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Lubing the Speedo cable? The bouncing speedometer…

Creager

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I bought a new speedo cable a to fix my bouncy speedo. The speedo gear is new, and the gauge was smooth when i spun it by hand, so im gussing its the cable :D

How do i lubercate this thing? I cant seem to figure it out..? The directions say to lubercate it, and to make sure not to get the grease on the ends of the cable.

Im just not seeing this... How do i get the cable out? and prevent getting the lube on the ends of it?

There is like a copper nut on the end of it, but i dont see how it could be threaded on there. It just looks stuck on there... ? then the other end is where the speedo gear goes... dont see how to remove that either. haha
 



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Maniak

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It can also be the drive gear in the transfercase (assuming 4x4).

To check it, pull the cable assembly out of the xfer case. Now get your head up there and look in there (or put your finger in there and feel the gear). The gear should be flat across the top. When it wears out it cups.

To change it you take the rear driveshaft down (at least front off). Take off the big nut that hold the output shaft on, pull the output shaft out.. I took the seal out too (I got a new one to put in).. then the gear just slides off (out the back of the xfer case).

BTW.. to take that big nut off (the output shaft) you will need an impact wrench.. I had to up the air pressure to my impact to 130psi to get it to break it free.

~Mark
 






410Fortune

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AHA! My bouncing speedo might be this....I figured after 280K miles it might be the speedo head itself, but this is one more thing to check. My t case is a 93 and has approx 120K on it.
The speedo cable is self lubricating, or so I have always heard, the spinning cable draws atf up through the cable housing from the trans....
 






Creager

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Maniak said:
It can also be the drive gear in the transfercase (assuming 4x4).

To check it, pull the cable assembly out of the xfer case. Now get your head up there and look in there (or put your finger in there and feel the gear). The gear should be flat across the top. When it wears out it cups.

To change it you take the rear driveshaft down (at least front off). Take off the big nut that hold the output shaft on, pull the output shaft out.. I took the seal out too (I got a new one to put in).. then the gear just slides off (out the back of the xfer case).

BTW.. to take that big nut off (the output shaft) you will need an impact wrench.. I had to up the air pressure to my impact to 130psi to get it to break it free.

~Mark

whoa cool, so this is the gear inside the transfercase the speedo gear runs off of? i put a new speedo gear in with new diffy-gears, i hoped that might be the case, but nahhh. Do you remember how much that drive gear costed?

410Fortune said:
AHA! My bouncing speedo might be this....I figured after 280K miles it might be the speedo head itself, but this is one more thing to check. My t case is a 93 and has approx 120K on it.
The speedo cable is self lubricating, or so I have always heard, the spinning cable draws atf up through the cable housing from the trans....

Self lubercating? hrmm, i dunno. i hope it is haha. My new cable came with a little grease packet in box, the directions say to grease it blah blah... i wouldnt be surprized if those directions and the grease packet is just generic packaging from the manufactuorer. im going to see if i can find that old dr. bob explorer maitnece page, that would have a question like this on it.
 






Maniak

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I don't remember how much the gear in the xfer case (drive gear) cost.. but it wasn't that much.. I'd guess <$30 (but I can't remember.. it was a while ago)..

You can check your old one without spending any money.. If you look at/feel the drive gear (throught the speedo cable hole) and it is worn then replace it.. If it is still flat across the top then that problably not the problem.


~Mark
 






410Fortune

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Maniak, is the speed sensor signal effected by this? Would it pulse instead of be a steady signal?

What I am getting at is I plan to ditch the fatory gage cluster this winter, I am building a new dashpot with aftermarket speedo and tach, the speedo will no longer be cable driven (sick of the cable, this is my 4th one) instead it will run off the signal from the speed sensor. With my current drivetrain the speed sensor in the t case (I also have one in my trans, and one int he rear axle I do not use) is basically only sending a signal to the PCM and to the cruise control. This wire will also feed my electronic speedometer.....


hmmmm

now you got me thinking. I might have to monitor the signal from the speed sensor while driving to see if it is steady, or off...after I feel the ger to make sure it is worn (I suspect it is)

Good thread!

I have been told the speedo cable in my truck is self lubricating, in fact if you leave the speedo side unplugged atf will drip out. A dry cable will make noise, trust me! hahaha
My exhaust has melted one or two of those suckers and the junk yard ones I used for replacements didnt last long, finally I got a new one from Autozone about a year ago, still noisy.
 






