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Sweep motion clock isn't silent anymore; what to do? Answered

Hello all, 
I hope to find some help here! 

I own a sweep motion ''silent'' clock that was indeed silent until a few days ago. For unknown reason, it started to make a buzzing, motorized sound, as if I can hear the motor running inside. It's particularly noticeable when the clock is upright against the wall, not so much when its laying flat (which is totally useless)

What to do ? Common sense with other clocks would be to lubricate the gears inside (sorry about my lack of clock-related vocabulary) but I don't know if I can do it with a sweep motion clock? Is it even the cause for this? Or the motor is just ruined?

Also tried to insulate the back, helps a little but not so much. The reason I own a silent clock is that I am particularly sensitive to noises, it's driving me insane.

Any help would be much appreciated. 


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5 years ago

It is nothing more than a clock that does not stop, so no tick, tick, tick...
Everything else is just gears and of course a motor of sorts.
Open it up, take some good quality pics, dismatle part by part with another pic each.
All parts big enough to clean manually clean with a soft brush and some alcohol.
Smaller parts drop in an ultrasonic cleaner or a glass with denture cleaning tabs over night.
To lubricate use silicone oil or grease if you have the grease.
Less i more here so don't soak, don't goo it all up.
If the motor is mounted on soft stuff like rubber give it a clean and lube as well, if it is a fixed mount check if you can access the shaft and bearing parts.
If in doubt use a needle oiler to get a drop of sewing machine oil in the bearing or around the shaft.
Put together in reverse order, if it does not start moving right away you most likely used too much grease on the gears and they are binding - so if you don't know how to use grease use silicone oil instead.
Do not use mineral oil, spray oil or stuff like that on the plastic gears!


Reply 5 years ago

Thank you ! I've open cheap clocks before so I sorta know what you're talking about (will still take pics though)
Thanks for specifying which oil is best - I had no clue.

Will definitely try that over the weekend.


Reply 5 years ago

Thing is that unlike "real" clocks and watches all mechanics are usually plastic - cheap and simple to produce.
And you never know what type of plastic was used.
Mineral based oils can soften the plastic, make it sticky or worse make it brittle - depending on what plastic it is.
Sadly that takes a long time to happen and often ends in a total breakdown.
If you can't get silicone oil or greae or have a quite dusty enviroment (or you are a smoker) dry lube might be an alternative.
You can get it in stick form as well as powder or spray but don't be confused with carbon or graphite based solutions!!
If it grey or even black it is no good, it should white or clear.

If the clock is in a quite dry and dust free room you might also try a proper clean only.
Often the gears are made of nylon which self lubricating but a thin layer of lube is added during production so noone has to clean the gears from production leftovers.
Some of those lubes go hard after some years and cause all sorts of problems.
If you find your gears have dark wax like residues you know what I mean.
If you use dry lube you still need a drop of silicone oil where the gear shafts go into the holes of the case to prevent wearing them out.