There are two basic styles of speedometers, in this tutorial we are going to be cover a manual speedo. Other names for this type of speedometer are magnetic speedometer, manual speedometer or eddy current speedometer. All speedometers that were built from 1900 to about 1990 where this style of speedometer. This speedometer is operated by a rotating gear from the transmission that is fed up to the speedometer, a shaft is rotated and a magnetic spindle is turned via a magnet to show the speed of the vehicle. In some of our other tutorials we go into detail about this type of speedometer, how to repair, calibrate and fix a broken speedometer.
Exploded View of a Speedometer
Method 1: Holding speedcup and twisting speedometer needle.
When removing the needle it is nice to know what parts are what on your speedometer. The below picture is of the speedcup and this is what rotates when the vehicle is in motion.
The best way to know if you have found the speedcup is to turn the speedometer manually on the back of the speedometer and you should see it turn. Some speedometers actually have a field plate over the speedcup so you will want to make sure that you are holding the correct piece of the speedometer with your index finger for the next step.
With one finger on the speedcup take your other hand and turn the speedometer needle clock wise. Since the speedcup of the speedometer shaft is held in position the needle can easily be turned without damaging anything. Once you feel the needle release some tension then you can pull up on it. Some speedometers can be a little tricky and this method just won’t work which we will cover below.
Method 2: The fork method.
Yes a fork, why you ask? A fork can apply equal pressure to both sides of the needle base which is key to pulling the speedometer needle this way. Selecting your fork is also a big part of making you you do this step correctly, you will want a nice durable and think fork that doesn’t bend easy. After you find your fork place it under the speedometer needle base like in the picture and push down on it. Be careful not to push to hard, the needle should come off fairly easy. If the needle doesn’t come off then venture on to the next method, if the below method doesn’t work you may need to use a combination of the pliers and the fork in this step to pull your speedometer needle.
Method 3: Plier & twist method.
Some speedometer needles will just not budge either because they are old and the metal has expanded or they have been glued in. A good thing to do before continuing on with this step is take some WD-40 or spray lubricant and put a little between where the needle pin shaft meets with the needle base and give it about 5 minutes. This will allow it to soak in and might help out since you have tried the other methods. The next step is to take a look at the side of the speedometer and find a location to clamp on your pliers. You will want to clamp the pliers on the needle pin shaft which is the tiny rod that is hooked to the speedometer needle. One you have clamped it on you can use the twist method or the fork method depending on how much force it needed to pull the needle.