How to Lubricate a Speedometer Cable [Archive] - FSB Forums

: How to Lubricate a Speedometer Cable

01-10-2011, 12:31 PM
Hi Everyone,
Did a search but couldn't seem to come up with anything on what would seem a pretty standard procedure.

My speedometer is consistently making a lot of noise, and is sluggish when cold. (Doesn't jump around though.)
Speeds up slowly, so it'll be saying I'm going around 20 when I'm going 35. Then when I slow down, it doesn't go back down, so when I speed back up, it climbs more. After a while, it'll say I'm going 75 when I'm going 35. :rofl:
Responds like normal when its warmed up in the cab, but it still makes a lot of noise.

I figure it just needs some graphite or something. Is there a specific kind I should use? Where do I apply it? I've removed the speedometer cable from the rear of the dash before when I had the dash out, so I know how to access it. Just not sure where the lubricant would go.

Thanks for any info.

01-10-2011, 12:40 PM
spray it down the cable sheath? get a new cable?

01-10-2011, 12:45 PM
Didn't know if there was some trick to it, or a specific part of the cable that needed attention. Never done it before. :toothless As for replacing the cable, I figured I'd try a $2 fix first. But if not, I guess they're not too expensive.

01-10-2011, 02:44 PM
yo, Here ya go...
Cable & Speedometer Head "... Speedometers get into trouble when cables bind or magnetic heads cease due to the absence of lubrication. Like the humble car clock, speedometers need periodic maintenance, too. The spinning speedometer head needs occasional lubrication (speedometer-head lubricant). Pull the cluster out, disconnect the cable, and feed modest doses of lubricant into the head once a year. Don't overdo it. While you're at it, pull the speedometer cable out and bathe it in white grease and a low-viscosity engine oil. This combination will keep it happy for thousands of miles..."
Source: by Jim S at

and again by Jim...
Lubrication; This is for a Stang, but similar "...Cable function depends hugely on lubrication and plenty of it. When lubrication becomes lean, cables bind and deteriorate, which only makes the problem worse. If the cable has deteriorated to where it is frayed anywhere along its length, it's time to replace the entire cable assembly. Frayed speedometer cables damage the inside of the sheath to create two sources of binding. This is why entire cable assembly replacement is so important to smooth speedometer operation. Here's the transmission end... Here's the transmission end of a speedometer cable, which takes a #N751 o-ring and the appropriate speedometer drive gear, chosen depending on the transmission and rear axle gear. New cables are already equipped with the o-ring. The barber pole pathway carries transmission lubrication to the drive gear.When you install a new speedometer cable or service an old one, generously lubricate the cable with a mixture of transmission fluid and lightweight lithium grease. Mix up a modest wad of lithium grease and transmission fluid in the palm of your hand and run the cable through it. You can also use speedometer cable lubricant for this purpose. Run the cable back and forth until saturated with lube. Then, slip it into the cable sheath..." READ MORE
Source: by Jim S at acement/index.html

01-10-2011, 02:50 PM
Always glad to see miesk5 show up in a thread -- this one's now bookmarked, with yet another job on my To-Do List.

01-10-2011, 03:12 PM

Thanks Miesk, doesn't seem too difficult. :) As always, appreciate the info you provide.

01-10-2011, 04:08 PM
I will add, I cleaned my cable housing with a gun cleaning rod...........................

Lubed with dry graphite powder