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My 100 year old car has a backward speedometer


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It is beyond imagination that a 1923 Dodge Brothers Roadster has a speedometer which reads backwards. Over the months I have had to change the transmission top and remake my floor boards because, the transmission pieces, from which I built the transmission, and the shards of floorboards I used as patterns are for a car other than the Dodge Roadster, which they have been buried with for at least the past 50 years. Yesterday I took the car out for the longest drive since it was restored to a outpatient level of treatment. I had tested the speedometer prior to installing it a few months ago, and, albeit, it still has a 1976 rebuilt tag on it by Reynolds Repairs, in Danvers, Mass, I put a few miles on it with my drill while testing it. So, during my drive I was happy to see the little 10th of a mile dial happily ticking off the numbers. I suppose it was someplace around 99984 miles on the odometer, instead the 00016, it should have read, I noticed that the little 10th of a mile indicator was eating miles, rather than adding them. It was actually reading 9-8-7-6-5…..well, I think you’ve got it….instead of 5-6-7-8-9…….anyway, good for trade in value, but a real mind numbing thing so far as distance travelled. Roger Hadley, the Technical Advisor for the Dodge Brothers Club said the reversed speedometer gears was a consequence of the changing and merging of companies which manufactured the speedometers in the years crossing over from late 1922 to early 1923. After he researched it on his computer, and naming off the 100’s of speedometers used in the cars, none of which matched mine, he finally gave up, said he’d need some more time, and suggested that I check the speed shops for a speedometer cable direction reversing adapter. This took a few minutes of computer searching to figure out that such a animal is available for a electronic speedometer, but, appears not to have been invented for a 1923 Dodge Brothers Roadster ……yet. My speedometer is made by the North East Electric Company, type 3850, has a left to right rotation, and the speedometer drive cable in my car rotates right to left, or, in other words, erases miles rather than adds them. Roger said he thinks Stewart-Warner makes a speedometer which will replace the one I now have………Any suggestions, comments, criticism, religious recommendations, life style changes or other productive solutions to this situation.🤔

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Is the speedometer itself reading speed? If it is, and you reverse the direction to fix the odometer, I believe it will no longer read speed, because the speed will be trying to go down rather than up. The problem likely lies within the speedometer itself.

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45 minutes ago, Bloo said:

Is the speedometer itself reading speed? If it is, and you reverse the direction to fix the odometer, I believe it will no longer read speed, because the speed will be trying to go down rather than up. The problem likely lies within the speedometer itself.

The speedometer bounces up to about 5 MPH and the drops (bounces) back to zero. I have tested the speedometer with a spare cable and electric drill and it spins from left to right, and works properly, including the speed. I disconnected the speedometer cable from the speedometer, left the cable connected to the transmission, and watched the direction the cable was rotating. I turns from the right to the left, opposite the speedometer. I have three of the same model North East Electric Company speedometers, and they all turn in the opposite direction of the cable installed in the car. It is the speedometer, and neither the cable or the transmission drive gear. I’m wondering how this problem has been around as long as these old cars have been driven, and what people done about it when it was discovered.

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3 hours ago, 1937hd45 said:

Does the drive attach to a front wheel? 

Negative. It is a driven by a gear, which is a part of the transmission cover, attached to the speedometer by a cable, turned by a worm gear on the transmission main shaft. 

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Is there anything that makes you think this speedometer is the right one for your Dodge Brothers? I am not that familiar with Dodge Brothers cars, however, I know quite a number of people that have them, and I have never heard of this problem before.

 

The side of the car the driver sits on does not change the direction of the speedometer. So, no, export to Australia is not part of the problem.

 

I would suspect the speedometer you have is not correct for the car. It could be possible for the gearing inside the transmission to have been change to something incorrect? But that is unlikely.

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4 minutes ago, wayne sheldon said:

Is there anything that makes you think this speedometer is the right one for your Dodge Brothers? I am not that familiar with Dodge Brothers cars, however, I know quite a number of people that have them, and I have never heard of this problem before.

 

The side of the car the driver sits on does not change the direction of the speedometer. So, no, export to Australia is not part of the problem.

 

I would suspect the speedometer you have is not correct for the car. It could be possible for the gearing inside the transmission to have been change to something incorrect? But that is unlikely.

I was furnished three of the exact North East Electric Company speedometers with the car when I bought it. Two of the speedometers were still in the original boxes in which they were return shipped from the rebuilder in 1976. The transmission was rebuilt, but was installed in the car, and mounted to the engine/drive train when I bought the car. I have two parts transmissions, both with the covers removed and main shaft installed, and I checked the cover plate drive gear from the transmission cover plate installed in the car, and the transmission cover plate drive gear matches the worm speedometer drive gear installed in all three transmissions…..and any of the three will spin the speedometer drive gear in the reverse direction of the speedometer input. I have checked out Stewart-Warner, AC. and other North East Electric Company speedometers, and none will work in the direction these transmissions rotate. I suppose my engine may be running backwards, but, I sure hope there are simpler answers to my problem than this.

