Speedometer Cable


I know I have not been updating the site much but not much has been happening. The car has been running great and I have been driving it as much as possible which makes for not much for the web site. To make up for it I decided to break my speedometer.

The speedometer needle was getting bouncy over the summer so I figured I would lubricate the speedometer cable. My daughter and I disconnected both ends and slid the cable out. Her she is cleaning the cable. I can’t tell if she is mad about the camera, the kerosene, or the grease. We lubricated the cable and put it back in. But I think I put it in backwards. Because the very next day the speedometer stopped working. I found the end of the cable was all unraveled.
NAPA to the rescue! They had a replacement generic speedometer core. I removed the old cable from the car and cleaned the cable sheath carefully both inside and out. I then cut the new cable to length and crimped the end on the cable. You can see the crimp tool that came with the cable in the picture. I just put it in a vice and squeezed.Before putting the cable back in the sheath I lubricated it with a graphite-based lubricant designed for this job.
Here is the end of the cable that attaches to the speedometer. Before reattaching this I put a couple drops of oil in the speedometer. There is a little oil cup on it but I could not get a picture. I needed a mirror and three hands just to reach the top of the speedometer.
The cable exits the firewall through this grommet. The grommet is actually still in really good shape so I reused it. The grommet has three other holes for the water temperature capillary tube, the vacuum line for the windshield wipers, and a wiring harness.

This is the other end attached to the transmission. When I measured the cable I found I actually have the cable for a car with overdrive. That means the cable is about 8 inches longer than I need but it might be handy if I put an overdrive transmission in the car.


Speedometer Cable — 3 Comments

  1. Thanks again for your great website and your continued email updates. I too have a 41 Champion, and it leaks transmission oil from the speedometer cable. Before I disconnect the cable to inspect it, can you tell me if there is a gasket or an O ring between the cable and transmission? I can’t seem to find anything in the manuals that I have. Thanks

    • Mark, I looked but I did not take any pictures of that end of the cable. My 15-years-gone memory is that there is a grove in the housing that goes into the transmission. My guess is oil is supposed to drip off that groove rather than run out. I think I put an o-ring in that groove which slowed down the leaking. It is still always wet with oil but does not drip any more.

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