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Seth Thomas 89 strike issue

Dave T

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Trying to diagnose an issue with this ST 89.

During the period of an 8 day wind, the strike count gets off count somewhere during the 8 day period. It might run for 2 or 3 days with no issue, and then I find that it strike the hour on the half hour, and might be 3 hours out of sync.
Then, it most likely will run the rest of the 8 day cycle with no issues.

I've got it on the bench to study it, and can't see any issues anywhere. I've advanced it manually through two 12 hour periods and it performs as it should.

According to the instructions in "Countwheel Basics", all of the components are operating properly.

The general health of the clock is good. It runs well and the strike cycle is prompt, smooth and steady.

How do I figure out the problem?
 

R. Croswell

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The first thing to check to to be sure the count lever blade is absolutely centered in the deep slots of the count wheel when the lever drops. Check this for every hour. There are several other possible causes but check this first.

RC
 
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Simon Holt

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Is this a countwheel movement? I guess so.

When it gets out of sync, has it missed one or more striking opportunities or has it run on after it should have stopped? I had a movement with the latter issue, and I had to use a CCTV camera so that I could catch it in the act. You can't spot the issue when manually advancing the time because then you are affecting the height of the minute shaft, which affects the amount of lift applied to the strike stop lever.

In my case, the stop lever was a tad too high to stop the strike train and a slight bend resolved the issue.

Simon
 

Dave T

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Thanks RC, The count wheel is what I first suspected. And I've been watching it carefully. But when you say "absolutely centered", it isn't.

However, the blade does move freely and does not touch either side of the wheel slot sides. BUT, it is closer to the front edge than the trailing edge.

So, I'll adjust that now and see what happens.
 

wow

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What RC said and check the thin points next to the 12 count for straightness. Those pins often get bent and it skips only at that point. Also check the cut off wire on the wheel next to the fly. When it catches the pin on that wheel it should be low enough to stop the wheel and not slip. You can bend it slightly downward if it is slipping occasionally. Let us know what you find.
Will
 

Dave T

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Simon, I think it's missing the count, but not sure.

RC, I just adjusted the count lever blade to get it properly centered in the wheel slots.

Will, I'll take a close look at the points you've itemized.

But right now, I think I need to wait to see if my lever blade adjustment has made a difference before I adjust anything else. That may take a couple of days!
 

Willie X

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Three more points:
• The count wheel's retainer is designed to apply friction to the count wheel's hub. No friction, no workie well, it can be inconsistent if loose.
• The helper springs may be misplaced or missing. There should be two.
• The wire lever that rides on the maintainance wheel can be badly worn, or out of place in the slot. It should be near the center
Just getting warmed up, Willie X
 

shutterbug

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It's really important to know if the count is behind or ahead of the hands. We are mostly just guessing at a cure until we know the symptoms.
 

Willie X

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• During the count, the count finger should rise 1/8" above the count wheel teeth. This will give a sufficient stroke to the stop lever when it engages/stops the warning wheel at the top.

• Also, 89s have a 'set backwards' feature. This requires the "J" hook to run close to the edge of it lifting wires on the minute hand shaft. If it's to close to the edge, of either wire, it can slip off and fail to strike intermittently.

• Check the action of the warning lever, the little wire that rises up and catches the warning wheel when it is released. It should be positioned so that it catches the warning pin about 1/8" from the tip of the lever as it rises. To close to the tip can cause a 'run on warn', or a 'jam', or 'eratic behaviour'.

OK, I'll stop for a while. :) Willie X
 

Dave T

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Good stuff Willie! And good to have you back. I've missed your advice.
As soon as I absorb all of this, I'll study my clock and see if I can get it straightened out.

Really appreciate this kind of help.
 

Dave T

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Three more points:
• The count wheel's retainer is designed to apply friction to the count wheel's hub. No friction, no workie well, it can be inconsistent if loose.
• The helper springs may be misplaced or missing. There should be two.
• The wire lever that rides on the maintainance wheel can be badly worn, or out of place in the slot. It should be near the center
Just getting warmed up, Willie X
Not sure about the count wheel retainer friction. And don't know how to check it without removing it?
The helper springs are there and look good to my eye. All the levers seem to be lifting properly.
The wire lever on the maintenance cam also looks okay to me.