Maniak

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If I remember correclty (I have to look under the truck to be sure)...

The speed sensor on my first gen 4x4 is on the end of the cable and is directly driven, gear to gear (drive to driven) with no cable.. So yes, a bad drive/driven gear will make not only the cable speedup/slow down but the speed sensor would see the non consistant speed also.

~Mark
 






410Fortune

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Your 92 should have a cable :) I thinkt he Gen II's did away with the cable...
 






Creager

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410Fortune said:
A dry cable will make noise, trust me! hahaha

wait, it will make noise? what kind of noise? hehe

i been hunting a noise, that goes up and down with tire speed, and it seems to 'follow' the bouncing of the speedo...

kinda interesting, the speedo only bounces between 0-40 mph

i only hear my noise between 0-40 mph. As the speedo gets near 40, it stops bouncing as much, when my noise gets to 40 its not as loud.

I always wondered that?

the cable doesnt make a kinda light, high-pitched, rubbing noise does it?

i always figured the two issues were not related.

Im gonna try and replace this cable and hope its self lubercating!! 410, maybe you go through so many cables becasue you never lubed it! hahahah!

do yall remember what size bolt that holds the cable gear in is? im at work im gonna try and check that drive gear in the parking lot later. hehehe
 






410Fortune

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Actually I went thruogh so many because my headers kept melting them :) if you take too tight of a turn with the cable it will make noise too, its important to follow the factory routing.

With big tires and with a gear driven speedo you will never get completley rid of the bouncing.
 






Maniak

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its 10mm that hold the speedo gear assmebly to the xfer case..

~Mark
 






crazynavajo

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sorry for hijacking but I have a similar problem I'll be acellerating and hit about 35-40MPH and the speedo will jump to like 65-70 and on the freeway its past the 85 mark but it only happens half the time. Ive replaced the cable and VSS. any ideas? end hijack

oh almost forgot 2wd
 






Creager

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Fortune, turns out that speedometer cable is not self-lubing. The little assembly at the end of the cable, where the gear goes, might be lubed by ATF; ATF was all over that little booger. But when i got down to the cable it was DRY

To pull out the cable, you have to give it a GOOD yank from inside the quick-disconnect end, where the cable connects to the gauge cluster. Thats what i couldnt figure out haha

No ATF inside there, just sticky lithuim grease.

My factory cable was bone dry, i probably could have gotten away with just lubing that. But instead i lubed up my new cable and stuck that in there. haha

The bouncing is still there, but for the most part its gone. It doesnt bounce nearly as much. It used to bounce all the way down to 0, now it stops at 15. It would also bounce above 35, now it stops bouncing around there.

pretty nifty

Maniak, I tried feeling that drive gear you were talking about. Between the gas-tank and the transfer-case itself i wasnt able to get an accurate feel for it. haha I didnt feel any flat spot? All i felt were gear teeth, i tried to feel the sides of it but no luck. I wasnt sure if i was trying to see if the gear was cupping along the face of those teeth? otherwise they seemed pretty flat and even. I'd have to drop the gas-tank to really be able to tell. Which isnt a bad idea since my gas gauge doesnt work haha.
 






Maniak

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On my bad drive gear I could feel that the center teeth of the drive gear were much lower (1/8" at least) that the teeth near the edge..

~Mark
 






Creager

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Maniak said:
On my bad drive gear I could feel that the center teeth of the drive gear were much lower (1/8" at least) that the teeth near the edge..

~Mark

ohh ok cool. Yes, mine is not cupping. I was able to feel the grooves between the teeth, the couple i felt were definatly even.

awesome info man, thanks.
 






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a speed sensor replacement on my '94 2WD fixed my bouncing speedo...
 






spkhone

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yeah my speedometer stopped working last night. it'll bounce for a little bit then stop. also my cruise control doesn't work. so do u guys think it would be my speed cable or something else. i drive a 98 2wd xlt. thanks.
 






410Fortune

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I think the bouncing is a combo of all of these things.
I replaced my speedo head itself (inside the instrument cluster) what the cable goes into) and the bouncing has been reduced ALOT. I already have a new cable, gear, and sensor.
 






spkhone

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i checked my haynes manual and it says that 1996 and under uses a cable while 1997 and up uses the electronic speed sensor or vss. so which one is right cause i went out and bought the speed sensor.
 



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410Fortune

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that info seems correct.
Your 98 should not have a cable.
 






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