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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy all,

I was wondering if anyone has shortened a speedo cable before, and what tools specifically were used? Especially for the crimp.

I put in a descent quality repro that solved my problems, a 'Daniel Carpenter' cable from NPD; and the blasted thing would have been perfect if it weren't about 2-3 inches longer than the OE! It'll work for now but is perilously close to the rag joint, hangs down below the frame rail near the trans cross member.

Also not sure where is best to chop, from the trans side or from the speedo side. Seems the speedo side is less complicated. Can you re-crimp the existing or need to buy a new piece?
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Universal speedo cables are available. You cut to lenght
I’d prefer to recrimp another head onto the existing after butchering off a couple inches with a dremel 😁. Those Lokar kits are retailing at 95$ which is a huge ripoff.

Also another problem even the self cut/crimp isn’t going to solve is the squaring of the cable end. Else it will not fit into the speedo.
 

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Also another problem even the self cut/crimp isn’t going to solve is the squaring of the cable end. Else it will not fit into the speedo.
There are common replacement cable centers available (check the "Help" section of chain stores) which allows you to cut it to lenght and then crimp on the square speedo end adapter.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
There are common replacement cable centers available (check the "Help" section of chain stores) which allows you to cut it to lenght and then crimp on the square speedo end adapter.
More than likely around here you’ll be laughed at asking a hardware store or Home Depot for anything to do with speedo cable squaring tools. I found a video of a British guy making a tool.

The only question there is what size are our speedo cables and what spec is the end square supposed to be? No use in buying a pricey tool I’d they don’t have that size. I’ll try to measure it if my caliper will go that small.

 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, I found a supplier for the ends you re-crimp and it comes with a crimping tool. 12 bucks for two plus vice crimper...now on their way.

Now I'm looking for a 'squaring tool' for the cable core end. Only shop I found online is a speedo/machine shop way about about 4.5 hours in the southwest Virginia countryside. He said if I get him the end pieces, he's still got the squaring tools. No speedo shops left here that will do those kinds of things for old cable driven speedos. If I can't find a squaring tool I'll send it to that guy and it'll be about 30 bucks plus shipping.

It'll be something like this but I ain't paying 100$ for this kind of tool!

 

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I guess when I mentioned a chain store I should have instead mentioned NAPA, Advance Auto, Autozone, or Summit which have car related parts?


$9.00 for a complete internal cable replacement kit.

The universal replacements have one end already squared. Good for Ford, Chevy, and other makes. The opposite side is the one that you cut to length and install the included new end (which is also square.) The required and simple crimping tool comes with these kits. No need to get fancy with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I guess when I mentioned a chain store I should have instead mentioned NAPA, Advance Auto, Autozone, or Summit which have car related parts?


$9.00 for a complete internal cable replacement kit.

The universal replacements have one end already squared. Good for Ford, Chevy, and other makes. The opposite side is the one that you cut to length and install the included new end (which is also square.) The required and simple crimping tool comes with these kits. No need to get fancy with it.
I see. I get your point, but the OE style speedo is better and I've already got the parts and a plan. When I made this post I'd assumed people DO this for classic cars but no one does it anymore. I scoured the net to find crimping/squaring dies (and I actually do have access to an industrial strength hydraulic press at a shop) but the only ones that are in existence are super old and few and far between on ebay and such. That NAPA one doesn't even list the two sizes that the tools squares and the cost is well more than a few hours drive and shop fee to do it yourself.

There are a few videos of people making their own by machining the square grooves into a block of forged steel. I'd only ask a machine shop to make one or try myself if I knew I'd be doing this more than once or twice.

So...we'll just chalk it up to one of those lost industries I guess :p
 

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I learned without asking that a local big truck repair shop has all of the tools and parts to build speedometer cables. The owner told me that he never uses it any more cecause big trucks now have electric speedometers.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I learned without asking that a local big truck repair shop has all of the tools and parts to build speedometer cables. The owner told me that he never uses it any more cecause big trucks now have electric speedometers.
:giggle:

Thanks for the tip. I'll be driving through the Texas panhandle on a road trip for Northern Virginia in a week or two. Maybe I'll bring the cable and pieces with me if you know a place as I'm not driving the Mustang on this trip. Can you or anyone confirm....our cable cores are 5/8" right? So I'd need a squaring die for that size. I even have access to a full shop with a hydraulic press here if I can score a squaring die set too!

Maybe a guy like that would sell me his die set :p I'll happily collect 'one time tools' as long as they aren't a massive fortune!

I don't get the OE cable though. The core looked fine, lubed it with a blue ford speedo lube. Started fluxing at 70. Pulled it, coated in graphite oil. Followed by a generous fill of graphite powder thought it was fixed but then a few thousand miles later right back to bouncing and fluxing. Choking badly always at 70 mph. I guess it just got worn inside after 52 years? That's what got me to the new 'too long cable' from NPD. It came lubed with what smells like gear oil (smelled like clean diff fluid) then I douse some graphite oil on top of that on the core and in the casing. Smoothest needle I've ever seen on the car! But it's hanging everywhere underneath and rubbing the steering column a bit.

But now I'll chop that cable to the OE length, and like everything else it's gonna be a nice little learnin' and humbling lesson. I'll definitely call up a few local truck places and might get lucky. I found an old school shop about 4 hours out into 'country' of SW Virginia. Maybe I'll be lucky and find one only an hour or two away. Anyhow, this guy said if I provide the new end piece (I've ordered for 8 bucks comes with sheath crimper for a vice) he'd cut it crimp it and square it off for 30 or 40 bucks and said he never uses it anymore. He sounded exactly like the kind of guy I want to work on my parts :giggle:
 

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Why not use OE cable in the repro sheath? Usually it’s inside the casing that wears.
 

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Pull the slack down on the tranny end and forgetaboutit.
 
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