What Was Burlington-Illinois Thinking?

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  • #49208
    chris mabbott
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    As I mentioned in a previous thread, I’m keeping deal with self to reduce my backlog of forgotten projects before moving onto the newly arrived, yep, we’ve all got em 🙄

    First on my attack list was this Illinois/Burlington 16s grade 174 in their series 170…. I acquired this movement about 4 years ago, the reason, well, it was one of Burlington/Illinois’ new type of 19 jewel movements, the forerunner of the future 21 jewel types. So the phase between the 17J & 21J.. The 19j’s weren’t around too long in the race for increased jewel count, as purely a marketing tool fueled by the increasingly strict RR regs and their main pain in the butt protagonist, John C Deuber of Hampden 😆

    This watch wasn’t classified as RR grade 😥 it was more of general carry piece, although I don’t know why not, the only thing it lacks is the steel escape and the adjusted stamp, like its more prominent cousins which were identical with the addition of the aforementioned parts.

    Anyway, as a historical piece and a low production item, it’s interesting. The low production numbers of these models made it tough to find replacement parts, does anyone read all this? But eventually I did find someone who had the bits I needed

    So this watch had many issues, the main one was that it wouldn’t wind. So when I disassembled it, this is what I was faced with 😮

    #59294
    chris mabbott
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    I know, the same things popped into my noggin, HUH, WTF, Head scratching 😆

    Not only was the brass plate pig eared into place, it had also been peened. So my first job was to grind away what had been mushroomed over, no other choice, a very messy setup, me no likey. So much for aesthetics and maintaining a semblance of originality…i.e. leave the watch as you found it, only cleaner and running 8-)

    So I finally managed to get it to release its grip and found the teeth had been stripped on both gears..

    #59295
    chris mabbott
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    The culprit… A cheap little star shaped spring that had conformed to the shape of the cone that it rested on, thereby NOT performing its task of keeping a constant pressure between the two gears.. OH BOY.

    #59296
    chris mabbott
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    This whole movement was a strange array of cams, star springs and sliding lock pins that made up the winding shifting system, very odd but unique and a bugger to replace..

    #59297
    chris mabbott
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    Notice the odd system in shifting from wind to set. The big star spring in the first previous photo is supposed to lift the gear into mesh with the mating gear once the setting lever is actuated… ingenious but very fragile and susceptible to failure as the whole operation depends on that flimsy spring to maintain force, as we can see, these star springs tend to conform easily to the shape of the post on which they sit, so actuation power is gone, the result, you have to fiddle with the winding knob which is only engaged partially, thus, eventually the tips of the teeth wear away and POOF a dead watch..

    #59298
    tmac1956
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    • Topics Started: 171
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    Chris:

    Are you going to attempt to make replacement gears for this piece?

    Thanks,
    Tolm

    #59299
    chris mabbott
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    I wasn’t able to find a new spring for the shift gear, so I’ll attempt a repair of the old one, but I did find a new replacement for the winding gear, it’s from the following year model, again only 180 models were produced but it seems that they tried to improve the issue by changing the material of the spring, gone is the previous blued steel and hello, good evening and welcome to the new hardened steel type, a lot better and more rigid..

    #59300
    chris mabbott
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    So here are the new parts ready for assembly with a bit of grease on them. For some reason these pic show dirty but it is shiny and clean 8-)

    Way too many parts for what it is, it’s after all a winding gear and simple is always better than over complicated..

    #59301
    chris mabbott
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    So here is the little tiny unit all assembled and lubed up with synthetic grease, cause I ain’t taking this thing out again 😆
    You can see the good mesh on the new gears, but again, a bad design, instead of having a full mesh type gear, they use this odd style where just half the tips engage, on a high torque application like the winding stem, you’re just asking for failure..

    #59302
    chris mabbott
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    I finally got it back in place after some tweeking, filing, swearing etc.. then I had to peen over some material, which I tried to do neatly but it is what it is..

    I posted something about the aberration of plastic loupe lenses earlier and this photo shows that.. when I looked at this shot I thought OH I BENT THE PLATE, but it wasn’t bent, it was the distortion from the plastic lens, and this wasn’t a cheapo $2 loupe, it’s a bergeon so you’d expect clarity but….plastic.. I notice the same on my glasses even..

    Finis..

    #59303
    bernie weishapl
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    Cool post Chris. Going to be following this one.

    #59304
    chris mabbott
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    @tmac1956 wrote:

    Chris:

    Are you going to attempt to make replacement gears for this piece?

    Thanks,
    Tolm

    Tom , you must have posted this while I was adding to the thread and I missed your comment, I’ve just seen it now 😮

    No sir, I’m afraid I haven’t achieved the level of making gears yet although I wish I could. It’s like I have an anchor tied to my butt that is holding me back 😆 not sure why?

    I went with the “not fully proficient in the ancient art” method, replacement parts 😆

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chris mabbottWhat Was Burlington-Illinois Thinking?