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Speedometer Cables

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Components Edit

Upper Speedometer Cable Edit

The upper cable connects the Lambda counter to the speedometer. It rarely fails.

  • Part Number: 101604

Lower Speedometer Cable Edit

The lower cable connects the angle drive to the Lambda counter.

The original lower cable was too long for the application, and would sag. This could result in damage to the cable if it came in contact with the road or road debris, and the excess slack could introduce undue resistance throughout the speedometer system, eventually damaging the angle drive and possibly other components. VIN 005179 introduced a shorter 26" cable that rectified these issues[1].

  • Part Number: 111412

Support Bracket for the Lower Speedometer Cable Edit

Introduced for VIN 005179, the support bracket holds the lower speedometer cable away from the front left tire. It looks like a "bent coat hanger coming from the front caliper bracket"[2]. It is recommended for all cars to ensure that the lower speedometer cable is protected.

  • Part Number: 110528

Alternative Cables Edit

Deloman, PJ Grady and possibly other vendors sell a long single-piece speedometer cable that extends all the way from the angle drive through to the speedometer. These replace replace both the upper and lower cables and completely bypass the Lambda counter. Note that the support bracket is still recommended when using this cable.

  • Part Number: 112412

Maintenance Edit

Speedometer cables generally do not require any maintenance. They may occasionally require some lubrication, however. For example, if you have a slightly erratic or "bouncing" speedometer, it may be due to a cable binding in its sheath.

Speedometer cables should be lubricated with speedometer cable lubricant, which is a mix of graphite powder and kerosene or a similar liquid carrier[3]. It is often only found at older large auto suppliers and specialty auto shops; you are unlikely to find it at a local chain store. Speedometer cable lubricant is very thin and messy, so be prepared with shop towels and paper towels. Disposable gloves might not be a bad idea either.

To lubricate the cable:

  1. Remove the cable from the car.
  2. Remove the inner cable from the sheath. Note that it only comes out from one end.
  3. Wipe the cable clean.
  4. Check for problems, as described below.
  5. Liberally apply speedometer cable lubricant to the cable.
  6. Wipe off excess lubricant.
  7. Re-insert the inner cable into the sheath, turning it as you go.
  8. Reinstall the cable in the car.
  9. Lubricate the angle drive for good measure.

Alternate Instructions Edit

Ozzie H. posted a speedometer cable lubrication how-to on his DeLorean Ownership & Upkeeep blog, complete with pictures. The entry specifically covers the lower speedometer cable, but the basics apply to the upper cable as well.

Ozzie's steps start with locating the cable and removing it from the car. Once removed, he disassembles the cable and wipes down the inner wire. He then places one end of the sheath in a plastic bag, then sprays brake cleaner down the other end to clean the sheath. By sliding the inner cable in and out of the sheath, he forces the down the cable and into the plastic bake. He repeats the process again, after wiping off the inner wire. Next, he uses speedometer cable lubricant and performs the process twice more, leaving the cable assembled once he has finished. The cable is then reinstalled in the car by reversing the removal steps.

For complete steps and pictures, see the Maintenance: Lubricating the Speedometer Cable entry on his blog.

Testing Edit

A basic test of the speedometer cables can be done without removing the cables from the car by chucking them in a power drill and running it in reverse to turn the speedometer. See the Speedometer Troubleshooting for more information on this process.

To more thoroughly test a cable, you need to remove it from the car. Extract the inner cable from the sheath, wipe it clean, and lay it down on some newspaper or paper towels. It should coil into a large circle with no bends or kinks. The cable should not be frayed or cut anywhere along its length, Be sure to carefully check for damage at the tightly-wound ends. If it looks OK, you can lubricate it as above and re-assemble it[4]. If it has any kinks, fraying or bends, replace it with a new cable from a DeLorean vendor.

Removal/Installation Edit

The cables are attached to with screw-on connectors. These can easily be removed with Vise grips or pliers.

Lower Speedometer Cable Edit

  1. Turn the steering wheel to the right. This will allow easier access to the cable, although it may be easier to do this after removing the tire.
  2. Jack up the car and remove the front left tire.
  3. The lower cable connects to the angle drive on the back of the hub. Disconnect the cable from the angle drive by twisting the connector counter-clockwise. Vise grips or pliers may be helpful here.
  4. Locate the Lambda counter in the driver's footwell above the pedal box. It is a yellow box with a counter on it, and speedometer cables plugged into the top and bottom.
  5. Disconnect the bottom cable from the Lambda counter.
  6. Remove the cable from the car by pulling it through the firewall. Note that there is a grommet in the firewall that the cable passes through. This will need to be removed with the cable. It just pops out.

Reverse the steps to reinstall the cable. Be sure to reinstall the grommet to keep water from splashing into the cabin.

Upper Speedometer Cable Edit

Parts Numbers Edit

See Also Edit

External Links Edit

References Edit

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