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#793776 - Mon Oct 31 2011 12:36 AM Speedometer Cable Lube  
sleeve  Offline
Shop Shark
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 268
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 ?

Last edited by sleeve; Mon Oct 31 2011 12:37 AM.

1945 Chevrolet G 506 1.5 Ton Military 4X4

#793782 - Mon Oct 31 2011 12:52 AM Re: Speedometer Cable Lube [Re: sleeve]  
Greg_H  Offline
Shop Shark
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,266
Enid Okla
They actually recommended a powdered graphite dry lubricant.

#793783 - Mon Oct 31 2011 12:58 AM Re: Speedometer Cable Lube [Re: Greg_H]  
sleeve  Offline
Shop Shark
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 268
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 - Mon Oct 31 2011 02:21 AM Re: Speedometer Cable Lube [Re: sleeve]  
Achipmunk  Offline
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 15,563
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 - Mon Oct 31 2011 02:40 AM Re: Speedometer Cable Lube [Re: Achipmunk]  
squeeze  Offline
Master Gabster
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 5,814
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 - Mon Oct 31 2011 04:11 AM Re: Speedometer Cable Lube [Re: squeeze]  
1958GMCnut  Offline
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,488
Langley BC Canada
use some white lithium grease on the inner cable after cleaning...

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#793922 - Mon Oct 31 2011 01:20 PM Re: Speedometer Cable Lube [Re: 1958GMCnut]  
Wrenchbender Ret.  Offline
Master Gabster
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 9,678
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.

They say money can't buy happiness. It can buy old Chevy trucks though. Same thing.

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#793924 - Mon Oct 31 2011 01:35 PM Re: Speedometer Cable Lube [Re: 1958GMCnut]  
Denny Graham  Offline
Extreme Gabster
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 10,612
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 02:00 PM Re: Speedometer Cable Lube [Re: squeeze]  
Grant_Bowker  Offline
Shop Shark
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 82
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 03:29 PM Re: Speedometer Cable Lube [Re: Grant_Bowker]  
Mr. Lang  Offline
Shop Shark
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,507
Brentwood Bay, BC Canada
I like to mix powered graphite with kerosene or really light oil for this.


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