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Old 05-04-2001, 03:59 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 21
Good Day

The Speedometer on this car --a VDO standard in all these vehicles---produces an eerie loud screaming noise from time to time at speeds over about 60mph.

Can I strip and lubricate the shaft/bush inside the instrument or is this beyond the scope of careful DIY?
Might it need replacement parts, and --if so---could it be tackled by an amateur (me toolmaker/techie!).

I do hope that readers may have dealt with this kind of thing and guidance will be very much appreciated.

Ed Cumings (Southern Africa)
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Old 05-04-2001, 04:24 PM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
We have been there many times. Since I have no idea where you would get parts (unless you want me to send them), I think you can do the job yourself.

Remove the inst cluster. Remove the speedo from the cluster. Remove the back metal plate from the speedo. The speed cup drive will be seen. The input shaft has the magnet built to it and is assembled into a housing that can be removed with two screws. There is an end play adjusting plastic bushing that has a small lock nut and shaft adjustment. The noise comes from the heavier magnet end of the shaft dancing within the freeplay. The solution is usually a new housing which carries the shaft supporting bushing. The answer without parts is to clean every thing and lube with a light grease (small amount) and then adjust that end play till there is none. DO NOT MAKE IT TIGHT. No end play but NO preload. This will probably solve your problem for a while. If the bushing in the housing is too worn it will wind up with end play again in a short time.
Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
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Old 05-05-2001, 01:52 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 199
I think mine may have skipped the screaming stage and moved straight to failure. mine is an '89 190e I assume all vdos are at least somewhat similar. is it possible I need to follow you're prescription for the screamer?
thanks in advance!

[Edited by opossum on 05-05-2001 at 01:55 AM]
German autos!!!
'67 250se coupe
'89 190e 2.6 (gone but I kinda miss it)
'96 c220
'07 BMW x3
'59 0319 diesel Omnibus...the "O"
Italian bikes!!!
'64 Lambretta Special 185 hot rod scooter
'66 Lambretta SX200
'59 Lambretta 250 race bike
'70 Lambretta GP200
'77 860gt ducati
'66 ducati monza
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Old 05-05-2001, 10:13 AM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
The screaming stage doesn't generally lead to failure, although I have had the imput shaft shear in the thinner worm section due to fatigue; I presume because of these type vibrations.

The speedo we were talking about I am personally familiar with. I used to work on them myself. My company now (for the last 15 years) has a separate radio and speedo devision and I don't see mcuh of the actual work on late model speedos. I can't give you disassembly instructions for them as I can from those old memories.

I can tell you that the speedo you have is as different from the old one as if one were a Chevy and the other a Ford. When we do speedo repairs now we disassemble most of the device, including removal of the needle. The old speedo didn't need this but many new ones can't be disassembled without removing the face. If you needed to do this you need to have a way of calibrating it when you reassemble.

You didn't say what your speedo was doing but if it is totally out you probably have a cable problem. This is very common in 190s as lazy techs pull the inst cluster out far enough to unscrew the speedo rather than unhooking it at the tranny first for play. The cluster can almost come out far enough but the cable housing (but not the cable) gets streched and now the cable is just not quite long enough.
Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
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