Replacement clock options from Declan Burns

MG TD dished dial replacement clock with stepper motor movement.

These replacement clocks have a 3D printed housing which I have designed around a “Ford” stepper motor movement. This movement is driven by a quartz driver circuit mounted in a separate plastic casing which is concealed under the glovebox. These stepper motors were used by Ford in the 1990s. These Ford clocks are only available second hand from car breakers/salvage.

The movement is a snug fit in the 3D printed housing, and is faced with a custom-made TD replica aluminium dial. The dial is spray painted so it has a greenish hue and a professionally made sticker with the numerals is applied. The hands are 3D printed and reamed to fit the stepper motor shafts.

Fig 1 (left pic): Stepper motor in 3D housing. Fig 2 (right pic): Dial installed on plate above motor.

The advantage of these clocks is that once installed and connected to the car battery they are maintenance free. The quartz drive circuit casing is fitted with two push buttons, which are used to advance or retard the time setting. This is a very practical in countries which have summer and winter time changes. It would take a concourse judge with good eyesight and a microscope to recognize that these clocks are TD replica clocks.

Fig 3 (left): Clock installed in the dished dial TD rev counter. Fig 4 (right): Clock control buttons.

The movement of the clock is incremental and not a sweep movement. Every minute you hear a tiny click (obviously not if the engine is running!) and the minute hand steps forward one minute. My testing has shown that the time keeping of these old clock movements is excellent.

As of January, 2021 brand new stepper motors are installed using the Ford driver circuit.

Above (Fig 5), Below (Fig 6): The replacement clock installed on Declan’s car TD21284.

TC and early TD chronomatic flat dialed instrument clock replacement

The TC and early TD had the clock numerals silk printed as part of the rev counter My replacement clocks also use a similar stepper motor drive as the late TD clocks. The fit is excellent. Price for clock+driving module is 85€.

If you have a replica tacho where the clock is just a blank, I can supply a clock that can be glued to the rear of the replica dial. You will of course have to drill a small centralized hole in the dial integrated clock face to accommodate the shafts of the clock. Fig 7 (Test fit) follows:

MG TD (dished dial) with budget insert clock in 3D printed housing-.

The clock housing is 3D printed PLA plastic.

Fig 8 (left) Front view. Fig 9 (right) Rear view showing nylon screw for insert clock removal.

Fig 10 Clock installed in late TD rev counter

Although the clock may be installed without removing the rev counter it can be quite a back breaking fiddle. It really only. takes a few minutes to remove the rev counter.

To remove the rev counter proceed as follows:

  1. Undo the two knurled nuts at the back of the rev counter and pull off the retaining bracket carefully.
  2. Remove the two bulb holders
  3. Undo the rev counter cable and pull back. This cable can be quite greasy so have a small plastic bag and an elastic band ready to “condom” the end of the cable to keep everything, including your fingers, clean.
  4. Pull the rev counter out from the dashboard.
  5. Now is the time to organize a new O-ring that goes between the rev counter and the face of the dashboard. It is probably missing or has deteriorated over the years. This ring can be made up easily using neoprene rubber cord cut to length and superglued together. The original O-ring was square section and does sit better.
  6. Always place a roll of gaffer or duct tape on the workbench as a base when working on the speedo or the rev counter. This stops the instrument wobbling around and protects the glass.
  7. Remove the two screws and remove the original clock by tilting upwards at the rear and sliding out.
  8. Install the replacement clock. Tilt it down and inwards and line it up. Refit the screws. Reinstalling the rev counter is the reverse procedure of the removal.

Fig 11(left): Clock installed-rear view Fig 12: (right) Optional Arabic Numerals.

To replace the battery or reset the time, the clock housing and then the insert clock, have to be removed. At the rear of the housing is an M5 threaded hole that has been drilled to allow the clock to be pushed out using the M5 nylon screw provided to avoid scratching the rear of the clock. See Fig 9 above. The screw should then be removed and stored in a safe place as the clock will not fit with the screw inserted. The lid at the rear of the clock may be prised off for access to the battery. If this proves difficult or you are unsure, take the clock to a quartz watch battery changing service. Most department stores or jewelers provide this service.

The clock has been supplied with a spare battery but there is no way of knowing how long the insert clock has been on the shelf before I received it. Keep it in a safe place so you can find it when you need it or use self-adhesive tape and stick it to the rear of the clock housing.

The SR626SW size watch battery is also known as, SR626, SR66, SB-AW, 280-39, BA, 606, G4, D377 and V377. The normal life expectancy for a new battery is in my experience approx. 2 years.

Enjoy the TD replacement clock and watch the road and not the clock!                     Price: 39.50€

If problems occur or you are not satisfied, please contact

Declan Burns
Liedberger Weg 6A
40547 Düsseldorf

Tel +49 211 371529 (09.00 …  17.00h)

Email : (note: declan underscore burns at web dot de).

It is difficult if not impossible to see the underscore when a link has been highlighted.

One thought on “Replacement clock options from Declan Burns

  1. Lionel Uden says:

    If the original clock is still in the Rev counter then before setting out on Declan’s rather convoluted journey take a look at http://www.clocks4classics. Mark Willows has some very good videos that shows what he can do.
    I sent him my clock and now the cars original clock works fine.

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