Discussion needed on removing speedometer needle - TCCoA Forums

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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-23-2017, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
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Discussion needed on removing speedometer needle

I broke the speedometer needle shaft off trying to remove the needle today in order to replace my broken odometer gears. Need some more details on removing the needle. I have read the SC Performance write-up - very good. But, I seem to have missed some detail on removing the needle from the shaft. After breaking the shaft off, I am guessing I should have held the shaft still with needle nose pliers while I twisted the needle off or ?? There is not much move to squeeze needle nose pliers under the needle to grab the shaft. But, the instructions do not mention to do this? I tried using a fork under the needle, but it still would not come loose. Anyone who has done this I would really appreciate some more details no matter how small on properly removing the needle.

Mike is selling me another speedometer so I do not want to break another shaft.

Thanks for any help.

Glenn

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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-24-2017, 06:11 AM
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With the age of these things, the plastic dries out and gets more brittle. But historically, each time I've done it, it's come off with a fork...

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-24-2017, 06:24 AM
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Same here. Careful fork application has always done the trick.

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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-24-2017, 02:31 PM
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I broke the needle and bent the shaft on my first attempt as well. I have paid someone twice now to replace my odometer gears due to that. I'd be willing to pay again if I have to do it again. Even after I broke it, I couldn't get the needle off the shaft. I didn't want to risk it on my two 145 speedos.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-24-2017, 06:00 PM
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I am in the same situation; broke my first attempt as well. I have a replacement now and want to know the best way.

There was a post here that said if you take the tripometer reset off first, you can turn the speedometer needle further, and that helps loosen it.

Any validity to that?

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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-24-2017, 08:13 PM
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I always use the fork method on ever one I've ever done..It's not fool proof though..
There have been instances where the shaft broke..
I suspect in most of these cases where the shaft broke, that the speedometer needle had been removed before..
Which in that case, they may have glued the needle to the shaft..Don't do that!
That is completely unnecessary..

Unless you've owned the car from the day it rolled off the showroom floor..
Be prepared to have a spare speedo assembly handy, if you ever have to remove the speedo needle for any reason..







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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-24-2017, 11:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your information. Can someone recommend a speedometer repair service?

Glenn

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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-25-2017, 08:38 AM
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I removed the reset assembly first, because I didn't want to risk scratching the speedo face via pull/fork method. Then the needle twisted off with ease. I've owned my Bird since "the day it rolled off the showroom floor", so I know mine was never glued on, which helped.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-25-2017, 11:21 AM
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I've pulled apart several and haven't ever found evidence of glued on needles, but some are definitely tougher than others, and I think it just depends on how firmly it was applied in the first place. I too twist it loose, rather than use the fork method - it's also easier to recalibrate since you can mark on the face where the needle hits the stop with a piece of tape.

-Matt
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-25-2017, 11:27 AM
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I used a fork. Warning, while prying, my needle came loose before I expected, and went flying across the shop.

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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-25-2017, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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One more question (see needle photo below): Can I grab the needle shaft with needle nose pliers and hold it firmly still and then twist the needle off the shaft?

Also, doesn't it damage the mechanism to continually twist the needle against the stop to remove it?

Glenn
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-25-2017, 03:21 PM
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I think needle nose pliers..Even the smallest ones, would be too wide..
I have several different size pairs of forceps I use on jobs that require a steady hand..


Even those might be too big..
I've never had to use them on a speedo to remove the needle though..
I'd be afraid of bending/breaking the shaft, trying to grab it with needle nose pliers.






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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-25-2017, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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Can someone recommend a speedometer repair service?

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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-25-2017, 04:32 PM
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You don't need to hold anything with pliers. The speedometer mechanism has a beefy counterweight doubling as a stop, all you do is spin the needle past the stop point and it will loosen up off the shaft, I have yet to damage one this way.

-Matt
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-25-2017, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XR7-4.6 View Post
You don't need to hold anything with pliers. The speedometer mechanism has a beefy counterweight doubling as a stop, all you do is spin the needle past the stop point and it will loosen up off the shaft, I have yet to damage one this way.
OK - good information - thanks.

