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Speedometer bouncy needle
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madspaniard
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:50 pm    Post subject: Speedometer bouncy needle Reply with quote

did some search but not conclusive results

Since I was changing brake lines to steel ones I decided to replace my original speedometer cable with this one from Van Cafe

http://www.van-cafe.com/home/van/page_853_616/1_piece_speedometer_cable_2wd_only.html

Quote:
This is German OE part - there are aftermarket ones (even though made in Germany or Italy) available but we have not been happy with them - we find they have too much friction and can make the needle bounce - these ones are the real deal!


What do I get now? a bouncy needle. I hate myself for replacing something that, although old, was working perfectly. Preventive maintenance is sometimes evil! Does anybody know how to fix this bouncy needle?

Thanks!
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Vango Conversions
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If your dust cap is put on even slightly crooked the needle will bounce. You need to make sure it's properly lubricated, although I can't remember what the proper lube is, and then try taking off the dust cap and putting it back on straight, this is probably your problem. Also make sure that the cable bends as gently as possible without kinks or sharp bends.
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pinealservo
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've heard that people have fixed some bouncy speedometers by changing the routing of the cable so the cable has a gradual curve and goes fairly straight into the back of the cluster. Also make sure the connection is seated well.

I had to lube the inside of my speedometer, but if yours worked fine with the previous cable, that's probably not your problem. Good luck getting it smooth again! It was worth all the trouble when my speedometer finally became quiet and smooth. Smile
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CQ
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I though the bounce was normal. In a normal vehicle you could use that for an excuse when you get pulled over for a speeding ticket. But in my Vanagon I guess I am never speeding Smile
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Airhead Jim
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:19 am    Post subject: Re: Speedometer bouncy needle Reply with quote

madspaniard wrote:
did some search but not conclusive results

Since I was changing brake lines to steel ones I decided to replace my original speedometer cable with this one from Van Cafe

http://www.van-cafe.com/home/van/page_853_616/1_piece_speedometer_cable_2wd_only.html

Quote:
This is German OE part - there are aftermarket ones (even though made in Germany or Italy) available but we have not been happy with them - we find they have too much friction and can make the needle bounce - these ones are the real deal!


What do I get now? a bouncy needle. I hate myself for replacing something that, although old, was working perfectly. Preventive maintenance is sometimes evil! Does anybody know how to fix this bouncy needle?

Thanks!


I beg to take issue with VanCafe's opinion (I respect it though). I have been running Fania Brazil Cables in both my 84s (the long Diesel style to bypass the "Time Box") for the past couple of years. I have had no "bounce" in my needle(s), even at slow speed. Perhaps they got a batch of bad cables somewhere, but it hasn't been an issue for these sold thru Airhead Parts (out of stock right now, waiting for more).

Just my nickel's worth Smile
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went through this as well. The first cable was from BD and the needle was bouncing worse. I then "assumed" it was the head and sent it out for cleaning and lubrication. No problem found, needle still bounced. I saw the VC cable, but it seemed overpriced and ordered a second cable this time from GW. Before replacing the cable, I did the following.

I removed the dust cap and spun the cable with my battery powered drill. Needle bounced, I then removed the cable from the spindle and tested. Still bounced. I then removed the grill and stretched the cable out straight and ran the drill again. Needle still bounced. Installed the GW cable straight and test again. Needle smooth. I then routed the cable through the spindle and spun again. Still smooth, installed the dust cap with the circlip and a spot of silicone sealer and road test steady needle. I need the needle steady for the cruise to work properly. None of the suppliers make their own cables. My guess is the first one was defective and had I suspected it and contacted BD, I am sure they would have made good on it. But after the speedo service, too much time had gone by and I have had very good luck with the GW parts. The one they supplied has an orange sheath. It was a 1/3 of the cost of the VC one and solved the problem.

In the old days you could lube a speedo cable with graphite, but the new ones are swedged together and it would be difficult to lube completely. I also removed the adel clamp that secures the cable next to the spare thinking it might be pinching the cable. I am using two plastic tieraps to secure it in place of the clamp. Good luck.
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stevey88
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also have speedo cable problem with the one I bought from BD. The one I got from Rocky mountain Westy is much better. They have an extra reinforcement piece at the end that enter the speedo to make the cable straight at this end so the inner cable will center the moving part of the speedo and will not make the inner rotating part rub against the housing. It also have a sleeve over the cable where it exit the hub to protect it from rocks picked up by the front wheel. I got mine two years ago and they were out for a while and now they have it in stock again. You can tell the difference easily as it is orange in color.

http://www.rockymountainwesty.com/Vanagon_Spedometer_Cable_RWD_251957803E_p/251957803e.htm
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teej
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One more data point:

Had a shop put in a new one piece (orange, Brazil origin) cable that they sourced. 2010. Needle bounced badly up to about 55mph where it steadied.

Tried numerous remedies since then.

Finally decided to experiment with van cafe's claim, and I bought and installed one of theirs.

Needle now is steady, much to my surprise and satisfaction.

Perhaps VW shop that put in the first one when I was vanagon clueless kinked the end, overall the cable seems high quality but the needle still bounced with a straight cable and hooked to my cordless drill. The tech did say "I've only done one of these before." Rolling Eyes

So either the van cafe hype is true, or there was a problem with the install of the first one, in any case ours works much better now with the cable VC sells.
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davevickery
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another data point. Had a bouncing needle on my 90 van. Had VW shop replace it with their normal German sourced parts, although I don't know the brand they used. Perfect.

