Help With Ansonia 5 Movement

Savageblunder

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Nov 10, 2019
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Hi clock gurus. This clock is turning out to be a headache. As you can see, it’s an Ansonia mantel type with an open escapement. First, when I got the clock the suspension spring was mutilated & just snapped. Replaced with a new suspension spring - OK there.

Then, one of the gears in the strike train was spinning / stripped on its arbor. It was the gear that meshes with the lock wheel. Loctite fixed that. Then during reassembly, the strike train spring suddenly just snapped. When it broke, it broke teeth on the lock wheel for the strike train. Installed a used spring and wheel from a similar movement.

Got everything back together and of course strike train just strikes and runs continuously - doesn’t lock - even though I timed the gears as recommended. I’m convinced this will be an issue for me with every single clock no matter what now. So, play around with re-timing it and and try to get strike train to lock on its own.

It seems as though lock arm that stops strike train in lock wheel may have become bent a hair when spring broke somehow. Bent it slightly and was able to get strike train to work correctly. Yay.

Put movement back in clock. Everything works and surprisingly keeps accurate time off the bat. Of course, another issue arises - this one slight. What’s going on now is gong strikes reliably; but always when minute hand is about 4 mins either past the hour or half hour. In other word, minute hand has to go to about 9:04 before it will release strike train to strike 9 times.

On this clock, the minute hand sits on its arbor and has a rectangular cut out to “time” it. So, no real adjustment to just simply move the minute hand. Hand is not bent left or right. Hand is held on with a dowel or cotter pin looking rod that goes through a hole in the arbor that turns the hand.

I haven’t ran into this before or pulled the movement back out and hoping it’s a simple fix; other than to just live with the gong being a few mins off from the time:???:

Initially, when I got the clock, gong strike was very weak. Just quiet. So, I bent the gong hammer rod to try to rectify this. It just has a tiny little swing before it hits the gong. I may have improved it a hair; but wondering if this has something to do with what’s going on now. I doubt it; but gong is still very quiet but audible.

I’m OK with the gong how it is, but thinking something may be not quite right or slightly bent. Obviously; if I bend the lever that connects to the gong hammer back too far - it won’t strike the gong.

I included all the back story because I’m guessing whatever is going on with the strike train being off from the time has something to do with something I touched or disturbed in the process. The clock face is clocked straight how it should be. No adjustment there.

Any ideas? E689F8C2-0A7C-4D70-89C2-279B7FB548C1.png
 

bangster

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You should be able to relocate the minute hand arbor gear one tooth one way or the other to cure the pointer problem.
 

Savageblunder

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Nov 10, 2019
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I’m gu
You should be able to relocate the minute hand arbor gear one tooth one way or the other to cure the pointer problem.
I’m guessing you have to pull the plates apart for this... ? My concern would be; how to you know what’s the right tooth - since they get all out of wack once you split the plates?
 

R. Croswell

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Savage, The position of the minute hand at strike is not corrected by any gear mesh adjustment and is normally not considered adjustable on this model. The first diagnostic step is to flip the minute hand over and confirm that the strike is still late by the same amount. This will confirm your observation that the hand is not bent. Yours should be similar to the Ansonia in the pictures below. On the center shaft there is a brass piece with two steel pins, one for the hour and one for the half-hour. There should also be a lever as shown in the other picture that's mounted between the plates. These two steel pins play with that lever to cause the strike to start as the lever drops off of the pin. There are two things that come to mind that could cause the problem of delayed striking; one, the lever has gotten bent, two, the brass piece with the two steel pins has slipped (or been removed and reinstalled incorrectly). This brass piece is pressed on and I think you should be able to twist it just a hair to advance its position 4 minutes. It will move a little easier if you heat it for 2 or 3 seconds before attempting to move it. It is unlikely that the spring busting caused this problem. Best to do this adjustment with just the center shaft and lever and the other parts removed.

As for the weak strike sound. Make sure that your replacement spring isn't unwinding into the path of the strike hammer tail. There may have been a limiter pin to prevent the spring from uncoiling inward that was taken out by the exploding spring. If that isn't the problem, you may need to adjust the hammer stop to lower the hammer more (and then bend the hammer shaft away from the gong for 1/8" clearance. The goal of lowering the hammer is to raise the hammer tail piece so that it will engage the lift pin sooner and lift the hammer further before it drops - thus a louder sound. A word of caution here, if the strike train isn't timed exactly, sometimes the hammer will be left partly raised when the strike is finished. It is a common armature practice to reduce the hammer lift to avoid having to separate the plates to re-time the train to "fix" a hammer left raised problem. Yes the exploding spring could very easily have bent the hammer tail resulting in the shallow lift and weak sound.

RC

ansonia-strike-1.jpg ansonia-strike-2.jpg
 
Last edited:

Savageblunder

Registered User
Nov 10, 2019
52
11
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Gilbertsville PA
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Thank you. This seems very specific and the type of info I was looking for. I will play with it when I get a chance and report back when it’s fixed. I know the hand isn’t bent cuz I tried to already bend it a hair the other way and see if there was any way to compensate & there really isn’t that way.

I’m sure stuff got slightly bent. In my rather limited experience; it seems there is always a problem with the strike train with Ansonia. They seem built pretty well for what they are, but I’m happy to report my next clock will be a Regulator.
 

Savageblunder

Registered User
Nov 10, 2019
52
11
8
48
Gilbertsville PA
Country
And FYI if this may help anyone, I assumed all Ansonia arbors where the key goes to wind in these similar movements were the same diameter. That is not the case. I obtained a used spring / arbor / lock plate assembly to the gong side and tried to install it as received since it looked the same.

It wasn’t. After an hour + of fiddling and trying to figure why the plates would not go together I realized the arbor where the key goes was bigger and wouldn’t fit through the bushing on the plate. So, I had to switch the spring & lock wheel over time existing arbor with no spring winder tool - which was precarious; but I was successful
 
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