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Installing a new upper Incablock spring in Asian 6497.

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I bought this movement to learn basic disassembly, cleaning, and reassembly on my first encounter with a contemporary Swiss clone. When reattaching the Incablock upper spring to prepare the lower plate with the balance (cap jewels removed) I had my first encounter with a UFO.  I wan't sufficiently careful manipulating the spring back to close and it flew off, of course, never to be seen again. Lesson learned. I got a few "practice" Incablock settings and now I have a better feel on how to open and close in a way that is safer. I also bought 5 springs for 6497 Incablock upper (Ofrei).

Now I am trying to manipulate a replacement spring back into its setting, and it feel like I am losing my mind. It doesn't want to go in. I first tried to put it back by brute force: I put it into the slot in the setting holding the spring vertical and trying to land it down at an angle, then twist it so it would be aligned with the direction in which the spring rotates up and down. This didn't work. The spring was in but it would not let itself be aligned. One spring destroyed trying to force it.

Next I decided to tackle disassembly of the balance cock and removed the stud holding arm and the regulator arm, so now I can see the wide and deep slot cut into the setting. I put the stripped down cock on a piece of Rodico and have been trying to insert a new spring into that slot while holding the spring vertical and sliding it towards the center. Each time I try I encounter a problem as if the neck of the spring was somewhat wider than the slot. I know that is not likely, but that is precisely how it feels. So, the spring is not aligned with the slot direction and it doesn't seem to be happy when I try to move it into alignment. It resists strongly my nodging just as if it was wider than the slot on top. I tried to press it with an old oiler but it would not budge.

I searched the internet for ideas but found none, especially related this type of shock absorber spring ("lyre"). So, what is the technique that would be recommended to get this bugger back into his home?  Any advice you can give me , especially if had some hand-on experience with this, would be greatly appreciated.

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The new springs that you ordered are original ETA parts? It is just a suggestion but maybe that they simply don't fit?

I also began to practice on a Unitas clone and noticed some descrepencies between my movement and the original ETA. In fact it wasn't an original seagull but an even cheaper version of the movement. 

Are you sure that the spring has the correct dimensions and that your technique is the only problem?

I suggest that you take a high magnification loupe and try to see if, when you approach the slot with the spring it looks like it can fit. You can also compare your newly received springs with the lower incablock spring that you still have (don't lose this one!  LOL). I am not 100% sure if they should be identical but I don't see why they should be different. Maybe someone with more experience can confirm that?

good luck and keep us informed!

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Hi CW  have a look though Marks Videos on U tube I have seen one on there with him fitting the incablock spring.  He makes it look simple!!!!!!!.  been there and joined the UFO club.  Sliding the tail in first then dropping the spring down and holding it while popping in each leg sepratley using peg wood and rodico Jusy in case.  easier said than done.         

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Thanks, guys! Appreciate it.

The springs I bought are for ETA 9764. Ofrei, in my experience, has been a very reputable supplier, so I believe the parts are guaranteed original ETA. The watch, however, is a Seagull. It's good to know that there might be some discrepancies in some dimensions. The Chinese don't offer spare parts, such as these springs, because it's a low cost business - if something breaks, you buy a new watch. I will follow this up and try to see if there is a problem with dimension of the width of the slot in the setting vs the width of neck of the spring.

I will also try to find Marcs video on u-tube. Trying just to google it shows nothing. Next, I will do searches on U-tube and keep my fingers crossed...

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Following tony1212 advice, thanks again, I've taken a very close look at the spring being very near the slot. Estimated what should be the width and the length of the neck of the spring to fit into the slot of the Incabloc block. It became obvious that the spring would not fit, ever. That was the first big  step forward then, on a hunch, I looked at Incabloc lower spring and compared visually with Incabloc upper spring. The neck of the Incabloc lower looked perfect for the job. So, I inserted it with no problem whatsoever, closed carefully, and I was happy with how it worked. I then reassembled the cock, putting back the stud holder, the regulator, and the regulator index which keeps all parts together. It took me a few tries with that, but in the end I got it all OK. I will now be able to screw it back to the main plate and reattach the HS. Another step in my accumulating the experience...

Now, the question is why the Incablock (original) upper spring would not fit into the slot, but the lower one would fit perfectly. I will be taking an educated guess that Chinese clone company was looking hard at anything of the original ETA design that could be cost reduced. Having two different springs to be kept in the inventory was suboptimal. So, they decided to use the same spring (from ETA lower) for both upper and lower. They must have redesigned slightly the upper Incablock block so it would match the lower spring. This confirms that a Chinese ETA clone should not be expected to be 100% clone. Minor modifications are added creating possibility that the parts might not be the same.

