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Discussion Starter #1
Went for a medium-short ride this morning. Somwhere in PA on Rte 372 between Quarryville and Buck my speedometer stopped working. Thinking, oh-sh!t, what now? Cable snapped? Drive gear stripped? Speedo went out to lunch? Stopped at Lock 12 on the other side of the Norman Wood bridge to take a look. Speedo cable housing had unscrewed itself from the drive at the wheel. Inner drive cable nowhere to be found. Retraced the last 15 miles looking for it, but no joy. Called Pete's Cycle, they have one in stock. That's new, they usually have to order everything. Went and got it, $17.99 plus tax for the cable assembly. Not as cheap as I could probably get it on the internet, but available now. New cable is installed with a little dab of blue loctite on the the threads. The kind that comes in stick form so it won't dribble into the drive gears and lock them up.

Bike has almost 16,000 miles on it. My guess is that the mech who put my new tires on a couple months ago didn't tighten it enough.

A word to the wise, check the cable housing connection at the drive end. It's hard to see, kind of buried behind the left slider.

I will have to ignore the lousy gas mileage computation that I will get at the next fill up.
 

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Dennis...sounds like an easy install. You don't have to unscrew the connector from the speedo...just lube & install from the drive unit at the bottom???
I will be replacing my tires myself soon...maybe I'll just replace the speedo cable also after 31,000+ miles...
 

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1. yes, you can feed it up from the bottom (I watched Starr do it).
2. A little moly grease on the cable goes a long way (again, learned from Starr).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The new part included the drive cable and the housing. I replaced the whole thing. If anyone needs the housing, I have a used one with about 16,000 miles on it.
Drive cable was prelubed with some kind of black grease. I am assuming it's moly. Sprayed a little lube in anyway.
 

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What kind of lube did you spray in there? I hope it wasn't somthing that would dilute the grease. It's a good idea to grease the speedo and the tacho cable once a year.
 

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True. I was thinking about my old Honda Shadow. My speedo cable broke shortly after I bought it. I replaced it and lubed up the tach cable at that time. It was also a little rusty. Good preventive maint. I may go crazy and lube my wire anyway. I just can't get enough good lubing.
 

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I recently had a problem with the speedometer on my Vulcan. Thought it was the cable, so I ordered a new one from Dennis Kirk....good customer service, ups shipped it th the wrong address, a call to them solved the problem. Anyway, after getting the cable and installing it, it wasn't the fault of the cable. I needed a new speedometer drive or sending unit. It's located on the front wheel left side, cable screws into it. Got that part from Kawasaki through the dealer. It was the same price as aftermarket vendors. It was an easy installation, took about 20 minutes, and poof....working speedometer. Bit by bit, and piece by piece, I'm getting a new 1985 Vulcan 700....
Wayne
 

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What Knuckles said is correct. You should not use standard cable spray lube on the speedo cable. It needs to be greased. You can remove the speedo cable very easily. (First pay attention to how it is routed and hooked, so you can put it back the same way) Once you remove the speedo cable, you can pull the inner cable out of the sheath, and grease it and put it back in. The standard cable spray lube will just dilute/wash out the grease that is in there, and that is not good.

RB

dennisinmd said:
The new part included the drive cable and the housing. I replaced the whole thing. If anyone needs the housing, I have a used one with about 16,000 miles on it.
Drive cable was prelubed with some kind of black grease. I am assuming it's moly. Sprayed a little lube in anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You don't need to take the housing off at the speedo. The drive cable can be pulled out from the botton end after disconnecting the housing from the drive unit. How do I know this? It's how I lost mine when it came loose at the bottom.
 

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Been there done that too. I lubed the cable with wheel bearing grease and fed it up from the bottom then after hand tightening the connectors I snug 'em down a 1/4 turn with pliers - they haven't budged in a year.
 

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I lost one on my 95 model recently too, so a friendly word of advice when you're checking your bike out for loose fasteners.

I had broken a cable back in April of 2004, when water got into the little speedometer gearbox and gunked things up with rust (loose connection at the speedometer), breaking the cable. I replaced the cable, cleaned out the gearbox, and everything had been working fine for 10,000 miles. Recently, the speedometer indicator started "jumping" just a little bit while riding home from a toy run. I figured that water had gotten back into the cable housing, and that I would have to go through the same thing that I had done previously. It was about time for new tires, so I decided to put it off until the tires came in and the cotton harvest was over (I was working 9-10 hours a day, six days a week).

I continued riding the bike to work, watching the indicator "jump" steadily increasing until it finally quit indicating at all. The morning when that happened, when I parked the bike at the farm, I could see that the speedometer cable was hanging down beside of the wheel, completely disconnected from the gearbox. Well poop. I had let the fitting loosen off to the point that it came completely off and the core fell out on the road somewhere. All I'd needed to do was screw the thing back on when the cable got loose enough to allow the core to disconnect from the gearbox fitting for a few revolutions (giving me the "jump" indication), and I would have had it fixed. What is it that my kids say? "My bad?" Yeah, I'd say it's my bad. Now I have to spend another $15 for a new cable.

A word to the wise: Check the upper and lower speedo connections every once in a while...
 
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