Well it finally happened. After 27 years of unwavering service, the VDO quartz clock in my 1986 Porsche Carrera finally quit working. For the past month, it has been an on again, off again condition, which was a clue to its pending failure. So on Friday morning, I made the decision to remove the clock and take it into the team at North Hollywood Speedometer for repair.
This would be my second visit to North Hollywood Speedometer for gauge repair. One year ago, the odometer portion of my speedometer failed, and after reading about similar failures experienced by owners and their recommendations for repairs as posted on the Pelican Parts technical forum (www.forums.pelicanparts.com), one shop was consistently noted – North Hollywood Speedometer. I also recalled seeing North Hollywood Speedometer listed as the source of the Porsche gauge restorations in a variety of Porsche related magazines, highlighting articles about street and race car restoration projects. Based upon these references, I took my speedometer in for repair and within a week, had a fully repaired and detailed speedometer, returned and once again functioning perfectly in my car. They had even cleaned and polished the clear lens, removing the fine scratches on the outside of the face, and the haze that had accumulated on the inside from the past 26 years.
Now back to my broken clock… As I pulled into the parking lot of North Hollywood Speedometer, I fully expected (given the volume of work that they normally have from the Porsche community), to be told that I would be looking at a one week minimum for the repair of my clock. When I walked up to the counter, I was greeted by one of their technicians (Jeff) who asked how he could help. I told him about my inoperative clock, and then handed it to him for inspection. While examining the clock, Jeff asked me where I had driven from. I told him that I lived about an hours drive away, near the Los Angeles / Orange County border. Jeff’s next question totally caught me off guard; Would I like to wait for the repair? He said the company tries very hard to accommodate walk in customers from the area, and since I only had the one gauge, thus his offer for same day repair. Fortunately, I had the time to spare, so I replied yes, I would wait.
Jeff took the clock to his workstation, and immediately set about the task of disassembly. Once the inner workings were repaired and tested, his attention then shifted over to the cleaning of the clear lens. After polishing and several cleanings, he brought the lens over to me for approval. The lens once again looked brand new, so with my approval, he proceeded to the final re-assembly.
Once all of the parts were re-assembled ( outer gauge bezel, clear lens, inner bezel, clock face, clock mechanism and external housing), Jeff once again showed me the finished product for final approval.
The clock appeared brand new, just as it had on the day that my dad bought the car, and drove it home from the dealer. Jeff then bagged the clock, and after paying for the repair, I realized that the entire repair process had been completed in under 40 minutes.
Once I was back home, and with the addition of a new gauge seal sourced from the folks at Sierra Madre Collection (www.SMCparts.com), I was ready to reinstall the clock back into my car.
After reinstalling the light bulb into the back of the housing, and reconnecting two electrical leads, it was time to press the clock with its new seal back into place on the dash as seen below…
It’s no wonder that North Hollywood Speedometer has become the preferred shop for Porsche gauge restoration, especially within the Southern California Porsche community. So a big thank you to Kevin and his staff at North Hollywood Speedometer (nhspeedometer.com), for the quality of work performed, as well as the outstanding customer service being delivered to their clients. I would also like to add an additional thank you to Jeff for his meticulous repair and detail work on my clock.
Now all that remains is to figure out a good time for scheduling the cosmetic restoration of my remaining three dash gauges…
( Photos by the author)