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Could one of the gears be installed backwards or upside down?  I know absolutely nothing about transmission gears on a dodge or any other car. I had a friend help (that means he did all the work, I watched) as he knew what he was doing. 
 

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51 minutes ago, wayne sheldon said:

Is there anything that makes you think this speedometer is the right one for your Dodge Brothers? I am not that familiar with Dodge Brothers cars, however, I know quite a number of people that have them, and I have never heard of this problem before.

 

The side of the car the driver sits on does not change the direction of the speedometer. So, no, export to Australia is not part of the problem.

 

I would suspect the speedometer you have is not correct for the car. It could be possible for the gearing inside the transmission to have been change to something incorrect? But that is unlikely.

Here are a couple more photos of the dash panels of a 1923 Dodge Bros. Roadster, not mine. And the speedometer looks identical to the ones I have. Not trying to explain a answer, but looking for the question.

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C81C4F9E-7A29-4137-8B4C-A2390FDF737A.jpeg

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My guess is the gears in the transmission are wrong.

 

Backing up a bit,

 

1 hour ago, Jack Bennett said:

I disconnected the speedometer cable from the speedometer, left the cable connected to the transmission, and watched the direction the cable was rotating. I turns from the right to the left

 

Viewed from where? Were you looking at the open end of the cable? Consider a "conventional" speedometer with a needle and a dial. The cable HAS to turn the drive drum in the direction the needle is going to go. Viewed from the open front of the cable, that is left to right, because the needle must rotate left to right. Viewed from the back of the speedometer, it would be the opposite, right to left. At the transmission end, staring into the disconnected end of the cable, it is also opposite, right to left.

 

So, assuming in the quote above you were indeed looking into the open end of the cable at the speedometer end, then a conventional speedometer with a needle and zero at the left would not work connected to your cable. Yes, I know that isn't what you have but bear with me. 99 percent of speedometers require the opposite rotation of what you have.

 

Now the designer of a drum speedometer like yours could make it for either rotation since the driver is just looking at a drum with numbers on it. The scales would have to be opposite, but it is POSSIBLE to design for either, and I am pretty sure both were done somewhere, if not on Dodge Brothers

 

Nevertheless, it appears from your post that your speedometer needs the same conventional rotation as a speedometer with a needle, and it isn't getting it.

 

Assuming the speedometer is correct for the car, either the gears are wrong, or there is some sort of external gearbox that goes between the transmission and the speedometer that is missing.

 

 

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16 minutes ago, SC38DLS said:

Could one of the gears be installed backwards or upside down?  I know absolutely nothing about transmission gears on a dodge or any other car. I had a friend help (that means he did all the work, I watched) as he knew what he was doing. 
 

Thanks for the response, and, I really appreciate the human side you’ve revealed by admitting you are learning a hobby, and enjoy writing about it. To answer your question though…..No, the worm gear, which  drives the gear which spins the speedometer cable is a permanent part of the transmission main shaft. Even reversing the gear, if that is possible since it is a worm gear, would not change the direction the gear it drives rotates. The gear which turns the speedometer cable is mounted to the transmission cover and it is impossible (well, maybe some people could) to install either upside down or backwards. I suppose there is a speedometer drive gear, which installs inside the transmission, which has a twist opposite to the one I have, but I’ve never seen one. Thanks again for your response…..it makes viewing the forum worthwhile.

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8 minutes ago, Bloo said:

My guess is the gears in the transmission are wrong.

 

Backing up a bit,

 

 

Viewed from where? Were you looking at the open end of the cable? Consider a "conventional" speedometer with a needle and a dial. The cable HAS to turn the drive drum in the direction the needle is going to go. Viewed from the open front of the cable, that is left to right, because the needle must rotate left to right. Viewed from the back of the speedometer, it would be the opposite, right to left. At the transmission end, staring into the disconnected end of the cable, it is also opposite, right to left.

 

So, assuming in the quote above you were indeed looking into the open end of the cable at the speedometer end, then a conventional speedometer with a needle and zero at the left would not work connected to your cable. Yes, I know that isn't what you have but bear with me. 99 percent of speedometers require the opposite rotation of what you have.

 

Now the designer of a drum speedometer like yours could make it for either rotation since the driver is just looking at a drum with numbers on it. The scales would have to be opposite, but it is POSSIBLE to design for either, and I am pretty sure both were done somewhere, if not on Dodge Brothers

 

Nevertheless, it appears from your post that your speedometer needs the same conventional rotation as a speedometer with a needle, and it isn't getting it.

