I had the Scout out a couple days before Christmas to run some errands, and she ran great after a warmup in the driveway. The new battery has a lot more power than the old one ever did. About halfway through my trip, while accelerating, I heard and felt a Ting! behind the steering column, from somewhere behind the dash. Alarmed, I did my usual scan for damage, and felt nothing different through the pedals or in the sound of the engine. She continued running straight and true, and the engine was strong and responsive. I continued on and filed that away in my brain for later diagnosis.

A little later it became clear what the issue was: my speedometer needle was bouncing all over the place. For most mechanical speedo cables the cause is the same thing: at some point the grease in the wire got gunked up with age or dirt, and the teeth have started slipping. I’ve got a couple of different options to fix it:

  • I can buy a new speedo cable and install it: about $40 from a Light Line vendor.
  • I can pull the existing cable and shoot graphite into each end, hopefully cleaning out and clearing up the binding problem, as long as the teeth are still intact.

While I’m in there doing this, I could update the gears in the instrument cluster to reflect the difference in tire size from stock to where they are now; this would show the proper speed and ensure the odometer is recording the right distance.

For Christmas, I asked for a 12 volt bench power supply so that I can pull the instrument cluster and put it on steady power to troubleshoot the lights, as well as the other gauges I’ve got in my spares bin. (After doing some more sleuthing I realized I can do the same with two 6-volt batteries wired in sequence, but oh well). So the first thing to do will be to wire up one of my spares and see if I can sort that out first. Once I know what I’m doing, I’ll pull the working unit and fix that, as well as address the speedo cable issue.

Posted on   |    |  Posted in Future Plans

0 thoughts on “Speedometer

  • Neal in. Boston says:

    Good luck with that.
    Is it hard to regear for tire size?
    Is the original set to match 30″ tire diameter? How off would it be if someone is running 31″s?
    Did you upsize to 32s or 33s?

    By the way, I noticed on Hemmings today that the MOST popular article was the one that you forwarded about bodywork and paint.
    I guess my someday scout will have to be a homemade “rough rider” with rattlecan or a home-spray paint job.

    Keep on Scouting!

  • Hi Neal—
    The original tires were 29s or 33s I believe, so the extra 2-3 inches makes a huge difference. She came with 32s and I replaced those with 33s, so the difference is very noticeable. And yeah, unless you can find one with a decent body (look in California!) it’s going to be with the color you bought it unless you’re independently wealthy. Happy New Year!

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