Had bouncing needed on my 87 van, looked at online choices and bought the BusDepot one. Still bounces. Lubed it and it was a little better. Still annoying minor bounce. Replaced rotors so I had the dust cap off. After getting it all back together, it bounces differently, worse actually at very low speeds then nothing after 30.

So I suspect the comment about the orientation of the dust cap is worth noting and is what I will try next. But I also got a new speedo cable from van-cafe because I respect what they say in their product descriptions.
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alnvilma
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for posting this issue. I too went the VC cable route with the same bounce. Had the speedo checked out and tried many fixes to no avail.
Guess I'll try another brand. I want that 5 mph optimistic speedo error to be steady! Smile
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had my speedometer checked out and it was found to be working beutifully at 188,000! My new full length cable didn't cure the bouncing needle. After reading this post, I bought the (orange) cable from Airheadparts.com and now all is well.
I don't know where I bought the other black cable, probably VanCafe or Bus Depot. What I noticed was the black cable spun very easily in the sheath. The new one is more resistant to rotation.
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found that if I drove (clear road.... don't do this at home) with the cluster cover off and manipulated the speedo cable with my left hand I could find the 'sweet spot' alignment of the cable to speedo head so there was no bounce. I used a couple of zip ties to keep it in that position and no bounce. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not that this will be anyone else's issue, but my bouncing speedo needle was a result of a busted speed signal generator for the Rostra cruise control. Replaced it and the two speedo cables recently with what the van originally had, a one-piece speedo cable (bought from GW)... no more bouncy needle. Dancing
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teej
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

teej wrote:
One more data point:

Had a shop put in a new one piece (orange, Brazil origin) cable that they sourced. 2010. Needle bounced badly up to about 55mph where it steadied.

Tried numerous remedies since then.

Finally decided to experiment with van cafe's claim, and I bought and installed one of theirs.

Needle now is steady, much to my surprise and satisfaction.

Perhaps VW shop that put in the first one when I was vanagon clueless kinked the end, overall the cable seems high quality but the needle still bounced with a straight cable and hooked to my cordless drill. The tech did say "I've only done one of these before." Rolling Eyes

So either the van cafe hype is true, or there was a problem with the install of the first one, in any case ours works much better now with the cable VC sells.


Since I wrote the above, I ordered a brand new dust/grease cap, with a crisp square hole. Needle bounced like hell. Fiddled with it several times, still bounced. Never found a sweet spot.

Put the old one back on with it's square-ish hole. Needle once again pretty steady. More evidence for the sensitivity to grease cap position, the old one seems to fit/work better--new one in the spare parts bin.
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hee are a couple of idea's that may / may not cure the bouncing speedo needle--and seemed to have worked out pretty well for me.

Take the dust cap off, and lay it on a an anvil, or the back sectio of your vice--there it's flat.
Take a ball pein hammer and give the inside of the dust cap a good wack--a couple of themif necessary.
It'll close up the hole of the square drive hole a bit and keep it from slipping on the cable.

A little lubrication goes a long way, and I use either straight 30 weight oil in an antique pump oil can, or motorcycle cable lube.
The areosol cable lube with the straw extension on the nozzle seems to be able to drive the lube farther down the cable & worked good for me.

Stopped the bouncing anyway.

Have you guys looked to see if the new cables even have any oil in them?

I wouldn't think they should be dry fresh outa the box--
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Jon_slider
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My speedo needle bounced at low speed, so I bought a new cable.

the needle still bounced, and the cable broke after 150 miles, possibly my bad routing..

bought another speedo cable, needle still bounced

took speedo to a shop, they replaced something, took a bunch of my money, and the needle still bounces:


Link

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a slight bounce. (on a 2wd) The grease cap square was starting to round out. I put a dab of glue on the outside where the cable end pokes through and it all went away. Sure seems like there are several things that can cause this.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jon_slider wrote:
My speedo needle bounced at low speed, so I bought a new cable.

the needle still bounced, and the cable broke after 150 miles, possibly my bad routing..

bought another speedo cable, needle still bounced

took speedo to a shop, they replaced something, took a bunch of my money, and the needle still bounces:


Link


Spend more money and replace the speedo drive gear in the front diff.
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presslab
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jon_slider wrote:
took speedo to a shop, they replaced something, took a bunch of my money, and the needle still bounces:


Now that's some bounce! You need to get the cable as straight as possible. While driving, try to reach behind the speedo and move the cable around a bit where it enters the speedo head. Don't push too hard, that plastic is old. Little changes here can make a big difference. And don't crash. Razz

A bit of light lube like Tri-Flow down the speedo cable can help.

It's also possible the speedometer head needs lubrication. If it's sticky or has been previously lubed with something too thick it can cause this.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the suggestions.
Since this is the 3rd speedo cable, and it was professionally installed and routed, I plan to go back to the shop and have them try again, now that I have had the speedo professionally serviced also.

The speedo shop blames the speedo cable. I had to eliminate the possibility the problem was the speedo, by having it serviced.

I just wish the speedo would work right after I send it back, and I hope the cable works right, after it gets replaced again. Seems just my luck that some things take 4 tries to get right.

The speedo shop recalibrated my speedo at my request, but they got that wrong too. I told them my speedo indicated 70 when my gps indicated 75. They moved the needle the wrong way and made the problem twice as bad.

If anyone has a speedo shop they trust, please PM me the name of it.

I am intentionally avoiding naming names, and turning this into a blame game. I will post when the problem is solved. I just needed to vent my frustration.
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