 

Assuming the speedometer is correct for the car, either the gears are wrong, or there is some sort of external gearbox that goes between the transmission and the speedometer that is missing.

 

 

The odd sound you aren’t hearing is me scratching my head. The speedometer, when mounted in the dashboard counted the odometer down, not up. And the speed jumped around, bouncing from 0 to 5 MPH and back to zero. When the speedometer has subtracted 16 miles from the 9999 miles it originally showed, I guessed it was working backwards. So, I disconnected the cable from the speedometer, left the other end attached to the transmission. Then I drove the car forward, observing the cable, from my place on the seat, while it was pointing toward the, now exposed, opening at the bottom of the speedometer. The cable rotated in a direction, as observed from the top, in a direction beginning at the passenger door and ending at the steering wheel…..or counter the direction a needle would move on a speedometer with a pointer, rather than a wheel. Upon returning home I removed the speedometer from the dash board and, using a spare speedometer drive cable and electric drill, powered the speedometer up. When the drill rotated from the left to the right…..or in the direction the needle on a pointer type speedometer would move, the speedometer registered both speed (up to 65 MPH, and logged the odometer mileage as added distance, rather than subtracting it. I then took a spare speedometer drive gear, removed from one of the spare transmission covers provided with the car, and went to the two spare transmissions, also provided with the car. When mated with the transmission drive gear on the spare transmission, the cover drive gear would be turned in the same direction as the speedometer properly worked…..left to right. I too suppose that fate has sent me three oddball transmissions and three oddball speedometers, and provided a oddball car to put them in. Were this the case I would call it “providence”, but I would rather believe there is someone, somewhere, who has had this problem, and it will be resolved.

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To reverse the rotation, either BOTH gears have to have opposite twist, or both gears keep the same twist as before and the exit location has to change.

 

Consider for a moment a speedometer gear that exits below the output shaft, on the left/driver side of the car. In this diagram the actual cable connection would be on the back side, away from you.

 

1930_01-fig_835.png

 

That's a model A Ford I think, but it doesn't matter. If the engine rotation is clockwise, the driven gear will turn counterclockwise, which is correct for a needle-type and most other speedometers, counterclockwise from the back. The needle will then turn clockwise from the front.

 

Now, if we rotate the gear around the output shaft so that the cable exits on the right/passenger side, nothing has changed, except that now the cable exits above the output shaft. It still works properly. If we want it to exit above the output shaft, but on the left/driver side as before, then the shaft must come out the opposite side of the driven gear. But wait, even though nothing has changed, we are now connecting the speedometer to what was the back side of the gear. The rotation is opposite.

 

The only way to fix that is to cut both gears with an opposite twist. That is exactly what Chevrolet did in 1936, when the bottom exit location did not clear the master cylinder for their new hydraulic brakes. They moved it to the top. The gears were identical except for the twist. They will readily interchange (as long as you change both, otherwise they wouldn't mesh), but the rotation will be backward, causing a problem exactly like yours.

 

There has to be some missing detail, like a year mismatch or a missing little gearbox on this Dodge Brothers. I wish you the best getting it figured out.

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, Bloo said:

To reverse the rotation, either BOTH gears have to have opposite twist, or both gears keep the same twist as before and the exit location has to change.

 

Consider for a moment a speedometer gear that exits below the output shaft, on the left/driver side of the car. In this diagram the actual cable connection would be on the back side, away from you.

 

1930_01-fig_835.png

 

That's a model A Ford I think, but it doesn't matter. If the engine rotation is clockwise, the driven gear will turn counterclockwise, which is correct for a needle-type and most other speedometers, counterclockwise from the back. The needle will then turn clockwise from the front.

 

Now, if we rotate the gear around the output shaft so that the cable exits on the right/passenger side, nothing has changed, except that now the cable exits above the output shaft. It still works properly. If we want it to exit above the output shaft, but on the left/driver side as before, then the shaft must come out the opposite side of the driven gear. But wait, even though nothing has changed, we are now connecting the speedometer to what was the back side of the gear. The rotation is opposite.

 

The only way to fix that is to cut both gears with an opposite twist. That is exactly what Chevrolet did in 1936, when the bottom exit location did not clear the master cylinder for their new hydraulic brakes. They moved it to the top. The gears were identical except for the twist. They will readily interchange (as long as you change both, otherwise they wouldn't mesh), but the rotation will be backward, causing a problem exactly like yours.

 

There has to be some missing detail, like a year mismatch or a missing little gearbox on this Dodge Brothers. I wish you the best getting it figured out.

 

To begin with, I need to say how much it s appreciated that you, and every other AACA subscriber has responded so rapidly, and readily to my speedometer dilemma. I am serious about things that worry my cars, and anyone who shares those concerns is considered a good friend.

