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beerczar1976

Anyone tried the Speedo Cable Repair Kits?

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My Speedo and Odo are not working on my '50 Special, and I'm hoping it's just the cable. I unscrewed the cable from the back of the Speedo last night and the cable at the top end looks good. Plenty of graphite lube still in there and it seems to turn freely inside the outer metal jacket. My next step is going to be unscrewing the cable from the lower end where it feeds into the tranny and give the cable a turn down there. My thought is, if both ends of the cable turn while unscrewed, then the cable's good. If not, there's a break in the cable somewhere. Here's the question. I've seen the cable repair kits, as well as whole brand new cables. How hard is it to use the repair kit, which I believe replaces the internal part of the cable only and re-utilizes the outer steel jacket.

Only one other thing concerning me is, my Odo, reset button isn't working. Do you push the button, or do you turn it? I'm thinking if even the Odo. reset isn't working that would mean the whole Speedo/Odo head is frozen up.

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You would push the reset button AND turn it at the same time to reset the odometer. One way advances it one tenth of a mile at a time. The other rotation reverses it till all the 0's align.

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Ohhh!! :) I would have NEVER thought of doing that. Though it's probably in the Shop Manual somewhere. I will try for sure when I get home this evening. I figured that by pushing the button it'd pop back to zero. But, based on your explanation, it almost seems like you can advance or roll back to what number you'd like the trip ODO to read. Now let's hope that it works, and I'm maybe just looking at a new cable vice pulling the head and getting it repaired. Dial face still looks great, nothing wrong with the glass, and internal lights (high beam indicator and night lights) still work.

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Well, it can be adjusted to any number you want. But the first time you see how slow it goes in advance mode, you'll be convinced you only advance it when absolutely necessary. The reverse mode is much quicker since all the numbers align and then it moves all numbers to the next position. I'm sure that makes little sense without an example so this is like what you would see:

Start with 910.5

First you reverse it and when you hit 909.5 the next number would be 905.5

From 905,5 it will suddenly drop to 855.5, then 555.5, then 444.4, 333.3 etc, till it is back to 000.0

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Instead of unhooking the speedometer cable from the transmission why not just drive the car with it unhooked from the speedometer and watch the cable to see if it turns? I guess I'm old and lazy, but that's what I always used to do rather than crawl under the car.

To answer your question about the kits if you get the cable cut to the correct length it should last for years.

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1937-44. I'm lazy too, and, didn't think of a simple idea like that!! I like it. I did get the Trip ODO to reset last night, so at least that part of the head isn't frozen up. I'll try your idea of driving the car around a bit and watching to see if the head of the cable is turning. DUH!! :)

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Okay tried 1937-44s recommendation. Speedo cable is not turning when disconnected from Speedo head with car in Drive. I'm hoping broken cable. Now that I think of it, I did find it odd the first night when working on this that the Speedo cable would rotate freely by hand at top end when still connected at lower end with car in Park. My thought is, if solidly engaged at Tranny end of business, there shouldn't be much rotation at top end. A break somewhere in cable would probably allow this rotation... One last test will be to see how much cable I can pull up through top end of steel outer jacket AND to see if the needle will move when I plug some of the broken cable into the backside of the Head and try to rotate it by hand. If needle moves, I'm probably good with just replacing cable. If not, probably need new cable AND head repair... Shop manual did state that leading cause of broken cables is issues with the Speedo/Odo head unit.

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On the bright side it will be just the cable. True the speedometer head is the cause of most cables breaking , but not all. I've replaced a few cables and never had an issue again. A few things to check before putting in a new cable if the old one is bad is to check for kinks, sharp bends, and broken sections in the housing. Don't forget to add a little lube.

Carl

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Will do. I'll try to make sure to find some of the graphite grease to put on the cable before re-installing. I'm pretty sure I saw that Bob's and/or Cars had the cable repair kits. There was one or two other things I need from them anyway.

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You might also check out the universal kits sold by Autozone, Advance Auto Parts, Napa, Pep Boys or whatever is your favorite. Really isn't rocket science.

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The KEY to the universal kits is getting the new plastic "end" securely glued to the length-adjusted cable. The ends had a dab of adhesive in them. Just push it on the cable and "let cure". Personally, I'd rather get a cable/casing kit from the guy in MI that does the speedo stuff -- just the way my luck runs, sometimes.

I understand the orientation of trying to do everything "from the topside", BUT there are also TWO gears in the trans that make that cable work. Could be wear or other issues down there that you can't see "from the topside".

Please keep us posted on your progress.

NTX5467

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Turning the cable by hand might not get the needle to move. I chuck the end of the cable in a cordless drill to get enough rpm to get the speedo moving.

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Thanks for replies guys. Still haven't had a chance to do the cable work. I've been able to trace it down to the front frame rail and then it disappears someplace between the frame and the floor boards somewhere. I've got to get my car up on ramps or jack stands so that I can figure out where it terminates on the lower end.

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I wish I had a camera to post a pic., but I figured out why my Speedo. doesn't work. I suppose when the cable is snapped off about a foot or so into the housing and the section of cable below the break has turned into a twirled octopus, it isn't going to be spinning!! LOL My wife and I had to cut individual strands of cable off and un-wind them. After quite a bit of tugging, swearing, and hoping I could free the jam from the housing, we cleared the mess. I was thinking of just ordering a new complete cable, but the grommet where the cable housing goes thru the cowl access panel didn't really present an easy way to get it out.

I'm ordering a cable repair kit. The housing seems to be good. Cleaned off about an 1/8" thickness of grease, grime, and what have you off of the outside of near the entire length of the tube. As others have suggested, I'm going to also take the top end of the busted cable and plug it back into the backside of the Speedo head and give a spin with a drill. I'll be able to rule out any issues in the head that would have caused the cable to snap in the first place. I'm hoping it was just age, but the non-broken sections of the cable seemed to be in still good condition.

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Just be careful with the drill. Not sure if I was trying to turn my speedometer to fast, or the wrong direction but I broke a speedometer once trying to turn it with a drill.

Carl

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OUCH!! Noted. Shop Manual does state twist with fingertips. I tried it once, but that was before I pulled the cable out of the housing. Will give it another try with fingers first, and then try at a very slow speed with drill. I was wondering if turning it the wrong way too fast would be an issue...

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Hey guys, I think I struck out on the Speedo. I plugged the snapped off section of cable back into the back of the Speedo. and tried to twirl/spin by hand. Seemed like it didn't want to budge, and definitely no needle movement. Next step will be to pull Speedo from dash and see if it'll work from a better angle or to see if I can see what's got it stuck. May have to send it out for a repair. :( I know Shadetree had posted some home DIY work on his Speedo. a while back and will follow what he did.

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