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Old 04-23-2006, 04:03 PM
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80 Vette Speedo Problems!!!!!!!!!

I just bought an 80 vette. Real nice car that I bought to sell. The guy I bought it from (trustworthy) said that the speedo worked fine, then became eratic, then it quite all together. I have replaced the lower speedo cable. Didn't fix it. It has an upper b/c it is a cruise car. I took the front cover off of my instrument cluster but could not figure out how to get the speedo clust. out. The peg has good tension on it when I pull it around to it jumps right back to 0. This may not even fit in to this category post but I need some help wherever I can find it. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 04-23-2006, 04:18 PM
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Southernrodder,

Go back under the car and pull the cable from the transmission. Then hook a battery powered drill to the cable and give it a spin. The speedo should read if it doesn't then the new cable is not ingaged to the back of your speedometer. You did say this car is a "cruiser" which I take to mean that it has a speed control set-up. If that is the case look under the hood for the transducer. The speedo cable from the transmission will come to the transducer then from there it will go into the dash. Maybe the cable from the transducer to the speedometer is the cable that has gone bad? Again just hook up a battery powered drill and give the cable a spin if the speedo works then the transducer is bad. If the speedo doesn't read when you spinn the cable then you are going to have to pull the speedo out and have it checked. But short of pulling the speedo out I would replace the short cable to the speedo and try spinning the cable again. If the speedo works great but if it doesn't then you are out the cost of the cable. You would hate to pull the speedometer just to find out that the short cable is the problem.

Good Luck
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Old 04-23-2006, 04:25 PM
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how would i get to the back of the speedometer is the short cable is the bad one. I really can't see in to how to get in there
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Old 04-23-2006, 04:32 PM
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SoutherRodder,

I would go to the library and look up the removal steps from a Chiltons manual. Or you can hope that "DocVette" will reply with the answer.

I know that isn't much help but it is all I have since I haven't worked on too many Vetts in my days on earth.

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Old 04-23-2006, 09:10 PM
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Doc here,

To remove the speedometer cluster, you must first remove the radio, then the center cluster held by 6 or 8 screws, slide it out about 5 or so inches on the RIGHT side, reach in and carefully remove the cluster plug.

Remove the cluster altogether until there is a big hole in the center console..

Next remove the screws from the speedo / Tach cluster 4 in all I think, to see the top screws you almost have to be upside down.

With those out, reach through the center cluster hole, and unscrew the speedo cable, and remove carefully the speedo / Tach cluster plug. then pushing from behind as you pull forward take the cluster out..

Remove your speedometer cable and replace with the new one ..If it is shredded, you might want to consider a whole new cable (sheath and all) as the shards may be causing jump even on a new cable.

While you have the speedo out, you should test it for smooth operation with a drill motor to be sure dirt in there isn't causing the erratic readings..you'll find these And the metal behind the dash to be "Rust Collectors".

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Old 04-24-2006, 06:26 AM
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thanks guys thats some really good info there docvette. one more question. I pulled the plastic cover off of the front side of the speedo/tach cluster yesterday and i found a little piece of paper lodged below the first two numbers of my odometer, it reads 14556, the paper was to keep the 1 and 4 from moving. i took out the piece of paper and i could turn the 1 and the 4 freely. the other three still had tension on them the way that they should. what could be causing this? i figure someone has tampered with the miles in the past and tore something up. that may have something to do with my speedo not working
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Old 04-24-2006, 05:36 PM
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Doc here,

Sounds like the Gear wheels on the worm drive have broken. You'll need to pull the back shell off and inspect the wheel gears and worm drive. If it's broken you'll need to replace the Speedometer unit..Is it a 0 to 85 or a 0 to 160 Speedo?

The first is easy to replace the latter for an 80 vette is much harder to find. and early models won't fit in the bucket.

Check the trip gauge button too, It may be stuck in mid travel making the wheels spin free..(another common problem)

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