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Old 04-16-2013, 06:14 AM   #1
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Default How-To: Fix your speedometer cable

I had the tip fall out of my speedo cable tonight after pulling my cluster about six time.

I was concerned I was going to have to buy a friggin cable so I decided to at least attempt a fix before I spent more money.

I was successful and my speedo now works like normal again.

Here is how to fix that cable tip!!

NOTE: You absolutely must have the pieces to the tip in order for this to work. You need the tip body, the square drive tip and the spring.

What I have done is use pieces of a Bic ink pen to simulate the cable tip and how to repair it. Since mine is fixed and working I am not going to attempt to pull it back out and use it for the photos.

If yours is cracked like mine was you will easily be able to understand what I am doing here. The pen I rigged up into the mock cable tip looks very very much like what you will be working with.


What to Do:

Remove your instrument cluster. This only involves a phillips screwdriver to remove the five screws holding your instrument cluster trim bezel and then four screws holding in the cluster itself. If you cannot figure this part out then you will need to read no further.

Once the cluster is out look in the drive port of the speedo unit and see if any part of the square drive tip in still inside the port.

If not, look in the end of the cable itself and see if the tip is still there.

If so, pull out the tip and look to make sure the spring is with it. If not, look deeper and the spring should be down in there. It may take a small sharp pick to retrieve it. It is about the size of a ball point pen spring.


You will need to have three pieces. . . .

- The drive tip body
- The square drive tip
- Setting spring


Inspect the square drive tip. It needs to be square. If it is rounded off you will have to buy a new cable or go to a U-Pull yard and get the tip assembly out of a used speedo cluster.
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Last edited by Tally HB; 04-18-2013 at 12:10 AM.
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:15 AM   #2
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Here is a photo of the mock up I made of the tip assembly.

Parts are marked so you will understand what is what and how to fix this thing.

Remember, this is a mock up. It is not the actual part but you will easily be able to recognize the real pieces once you see them.





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Old 04-16-2013, 06:16 AM   #3
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Once you have the pieces in hand remove the setting spring. It simply pulls out of the body. No tricks.

Check the tip body tube for a crack or cracks. Mine had one crack and would not stay seated onto the end of the cable.

The body (tube basically) simply slips onto the end of the cable and it is tight enough to stay put. When it gets a crack it slips and does not drive the speedo.


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Last edited by Tally HB; 04-16-2013 at 06:23 AM.
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:21 AM   #4
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I needed a secure way to fix the crack. A method that would work but not distort or destroy the tip body tube.

I tried heat shrink tube and it worked like a charm.


Cut a piece of shrink tubing just shorter than the body of the tip drive body. I don't know what size I used but it is approximately 1/4" outside diameter.

A small kit of heat shrink is available at Lowes or Home depot or any auto parts store and should contain the proper diameter shrink tubing.


Slip this piece over the tip bod and make sure it is even with the end of the body tube.

Heat it gently with a lighter till it shrinks tight.


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Old 04-16-2013, 06:22 AM   #5
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This shrink tubing fixes the crack and it is now ready to be used.

Slide your spring back into the tip body.



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Old 04-16-2013, 06:25 AM   #6
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Now its time to put this thing back into the speedo cable. It needs to be pushed with some pressure so it seats back over the tip of the cable.

To do this I used the empty body tube of another Bic ink pen to push the tip back into the cable housing and slip in onto the end of the cable.

You will feel it seat.


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Old 04-16-2013, 06:26 AM   #7
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Now simply put your cluster assembly back in. I would leave the bezel trim off just in case you need to reset the cluster again to get the cable square drive to seat into the back of the speedo.

I had to pull my cluster back a little and move the truck forward and seat the cluster as I moved slowly forward.
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:14 PM   #8
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Nice write up Dood. Thanks.

I went to the local Upull and removed a speedo cable from a D21, the speedo end of the cable exploded...
Not really, but the spring went to somewhere it shouldn't have gone.
Anyway, I didn't have alot of time so I put the assembly aside.

Now I know what to expect when I go back in and fix the baby.
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Old 04-16-2013, 05:16 PM   #9
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x2. My speedometer stopped working this weekend.
I was wondering what to expect when I remove the cluster.
Thanks for taking the time and effort for this write up.
MUCH APPRECIATED!
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:11 AM   #10
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Glad to help!
I may get one of these tips from a yard and replace the photos with the real deal.

Also, a lost spring should not mean the end of this repair. I believe that almost any ball point pin spring would work even if you had to stretch it a bit.
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