How to Bring a 1970s AM/FM Flip Clock Back to Life




Would it be cool to find an old flip clock to steampunk? 

Good News and Bad News:

Good News: My chance came a few days ago and I bought a 70s Lloyds Solid State clock in an antiques flea market for a whopping $5.00 …could not pass it up.

Here comes the bad news - we brought it home and ended up falling in love with the clock radio so steampunking the item was out of the question and restoration became the priority.

The clock radio had a few issues:

     1. Missing two knobs (possibly a future instructable): 
         a. Small timer knob on top of the case. I can live without it because
             I can move the nub with my fingers and I won't need that option for
             where it is going.
         b. Knob for setting the time on the side of the case.  I can live without
              this one too for awhile because I can set the time without it.  
     2. Small scratches in the 100% pure fake plastic wood grain case
     3. But most importantly a broken Flip Clock (that is what I will be working on)

The radio and alarm works.

For the mechanics, this Instructable will read like a diary.  I feel that I can write a how-to on just the steps that I took to solve the clock issue and ignore the discovery phase or I can tell the painful truths with all of my embarrassing hits and misses as I work my way to a final solution or call me long winded.


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Step 1: Opening Pandora’s Box


1. Remove the plastic case
    a. Pull the knobs off (the one on the sides were the only ones left)
    b. Remove the screws
         1. The three behind the clock/radio
         2. Underneath remove all of the screws from the left and right side
         3. Underneath remove the center screw
         4. Underneath there are a few screws in the front - remove them too
         5. Do not remove the screws for the speakers and the screw that is
             sitting in a triangle shape (I don't know what that is for....yet)
    c. remove the case

Step 2: Motor

Locate the motor.

Looking at the motor, you will notice that there is absolutely no room to work.  The only solution is to remove the clock assembly from the base.

When I originally unscrewed the bottom of the clock case, I stated that all of the screws have to be removed except for the screws for the speaker and the one that looked like it sat on a triangle.  Those extra screws were for the base where all of the components are attached to.

Flip the base up and notice two screws underneath the clock – remove both and remove the electrical tape holding the wire bundle in place.

Now the clock assembly can be turned on its side so that you can access the motor.

Remove the shield for the motor.

Note:  most flip clock how-to instructions state that to fix these old clocks all one has to do is lube the motor with WD40.

Oiling being the easiest solution, that is what I did first. I shot the WD40 in the small holes just like what I had seen online.
As luck would have it…it did not work.  Motor spins and that is all.  So I added WD40 to the gears coming from the gearbox to the actual gears that run the flip clock.

That did not work either.

Step 3: Surgery!

Now I wanted to see what was going on in the gearbox.  I did not hear a grinding noise…could be a good sign.

Pull the motor from the clock (there are no screws holding the motor on except for the two nuts that were removed when taking the shield off.

Next, remove the tiny screw (don’t lose it) next to the wires.

Take an exacto knife and pry off the gearbox cover (that brown stuff is just old glue holding the cover on), and slide the cover back.

Find the gear that comes from the motor.  The gear that is the easiest one to rotate would be that first gear.  
Note:  As the gears step up, the gears will get harder and harder to spin.

Using the just the point of the exacto knife, turn the first gear; watch to see if it turns the other gears.

All seems to check out fine.  All of the gears fit well and spins without any slack.

I plugged the radio clock back in.  The motor spins, so I touched the first gear with the exacto knife while the motor was running and I felt a slight catch but it was not constant.

Next step; I’ll have to remove the gearbox from the motor.


Time to dig in!

Step 4: More Surgery....

Cut the wires that connect the power to the motor.  Be sure before you cut the wires to color just one of them with a sharpie because when you reattach the motor, you will need to know which line to connect to the other since they are both white.

Looking at the front plate of the motor to the gearbox, you’ll notice 3 pins.  The best picture that I have for the pin is when the motor was still together.

Drill out the pins but only as deep as to separate the gearbox and the motor. Swing/pivot the gearbox way.  The electrical wire inlet, will act as a hinge.  

Look at the condition of the main gear.  It looks great – it’s metal and no wear.

Look at the condition of the first gear….UGH!   It is gone.

Bad News: I have to find a new gear

Good News:  I get to go the Hobby Shop - Amusement Park for the geeks (besides Radio Shack)!

Before you head to the hobby shop, count the teeth. 

HINT:  Take a picture of the gear, blow it up as big as you can on the computer...start counting.

Step 5: New Gear!

Took a trip to the hobby shop.  Excellent place for finding just about anything you may need.  This shop has the best selection in scale models and they have best selection of RC kits and parts for airplanes, autos, and helicopters.

The staff recommended a set of gears used for RC helicopters.  I bought it and brought it home. 

I replaced the old gear with the new one.  There was one major issue; the gear was traveling up and down the shaft.

The solution was to cut the old gear.  Cut the shaft tube off of the old gear then place the cut piece above the new gear on the shaft, forcing the new gear down towards the metal gear of the motor (see schematic).

Reassemble the gearbox; attach the gearbox back onto the motor (since I did not drill out the pins all the way down, the gearbox and motor snapped together.  If it did not snap back, I would have glued the two together.

Put the dust cover back onto the gearbox.  Attach the entire assembly back onto the clock and solder the wires together then wrap with electrical tape.  Attach the clock back onto the base assembly then pull excess wire back through the base and tape them back to the bottom of the base.

Reattach the base back onto the bottom the clock case, and then reattach the rest of the case.

Step 6: Done!

Check out the little movie.  The corkscrew in the middle of the clock is the motor spinning.  Radio works, clock numbers flip and the alarm is very annoying.

