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Thread: Noisey speedometer around 40mph

  1. #1
    Speedster Member Okiejoe86's Avatar
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    Noisey speedometer around 40mph

    Goodmorning yall!

    I own a 1940 President and have had a new concern pop up. When I am cruising at 40-45mph, my speedometer will start to rattle like crazy and the needle bounces around. I have pulled the cable out and reinstalled it, thinking maybe it wasn't seated properly. But the concern is still there.

    Any Ideas? Bad speedometer?

    Thanks!

    -Joe

    "Spilling a beer is the adult equivalent of a kid letting go of a Balloon."

  2. #2
    Silver Hawk Member jclary's Avatar
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    Did you lubricate the speedometer cable when you had it out? How 'bout the brass speedometer bushing where the cable goes into the back of the speedometer? Since you are experiencing the noise at 40mph, you have what I call "resonant vibration" as that is the speed at which the frequency of the forces breaks into an audible noise. A thorough lubrication is needed, or you could "skip" 40mph. But, the vibration is probably always there.

    If lubricating don't help, then it is probably worn to the point of replacing or rebuilding. I've had experience in taking speedometers apart, but don't recall ever putting one back together again. Perhaps someone here knows someone who can do both.
    John Clary
    Greer, SC
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    SDC member since 1975

  3. #3
    President Member warrlaw1's Avatar
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    What John said. Lube now or it will break. There should be a little hole or slit where the speedo cable meets the speedo. Take the speedometer out, lube that hole slightly and lit sit for a day. Too much oil and it will be all over the dial.
    Dave Warren (Perry Mason by day, Perry Como by night)

  4. #4
    President Member Xcalibur's Avatar
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    Did you clean and carefully INSPECT the cable? It is not unusual to find "problem" area(s) on old, often dry, cables.

  5. #5
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    The blokes repairing old clocks have the skills to fix your speedo. They also have some very tiny bushings that will work in your speedo.

  6. #6
    President Member nvonada's Avatar
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    The lubrication hole on your speedo might have a little door over it. I think mine did. Lubing the speedometer with some light machine oil really helped my speedometer. I did not even take it out, just reached up under the dash. I used a toothpick dipped in oil but next time I will probably use one of those red nozzle tubes from a spray can with my finger over one end.

  7. #7
    Silver Hawk Member jclary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hank63 View Post
    The blokes repairing old clocks have the skills to fix your speedo. They also have some very tiny bushings that will work in your speedo.
    This is truly an "international" forum. I love it. In our "hypersensitive" times...I wonder who might be offended if I came up to a repair shop, with my southern drawl, and asked..."Hey, are you the BLOKE that repairs speedometers?"

    My initial comments in this thread were very general regarding speedometer "lubrication." To be more specific, I'll add that to give it the best shot at good results, there are two distinct components and lubrication tasks. One, of course, is the cable. As someone has already suggested, you can slide the cable out of the flexible casing. Give it a good examination. If it has no broken or frayed strands, it can be lubricated and reinstalled. I have seen a process where some people take one of those tiny cone shaped drinking cups, cut a tiny portion of the tip off, put a dollop of grease in it, and pass the speedometer cable through the grease & bottom of the cup as they reinsert it into the flexible cable housing.
    Additionally, there are specific speedometer cable lubricants. Don't know if they are still available, but one I recall was called "Dri-slide." It was a graphite based lube also offered for things like bicycle chain.

    For the speedometer itself. The most effective way to be assured you get the tiny brass bushing lubricated effectively, (and I don't think most people relish this idea) is to remove the speedometer from the dash. Once in hand, you will see the tiny delicate brass cover over the lubrication point in the rear of the speedometer directly over the bushing. If you have the nerve (skill) that tiny cover/cap can be pried out. Under it, you will find a tiny plug of felt. You can remove that felt (dental pick tool) and place it aside. One tiny drop of "air tool oil" should be sufficient. Then, soak the tiny felt plug with the same oil. Reinsert the felt, brass cap, and you should be safe for a few more seasons.

    Now, you see why our Australian friend (hank63) recommended a "bloke" accustomed to clock repair.
    John Clary
    Greer, SC
    [IMG][/IMG]
    SDC member since 1975

  8. #8
    Speedster Member Okiejoe86's Avatar
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    I appreciate all the feedback mates!! ..No Pun Intended... This knew knowledge will give me something to do this evening! I will update this thread if the lube fixed my concern. I will even post some pictures!! Cheers!

    -Joe

    "Spilling a beer is the adult equivalent of a kid letting go of a Balloon."

  9. #9
    President Member nvonada's Avatar
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    The speedo cable lube is still around. Any FLAPS will have it.

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