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Old 05-13-05, 12:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Speedometer Cable Housing Replacement (pics)

Hey Guys,

Replaced my entire speedometer cable last night. I was getting the typical jumpy speedo needle, lubing the upper cable did very little. I would also get the surging in cruise control due to the fact that the computer didn’t know how fast I was going. Finally when I was in Mammoth…the lower speedo cable broke in half and left me with a dead speedometer for the drive home and for the last two weeks while I waited for my parts. The part I ordered was the entire cable assembly…cables and housings. The part number is 78410-SD4-A01 $29.


I won’t be doing a full DIY for this because quite frankly the job pissed me off and I quit taking pictures. It was a job that I thought would be easy, but ended up being one of the hardest things I’ve done…from a pure accessibility standpoint…my right arm and hand are still sore from contorting. With that said…here is how it went down.

I disconnect the cable at the midpoint …first removed the lower portion…reached down between the brake lines and toward the back of the engine following the cable down. There is a rubber boot covering a clip that holds the cable housing into the speedometer gear. Once I got the rubber boot up…doing all this by feel as there is no way to see down there…the clip came out easily and the cable housing came out easily…don’t lose the clip.


To reinstall…transfer the rubber boot from the old cable to the new one. Here you can see my lower cable broken in two.


Route the new housing and cable back there and insert into the gear housing…this is tough because you also need a flat screwdriver to rotate the cable so that the alignment notch lines up…also can be difficult because it needs a pretty straight insertion. Once you have it down far enough for the clip grove to line up with the clip groove in the gear housing…replace the clip and cover with the boot you saved from the old cable. Ok now that was the easy part.

If you are going to install a new upper housing…do NOT do what I did…do NOT remove the housing with out following it with a guide wire or rope. I had to remove the black vacuum control box to access the grommet in the firewall.


I also removed the gauge cluster to expose the speedometer cable and housing. From here I just ripped the housing out through the engine bay…big mistake. I assumed there would be some sort of guide so that reinstallation of a new housing would be simple…wrong! That’s what I get for assuming. With the cable removed I cleaned out the gauge cluster which had had some oil/grease at the connection point to the speedometer cable…I also removed the ABL light while I was here…no more yellow light for me.


Getting the housing back in basically took 2-3 hours of trying different things like guide wires. What finally worked was removing the lower dash panel…getting under there and guiding the cable in through the firewall and up to the place where the gauge cluster sits…it was one of the most uncomfortable situations I had been in as the cable is far up…above the clutch pedal…this may be easier on automatic legends.

Once the cable was routed reinstallation was pretty simple as far as the gauge cluster goes. The firewall grommet was another beast all together. There is such a small amount of space to work that I finally just said “to hell with it”. I may try again sometime, but I was just too frustrated at the time.

So with that said…the new cable and housing works great…the needle is rock solid…never seem one like it. Haven’t tried cruise control yet but I am confident it will work flawlessly now. The cable and housing come pre-lubricated so no problems there.

So to sum it up…lower portion is tough, upper portion is friggen hard. Good luck if you attempt it…you may be interested in just replacing the cable. I however had quite a bit of funky black/brown grease that had worked into the speedometer so I felt replacement of the upper housing was in my best interest…I still think it was. The lower portion housing has to come out with the cable so there is no reason not to replace that part. Hope this helps someone down the line…run a guide wire when you remove the upper housing!!!
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Last edited by body9599; 05-13-05 at 04:59 PM.
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Old 05-13-05, 02:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Great job man!! :thumbs up:

At least we have someone now who HAS done it and we can see what is involved...
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Old 05-13-05, 03:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info. Sounds like a pain in the a$$!
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Old 05-13-05, 05:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for doing these great DIYs. Moving to DIY Forum...
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Old 05-14-05, 08:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by body9599
So to sum it up…lower portion is tough, upper portion is friggen hard. Good luck if you attempt it…you may be interested in just replacing the cable. I however had quite a bit of funky black/brown grease that had worked into the speedometer so I felt replacement of the upper housing was in my best interest…I still think it was. The lower portion housing has to come out with the cable so there is no reason not to replace that part. Hope this helps someone down the line…run a guide wire when you remove the upper housing!!!
Funny, I had a harder time with the lower cable when I did mine. The problem for me was getting the clip and rubber boot on correctly, combined with getting my hand all the way down there. I thought far enough ahead to tie a string to the speedo cable before I pulled it out - a lesson learned when I first did a speedo cable replacement in my Civic.

