Speedometer cable on a 1978 GL 1000 failing


Information and questions on GL1000 Goldwings (1975-1979)
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ELC
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Location: Parker, Colorado
Motorcycle: 1978 GL 1000 Ltd

Speedometer cable on a 1978 GL 1000 failing

Postby ELC » Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:42 pm



Folks, I have a 1978 GL1000 and have replaced the speedometer cable 3 times in the last 2000 miles. I bought the bike in 1991 with roughly 110,000 miles on it. The speedometer cable originally on the bike finally gave up the ghost at mile 153,358. The cable snapped in close proximity to the attachment to the gear box on the front axle. It lived a good life so I didn't give it a second thought. I bought a cable from Babbitts and installed it per the instructions on viewtopic.php?f=11&t=2011. Lubed it with "Dri Slide Bike Aid". The Speedometer quit working after about 1,600 miles. I turned out that the "thingy" (What is this thingy called?) attached to the cable at the wheel end had come loose from the cable?!?? and spun nicely in the gear box and around the cable &%^*#. I attached a drill to the cable and tested the speedometer itself which worked just fine. I installed a new cable ( delivered 7/16) per the link and after 10 miles the same thing happened. Well luckily I had purchased 2 cables and figured that the third time is a charm, no such luck. I installed the third cable 7/17 and after 40 miles the speedometer quit working. I'm thinking it's a manufacturing defect where the "thingy" is crimped on to the cable, it slides on and off the cable and spins around the cable, hence the speedometer not registering. Any thoughts? I'm really tired of this game. Thanks ELC



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dingdong
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Re: Speedometer cable on a 1978 GL 1000 failing

Postby dingdong » Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:19 am

Could you describe exactly what you mean by the cable "disconnecting" from the gearbox. Sounds like you have a defective gearbox but not sure by your description.

Edit: Disregard this post I see you have a second thread going with a better description. Confusing!
Tom

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

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dingdong
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Re: Speedometer cable on a 1978 GL 1000 failing

Postby dingdong » Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:40 am

If the drive fork end is coming loose from the cable there has to be a problem at the speedo or the cables are defective and not crimped properly. Do you have a crimping tool the re-crimp the fork back on?
Tom

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

ELC
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Re: Speedometer cable on a 1978 GL 1000 failing

Postby ELC » Tue Jul 19, 2016 12:04 pm

Hi Dingdong, So the "thingy" is called a "drive fork". I felt like an idiot attempting to describe the part to the manufacturer as well as the vendor. I wish I had a crimping tool, thought about using pliers but was afraid I'd squish the drive fork. If the vendor folks take back the two cables I bought a week ago I'll try to do something with the one out of warranty and see if that works, I might even try to solder it in place.

Thank you for your assistance

ELC

ELC
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Re: Speedometer cable on a 1978 GL 1000 failing

Postby ELC » Tue Jul 19, 2016 12:28 pm

Folks here's a picture of the problem:



I can push the fork drive back on the cable, spin the drive and with a gentle tug remove it from the cable. By the way the cable is in excellent condition.

I hope this helps.

Thanks,

ELC

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dingdong
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Re: Speedometer cable on a 1978 GL 1000 failing

Postby dingdong » Wed Jul 20, 2016 7:32 am

At this point I would go with a different manufacturer. Third time not a charm in this case.
Tom

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

ELC
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Re: Speedometer cable on a 1978 GL 1000 failing

Postby ELC » Wed Jul 20, 2016 3:48 pm

Hi Dingdong,

Any suggestions for other manufacturers? These parts were made by Honda; "Genuine Parts, Honda Motor Ltd" and you would think they'd have their act together!