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post #16 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-25-2017, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torque View Post
I removed the reset assembly first, because I didn't want to risk scratching the speedo face via pull/fork method. Then the needle twisted off with ease. I've owned my Bird since "the day it rolled off the showroom floor", so I know mine was never glued on, which helped.
Can you provide some more details on removing the reset assembly. I tried to do this before trying to remove the needle, but I could not figure out how to remove it.

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post #17 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn View Post
Can you provide some more details on removing the reset assembly. I tried to do this before trying to remove the needle, but I could not figure out how to remove it.
It's been over 4 years since I replaced my gears and I don't recall specifically.

I bought my gears from odometergears.com and went by their doc, which is slightly different than the SC pdf, though they reference it.

Mine is the original '96 120MPH speedo. If nobody chimes in with the answer, I can pull mine and remind myself how to remove the trip meter/button. My cluster shroud is off anyway, waiting to be refinished, so I have access to the speedo; will need to remove the clear escutcheon, though.

I just checked and the only part of the trip meter that unscrews is the button end of the reset lever shaft. It seems that I must have necessarily removed the whole assembly, but I'd have to dig in there and find out how I did it.

I do remember that I twisted/lifted the needle off with my fingers, rather than prying with any tool. There's an internal stop, so the needle shaft won't just keep spinning around while attempting to twist & lift the needle.
If your needle is on so tight (or glued) to the shaft that you cannot remove it via finger power, then you run a great risk of breaking the shaft anyway by using any tool to secure it from turning, because it could still break off above said tool, since that's the area where it's so stubbornly affixed.

Last edited by Torque; 02-26-2017 at 11:15 AM.
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post #18 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 11:42 AM
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There's no need to remove the reset assembly either, there's a stop before 10MPH and after 120(or140)MPH, so you just need to rotate the needle clockwise past 120 where it stops (again, mark it here for recalibration!) and IF it rotated to the point of hitting the reset shaft but still won't pull up easy, rotate it back counterclockwise.

-Matt
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post #19 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 01:17 PM
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Maybe I did it that way then. No wonder I can't remember how I removed the trip meter, since I guess I didn't after all!
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post #20 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 02:50 PM
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I just took 120 and 145 needles off with these. The 145 was on pretty good. Just go slow.
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post #21 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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Please provide some detail on how you used the screwdrivers to remove the needle. I do not want to ruin a second speedometer.

Thanks

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post #22 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 11:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XR7-4.6 View Post
There's no need to remove the reset assembly either, there's a stop before 10MPH and after 120(or140)MPH, so you just need to rotate the needle clockwise past 120 where it stops (again, mark it here for recalibration!) and IF it rotated to the point of hitting the reset shaft but still won't pull up easy, rotate it back counterclockwise.
Can you describe how to mark it for re-calibration? I am taking the white face gauges off and putting my new black face gauges (the last set Scott made apparently) on in their place.

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post #23 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-27-2017, 12:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
Can you describe how to mark it for re-calibration? I am taking the white face gauges off and putting my new black face gauges (the last set Scott made apparently) on in their place.
Rotate the needle clockwise until it hits the stop, and since you're replacing the face mark the side of the clear housing where the needle is pointing(for odo jobs I place a piece of light colored masking tape on the face) When you reinstall press the needle on JUST firmly enough to engage the mechanism, and place it so it's right up against the reset button, then rotate it clockwise to the stop, and then rotate it further clockwise until you line up with the mark you made. Press firmly down to fully seat the needle.
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post #24 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-27-2017, 02:26 AM
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Just wiggled them around watching that needle was coming straight off. When getting close added small wood shims to raise lift points and not stress the shaft. Took about 30 minutes.

But didn't break anything.

Hope this helps, any questions just ask.
Creighton

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post #25 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-02-2017, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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OK - I got my new speedometer today and was able to remove the needle easily. Thanks for everyone's help and advise.

Glenn
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