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1962 Cadillac Sedan Deville


The discrepancy: The odometer stopped working and the speedometer needle bounced for a while then fell to zero. The trip odometer was jammed and would not reset to 000.
Corrective action: By spinning the cable without any needle movement I realized the cable head had sheared. Probably because something locked up inside the instrument cluster. Fortunately the dash board removal was not as difficult as anticipated. Five screws and it slides forward exposing two wire connections for the headlight dimming sensor.
62 Cadillac Dash
After removing the radio knobs, wiring to the clock, and mounting hardware, the bezel lifted off. Once loose, the button on the light switch could be pushed releasing the knob plunger and allowing the removal of the switch from the bezel.
Having two people during this point would help, but you know how that goes. Dude, "I'm going tubing! Sorry".
With the instrument cluster exposed it was just a matter of removing all the connections and four mounting bolts. I did have to drop the steering column cover plate for access to the speedometer cable and trip reset cable. That had three bolts. One had a special star head (I actually had the right socket).
With the instrument cluster on the bench I could not spin the speedometer head. Upon disassembly I found the gears stripped. After further inspection of the gear shaft that runs the odometer, the pilot hole had elongated. This allowed the gear enough wobble room to lock up and then strip. 62 Cadillac Dash Removed
I figured no problem. This would be a simple fix for a machine shop. Tig the gear on the wear spot and rework the area. Just because you have a welder, drill press, and lath in your shop doesn't mean your a machinist! Now that the part is completely worthless, I started a frantic search of the web.
In my opinion if you advertise 62 Cadillac parts and you only sell windshield wiper blades for a 62 Cadillac, you need to die for wasting my time. Some of these sights really suck! After hours of searching I found a sight that returned one junk yard in Indiana ( $176.02 for the instrument cluster with two day delivery seemed to be a bargain, but of course after three weeks I get an e-mail that somebody will sell me one for $55.
1962 Cadillac Speedometer
  The odometer received had 97885 miles on it. Mine had 95457. Inspection of the pilot hole, found it also starting to wear. I decided to engineer a repair. Using my speedometer head I drilled the pilot hole to .125 of an inch. (If I screwed it up, that left the other head undamaged.) Then cut a .125 " brass rod to fill the hole. After filling the hole with a two part epoxy. The brass rod was pressed into position. The epoxy dried and was ready to re-drill. With the head assembled the gears bound up. I used a dremel to ream the pilot hole. With the gears spinning smoothly, assembly could be complete. The brass left after drilling and reaming filled the elongation. That should give it a good thrust surface. Probably last for another 95,000.
1962 Cadillac Speedometer repair
During assembly of the gears it's important not to over lubricate. A molly based wheel bearing lube was used. After reinstalling the instrument cluster and dash, it was time to install the new cable. The new cable was three inches longer. Damn the wrong one! More wasted time looking for parts. I tried NAPA's universal cable kit 615-1796. The staking tool that comes with the kit seemed to be made of softer metal then the ferrule on the cable head it had to swage. The tool twisted in the vise failing to swage the ferrule. The cable head that is suppose to slide into the speedometer head was to long and bound up when tightened.(IHMO JUNK) What worked was Schuck's "HELP!" universal cable #10104. The staking tool was heavier and work fine in the vise. The cable head was the right size.
Speedometer cable crimp tool
The test ride went well. The odometer is on the money. The speedometer needs to be fine tuned. The odometer reading is now 95673 as of 7/24/04. I'll keep updating the mileage. We'll see how long my handy work lasts.
7/24/05 - 96142 miles and all is well.
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