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    Thread: Manual transmission speedometer cable gear source?

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      04-20-2008 09:22 AM #1
      I thought I'd be productive yesterday after getting home from work and that I'd go ahead and swap my speedometer cable out since the new cable and gasket had been beckoning from the backseat for several weeks... The project turned into a bit of an abortion since I am now in the market (again) for a new dash trim surround and I've also set myself up for a LOT of additional and unnecessary work thanks to loosing my patience while reassembling everything. No one but myself to blame, of course, but if this prevents even one person from rushing a tedious project and creating more work for themself, then telling on myself will serve a good purpose!
      In all honesty, it's not as bad as it appears but I am back to riding sans radio and with an open dash for the moment. I was going to swap in the excellent dash from my other '89 parts car anyway so this simply forces the issue and ensures there won't be too much procrastination involved. It will also afford the opportunity to use the intact portions of the wiring harness from the parts car (after careful scrutiny, of course) since many of the leads in my existing harness had been cut and spliced (and thereby shortened, leading to some frustrations themselves) by a previous owner. I'll also be bundling the different harness sections to alleviate the rat nest effect that the former owner left behind. I'll document and share the swap in another thread when the time arrives.
      Back to the original problem! I removed the speedometer cable thinking that it was broken but found that the gear that one is supposed to swap from their old cable to their replacement cable had been stripped on one side. I'm not sure what would cause the gear damage (it wasn't like that when I pulled it last year while replacing the clutch) but it's obvious that it needs to be replaced now. It should be rather obvious in this photo:

      Does anyone have an idea where I might find one, aside from the dealer (if it's dealer-only, I'll have to order it from an out-of-town dealer since I refuse to deal with the local one)? I've yet to find any compatible manual transmission VW's in the region's salvage yards so that's not really an option, either. I haven't pulled the one from my parts car to look at it but since it's an automatic, I have a feeling it's an entirely different set-up since the Bentley mentions nothing about gear replacement when swapping the auto cables and the mounting system/location is different, as well.
      Just for the record, I went ahead and installed the new cable into the rear of my cluster (great fun) and left it out of the way in the engine bay while I used the old cable (sans gear) to cover the mounting hole on the transmission until I can obtain a new gear. Whoever did the Fox 1.8 engine swap in years past had substituted duct tape wrapped around the cable instead of the firewall grommet so at least now both the firewall and the raintray grommets are in place and I imagine it will cut down on some dust and noise behind the dash, as well. It also dawned on me that they didn't use a gasket at the transmission (I remember thinking that it just didn't look like the best seal in the world when I reinstalled it while doing the clutch... Go figure!) so that will be corrected now, too.
      Thanks in advance for any ideas!



      Modified by native-texan_in_tn at 8:25 AM 4-20-2008
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    3. Member sehaare's Avatar
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      04-20-2008 10:13 AM #2
      I've never seen them anyplace but at the dealer [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthdown.gif[/IMG] But they were not expensive when I got mine about 5 years ago. They come in three different colors which depend upon the gearing of the tranny (if I remember right it was white, Red, and a third color that I don't remember). So yours looks like a red in the picture (unless it is the third color ).
      Steve
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      04-20-2008 10:34 AM #3
      Thanks, Steve... I don't recall ever seeing one during one of my parts searches, either, so this being "dealer-only" won't come as a huge surprise.
      Just dawned on me, too, that even if I could swap one in from the automatic parts car I have, it would be the wrong ratio considering it has the 13 inch wheels. I imagine that's why the gears don't come with the speedometer cables in the first place...
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    5. Member kamzcab86's Avatar
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      04-20-2008 01:33 PM #4
      It's not the wheels, it's the final drive that determines what cable gear you need. Your '89 and my '86 use the red gear, part # 171 957 821 B.
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    6. Member tolusina's Avatar
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      04-20-2008 01:45 PM #5
      According to Broke's ratio page http://brokevw.com/020ratios.html , a 3.67:1 final drive ratio, which is what your car should have, takes a red, 15 tooth speedo gear.
      Dealer and junkyards are the only known sources.
      If you're buying new from a dealer, get the retainer clip too, the clip is a separate part from both the cable and the gear.




      Quote Originally Posted by kamzcab86
      I hate reading: "But I bought this car for $500 and don't want to put another dime into it."
      ____(hey, it's VW AND it's electrical, what's not to fail?) neoBentley+



    7. Member kamzcab86's Avatar
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      04-20-2008 01:58 PM #6
      Quote, originally posted by tolusina »
      According to Broke's ratio page http://brokevw.com/020ratios.html , a 3.67:1 final drive ratio, which is what your car should have, takes a red, 15 tooth speedo gear.

