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Speedometer cable snafu (Long)
Posted by: Wagon Master ()
Date: July 13, 2019 08:05AM

Probably been covered before but here's my scenario. Got the 69 "Finished" (if there is such a thing). Been logging some shakedown miles before the 6 1/2 hour bonzi run to the National Convention. Speedometer would bounce the needle at least 5 m.p.h. at any speed above 50. Drove the Dakota Digital cruise control nuts. Had to be a dry cable right? Pulled it out, lubed, and reinstalled twice. Would work perfect for about 20 miles. Then the bouncing would return. Sometime all the way down to 10 m.p.h. To the point you could hear a ugly click-click-click under the dash. Odd issue was when reinstalling this cable the last 8" would not go into the housing without chucking it into the cordless drill and spinning it in reverse. Time for a different cable. Thinking this one was too long. Had no less than 8 good used ones from scrapped cars to choose from. Suspect one wound up being exactly the same length. went to feed in new (different) cable in and it had to be spun in forward (clockwise) direction to feed in.
Light bulb comes on. I'd read something years ago of some aftermarket speedo cables being wound the wrong direction. As you drove the car the original cable was trying to crawl out of the housing towards the dash and bind up the speedometer head. The replacement would try to crawl towards the left front tire (sort of like a miniature sewer snake) until the thrust button swedged on the cable stopped it's travel. So far so good and needle movement is SMOOOOTH!
In my stash I had 1 wound wrong and 8 wound correctly. Needless to say the first one is in the trash.
Hope this saves someone some aggravation someday.

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Re: Speedometer cable snafu (Long)
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: July 13, 2019 08:20AM

Yup there was a bunch of those sold before 2005 iirc

MODERATOR
Sea Mountain, between Charleston Harbor and Coos Bay! SW Oregon Coast
Click HERE for My Website...Click HERE for My TechPages!
..............................110-PG.................................................Webered-Turbo

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Re: Speedometer cable snafu (Long)
Posted by: ihscomputers ()
Date: July 13, 2019 08:40AM

Great detective work there, inspector Robinette! thumbs up

Dean F. Gemberling
Columbus, Georgia


1963 Rampside w/305 V8 - Built by Ken Arnold in 1998

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Re: Speedometer cable snafu (Long)
Posted by: junkman ()
Date: July 13, 2019 09:20AM

I assume that you are using NOS speedometer cables. If so, there is a plastic liner inside the NOS units, and if you grab that liner with a needle nose plier, and pull it out, the cable will work just find. As for being wound wrong, there is no such thing, except in some peoples minds. Speedometer cables are wound both left and right in subsequent layers from the center core. That is what makes it so flexible. If you haven't thrown away the one that you said went into the trash, take it out, pull out the liner, and give it a try. You will see that it will work perfectly once the liner is removed. I have to believe that what I have just written has been one of the best kept secrets in Corvair history. If how the last outer layer of the cable were a problem, then why isn't it a problem in every other GM, Ford, Chrysler, and every other car manufactured that uses a speedometer cable?

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Woodstock CT... Located on the Connecticut / Massachusetts border, approximately 6 miles from the center of Southbridge MA. About 45 minutes from Hartford CT. 1 1/2 hours West of Boston MA. Woodstock CT to Los Angeles CA 2,937.1 miles. 1 Mile as the crow flies to Big Bird's nest.

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Re: Speedometer cable snafu (Long)
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: July 13, 2019 10:23AM

Junkman... so what's the inner liner for?

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Sea Mountain, between Charleston Harbor and Coos Bay! SW Oregon Coast
Click HERE for My Website...Click HERE for My TechPages!
..............................110-PG.................................................Webered-Turbo

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Re: Speedometer cable snafu (Long)
Posted by: junkman ()
Date: July 13, 2019 01:02PM

I have no idea why GM started using the liner in the speedometer cables. I only know that at the time that I owned a late model, my speedometer started acting erratically, and that is what I was told to do. I pulled out the liner, and it fixed the problem. I have suggested this to others, and they did the same thing with their OEM cables. Back then, reproductions weren't available and the problem corrected itself once I pulled the liner out. If I were to think about what the probable cause of the problem is, it might be the severe angle of the way that the speedometer cable exits the spindle on the GM originals. From what I have seen, the curve on the reproduction cables is a lot less severe, and could even be described as being a "gentle" curvature. By removing the liner, you are allowing the cable itself to have more room for movement within the speedometer cable sheath.

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Woodstock CT... Located on the Connecticut / Massachusetts border, approximately 6 miles from the center of Southbridge MA. About 45 minutes from Hartford CT. 1 1/2 hours West of Boston MA. Woodstock CT to Los Angeles CA 2,937.1 miles. 1 Mile as the crow flies to Big Bird's nest.

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Re: Speedometer cable snafu (Long)
Date: July 13, 2019 03:09PM

Junkman. The Wagon Master is replacing just the cable inside the housing.
Read the post carefully and he speaks of having to "force" the cable into the housing by spinning it ccw to get the last 8" to insert.
He also states that he found the cable and another wound in the opposite direction than eight others he had, one of which worked just fine when installed in the same housing.


Dan Davis ~ Pierce County, WA ~ CORSA Western Director + Corvairs NW + North Cascades Corvairs + Corvanatics
1966 Corsa Turbo coupe ~ ~ 1966 140 Corsa ~ ~ 1965 Monza 140/4 'Vert Sierra Tan/Fawn ~ 1964 Monza 'Vert (SOLD) ~ 1960 Monza Ermine White/Red PG ++ ~ 1965 Monza 140/4 Evening Orchid w/ ivory/black interior ~ 1962 Monza Wagon 102/4 ~ 1963 Rampside/Scamper ~ 1963 Red/Greenbrier ~ 1969 Ultra Van #468

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Re: Speedometer cable snafu (Long)
Posted by: Wagon Master ()
Date: July 15, 2019 06:10AM

junkman, what purpose does the small slug and washer swedged onto the speedometer end of the cable serve?

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Re: Speedometer cable snafu (Long)
Posted by: Lane66m ()
Date: July 15, 2019 06:16AM

I wonder if the housing liner is damaged and is causing the difficulty inserting the flex cable all the way. I have 2 old cables and the flex cables slide in and out without any snagging.

Al Lane
Ellabell, GA 31308

1966 Monza Coupe, 110 hp, 4 Spd
1966 Monza More Door 110 hp, PG
1968 Camaro SS Coupe 350 CI 295+ hp PG
1964 Greenbrier Deluxe, 6 dr, 80 hp car engine, PG
1947 Farmall A tractor 15 hp


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Re: Speedometer cable snafu (Long)
Posted by: Wagon Master ()
Date: July 15, 2019 06:32AM

Lane66m Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I wonder if the housing liner is damaged and is causing the difficulty inserting the flex cable all the way. I have 2 old cables and the flex cables slide in and out without any snagging.

Try it installed in a car.

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