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1990 Legacy Wagons speedometer dead but not other gauges

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I was coming home from picking the kids up from daycare when I looked down to notice the speedometer was dead. All the other guages are working fine.

Has anyone ever had this happen? Is the speedo on my 4EAT electric or cable driven? Any advice would help.

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Most likely your speedo cable is broken. (almost positive it's cable, at least, my '93 turbo is a cable speedo).

 

It's a common problem that when it's cold, a speedo cable on a legacy will be overly noise and the speedo will jump for a while. I guess they didnt engineer the speedo cables very well.

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It's the speedo cable base piece that goes into the transmission.

 

All the first gen legacy speedo's are cable driven from the transmission into the gauge cluster.

 

It is VERY VERY common for these to fail. The swivel piece inside sheers off, and the speed just doesn't work.

 

When you take it out, make sure to get the rubber piece and the metal washer out of the hole.

 

here's a pic & the part # of the piece in question. It's pretty cheap.

 

http://www.main.experiencetherave.com:8080/subaru/images/speedocablebase.jpg

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Manna-cabanna.... I don't think I'll ever get over what a great site this is!!!! Look at this, someone asks a question and within minutes (well a few minutes) an answer and a photo!!!! Truly awe inspiring!

 

Cheers! :drunk: ...and subie on!

 

Kudd

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As always, thanks for the help Josh. I will be checking the car out in just a few minutes now that I know what to look for.

 

Kudd,

 

We here at USMB are one giant Roo loving family. We are glad that you have decided to come on-board. If you ever have a question feel free to ask. If you ever have an answer....feel free to tell. It all helps. Be sure to check out the "off-topic" section where we go to cut-up.

 

 

Greg

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Out of interest, do you fellas know if it's the same issue on a 98 GT Legacy? My speedo intermittently fails to start when I'm rolling out the driveway - usually in colder weather. Once I'm a little ways down the road (doing 40mph - I can tell by the tach and 4EAT shifts) the speedometer needle jumps back up and is fine again.

 

Usually only happens once a week, and I've only had 2 CELs from it (over a 6month period).

 

Can I get to the speedo cable base peice without removing the transmission?

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The newer models don't have a mechanical cable going from the transmission to the combination meter. They have a speed sensor, and relay that info back to the combination meter where the motor in the combination unit makes the speedo turn.

 

It's possible some dirt or other gunk got in there and the speed sensor can't read the gear. Or it might be an electrical issue. Without diagnosing some more, it'd be a little hard to pin point it.

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Ok, well here's some other things I've discovered about this intermittent problem

 

When the speedo fails:

1. The cruise control doesn't work

2. The 4EAT shifts exactly the same

 

So I'm not sure but might it have something to do with the cruise control unit? I mean, if that unit sits in between the speed sensor and the speedometer, and intercepts the signal when I use CC?

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Ok, well here's some other things I've discovered about this intermittent problem

 

When the speedo fails:

1. The cruise control doesn't work

2. The 4EAT shifts exactly the same

 

So I'm not sure but might it have something to do with the cruise control unit? I mean, if that unit sits in between the speed sensor and the speedometer, and intercepts the signal when I use CC?

There is a Vhicle Speed Sensor Buffer in the dash (behind the speedo) that the CC uses to set speed. There are two speed sensors on the tranny as well. IIRC Legacy777 has pictures of where these are. Any of them failing will cause the speedo and the CC to fail as well. Not sure if they are used for shifting of the 4EAT, though. That may be an RPM thing. . .

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Great! Thanks a lot for your help...hopefully someone can tell me where to check for the two speed sensors on the tranny... the one behind the dash (attached to it?) I can get to, I pulled the dash out awhile back with no problems.

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The newer models have both speed sensors on the transmission, not in the dash, and yes speedo & cc will both not work if the speedo don't work. If your speedo was out for long enough it would affect the transmission shifting, and the lockup of the torque converter. Eventually the fans would stay on as well. It takes a few miles for this to happen though.

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