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89 Toyota Pickup Speedometer Question

After six winters of enduring the whirring, squealing, whining sounds and the speedometer needle jumping all over the place, I finally had my speedo cable replaced this week as I was told it was the problem. However, it is still making noise. It sounds like it is coming from directly behind the speedometer display in the dash. Could it be that the speedo head needs lubricated? If so, is graphite the best thing to use and what is the easiest way to get to it? And the biggest question of all, why wouldn’t the repair shop have done it when they pulled the dash and replaced the cable to the tune of $300? Haha.

It does sound like you have an issue with the speedo head, but there is nothing saying that there is any good way of lubricating it. The shop replaced the speedo cable because it the problem was indicative of a cable in desperate need of lubrication. I can’t really fault them for that (300 bucks seems a little excessive, though!)

I think in the end you will probably end up replacing the speedometer. If you keep an eye out on eBay Motors, you can usually find stuff like that pretty cheaply (Toyota pickup parts seem to be a dime a dozen).

same noise ?

better noise?

different noise?

BANDIT …east bound and DOWN!

The speedo head cannot be lubricated. It’s integrated into the instrument cluster and the assemblage is not openable without breaking plastic.

I’ve had the instrument cluster out twice on my 1989 Toyota pickup to change the bulbs, so I have some familiarity with this setup.

I’m going to delve into some technical terminology here. Usually the chirpa chripa chirpa noise associated with the bouncing needle is a sign of a bad cable and the grinda grinda grinda or the whirring grinding noise is the speedometer head. It’s entirely possible that both could be bad. How many miles are one it?

There’s usually no lubricating the speedometer head-- if it’s noisy it needs to be changed. A whole junkyard instrument cluster would probably be the best solution. Since they probably ought to have checked the head while they had it apart, I’d definitely go politely complain to the shop and maybe suggest that they could install the instrument cluster you just picked up from the junkyard for cheap or free to make good with you.

Only 175,000 miles on it. The sound used to be a screeching horrible noise that would then decrease to a whirring noise. Now, the noise seems to be mostly just the whirring noise that sounds like a really obnoxious hamster wheel…in other words, it sounds like something rotating which is why I was wondering if it is coming from where the cable attaches to the back of the instrument panel. If I have the cluster replaced, what do I have to do (legally) as far as the odometer reading goes?

Your Department of Transportation should be able to provide some guidance on this question.