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Discussion Starter #1
It is starting to warm up enough here to attempt to work on some things on my car. So I decided to attack my non working odometer/trip meter.

My spedometer works fine but my odometer and trip meter do not function at all.

I was wondering if anyone had an easy list of steps on how to remove the speedometer on aan AC car so I can have a look at it and probably have it shipped off for some repair.

thanks
jim
 

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Jim, you are in for a battle.

The word 'easy' does not fit in any sentence that includes 'speedometer' and 'removal'.

However, I have done it enough to know some very helpful steps.

First, start removing the ducting under the pad. It's all slip fit, and sometimes previous owners put in self tapping screws to keep them tight so watch for screws and duct tape.

Remove the A-pillar trim on both sides. This will mean removing the upper windshield trim as well.

Once the trim is out...and I can't stress how careful this process is, you have to remove the upper dash pad. Obviously get the screws that go up through the knee pads and gauge bezels, into the dash pad so it's free.

You'll have to 'bow' the dash in the middle, gently lifting up in the center. This will pull the sides of the dash pad inward, allowing them to clear the windshield frame pillars.

Again, BE CAREFUL. That dash is old and brittle and the covering will be very easy to crack. Once you get the dash pad out...have a cold beer, and relax for a few seconds.

From under the dash you can reach and disconnect the speedo and tach cables. Feel for them...you won't be able to see them.

Start removing the knee pad screws. There's one on the door jamb will need a stubby Phillips drive to get to.

Now, there is a main harness that runs over the top of the gauges that should be clipped to the birdcage. Keep it out of the way as much as possible so you can reach in and start disconnecting the bulb sockets from the backs of the gauges.

BE CAREFUL !!! The metal tangs that hold the sockets in the backs of the gauges are brittle and can break off, and the only thing holding the socket on the wire is the bulb contact crimp on the wire. This is also brittle and can easy pull out. So...when pulling the sockets out, don't use the wire or jerk on them at all.

The headlight harness is going to be tricky too but once the gauges are free from their wiring, you can get behind the side of the knee pad enough to get the harness off the headlight switch.

Remove the under trim from the column concealing the column support bolts. Remove those. Don't pull down hard on the column though as you can crack a lot of what's inside it.

Some will suggest you unbolt the column from the firewall, disconnect the rag joint, and slide the column into the cabin and rest it on the seat. This might help but this step is completely up to you. I have done this without removing the column every time.

Okay...more wrestling. Make sure at this point that you are not frustrated at all. Be calm and patient and ready to spend some time on this. Also, be prepared for the worst. As you tilt the knee pad towards you, the gauges will get caught on the firewall and wiring. The column molding on the knee pad will get caught on the column itself, and can bend and crack.

This will put pressure on both the pad around the column and the gauge bezels...which will be brittle and break easy. GO VERY SLOW, lots of subtle slow planned movements to release the gauge backs from the firewall as the knee pad slides up the column until it's free.

This is the step that can cost you the most money, so again, be very careful and go slow.

Once the pad is out you will have easy access to the speedo and can get it out for repairs.

Installing is basically a reverse of this operation. Just as slow and frustrating with just as many chances to break something.

Good luck.
 

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Since the dash has to come out to get to the speedometer, my advice is to learn to live with a non-working odo until the time other changes are needed.

I would not pull the dash solely for swapping a speedo head. The odo died in my 68 after I had the dash back in it. It's still dead (like yours), and it'll be that way for a while longer.

:thumbsup:
 

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im glad to see folks say what I had been thinking. My tach quit on me a while back, and I was thinking about what to do to fix it. (it seems to be the gauge itself not the filter) After reading up on the issue, it looked like it was going to be a monumental pain in the ass, so I said "welp, looks like that will get done when the interior as a whole is done." :laughing:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks D-B. I think I will at least try it. I don't like the idea of having items on my car that aren;t working. I also am not sure how I could explain to my insurance company how the mileage wasn't advancing. Since it has a low mileage portion to the coverage. :)
I will see how far I can make it. :)
 

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...I will at least try it...
Purchase the assembly instruction manual (AIM) for 69 before you dig into the project. The AIM is not a how-to, but the diagrams are useful when working on these cars.

