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Speedometer Cables

Greekman

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 4, 2002
Messages
152
Location
Parker, Colorado
Corvette
'67 327/350-'73 LS4-'76 L48-'79 L82
I just picked up my 1979 Corvette after leaving it with the local Chevrolet dealership here in town. I was having the usual speedometer cable noise and slap where the needle jumps back and forth and is noisy.

The dealership replace the speedo cables, but said the ones that came from GM were longer than the old ones and with the added length and bends the needle still jumps around. The noise is gone though. The service advisor said that after the cables loosen up a bit that the speedo slap may stop?

Is this normal? This was not a inexpensive repair. Do I need to check with a speedometer shop for a custom length cables?

Any help or your past experiences would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
 

69MyWay

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2001
Messages
4,364
Location
Auburndale, Florida
Corvette
1969 Killer Shark
This is just my opinion, not based in hard core fact. However, I do believe you had two problems. One, a noisy dry cable, and two a sticky speedo head unit.

You may find that the jerky slappy needle will stay the same unless the speed is pulled, cleaned, and recalibrated. They get dust, polorizatoin, etc. on the inner part and it will grab the needle swing and jerk it across instead of smooth easy movement.


Good luck with it.


As far as the cable length?????? I have no idea why one would be longer than the other. As is, there is hardly enough length to reach with the stock design.
 

77-4speed

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2002
Messages
249
Location
Houston, TX
Corvette
1977 Black L-82 4-speed
Not usual

I replaced my 77's speedo cable with a unit from Oreilly's. Although I have cruise control, the unit is inoperable so I just bought the 1-piece cable instead of the 2-piece cable.

The cable fit perfectly. In fact, it hugs the underside of the car all the way to the firewall. If they say the GM replacement was too long, I'd tell them that you want them to get the correct size. Ineptitude from a dealers service department is unnacceptable. Especially when it comes at $75/hr.

If you are tired of dealing with the dealer service department, you could always buy the part from Oreilly's and put it on yourself. It took me about 1/2 hr. You don't even have to take the dash down. If you remove the air conditioning tube on the drivers side (big plastic assembly) you can actually reach up and disconnect the speedo cable. It is a little difficult but like I said, the whole process only took me about 1/2 hr.

Anyhow, my first bet would be to take it back to the dealer and tell them that their work is unacceptable. You paid to have it fixed, so they need to fix it correctly. Even if that means they get the part from Oreillys or Ecklers or wherever.

Just my $.02

Russ
 

Nut

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 15, 2000
Messages
890
Location
Bowie, MD
Corvette
Vette-less for now
Greekman,

I agree with Russ. It is ridiculous to not have the correct size cable. There are millions of them out there. A bouncing needle is also indicitive of a bad cruise control servo (assuming that you have one). However, like russ said, you can simply bypass the servo with the longer (stock) cable. And it is a relatively easy job to replace the cable yourself. Only requires the car to be jacked up enough to slide under the car. Good luck.

........... Nut
 

77-4speed

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2002
Messages
249
Location
Houston, TX
Corvette
1977 Black L-82 4-speed
Nutt,

I actually did it without even jacking the car up!! It makes me livid to read about the bull**** that dealers try to pull on people. Well, any service tech for that matter. They think they are high and mighty because someone brings them their vehicle. Just because I bring a service tech my vehicle, does not mean I don't know what I'm doing. Sometimes I just don't have the time.

Arghh. I get more and more upset just thinking about the dealer installing some gangly cable flopping around under the car. And then having the gall to charge Greekman and tell him "sorry, that's the way it is" COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE!!!!!!

Where has service gone?

Sorry about the soap box but, as Americans and humans, we need to respect each other and take pride in whatever work we do!

-Russ
 

Nut

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 15, 2000
Messages
890
Location
Bowie, MD
Corvette
Vette-less for now
Russ, Not all are bogus and we have a couple really top notch tech's here on the CAC that post all the time. (Mike) Stingray6974 for one and there's a lady up north that's a Certifed mechanic. And not counting the numerous folks that have an incredible amount of experience. It is amazing. How about the post that was on here where a member was told the Build Sheet on the gas tank was nothing more than a sheet that told you about the gas tank? And THAT was from a Corvette Dealer!! That has to be the best one I've heard this year. That's why I love this site so much. There is someone, somewhere out there that has the knowledge that you need and is happy, no most times excited to share the data.

Yeah, I've replaced mine at least 5-6 times in the last 10 years. A piece of cake. The Cruise Servo usually is the culpret that kills my cable.

Regards........ Nut
 

77-4speed

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2002
Messages
249
Location
Houston, TX
Corvette
1977 Black L-82 4-speed
My bad

Nut,

I didn't intend to imply that all service techs are jerks. I was just saying that I HATE when any service tech is a jerk. I don't want to give anyone the wrong impression. I totally admire those guys and gals that can properly diagnose and repair problems!

Sorry about the lack of communication.

Russ

Keep em rollin'
 

Greekman

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 4, 2002
Messages
152
Location
Parker, Colorado
Corvette
'67 327/350-'73 LS4-'76 L48-'79 L82
Thanks guys for all the info. I didn't feel that this was the norm as my other cars and trucks that I drive on a daily basis I would not accept this situation. I did run a email off to the Service Advisor telling him my unhappiness with the speedometer and my willingness to assist in anyway I can in correcting the problem.

If I don't hear from him soon I guess I will need to make a personal appearance. Many many years ago I too was a Service Advisor for a Chevrolet dealership.

The vast majority of technicans and service advisors do a great job and in this case it may not have been anything the tech could have done if they won't get them the correct part!

.
 

Greekman

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 4, 2002
Messages
152
Location
Parker, Colorado
Corvette
'67 327/350-'73 LS4-'76 L48-'79 L82
After expressing my feelings to the Service Advisor, they agreed to give the speedometer cable situation another try.

Their solution is they must work with the GM part and since it is too long the "authorized' Chevrolet fix is to relocated the Transducer a couple of inches further to tighten the slack in the long cables.

I tell you, once this is done I will continue to do ALL my own work on all my vehicles including the Corvette unless I need some type of special equipement to perform the job.

That day I just had more money than time.

Thanks everyone


.
 

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