65 T-Bird Speedometer issues

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65 T-Bird Speedometer issues

Post by Drewski » Thu Jun 13, 2019 5:46 pm

Hi VTCI, I just joined after reading some of your great posts...briefly, I have a 65 Bird, w/o cruise control. While driving the car, I heard clicking in the dash and the red line speedo was bouncing up and down. I took out the entire speedo cluster, checked the gears, pulled the inner speedo cable and it has a worn spot on it. I ordered a new cable from Wilson T-bird and checked the length...new cable is exactly 12" shorter!

Called Wilson and they insisted it's the cable for that car. Upon some research, there was a change in the cable for Birds made from 1965 up until November of 64. My car was made in March of 65. Anyone know if I can use the shorter cable? I'd HATE to rip out the old one just to find that it won't work.

Thanks so much!!

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Re: 65 T-Bird Speedometer issues

Post by RedBird64 » Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:40 pm

I can't tell you if a shorter cable will work but the clicking and surging is a common issue - probably about once a second and speeds up or slow down a little with speed right?
I took mine apart and found gears that weren't close enough together. I was able to adjust them and it's been quiet and flawless ever since.

I suspect your cable is fine and maybe what your seeing is from the tool that cut it from a spool in the beginning (like mine did).

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Re: 65 T-Bird Speedometer issues

Post by RAVEN » Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:04 pm

Welcome aboard, and welcome to a problem that others have had!
It is not a major issue, but there can be several causes for your problem.
The cable may be ok, and the ODO gears can be aged and tired giving rise to the bouncing speedo. I could go into a long story of how the speedo works and the needs and wants of repairs. But instead of rewriting the whole thing over again, please do a SEARCH in the Quick Links section in the top left corner. You will find some interesting info there, which may answer your needs.
If more info is required, ask away, the fun is in the hunt, and you will learn a lot about your car in the process.
Not sure if you are a new car owner, but I recommend that a copy of the Shop Manual is a very good starting point from basic info about the car and its maintenance/operations
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Re: 65 T-Bird Speedometer issues

Post by paulr » Fri Jun 14, 2019 1:39 pm

Per RAVEN'S remark about the odometer gears I have seen many with the condition that the gears get nicked or worn down. This is often the clicking sound heard coming from the pod, and it has the counter-effect of causing the speedometer drum to stumble as a result of disturbing the magnetic momentum. It could, of course, be your inner cable but, take a look at these two nylon odo gears. Feel them with your fingers. The eyes can't see a tiny burr that can cause a trip in the rotation. Sadly, these gears are tough to source; used parts from Pat Wilson or Bird Nest, for starters.

As to the subject of two cable lengths in production for MY65, that's a new one to me. I've often thought the cable on my '64 was too long for the job, but never questioned it. I wish Alan Tast would shed some light on this.
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Re: 65 T-Bird Speedometer issues

Post by bbogue » Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:29 am

My speedo didn’t work until speed was 15-20mph, started suddenly, then worked fine. Replaced the cable, no change. Found the problem to be a broken plastic gear at the transmission. Good luck.

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Re: 65 T-Bird Speedometer issues

Post by 64ZCODE » Sat Jun 15, 2019 8:18 am

Try lubricating and re-installing the existing cable.
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