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Interesting...

I too have just had the same thing happen on my Asian 6489! I even found the spring again, after I ran it over with my chair and bent it right out of shape. It then broke on trying to straighten it...

Bought a pack of ETA/Unitas upper shock springs to have the same issue, I'm now off to disassemble and check the lower now.

Have you tried replacement ETA specified lower springs as I may get a pack of these if so!

Thanks,

James

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Yes, I have. With some luck it is possible to use them on the upper. The main issue is that their arms are shorter but they catch. Not by much but for practice might be ok to complete the assembly. Just make sure to push (with a pegwood) the spring end, one with pivots, all the way towards the jewel setting.

Btw, I got a set of genuine Incabloc settings for practice and had no such problems with the spring getting lost. So, on the positive note, the "flying" springs are most likely just an "Asian" phenomenon - they make their own Incabloc springs which are similar but differ enough to cause grief.

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Perfect, thanks for that!

For the cost I may as well get a pack and if not satisfactory I'll have a few more spares so no great loss.

I'll attempt to take dimensions off the lower shock tomorrow once i get this pool chlorine out of my eyes and can see better (and find my calipers)!

I may follow your suggestion of getting some practice settings to play with - It'd be nice if the genuine blocks would fit but I'm guessing even if the hole in the balance cock was the correct size (or could be reamed to size) then setting/controlling end float would be a nightmare.

Tonight's escapade involved the yoke spring - more pegwood restraining skills required :rolleyes: thankfully found rather quicker and in one piece...

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Right, from my measurements I get the dimensions as follows;

 

Genuine Inca Shock Spring 470.13

Length = 2.70 mm

Width = 1.75 mm

Neck (of secured end) = 0.21 mm

Locking lugs = 0.40 mm

 

Asian 6498 shock spring

Length = 3.05 mm

Width = 1.71 mm

Neck = 0.36 mm

Locking lugs = 0.52 mm

 

Different enough to be a no go. Going through the Incabloc documents on their site leads me to believe nothing genuine comes close.

I've got an assortment of Chinese  springs on the way from cousins, may have something suitable in there. If not, for £36 it's not like another movement is a massive outlay and I'd have almost another complete movement as spares. I am more and more tempted to bite the bullet though and get a genuine Swiss movement - over 4 times the cost but spares will fit and are readily available. As impressed as I am with the clones particularly for their prices, serviceability reigns - I hate to scrap something over a jellybean part but there you go, our throwaway society is everywhere.

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The Incabloc springs can be a challenge. I had one fly on me once. Some said that I might have to replace the whole setting, as the springs aren't really meant to come out. Hmmm...Eventually I got it back in, but it was a real challenge.

I also have a Gruen that uses a STD 96-4 movement with some other anti-shock spring setup. Trishock? The watch is still apart because I can't get the spring back in. It just seems that the jewels are sitting too high in the setting, making it impossible. It's irritating, to be sure. Still though, out of the few types of dealt with, the Incabloc design is the best to work with, IMHO. Ever since my spring flew, I use a piece of pegwood to minimize the chance of the back end coming out. I do this during removal and replacement. Best of luck.

 

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One of the problems you're having is the Chinese do not exactly clone properly. The meaning of this is they can sometimes skip manufacturing steps or other bad things. For instance in the image attached on the left-hand side is the setting from the watch in question for this discussion and on the right-hand side is from a different watch but we can still see a difference between the two that's relevant. Notice in the Swiss original I circled something I don't know if it has a technical term but basically the backstop. So normally when you lift up the spring it hinges and stays in place because the backstop keeps it from sliding out. The clones skip this part which means when you hinge up your spring there is nothing to hold it in place and it falls out.

Putting the spring back in the setting is a greater challenge with the Swiss version because typically you have to remove the setting to get the spring back in. Fortunately the Chinese have made it easy to put it back in without disassembly. So hopefully I can word this so it makes sense? Looking down at the slot if you carefully inserted the spring from corner to corner it will drop into the slot. Once it's they you can rotated the tabs will be underneath and it will stay in place as long as it doesn't rotate again.  Once it's in place you can lock the tabs on the other side the same as you would a conventional spring.

cloning problem version 2.JPG

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