So, here goes…..I post to the AACA forum for a couple of reasons. First off, I too am learning about the aches and pains experienced by these old relics, and I feel a level of kinship by being able to give them a little longer life. There is no skill base tappable which exceeds those talents and skills possessed by you folks, who also share a kinship with your machines. I have always believed that, if you wanted to learn stupid stuff, tap the idiot brain stem. But, if you were really interested in learning information of value, soar with the eagles who were experts in their chosen crafts. Secondly, by writing, I am my most avid reader, and the best way to remember anything is to write it down. I do not expect anyone on this forum to be able to solve any or all questions asked of them. And, as in my case, repeated writing of the problem gave me the information and stimulus to discover what was causing it.

I bought my 1923 Dodge Bros. Roadster as a failed restoration by two previous people, and, literally, it was little more than a trailer load of nuts, bolts, brackets and gizmos. Only through tenacity, and a lot of help from folks like you, it now has a seat to sit on and can be rolled instead of carried. But this progress has not came without set backs and disappointments, and the latest speedometer fiasco was part of a ongoing learning curve.

The transmission was sitting on the frame, and connected to the engine, but was missing the cover, and the cover provided didn’t fit properly.

From the parts transmissions I had gleaned with the car I built a cover, and obtained the correct shift lever and emergency brake handle to fit the car. However, the speedometer drive gears on all the covers were either frozen or rusted beyond serviceable repair. So, I contacted a local friend, who is a collector of Dodge memorabilia, and obtained one in good condition. It fit the cover perfectly, and was promptly installed into the transmission. Then the demons reared their heads and imposed a difference between the drive gear on the transmission main shaft, and the teeth on the drive gear installed in the transmission cover……and then comes the problem.

The three transmissions appear outwardly to be exact replicas of each other. The internal story is very different, and as shown in the photos, the width and number of tracks on the worm gear installed in the car is different than either of the other two. And the spacing of the drive gear teeth on the cover is different also. Long story short….the drive gear I installed on the new cover was a mismatch in teeth spacing, and tooth count, from the gear installed to the main shaft of the transmission. The drive gear installed to the cover wasn’t only spinning backward, it was destroying itself in the process.

Tomorrow I will either talk to Rodger ((Dodger) Hadley about the choices of buying a cover installed drive gear that matches the tooth count and track width of the one now in the car, or rebuilding one of the other transmissions and buying a cover installed gear to match the narrower tracks and one less tooth count.

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You have solved it!

 

Look closely at those to get an idea which way it is going to turn. Assuming the top covers all have that gear pointing the same way and engaging at the same spot on the internal transmission gear, you have one internal transmission gear for each direction of rotation!

 

You may need more than the correct outer gear. Again, assuming the same engagement point, if that was turning backwards, it is still going to turn backwards with a gear of the correct pitch. If that is the case, both gears will need to be changed.

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2 hours ago, Bloo said:

To reverse the rotation, either BOTH gears have to have opposite twist, or both gears keep the same twist as before and the exit location has to change.

 

Consider for a moment a speedometer gear that exits below the output shaft, on the left/driver side of the car. In this diagram the actual cable connection would be on the back side, away from you.

 

1930_01-fig_835.png

 

That's a model A Ford I think, but it doesn't matter. If the engine rotation is clockwise, the driven gear will turn counterclockwise, which is correct for a needle-type and most other speedometers, counterclockwise from the back. The needle will then turn clockwise from the front.

 

Now, if we rotate the gear around the output shaft so that the cable exits on the right/passenger side, nothing has changed, except that now the cable exits above the output shaft. It still works properly. If we want it to exit above the output shaft, but on the left/driver side as before, then the shaft must come out the opposite side of the driven gear. But wait, even though nothing has changed, we are now connecting the speedometer to what was the back side of the gear. The rotation is opposite.

 

The only way to fix that is to cut both gears with an opposite twist. That is exactly what Chevrolet did in 1936, when the bottom exit location did not clear the master cylinder for their new hydraulic brakes. They moved it to the top. The gears were identical except for the twist. They will readily interchange (as long as you change both, otherwise they wouldn't mesh), but the rotation will be backward, causing a problem exactly like yours.

 

There has to be some missing detail, like a year mismatch or a missing little gearbox on this Dodge Brothers. I wish you the best getting it figured out.

 

You win the genius prize of the day. Bloo. Now that I have the phots, side by side, to compare, I got a OMG minute when I noticed that the transmission drive gear isn’t only different in the tooth count and spacing, they are different in direction of rotation also. So, it is a compounded problem by not only a mismatch of drive and driven gear teeth, it is a problem created by a right hand twist driver trying to drive a left hand twist driven gear. 
I think I have a handle on the situation and can now convince my old Dodge to add, not consume, miles, and move forward at a known and appreciative speed.👏

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I have been away for a few hours, and looking back in here to see how you were doing. Congratulations!

