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Old 04-14-2000, 10:27 PM
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This is a follow up to my previous post.
My speedometer stopped working on Thursday on my '86 300E. I checked the cable while I was driving and it was spinning. Today I took out the instrument cluster spinned the speedo and it is running, the odometer is working as well. Now what? Benzmac suggested it may be the plastic gears inside the tranny. Would it be a DIY job, does the transmission have to come off for this repair? Also is it possible that the end of the speedo where the cable joins it wears out and the cable just spinns inside of it. Because when I am driving the car I hear a whirring sound coming from behind the instrument panel.
But there is no movement at the speedo. Of course the sound was not there before the speedometer quit.
Thanks for your advice.

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Old 04-14-2000, 10:39 PM
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Location: New Bedford, MA USA
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Quick check for speedo gear in tranny. Get the car up in the air, disconnect the speedo cable at the tranny, push a q-tip into the square hole that the end of the cable goes into. start the engine, select Drive and then get under the car to see if the q-tip is spinning. If it is, grab the end of the q-tip and see if the gear still wants to turn. If the gear continues to turn, it's your cable. If not, then it's either the pinion gear on the speedo cable fitting in the tranny (can be removed) or the worm gear on the tailshaft (not likely suspect, rare failure item) Of course, be sure that all safety considerations are observed with the vehicle on a lift. I believe that if the gear is broken, the tailshaft can be removed w/o dropping the whole tranny, but, I am not sure. Maybe Benzmac has that answer.. Good luck..

Jeff L
1987 300e
1989 300e
1987 BMW 325
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Old 04-15-2000, 11:01 PM
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Thank you for your advice Jeff. I did exactly what you suggested and the q-tip is turning.
But so does the cable at the other end of it when it is connected at the tranny. In anycase I will replace the cable it is not that expensive. Thanks again.

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Old 04-16-2000, 08:59 PM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
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This might be a good time for a little instrument cluster removal warning.

On clusters with cable type mechanical speedos, you must disconnect the speedo cable from beneath before pulling the cluster. Many will pull the cluster just far enough to reach behind to unscrew the cable. Doing this stretches the cable housing. When this happens the cable doesn't have enoug length to reach one or the other end.

The way you describe the problem sounds like this has happened.

Steve Brotherton
Owner 24 bay BSC
Bosch Master, ASE master L1
26 years MB technician
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Old 04-17-2000, 06:33 PM
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Steve you are right on the money!
The cable is not broken anywhere, it is spinning but it is not reaching into the speedometer. Looks like the housing is overstreched. I bought the new cable already, however I will follow your advice and connect it at the cluster end first.
Thank you very much for your input.

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