Re: Stewart's 1955 Packard 400

Posted by HH56 on 2021/7/27 0:10:55
Disconnect the cable housing at the speedometer and pull the cable out of the housing. If the able was properly assembled the cable will pull out easily because the upper end has a wide flange that prevents the cable from falling into the housing and the bottom end is just a squared off end of the cable. Use caution and maybe a towel or rags to catch and coil the cable so the cable does not flop around and get grease on the carpet or upholstery.

Take the time to examine the cable for any damage or loose strands. You can do this visually or use care and a rag to wipe the cable free of the old grease. Watch or feel to see if any strands catch on the cloth. Don't use bare fingers because a broken strand can catch your finger resulting in choice words and maybe blood. After that, check for any hidden kinks by holding the cable in the middle high enough so the ends hang down. Gently roll the cable between your thumb and finger so the cable will rotate. While doing this watch the ends and make sure they are also smoothly rotating. If there is a kink generally one of the hanging ends will whip or make a sudden movement instead of a gentle rotation. Broken strands or kinks and you should start looking for a new cable.

Most parts stores have universal inner cables with assortments of fittings in the package, one of which will work for Packards. On the universal cables you buy the one longer than the original length and follow the instructions to cut the excess off the non squared end with a cold chisel or Dremel cut off wheel to match the original cable length. The new end fitting is installed -- some crimp, some glue, and some have an adhesive in the fitting that is melted and the fitting slipped over the cut cable end before it cools.

If the cable checks good or is new, then starting at the bottom end apply a decent layer of speedometer cable lube or light grease to the bottom two thirds of the cable. Coil the cable as you apply the grease so the cable can be easily handled as you carry it back to the car and start the end back into the housing. As the cable nears full insertion you may need to rotate it slightly so the squared bottom end can slide into the pinion assembly. The grease on the bottom two thirds of the cable will transfer to the walls at the upper end of the housing and provide enough lubricant for the upper third of the cable not greased. Only lubing the bottom portion will prevent any excess grease from working its way up the housing and dripping out or working into the speedometer.

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