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Old 05-20-2013, 12:18 PM   #1
Franchise_24
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Default Speedo Cable Issues

Just installed a new speedo cable and it has been running great. Went on a club meet this past Saturday and everything was running great the whole day. Then all of a sudden I heard a noise and noticed the MPH was at 0 while I was driving. Looked at it last night and the cable had broke at the end that goes into the tranny. Any ideas what would have caused this or what I can do different for when I try to put the next cable on?

Thanks,
Neal
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Old 05-20-2013, 12:21 PM   #2
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Default Re: Speedo Cable Issues

The cable may have been dry and the friction was too great for the connector. Did you lube the cable?
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Old 05-20-2013, 12:23 PM   #3
Franchise_24
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Default Re: Speedo Cable Issues

No it was a brand new cable and casing. Should it have been pulled and lubed? If so it is my fault and you live and learn, but when I tested the cable it turned very easily.
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Old 05-20-2013, 12:31 PM   #4
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Default Re: Speedo Cable Issues

I'm afraid that it was lack of lube too. I have purchased cables both ways, some with lube and some without. I always check and lube anyway, even if they come with some on them, just so I know it's done my way.

But it could go back to your speedo too. Is it rebuilt? If not, even if it was working, if it has old hardened grease in it it might have reached a resistance point and jammed, thereby kinking and breaking the cable. It's surprising how hard that grease can sometimes be.
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Old 05-20-2013, 12:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: Speedo Cable Issues

Thanks Ray. I guess I will be getting a new cable and pulling it out and lubing it up. The speedo was taken apart and appeared to be okay. Now the keyed part of the cable still appears to be in the place where you hook it to the tranny. Easily pulled out with needle nose plyers? I'm working right now and can't go look at it.
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Old 05-20-2013, 01:05 PM   #6
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Default Re: Speedo Cable Issues

After lubing, can you simply JB Weld the connector back on instead of buying a whole new cable? I did that and it has been running for years.
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Old 05-20-2013, 01:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: Speedo Cable Issues

I could probably give that a try. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 05-20-2013, 01:25 PM   #8
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Default Re: Speedo Cable Issues

I had the same thing occur. The speedometer appeared to be ok. I installed a new cable to the speedometer only and then tried to turn the cable by hand from the transmission end, and it was very stiff. I opened up the speedometer and found some very old and hard grease. After cleaning it worked good.
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Old 05-20-2013, 01:35 PM   #9
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Default Re: Speedo Cable Issues

I'll second Rock's post. I snapped a few cables until I opened the bottom of the speedo itself and cleaned out the hard grease. The speedo was turning, but would occasionally bind up the smallest bit.... which is all it took to snap the cable. Even if this isn't the primary problem, I would suggest doing it as 80+ year old grease typically should be replaced regardless.
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Old 05-20-2013, 03:41 PM   #10
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Default Re: Speedo Cable Issues

It's common for the main bearing in the speedo to seize. With speedo out & cable connection UP, fill it with penetrant & do a lot of waiting! Then turn it counter-clockwise, CAREFULLY & wait some more. In time, you can turn it ever so slowly with a reversible drill motor, then fill it with oil & wait some more. I've been BABYING mine for 5 days, & it's getting better, EVER SO SLOWLY!! When you can spin it easily with a stub cable between your thumb & forefinger, IT'S READY!! Don't RUSH it, it takes time to get the lubricant worked in & to get the bearing surfaces burnished by turning. DON'T JUST TAKE IT APART FIRST THING!! It's almost like fine clockworks. Tightness "MAY" be caused by reactions between dis-similar metals in the bearing. Bill W.
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Old 05-20-2013, 04:37 PM   #11
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Default Re: Speedo Cable Issues

Thanks for the info Bill.
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Old 05-20-2013, 04:48 PM   #12
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Default Re: Speedo Cable Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franchise_24 View Post
Thanks for the info Bill.
Just now turned mine, carefully, with the drill motor. Got it up to 60 MPH for 2 minutes. Trip meter & odometer workin' good. Still too tight though, will keep soaking & turning until it's REAL free. Then I can fire & drive VERMIN for the FIRST time Bill W.
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:19 PM   #13
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Default Re: Speedo Cable Issues

Might be a redneck lube job , but I have had success with 3 speedos so far by using a 1/8th drill and drilling thru to the mainshaft thru the threaded hole at rear...the one that holds it to the case.

I got no idea what diameter this mainshaft is, but I just drilled until I reached it.

Then dropped in some oil and graphite and spun it up with a drill.

The dried grease at the lower gears is as bad a culprit as a dry main shaft methinks.
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:21 PM   #14
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Default Re: Speedo Cable Issues

I would guess the problem is in your speedometer because the cable usually breaks at the opposite end of the problem!
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:14 PM   #15
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Default Re: Speedo Cable Issues

Part of the problem with the old speedometers is that the main frame is made of pot metal. This has an interesting property of swelling with age. The frame will grow in height and the steel shaft will remain the same length. With zero end play to begin with, it does not take much to get to tight to run. If you cannot spin the input end with your finger tips, it is too tight to run properly.
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:12 AM   #16
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Default Re: Speedo Cable Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by BILL WILLIAMSON View Post
Just now turned mine, carefully, with the drill motor. Got it up to 60 MPH for 2 minutes. Trip meter & odometer workin' good. Still too tight though, will keep soaking & turning until it's REAL free. Then I can fire & drive VERMIN for the FIRST time Bill W.
Bill, where are you squirting the oil in at?? Where the cable hooks in at, did you take that piece out with the two little holes and put it in there?

Thanks, Tom...
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:29 AM   #17
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Default Re: Speedo Cable Issues

Tom, Here is a link to an old post with some photos that might be helpful.

http://fordbarn.com/forum/showthread.php?t=53013
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:03 AM   #18
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Default Re: Speedo Cable Issues

I broke a cable the other day, something in the speedometer I was working on jammed, kinked the cable and broke it.

I was having problems with the inner cable going too far into the tranny to seat in the speedo. I made a nylon spacer that keeps it from falling in.
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Old 05-21-2013, 03:04 PM   #19
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Default Re: Speedo Cable Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom F OHIO View Post
Bill, where are you squirting the oil in at?? Where the cable hooks in at, did you take that piece out with the two little holes and put it in there?

Thanks, Tom...
Tom, I was filling the area where the cable screws in, soaking & turning it some, still stiff.
Awhile ago I removed the big soft plug, grease looks good, maybe Moly Sulphide. Filled it with penetrant & turned it some. Just waiting some more. Speedo has original seal & looks as if it has never been open. It's an oval speedo with NO brand name. Bill W.
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Old 05-21-2013, 04:13 PM   #20
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Default Re: Speedo Cable Issues

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Originally Posted by sethkestenbaum View Post
Tom, Here is a link to an old post with some photos that might be helpful.

http://fordbarn.com/forum/showthread.php?t=53013
Thanks Seth I see the shaft inside of it.
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