Odometer Repair - 'new' style from a '90

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ajagodnik
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Odometer Repair - 'new' style from a '90

Postby ajagodnik » Sun Jun 28, 2015 12:25 pm

Hi all, the odometer on my project car is dead. Using RadioFlyer's SPG pics and a few other resources, i was able to get the dash out and onto the bench.
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The speedo needle and face came off fine, leaving me with this:
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Which is significantly different form the style of nearly every other C900 speedo that I've seen.
However, it looks like the hub around the return spring around the speedo shaft is pressed on, holding the clear plastic cover from coming off.
In this pic you can see one screw inside the housing that would release the speedo assembly, the other one is underneath the trip odometer rolls.
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The purple (Why?) gear to the left of the 2 seems to be slightly loose, and this one would be easy to get a drop of super glue on. However ,the gear at the opposite side also seems to be cracked and slipping worse than the purple one. Much harder to get to the hub of that one. :crazy:


Actually, it just occurred to me that I could drill an access hole on the side to get some glue in there. We'll see if that works. Maybe I just solved my own problem?

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RadioFlyer
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Re: Odometer Repair - 'new' style from a '90

Postby RadioFlyer » Mon Jun 29, 2015 9:07 am

Interesting. This plastic-housed one is definitely a different setup from mine. Nice that your needle came off so easy. That's always the most delicate part.

Image

ajagodnik
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Re: Odometer Repair - 'new' style from a '90

Postby ajagodnik » Tue Jun 30, 2015 4:32 pm

Well the needle definitely wasn't easy. Thought I broke it at first.
I got distracted looking at parts cars on Sunday, and didn't get to finish again til today.

Bottom line: I 'think' I've fixed it :yay:

Drilled a hole in the side maybe 1/16" away from the bearing surface, but close enough that I could just see the hub of the gear. This pic with the toothpick is before I managed to get superglue over most of my fingers :ranting:

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Surprisingly, I didn't glue the shaft and lock it up, it seems to be holding, but I'm going to add some more superglue before I button it up.
Hopefully this will help someone else in the future!

ajagodnik
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Re: Odometer Repair - 'new' style from a '90

Postby ajagodnik » Thu Jul 02, 2015 7:23 pm

Well, the first round didn't do it, I broke it free screwing around on the kitchen table showing my daughter how I 'fixed' it. Nice job, dad...
I ended up drilling a second hole from the face to give more room in there for my toothpick of superglue. Also switched to a liquid version that would 'flow' better.
Seems to have worked, and I avoided gluing it into a brick.

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Re: Odometer Repair - 'new' style from a '90

Postby Nate » Sat Aug 29, 2015 3:41 pm

Any tips on how to removal the speedometer needle without breaking it?

ajagodnik
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Re: Odometer Repair - 'new' style from a '90

Postby ajagodnik » Sat Aug 29, 2015 8:37 pm

Hi Nate, I used a towel or something to pad the face, and grabbed the needle at the hub with a pair of needlenose.
RadioFlyer explains far better than me about most of the repair, here's his post from his thread (also allows you to get a comparison between the 'old' and 'new' speedo styles in one thread):

RadioFlyer wrote:ODOMETER REPAIR

When I picked up the car, the odometer read a spry 72k miles. Fortunately, the owner admitted that it had stopped working about 13k ago. I figured that for the price of the car, he had no reason to lie to me, so it was time for a repair.

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There is typically only one thing that goes wrong with the c900 odometer. The small gear on the end of the rod that the numbers spin on cracks. This either causes it to loosen enough to spin freely on the rod so that the numbers no longer advance, or if the crack is large enough (it doesn't take much), the space between the gear teeth widens and the gears jam. The latter is often the cause of the commonly known c900 problem of breaking your odometer when you reset the trip odometer while the vehicle is in motion - the gear teeth do not reset properly, causing jamming, cracking, or the teeth break off altogether. So if you are going to reset your trip odometer, do it only when the car is stopped.

The repair process is relatively simple, but there are some pitfalls. You will need needlenose pliers, a very small flathead screwdriver, a regular philips head screwdriver, some superglue, and a spare working odometer from any c900 from 1979-1991. Once you get the gear cluster out, flip it over and remove the screws holding the center gauge section (speedo and odo) from the rest of the cluster. Be very careful with the foil. Next you will need to remove the speedo needle, which is often the biggest pitfall. It is really just a female end pushed onto a straight pin, held on by friction, so it will pop right off with enough even upward force. The first thing I always do is pop the needle over the lower stop-pin so it rests without tension, then take a picture of its natural position with your cell phone camera so that you know where to set it when you put it all back together. Next, put a sock or a piece of cloth over the speedo face so you do not scratch it and position your needlenose pliers evenly under the needle and resting on the cloth.