As I read down from my previous post, I saw that you do indeed have what appears to be a proper Dodge Brothers speedometer. I am so glad that you have found the problem.

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There are two different drives for Dodge Brothers cars and yes they go in both directions . I have not got my parts book at moment to look it up , memory says the drive gears are cut in  different directions . will look it up later. Bob

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The shaft gear (2nd photo down) looks pretty coursely threaded (high pitch). I'd presume this is the culprit. Obviously before machining a new worm gear for the cover attachment I'd verify the correct shaft gear is in place - not the least reason is to get a reasonable reading off the speedometer when done. Otherwise it won't be calibrated either...I'm not a machinist like some on the forum but working with gears in other venues I have a hard time seeing the course shaft gear mating with another worm gear and lasting very long at high speeds....Am I viewing the pics correctly?

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12 hours ago, Jack Bennett said:

You win the genius prize of the day. Bloo. Now that I have the phots, side by side, to compare, I got a OMG minute when I noticed that the transmission drive gear isn’t only different in the tooth count and spacing, they are different in direction of rotation also. So, it is a compounded problem by not only a mismatch of drive and driven gear teeth, it is a problem created by a right hand twist driver trying to drive a left hand twist driven gear. 
I think I have a handle on the situation and can now convince my old Dodge to add, not consume, miles, and move forward at a known and appreciative speed.👏

Of course that last sentence was tongue in cheek. My handle on the situation may as well be attached with chewing gum in a hot shower. I have three transmissions, two with high gear ratio speedometer drive gears going one direction. I have a third transmission with a low gear ration going in the opposite direction of either the speedometer (?) or the other speedometer drive gears. This is nearing the point where I retreat to my wood work shop, cut a dowel pin the same diameter as the hole in the transmission cover, where the speedometer driven gear would mount, drive that dowel in that hole, replace my floorboards, and call it done.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, prewarnut said:

The shaft gear (2nd photo down) looks pretty coursely threaded (high pitch). I'd presume this is the culprit. Obviously before machining a new worm gear for the cover attachment I'd verify the correct shaft gear is in place - not the least reason is to get a reasonable reading off the speedometer when done. Otherwise it won't be calibrated either...I'm not a machinist like some on the forum but working with gears in other venues I have a hard time seeing the course shaft gear mating with another worm gear and lasting very long at high speeds....Am I viewing the pics correctly?

You are looking at the photos correctly. The gear with the course teeth is the gear in the transmission which is now installed in the car. It was this gear which chewed up the teeth on the driven gear, also out of this transmission. The gear with the fine teeth are the gear(s) in the other two parts transmissions I have. And, it appears that the driven gear I installed in the transmission should actually be mated with the fine teeth gears, which or opposite in direction, and not the course tooth gear in my go-to transmission. I have posted another photo, this one taken from the maintenance book on this car, and it shows the speedometer drive gear, in the transmission, as having the same direction teeth as the one presently in the cars transmission. So, apparently, the other two transmissions are from a different year of Dodge Bros. car, as we have established the three other transmission covers I have, to be. And, maybe the transmission and its speedometer drive gear are the ones taken from the car while it was being stripped for restoration. If that is the case, and I can find a driven gear, of the same pitch and direction, maybe this will salve the problem with my speedometer……..and then the distributer will probably melt or the rear end will fall off……but that’s a day in the life of the father of a spoiled brat.

Edited by Jack Bennett (see edit history)
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Jack I wish you luck. I would come by and help you but seeing my expertise is totally watching transmission repairs and rebuilds I don’t know how much help that would be. Hang in there I am sure you and guys/gals that know about these Dodges will get it solved. 
Have fun

dave s 

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8 hours ago, robert b said:

There are two different drives for Dodge Brothers cars and yes they go in both directions . I have not got my parts book at moment to look it up , memory says the drive gears are cut in  different directions . will look it up later. Bob

Thanks Robert, but I believe I have painfully discovered that the only thing consistent with these old cars is the expectation of them being inconsistent. I found that there are, most certainly, two different gear ratios and the direction of rotation of the speedometer drive/driven gears used in the DB cars of this age. Rather than checking your parts book, which I certainly appreciate the offer, stop by my garage and I’ll show you at least two of the vastly different speedometer set-up’s used just in this model year. And, since I have exposed the crimes, and there is nothing to solve other than to ask the question why……we’ll have time to drink a cold beer or two and watch the sun set over Mount Rainier.

