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95.5-2004 Tacomas & 96-2002 4Runners 4th gen pickups and 3rd gen 4Runners

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Old 02-23-2010, 04:22 PM   #1
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Noise from speedometer, electric or cable? and how to fix

SOOO I know that a lot of guys have had the problem of their speedometer making a lot of super annoying noise when it is cold outside and then once the interior is warmed up or after you drive a while it goes away. Well I have the same problem. I have search quite a bit and haven't had much luck in finding what I need. First off, what is it exactly that is making this noise? Is it the speedometer cable or some some little gears inside the gauge cluster? Secondly I have seen that some guys have said that they have electric speedometers.. if that is so in my case does that mean there is no speedometer cable to lubricate to fix the noise. Thirdly how do I tell if I have an electric speedometer or not? Fourthly how do you fix the noise. I haven't found any write-ups on how this is done. I have heard guys say they pull the dash apart and shoot a lubricant down in the cable but I hear that can be a pain, which I can deal with I just need some pointers. Finally if this is what I have to do then what lubricant do you put in there? I have heard several suggestions and I don't know what has been found to work the best. I have heard: dry graphite, wet graphite, white lithium, and bicycle chain lube. What do you think?
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Old 02-24-2010, 07:03 AM   #2
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It must really be bothering you. Winter will be over soon.

When I first bought my Tacoma and was going to Utah State University, in Logan UT 8-9 years ago (where it is colder than a witches tit in a brass bra) this happened all the time.

It seems like even in the coldest mornings here it doesnt happen any more. I can't remember it bothering me for 4-5 years.

Missouri must be miseribly cold
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Old 02-24-2010, 09:51 AM   #3
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Yeah it seems if it goes down below freezing I have this problem, its been pretty cold this year. It has just starting to get warm enough to were I feel comfortable working on it, I ahve broken too many plastic pieces in the cold before to want to do this until now. But I'm not sure on the procedure. So did you ever do anything about yours making that noise?
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Old 02-24-2010, 10:40 AM   #4
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I never did anything about it. At first it worried me, but after years of waiting for it to break, it never did. I think it just fixed itself. That or I have not been living in a super cold place for awhile. I dont think I would want to crack open the dash though. That noise is annoying, but after you take your dash appart, you will probably be making an even more annoying sound in the dash that is harder to fix.

If you tear your dash apart, take pictures.
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Old 02-24-2010, 10:40 AM   #5
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Wow thats funny I just had the same problem the other day on my 96 Taco but I chocked it up to having high kms. I have in the past used white lithium grease in the gear hole that the cable went into but that was on a older 4runner.
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:52 PM   #6
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So there is a cable going into the back of the gauge cluster that if I pull it out I can lubricate inside of it on these years? No electric speedometers?
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:02 PM   #7
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I have a 96 Taco, and on mine the speedo is cable driven. I don't know all the specifics on what year/model configurations have cable driven speedos and electronic speedos. It is very easy to tell, crawl under the truck and look toward the rear of the tranny on the pass side to see if there is a cable there or an electrical connection and you have your answer.

I pulled my dash apart a few weeks ago to fix a different problem with the speedo. I made a video of it, and I also show where the speedometer cable would be under the truck. I feel that if you are somewhat mechanically inclined, it is a easy job.

Its a two part video on my youtube channel.

http://www.youtube.com/user/talleddie81
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:31 AM   #8
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WOW man you video is so helpful! So what was your original problem? What did you use to clean it then lubricate it? Did you lube the cable at all?
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:52 AM   #9
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My problem was apparently a very rare one, took a lot of searching to find any info for repairing. Basically, the speedometer would read much faster than I was actually going.

For example, I would start accelerating in 1st (speedometer was at zero), and before I would shift to 2nd, the speedometer would already be reading 110 mph and stay there until I stopped.

I lubed the speedometer with silicone spray. I did read that you are supposed to use clock oil, not sure what that is. But I was just experimenting to see if I could fix it. Right now it is still working great, if the problem returns in the future maybe I will search out clock oil and use that to fix it.

I didn't lube the cable, was having no problems with it, if it ain't broke don't fix it.

Glad the video helped you.

i will be making more as I do some more repairs.
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:00 AM   #10
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i just put a new speedo cable in the other day. it came with a small tube of pee yellow grease. the grease didn't look special, but the FSM probably specifies a particular lube if you want to look up what Toyota suggests. the directions with the aftermarket cable i bought at auto zone said to pull the cable out of the casing, and rub the grease into the cable with your fingers. not so the casing is full of goo, but just so the cable, which is a giant coil, has grease packed into it end to end.

make sure there's no significant bends in it anywhere, and that it enters into the speedo as straight as possible. the first one i put in, i was not so diligent and it lasted all of a half hour before the end broke off from over flex.
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:16 PM   #11
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Thanks again TallEddie for the videos I will be looking forward to more in the future, you did a great job with the editing and explaining everything as you do it. So TJ as far a lubing the cable goes is there any way to lube just the end close to the dash? If not would like a dry lube of some sort be the best option for lubrication. I wouldn't think I should lube the whole thing since the noise is so close to the dash.
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Old 02-27-2010, 06:55 AM   #12
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Nice videos, great work! I have been having the same problem lately with my 95 making noise....I have heard to lubricate the cable with motorcycle chain lube and that is what I am planning to do. I hope it works.
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Old 02-28-2010, 06:56 PM   #13
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Wonder how similar that is to bicycle chain lube?
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Old 02-01-2011, 12:36 PM   #14
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So I have put in a brand new cable and the problem with the noise in cold weather still persists. I am still not sure what to think about this problem. I have a couple of theories: one is that the noise is from the plastic sheath around the actual cable contracting in the cold and causing friction and thus my noise. Or its something in the speedometer itself. possible old lubricant getting gummed up or something, but I am not sure why that would make this noise. this faqs page got me thinking a little with the first two entries http://www.speedometershop.com/rep-pag.htm... I would really love to hear some more thoughts on this issue if ANYONE has any.
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Old 02-01-2011, 12:36 PM
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4runner, 4x4, 99, cable, cold, driven, electric, electronic, fix, grease, key, lube, lubrication, noise, speedometer

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