This project was cheap with a final cost of cost $8.00.  $5.00 for the clock and $3.00 for the gears.

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    27 Discussions


    3 years ago

    What is the model number on that clock, if
    you don't mind my asking? Thanks to nostalgia, I've been looking all
    over the internet for that particular model.

    I remember seeing a
    clock very similar to yours at my late grandfather's house when I was
    helping set up an estate sale ten years ago. When I look back nowadays, I
    really wish I'd have held onto the clock, and I hate myself for not
    keeping it, but oh well.

    3 replies

    Reply 3 years ago

    I'm so sorry for not getting back with you. I have not been getting messages from Instructables about any new messages from folks and it looks like I have a few out there (will have to report it as a bug). I believe it is a Lloyds lj61G-118B. My apologies again for not getting back.


    Reply 2 years ago

    Not a problem, Elmar. :)

    Thanks for
    the information about the clock that has been eluding me for years. I
    hope that I can find one similar to it in the future, or even one like
    the Panasonic flip clock that my parents used to have which, judging by a
    quick Google image search, I suspect is model number 6253.

    the meantime, I found a Copal MG-111 flip clock timer to help fill the
    void. Probably the best $6 I've spent on vintage technology. :)

    Speaking of which, and this is directed toward everyone, would white lithium grease be advisable for flip clock motor assemblies?


    Reply 2 years ago

    Just trying to plan ahead for future maintenance, although the Copal clock seems to be running just fine.


    2 years ago

    It reminds me of the clock radio dad had.


    2 years ago

    It`s A Good Idea ?????

    Thank All.


    4 years ago

    I just bought a similar radio clock at a thrift store the other day. Its a General Electric model 7-4300F. Now, as far as the clock goes, all seems well, but when you run the radio for a minute, the radio begins to smoke. I wish to know if and how I can repair this. If anyone has any input, I'd be very greatful. Also, it was only $2, so if left unfixed, it won't be that big of a deal.

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    sorry for not getting back....I have not been getting notifications that I had comments. Have you had your fixed?

    Thales Cunha

    3 years ago


    Please, I need help!

    I bought an old Digimatic. The clock and radio work fine, but I cant set the alarm clock. There are 2 buttons over the radio (manual and automatic) and the knob on the side to adjust the alarm.

    Any tips?


    1 reply
    ElmarMThales Cunha

    Reply 3 years ago

    I'm so sorry for not getting back to you as soon as you made your comment. The instructables notifications don't seem to be working....will send a ticket for that. To answer your question. After you set your alarm time, select "auto" and select "on" for the radio.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Please never use WD-40 to lubricate anything. It is a temporary solution and there are much better lubricants to use for clocks and other things also.

    Here is what I recommend that will last much longer than WD-40 (just ask anyone at a bicycle store):

    1. Triflow (can purchase at most bicycle shops or amazon)

    2. Clock oil (can purchase on amazon).

    Great instructions!


    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    One more thing to add in my my post abut not using WD-40.

    If the thing you are needing to lubricate is frozen and you cannot more it, then spray Liquid Wrench penetrating oil (the original) on it, and then let it sit for at least 2 hours, and then re-try loosening it. If this does not work then retry.

    Once it is not stuck, then wipe any remaining Liquid wrench off, then use one of the lubricating oils I suggested (Triflow or clock oil).




    5 years ago on Step 6

    Very nice! I just found this site and promptly registered. This particular Lloyd's is my favorite style of clock radio. I own several that I've collected over the years including the very first one I bought in 1971. I want to say Lloyd's was the original manufacturer and licensed this design to G.E., Sears, Radio Shack and Emerson to name a few. They look similar but have minor cosmetic differences. I've gone as far as removing the brass gear from the clock motor shaft and removing the outer spinning shield just to lubricate the bearing and shaft prior to re-assembly with excellent results. My only issue is locating a suitable replacement for the radio dial lamp. I've seen several on ebay and electronic web sites but have yet to purchase any. Thanks for the article. -john

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Wow...I feel like awful. I had not been on Instructables for a long while (just reset my password because I forgot my login and password) and I had not received an email from Instructables until just about 6 weeks ago. So I do apologize. :(

    I have to replace my lamp too and I have several but have not had a chance to replace it. The best place for me to find them is to cruise antique stores for old clocks. I found several vintage clocks (they all came from antiques stores or antique fairs) that contain the same type of bulb.

    Again, I am so sorry for not responding in a timely bad, I should be flogged!


    5 years ago on Step 6

    This is a perfect project idea--one of the things I could do over the weekend...when I get a flip clock ^-^.

    1 reply

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    That's cool. I've been looking for another one but they are like hen's teeth....rare :)

    Nico Albanesi

    5 years ago

    Hey! Great work! I´ve just purchased a similar clock, Sony digimatic icf-670, with the same problems. I was able to solve it lubing the motor with WD40. Now it works, but my problem is that the hours number changes at 20 minutes, not 00. Do you have any idea how i can fix this?

    2 replies
    ElmarMNico Albanesi

    Reply 5 years ago

    Check the number tabs. There are ears on one side and as the minutes flip by; the ear gets shorter and shorter and then the hour tab will flip. Without seeing it, my bet is the ear is broken off or damaged on the 2 tab.

    Nico AlbanesiElmarM

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I checked out what you said, and the problem is definitely in the second tab, and it´s related to he ears. This clock works with no ears on the numbers, what the ears would do, is done by a gear that shortens like the ears on your clock must do.

    My guess is that the numers arent positioned correctley in the rotating drum. I´ll see if I can fix it :/ .

    Thanks for your aid!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I had a friend who painted each of the 'flaps' in the corresponding resistor colour code brown red yellow green O'clock was 12:45