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Old 03-17-2017, 12:52 AM   #1
Henry's Lady's Man
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Default Odometer quit, Speedo works

Ok, somebody on the forum knows what the problem is. My 1930 Town Sedan has always registered below speed. It reads 15 when doing 20, reads 38 when doing 45. (At low speeds, about 5 mph off; at higher speeds, about 7 mph off.)

But that is not my main concern. Though the speedo is off a bit, the odometer stopped turning when it was flipping from 4999 miles to 5000 miles. It just stopped. The numbers are in the middle of flipping to 5000. It's as if the number 5 is stuck? Do I need the Odometer rebuilt? The speedo works (though has always been off)... so the cable is turning, right?


Someone suggested putting graphite lubricant in the gears. I have not tried this yet.
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Old 03-17-2017, 01:28 AM   #2
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Default Re: Odometer quit, Speedo works

If you take it apart, you might find one of the bushings slipped and the gears are no longer engaged for the odometer. If you are creative you can relocate everything where it needs to be. Do you have an oval or round speedometer? The oval Stewart Warner is relatively easy to work on.
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Old 03-17-2017, 01:30 AM   #3
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Default Re: Odometer quit, Speedo works

It is an early '30 and has the oval. Would a bushing slip at exactly 5000? Curious?
Is the Stewart Warner original equipment? I think my car is fairly original stuff.
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Old 03-17-2017, 02:13 AM   #4
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Default Re: Odometer quit, Speedo works

I had my speedometer do exactly this when turning from 49,999 to 50,000. Apparently moving to turn the next higher digit becomes too much for a speedometer that is already on the brink of failure.

My solution was to get a rebuilt unit from PapaNick.

This was on the round Stewart Warner in a '31.
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Old 03-17-2017, 02:17 AM   #5
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Default Re: Odometer quit, Speedo works

Here are a couple of articles on the speedo;

http://www.modelahouse.com/tech/speedometer/index.html
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Old 03-17-2017, 02:51 AM   #6
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Default Re: Odometer quit, Speedo works

The gear that is screwed to the torque tube needs to have fewer teeth to correct the low reading. Fewer teeth means it will be further away from the drive gear inside the torque tube, so remove the gasket or change the aluminum housing to one that sets the gear closer.
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Old 03-17-2017, 04:30 AM   #7
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Default Re: Odometer quit, Speedo works

As Carl mentioned, PapaNick can supply a replacement or repair yours. He restored two of mine 3 years ago and they continue to work well.

Snyder's catalog (page A-174) has a table to select the proper speedo drive gear based on axle ration and wheel size to correct the odometer error.
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Old 03-17-2017, 12:28 PM   #8
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Default Re: Odometer quit, Speedo works

The odometer failure can be caused by several things, 1) the bushing pushing out of the side of the frame disengaging it from the magnet shaft. 2) The driving gear slipping on the shaft that drives the odometers. 3) Stripped odometer drive gear on the end of the main odometer assy. The root cause of all of these are hard turning odometers. Stewart Warner used a green grease that turns to concrete after 85+ years. The thousand row of the odometer may not have moved in several decades, now when it tries to turn 4 rows of dials, it is not up to the task. The remedy is to take it apart and clean/lube the odometer, and fix the other problems.

The calibration of the speedometer can be changed by changing the gear on the drive at the torque tube, but this will also change the calibration of the odometer. The speed and the odometer will be off in percentage the same amount in the same direction if the gear is wrong. If the odometer is right but the speed is wrong, you need to calibrate the speed portion of the unit. ( There is no internal adjustment for the odometer, it just adds up 1 mile per 1000 revs of the cable.)

PM me if you need help.
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:14 PM   #9
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Default Re: Odometer quit, Speedo works

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Originally Posted by Mike V. Florida View Post
Here are a couple of articles on the speedo;

http://www.modelahouse.com/tech/speedometer/index.html
I've got some reading to do! Working doesn't leave me with much spare time. Thanx Mike for the good articles.
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:17 PM   #10
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Default Re: Odometer quit, Speedo works

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Originally Posted by denniskliesen View Post
If you take it apart, you might find one of the bushings slipped and the gears are no longer engaged for the odometer. If you are creative you can relocate everything where it needs to be. Do you have an oval or round speedometer? The oval Stewart Warner is relatively easy to work on.
I will take it apart for cleaning and look for a slipped bushing. Also, I will count my teeth (on the end of the cable (turtle?)). Hopefully it has more than I've got left in MY head.
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:19 PM   #11
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Default Re: Odometer quit, Speedo works

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Originally Posted by Tom Wesenberg View Post
The gear that is screwed to the torque tube needs to have fewer teeth to correct the low reading. Fewer teeth means it will be further away from the drive gear inside the torque tube, so remove the gasket or change the aluminum housing to one that sets the gear closer.
Thanx Tom. I suspected a simple mismatch of gear ratio. I will check out the tooth sprocket. I have a 3.78 rear.
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:20 PM   #12
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Default Re: Odometer quit, Speedo works

I bought a mint looking oval speedometer about 10 years ago. When I took it apart I found a steel bushing fell out of place and got picked up by the wheel magnet. It jammed and snapped the top end of the shaft off.
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:22 PM   #13
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Default Re: Odometer quit, Speedo works

All the info is appreciated, guys. I will try the cleanup and grease first, on the stuck odometer. If that doesn't work, I will take the recommend and contact PapaNick.
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Old 03-18-2017, 06:32 AM   #14
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Default Re: Odometer quit, Speedo works

Hay I'm always here to help you guys out. Just email me at jrncihols642@yahoo.com I can rebuild your old speedometer or I have rebuild replacements.

It sound like you have a bad gear out the bar. If it locked up that could have damaged the point on the red wheel. It will need to be rebuild. papanick
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Old 03-18-2017, 10:31 AM   #15
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Default Re: Odometer quit, Speedo works

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Originally Posted by papanick View Post
Hay I'm always here to help you guys out. Just email me at jrncihols642@yahoo.com I can rebuild your old speedometer or I have rebuild replacements.

It sound like you have a bad gear out the bar. If it locked up that could have damaged the point on the red wheel. It will need to be rebuild. papanick
Let me take a look at it this weekend. You may have a new customer.
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Old 03-18-2017, 02:34 PM   #16
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Default Re: Odometer quit, Speedo works

That sound good. Always here to help you out. papanick.
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Old 03-18-2017, 10:30 PM   #17
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Default Re: Odometer quit, Speedo works

The same happened to me, I had just left the Tucson Model A Club's 50th Anniversary Celebration Banquet and had my phone out to video record the tick over to 50K miles but it stuck on 49,999. And is still there. like an oldster who is forever 39 years old.
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Old 03-18-2017, 11:54 PM   #18
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Default Re: Odometer quit, Speedo works

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The same happened to me, I had just left the Tucson Model A Club's 50th Anniversary Celebration Banquet and had my phone out to video record the tick over to 50K miles but it stuck on 49,999. And is still there. like an oldster who is forever 39 years old.
Rich, I'd be happy if my personal odometer was stuck at 59.
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Old 03-19-2017, 08:38 AM   #19
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Default Re: Odometer quit, Speedo works

years ago a lot of used car lots used to pick the odometer when they went to the 999 that,s all she wrote .
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