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41 Buick: Removing Trip Odometer Knob

Kenneth Carr

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I am attempting to remove my instrument panel and replace several gauges , speedometer cable, and the panel itself.

I got the 5 nuts off the panel and some of the other nuts are off too. But now I am having trouble with

the trip odometer knob.


I loosened the hex nut. I removed the small screw that is in the center of the knurled knob (replaced in attached photo).

The knob still won't come off. Do I have to first release the cable from the speedometer and then feed it through the

hole for the knob? I'm trying to do this without damaging anything.


Suggestions welcome. Thanks!

Trip Odometer Knob.JPG

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I'm going to be watching your progress very carefully and hope you keep posting because I will be embarking on a  similar project on my '41 pretty soon.


When I got my car, the knurled knob on the trip odometer was missing and it was just about impossible to get a good enough grip on the shaft to turn it at all.  Then I was poking around and found the knob in one of the ashtrays.  The screw that you show in the center was not there (and I didn't realize that it should have been part of the assembly).  However, I just pushed the knurled knob onto the shaft and it stuck solid.  I wondered what was supposed to be holding the knob in place, but it has stuck so solid that I just figured that the shaft was slightly tapered, and the knob was intended to be held in place as a sort of "pressure fit."  Anyhow, this is a long-winded way of saying that I think that you need to remove the screw and then pull hard on the knob (while holding the shaft with vise-grips) and it should come off.

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Neil, Thanks for the input. I will give that a try.


I have been documenting my progress with notes and photos. The first thing I did was to

read the excellent thread on this board that is all about pulling the instrument panel.

Boy was that a chore. Now I am working on removing all the gauges and wires and

sensor cables. 

It's a lot of fun at 68 years old spending time on your back under a car dashboard.

I don't usually do this stuff but  I know the guys in our local AACA Region club (WPRAACA)

have got my back. They encourage and lend a hand when I am really stuck.


Eventually I will post to that other thread and make a posting to our own club

blog. (I'm more comfortable with computers and writing than fixing old cars.)


Edited by Roadmaster71
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Thanks to Neil I was able to remove the knob off of the trip odometer. First I re-tightened the

hex nut to keep everything lined up. Then I braced the shaft with long nose pliers

(the vise-grips were too cumbersome) and inserted a spring-loaded seam opening tool between the

knob and the pliers. Several tries with lots of force popped it off.

Then I was able to remove the shaft and put the knob back on (don't want to lose it) loosely with a couple

turns of the screw. 

The seam opening device is the one I used many years ago to open up Macintosh computers

that I needed to work on. It's a great tool to have.

A photo (best I could do with only two hands) is attached. At this point the knob has popped off.

And yes Neil, the shaft has a definite taper! You have the mind of an engineer.

If you lived around here I'd invite you right over for a few beers (or iced tea .. your choice).


Bonus: In the 16 years I have owned this car the trip odometer was stuck at 44,609 miles (or something

like that). Now it suddenly works!  I set it to 000000.00 miles. Maybe when I get the new speedometer 

cable in I will be able to track mileage and apply for the AACA M.A.P. (Mileage Award Program).



Removing Trip Odometer Knob.JPG

Taper on shaft.JPG

Edited by Roadmaster71
added image (see edit history)
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That seam opening tool was just what you needed -- I didn't know such a thing existed.  Glad I could help.  I will stop in for those beers the next time I'm in Rhode Island!





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1 hour ago, kgreen said:

Nice little detail of things good to know when I get to the same point. 


I'm also looking at your dash panel engine turning detail with regard to another thread on this forum.  Thanks for your post.

Glad I can be of some help ... I get more than my share of help from the good people here.



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