[Healeys] angle speedo drive BJ8

Bob Spidell bspidell at comcast.net
Sun May 10 11:13:02 MDT 2015

I'll throw another out there ... Presumably, you have been buying new 
angle drives from the usual suspects; I've found that many of the new 
parts are not being built to the standards of the originals (duh).  I'm 
on the first and only angle drive in my BJ8 with nearly 190K miles; so 
there's no reason these can't last the lifetime of the car, but there 
has been a spate of bad parts recently--water pumps, bearings, most any 
rubber part, etc.--and maybe the repro drives just ain't up to snuff.  
Also, there were some cables sold that were too long; but I believe they 
mostly damaged the speedo.

I'll repeat my recommendation for silicone lubricant; among its other 
qualities it doesn't seem to attract dirt and dust like just about any 
other lubricant.  I've tried moly grease, white lithium grease and 
graphite powder--which is exceedingly messy to handle and apply--on 
speedo cables and the silicone oil has worked best (my speedo is rock 
solid at all speeds).  I used it on the Bendix drive of my starter and 
it's worked flawlessly for over 100K miles.  I know it persists because 
silicone is extremely difficult to remove from paint.


On 5/10/2015 9:19 AM, Mike Garvey wrote:
> I neglected to mention that about half way through this saga, I had 
> the speedometer rebuilt by West Valley Instruments; presumably they 
> would have lubricated any necessary areas.Any other ideas welcome…
> Thanks, Mike
> **
> Hi Mike,
> After about the same number of failures I found that the problem was 
> actually in the speedometer itself.
> In both cases where I have encountered the problem the odometer itself 
> was actually seizing causing the cable to sort of corkscrew and then 
> the angle drive failed.
> If you hold the speedometer loosely in your hands and use a drill to 
> run the drive, anticlockwise when looking at the back of the 
> instrument, after a while you will probably detect resistance to turning.
> I took mine apart and sparingly lubricated the odo and trip shafts and 
> in both cases the problem was solved.
> Michael S
> BN1 #174
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *From: *Mike Garvey <mailto:r3m1g4 at verizon.net>
> *Sent: *‎10/‎05/‎2015 9:52 a.m.
> *To: *healeys at autox.team.net <mailto:healeys at autox.team.net>
> *Subject: *[Healeys] angle speedo drive BJ8
> In the three years that I have owned my BJ8, I have gone through three 
> right angle speedometer drives.The failure is that the short coil 
> spring drive from the transmission to the helical gear fails; it looks 
> like a birds nest of broken wires.I am aware of the critical spacer 
> washer that must not be forgotten; in fact, this last time, I put in 
> two spacer washers, trying to overcome any marginal tolerance issues.I 
> also lubricated the speedometer cable liberally with lithium grease.
> I checked the autox archive and this question went around in 2009; at 
> the time, the remedy was to use only graphite (no grease) to lubricate 
> the speedometer cable.Is this still the conventional wisdom?Any advice 
> on how to clean out the outer part of the speedometer cable?
> Thanks, Mike
> Michael Garvey
> 1967 BJ8/38046
> Swampscott, MA

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