Lubin' the new speedo cable

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Feb 20, 2003
If ya don't know, I ain't tellin'
Okay, bought an el cheapo aftermarket replacement speedo cable (whole thing--sleeve, core, end pieces). Do I need to lube this thing before I slip it in? What's the best bet? Silicon spray? Lithium grease? KY? Or do it put it in "as is"? :eek:
Mine was put in as-is and worked fine until I screwed with the speedo to try to fix the odo and now my speedo no longer works.(Not the fault of the cable).
So my answer would be yeah, it should be fine, mine was.
If its jumpy, lube it. Do a search, someone said how to do it sometime.
It should come pre-lubed. There's a joke in there somewhere.
If you're gonna use any sort of lube, I would say use graphite powder.
Unless you live in the arctic the best method is to pump grease through the housing using a grease gun. Remove the inner cable from the housing and pump some grease all the way through. After it oozes out the other end put the inner back in the housing and install into the truck. Use a high temp grease like you would use to lube U-joints and such. This method also makes it operate more quietly(as if you could hear it in an FJ).
Disregard what I said last night about graphite powder, I've got accelerator cables on the brain, not speedo. We use the stuff on motorcycle cables,... doesn't attract moisture.
Okay, last night while at the workbench I looked to the left of my ever-expanding collection of Land Cruiser lubrication products and saw something in my smaller bike maintenance section that I might try--it's a spray-on teflon for bike chainrings. It dries into a film that doesn't attract grit or moisture.

It's either that, or the grease.
You can actually get a fitting for your grease gun that attaches to your cable for easy lubing. Don't remember where I got mine.

I wouldn't use the bike chain stuff. It's dry so it wouldn't dissapate heat well. Thats made for exposed situations where grease would attract grit. Since your cable is suposed to be a "closed" system the grease would be better, IMHO.
I would take it easy on the grease though. I had a Corolla that got a screwed up speedo due to too much grease. It leaked up the cable and into the speedo head. As soon as the car moved the speedo was pinned!! I had to take the speedo all apart and clean out the grease to make it work again.
Has anyone actually done this with a Toyota cable?

I was just over at my local mechanic's shop (selling used tires), and mentioned it to him since I have the wobbly speedo problem, too. He does about 50% of his work on Toyotas and owns a couple of FJ40s himself. He said Toyota cables don't come apart to be lubed. There is a collar at the speedo end that prevents this. I haven't actually tried this myself, but I know this guy well, and he is one of the brighter mechanics out there, so I believe him when he says they don't come apart easily. He said that the only way he has been able to lube them is to put 90 wt in the top and dangle them, gravity feeding, knowing that if you overdo it you get your speedometer all gunked up, like Cruiser_guy said.
IMO it's not worth the hassle of pulling an old cable just to grease it, so it will work half-assed for another month. Just get a new cable and call it good. They don't need to be lubricated when new. You'll displace or liquify the grease in there, and it won't work as well.
Hmm. 2 part? 1 part? aftermarket? He showed me the collar that prevents taking it apart (this was from an old 4Runner). Maybe that's what messed up your speedo, Bailey.... :cheers:
I have used brake lube on speed cables, emergency brake, and moving parts fo the brakes for years. Not effected by cold, heat, water, and doesn't attract dirt.
Why did I buy bulk grease? Okay, if the shop didn't have a tube of high-temp grease, I should have gone somewhere else, but NOOOOOO, I had to get the small tub, thinking "gee, I can put in as much or as little as I need and then reseal the tub!"

And why, oh why, did I decide I could load the grease gun in the kitchen between innings last night?

To use bulk grease, I had to reverse the plunger on the gun. I had never done that before. I never knew the load spring was so strong and that a greased plunger could be so slippery. :whoops: Damn, did that go far. Damn, is grease difficult to clean up. No, honey, I don't know how those glasses broke. I'm just glad the wife was asleep so that she couldn't ridicule me in person.

Anyway, I wound up putting grease in the lower half of the cable housing and slipped the core in--as the core traveled through the grease, it got a nice coating on it, but not too thick. When I bought it, the cable had almost NO lube on it at all--just a slight oily residue, which could have been part of the manufacturing process, so I think it needed something. I'm gonna hook my drill up and run the cable for a few minutes to see if the grease starts coming out the top.

Hey, anyone know what rpm the cable runs at during normal driving?
Well, Bailey, I should have a new one in a couple of days. I'll see if mine comes apart easily. Maybe I'll teach my mechanic something!

Yeah, JMan, you don't want any extra grease all over everything.
Ahh, mia culpa

the "new" oem cable from spectors warehouse comes apart quite nicely. seems well lubed, but I think I'll just redo it to be sure. Guess I give my mechanic a lesson.
Okay, I know all this talk about "lubing cables" and "Speedos" might be too reminiscent of summertime on Fire Island :eek:, but here's an update: I attached the drill to the cable and ran it for a few minutes and sure enough, when it went in clockwise direction, a little donut of grease came out the top of the cable; when it went counterclockwise, some grease came out the other way (the cable is wound with wire, which is why it has this "screw" effect).

So, I took the cable out, cleaned all the excess off with a rag, put it back in and ran it--no mess. So, I'd advise smearing a little bit of grease along the cable before inserting it rather than filling the housing with grease. Oh, and if you somehow forget to keep the rubber seal on the xfer case end, the cable will start drinking your gear oil like a straw and squirting it into your speedometer.

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