I also agree with your statement about replcaing the cable altogether, based on how relatively inexpensive it is - but to some people, $29 may not be readily available.
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Old 05-14-05, 04:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sam o nela
Great job man!! :thumbs up:

At least we have someone now who HAS done it and we can see what is involved...
I've done it, I just didn't think it was that big a deal to post a thread! After all I am know for posting too many threads! And how did it take you that long????? I took me 45 min, 2 beers and 6 cigarettes!
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Old 05-14-05, 05:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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A lot of newbies appreciate the DIYs...like me, that's why it's been posted.
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Old 07-15-05, 11:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I appreciate this DIY, not because it inspired me to do it, like the others, but 'cuz it showed me what's not worth doing myself lol
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Old 07-18-05, 10:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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good DIY man!
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Old 11-11-05, 02:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Great DIY!!

I have one question though... How tough and long does it take to get the lower portion of the housing connected? I dont think running the upper housing through the firewall will be as much of a problem as trying to get the bottom lined up correctly and connected (As long as a guide wire is used)...

Do you have any tips that may help?

Since the weather is starting turn cold here in NJ, I called a Stealer (Dealer) to see how much they would charge for installing the housing and I was quoted $250!!!!!! I told them that I already own the new housing and would run the upper through the firewall for them, that I basically just needed them to connect the lower for me, and he could not guarantee me that the price would be lower... He said that This is the price you pay for the expertise...

I figured i might as well give this a shot myself. Especially since Body had created this DYI already...

Any help will be greatly appreciated...
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Old 11-11-05, 08:01 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polarican90L
Great DIY!!

I have one question though... How tough and long does it take to get the lower portion of the housing connected? I dont think running the upper housing through the firewall will be as much of a problem as trying to get the bottom lined up correctly and connected (As long as a guide wire is used)...

Do you have any tips that may help?

Since the weather is starting turn cold here in NJ, I called a Stealer (Dealer) to see how much they would charge for installing the housing and I was quoted $250!!!!!! I told them that I already own the new housing and would run the upper through the firewall for them, that I basically just needed them to connect the lower for me, and he could not guarantee me that the price would be lower... He said that This is the price you pay for the expertise...

I figured i might as well give this a shot myself. Especially since Body had created this DYI already...

Any help will be greatly appreciated...
I would try to do the bottom portion yourself. It is an akward alignment which is made more difficult by the fact that the cable housing is not pre-bent to match the path it must take. The only part of replacing the lower that I could not complete was getting the rubber boot all the way over the clip...it was old and had probably lost it's elasticity.

My suggestion would be the following:
-have lots of light available
-make special note of the routing when you remove the lower cable
-take care not to lose the clip
-swap the boot to the new housing (don't forget...it can't go on after the housing is installed)
-have an extra pair of hands available to turn the inner cable as you try to line up the end that inserts into the tranny
-you will know when it goes all the way in...keep track of where that groove is...That's what you want to have far enough into the tranny to line up with the notch that the clip goes around
-the clip will go over the ungrooved portion of the housing and make it feel like you have it clipped in right...to check this... once clipped...try pulling on the housing...if it comes out...finish cussing and try again. If it's clipped right you shouldn't be able to pull it out.
-try to get the rubber boot back over at least one side of the clip

If you try and fail the worst that happens is you have no speedometer on the way to the mechanic. Give it a shot...to me it would be worth the 250. Good luck and let me know if you run into any problems!

Later
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Old 11-12-05, 07:23 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I did it!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by body9599
I would try to do the bottom portion yourself. It is an akward alignment which is made more difficult by the fact that the cable housing is not pre-bent to match the path it must take. The only part of replacing the lower that I could not complete was getting the rubber boot all the way over the clip...it was old and had probably lost it's elasticity.

My suggestion would be the following:
-have lots of light available
-make special note of the routing when you remove the lower cable
-take care not to lose the clip
-swap the boot to the new housing (don't forget...it can't go on after the housing is installed)
-have an extra pair of hands available to turn the inner cable as you try to line up the end that inserts into the tranny
-you will know when it goes all the way in...keep track of where that groove is...That's what you want to have far enough into the tranny to line up with the notch that the clip goes around
-the clip will go over the ungrooved portion of the housing and make it feel like you have it clipped in right...to check this... once clipped...try pulling on the housing...if it comes out...finish cussing and try again. If it's clipped right you shouldn't be able to pull it out.
-try to get the rubber boot back over at least one side of the clip

If you try and fail the worst that happens is you have no speedometer on the way to the mechanic. Give it a shot...to me it would be worth the 250. Good luck and let me know if you run into any problems!

