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  • Inside speedometer cable too short?

    Trying to get my speedometer working on my '31 Vicky. I assembled everything took a drive, speedometer worked for a couple of miles then quit. Changed nothing except to install a speedometer cable ordered from Mike's.

    Troubleshooting, took the cable off the speedometer in the dash, a quick drive and clearly the inside cable spins. Took the speedometer out and ran it with my drill and it registers speed. It seems to me the inside line of the cable is too short to make a connection to the speedometer mechanism. But it's a standard repro cable.

    Has anyone had this problem? The repro new speedometer cable is long enough just the internal part seems to be short. Can I stretch the inside cable line? Did I buy the wrong cable?
    Last edited by Bobsie; 09-21-2018, 02:23 PM.

  • #2
    The square drive tip on some of the cables furnished by vendors are under size and will not fit snugly in the Speedometer spindle causing it to fail to turn.
    That could be caused by wear in the spindle. I have used universal cables bought from NAPA, etc. and cut to fit. The square drive tip on the universal cable is noticeably larger.

    Comment


    • #3
      If I recall there is a short extension piece that can be had. I think the Wiz posted on this about a year ago, but I could be wrong

      Comment


      • DaWizard
        DaWizard commented
        Editing a comment
        That piece usually comes in the bag with the cable.

    • #4
      Thanks folks.

      When I ordered the new cable, I don't think there was any extension that came with it. It's gone hither anyway by now. I'll look into the NAPA universal cable.

      Paul, is the universal cable just the piece that goes inside? Don't I need a square tip on both ends? If I cut one end, I lose that square end, don't I?

      Comment


      • Paul K.
        Paul K. commented
        Editing a comment
        The universal cable comes with a length of round cable with a square tip on one end and a square ended tip that slips on to the round end of the cable (when cut to length). the end result is a cable that looks identical to the original cable. The completion is as Tom W. Says.

    • #5
      If you cut the end of the universal cable, then you heat it and insert it into the plastic square end. Some universal cables have a metal end and a tool to squeeze it to the cable.

      I've heard some say you can insert a short piece of metal into the lower gear shaft, and this will push the cable up enough for it to engage the speedometer.

      Comment


      • #6
        Originally posted by Tom Wesenberg View Post
        I've heard some say you can insert a short piece of metal into the lower gear shaft, and this will push the cable up enough for it to engage the speedometer.
        That’s what I have done in the past
        3 ~ Tudor's
        Henry Ford said
        "It's all nuts and bolts"


        Mitch's Auto Service ctr

        Comment


        • #7
          What is the NAPA part # for the speedo cable?

          Comment


          • #8
            Here are the correct lengths from the Ford Chassis Parts book.
            You do not have permission to view this gallery.
            This gallery has 1 photos.

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            • #9
              Other than buying a new cable, does anyone have a trick on putting a new larger square tip on the Speedometer side. My cable turns freely and the turtle and has a little slot on the cable that is nice and tight. But the Speedometer end does not have much left to it.

              Comment


              • #10
                Well that didn’t work. I thought I would be smart and build the end of the cable up with some very light weld. I ended up melting the tip of the cable right off right up to the washer. Boy am I smart.

                Comment


                • JDupuis
                  JDupuis commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Try solder? Not as much heat needed.

              • #11
                Originally posted by old31 View Post
                Other than buying a new cable, does anyone have a trick on putting a new larger square tip on the Speedometer side. My cable turns freely and the turtle and has a little slot on the cable that is nice and tight. But the Speedometer end does not have much left to it.
                Check out the little adapter that comes with the cable. I'm sure that you can make your own if needed

                https://www.brattons.com/28-m30-keye...ter-cable.html
                3 ~ Tudor's
                Henry Ford said
                "It's all nuts and bolts"


                Mitch's Auto Service ctr

                Comment


                • #12
                  Go to a hobby or hardware store where they sell the short pieces of brass and aluminum tubing in round and square.
                  I'd bet you can find the hollow square tube will fit the speedometer and can be fastened to the cable with JB Weld.

