kclark

1929 Dictator Speedometer Cable

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My speedometer cable was sheared off at the transmission when I got it a few years ago. I had Bob's speedometer make a new one when I sent the one I had to them. I installed it and it was good for about 10 feet or so. The speedometer is free wheeling so I know it's not there. So at the transmission is there something that I need to be looking for and are there any diagrams so I can figure out what I need to free up.

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Does the speedo actually turn in the dash with no resistance? Mine broke too. The speedo is Zamac diecast and it swells with time, eventually stopping the speedo turning. A broken cable is the result. The warning is wild swings of the speedo needle or tumbler. Also, how much oil is there inside the cable outer? If it has oil in it and dust can get in, it will clog up with dust (oil is a wetting agent) and break.

 

Is there a sharp kink in the cable? Shouldn't be.

 

Show us the speedo body and we may immediately know the solution.

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18 minutes ago, Spinneyhill said:

Does the speedo actually turn in the dash with no resistance? Mine broke too. The speedo is Zamac diecast and it swells with time, eventually stopping the speedo turning. A broken cable is the result. The warning is wild swings of the speedo needle or tumbler. Also, how much oil is there inside the cable outer? If it has oil in it and dust can get in, it will clog up with dust (oil is a wetting agent) and break.

 

Is there a sharp kink in the cable? Shouldn't be.

 

Show us the speedo body and we may immediately know the solution.

The cable and ends were brand new so no dust or clogs. I didn't oil it but read to use white grease. but again it made it about 10-20 foot. The speedo was working and it would spin. If it was the speedo, would it break off at the speedo end or the other end? I have a brand new NOS speedo that I bought off eBay with 0 mileage on it that I can try. But the old one does turn but right off hand I can't remember how much force if any it took to turn the speedo.

 

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If the speedo stops turning, the coil forming the inner cable will be wound tight and then break at the weakest point, perhaps at the bottom where it is shaped for the fitting?

 

Looking at a picture of what purports to be a Dictator dash, it is a Stewart Warner speedo? Mine is too. The inner gets harder and harder to turn as the body swells. It can be fixed.

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I had a broken speedo cable in my Erskine when I got it on the road a couple years ago.  I matched the cable to a model a ford cable, exact measurements, I just had to check the size on the trans end and compare to a customers model a.  worked 100%, then the speedo quit after a trip.  I took off the end at the speedo and found the same - speedo free spinning and cable was not broken again. I did this twice and the speedo would work for a few hundred feet.  by looking at the end when I took it off the speedo, it looked like the cable was falling out of the speedo head.  I checked the depth of the hole for the cable end at the trans, and seen that the cable could slip down far enough into the speedo gear at the trans end.  I folded over a piece of plastic string trimmer wire and shoved it into the trans end to hold speedo cable up so as not to wind its way down and out of mesh with the speedo head.  its worked perfect now all summer.

 sorry for the long explanation, now I can go back to sleep - terry

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I hate to hear about the speedo problem. When I got my 29, the speedo swung wildly. I took out the cable and poured a light 5w oil down it. When this did not fix it, I took the speedo apart and carefully lubed it with some very light oil, gun oil I think. It has worked well ever since.

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