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Odometer Repair

Written by Curt Ingraham Tuesday, 06 June 2006

(edited by Scott Sislane 4/12/2020)

 

If your speedo still works, but the odometer has stopped paying attention, you have the classic 2002 odometer failure. You can take it to a speedo shop and pay $75-150 for a repair, or pick up a used instrument cluster at a swap meet or salvage yard for less than half that. Chances are, if you are skilled with tools and patient, you can fix it yourself for free.

Rear of the Instrument Cluster
Rear of the Instrument Cluster

 

Repair Instructions:

 

      1. Remove instrument cluster from dash.
      2. While speedo is still in cluster, loosen big nut on back (circled in green), center of speedo. (just loosen it, do not remove it yet)
      3. Remove the 6 screws circled in red, remove the tachometer to left, then remove the speedo from cluster. Handle carefully. Resist temptation and do not touch needle or face.
      4. Now with the speedo out, remove big nut and washer from back of speedo, and remove the speedo from the back plate.
        Odometer Gears
        Odometer Gears
        • Notice that:
          • Speedo cable input on rear drives speedo.
          • Shaft from speedo to odometer drives odometer number wheel shaft;
          • Odometer shaft drives a big aluminum-colored gear at the end of the odometer number wheel stack;
          • Odometer is not turning because that big gear is slipping on the number wheel shaft;
      5.  Number wheel shaft is held in position by friction with big gear.
      6. Gently slide the number wheel shaft back and forth a very small amount to verify that it is loose.
      7. Find a temporary replacement shaft of slightly smaller diameter, such as a nail or machine screw.
        • 2" finishing nail being used to drive out the number wheel shaft. It's the perfect width and length
          2" finishing nail being used 
          Here is a 2" finishing nail being used to drive out the number wheel shaft. It's the perfect width and length.
      8. Replace number wheel shaft with temporary shaft (2" finishing nail) as follows:
        • Identify end of number wheel shaft withOUT the gear.
        • Place end of temporary shaft against end of number wheel shaft.
        • Slowly and carefully press temporary shaft in, forcing number wheel shaft out.
        • At this point, temporary shaft is in, number wheel shaft is out, and number wheels are still in place.
      9. Locate position on number wheel shaft where big aluminum-colored gear normally sits. A polished band likely exists there. Verify gear location by holding shaft against number wheel frame.
      10. With a center punch or cold chisel make a very light impression on shaft at gear location. This distortion should be large enough to fit tightly in
        2" nail in place
        2" nail in place 
        gear, but small enough to pass through number wheels using finger pressure.
      11. Please note: I had previously advised fixing gear to shaft with super glue, but that repair doesn't last nearly as long as the distortion method above.
      12. Try replacing number wheel shaft in odo frame. Keep number wheel shaft end against temporary shaft end.
        • If number wheel shaft won't go through odo frame or is tight in number wheels, distortion is too large. File slightly.
        • If number wheel shaft slides all the way in easily, distortion is too small. Punch it again.
        • When distortion is just right, shaft will stop sliding when distortion reaches gear, and will not go into gear with finger pressure.
        • Repair the shaft
          Repair the shaft
          Use channel-lock pliers or a small vise to press shaft firmly into position in big gear. Leave a very small gap between odometer frame and small brass gear at other end of shaft.
      13. Verify that numbers on number wheels align correctly with rectangular hole in speedo face.
      14. Remove shaft between speedo and odometer by removing one screw. Turn number wheel shaft with fingers and verify that wheels turn smoothly, and ten's digit advances when one's digit goes from 9 to 0. Replace speedo-to-odometer shaft.
      15. Replace back plate, washer, and nut (finger tight) on back of speedo.
      16. Clean speedo face with careful puffs of canned air. (If more cleaning is needed, use water and lens tissue.)
      17. Replace speedo in cluster, engaging trip odometer reset shaft.
      18.  Reassemble cluster.
      19. Tighten big nut on back of speedo, noting alignment of speedo face.
      20. Reinstall cluster in dash.
      21. Test speedo and odometer. You can do this by using a drill and a hex drive. Simply insert the hex drive into the input drive, and start drill. Make sure it turning in the proper direction - CCW.
      22. Reinstall under-dash panels.

       

       

       



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      Thanks so much for posting the tutorial.  My 16 year old son (Carter) and I followed your directions and now our odometer is working again!  Yay!  I took some pictures and will post them later! :) Cheers!

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      and as a precaution... Never reset your odometer while the car is in motion. This is what usually kills the odometer on older cars.

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      Thanks mate your method worked a treat. Only thing I did differently was I used a pair of side cutters to ‘spoil’ the shaft where it sits inside the drive gear.

       

      Cheers 

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