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Extremely loud, screeching speedometer
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djs94124
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2007 9:19 pm    Post subject: Extremely loud, screeching speedometer Reply with quote

I searched for this problem in the forum, but found nothing.

The speedometer in my '87 Westfalia recently began making an extremely loud screeching noise while driving. It's loud enough where I can't hear my radio. It started out as intermittent but now happens every time I drive. It sounds like something inside the speedometer head is rubbing or has run out of lubrication during rotation. I find that I can make the sound go away if I manually pull the speedo cable from side to side while driving. However when I let go of it, the noise returns. This means that I could probably use a tie-wrap to forcibly hold the speedo cable in a position where it doesn't make the noise, but this obviously is not the optimal solution.

I disconnected the speedo cable from the speedo head, and there is no noise, so I am assuming the problem is coming from the head, not the speedo cable.

I also removed the instrument cluster and then removed the speedo unit to examine it, but it appears to be OK. No parts dropped out, no loose bits of metal or plastic to be seen. I can rotate the drive gear with a small screwdriver and it rotates smoothly.

Both my speedometer and odometer work fine, no bouncing or clicking, just this infernal racket while driving.

Anyone run into this before?

Thanking you in advance....

-Dan
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UH60Driver
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you try lubing everything up yet? Graphite on the cable and whatnot?
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tencentlife
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The input bearing on the speedo head has dried out. Remove the cluster again and lay it on it's face. Get a couple drops of very light oil, sewing machine, 3in1, MMO, even ATF, into the gap around the input shaft collar. Don't overdo it; you don't want excess oil to go further into the head as it will get into the gap between the drive magnet and cup and cause the needle to get jumpy.
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Mathew Zelezen
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had exactly the same problem you're describing on my 86 Syncro... Its loud enough to drive you to drink (although not enough to drink and drive).

I tried everything that was suggested, sprayed all kinds of lubricants into the housing, took apart the speedo to check for something that would jump out at me, even zip tied the cable so that it was pulled to the side (that worked for about a week)...

In the end the solution turned out to be Moab, Utah.

I drove the 2 hours it took from my house to Moab one weekend with the speedometer cable plugged in screeching away... a half our into the journey the screeching started to subside until it went away all together.
That was 4 months ago, the speedo works great and I haven't heard a peep yet.

Sorry its not very scientific, but I'd give it a shot considering the prices of replacement housings out there...
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Rhinoculips
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm resurrecting this thread in hopes that the OP solved the problem and he could share his experiences or someone else can make a suggestion. My speedo is making such a hell of a racket that I can't even hear myself think let alone my radio! I have tried lubing it with a dry bike chain oil, 3 in 1, Silicon spray (commonly used on bike cables), etc. No luck. Maybe I will try Mathews trick and drive to Moab for a weekend getaway! Laughing
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wgargan
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too would like advice tips etc...my van does it when it is cold and high humidity. When it warms up it does not do it. I have yet to pull it apart but i presume there are some bushing that where out on one of the spinning parts within the cluster, not just where the cable attaches.
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djs94124
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Original Poster here:

I finally resolved the problem by replacing the speedometer with a good used unit. The source of the noise was apparently the shaft bearing, and I was not able to quiet the noise by lubricating it, so I located a used speedo on eBay, transferred my odometer gear cluster to it, and reinstalled. No more noise.

-Dan
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j_dirge
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

djs94124 wrote:
Original Poster here:

I finally resolved the problem by replacing the speedometer with a good used unit. The source of the noise was apparently the shaft bearing, and I was not able to quiet the noise by lubricating it, so I located a used speedo on eBay, transferred my odometer gear cluster to it, and reinstalled. No more noise.

-Dan

Interesting.

My 89GL Westy speedo/cable is making a "clicking" sound.. not a screeching sound.

Just loud enough to hear over road noise.

Do you recall if there was a noise previous to the screeching? Did the symptoms worsen?

Will try the 3in1 per 10cent... just wondering if I should be sourcing a replacment speedo.
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MootPoint
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
just wondering if I should be sourcing a replacment speedo.


They show up in the Classifieds with amazing regularity, usually available from SleepyJoe in Kelseyville for about $35. I got mine from him and then reset the odometer with the instructions at:

http://www.twistedlimbpaper.com/brian/vanagon/Odometer.htm

Fixing the odometer was much easier than I thought.
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targis58
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 11:32 am    Post subject: Re: Extremely loud, screeching speedometer Reply with quote

djs94124 wrote:
I searched for this problem in the forum, but found nothing.

The speedometer in my '87 Westfalia recently began making an extremely loud screeching noise while driving. It's loud enough where I can't hear my radio. It started out as intermittent but now happens every time I drive. It sounds like something inside the speedometer head is rubbing or has run out of lubrication during rotation. I find that I can make the sound go away if I manually pull the speedo cable from side to side while driving. However when I let go of it, the noise returns. This means that I could probably use a tie-wrap to forcibly hold the speedo cable in a position where it doesn't make the noise, but this obviously is not the optimal solution.

I disconnected the speedo cable from the speedo head, and there is no noise, so I am assuming the problem is coming from the head, not the speedo cable.

I also removed the instrument cluster and then removed the speedo unit to examine it, but it appears to be OK. No parts dropped out, no loose bits of metal or plastic to be seen. I can rotate the drive gear with a small screwdriver and it rotates smoothly.

Both my speedometer and odometer work fine, no bouncing or clicking, just this infernal racket while driving.

