Speedo Cable Lubrication

Whilst fettling with the brakes again (which I am please to say, now release from the drums) I noticed the speedo wasn’t reading very well whilst I had the rear wheels running off the ground and the engine switched on.

The needle would climb up the dial and not swing back when slowing down. I had initially feared the speedo wouldn’t work at all. It’s important to set the bearing preload correctly on the transfer box output shaft and set the correct thickness of shims. This was done back in December 2016 as per the workshop manuals guidelines and I’m happy to have proof the speedo does actually work.

So either the speedo head is not functioning correctly or the cable needs some lubrication. It’s easier to eliminate the cable lubrication factor than have the speedo rebuilt…

Series speedos are not know for their accuracy… the needle flaps about a bit. From experience, you have to read / guess the speed between the highest and lowest reading in the dial as you drive a long… It’s hand to have a GPS in the car.

The cable inner is basically a long coil of thin wire, rather like a spring. The ends are square in section in order to engage with the speedo output spigot on the gearbox and the speedo head in the cab. The rest of the cable is round in section. With it being a spiral, the lubrication I add will migrate (like an archimedes screw) down it’s length.

Trick is not to add too much lubrication otherwise I’ll end up with an oil leak…. in an otherwise oil leak free vehicle… (almost)


With the dash panel removed, the speedo cable can be seen passing through the bulkhead to the speedo head.


The cable simply unscrews from the head. Yep, I think that needs some lube.


With the rear axle on stands, engine running, in 1st gear (2WD, high range) the cable can be seen rotating in the little video below. The faster the speedo output spigot rotates, the faster the cable rotates, thus moving the needle.


It’s definitely not the original speedo cable and I bet it’s not been lubricated since it left the factory…

With the cable inner spinning, I first put some WD40 down the sleeve and followed that with some decent bike chain lube

With the dash panel back together again, I ran the vehicle through all 4 gears and OD and got up to 70 KPH… (stationary on the drive). The needle climbed smoothly, didn’t wobble and receded smoothly. Job done.


Rear Door Hasp

Whilst it’s established, the rear door closes better than it did, to fully engage the anti burt lock enough to lock the door, one needs to slam the door as hard as possible. OK… it’s a Series Land Rover and a sign on the door saying “Please Slam The Door” wouldn’t go amiss, but it was just too much.

The hasp was already hard against the rear panel, so I trimmed off 2mm… which I’m please to say worked. A not excessive amount of force is required to shut the door fully but at least one can lock the door with the key without bending it.