Jump to content

How to shorten a speedometer cable?


Recommended Posts

I have to cut a speedometer cable to a specific length but I'm not really sure how to best cut the cable itself. Since it's wrapped wire, I'd expect it to unwind after being cut so I can't just take a set of wire cutters to it. Does anyone have any experience cutting the wire inner cable? Solder it to prevent the unwinding? Weld it? 

 

Any advice is very welcome!

 

5-7-21-1.jpg.bb030a9b4e66af94228a2ca1c53d4c2d.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You should be able to use a grinder to cut it. The grinding process should result in a clean cut. I don't think it will unravel any. You can solder it if it starts to unravel, but I don't think it will. If you want to be sure how it will work, you could do a practice cut several inches above where the actual cut needs to be to see how the cable reacts to your cutting process. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wrap it tight with masking tape before using the cutoff wheel.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with using a cutoff wheel on a grinder or Dremel tool to cut the cable after tightly wrapping it. One question: Aren't the ends of speedo cables pressed square or have a square sleeve crimped on them? If so, how are you going to preserve the square driving end?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  I still have my speedometer cable kit used in my trucking business back in the day. Consists of a metal box with about a dozen compartments full of different ends, crimper, and some rolls of cable.

  We used to cut cable with oxy/acty torch (that’ll fuse it), smooth up on grinder, and crimp on new end.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Jubilee said:

cut cable with oxy/acty torch (that’ll fuse it), smooth up on grinder, and crimp on new end.

 

BINGO!!!!...............Bob

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Jubilee said:

Consists of a metal box with about a dozen compartments full of different ends, crimper

Coincidence; I just bought that type of box marked Napa at a swap last weekend for $1 ..yes a dollar. :)

 

I will try to take a picture today of the contents and the crimper bits that you use in a bench vise.

 

Decades ago at car shops I worked at, we would get an AC branded inner cable kit that came in a large square blue/white envelope that included the proper metal end for the car you ordered it for, and a throw-away metal crimping bit to use in a vise.

 

Some later? AC kits had a plastic end that you put on after heating the end of the cable.  Back then, we just used sidecutters to snip the inner cable to length. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm working on repairing my speedo cable this week too. You're a few days ahead of me though.

A friend said that he cuts the inner cable to size using an oxy/act torch with a brazing tip. Just heats it up and it fuses the end as it cuts it off.

 

Bill

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Matt,

When I shortened mine, I brazed a 2" section that would be the new end first, then cut it to length with a 4" grinder, and then ground the end square to fit in the Tx.

 

Mike in Colorado

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

No help on shortening the cable. But, while working on a problem with the speedometer on my 1923 DB Roadster, it was brought to my attention that these cars have both clockwise and counter clockwise Speedo rotations. Likewise, the cable for each application is wound in a direction according to its rotation. So, it is wise to determine the direction of rotation prior to fitting a new cable since a cable spinning counter the direction of its windings will continually result in unwinding, exactly as shown in your photo.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

My go to tool is a vilntage tool called a Rotozip Spiral Saw. It has a collet and a head that mounts both a spiral drill bit for a hole cutting as well as a 3 1/2 inch metal cutting disc. It is a super thin desk and absolutely superb for cutting off rusted cotter keys, shortening control shafts, and just about any other requiements for precision cutting thin metal. The tool is light, comes with a long cord and is easily storable. My first one, which I bought in about 1982, just gave up the ghost, but had a three speed selector switch. This was cool. However anyone interested in looking for these tools peruse  eBay and look for the Roto zip rebel, which now has only a single speed and no handle mounted trigger control. Unquestionably this Would be my tool of choice for cutting a speedometer cable. But, I cannot suggest a way of reforming the end of the cable to make it fit,  and prevent unraveling.

Edited by Jack Bennett
Change words (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...