Anyone run into this before?

Thanking you in advance....

-Dan
[/quote]


I was having exactly the same problem with my 90 westy and knowing that people have tried lubricating the speedo with differenrt lubes and not successful with it, I still wanted to try to lube it with something before having to replace the speedo.

And believe or not, it fixed

I stuffed regular vaseline into a little syringe I had and squirted into the back hole of the speedo after disconnecting the cable. I squirted enough vaseline until it came back out of the hole (it didn't take much vaseline) and connected the cable back on and drove. The minute I started driving I noticed the noise wasn't there anymore. Try this before buying another speedo. I didn't even have to remove the speedo out of the cluster to do this
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Volksbulli
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tencentlife wrote:
The input bearing on the speedo head has dried out. Remove the cluster again and lay it on it's face. Get a couple drops of very light oil, sewing machine, 3in1, MMO, even ATF, into the gap around the input shaft collar. Don't overdo it; you don't want excess oil to go further into the head as it will get into the gap between the drive magnet and cup and cause the needle to get jumpy.


Yup, I had that happen on my 67 Beetle, I was doing a highway trip in the winter, it started sounding off so loud I couldn't take it any more, I pulled off the side of the highway popped the hood pulled the wire cover off unscrewed the cable and dipped my pinky finger in a bottle of oil and slathered it all over the input shaft end put it all together got back up to 55 and it was quiet again.
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Vanagonner
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wgargan wrote:
I too would like advice tips etc...my van does it when it is cold and high humidity. When it warms up it does not do it. I have yet to pull it apart but i presume there are some bushing that where out on one of the spinning parts within the cluster, not just where the cable attaches.


I had the same problem; I dutifully put 3-in-1 oil into the back of the speedo bushing, let it sit upside down for a few hours and put it back in. After running it for a while to get it worked in, it seemed to have solved it. However, when I first ran it, the dash was out. When I put the dash back in with the cluster, it started screeching like crazy when cold.
I discovered that the difference is the bend that the cable makes as it goes into the speedo. With the cluster cover off, I reached in with my left hand and pinched the cable to straighten out the cable as it entered the speedo (while driving 50). The noise went away, every time I did this. So I got a hose clamp the right size for the speedo cable (fuel line size) and put it on the cable a couple of inches from the end of the cable, near the speedometer (while not driving 50). This allowed me to put a zip tie on around the cable and the steel stay that is next to it, which anchors the steering wheel. This tugged it up enough to correct the angle of the cable so that it enters the gauge straight. Problem solved.
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shorepig
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My speedo just died, abour five minutes ago. No noise as described above. I was cruising at about 80 and noticed it was sorta jumping erratically between about 40 and 60....then, about 2 minutes later it dropped to 0, and there it rests Sad So, what the heck happened here, and how can I fix it?
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tclark
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

let guess busted speedo cable either at the connection at the wheel
of the plastic shaft at speedo head
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=38495
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firepilot
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mine has been doing the exact same thing. It sat for quite a while in a dry climate without moving, so I am sure that was probably not good for the lubrication inside. When its cold, at about 30mph it starts to screech, and after its warmed up some, it does not do it bad until about 40mph.

Right now I have the cluster out and put some drops of penetrating oil in there and letting it sit for about an hour before putting it back in. And a good part of getting the cluster out was finding my lost antenna cable.
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ihurley
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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 3:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Extremely loud, screeching speedometer Reply with quote

FYI, the screeching is most often caused by a worn bearing inside the speedo that is either rubbing itself or causes the magnetic wheel (used to motivate the needle to rise as you go faster) to rub on the inside of the speedo. Putting lube down the back won't do a damn thing. That hole goes no where, it is a solid shaft and you are just filling it up for it to squeeze out everywhere when you reinsert the cable, or cause the cable to not be able to seat properly because it is packed. The wear is cause by the cable going into the speedo at a sharp angle putting stress on the shaft and the copper sleeve bearing inside the speedo. Once that wears out there is no fix (unless you can find a very small and very precise copper sleeve bearing and can press the old out and the new in). Though I have had some success pressing the magnetic wheel down on the shaft sandwiching the bearing and reducing lateral wobble and rubbing. But this creates more tension and most often causes your speedo to read less accurately and bounce around more as the cable will slip when spin tension buids and it releases suddenly over and over on each turn.

It is also not a good idea to get lube in the back of the speedo as it can interfere with the magnet and cause erratic needle movement.

One solution would be to try and get the cable to go in perfectly straight to help the shaft spin perfectly centered in the worn out bearing and reduce friction and noise. Most of the time this is exactly what you end up doing when pulling it out lubing it up and putting it back in. Really all you did was put it back in straight and removed the lateral tension that was causing the shaft to rub on one side of the bearing more than the other.
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Squidbrain
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:40 am    Post subject: Re: Extremely loud, screeching speedometer Reply with quote

I found that putting carbon lube in the attacher thing under the dash just squeezed out everywhere, like ihurley said. I had hoped it would still ooze down and stop the horrible loud clacking noise that I get at the wheel.. only when it is cold out, under like 32 degrees. Going 1 mile an hour or more. But no luck after a few weeks. The noise sounds like cracking metal.. but stops when the clutch is pressed.. which seems odd? I am going to look under the thing today and see if I can change the angle at the wheel, then otherwise disconnect the cable at the wheel hub.. that should stop it. Otherwise I have another problem, not the speedo cable.
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