Later
Great tips Body9599! I decided to give it a shot myself, and I got it done in a couple of hours... As I expected, the bottom housing was a serious pain!! I actually wasted another 15 minutes pulling off my front left wheel to see if I could get better access to the rubber boot, but that did not work out at all...

I finally decided to follow the cable down from above. Needless to say it was very tight, but I actually found a path that I could use when I wanted to alternate hands. This helped in giving me access to both sides of the boot.

Once I got the boot off the clip, it was a piece of cake to remove and replace. To get it back in there, I used a flat head screwdriver in one hand to spin the lower cable while I reached down and guided it back in to the tranny. Then I secured it with the clip...

The upper housing took about 15 minutes to replace. I was very relieved that using the guide wire made that part so easy.

*** The only problem I have now is I cannot get the original boot to slide over the clip. It is secure there and the clip is where it needs to be, but the boot will not slide over the clip. It was a real pain to get off, and now it seems impossible to get back on!! Everytime I get aggresive and try to force the boot over the clip, I end up knocking off the clip!!!

I was able to get the firewall gromett back in (And that was a pain as well)...

After connecting the guage cluster, I decided to take it for a spin to see if the speedo would work and not jump around and all I can say is...... It is definitely worth the effort!!! The needle is smooth as silk and my trans is shifting better than it ever has!!!!

*** My one question is... Can I just leave the boot off of the clip? It "is" definitely secure for now... Will there be potential problems by leaving the clip exposed?

And thanks again for a great DYI and for the tips... This may seem like a pain in the ***, but I would do it all over again in a heartbeat!! My ride shifts so much better now and no more jumping needle!!
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Old 11-14-05, 10:18 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Great work! Especially that firewall grommet...couldn't get that one. As far as the boot on the tranny...I couldn't get it either and that was 6 months ago. I really don't think much could get down there considering the tight fit of the cable housing and the small size of the clip notch. I only have one side of my boot over the clip to keep it from creeping up the housing. If you're really worried about it you could run a piece of bike tube down over the housing and maybe secure it with a zip tie...but I really don't think much will come from not having it closed up. Again...good work...seriously worth the effort, cruise control is smooth as glass now whereas before it was very erratic.
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Old 04-10-06, 06:22 PM   #14 (permalink)
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A very nice DIY--I did it myself, too. Took me about an hour--probably faster if using power tools...

Here are my comments on the process:
1) You had better use a guide wire/rope when pulling the old cable out, or you'll be in trouble.
2) Taking off the lower kick panel is necessary.
3) That firewall grommet is a pain--but it's soft. You will need to move the "black box" out of the way to get down there (uses 10 mm bolts, like 90% of the bolts on the Acura). I found that needlenose visegrips to pull on it, and a dull regular head screwdriver to kind of pry and pull (look at the new firewall grommet to see what you are prying) it got it out after 10 minutes of work.
4) A flashlight to see down in the footwell, looking up at the firewall, is very handy.
5) It is necessary to take off the instrument cluster bezel (4 screws), and then remove the instrument cluster (4 screws and one or both of the wire harnesses) to see the back of the speedo and clip the new cable in securely. Your tilt wheel will come in handy at this point.
6) Sliding the seat back and/or tilting it will help. If you're not a hefty guy you should be able to lie back into the footwell and mess with the grommet.
7) That boot on the transmission end is a real PAIN.... I messed with that, and that part alone for 2 hours today, trying to get it on over that clip! I suppose that age has made the boot not as elastic as it once was, but I just can not get it to stretch over all three "points" on that clip. I can get 1...I can get 2...I can't get 3. Grrrr...so I left it covering 2, since I was losing light, I was grimy from lying on the engine, and my arm was hurting from where a heater hose clamp dug into it every time I had to push on that stupid boot! Is there a solution?
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Last edited by dmjole; 04-11-06 at 01:37 AM. Reason: clarity
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Old 10-27-06, 02:38 AM   #15 (permalink)
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OKay, lol i need more light which i plan to get, ran the top piece no problem, but i dropped the damn lil clip and i can't feel it, can i bring in the old cable and see if i can find a clip or not, can't believe i did that lol, oh well, by the time anyone responds i'll prbly have figrued something out, but till then give me suggestions peeps thanks.
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