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7 minutes ago, SC38DLS said:

Jack I wish you luck. I would come by and help you but seeing my expertise is totally watching transmission repairs and rebuilds I don’t know how much help that would be. Hang in there I am sure you and guys/gals that know about these Dodges will get it solved. 
Have fun

dave s 

Thanks Bud……A lucky day of working on these old cars is one which lets you eat supper with nearly the same quantity of blood you had at the start of the day. These cars are no more than a hobby, and the learning curve of their peevish problems is what keeps it interesting. Earlier in my life I built control line (RC had not been invented) model planes. Some of these highly detailed creations took a year or more to finish, and, for a kid on a almost nothing budget, very costly. And then comes the big day at the ball field, and a crowd has gathered to watch your beautiful P-51 Mustang roar and soar as I do loops and dives, with the tiny gas engine screaming. A slip of the finger while spin starting the engine can result in a rather nasty cut from the razor sharp prop. This is kept interesting because the blood from the cut mixes with the fuel being sprayed from the engine, and when blown about in the prop wash, creates a crimson rainbow with beautiful flickering colors. But, it’s all about flying, and cuts grow less painful when that beautiful airplane gains speed, and in a rush of smoke and blown dust, lifts from the ground for the first time since it was mere balsa wood, silk span paper, glue, and lots of model dope (paint). It’s a wonderful day, the sun is warm and the breeze is blowing. And, that does make the remainder of the day bearable after having to pick up the mangled, barely recognizable pieces of my beautiful model which crashed mere seconds after the wheels left the ground.

And thus begins the education of a kid who finally decides to get a old Dodge and, using a lot of wood, glue and paint, assemble it into a beautiful machine capable of soaring along the highways at biways at a break neck speed of 35 MPH……if only the speedometer would keep working.

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31 minutes ago, SC38DLS said:

Jack I wish you luck. I would come by and help you but seeing my expertise is totally watching transmission repairs and rebuilds I don’t know how much help that would be. Hang in there I am sure you and guys/gals that know about these Dodges will get it solved. 
Have fun

dave s 

My attitude while working on a machine that has already lived a long life, and may have died a number of deaths before my resurrection attempt, is that it’s 99% about the trip, and .01% about the destination. I would look with envy at the thousands of professionally restored DB Roadsters out there, and feel really bad that I I didn’t possess the inventory of skills necessary to take a rusty, rotted, rat eaten, recluse of a car and reconstruct it into a machine which was originally put together by a bunch of farmers, using hand tools and tractor maintenance techniques, 100 years ago. But, I also realize that these cars will once again be relegated to the refuse pile, and either rust away in a field, or be hidden away in some barn for another 100 years regardless of how much effort I apply towards restoring it to a condition better than new. What it is all about is gaining a identity and associating it with a object which excites and incites good memories….rather than those associated with the complexities of life today. My old car are the invitation and permission to talk to anyone, anytime, anywhere about the folks who owned/drove a similar car 50 years ago (tears optional), their first car, and the part it played in their lives, and the irreplaceable glitter in a kids eyes when they can sit behind the steering wheel of a 100 year old car for a photo with dad. It’s all about what the cars do for our daily lives during their resurrection, and not necessarily about how much paint and fabric was used during their restoration.

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Not trying to be a smart alec, but, right to left, left to right? Those are linear terms, like how to read a line of text. The same rotation can be said to exist for the same rotation of the part. Just depends on what the person saw. i.e. above the center line or below the centerline.🤔

 

The terms Clockwise and Counter Clockwise were invented to eliminate confusion. CW or CW looking at a part.

 

 Why make a big deal, that does not help the OP with their problem, because I work with young people who CAN NOT TELL TIME ON a clock face!🤬 We are in danger of not being able to communicate mechanical ideas like quarter turn (as in quarter of the hour), clockwise, etc.

 

Off my soap box now, at least it is old car mechanical related...🤣

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Since the subject of gear ratio has come up, I would point out that the coarseness of the gears has no effect on that. You must count the teeth and divide. Also, how to count the teeth on the gear inside the transmission is not obvious. You must count the ends of the teeth as they fall of the edge of the gear. If you count the number of teeth across the face of the gear, it will be wrong almost every time.

 

SpeedoGear.png

 

 

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Excellent point about counting teeth! I should have really referred to "pitch" The diagram provided above interestingly seems to match the in-the-car gear's pitch (can't count the teeth but it looks similar) and direction compared with the unused transmission. Of course there's axial pitch and normal pitch....😁

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So you'd call this Helical Gears on perpendicular shafts

 

Helical Gears Connecting Non-Parallel Shafts Helical gears used to connect non-parallel shafts are commonly called spiral gears or crossed axis helical gears. If the shaft angle is 90 degrees, the gears will be of the same hand and the sum of the helix angles will be equal to the shaft angle (90 degrees).
Helical gears used on non-parallel shafts must have the same normal pitch and normal pressure angles. They may, however, be of the same or opposite hand depending on the shaft angle.

