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I have a 1991 SE and all the gauges have a slight fog on the glass. The removal of the small gauges have been easy but I can't figure out how the tachometer and speedometer are removed. There is a rubber vibration sleeve around it. I don't know if I should pull,push, pry or unscrew. Anyone have guidance?
 

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Cal H
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I have a 1991 SE and all the gauges have a slight fog on the glass. The removal of the small gauges have been easy but I can't figure out how the tachometer and speedometer are removed. There is a rubber vibration sleeve around it. I don't know if I should pull,push, pry or unscrew. Anyone have guidance?
I assume you have the top binnacle cover off since you mention a rubber sleeve. If not remove the top. If you don't know how to remove the top let me know and I can walk you through it. Disconnect the connection to the devices.Take liquid soap like dish soap and use a small straw like cocktail straw or the straw that comes with carb cleaner and dip the straw in dish soap and hold you finger over end of the straw. Take a very small screwdriver and gently pry up the edge of the rubber retaining ring. Insert the straw in between the rubber sleeve and gauge housing then release the liquid soap. Do this on several spots, when you have soap under the rubber ring try to rotate the gauge and push it towards the rear of the car from the inside of the instrument pod. People have used spray lube but it gets messy. Once the gauges are removed keep in mind that the speedo and maybe the tach have crimped and rolled edges on the retaining ring holding the glass that resembles seals on a tin cans. I have been able to open the speedo up for repairs but I had to take it in to have them resealed by some one with a crimping tool. So I saved no money at all. The worm drive of the speedo has been known to shear off.

How did the gauges get foggy you submerge the car like James Bond? LOL
Don't see foggy gauges too often

Good Luck
Cal H
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the tip Cal.. I'll give that a try. I have the instrument panel removed from the car so it' a lot easier to work on it. The fog is more of a haze over the glass. I have found a couple of the small gauges with cracks in the white plastic housings that may have been the cause. Not sure how those occurred.
Soaking the glass in Scrubbing Bubbles bathroom cleaner removes the haze.
The crimping of the rings have been a pain in the ^$*$. I have a small crimping tool that works but takes a lot of patience.
 

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Cal H
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If you have the whole pod out it makes it even easier. Just stand it up face down so the soap is easier to flow. On 91 SE's I seem to recall the speedo is just pressed in the ring from the front. Only 90MY and later can one remove the binnacle cover without taking out the entire instrument pod. Some people have gotten so frustrated as to cut the rubber ring or rip it prying it in an attempt to get it out. Bad idea as one can not go into Pep boys and ask for a rubber ring for a discontinued VDO gauge that fits into a Lotus fascia.

Crimping rings are hard to deal with after struggling with my broken speedo I eventually took mine to the neighborhood VDO repair shop as they have the larger pro crimpers. Only in Minnesota a neighborhood VDO/Smiths repair shop a few miles down the road LOL, I know it sounds funny but it was another of many small shops in MN that Tim Engel told me about that the LOON's use for Lotus service. They replaced the broken glass with polarized anti glare and crimped like it new. They also replaced the jewel movement. Back in the old Turbo list days about 12 years ago when I documented my speedo rebuild that little shop got a boost in mail in gauge repairs. I think the west coast guys used a place in Palo Alto that did similar work.

The mechanical speedo is a known problem area for our cars as the grease they use dries up and the worm drive overheats and seizes then the speedo cable rotation shears it off the jewel/magnetic movement. Sometimes breaking the speedo cable too. But that is another thread and another repair

Good luck with your repair

Cal H
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Cal, That worked like a charm. Both are out now. I may take your advice and send them off to a VDO shop. The crimped edges are harder to pry and I noticed the needles are slow to reset.


Jim
 

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That haze could be because the car was driven by a smoker in it's past. As long as you are sending the gauges out they should be checked and calibrated.
David Teitelbaum
 

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I have had my speedo apart many times upon repairing it, it can be frustrating determining what is causing it to have problems.

I have found after doin it many times though that you can squeeze the top of the speedo housing with large heavy duty hose clamp as opposed to crimping and uncrimping the glass bezel ring. Once you've done it it makes it less of a chore to work on the internals of the speedo (I hated removing that ring). I used a large thin hose clamp I found in my spare parts junk from stuff I've worked on.

