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Speedometer stuck, and lesson learned

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by nhsteve, Aug 7, 2019.

  1. nhsteve

    nhsteve XS650 Addict XS650.com Supporter

    True confessions here!

    Working on a '78 standard model that overall seemed in good condition. Decided to add a second disc to it as I had most of the bits. So, in the process of re-assembling the front end and installing the speedometer drive unit on the wheel, I discovered that the end of the cable had been twisted right off inside the unit. Attempts to remove the broken-off end all failed. But, they are inexpensive on "that site" second-hand, so I went that way (time expedient you know!). Got a decent second-hand one, cleaned it and lubed it up, new cable, and, as the Brits say: " Bob's yer uncle"!

    Not quite. First spin around the block and, hey, no speedometer! Whazup?? :shrug:
    Pulling off the end of the (new) cable from the speedo drive shows that the end of the cable has twisted right off in the drive. Hmmmm.... I've been here before.
    And then, the light bulb goes off! Checking up at the meter demonstrates that that sucker is locked up tight, which meant that end of the cable was held in one place while the other end twisted itself off. :doh::doh:

    I happened to have snagged a working second-hand meter earlier this year, so with another cable I will be functional. Just sharing my failure to really assess the situation fully, and think through just why:umm: the cable had broken that way. Sometimes I get excited and just want to 'get on with it'.

    So I'm going to try to slow down a bit, and maybe make better time in the shop.

    My failures are the only things I think I ever really own!:cheers:
  2. OHRider

    OHRider XS650 Addict XS650.com Supporter

    I had the same break a brand new cable.
    Jim likes this.
  3. MaxPete

    MaxPete Lucille, Betty & Demi - I suggest but THEY decide. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Yup - the speedo on my '76 Standard (the redoubtable Lucille :yikes:) has been acting up recently too.

    The needle bobs around quite a bit in the 50-65 MPH range and every so often, the trip meter adds 100 miles to its reading. I had more than 475 miles on a single tank of fuel recently!

    Anybody got a spare green faced speedo they'd be willing to sell?

    Machine likes this.
  4. Machine

    Machine Race the wind Top Contributor

    hmmm :whistle:
    78E, Robins bike the same ? How is that Speedo?
    How many XS’s you got MaxPete ?
    MaxPete likes this.
  5. Machine

    Machine Race the wind Top Contributor

    nhsteve, how’s that front end going ?
    Pics please ..
  6. MaxPete

    MaxPete Lucille, Betty & Demi - I suggest but THEY decide. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    I've now got three Randy and the speedo on the '78E is different - plus THAT bike needs one too. ;)
  7. Machine

    Machine Race the wind Top Contributor

    Perhaps one of these days we’ll chat more bout that
    MaxPete likes this.
  8. MaxPete

    MaxPete Lucille, Betty & Demi - I suggest but THEY decide. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

  9. DogBunny

    DogBunny Motorcychologist Top Contributor

    It is very easy to test speedos and tachs.
    Get a common nail of appropriate diameter, and cut the head off. With a bench grinder or similar, make one end of the nail square, just like a cable end. Chuck the nail up into a hand-held drill, put drill in reverse, and spin your speedo or tach with the nail. You want to see smooth, fairly quick, responsive needle movement.
    lakeview, Machine and MaxPete like this.
  10. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    I clip the ends off old speedo and tach cables, then use them like DogBunny says. I make them about 6" long. I can spin them by hand or chucked up in a drill. While renovating some tachs last winter, I encountered a couple that were "stuck". It was the drive part that the cable sticks into. I managed to free them up with penetrating oil and then turning my little cable "tool" with a small crescent wrench fitted onto the square section.
    nj1639 likes this.
  11. 650Skull

    650Skull SSSSSSSSSlither Top Contributor

    could be the glue holding the cable drive to the meter has deteriorated...........or the spindle has come loose in the housing, or the cogs are worn.......
    IMG_7267  crop text copy.jpg IMG_7264.JPG IMG_7263.JPG
    nhsteve likes this.
  12. OHRider

    OHRider XS650 Addict XS650.com Supporter

    Is there anybody out that rebuilds speedometers. I have a box of them.
  13. Brassneck

    Brassneck XS650 Guru

    These guys do VW, not sure about yamaha...but might be worth a call?
  14. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    We usually tear into them ourselves, lol. Some can't be fixed by us because of obviously broken parts (like the spring), but you can usually piece together a few good ones from a bunch of bad ones. I think the #1 reason for pulling them apart is because of screws falling out of the face plates. There's a few good threads around here on how to tear these things down.
    nj1639 and MaxPete like this.
  15. MaxPete

    MaxPete Lucille, Betty & Demi - I suggest but THEY decide. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    I sent them an enquiry and will report back. Seems to be mainly a German car shop....
    Brassneck likes this.
  16. nhsteve

    nhsteve XS650 Addict XS650.com Supporter

    First, I was wanting to share my failure to really think through what was happening with (in this case) the speedo/drive, in hopes that another member might benefit. The speedometer is really bound right up. I've put some light oil (Kroil) to the end of the speedo, maybe it will seep in and free up. I think using a drill at this point will break something. Patience required at this point ( something that at times I am short of :doh:)!

    As requested, a couple of pics of the dual disc front end all assembled, & of the bike. Another issue now is a totally black carbon left side plug, in contrast to a "decent" right hand one. So on to the next problem, oh well :shrug:

    Attached Files:

    nj1639 and MaxPete like this.
  17. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    You have a wonderful bike there, well worth your time and effort, but I'll admit to being partial to that model because I own one myself, lol. I can see you still have lots of polishing to do (forks, rims, side cases) and some needed "fixes" pop out at me. You'll want to brace your centerstand tang or eventually it will break off. I think I also see the original rubber washers on the acorn head nuts. It also looks like you still have the original type D cam chain tensioner in place, the one with no lock nut. You should update that to a type E.
  18. Norton7d

    Norton7d XS650 Junkie

    Updating cam chain locking nut, is it as simple as out with old and in with new?
    What is the complete list of parts necessary to update a stock 76 to the better year?
  19. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Yes, it's a pretty simple upgrade consisting of just adding and swapping a couple of parts. See posts 22 and 23 here for all the details .....


    I consider this a "must do" mod if you have a type D equipped motor. You run the risk of prematurely stretching out your cam chain if you run the type D tensioner. Type E tensioner assemblies can usually be found on eBay for around $20, a small price to pay for this much needed and important mod.
  20. Norton7d

    Norton7d XS650 Junkie

    Ok, so If possible, i switch to a late E set up. I did find it odd when checking cam chain, no luck nut and the cap bolt may or may not change prior setting, when I removed the cap nut, i did find prior setting was too tight, which goes to your point.
    So because I already have a 6 bolt cover, i only need the internals, or do they typically get sold as a complete unit on Ebay.
    Also, are individual post numbered?

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