 

Helical Gears Connecting Parallel Shafts Helical gears connecting parallel shafts will run more smoothly and quietly than spur gears, particularly when the helix angle is great enough to ensure that there is continuous contact from one tooth to the next. A pair of helical gears used to connect parallel shafts must have the same pitch, pressure angle and helix angle, but they will be opposite hand gears (that is, one will be a left-hand gear; the other a right-hand gear).

 

Helical Gears

 

 

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11 hours ago, mike6024 said:

So you'd call this Helical Gears on perpendicular shafts

 

Helical Gears Connecting Non-Parallel Shafts Helical gears used to connect non-parallel shafts are commonly called spiral gears or crossed axis helical gears. If the shaft angle is 90 degrees, the gears will be of the same hand and the sum of the helix angles will be equal to the shaft angle (90 degrees).
Helical gears used on non-parallel shafts must have the same normal pitch and normal pressure angles. They may, however, be of the same or opposite hand depending on the shaft angle.

 

Helical Gears Connecting Parallel Shafts Helical gears connecting parallel shafts will run more smoothly and quietly than spur gears, particularly when the helix angle is great enough to ensure that there is continuous contact from one tooth to the next. A pair of helical gears used to connect parallel shafts must have the same pitch, pressure angle and helix angle, but they will be opposite hand gears (that is, one will be a left-hand gear; the other a right-hand gear).

 

Helical Gears

 

 

Thanks for the information mike6024. However, information regarding a problem with these old cars, which have been loved to death by a lot of people, over the past 100 years is on par with learning how a parachute works, only to remember you forgot to bring yours, right after you’ve jumped from the plane. In the case of my 1923 Dodge Roadster, I am finding that it has been fixed so many times, by so many different people, they forgot what it was they were fixing, and started doing some really stupid stuff instead. On the Dodge Brothers Club forum there is a toggle which directs you to a page called “confidential information”. It does say everything one needs to know about these old cars, and that is that nobody knows anything about these old cars, and covers their lack of knowledge with the intelligent sounding label “confidential”. Actually, the whole collection of “confidential documents” have nothing to do with maintenance…..rather they are nothing more than directives given to dealers regarding marketing pointers to sell the cars. And they aren’t even worth the time it takes to open the page to find this out. Back to my old Dodge……..I am finding out that innovation, so far as things done when “fixing” these old cars is limitless, and is in no way connected to mechanical aptitude or abilities. You are absolutely correct in your descriptions of gear types, and rest assured that these, as well as hundreds of “confidential” gear types have been used on these cars. And then the human element, coupled with a bit of innovation and necessity are included, and you have a situation such as mine. I have determined that the transmission installed in my old Dodge was probably a nice looking repaint picked up at Hershey, or some other swap meet in the US, Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, or on Easter Island. They needed a neat looking cover, and bought, or traded for one which could be cleaned up pretty well. Then, when it was discovered that the cover didn’t fit the case because the shift lever and tower were in the wrong place, they reinvented the floorboards to fit the new cover. And then it was discovered that the driven speedometer gear, with the proper tooth count and pitch, didn’t fit the cover because the case into which the shaft was mounted, and upon which to gear was attached, was too short to allow threads to attach the cable to extend through the thicker mounting surface on the new cover. So, the driven gear assembly, with a longer shaft, but different tooth count and pitch was bastardized, the fine tooth, one direction gear was removed, and the coarse, opposite direction heat was pounded onto the longer shaft. It fit, but it was the wrong direction, and the driven gear which would have worked with the proper transmission drive gear was destroyed in the process. And then he died………and all the junk was thrown into 15 gallon plastic containers, and left for 45 years in the basement of his house.

And then I added ineptitude to insanity, and, without the understanding that, not only gears with both directions and a few different gear tooth counts and pitch were used when the cars were manufactured, hundreds of innovative, “necessity being the mother of invention” improvements and modifications have been made which makes any information regarding what the part looked like in 1923 totally useless.

yesterday I removed the transmission cover again, removed the coarse driven gear from its bunged up shaft, and using a couple of other driven gear mounts, made one which is the proper length, pitch and thread count to match the (forgetting that the drive gear in the wrong transmission was the original problem) related the cover to the transmission, AND, IT WORKED PERFECTLY! And exactly as it had before I removed the cover to correct the problem of a 100 year old speedometer working in reverse. It was exactly like it was before I started……albeit, it didn’t destroy the driven gear this time, but it still works in reverse.

I have a couple of other transmissions with the gear which will mate with the drum type speedometer driven gears I can now fabricate, and that is my solution……….I will change the transmission, and the proper driven gear can come along for the ride.

