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Speedometer cable - use oil or grease?

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Old 03-23-2002, 11:34 PM   #1
rhoeven
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Default Speedometer cable - use oil or grease?

My speedometer on my '81 makes huge jumps, specially when driving slow.
We just came back from a 350 mile cruise and initially the speedometer did not indicate anything above 45 mph, regardless how fast we were going, and during the last 60 miles, it quit working alltogether.
Back at home , I removed the connectors at the cruise control transducer and both the transducer and the cable going to the dash can be rotated manually and are smooth. I pulled out the speedo cable going to the transmission and this one does not seem to be damaged.
I cleaned it with some gasoline and put some engine oil down the speedo hose and reinstalled the cable again.
The speedo works again and the jumping mentioned earlier is almost gone.

Question is now was it OK to use engine oil or do I need some special kind of grease to lube the speedo cable. If so, which type?

Thanks

Roger
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Old 03-24-2002, 12:57 AM   #2
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Default Re: Speedometer cable - use oil or grease? (rhoeven)

I've used a moly-blend grease that I mixed up myself. I had some powdered moly lube and I mixed it with some synthetic bearing grease, and then I slathered it on the cable. I don't know if it is any better than just plain grease but I thought I'd give it a try. I think motor oil might be too thin and just run down the inside of the cable housing and collect at the bottom. I figured the grease and moly-lube would stick longer.
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Old 03-24-2002, 12:59 AM   #3
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Default Re: Speedometer cable - use oil or grease? (rhoeven)

Let me throw this one in with your question...

I saw where Mid America sells a device that the speedo cable screws onto to lube the cable with a grease gun. Is this a good idea?
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Old 03-24-2002, 01:35 AM   #4
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Default Re: Speedometer cable - use oil or grease? (rhoeven)

I've always used a white lithium grease.
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Old 03-24-2002, 02:00 AM   #5
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Default Re: Speedometer cable - use oil or grease? (Steve Straus)

I think you're fine. If it fixed the problem you should be good to go. I used a little 10-in-1 oil on the tach and speedo cables about a year ago and they've worked fine.
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Old 03-24-2002, 03:02 AM   #6
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Default Re: Speedometer cable - use oil or grease? (Steve Straus)

Quote:
I've always used a white lithium grease.
Moly grease here - works just fine.
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Old 03-24-2002, 03:49 AM   #7
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Default Re: Speedometer cable - use oil or grease? (rhoeven)

Thanks guys. I think you're right. A moly grease has more "substance" and will probably last much longer.

Thanks for all the advice.

Roger
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Old 03-24-2002, 08:37 AM   #8
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Default Re: Speedometer cable - use oil or grease? (rhoeven)

If it is working, then great. However there is a special grease just for this application. I believe that GM sells it and I would guess that most of the bigger/better auto stores sell it. I would be reluctant to use wheel bearing grease but I have used white lithium in the past.
Gary
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Old 03-24-2002, 12:06 PM   #9
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Default Re: Speedometer cable - use oil or grease? (Chris81)

Chris-
I wouldn't recommend 'that' tool. You'll end-up pumping toooo much grease into the housing. Just remve cable core, clean-up w/solvent, dry it, use a grease on your finger tips to slather core. Reinst and go. Put $$ for tool 'into' your vette! Good Luck -Rod :chevy
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