                  Comment


                  • #13
                    mini times the cable is not too short, but it is going down inside the outer housing too far because the washer is missing.
                    Look at the speedometer end and the inner cable should stick out about 1/4 inch. If it does not stick out and looks like picture # 1 that is your problem.
                    Find a flat washer with a center hole that fits loose on the inner cable, then hold it with a pencil and grind the od of the washer until it will slide inside the outer housing.
                    With the washer installed the center cable should stick out some like picture # 4
                    Screw the cable on your speedometer, and check the cable end play by pushing and pulling on the other end of the cable that goes on the drive shaft.
                    You MUST have some end play, 1/8 inch or less is good, adj by using thicker or thinner washer, sometimes you need to use 2 washers.
                    Also turn your cable with your fingers and it should turn easy, no end play will lock your cable and it will not turn.
                    You do not have permission to view this gallery.
                    This gallery has 4 photos.

                    Comment


                    • #14
                      Originally posted by Tom Wesenberg View Post
                      Go to a hobby or hardware store where they sell the short pieces of brass and aluminum tubing in round and square.
                      I'd bet you can find the hollow square tube will fit the speedometer and can be fastened to the cable with JB Weld.
                      That is what I should have done before I fried the end of the cable off. Actually as J mentioned i should have tried to solder up the square end.

                      I ended up just buying the inside cable from Snyders for $7.65 oh ya shipping was more than the part $9.30. The hobby store or solder would have been cheaper.

                      Comment


                      • #15
                        I have done it 2 ways.

                        Carefully silver soldered the end up and ground it to fit.

                        And bought a length of hobbyist square brass tubing and soldered it on.

                        Comment


                        • #16
                          Hindsight, I bet I could have built it up with JB and been done with it in minutes.

                          Comment


                          • #17
                            Just an FYI....The speedo cable is made to not be able to weld, solder, or otherwise add to it. In all my years of tinkering, and with all the means of attaching to the cable I have at my disposal, other than clamping the end to the cable that comes with it I have never been able successfully extend or attach to a speedo cable.
                            You wana look waaay far up da road and plan yer route because the brakes are far more of a suggestion than a command!

                            Comment


                            • Mitch
                              Mitch commented
                              Editing a comment
                              Same here.
                              A spacer would be the best imo

                            • pooch
                              pooch commented
                              Editing a comment
                              I was able to build the square up with silver solder and gain about an 1/8 th inch by putting a blob on the end.

                              Then carefully grinding it to size.

                              Still working after 6 years.

                            • DaWizard
                              DaWizard commented
                              Editing a comment
                              Great for you Keith, I have a variety of soldering machines and have never been able to do that. Right now I have a perfectly good cable that won't work because the crimped on end is turning freely and no amount of any solder will adhere to it, I will figure a way to crimp it before I toss it in the scrap bin.

                            • pooch
                              pooch commented
                              Editing a comment
                              Wiz, gas torch and silver solder is the only way to make it stick

                          • #18
                            Originally posted by L Jones View Post
                            mini times the cable is not too short, but it is going down inside the outer housing too far because the washer is missing.
                            Look at the speedometer end and the inner cable should stick out about 1/4 inch. If it does not stick out and looks like picture # 1 that is your problem.
                            Find a flat washer with a center hole that fits loose on the inner cable, then hold it with a pencil and grind the od of the washer until it will slide inside the outer housing.
                            With the washer installed the center cable should stick out some like picture # 4
                            Screw the cable on your speedometer, and check the cable end play by pushing and pulling on the other end of the cable that goes on the drive shaft.
                            You MUST have some end play, 1/8 inch or less is good, adj by using thicker or thinner washer, sometimes you need to use 2 washers.
                            Also turn your cable with your fingers and it should turn easy, no end play will lock your cable and it will not turn.
                            Excellent info and the right way to do it. I see many modern vehicle cables with a washer like you suggest.
                            3 ~ Tudor's
                            Henry Ford said
                            "It's all nuts and bolts"


                            Mitch's Auto Service ctr

                            Comment

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