I will add that one of my least favorite things to do is reattach the speedo cable upon reinstalling the binnacle, it is just too short to reach and twist it under the binnacle when its sitting on the dash before you bolt it down, then I have to dislocate my wrist to twist it to get it back on. I would rather do the timing belt than the binnacle reinstall in my car, they may not all be this way though, it may be the way the cable is routed. But I've tried numerous routes for the cable.

If you need random parts for your VDO look up "universal VDO speedometer" or "VDO mechanical speedometer" on ebay, it takes some searching because there is so many, but I've bought two entire sets of the type of gauges that are in my Esprit, even the speedo, except its only a 120 mph and not a 180 mph, but it doesn't bother me any, I very seldom even go 80 let alone add 100 to it. I actually like the look of the 120 mph VDO it looks more uniform, the factory 180 gauge has yellow numerals for the KPH, the 120 only has green MPH, it looks cleaner, it confused me the first time I drove it with my new speedo in it, I couldn't figure what was so different.
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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I will add that one of my least favorite things to do is reattach the speedo cable upon reinstalling the binnacle, it is just too short to reach and twist it under the binnacle when its sitting on the dash before you bolt it down, then I have to dislocate my wrist to twist it to get it back on.
Mark,

Next time, try disconnecting the speedo core at the transmission first. Connect the cable at the binnacle (insert the core into the instrument, then the sheath), THEN connect the transmission end.

MUCH easier...:clap:
 

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Cal H
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I will add that one of my least favorite things to do is reattach the speedo cable upon reinstalling the binnacle, it is just too short to reach and twist it under the binnacle when its sitting on the dash before you bolt it down, then I have to dislocate my wrist to twist it to get it back on. I would rather do the timing belt than the binnacle reinstall in my car, they may not all be this way though, it may be the way the cable is routed. But I've tried numerous routes for the cable.
Hmmm....I just reach around the back of speedo and plug it in. I have never taken the binnacle off, just the top cover. But when I told my buddy Ed Gomes how to remove the top he could not do it because he had an 89.5 and I had the 90 which just the top could be removed leaving the binnacle in place.

I have had my speedo apart many times upon repairing it, it can be frustrating determining what is causing it to have problems.
What??? many times? I have only had my speedo out once in former 90SE I still talk to the present owner and 14 years later the speedo is still rock solid. It was rebuilt by the VDO shop and cost something like $120 back in 2002. I seem to recall they mentioned they used some sort of new type grease and lube. Not sure what it was but it must have worked as I have never had to go back to service the speedo.
The only other reason to go into the binnacle was to change the light bulbs
Cal H
 

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That is an excellent Idea, I never disconnected it at the gearbox as I thought the cable was clipped to the frame somewhere and would not pull out, if it does that would remedy this headache I have been having.

I had my speedo apart about three-four times due to it shaking, I have since replaced it. I think that centrifugal mechanism that spins inside the original was shot, originally my odometer though was the reason for disassembling it, it didn't work at all.

I have had the binnacle off numerous more times though, when I redid my interior and had to replace/check the idiot (fits me correctly) bulbs.
 

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Cal H
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That is an excellent Idea, I never disconnected it at the gearbox as I thought the cable was clipped to the frame somewhere and would not pull out, if it does that would remedy this headache I have been having.

I had my speedo apart about three-four times due to it shaking, I have since replaced it. I think that centrifugal mechanism that spins inside the original was shot, originally my odometer though was the reason for disassembling it, it didn't work at all.

I have had the binnacle off numerous more times though, when I redid my interior and had to replace/check the idiot (fits me correctly) bulbs.
There is also a coupler just just rear of the of the firewall in cars with the 2 piece speedo cable that most of us have. The magnetic transmission in the speedo is strained when the worm drive for the odometer fails. When that happens it will make the needle bounce in some case make it peg to 170 mph. The Speedo shop can renew everything and make it like new. They will replace the insides and calibrate the speedo so don't throw the case away. That's the hard to get part.

I have never taken off the binnacle only the cover. It was something I learned from Sanj maybe 14 years ago. It only takes a couple of min to take off the top. I guess I was lucky the only time I had to go into the binnacle was the speedo problem and to change the bulbs/color change of the lights.

Cal H
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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There is also a coupler just just rear of the of the firewall in cars with the 2 piece speedo cable that most of us have.
Cal H
For sure, all the Citroen gearbox Esprits have a one-piece cable...no coupler.

So my advice for Mark would not work on newer cars (as we found out last year when 91MR2 was having an issue).
 
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