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1979-1993 Mustang Speedometer Cable & Gear - Review & Install
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Published on 2016-12-19
If your speedometer (with speed sensor) is not reading or the needle is jumping all over the place, chances are you need to replace the speedometer cable. This Mustang Speedometer Cable is a direct replacement for 1979-93 Mustangs with cruise control and/or EFI (electronic fuel injection). This Mustang speedometer cable replacement does not include the firewall grommet; you must re-use your original.
If your speedometer (without speed sensor) is not reading or the needle is jumping all over the place, chances are you need to replace the speedometer cable. This reproduction Mustang speedometer cable is a direct replacement for your 79-85 Mustang with carburetor and without cruise control. The cable to transmission o-ring & firewall grommet are not included.
Mustang Fitment: 1979-1993 Mustang with speed sensor.
1979-1985 Mustang with carburetor and without cruise control.
Speedometer Cable w/ speed sensor:
Speedometer Cable w/o speed sensor:
How’s it going everybody? Landan with Late Model Restoration. This video will cover my quick overview and install on these replacement speedometer cables designed for the 1979 to 1993 Fox Mustang.
The speedometer cable starts at the back of the gauge cluster, exits out of the firewall, makes its way down the underside of the car making its final stop at the transmission. This cable is needed to translate drivetrain revolutions into a numerical, easy to read number so you know just how fast you’re going.
Often times, a tell-tale sign of a defective speedometer cable is a jumping or unstable needle, or you simply don’t have a reading at all. Each of these cables are a direct replacement for their intended applications.
Of the two variants the first cable is designed for 1979 to 1985 carbureted Mustangs without cruise control. This cable measures in at approximately seventy-six inches. For some reason your 79 to 85 car is equipped with cruise, you’ll need the cable that is designed for the speed sensor.
Speaking of the speed sensor, all EFI or fuel injected Fox Bodys came equipped with a speed sensor. Whether it has cruise control or it doesn’t, from the factory those care were equipped with a speed sensor. This particular cable designed for the speed sensor equipped cars measures in at approximately seventy-one and half inches.
Before installing the cable into your car, it is required that you remove the cable from the outer sheath and use the provided lubricant to lube the cable. Once that is done, simply slide the cable back into the sheath. Failure to do this will cause a jumpy speedo needle and will result in premature cable failure.
I’ll be doing the work on a 1988 coupe so some things will obviously differ depending on your car.
To remove your old cable, begin by removing the upper and lower steering column trim pieces.
Next, remove the retaining screws securing the lower dash.
Set the dash piece aside and remove the lower metal support plate.
Set this aside and then grab a flat head screwdriver.
Use this screwdriver to release the tabs from the headlight switch and emergency flasher switch.
Carefully pull them forward and disconnect the electrical connections.
Go ahead and remove the four cluster surround screws.
There will be two on the bottom and two on the top.
Carefully remove the cluster surround from the car.
Now, remove the five attaching screws that retain the gauge cluster to the dash.
Once removed, pull the cluster forward and disconnect the electrical connections.
To release the speedometer cable, squeeze the white clip and slide it out of the cluster.
Set the cluster aside.
Pop the hood and locate the cable at the firewall.
Pull it out of the grommet and then remove the grommet.
In our case, this one was totally dry rotted and will need to be replaced along with the new cable.
We carry both automatic and manual speedometer cable grommets at LMR.com
Grommet locations are different depending on the transmission in our Mustang.
If you have a manual transmission the speedo cable enters just to the left of the clutch cable and throttle cable.
If you have an automatic transmission, the speedo cable enters where the clutch cable would be.
Support the car via a lift or jack stands.
In our case, we removed the mid-pipe to provide a better understanding.
The mid-pipe does not have to be removed to service the speedometer cable.
Pry back the metal body clip to free the cable.
Remove the retaining bolt that secure the cable to the frame rail via a cable bracket.
Pull the cable down and under the car.
Remove the retaining bolt that secures the cable to the transmission.
Slide the cable out of the transmission and remove it from the car.
Pry open the cable bracket, clean it and set aside.
If your car is equipped with a speedometer cable, pull up on the hair pin clip and slide the sensor off of the cable.
Clean the sensor with quality electric parts cleaner.
Slide the new cable into the speed sensor and secure it with the hairpin clip.
Now would be a perfect time to switch out your speedo gear if you have to.
In case you didn’t know, speedo gears with a longer shaft are for automatic transmissions while gears with a shorter shaft are for manual transmission.
If you need to change speedo gears, pry off the retaining clip and then remove the gear from the cable or speed sensor.
Thoroughly clean the area and use the provided cable lubricant to lightly lubricate the cable shaft or speed sensor shaft.
Slide on the new gear followed by the retaining clip.
From underneath the car, route the cable towards the top of the engine.
Install the previously removed cable bracket.
Position the bracket on the frame rail and retighten the retaining bolt.
Slide the cable back into the metal clip.
Locate the end of the speedo cable that plugs into the gauge cluster.
Carefully remove the cable from the outer sheath.
Use the provided lubricant and lubricate and entire cable.
Now you can slide it back into the outer sheath.
Underneath the car, slide the speed sensor or cable into the transmission.
Secure the cable or speed sensor with the retaining bolt.
Make sure the frame rail bolt is tight and you’re done working underneath the car.
Before you stab the cable through the firewall, double and triple check the cable to make sure there is plenty of clearance between it and any exhaust component.
Pass the cable through the firewall.
Take this time to install a new firewall grommet.
If you have a car with a speed sensor, you can slide the grommet over the cable first.
Now, if you have a car without a speed sensor, you’ll have to cut the grommet, slide it over the cable and then plug it into the firewall.
From inside of the car, finish passing the cable through the dash.
Grab your cluster; plug in the electrical connections and speedometer cable.
Retighten the retaining screws.
Reassemble all of your interior pieces and plug in the negative batter cable.
Take the car for a quick spin to verify everything functions properly.
After that, you’re all finished.
Alright fellas, as far as installation goes, you can probably bet on roughly two hours. Switching out speedometer cables and gears is very straightforward. Other than the cable, I would recommend a new firewall grommet and take this time to verify the speedometer in your car is reading properly. If not, use our speedo gear calculator to help you pin point which gear you need for your application.
Until next time guys, go ahead and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more content covering the Fox Mustang. Be sure and pick up a speedometer cable, gear and grommet from the real Fox enthusiasts, LMR.com!