I've got some pictures here but not sure they really show anything properly.
ST 89 just before warning.jpg Just before warning
ST 89 at warning 1.jpg At warning
ST 89 maintenance cam and lever at end of strike 1.jpg maintenance cam and lever
ST 89 J wire.jpg J wire
 

Dave T

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• During the count, the count finger should rise 1/8" above the count wheel teeth. This will give a sufficient stroke to the stop lever when it engages/stops the warning wheel at the top.

• Also, 89s have a 'set backwards' feature. This requires the "J" hook to run close to the edge of it lifting wires on the minute hand shaft. If it's to close to the edge, of either wire, it can slip off and fail to strike intermittently.

• Check the action of the warning lever, the little wire that rises up and catches the warning wheel when it is released. It should be positioned so that it catches the warning pin about 1/8" from the tip of the lever as it rises. To close to the tip can cause a 'run on warn', or a 'jam', or 'eratic behaviour'.

OK, I'll stop for a while. :) Willie X
During the count.... the count finger is rising about 1/8"

J hook.... I've got two pictures here of it on the hour and half hour at warning. Looks okay to me?
ST 89 J hook at warning half hour.jpg Half hour at warning
ST 89 J hook at warning hour.jpg On the hour at warn

I will study the warning lever a little more closely. I think that's where I might have an issue.
 

Willie X

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Back to RC's post #2.

The finger might be tipping the slot on the way down. It's not going in straight, needs to go in radially.

Most of my 6 remedies are fairly uncommon.

RC's is by far the most common. Check for proper entry of the count finger at all the single teeth around the wheel, as WOW already mentioned in post #5. Your clock has a bunch of single teeth. In my estimation, a bent tooth would be the 2nd most common trouble with the ole count wheel striker.

So, first things first. Work with the number one and two remedies first. They kinda go together. Even if it takes weeks of testing, before moving on to the other stuff.

It's always best to actually locate the problem and say "that's the problem that's been driving me crazy for the last two weeks"!!! The 'shotgun' approach is not a good way to learn how to troubleshoot a clock.

Willie X
 

Dave T

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I think I've found the problem. The other day I thought I had found it in a pre-warning condition. And I bumped the movement and the warning wheel released.

So, just now I've found it in the same pre-warning condition. ie: it didn't go into warning.
And when the clock is in end of strike the lever for the warning wheel sits fairly deep against the pin on the warning wheel.

I believe I need to adjust the lever upward slightly. Maybe a millimeter.
 

Dave T

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What RC said and check the thin points next to the 12 count for straightness. Those pins often get bent and it skips only at that point. Also check the cut off wire on the wheel next to the fly. When it catches the pin on that wheel it should be low enough to stop the wheel and not slip. You can bend it slightly downward if it is slipping occasionally. Let us know what you find.
Will
I think this confirms the problem I just posted. But what I see is that the wire is not lifting high enough to let it go into warn.

I have noticed that the count lever blade is not exactly parallel to the slots in the count wheel, but I've studied each of the tips on the count wheel, and watched it through the whole 12 hour period. And I'm sure the tip of the count lever blade does not touch any of them. I will however, adjust it so that it is parallel just to be sure it's not a problem.
 

shutterbug

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The warning lever has to fall when the J hook falls off the riser. It might be sticking in the up position once in awhile.
 

Dave T

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I think this confirms the problem I just posted. But what I see is that the wire is not lifting high enough to let it go into warn.

I have noticed that the count lever blade is not exactly parallel to the slots in the count wheel, but I've studied each of the tips on the count wheel, and watched it through the whole 12 hour period. And I'm sure the tip of the count lever blade does not touch any of them. I will however, adjust it so that it is parallel just to be sure it's not a problem.
After this post on Friday, I did adjust the count lever to make it parallel in the slots. And since then I have not found it to miss any strike cycle yet. So, while I don't think the count lever blade adjustment made any difference, it is possible that the warning lever was adjusted slightly eliminating the occasional failure to go into warning.

