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WE 7C Dial Disassembly

Started by TelePlay, May 06, 2020, 02:34:23 PM

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The topic will show how to completely take apart an "early" Western Electric 7C dial for cleaning and proper lubrication during assembly.

The "early" reference is to those 7C dials that have gear trains that are screwed, not riveted, together. The dial used in this topic was dated 1957. There may be 7C dials that used riveted posts instead of machine screws with brass tube spacers out there and if so, all below applies to the point where the gear train is removed from the dial case. At that point, the riveted gear train will have to be cleaned as one piece, an ultrasonic cleaner with proper cleaning solution has worked well for me.

This topic only address disassembly of the dial which did not have a finger wheel so that initial step is not included.

Dennis Markham posted a topic about cleaning a 7C dial back in November of 2008 with good information including showing the points that require lubrication. He made his parts look shiny and in a pile, they looked like this

This topic in intended to show the mechanical step by step disassembly of the dial only (no intent to make shiny). While assembly is just the reverse of taking it apart, another topic will be posted later showing a step by step assembly of this 7C dial.

The purpose was to clean and lubricate the dial correctly. All metal parts were to be cleaned with lacquer thinner, paper towels, cue tips, pipe cleaners and dry compressed air. The complete process, disassembly, cleaning and assembly took about 35 minutes. It's not hard to do, things don't go flying, some members know how to do this and may have their own methods, it allows complete cleaning along with fresh lubrication and works close to 10 pps when done.


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Beautifully illustrated, as usual.
So easy to follow.

Thank you.
A collector of  'Monochrome Phones with Sepia Tones'   ...and a Duck!
Vintage Phones - 10% man made, 90% Tribble


I can't wait to try this. Thank you for taking the time to post the steps.

Scott K.


Thank you for this excellent and clear dial disassembly guide, TelePlay. I did not find a specific guide for a #6 dial (a 6H-3 in my case, dated 7-56 from a 5302 phone), but I may have been sent here by another member telling me that the two dials are similar. The steps were indeed almost identical. The only two differences I noticed were that the finger stop has two screws on the 6H and is a different shape, and that the governor gear train assembly's two screws attach to two separate brass nuts that sit in matching recesses on the front of the dial rather than into threaded holes in the dial case itself. Those two brass nuts will fall out of the dial case when the gear train screws are removed, so it is worthwhile to put a finger under each nut as its matching screw is removed, then catch the loose nut afterward.

Now, I shall clean and reassemble my dial as described in your other excellent post: