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Speedo Cable Rattling


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I have a rattle in the gauge cluster area. After removing the gauge cluster and driving around the block, I can confirm the cable is making a metal rattling sound at higher speeds


Can anything be done to stop this noise or must I replace the cable?


I have a 76 2002, any one have the part number for the cable that attached to the gauge cluster?


http://parts.bmwofsouthatlanta.com/showAssembly.aspx?ukey_assembly=260676&ukey_make=980&ukey_model=13499&modelYear=1976&ukey_driveLine=6494&ukey_trimLevel=11924&searchString=speedo cable


In this diagram the correct cable appears to be #6 but #6 is labelled as lower speedo cable.


Does the cable just feed through the firewall no problems down to the speedo box?

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+1 on Graphite Oil.


I had this exact problem when I first started driving the car after a 5 speed swap and new speedo cable. 

The ticking noise was driving me up a wall. A quick question on the FAQ and our members suggested Graphite Oil. Every major auto parts store should carry this. Squirt some of that bottle down the speedo cable tube hole thing and reinstall. Things should quiet down quickly. 


And if not, Godspeed. I couldn't handle the noise. 

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+2 on graphite oil or some other speedo cable lube.


However, I think the real key is to pull the entire cable, remove and clean the actual speedo cable (the part that turns inside the sheath, and then use WD40 or some other light oil +/- compressed air to thoroughly clean out the outer sheath of the 40 years of accumulated dirt and grit, and then apply the lube on a nice clean cable and sheath.

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Keep in mind that your '76 has a two piece speedo cable; between the two sections is a little box that every 30k miles will illuminate the "service thermal reactor" light in the pod atop your dash (same one that has the "fasten seat belts" sign.  


It's entirely possible that the noise is coming from the thermal reactor box--it's simply an odometer that closes a set of contacts every 30k miles and is mechanical.  You can replace your two piece cable with a single cable and bypass the thermal reactor box altogether if it turns out that the box is the noise culprit.  


But as has been stated above, first lube your cables first--both the upper one (speedo to box) and lower one (box to tranny) and see if that cures your problem.  Dry cables make all sorts of strange and scary noises!




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The mileage counter is for servicing the thermal reactor, and mandates the "two-piece cable." All '75 U.S. cars and all '76 California-version cars have the mileage counter -- because they have reactors. But '76 49-state versions do not have reactors and therefore do not need the counter. My '76 49-state version (2742541, April '76) was produced without the mileage counter and, when its original cable broke at 38,599 miles (October 20, 1978), my BMW dealer replaced it with part BMW 62121350977, described as "Speedo Shaft" for $7.75. This part appears to remain available from BMW, although it now costs a bit more than $7.75! It is a single-piece cable.

c.d., I must note, thought that most 49-state '76s came with the mileage counter even though they had no use for it. To be honest, neither he nor I had any statistical basis for arguing the '76 49-state versions came with or without the mileage counter! But the above part was the replacement for cars that did NOT have the counter.

Good luck,


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