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Fitting a Smiths clock to the dashboard

Author: Bob Humphreys

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Fitting a Smiths clockHaving 'won' and repaired a Smiths 8 day clock and noting the abundance of them on the auction sites, I reluctantly decided to fit it to our Box Saloon. Reluctantly as mostly everything else is original on the car, but at least the clock is 'period'. My main aim was to fit the clock without messing up the paintwork of the dashboard.

First of all, I found a hole cutter of about the correct size (50mm) and cut a hole in some 1/4" plywood (Metric ply and other thicknesses will work). A trial fit of the clock in the hole proved that the hole size was about right. The disc from the centre of the hole was saved for later to be used as a guide for the hole saw.

Fitting a Smiths clockThe dashboard was inspected from the rear side to see if there were any obstructions, cables, previous holes that may have been filled etc, and the centre of the clock hole determined and marked with a bit of masking tape. In my case there were some old holes that had been filled with body filler and lay hidden below the surface of the painted dashboard.

Fitting a Smiths clockPlace a dust cloth underneath where you will be working to protect the carpets etc. A hole to suit the hole cutter's piercing drill was made and the 'saved' ply disc attached to the dashboard with self tapping screws. This disc is used to ensure the hole cutter doesn't wobble and spoil the dashboard painted surface. Use the hole cutter at a slow speed and with care, making sure that you don't burn the dash paint.

I had to use a Dremel type grinderette to slightly enlarge the hole so that the clock fitted. Before fitting the clock, dust and remove the metal filings from the front face and also the flange at the back of the dash. I did place a larger 'O' ring of about 1mm section behind the bezel of the clock, but it probably isn't important. Now I have to use the car every week – just to wind the clock up!!

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