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Anyone know anything about Auto Tempo 5" speedos?

vapide

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
Non-VOC Member
I have a broken Auto Tempo repro 5" Shadow clock I'd like to get fixed. These were a popular item back in the '80s, but Auto Tempo is no longer around, and the company that bought them out doesn't seem to know much about them.

There has always been a mystery about what the actual movement is inside. I always heard they used a later sytle, magnetic, movement, but I opened mine and it looks like it might be chrono. But there is no name or numbers anywhere on it. I'd like to identify the movement before I send it off for repairs, since several of the shops I have contacted will only work on Smiths/Jaeger.
 

Tnecniv Edipar

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Try J.Shaw & Sons , Chatham , Kent. I don't have an up to date phone number for them , but they did repro 5" Speedo's with chrono internals.
 

Hugo Myatt

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
My Auto Tempo five inch speedo has identical workings to the standard Rapide style speedo. I.E. standard Smiths Chronometric. Incidentally Smiths supplied 5 inch speedos to Sunbeam for some models (e.g. 95L) in the early thirties. These were usually mounted in a flat position. The speedo itself was rather flat with a bulge at the back to accommodate the works. PCV used a similar one on one of the pre-war racers. I forget which one.
 
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vapide

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
Non-VOC Member
Interesting. Guess I will have to open up my Rap speedo to see if mine is to.

I got my Auto Tempo second hand, and believe the previous owner may have had to send it back for repairs, and I had it fixed once (by Auto Tempo), so I have some doubts about the quality of the workings, which as I mentioned have no markings on them at all. I can't help but wonder if someone may have been making inferior pattern copies of the Smith movement back then, which might explain why the Smiths chronos on my other bikes have been merrily running without attention for 50+ years, while this one seems hard pressed to go 2000 miles without servicing.

Oh, anyone know which way I should spin it to test it? I'm pretty sure its clockwise (as seen looking at the drive nipple from the back of of the instrument) but would like to be sure.

My Auto Tempo five inch speedo has identical workings to the standard Rapide style speedo. I.E. standard Smiths Chronometric.
 

Hugo Myatt

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
No knowing the symptoms your 5" speedo is displaying the following may be of no use at all. However,the drive to my garage has a long and severe downward slope which requires me to wheel the bike down backwards over quite some distance. For some time I was plagued with an erratic speedo and frequent breakage of the cable. The culprit was the right angle gearbox on the back of the speedo. Pardon my lack of correct technical terms but there is a scroll type gear engaging with a helical cut gear. After about 20 or so turns of the cable backwards, one gear in the box would tend to drive the other one up until it seized solid against the end cap and so snapping the cable. This was a known problem with early Shadow speedo gearboxes. In 1998 I sent the gearbox to a company called Speedograph Richfield Ltd., Rolleston Drive, Arnold, Notts., NG5 7RJ. They modified the box and, touch wood, I have had no further trouble. I do not know whether this company still exists. I believe the modification involved inserting a small ball bearing between the end cap and the gear to take this upwards thrust.
 
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