Take care,

ELC

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redbug
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Re: Speedometer cable on a 1978 GL 1000 failing

Postby redbug » Wed Jul 20, 2016 8:11 pm

Here is a thought.. Look up universal speedometer cable on ebay and it will show a crimping tool that comes with the cable plus different ends.. Back in the day you could go to the parts store or a speedometer gauge repair shop and buy the internal cable, measure to fit and crimp the cable with the tool. If you look at the crimper tool kinda looks you could fab a tool and repair the cable you have. We would put the tool in a vise and squeeze but still give it a love tap with the ball peen.
" Ridin on Tulsa Time "

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dingdong
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Re: Speedometer cable on a 1978 GL 1000 failing

Postby dingdong » Thu Jul 21, 2016 7:24 am

When you used the drill to spin the cable, did it seem to turn free? It should turn in the speedo even with your fingers. Just thinking there may be a problem in the speedo. ??? Difficult to diagnose at this point. Does seem strange that OEM cables are defective but not impossible. Probably farmed out to China. I would be figuring out a method for re-crimping one of them.
Tom

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

ELC
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Re: Speedometer cable on a 1978 GL 1000 failing

Postby ELC » Thu Jul 21, 2016 10:10 am

Hi Dingdong,

The cable spun easily when I used my fingers. I only used to drill to determine if the speedometer would register a speed and would remain constant when rotated faster than my fingers could do the job.

Thanks for all the suggestions from everyone,

ELC

ELC
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Re: Speedometer cable on a 1978 GL 1000 failing

Postby ELC » Fri Jul 22, 2016 7:56 pm

Hi Dingdong,

Well I used some JB weld original. This stuff worked quite well, the cable broke after 4.2 miles but the drive fork did not separate from the cable. The cable turns freely but my fingers aren't good enough to get the speedo up to 40 mph (ha ha). I'm looking at repairing the speedo and looking for a "new" speedo.

Take care,

ELC

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dingdong
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Re: Speedometer cable on a 1978 GL 1000 failing

Postby dingdong » Sat Jul 23, 2016 6:56 am

Yeah! Looks like there has to be a problem in the speedo. Good luck.
Tom

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

ELC
Posts: 13
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Motorcycle: 1978 GL 1000 Ltd

Re: Speedometer cable on a 1978 GL 1000 failing

Postby ELC » Sat Jul 30, 2016 9:19 pm

Hi Dingdong,

I installed the new speedo and when test driving I noticed the needle on the speedo didn't move at while the old one jiggled a tad. Something was obviously malfunctioning. Just wanted you to see some Monday morning quaterbacking.

Take care,

ELC

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dingdong
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Re: Speedometer cable on a 1978 GL 1000 failing

Postby dingdong » Sun Jul 31, 2016 7:59 am

Great. Thanks for the update.
Tom

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

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Solina Dave
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Re: Speedometer cable on a 1978 GL 1000 failing

Postby Solina Dave » Sun Jul 31, 2016 2:08 pm

ELC wrote:Hi Dingdong,

I installed the new speedo and when test driving I noticed the needle on the speedo didn't move at while the old one jiggled a tad. Something was obviously malfunctioning. Just wanted you to see some Monday morning quaterbacking.

Take care,

ELC


I see that you just installed a new speedometer. If you got one that was suitable in 7 days, that's pretty good.
Just a thought, although you did said the cable turned the speedometer easily. About 6 years ago I was having the same problem on my '78 GL. The cable broke at the wheel end, and I replaced it with a new OEM cable core. It broke right away. I thought that maybe it was getting hung up inside the plastic sheath, and then breaking, so I installed a new cable and sheath. That worked for 95 kms., and then it broke again. I thought, that although the speedometer was working quite easily, manually, I'd try a little spray lubricant into the speedometer cable input. I figured that I didn't have much to lose before some serious speedometer surgery, or replacement. I let it soak for the rest of the day, and installed a new cable core. That was 107,000 kms. ago, and it's still hangin' in there.
Like I said, just a thought..................................Dave
"Assume Nothing"

sfruechte
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Re: Speedometer cable on a 1978 GL 1000 failing

Postby sfruechte » Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:42 am

I had the same problem with my tachometer thirty some years ago. Dealer told me I needed a new tachometer but it turned very easy. I quit buying (Honda) tach cables for a year or more and just went without the tach. Eventually I bought another cable and it has worked for a couple hundred thousand miles and thirty some years. Evidently Honda had some bad tach cables in the pipeline.




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