Speedo Cable installation

Discussion in 'Tips 'n' Tricks Topic' started by Twisted_Metal, Mar 14, 2009.

  1. Twisted_Metal

    Twisted_Metal Administrator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Feb 26, 2004
    Bloomington, MN
    If you have ever looked at the way a speedometer cable is routed through the firewall and up to the cluster.... You will cringe! :eek:

    I had been getting noise from my speedometer and figured it would be easier to eliminate the cable from the equation than to change the speedometer itself.....
    I'm not so sure it was the easiest part to replace but I found a slick way to do it.

    I have two speedo cables because of the cruise control but I think this will work well for either one or two piece cables.

    Once you've pulled the bezel off the dash and removed the cluster.
    (Oh.... and the plastic toe-board cover under the dash cuz the cable runs under it.)
    You have to pull the cable down through the firewall from the engine side.
    (or maybe from under the car if you only have one cable.)

    One Coat Hanger is the perfect length to use as a snake to guide the new cable back in.
    (Make a spring-shaped coil in the end which fits snug to the speedo cable end.)

    Now... to be sure you have the new one routed correctly....
    Hook the hanger on the speedometer end of the cable BEFORE you pull the cable through the firewall.

    Once the old one is pulled through, the new speedo cable can be connected to the coat hanger and guided back up through the firewall and dash by using the coat hanger to pull it back into place.

    I was able to make this a one person job without crawling under the car by using a simple coat hanger as the guide. :D

    Maybe this is in the Haynes manual... I didn't look.
    It seemed like a perfect solution to an otherwise extremely difficult task so I thought I would share.

    BTW... My speedometer isn't making that "shuck,shuck,shuck" noise anymore either! :D
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2009
  2. Marks71BB

    Marks71BB Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    The cable in my truck has made the shuck,shuck,shuck noise for several years now. Thanks for the tip Terry, I guess I have no reason not to replace it, other than I dont GAF :p
  3. serpent710

    serpent710 Veteran Member


    Thanks Terry, when my car comes back from the body shop I plan on installing a new cable and a shifter cable.
  4. Venom73

    Venom73 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Feb 4, 2007
    Louisville, Ky
    You just reminded me I should put a speedo cable in mine while the fenders are off for bodywork. I may just do it.
  5. Camaro4life18

    Camaro4life18 Veteran Member

    Mar 26, 2003
    Land of Cornfields
    Good idea with the coat hanger, wish I would have read this before I recently replaced my.

    To add to this tip, to help prevent the "shuck shuck shuck shuck" noise, I pulled the cable all the way out of the jacket and greased it all up with engine grease. My cable came in 2 pieces, so I also packed the connectors full of grease to stop water from getting in.
  6. Gary S

    Gary S Administrator Lifetime Gold Member

    Apr 14, 1999
    Bismarck, North Dakota
    Many years ago I had a new exhaust system installed on my DD pickup. They routed the pipe against my speedometer cable and fried it. I bought a new one at GM. It was fairly easy to install on a pickup, but the quality of the replacement was never as good as the original one. The replacement cable makes noise every 5 years or so and needs to be pulled out and cleaned and lubed. On my old truck, I can do it in about a half hour already. I don't have AC, so I can just reach up behind the speedometer and unclip the cable. Then I pull it out under the hood where I can pull the center cable out of the housing. At that point, it is easy to clean and relube it, leaving the housing in place on the truck. After that, I simply push it back through the firewall and hook it back onto the speedometer. Then I'm good for another 5 years or so until it complains again.
  7. patroll

    patroll Veteran Member

    Nov 23, 2009
    Glad you mentioned this, I keep seeing 2 speedometer cables, that's only for the few that had cruise control. So in my 1975 Camaro with a turbo 350 Automatic Transmission it uses one cable . Is there a certain length ? If you catch this post , oh and it seems to run under the front frame ,looks like they installed the cable then bolted on the front end sub frame ,I guess that's what it is called. Thanks Twisted Metal your the Man.

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