at least.
     
  14. unreformed66

    unreformed66 Registered User
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    And all of those crappy products were produced in the name of "increased efficiency and increased profits". I've seen old ads for Solo-lube and similar products and they all touted the advantages of not having to take the watch apart and that you could turn out more jobs in a day and make more profit. You were supposed to remove the balance and any incabloc jewels and that was pretty much it. I don't know how they ever ran a year after being done that way. There are a lot of "watchmakers" out there today who only partially disassemble the movement and count on their ultrasonic cleaner to do the work for them.
     

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