My insurance company gave me the same song and dance concerning the non-working odo. I spoke to my agent and explained what would be needed to replace the speedo head. I also reminded him the odo was not working when he accepted the car with the occasional use 7500 mile annual limit. He then asked how the insurance company could be sure I was not using the car as a daily driver. I asked him how many 1968 Corvette convertibles he passed each day on his daily commute.

He said, "I see your point."

No questions since and I still haven't pulled the dash out again to replace the odo.

:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I started the process tonight. I started by taking the seats out so I could look at refurbishing them and reach stuff easier.
That's going to be another thread. :surprised

I got the upper winshield trim off (assuming you meant the soft trim on the inside and not the metal trim on the window).

Got to see how much rust I have at this location. Not to bad but going to have to work on it. The upper winshield trim was kinda stuck on but pulled off with not to much effort.

I went next for the A pillar. This is where I got stuck. I took a screw out of the upper portion. It was pretty obvious. I didn't notice a lower screw holding it. They didn't seem to be able to pulled off easily and I didn't want to force them. Is the bottom half have a screw holding it in something else? Or is it stuck on from sitting so long?

thanks
jim
 

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...Is the bottom half have a screw holding it in something else?...
My 69 AIM does not show a lower trim screw on the post trims. With the upper screws out, the only thing holding the trim should be the velcro.

I will repeat my advice to purchase the AIM. You'll use it for more than trim.

:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have the AIM on paper and on cd. I couldn't find the correct page for the upper a pillar molding. What page was it on ?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks mike. You inspired me to look again in my assembly manual and I found it on J114.

I got the top cover off and had the normal rust underneath. I don't belive it is as bad as what I've seen. It is rusty in a couple spots but solid. I plan on cleaning it up and using Por 15 on the entire area unless someone can think of a reason not to.







I got the A pillar covers off, once I knew velcro was holding them on. In case some one else attempts this, let it be known that they stick to the car even without the velcro due to the age.



Had pretty minimal rust that I will por 15 also.

I'll keep everyone up to date who may be interested as I complete this or fail.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just an update. I have gotten to the point of removing the wires from the tach and speedometer. I have already removed thier respective cables. I found removing the cables to be very easy. I thought it would be slide in clips that held them in, but they were push clips that stay with the instruments.

I've been using these very well described directions from Wilcox Corvette to help me get this far.
http://willcoxcorvette.com/instructions/dash_pad_removal_instructions_new_with_pics_2.pdf

This process has made me wonder if any corvette of any year was made exactly the same? :)
My dash pad has dimbles across it on the underneath. But only the two passenger side ones had screws that hald them onto the bird cage. Without removing the passenger dash pad, you could not remove my dash pad.

I am not sure why I had to remove the dash pad at this point. Seems like I could have lowered the column, undid the drivers dash pad and pulled slightly forward, unhook the healdlight switch, unhook the main wire harness that is looped onto the dash pad and than remove the cables and light wires.

All I do have left ( i believe ) is to remove all the wires from the back of the tach and speedo. This looks to be the hardest of the entire project for this car. Very hard to reach.

Can anyone tell me if the lights twist out or how they are connected to the tach and speedo?

thanks
jim
 

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...This process has made me wonder if any corvette of any year was made exactly the same?...
Yes and No. Corvettes were mass produced automobiles done on an assembly line. All of the same model vehicles were assembled in a similar manner and all will be essentially the same, BUT human beings put the cars together and no two humans are the same.

...I am not sure why I had to remove the dash pad at this point...
:agree:

The top pad does not have to be removed to remove either of the lower dashes or the center cluster. Some people remove the top pad for additional access to the rear of the gauges, but I've never found it necessary.