      You know, that info, including part #s, is also listed on http://www.cabby-info.com/transmission.htm .
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      04-20-2008 04:32 PM #7
      Quote, originally posted by kamzcab86 »
      It's not the wheels, it's the final drive that determines what cable gear you need. Your '89 and my '86 use the red gear, part # 171 957 821 B.

      Makes sense... I didn't think that one through. Thanks for the part number, Kammy.
      Quote, originally posted by tolusina »
      According to Broke's ratio page http://brokevw.com/020ratios.html , a 3.67:1 final drive ratio, which is what your car should have, takes a red, 15 tooth speedo gear.
      Dealer and junkyards are the only known sources.
      If you're buying new from a dealer, get the retainer clip too, the clip is a separate part from both the cable and the gear.

      I hadn't made it as far as Broke's page yet since I took a breather from it today... I may take a look at the local yard once more tomorrow to see if anything "new" has shown up since I last visited but most likely I'll end up ordering from a dealer somewhere. I'll be sure to get both pieces and appreciate the heads-up, Ron.
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      04-20-2008 05:49 PM #8
      Quote, originally posted by kamzcab86 »
      You know, that info, including part #s, is also listed on http://www.cabby-info.com/transmission.htm .

      And as many times as I've browsed that very page, I had completely forgotten the info was there, too... Sheesh!
      I guess I'll be contacting Hallmark Volkswagen in Nashville (don't know their reputation but they'd be hard pressed to be worse than Gary Mathews here in Clarksville). Thanks for the assists!
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      04-21-2008 08:08 AM #9
      Ok, it's obvious my brain departed for parts unknown over the weekend... That old robot from Lost in Space (yeah, I'm showing my age here... lol) comes to mind: "Does not compute, does not compute"... Segue to a visual of the beam of light coming down from Billy Thorpe's "Children of the Sun"... You get the idea... I'll get to the point now...
      I posted a link elsewhere over the weekend for moogie's Ebay store, never thinking to browse through. Lo and behold, look what was found this morn: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors...photo

      Here's the general link to moogie2498's Ebay store: http://stores.ebay.com/Mk1-Aut...QtZkm
      Saves me a trip to the dealership in Nashville for even if they had it for free, moogie's price after shipping is still the better deal considering the gas, time and hassle involved. I should learn to follow my own advice on occasion.


      Modified by native-texan_in_tn at 7:10 AM 4-21-2008
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      05-04-2008 05:08 PM #10
      Thinking I'd be productive yesterday after replacing my fuel pumps, I picked up the new speedometer clip that I had ordered, installed it on the end of my new cable then removed the old cable (sans gasket which was never in place thanks to the previous owner). I put the new gasket on the end of my cable, pushed the mounting clip's bolt through and then ran into a brick wall... It simply is not long enough to reach the threads in the transmission case with the gasket installed. Considering the location, it's simply hard to get enough downward pressure to hold the speedometer cable down within the case opening while straight (should it take so much effort to keep it within the case?)...
      No biggie, I thought... "I'll just buy a new and slightly longer one..." I went to the local dust-on-the-shelves-has-it-all-and-then-some hardware store and can't find a match for it. The old bolt has an 11mm hex head but the threads, though they seem metric, also seem to be course but moreso than "course" grade. I also compared 'em against 1/4" - 20 (the threads on the old bolt are simply too large in diameter) and a 5/16" nut will go on but only loosely.
      I'm no whiz when it comes to the "machine shop" knowledge of such, I'll admit. Thus, I'm curious to know if this sounds like the original bolt or is yet something else that the previous owner rigged... 11mm just struck me as an uncommon head size on this car... If anyone knows with certainty, I'd appreciate it immensely!
      And I thought this was going to be a simple fix once I got the clip on the cluster!
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    12. Member tolusina's Avatar
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      05-04-2008 08:22 PM #11
      Some had Phillips head, some had 11mm hex heads, there may have been some with Allen heads.
      Whichever head, thread size is 7X1.0mm, an unusual size, unless you're used to working on VW transaxles, like Broke, he sees them all the time.
      Oops, ETKA says it's 7X1.25 thread X13mm length. I still think it's 7X1.0mm, but what? I'm gonna argue with ETKA?
      It does sound to me as though the tip of the gear is not seated properly in it's guide hole down inside the trans, or the gear is not fully seated on the cable/clip assembly.

      You can just almost see the guide hole in this pic on Kirsten's funksoulkitty.org 020 trans rebuild page......
      http://funksoulkitty.org/engin....html

      Quote Originally Posted by kamzcab86
      I hate reading: "But I bought this car for $500 and don't want to put another dime into it."
      ____(hey, it's VW AND it's electrical, what's not to fail?) neoBentley+



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      05-04-2008 11:21 PM #12
      Quote, originally posted by tolusina »
      Some had Phillips head, some had 11mm hex heads, there may have been some with Allen heads.
      Whichever head, thread size is 7X1.0mm, an unusual size, unless you're used to working on VW transaxles, like Broke, he sees them all the time.
      Oops, ETKA says it's 7X1.25 thread X13mm length. I still think it's 7X1.0mm, but what? I'm gonna argue with ETKA?
      It does sound to me as though the tip of the gear is not seated properly in it's guide hole down inside the trans, or the gear is not fully seated on the cable/clip assembly.

