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Kienzle Westminster chime problem

Weight Driven

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May 24, 2004
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Hope I can get some guidance with this problem. I have a Kienzle Westminster chime bracket clock, ca 1910 that has a problem with the quarter hour chime mechanism. I have taken apart, cleaned/polished pivots, rebushed where I felt it necessary and put in new mainsprings. The time side and hour strike side work great but the chime side is sluggish and at times, struggles to go through it's paces and I'll have to help the wheels along to go through the cycle. I checked the endshake and that appears to be ok, nothing pinching. I have not even put on the chime hammers and roller so this will even add more strain to the chime side. My question is has anyone else had similar problems with the Kienzle westminster chime clocks and if so, what solution fixed the problem? Thanks for any help with this issue.
 

shutterbug

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Hope I can get some guidance with this problem. I have a Kienzle Westminster chime bracket clock, ca 1910 that has a problem with the quarter hour chime mechanism. I have taken apart, cleaned/polished pivots, rebushed where I felt it necessary and put in new mainsprings. The time side and hour strike side work great but the chime side is sluggish and at times, struggles to go through it's paces and I'll have to help the wheels along to go through the cycle. I checked the endshake and that appears to be ok, nothing pinching. I have not even put on the chime hammers and roller so this will even add more strain to the chime side. My question is has anyone else had similar problems with the Kienzle westminster chime clocks and if so, what solution fixed the problem? Thanks for any help with this issue.
Sure sounds like a power loss. I'd suspect a bent pivot toward the top of the train. Watch the pivot holes as it runs and you'll probably spot it.
 

Mike Phelan

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Dec 17, 2003
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What David says is very common on most makes of this sort.
Also, did you clean and lubricate the new springs? What looks like grease on them when bought is just for protection.

Another problem is caused when lubricating the hammer pivots on the rod - they should be dry.
 

Weight Driven

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thanks guys for the replies. I have taken this thing apart so many times now that doing it once more should not be a problem, like the soldier taking his rifle apart and putting it back together in the dark. I will check again the pivots and barrel holes. Mike, I did clean and oil the mainspring before installation so that should not be the problem. Wish me luck.
 

harold bain

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If nothing else is found, possibly you need a stronger spring.
 

Weight Driven

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Harold, when you go for a stronger mainspring, do you mean longer, thicker or both? When I replace mainsprings I usually just replace with what was in it beforehand.
 

harold bain

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Thicker would give you the extra strength. I recently had this problem on a Westminster, and a few thou thicker made a big difference in performance.
 

Mike Phelan

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With nearly all these clocks, especially modern ones with smaller barrels, there is barely enough power for the chime train, so the least thing will stop it.
I'm not an advocate of altering the original dimensions of the spring, but if all else fails ...
 

oldticker

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A thicker (stronger) spring will take up more room in the barrel. The only problem is it just may not run for the full 8 days but worth a try if it's only a tad thicker.

Did you put the new spring in with a winder?
 

doug sinclair

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Might one of the new bushings be a bit off center? I think you need to put the wheels on the chime train into the clock in pairs, spin them, and look for binding. With power up and a chime train that "seizes", start at the top, at the fly, and work downward, and look for "backlash" between each wheel and pinion. This will tell you whether there is power toward the top end. As you move down through the train, you may eventually come to the gear that is bound up. The problem is likely between that gear and the one that is driving it.

If the plates are thicker than the pivots are in length, is there a chance you might have missed bushing a worn hole? You said you bushed the holes "you thought needed doing", but might you have missed one? Using a stronger spring is not the answer if you are overlooking a problem elsewhere.
 

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