Illumination lights (gray wires) push in and are held in place with spring clips. Tell-Tale lamps (blinkers, Hi Beam, Brake etc.) usually require a quarter turn to install and remove.


:thumbsup:
 

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I am not sure why I had to remove the dash pad at this point. Seems like I could have lowered the column, undid the drivers dash pad and pulled slightly forward, unhook the healdlight switch, unhook the main wire harness that is looped onto the dash pad and than remove the cables and light wires.

Jim, sorry if my advice seems to have caused a bit more labor.

However, I have done this on 4 different C3 Corvettes, for a total of 6 times, and never once was I able to get the speedo and tach pad out without removing the upper dash.

I have tried several times though, and it may fall on differences between the pads themselves. I haven't performed that task on anything as early as your Vette.

Mike - All the lights on the back of the gauge cans are push in and the sockets have metal tangs that snap into the holes.

Image courtesy of Art.

 

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Discussion Starter #14
I couldn't get my dash to come all the way out. I got it unhooked and I try to do the trick where you bend it in the middle so that it will squeeze out. I decided it wasn't worth the risk in breaking the pad. I can move it up a few inches, but it doesn't seem to give me any more leverage at reaching the wires on the panel or help in removing the panel when its disconnected. I havent got the panel out yet so maybe it will be helpful inthe end.

I will report everything on this thread and have pictures later so people who search for thuis procedure in the future might have it a little easier.

The one wire I reached for yesterday, looks to be the lower left one on the passenger side of that picture. It loks like it says gray on thier so it must be a gray wire.

If the wires are all pull out clip style, do you just pull straight out backwards ?

thanks
 

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If the wires are all pull out clip style, do you just pull straight out backwards ?

thanks

Yes, but don't pull the wires. Pull the socket itself.

The wire's contact for the bulb is crimped on and they pull out very easily at their age.

The metal tangs snap into the metal can hole and are the ground...which is what the spade terminals are at the bottom...grounds. That wire and crimped contact are very important and you can preserve them by pulling the sockets instead of the wires.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Stage one complete! :partyon:








I did have some new questions. I notice on the picture below if you look closely, my car has a vacuum/eletrical device attached to the bottom left of the back of tachometer.
I know I took off the electrical and vacuum hose on the left part of it, but I only took on hose off the right. It is hard to see, but there is one hose attachment spot facing the camera and one going to the right. I believe I pulled the one heading to the right. Anyone know what this device does and maybe what hose I might be missing onthe right portion of it?




Finally, I also found on the passenger side, what I assume are amps or something for the original radio I know longer have. Am I correct?

 

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Speedo removal

Hey guy
I did the same to my car 69 BB ragtop. I didnt remove the trim nor the dash
but i did take all the speedo panel out by just dropping the column i also removed the small gauges for easier access and removal of the speedo dash.

yes, it wasnt fun, but a learning experience. one thing you cant do with out... patience,
 

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speedo

THAT little thingy you pointed out behiend the tach is the wiper door vacuum control solenoid. it has to do with adjusting and controling the vac to the wiper door.

those other parts are for your original radio. if you dont have the original radio any more, do you want to sell those pieces....
let me know
 

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speedo

Jim

I will be taking mine apart again. No I'm not a masochist, but i'm putting in a speed minder speedo, and i also need to rplace the tach.

Oh, the odometer just for your info, the way it resets is by pushing up on the reset cable and turn it clockwise, some times a bit of WD40 cleans it up and it will work. it did with mine.
worth a try.... good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Jim

I will be taking mine apart again. No I'm not a masochist, but i'm putting in a speed minder speedo, and i also need to rplace the tach.

Oh, the odometer just for your info, the way it resets is by pushing up on the reset cable and turn it clockwise, some times a bit of WD40 cleans it up and it will work. it did with mine.
worth a try.... good luck
Do you mean how the trip counter resets? MY odometer and trip counter or both not working.

Does those amps in the car mean my car with a fm/am radio or something else ?
 
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