Speedometer Replacement

Octagon Newsletter May 1990

By Jack Baker

In September of 1988 while on the Club Anniversary Meet Rally my speedometer needle stuck. It would read higher, but refused to return to zero. (The exact opposite of my bank account.) U.K. Motors supplied me with a new speedometer. I installed it myself and learned that, once you have just the right number of lacerations, the blood flow will allow easy movement of your hand behind the dash and that, if you let the blood gel, the nut will stick to your finger. I also found that a hand may proceed easily into the speedometer dash opening but it takes a lot to get it out.

The replacement speedometer did well, there was not a hitch until the 1989 Anniversary Meet Rally, when, once again, the speedometer proved it could fly high but could not come down. Suitably bloodied I was able to send the speedometer to Ron Hopkinson in England for a replacement. My hands had nearly healed when the new unit arrived, so it went in very well, but I was looking pale. This new speedometer was wonderful for twelve miles, then, on the New Year's Day run 1990, the sticking struck again. Theories abounded, all three incidents occurred in the rain, perhaps something swells in the Smith unit? Maybe it is the cold?

I phoned Ron Hopkinson in England, they said it must be the cable. I looked at the cable and noted an awkward bend between the firewall and the transmission. I adjusted this into a lovely flowing curve. The speedometer now works, I get better mileage, the engine runs better, and I will soon be able to appear in public without gloves.

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