      You can just almost see the guide hole in this pic on Kirsten's funksoulkitty.org 020 trans rebuild page......
      http://funksoulkitty.org/engin....html

      Ah, just what I was looking for, Ron... Thanks! Both my dad and I were guessing it was a 7 but couldn't figure out the pitch. That'll give me something to go searching for and I'll just get both to be on the safe side...
      Great pic (I wish mine were so clean!)... I pushed the gear on until I could see the clip, the gap in the clip positioned to the far side of the hole per the Bentley but I'm not sure why it is supposed to be installed in such fashion. I could not make out any sort of channel within the gear so I assume that the clip is simply a friction fit? I've been able to get it seated far enough so that the hold-down clip/gasket combination is almost flat against the transmission case but it almost seems as if there is a thread or two missing at the top of the bolt hole, just enough so that the bolt won't start with the new gasket in place.
      I'll try a new bolt 13mm in length and also pick up a couple that are a wee bit longer, too. There's a fastener business here that is likely to have them that'll be open during the week.
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    14. Member tolusina's Avatar
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      05-05-2008 12:04 AM #13
      The cable retainer plate should be flush to the top of the trans case.
      If you can pull the gear off of the cable by hand, it's not on far enough, they're normally about impossible to remove.
      To check your 7mm bolt's thread pitch grab a common 6mm bolt (10mm head, those are 6X1.0mm threads), and a common 8mm bolt (13mm head, 8x1.25mm threads), lay the 7mm bolt's threads into each, they'll mesh perfectly with one but not the other.


      Quote Originally Posted by kamzcab86
      I hate reading: "But I bought this car for $500 and don't want to put another dime into it."
      ____(hey, it's VW AND it's electrical, what's not to fail?) neoBentley+



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      05-05-2008 07:11 AM #14
      Quote, originally posted by tolusina »
      The cable retainer plate should be flush to the top of the trans case.
      If you can pull the gear off of the cable by hand, it's not on far enough, they're normally about impossible to remove.
      To check your 7mm bolt's thread pitch grab a common 6mm bolt (10mm head, those are 6X1.0mm threads), and a common 8mm bolt (13mm head, 8x1.25mm threads), lay the 7mm bolt's threads into each, they'll mesh perfectly with one but not the other.

      I'll check the gear again this evening after work to be sure... I recall well how difficult it was to remove the original gear.
      I'll also take the bolt with me, of course, and check the pitch at the store just as you mentioned.
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    16. Member sehaare's Avatar
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      05-05-2008 07:28 AM #15
      Hey Native,
      For reasons that we don't need to get into now I've had to install 3 different cables into 4 different transmissions and the little short bolt has always been long enough. Although on first try sometimes it didn't appear that way.
      You're already checking to make sure that the gear is on properly.
      The other thing that you should do is put the car in gear an rock it back and forth to move the gears in the tranny (don't get carried away and push start the car -oh hell just remove the battery cable to be safe). I had problems before and I rocked it while leaning over the fender an pusing down on the cable (yep I've got long arms) and it went right in.
      Steve
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      05-05-2008 07:35 AM #16
      Quote, originally posted by sehaare »
      The other thing that you should do is put the car in gear an rock it back and forth to move the gears in the tranny (don't get carried away and push start the car -oh hell just remove the battery cable to be safe). I had problems before and I rocked it while leaning over the fender an pusing down on the cable (yep I've got long arms) and it went right in.
      Steve

      Rocking it has come to mind, too... Not a bad idea, I agree! No, push starting the car would be very much bad (I'm getting some bad visuals even now! lol)!
      While we're on the "admissions" kick, I'll mention that it probably would have made life much simpler had I installed the gear end first instead of the cluster end... Then there wouldn't be any sideways pressure on the cable in the cramped quarters by the tranmission case...
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    18. Member sehaare's Avatar
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      05-05-2008 04:32 PM #17
      No, you definitley did it in the right order. Hooking up the speedo cable to the back of the cluster is a royal PITA. I'm about to work on my cluster and I'm searously thinking of disconnecting the cable at the tranny first to make it easier to pull the cluster.
      Steve
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      05-05-2008 07:36 PM #18
      Quote, originally posted by sehaare »
      No, you definitley did it in the right order. Hooking up the speedo cable to the back of the cluster is a royal PITA. I'm about to work on my cluster and I'm searously thinking of disconnecting the cable at the tranny first to make it easier to pull the cluster.
      Steve

      It's no fun either way you look at it, I know. I've got rather skinny forearms and long-fingered hands but it was still a challenge getting it back on... Coming off isn't a problem but I'm not looking forward to doing this all over again soon when I get everything ready to swap in the nice dash from my parts car...
      I probably won't be fooling with it much during the week but will track down a bolt and try it again Saturday or Sunday, I imagine.
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    20. Member Broke's Avatar
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      05-12-2008 06:29 AM #19
      Quote, originally posted by tolusina »
      Oops, ETKA says it's 7X1.25 thread X13mm length. I still think it's 7X1.0mm, but what? I'm gonna argue with ETKA?

