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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently while on the interstate, I noticed the speedometer in my 77 Tradesman had quit working (needle sits at bottom and doesn't move at all). When I got home, I disconnected the cable (which is only 2 years old) and checked it but it looked fine as did the end that attaches to the trans.

Today, I went to the local Pull-A-Part and picked-up a used cable and a speedo pinion gear (which more closely matches my tire size) and swapped them in, but the speedo still didn't work.

Then I swapped in another speedo from my spare-parts collection, but it didn't work either! I am making sure the cable is fully seated at both ends. My van has had many electrical problems in the past so I have had plenty of practice pulling/replacing gauge cluster.

What am I missing? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
 

· voo doo 1 I am buggin out
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it could be the speedometer itself, or you dont have the gear in the transmission corectly seated. I had that problem on an older duster I owned and it was the way the gear was put in the transmission side, I didnt align it correctly
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I doubt it is the speedo since I swapped the old, functional, original one back in (I replaced the entire cluster last year) and that didn't help. I also made sure the gear housing was properly seated in the trans with the notch in the housing lined-up with the alignment dot on the trans case and made sure it was indexed for the proper tooth-count range (29-tooth gear in 26-31 tooth range on housing). I have also tried loosening the retaining bolt and wiggling the housing around to make sure it is fully engaged/seated.

The only thing I can think of is whatever drives the pinion gear in the trans is broken. Can't seem to find my factory service manual either. What a lousy day... :mad:
 

· voo doo 1 I am buggin out
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Well the way to check that is pull the gear out of the side of the tranny and see if the gear is worn or not inside the transmission, you should be able to see it. My father has some older Dodge manuals and will look at them some time tommorow and post what I can to help you. I do not remeber the exact way to install the speedo gear in the tranny but if I am not mistaken it has to be twisted in till it almost stops then align the notch but like I said I will look thru his manuals and see what I can post to help you, what tranny do you have? the 727 or ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The used speedo cable, pinion gear, and gear housing all came from a '79 Dodge pickup as they were as close to what I needed as I could find at the wrecking yard (no 71-77 vans).

The parts appeared to be the same design as my olds ones but did have at least two differences. The cable from the pickup was about 18" shorter, so I had to drill a new hole underneath the bulkhead connector so the cable would reach the speedo.

Since I grabbed the junkyard parts as an assembly, I just removed my pinion gear/housing and quickly replaced it with the pickup one to avoid loosing much trany fluid.

What I initally failed to notice though, was that the gear housing from the pickup had a shorter "tailshaft" (see photo) that my vans original gear housing. I guess the pinion gear couldn't make contact with the drive gear in the trans.



I swapped my original back in and everything works again.

Thanks for all your suggestions fellow vanners!
 

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· voo doo 1 I am buggin out
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Well that would do it, even though I am not a vanner but am a mopar fan always willing to help out if I can.
 
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