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Thread: I have HAD IT with shtty angle drives!

  1. #1
    Senior Member ccurzio's Avatar
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    I have HAD IT with shtty angle drives!

    Driving on the interstate today, I happened to look down at my speedometer and noticed it was working great. I had the thought, "finally. I have an angle drive that is actually lasting." NOT TWO MINUTES LATER, there was a clunk and the speedo needle dropped to zero, followed shortly thereafter by a bang as something ejected from under the car.

    This is the third angle drive that has failed since I've owned the car, and all of them came from DMCH. After the second one failed, Houston sent me a different style that didn't require any periodic lubrication. That one lasted the longest (aside from the OEM part that was on the car when I bought it), but I'm back to not having a working speedometer.

    Yes I've replaced speedo cables. No my lambda counter is not jammed. And granted, the last drive Houston sent me has lasted for three years, but I simply refuse to accept that this is some kind of wear-part that's normal to fail so frequently.

    Does anyone have any alternatives? I don't know if Houston specifically is unable to source an angle drive that's worth a shit or if good ones simply don't exist, but this is is far beyond completely ridiculous.
    - Chris


    what

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Do you still have the OEM Smiths angle drive? If so Rob Grady can rebuild them.

    The only other decent alternative were the angle drives made by Speedograph here in the UK, but they won't make them anymore for reasons I outlined in a post in this topic here; http://dmctalk.org/showthread.php?15...l=1#post223890 They were very well built, mine has over 21k miles on it now and is still going strong. I do run with a one piece speedo cable though, bypassing the lambda counter.
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  3. #3
    One of those purists you keep hearing about. sdg3205's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeWard View Post
    Do you still have the OEM Smiths angle drive? If so Rob Grady can rebuild them.

    The only other decent alternative were the angle drives made by Speedograph here in the UK, but they won't make them anymore for reasons I outlined in a post in this topic here; http://dmctalk.org/showthread.php?15...l=1#post223890 They were very well built, mine has over 21k miles on it now and is still going strong. I do run with a one piece speedo cable though, bypassing the lambda counter.
    Like mike said, get rid of the lambda counter. It adds resistance. Anything helps.
    Dave

    Here, somewhere.


  4. #4
    Senior Member powerline84's Avatar
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    I had my smiths rebuilt by Rob and it's a quality unit. He even pre-greased it for me lol. So far so good

  5. #5
    Senior Member Gregadeth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdg3205 View Post
    Like mike said, get rid of the lambda counter. It adds resistance. Anything helps.
    My speedo works and is pretty accurate at lower speeds, but when I'm travelling at 65MPH, it will always show around 55 or 60. I remember gutting my lambda counter and taking the internals out, but it's still a part of the chain. If I removed the counter completely and used a single cable, would that fix the inaccurate reading? It's only at the higher speeds.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Gregadeth's Avatar
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    Possible alternative?

    Quote Originally Posted by ccurzio View Post
    Driving on the interstate today, I happened to look down at my speedometer and noticed it was working great. I had the thought, "finally. I have an angle drive that is actually lasting." NOT TWO MINUTES LATER, there was a clunk and the speedo needle dropped to zero, followed shortly thereafter by a bang as something ejected from under the car.

    This is the third angle drive that has failed since I've owned the car, and all of them came from DMCH. After the second one failed, Houston sent me a different style that didn't require any periodic lubrication. That one lasted the longest (aside from the OEM part that was on the car when I bought it), but I'm back to not having a working speedometer.

    Yes I've replaced speedo cables. No my lambda counter is not jammed. And granted, the last drive Houston sent me has lasted for three years, but I simply refuse to accept that this is some kind of wear-part that's normal to fail so frequently.

    Does anyone have any alternatives? I don't know if Houston specifically is unable to source an angle drive that's worth a shit or if good ones simply don't exist, but this is is far beyond completely ridiculous.
    I found this on the Lotus forums: http://www.lotuselan.net/forums/elan...er-t40563.html
    If I understood correctly, it basically bypasses the angle drive (aka the weak link in the speedo system) and uses a GPS signal to turn the speedo cable that runs the speedometer.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Chris 16409's Avatar
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    Watch eBay for OEM angle drives. You can usally pick them up relatively cheaply. Then you can send it to Rob if need be. I found one that ended up working after lubing it up. If they aren't oiled regularly they can jam. Then people get rid of them because they appear to have failed. The Smiths units are better than anything offered today. Hey Mike, maybe we should go to speedograph and say we're with some other car brand. Then they won't be apt to turn us away.
    Chris Miles

    For Better or Worse I own a DeLorean!
    1983 Grey Manual, VIN #16409, Fresno, California

  8. #8
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    Rob's rebuilt angle drives are your best option. I went through 4 DMCH angle drives in two years. Do you still have your original smith's angle drive?

  9. #9
    '82 T3 Turbo FABombjoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregadeth View Post
    I found this on the Lotus forums: http://www.lotuselan.net/forums/elan...er-t40563.html
    If I understood correctly, it basically bypasses the angle drive (aka the weak link in the speedo system) and uses a GPS signal to turn the speedo cable that runs the speedometer.
    That's a nice option for GPS-only installs!

    If you wanted to install a VSS to have speed w/out constant GPS lock, the speedbox is VSS compatible

    https://www.speedhut.com/Speedbox.html

    Porsche 930 16-tooth VSS rings drop right on to our CV joints and can be had for $13 on eBay. I'm picking it up with a Littelfuse / Hamlin 55505-00-02-A sensor on a cobbled-up aluminum mount.
    VSS.jpg
    Luke S :: 10270 :: 82 Grey 5-Speed :: Single Watercooled T3 .60/.48 :: Borla Exhaust :: MSD Ignition :: MS3X Fully SFI Odd-fire EFI :: DevilsOwn Methanol Injection

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  10. #10
    Senior Member smallclone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FABombjoy View Post
    That's a nice option for GPS-only installs!

    If you wanted to install a VSS to have speed w/out constant GPS lock, the speedbox is VSS compatible

    https://www.speedhut.com/Speedbox.html

    Porsche 930 16-tooth VSS rings drop right on to our CV joints and can be had for $13 on eBay. I'm picking it up with a Littelfuse / Hamlin 55505-00-02-A sensor on a cobbled-up aluminum mount.
    VSS.jpg

    so what gives? is the lambda the reason these go bad?

    I wonder if there is a simple female to female adapter to replace the lambda

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