Speedometer cable lube (1 Viewer)

RWBeringer4x4

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One more question to get my dash buttoned up.

I just picked up a new speedometer cable from Cruiser Outfitters. I pulled the inner line out and there doesn’t seem to be much more than some light machine oil (if anything) so I’m guessing this needs a more meaningful, “sticky” lubricant before it goes in.

As always seems to be the case the internet is pointing me a dozen different ways.

Common wisdom seems to be white lithium grease - but there are about half as many posts saying it doesn’t hold up, tends to harden and attract debris.

There are hit and miss successes (and failures) with spray graphite.

There are “specialty” cable lubricants like “Kable-ease” that I’ve seen mentioned.

Other folks have mentioned wheel bearing grease (which seems too thick to me). And other have recommended motor oil or ATF (which seems way too thin).

I’m going to call Kurt on Tuesday and see what he recommends but I’m curious what everyone here uses on this front.
 

RWBeringer4x4

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Motorcycle type cable lube and the applicator tool, makes it easy to get lube down the entire cable.
Not familiar with this but what kind of lube is it? Aren’t motorcycle cables predominantly pull cables (ie: brake and clutch) - have you used this on a speedometer cable (rotational) with success? What kind of lube is it? Wet? Dry? Tacky?
 
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Not familiar with this but what kind of lube is it? Aren’t motorcycle cables predominantly pull cables (ie: brake and clutch) - have you used this on a speedometer cable (rotational) with success? What kind of lube is it? Wet? Dry? Tacky?
Here’s the can. It’s a light oil like WD40 but much better lubricating properties. I’ve put this in speedo cables with no adverse effects though it wasn’t causing trouble in the first place. I would be apprehensive putting a heavier or tackier lube in a rotating cable for cold weather resistance and breakdown over time, just my .02. Also this stuff is designed to be in contact with rubber cable components and such.
image.jpg
 
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Oh one more thing. With the lube tool you can lightly pressurize the cable and blow the gunk out the other end.
 

brian

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the pc1 stuff.
i was sorta watching this to see if there were any decent recommendations.
 

RWBeringer4x4

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the pc1 stuff.
i was sorta watching this to see if there were any decent recommendations.
Yeah the opinions all over the internet are so varied it’s hard to put any stock in any one lube. I also posted this on a holiday weekend so it has been quiet. I’ll call Cruiser Outfitters and report back if I get an opinion from them.
 

RWBeringer4x4

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@1FastBimmer for what it’s worth I’ve actually seen the PJ1 you recommended mentioned a few times across a number of forums.

It seems like from what I’ve read around various forums and web searches, the general consensus is a white grease, and ideally in a very thin coat as to prevent caking or dried clumps.

- Frequently recommended is “lubriplate” - of course, this is a brand name and they sell a couple different white greases.

- PJ-1 has come up a couple times, as have a number of other “wet” (non wax) chain and cable lubricants.

- General consensus is that DRY graphite lubes are a no go, but WET graphite lubes, or wet lubes containing graphite powder might work.

- Vaseline was mentioned more than twice.

-Kable-ease is another one mentioned frequently. In fact it specifically mentions use on speedometer cables and amazon has a bunch of reviews of people who used it on classic car speedometer cables. However it’s listed as a penetrating oil, and I can’t find any specifications on what it’s actually made of...

I’ve definitely read up on this WAY too much but I think the general consensus is a thin coat of any lightweight lubricant will do the trick.
 
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Shark56

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How about that gray devil's juice that gets on everything...Never Sieze 😁.
Just thinking out loud but would that work as a good lube.?
 

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WARNING: Beware of the type of grease (or whatever) you use to lube the speedo cable up. Remember, the inner cable spins inside the plastic sheath. And that spinning action will cause 'said' grease to come towards the gauge cluster, it will eventually ooze out and puddle under that connection!

:censor: "ASK ME HOW I KNOW!" :censor:
 

RWBeringer4x4

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How about that gray devil's juice that gets on everything...Never Sieze 😁.
Just thinking out loud but would that work as a good lube.?
It seems to be the right consistency - but I really am not sure what the lubricative properties are. I know it's generally high nickel conetent with a grease binder to prevent rust fusion, and it certainly feels slippery but I don't know, in the world of lubrication, if it is truly a LUBE vs. an anti-corrosive or water displacer.
 

RWBeringer4x4

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WARNING: Beware of the type of grease (or whatever) you use to lube the speedo cable up. Remember, the inner cable spins inside the plastic sheath. And that spinning action will cause 'said' grease to come towards the gauge cluster, it will eventually ooze out and puddle under that connection!

:censor: "ASK ME HOW I KNOW!" :censor:
Yes - many, many forums across many different makes and models of car have mentioned this same issue. Most places recommend NOT lubing the last six inches to one foot of the cable where it goes into the cluster. Most have also mentioned that a VERY thin coat is all that should be applied to reduce friction. You don't want to cable swimming in a grease bath inside the sheath, because it will absolutely pump the grease out the top of the cable.

You want just enough to be slippery, and, apparently, not so heavy duty that it clumps up into a big migratory ball that climbs the housing.
 

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@GA Architect - if you ran into what grease NOT to use, that would be helpful too.
What I shouldn't have done was used was a heavy coating of standard lithium grease, same as I used for most zerks.

When I recently replaced the drive gear, I removed the entire speedo cable. That is when I found a big pile of grease under the cluster, on top of the steering column bracket. Once I removed the speedo cable, I took the inner cable from the sheath. Then I used WD40 to clean it and the sheath as well. Once clean, I used a very thin coating of Super Lube, but stopped about a foot from the cluster connection.
 

RWBeringer4x4

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So I decided to try Kable-Ease. Not a lot of information on the bottle as to what it’s made of, but the consistency is thinner than grease, about the viscosity of gear oil or a heavyweight motor oil. It’s jet black so I’m guessing graphite is involved. The big bead on the cable is for illustration - I just put a thin coat along the whole cable.

8643DBC1-BE4C-47C9-A581-72C6A811F78E.jpeg


I lubed the whole cable aside from about the last 12-18” on the speedometer end. Their advertising specifies it for use on speedometer cables specifically (and slip cables) and it seemed to be well reviewed across a number of antique car sites.

Got the dash back in tonight - just need to figure out how to route the cable to avoid the Ram’s horn manifold and get it down to the transfer case. Spinning the transfer case end of the cable causes the gauge to move so I think we will be good to go.
 

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