      I wouldn't on that one... it is an M7x1.25 pitch
      To triple check it, I just came in from the garage, the bolt that fits the threaded hole in the case does NOT fit an M7x1.0 die. I do not have a M7x1.25 die to check it against, but I know a 1.25 pitch (all the 13mm trans bolts are M8x1.25) and that M7 is a 1.25 [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]
      Quote, originally posted by tolusina »
      You can just almost see the guide hole in this pic on Kirsten's funksoulkitty.org 020 trans rebuild page......

      I've got some pics on my site that aren't part of the site (they're on a poorly "hidden" picture dump page I use), it shows the hole as well...




      13mm should be the correct length also.
      A couple other pics from the page...


      Oh, for others looking for a gear/clip combo, I could supply those for $15 shipped new
      Broke


      Modified by Broke at 6:30 AM 5-12-2008
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      05-12-2008 06:55 AM #20
      Excellent examples indeed! I didn't have an opportunity this weekend to play with it, much less even popping the hood, unfortunately... Clarksville Fastener (the local, has-it-all supplier) closes so early that I haven't made it yet during the week but I'm going to try one day this week when I go on a parts run to replace some stretched and broken air lines on one of our truck tractors (some of our drivers seem to go through 'em on a regular basis... <sigh>).
      The threads on my bolt don't look to be "buggered" in any way but I'm thinking that the first turn may be worn enough not to catch the threads within the case, at least when the added thickness of the new gasket is added.
      I continue to be baffled by why the opening on the clip is supposed to face away from the hole in the gear, though... Curiosity is killing me! lol Am I missing some obvious reasoning here?
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    22. Member Broke's Avatar
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      05-12-2008 10:04 AM #21
      Quote, originally posted by native-texan_in_tn &raquo;
      I continue to be baffled by why the opening on the clip is supposed to face away from the hole in the gear, though... Curiosity is killing me! lol Am I missing some obvious reasoning here?

      It's even shown in the pic why the hole aligns with the circlip.... to push it in with a screwdriver so you slightly compress it when pulling the gear off
      You also know when you see the clip in the hole... it is on fully
      It'll pop in place when the clip springs closed as you push the gear on, then when the clip gets to the groove on the inside of the gear, it'll expand open again, holding the gear on. To remove the gear, compress the clip via the hole, and pull the gear, and the clip will pop back out of the groove and slide off
      Broke
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      05-12-2008 10:19 PM #22
      Quote, originally posted by Broke &raquo;
      It's even shown in the pic why the hole aligns with the circlip.... to push it in with a screwdriver so you slightly compress it when pulling the gear off
      You also know when you see the clip in the hole... it is on fully
      It'll pop in place when the clip springs closed as you push the gear on, then when the clip gets to the groove on the inside of the gear, it'll expand open again, holding the gear on. To remove the gear, compress the clip via the hole, and pull the gear, and the clip will pop back out of the groove and slide off
      Broke

      Uhm... <looking for misplaced dunce cap and the stool in the corner> I knew that... I was, uhm, just testing ya... Yeah, that's it... Again, I've lost sight of the forest for all of them thar big green things in the way! lol
      Makes perfect sense now in a hazy kind of way, Broke... Thanks!
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    24. Member kamzcab86's Avatar
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      05-12-2008 10:24 PM #23
      Psssh, at least your cable pulled out of the trans...
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      05-13-2008 01:34 AM #24
      Quote, originally posted by kamzcab86 &raquo;
      Psssh, at least your cable pulled out of the trans...

      <chuckle> True, very true... You experienced otherwise, I presume?
      I'm also wondering (I do seem to do a lot of that, eh?) if my stripped gear was a result of pulling it out or whether it happened while it was operating...
      My flying/aerial/scenic/transportation-related photography: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vfr_photography/
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    26. Member kamzcab86's Avatar
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      05-13-2008 05:54 PM #25
      Quote, originally posted by native-texan_in_tn &raquo;
      You experienced otherwise, I presume?

      That is a day I'd really rather not re-live. Although, it did make way for a rather famous pic, so I can't complain too much...
      Cabby-Info.com -- Your online guide to VW Cabriolets/Rabbit Convertibles
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