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#793776 - Sun Oct 30 2011 07:36 PM Speedometer Cable Lube
sleeve Offline
Shop Shark
Registered: Thu Dec 02 2010 09:19 PM
Posts: 268
Loc: Northern New Mexico
My speedometer needle jumped all over the place and figuring that my cable was dry or dirty I took it out and while the cable doesn't come out of the sheath I was able to pour WD 40 inside the casing and spin the cable by hand until it turned smoothley then hung it up and let the excess run out.

The question is what weight oil should I use to lube it before I reinstall it ?

Edited by sleeve (Sun Oct 30 2011 07:37 PM)
1945 Chevrolet G 506 1.5 Ton Military 4X4
#793782 - Sun Oct 30 2011 07:52 PM Re: Speedometer Cable Lube [Re: sleeve]
Greg_H Offline
Shop Shark
Registered: Mon Aug 06 2001 12:00 PM
Posts: 1245
Loc: Enid Okla
They actually recommended a powdered graphite dry lubricant.
#793783 - Sun Oct 30 2011 07:58 PM Re: Speedometer Cable Lube [Re: Greg_H]
sleeve Offline
Shop Shark
Registered: Thu Dec 02 2010 09:19 PM
Posts: 268
Loc: Northern New Mexico
Without being able to get the cable out of the sheath any recommendation on how to get graphite on the entire length of the cable?
1945 Chevrolet G 506 1.5 Ton Military 4X4
#793821 - Sun Oct 30 2011 09:21 PM Re: Speedometer Cable Lube [Re: sleeve]
Achipmunk Offline
Registered: Tue Dec 11 2001 12:00 PM
Posts: 15084
Loc: Boiling Springs, S. C. 29316
If you take your time I think gravity will do its job if you put some in the cable and continue to turn it or maybe put some graphite in one end and use a low pressure air hose to blow some down it.....or maybe some light oil, like 3 n 1 would be a carrier to move some on down the line.
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#793828 - Sun Oct 30 2011 09:40 PM Re: Speedometer Cable Lube [Re: Achipmunk]
squeeze Offline
Master Gabster
Registered: Sun Jul 08 2001 12:00 PM
Posts: 5814
Loc: Vancouver Island
do not add powdered graphite now that you've used a liquid on it, unless you get it out and clean it well with a solvent .... why can't you get the cable out of the sheath? should pull out from one end or the other, lube alone won't fix it, the gumbo needs to be cleaned out .... the other choice would be replace it, or possibly the jumpy speedo is as much or more a dirty speedo head

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#793860 - Sun Oct 30 2011 11:11 PM Re: Speedometer Cable Lube [Re: squeeze]
1958GMCnut Offline
Registered: Wed Mar 07 2007 12:00 PM
Posts: 2484
Loc: Langley BC Canada
use some white lithium grease on the inner cable after cleaning...
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#793922 - Mon Oct 31 2011 08:20 AM Re: Speedometer Cable Lube [Re: 1958GMCnut]
Wrenchbender Ret. Online
Master Gabster
Registered: Sun Jun 20 2004 12:00 PM
Posts: 9489
Loc: Lenexa Ks.
It should come out through the top. Take it loose at the trans. & straighten out the curve. Pull it out from the top. I have packed them in grease like Cnut says for 60 years & they work from then on out. Put a little oil on the spindle at the end of the speedo.
I'm not a fast mechanic but I'm not really a slow mechanic. Actually I'm just a half-fast mechanic.

1956 Chevy 1/2-Ton Pickup

#793924 - Mon Oct 31 2011 08:35 AM Re: Speedometer Cable Lube [Re: 1958GMCnut]
Denny Graham Offline
Extreme Gabster
Registered: Mon Oct 02 2006 12:00 PM
Posts: 10612
Loc: Sandwich, IL
Same question comes to mind, that is, why can't you get the cable out of the housing??? I
don't think I've ever seen one that was a sealed unit but I see from your signature that it
might be a military vehicle? That might account for it.

I used to be a real supporter of Lithium grease but having been around long enough to see
what age does to greases I wouldn't use it in anything that wouldn't be cleaned and re-
greased in a couple of years. White greases dry out in a relatively short time compared to
the conventional grease such as chassis or wheel bearing grease. I've taken apart items
that I've used Lithium grease in after 3 or 4 years only to find a dry white caked up
residue left inside. A recent example is a vacuum wiper which was disassembled, cleaned
and reassembled with white grease just a few years ago. Also used it when I rebuilt my
window regulators 4 years ago and there is just some dry residue left on the gears. Who's
product one you say? Radiator Specialties aka; Solder Seal/Gunk Lithium grease and I've
also use some that was packaged in containers for sale by GM parts departments.
A good buddy and I were having a similar conversation a few weeks ago and he said he
used JD Corn Head grease for his wiper motor rebuild. The more I thought about it the
more logical that sounded. It's not subject to cavitation and it's about as light as KY Jelly
or warm Vaseline. And it wonít dry out over time, I doubt if farmer John can spare the
time to clean dried out old grease from his farm machinery every few years.

That said, If it were me and I were able to flush it out with WE40 I'd do like Alvin
mentioned, stand it on end and let gravity do the work with some light 10 weight or 3-in-
One oil. In the past with a conventional speedo cable, Iíve just given the cable a good
rubbing with chassis grease before sliding it back into the housing.

Denny Graham
Sandwich, IL
#793931 - Mon Oct 31 2011 09:00 AM Re: Speedometer Cable Lube [Re: squeeze]
Grant_Bowker Offline
Shop Shark
Registered: Thu Dec 23 2010 10:06 AM
Posts: 80
Loc: ottawa, canada
If you want/need to clean out both light lube and any possible older gunk, consider flowing brake cleaner through the cable and sheath by gravity until it comes out the bottom without trace of dirt or lube. You should be able to feel the difference on the cable to know when you've done enough. Also, turning the cable while the fluid works down the assembly will help loosen any remaining dirt or caked lubricant.
#793947 - Mon Oct 31 2011 10:29 AM Re: Speedometer Cable Lube [Re: Grant_Bowker]
Mr. Lang Offline
Shop Shark
Registered: Sat Jun 21 2008 06:02 PM
Posts: 1506
Loc: Brentwood Bay, BC Canada
I like to mix powered graphite with kerosene or really light oil for this.

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