Speedometer Rattles And Starts Bouncing Above 55mph - Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-29-2007, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
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I have a 95 Taurus station wagon (6 cyl) with approx 136K miles. When driving at highway speeds the speedometer needle starts jumping and vibrating at around 55-60 MPH. I can deal with the needle jumping but the vibrating noise is driving me nuts. How can I fix this?

Thanks in advance for your help
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-29-2007, 09:58 AM
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You can try lubing the speedo cable, but i'm pretty sure replacing the speedo head is what you have to do to fix it. Pretty common on those older tauruses, and windstars did it too

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-29-2007, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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You can try lubing the speedo cable, but i'm pretty sure replacing the speedo head is what you have to do to fix it. Pretty common on those older tauruses, and windstars did it too
[/b]
Thanks for your input. What is a speedo head and is it located at the transmition or the insterment panel? Also, is this something a shade tree mechnic can do or should I take it to a garage? The sound I am getting is a rattle like a nut is loose.

Thanks again!
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-30-2007, 01:23 PM
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The speedo head is the actual speedometer in your instrument cluster. The cable runs from the tranny to the back of the speedo head to make it work. Often as they get older, the speedo head wears out and starts making that noise and bouncing. My wife's Escort is starting to do it again too, and she's already replaced the speedo head once.

A backyard mechanic should be able to do it. The job isn't really very hard - the most difficult part is reaching up behind the cluster to unclip the speedo cable, then clip it back in again.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-30-2007, 01:30 PM
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I've done both: On my Ford Aspire, it would start doing that and I found that lubing the cable with dry graphite lube would quiet things down for a year or so. I would re-lube it when it got noisy again.

On my Escort, that didn't work, but luckily Escort speedos are plentiful in salvage yards. I got one for a nominal price (maybe $10?) and put it in and it's been fine ever since. The odometer came with the unit, but the one I got was very close in mileage to the one I replaced, so I just moved the numbers on the replacement one until they were the same.

Here is something I posted about my Escort speedo on another forum:

I made a little diagram to show how I think the mechanical speedo works. Pay attention to the note in the lower right hand corner; that's what the problem is when it makes that rubbing noise:



On my junk speedo, you can see the same pieces when you look at the back side:



From the front, there are calibration marks, and a pin at zero. I'm pretty sure that for the Escort speedo, if you remove the needle, it should be aligned with the calibration mark just below zero when it's put back on (you have to remove the pin at zero to do this; then after the needle installed, move it above zero and push the pin back in.)



You can see a white spot in the speedo face where the zero pin goes.



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Current: 2013 Fiat 500 Sport- 3k; 2005 Hyundai Elantra- 98k; 2003 Ford Taurus- 165k
Retired: 1995 Ford Escort Wagon- 185k; 1998 Mercury Tracer- 130k; 1995 Ford Aspire- 117k; 1990 Plymouth Sundance- 90k; 1987 Dodge 600- 120k; 1972 Dodge Dart- 180k; 1984 Ford Tempo- 125k
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-30-2007, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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Nidan and Doohickie, thank you for the explanation, instructions and the pictures. I am going to take the speedo head off this weekend and lub it to see if that helps. I will let you know how it goes.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-09-2007, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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I tried to remove the speedo head last Sat. with no luck. I removed the oval black protion of the dash, the clear platic cover the and the black instrument face but I could not pull out the white plastic panel that the instruments fit in. Where am I going wrong and does anyone have any insturction on how to remove the speedo?

Thanks
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-09-2007, 01:27 PM
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Did you disconnect the speedo cable under the hood? There is a union for it under the master cylinder.

My bet is the cable is bad. When they begin to fray they will start binding giving you the bouncing reading.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-09-2007, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Did you disconnect the speedo cable under the hood? There is a union for it under the master cylinder.

My bet is the cable is bad. When they begin to fray they will start binding giving you the bouncing reading.
[/b]
No I sure didn't. So if I disconect the cable at the firewall I should just be able to pull out the inturment panels is that correct?. Any other tricks or pitfalls I should be aware of?

Thanks for your input!!!!
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-09-2007, 03:25 PM
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You will probably FUBAR the locking shim at the speedo union. I used small gage a piece steel of wire to secure it.

Once this is loose you can pull the IC out with a bit of wiggling on the cable.

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