51237045-F47E-451A-A57B-EE39CDD784AD.jpeg

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14 hours ago, ArticiferTom said:

Maybe this company can help . They make reversing units . http://www.texasindustrialelectric.com/speedo.asp

Thanks for the links Tom. I have decided that I will remove the transmission, which is both incorrect, and noisy as all get out, from the car and just build another one which has the right pitch and direction of rotation of the Speedo drive gear. The car appears to have a completely rebuilt clutch but it doesn’t have adjustment, is grabby and makes a whole lot of noise…and I think it’s a more permanent fix to change the whole transmission than put a bandage on it to change direction. These gizmos are cool, but I gather they are more intended to change the path of the cable, e.g. add a 90 degree turn or change the gear ratio to match a new speedo to a old car. 
Thanks again…….I will post a update as my project advances or regresses to a point of total satisfaction, or irrevocable defeat.

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16 hours ago, prewarnut said:

Excellent point about counting teeth! I should have really referred to "pitch" The diagram provided above interestingly seems to match the in-the-car gear's pitch (can't count the teeth but it looks similar) and direction compared with the unused transmission. Of course there's axial pitch and normal pitch....😁

Being retired military, I too like statistics and correct descriptive verbiage to express them. Primary though, my comparisons are limited to numbers like .223, .556, .30 and .50 caliber, 9mm, and bigger numbers like 105mm and 9 inch, and are usually accompanied by nouns such as API, HEP, HEAT, WP, HE and other neat stuff to give a better idea of whether or not you should play with it.

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22 hours ago, Bloo said:

Since the subject of gear ratio has come up, I would point out that the coarseness of the gears has no effect on that. You must count the teeth and divide. Also, how to count the teeth on the gear inside the transmission is not obvious. You must count the ends of the teeth as they fall of the edge of the gear. If you count the number of teeth across the face of the gear, it will be wrong almost every time.

 

SpeedoGear.png

 

 

Sure wish you’d posted this a few days earlier. Perhaps then I wouldn’t have went out to my junk pile, late the other night, and, while dragging the old transmissions around trying to count the teeth with a small flashlight, the neighbors security lights went on and I heard their patio door slam open. It took a couple of tries to convince them that I was outside, in the rain, in my sweat pants, with a tiny flashlight, dragging old transmissions around and turning them every which way to look inside, because I was trying to count the number of teeth on a speedometer drive gear. I think I did a fair job of convincing them that I wasn’t doing something illegal. But I am 100% sure I heard the security lock on their patio door double lock after it was closed.

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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, Frank DuVal said:

Not trying to be a smart alec, but, right to left, left to right? Those are linear terms, like how to read a line of text. The same rotation can be said to exist for the same rotation of the part. Just depends on what the person saw. i.e. above the center line or below the centerline.🤔

 

The terms Clockwise and Counter Clockwise were invented to eliminate confusion. CW or CW looking at a part.

 

 Why make a big deal, that does not help the OP with their problem, because I work with young people who CAN NOT TELL TIME ON a clock face!🤬 We are in danger of not being able to communicate mechanical ideas like quarter turn (as in quarter of the hour), clockwise, etc.

 

Off my soap box now, at least it is old car mechanical related...🤣

Hi Frank. I speak a couple languages other than the butchered one we call English. Lots of the technical terms used in the languages spoken in developing nations are stolen from more developed countries and then adapted to the characteristics and dialects of the country in which it is to be used. Of course the level of education and colloquialisms have to be included or the average person would have no idea what was being discussed. The Vikings were great navigators, and it is believed that this was not a trait passed at birth. Rather, they had a stone, resembling a gem, which reflected and refracted light in a very certain and predictable way. When held up to the sun, by looking at the way the light passed through the stone, very precise directions, as well as their location on the globe could be ascertained. That was simple because the Vikings knew what a boat was, where they started and where they intended to go. But to explain “up”, down, left, right, forward, reverse, hot, cold, dark, light, smooth, course…..and on forever, to a fish, would be like trying to teach a Viking to use a map, a protractor and a compass. That said, it’s more about getting the job done, whether you know everything there is to know about telling time with a clock, or you take great pleasure teaching someone to use a shadow, sun dial or a clock to tell time, time will get counted, and guys like us will talk about old cars on a forum like this.

Edited by Jack Bennett (see edit history)
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34 minutes ago, Jack Bennett said:

Being retired military, I too like statistics and correct descriptive verbiage to express them.

My point exactly! Hence CW and CCW (as used in TMs) to get the idea across to others with no confusion. All old guys know what a clock face is, most a sundial too.😁

Yes, lots of colloquialisms and other languages in this hobby: what is the boot of a car, the carb, the dizzy, brake guide plate (a recent item on another forum had people scratching their head, but it was the term in the shop manual), drag link, paraffin, etc all confusing to some people.

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