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Old 02-15-2020, 06:23 AM   #1
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Default 1986 D21 5 spd, speedo died.

Went to go somewhere today, speedo no longer works, anything specific I should look for first? Note this truck has over 250K miles on it.
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Old 02-15-2020, 12:26 PM   #2
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Went to go somewhere today, speedo no longer works, anything specific I should look for first? Note this truck has over 250K miles on it.
Sounds dumb, but first...have you tried tapping sharply on the dash near the speedo needle? These trucks have a bad habit of the needle bending in there (and sticking) if the cab experiences overheating from hot weather. The needle will drag, or not move at all.

I checked my copy of the Factory Service Manual and it says you have a speed sensor. This could be the problem.

Is your odometer still working, or is it NOT working now? If it still works, your little white gears in the odometer box behind the dash are probably good. But if at the same time your speedometer is not working, this could be the speed sensor unit. The sensor is electrical. The odometer is not.

Not the best expert here, but if the odometer is turning but speedo isn't moving, I would first look to the sensor.
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Old 02-15-2020, 02:22 PM   #3
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If both the odo and speedo done work pull the cluster and check for 2 things. Check the little plastic piece that plugs into the speedo. It gets old and brittle and cracks. We have a sticky about that I believe. The other is make sure the cable actually spins when you drive the truck. The truck couldn't care less if you had the cluster in or not. It won't affect anything. Just roll it up and down your driveway should be enough to see if it moves.
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Old 02-15-2020, 08:11 PM   #4
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same topic of speedos, but if I wanna change out my entire gauge cluster for one that has a RPM gauge, How do I do this legally so I can keep the actual miles on a new gauge cluster?
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Old 02-15-2020, 10:58 PM   #5
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same topic of speedos, but if I wanna change out my entire gauge cluster for one that has a RPM gauge, How do I do this legally so I can keep the actual miles on a new gauge cluster?
Here in Washington state, they don't keep track of mileage on anything more than ten years old. What you are asking is if it is okay to defraud possible future buyers by switching out the dash/odometer setup.

Let me answer this way: You aren't the first to think of that, and yes...you could probably get away with it. If you do it, I wouldn't say anything about it at Infamous Nissan though. No one wants to know. But don't feel bad. I have thought about doing the same thing a time or two. I'll bet most of us have. We just can't discuss it, or endorse it. Haven't done it myself, but I will freely admit it has been tempting to me a time or two.
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Old 02-16-2020, 01:57 AM   #6
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Check out the speedometer repar thread.
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Old 02-16-2020, 03:14 AM   #7
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I just want a factory RPM gauge, thats all! ha
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Old 02-16-2020, 04:07 AM   #8
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I just want a factory RPM gauge, thats all! ha
Is truck manual or automatic? XE or Base? King cab?
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Old 02-16-2020, 04:08 AM   #9
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Odometer and tripmeter are both dead. I'll check out the cable drive tomorrow.
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Old 02-16-2020, 07:14 PM   #10
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Odometer and tripmeter are both dead. I'll check out the cable drive tomorrow.



That sounds like the plastic drive piece. We have a repair sticky on it. I didnt have much luck repairing mine and those pieces can be very difficult to find so I ended up epoxying mine on the cable.
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