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Now pry upward, gradually increasing pressure. Make sure that you are not applying pressure unevenly or you could break the needle or bend the pin. Eventually it will pop off (it actually takes quite a bit of force). Next, pop off the trip reset knob and remove the two tiny flathead screws holding the speedo face to the gauge (DO NOT strip them - it is very easy to do). Set all of these tiny parts in a jar or something - you WILL lose them. They WANT to be lost. Remove the face and you will see your open odometer. Unscrew the odometer section from the rest of the gauge and separate it. There will be one long, vertical gear that will be loose - set that in your jar.

Next, check out your skinny white gear on the end of the rod. It should be cracked. In my case, the smaller, fatter one next to it was also cracked:

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These gears are typically fixed to the rod, but you can pull them off. Do that now - pull off both gears. At this point, you will need replacements from your spare cluster, so repeat all of these processes to get the presumably uncracked gears off of the working one, stick some superglue on the rod, and put the fresh gears into place on your soon-to-be-working odometer. I have tried a few alternative tactics at this point in past attempts - filling the crack with glue and filing down the teeth to jive with the other gears, screwing in a stop-pin rather than gluing, etc. Nothing has worked long term except replacing the gear and gluing it down as mentioned above. That should fix your problem.

Now, if you want to change your mileage (keep in mind that it is against the law to tamper with your odometer, but since we are making this one more accurate, I think it is the right thing to do in my case - just don't be a dufus with your own), you will need to pop one end of the entire numbers rod off so that you can rotate the numbers to your desired combination. In my case, it was 85k miles, which was the previous owner's best estimate. Anyway, pop off one end - carefully - I pushed a bit too hard and all of the dark gray gears went flying. Those stink to get back on. With the gears out of reach, you will have to rotate the numbers to your desired combination. Keep in mind that if they do not line up perfectly right now, then they will look funny once you put everything back together. Look at the pic below and notice how the numbers are all aligned - this is your goal, and it can be frustratingly difficult to get just right. Once you think you have it, loosely position the speedo face plate over the numbers to make sure they look right. If not, then keep trying. If so, start putting it back together.

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One thing to note on reassembly: on the back of your speedo frame, you will notice a wide gel-filled cup with a tiny hole in the middleOn the back of your odometer is a tiny pin that needs to fit into that hole. If it does not line up correctly, your odo will not work correctly. You have to fit it in blindly, but what worked for me was manually lining them up, and if I heard a tap, I knew the pin was hitting the metal next to the hole and not going in. Try until you get it in with no tap. Then put it all back together. :

Image

Remember that when you stick your speedo cable on, it needs to point toward the spot that you took a picture of in the beginning. Once it is fixed on there, pop it over the stop-pin. The only real way to test your repaired odometer is to reinstall and drive with it. I have had to repeat the whole process a few times on my early repairs (I've had to do this a lot - maybe because I've had so many Saabs). But I know it is possible to get right the first time. Still try it out before you put your whole dash back together.

Nate
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Re: Odometer Repair - 'new' style from a '90

Postby Nate » Sun Aug 30, 2015 8:35 pm

Thanks the the post.

I ended up breaking the needle while trying to pull try it up. With the broken pieces, I noticed that I should have been prying to the very outside of the needle as there is a tiny brass hub on top of the shaft that is the diameter of the hole in the face plate.

I don't understand how you guys are getting these apart without destroying them. On my speedometer at least, the end of the plastic pin on the needle seems to had been melted at the factory which essentially "rivets" the needle to the shaft.

Chouan
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Re: Odometer Repair - 'new' style from a '90

Postby Chouan » Tue Sep 01, 2015 5:19 pm

You just need a needle puller!!
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squaab99t
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Re: Odometer Repair - 'new' style from a '90

Postby squaab99t » Wed Sep 02, 2015 2:09 am

Did you make that or purchase? Either way I'd like to know the details.

Chouan
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Re: Odometer Repair - 'new' style from a '90

Postby Chouan » Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:12 am

I made it. It's just a strip of plastic with a v notch cut in it and two folds in either side of the notch.

No force is placed against the gauge face. It's just a straight pull against the back of the needle head.

ajagodnik
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Re: Odometer Repair - 'new' style from a '90

Postby ajagodnik » Thu Sep 03, 2015 5:56 pm

OK that's an awesome idea!

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Re: Odometer Repair - 'new' style from a '90

Postby Crazyswede » Fri Sep 04, 2015 11:53 am

I have used two wide blade screw drivers to pop the needle off...works just have to be careful
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Re: Odometer Repair - 'new' style from a '90

Postby RadioFlyer » Fri Oct 30, 2015 1:47 pm

I just re-set the mileage on a 1991 odometer like the first one pictured. It's pretty much impossible to take apart without risking a lot of damage (the older pre-91 odometers were pretty easy to get apart). To change the mileage, I found the bet way was just to turn each individual dial by hand. They take some force to overcome the strength of the plastic gear - it has to flex the gear enough to allow it to pop past it and rotate two clicks. I was worried that it would brake a tooth off the gear, but it held up just fine. So just turn them by hand.


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