As I see it, any adjustment to the count lever can translate possibly into an adjustment on the related levers on the shaft. ie" in this case the adjustment to the count lever could affect the warning lever (or the maintenance cam lever).

Does this make any sense? Just trying to learn why the count lever adjustment I made has corrected the issue.
 
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Jrfixer

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Make sure the fan has a good crimp/mechanical connection to its axle. I had one that was loose and caused the same problem.
 
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shutterbug

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The problem might re-appear after the clock runs for awhile. Let us know.
 

Dave T

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The problem has re-appeared. The only difference I see now is that the spring is winding down and more relaxed.
And so far, I've adjusted nothing but the count lever.

I'm tempted to raise the warning lever slightly. But I'd like confirmation that I'm on the right track.

(I don't think the fan is slipping but I'll check that too.)
 

Willie X

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If it's not unlocking, and all else seems good, that would be a good move.

Remember ... the stroke of that hook is related to how high the count finger is being raised, should be about 1/8" above the countwheel teeth.

Willie X
 
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shutterbug

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Did you confirm that the warning lever is not sticking in the upper position?
 

Dave T

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I've reviewed this entire thread trying to answer all questions that have been presented.
And I also have determined that some of my replies were not accurate. I think I've been confusing the locking lever with the warning lever in my assessments.

The only issue I have is that the strike cycle on rare occasion does not go into warning. That is the only issue!.
It never fails to strike if it does go into warning.

So, the issue is that the locking lever on rare occasion fails to go into warning.

Somehow I have to adjust the locking lever to correct these rare exceptions. Looks like it needs to be adjusted upward very very slightly. to prevent the rare occasion when it does not go into warning. And I think there may be more than one way to do that, because the count lever and the locking lever are on the same arbor.
 

shutterbug

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I think you need to look at the stop pin. If that doesn't unlock, the clock can't go into warning. Conversely, if it does unlock, the clock must go into warning. As the levers rise, the stop lever should release the pin.
 

Dave T

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I think you need to look at the stop pin. If that doesn't unlock, the clock can't go into warning. Conversely, if it does unlock, the clock must go into warning. As the levers rise, the stop lever should release the pin.
Stop pin.... precisely. That's where the issue is. Problem is, on this last wind cycle, I've been watching it many times through out the day, and for the past 7 days at least, it has only failed to unlock maybe 3 or 5 times max. And I can tell when I'm not watching it if it failed, by matching the count wheel to the hour hand.

So how do I adjust the locking lever maybe a 1/100th of a millimeter? Without creating another problem.
 

Willie X

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The tip of the stop lever should be level with the bottom of the pin at normal stop position. Sight horizontally across the bottom of the stop pin, if you can barely see the tip of the stop lever, that's probably not yer problem.

The best test for this is to to let the train run very slowly and see how much clearance there is at the pin/lever point as the pin goes by.
Almost touching, that's good. If the pin is tipping the lever, the lever needs to go up a tiny amount.

If the count finger is low too, then it's the lever that rides on the maintenance wheel that needs adjustment.

Each adjustment affects the other, so try your best to figure out if maybe just one adjustment is necessary.

Willie X
 
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comet61

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This is a good thread. Learned a few tricks. I am a novice level clock guy that is, at this very moment dealing with a ST #89 AL with a major strike issue. During re-assembly after cleaning and re-bushing, I forgot to put in the fly and when I applied energy to the strike train to remove the clamp, the strike train took off making a lot of "bad" noises. Needless to say...the strike train was hosed. The stop pin wouldn't clear the stop lever, the lifting lever didn't lift enough for clearance, the count lever was bent and so on. It is amazing how one mistake can create so much chaos. Trying now to get everything aligned and timed correctly has become frustrating to say the least. But I am learning and taking notes. I had similar problems with a ST #44, but patience and research paid off. It works great now. This #89 is definitely a learning experience.
 
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Dave T

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Okay fellas, after my last post on Friday, 10/29, I adjusted the locking lever for the end of strike upward a tad, and the clock would not stop striking. So, I then proceeded to adjust it back down a tad.
And I'm happy to report that the clock has not missed a strike since! But that's only 5 days so far.

I'm tempted to put it back in the case.
And after I post this I'll probably see it fail again!
 
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