Author Topic: Speedometer Noise  (Read 2176 times)

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Offline Rgrimsley

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Speedometer Noise
« on: January 13, 2019, 07:56:43 PM »
I couldn't find a similar post regarding speedometer noise, so I started this new one.  My 1980 Trans Am speedometer has an annoying clicking sound that increases and decreases with speed, so I am thinking the speedometer cable needs lubricating.  The needle is smooth and does not jump, just makes noise.  My thoughts are to remove the dash to access the cable connection to the back of the dash and spray graphite into the cable housing.  What I have read on the internet is to pull the cable and coat with light grease but I am not sure I have the ability to do that.  Could anyone advise? I live in Grand Forks North Dakota and I don't think any mechanics or dealerships know how on work on a car of this vintage.  Every time I have had it worked on it comes back with additional issues or scratched paint. 

Offline Nexus

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Re: Speedometer Noise
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2019, 04:25:07 PM »
Is the clicking coming from inside the car or does it seem to be an external noise?

If it's inside:

If you can, definitely try to remove it and once out, verify that the cable is in fact not the issue....oil or grease it up how ever you see fit...put it back in and if it doesn't go away then it may be an issue inside the cluster....maybe the mileage counter or the gearing inside the speedo.

I have never had this issue before but those are things I would to try and diagnose the problem.

If it's outside, then it may be the small plastic gears that go into the transmission but I'm really thinking its not that...I would disconnect the cable from the tranny and speedo and start with that.
Charlie
1979 - Esprit (21 years and counting)

Offline Rockford

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Re: Speedometer Noise
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2022, 02:29:48 PM »
Well, my current issue fits right in here.  My speedometer has started squeaking and it's definitely coming from the speedometer itself.  Sure sounds like plastic wheels/gears that's making the noise.  Without having to remove the entire cluster, is it possible to remove just the plastic glass covering the speedometer so I can perhaps squirt a little lubricant inside?  Course, not sure if that would work.  Is the plastic glass a one piece unit covering all the gauges in the '78's?

Offline Wallington

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Re: Speedometer Noise
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2022, 08:01:36 PM »
One piece lens, dash bezel to come off, by that stage you simply lower the steering column and take gauge cluster out. Could be speedo gauge or the cable where it pokes in, shot of something like lanolin or sewing machine oil and maybe a blob of grease on the tip before reinstalling.
Of course, that may not help if speedo internals are worn or damaged.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2022, 08:17:56 PM by Wallington »

Offline Rockford

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Re: Speedometer Noise
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2022, 05:56:08 PM »
Thanks Wallington! 

Offline ws6formula

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Re: Speedometer Noise
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2022, 02:57:58 AM »
I am not sure how guys are solving this speedometer squeaking issue. It is pretty simple to pull the gauge cluster. I dont think you can lube the front of the speedo cable. Even at  back there is not really any spot to lube that I recall. I guess you could put a touch of lube on end of speedo cable before you insert the speedo cable into gauge housing.
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I would take out our speedo cable from gauge cluster and trans and then remove the actual cable from the cable housing. If housing and cable look good - you could lube cable and reinsert into housing. You could bench test the cable / gauge cluster on the bench - insert the speedo cable into gauge cluster - get a drill and hold end of cable (that would normally go to the trans) in the drill. Turn the drill - i seem to recall you spin drill in reverse.
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Some of speedo noises / problems could come from routing the cable with too many tight bends or if cable not fully seated into gauge cluster - I did that and did not realize and my speedo was bouncing around a little. Other issue is - what is lube for speedo cable ? I cant recall exactly - but I think I used lithium grease ? There is good discussions on speedo lube and pros/cons of different lube materials.


Offline Rockford

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Re: Speedometer Noise
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2022, 07:28:07 AM »
I'm pretty certain now, that my squeaking noise came from the speedo itself, or that location anyway.  Prior to disassembly, I was able to grab the back near the speedometer and kind of move it up and down.  The noise would dissipate for a while, then come back.  So I disconnected the cable from the gauge cluster and applied a dab of heavy grease on the tip of the cable as well as some lithium grease.  Since then, no noise has been heard whatsoever.  I'm thinking the grease managed to work itself into the gears on the speedo, but could be wrong.  Maybe it's a temporary stop-fix, or maybe not.  Time will tell.