Speedometer info

Discussion in 'Electrical' started by MaxGlide, Aug 29, 2009.

  1. MaxGlide

    MaxGlide Member

    Hello all,

    I just bought a vintage JC Higgins speedo online and am looking for a cable and gear.

    My question is; are the speedometer heads generic? By this I mean can you get a cable and gear from any 26' bike and put it on (as long as the threads match up) or is the gearing inside of the speedo different for 20', 24', 26' bicycles?

    Thanks..... Wayne

  2. Al.Fisherman

    Al.Fisherman Active Member

    What is wrong with yours? If it is the cable inside I know that years ago when I was a kid they made a speedometer cable as all were cables and not electronic. If you need the cable call a few auto parts and what you are looking for is a 60's vintage auto speedometer cable insert (kit, you cut to length). If you can't find one at your local auto parts, try J.C. Whitney mail order. I bought a old Cruiser today from a thrift store for $20.00. It is my current project, as I've been looking for one...It has the vintage speedometer and the large azz seat. I got the bike for less then I could buy either one. This is just one seller, the first that has cable inserts, so I don't know if there might be a better price from a different seller.

    Last edited: Sep 3, 2009
  3. motorpsycho

    motorpsycho Active Member

    i bought a "retro" speedo off a guy on e-bay. it's brand new, but has a vintage look to it (i.e. all plastic).
    i reads in Kilometers which isn't too bad but i would have rather had it read in mph.
    anyway, i hooked it up and it worked fine for the first 12 kilometers.
    by the way, i checked it against my friends car, and the speedo was surprisingly accurate...i could bury it at 60 kph.
    well, after it hit the 12 kilometer mark it quit working.
    i found that the plastic drive gear that hooks to the front rim came apart internally, and the gears were chewed to bits (plastic gears inside a plastic case).
    the only part that isn't plastic on the whole set up is the cable. i paid like $13.00 for it, but i thought that it would last longer than it did. i had it on my bike for 2 days before it quit working.
  4. Porkchop

    Porkchop Member

    Moptorpsycho, check out the attached photo. Is it the same as the speedo you bought off eBay. I've read nothing but bad things about them. Sounds like you had the same problem that everyone else has had with them. They work for a few miles or Km and the break. I was looking at them, reaseached and deicided to stay away.
    Maxglide, the answer to your question about the speedo you have. Some of the older models had generic head units and the specific calibration was done with the hub/gear assembly on the end of the cable that hooks up to your front axle and wheel. Some had specific head units. Sorry, but I don't know about the specific model that you have.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 4, 2009
  5. motorpsycho

    motorpsycho Active Member

    porkchop, that's the exact speedo that i got.
    the seller is excellent and i had it 2 days after purchasing it...fast and excellent service.
    the speedo on the other hand is cheaply made and will not last very long on a bike that will go 30 + mph.
    i think it would last if you were able to keep the speed down to 5-10 mph. (like by putting on a peddle only bike)
    i think the higher speeds cause too much stress on the plastic parts, and they fail quickly.
  6. machiasmort

    machiasmort Active Member

    I've got a digital schwinn that the CDI don't screw up! Maybe you could put it into the housing if you want the reto look?
  7. Porkchop

    Porkchop Member

    MaxGlide, please keep us posted on your results. I've been in the market for an old Schwinn speedo for quite some time now. They are hard to come by in a complete set up and in good shape. I have noticed there is a guy on eBay that sells rebuilt heads with and without the cables from time to time. Just keep shopping man. Good luck.
  8. MaxGlide

    MaxGlide Member

    JC Higgins Speedo

    Hi all,

    I don't think there is anything wrong with it. The seller tells me it works fine when he hooks a drill to it. Spins fine and the needle moves as it is supposed to.

    The thing is that there is no cable or gear so while I am looking for a vintage cable system I was wondering if I could use a newer set up?

    So if anyone has a cable and gear for a 26 inch wheel let me know.

    Cheers..... Wayne

    PS: I pick up the Whizzer on Tuesday or Wednesday.
  9. azbill

    azbill Active Member

  10. Al.Fisherman

    Al.Fisherman Active Member

  11. MaxGlide

    MaxGlide Member

    Thanks Azbill


    I've heard that these plastic gears have stripped within 20 miles or so of use.

    Do you know anything about that?

  12. Hawk

    Hawk Member

    I just use my car's GPS if I need to check speed and miles.
    I can only go so fast so no need to keep checking. LOL!
    I got a hold of a non-working Whizzer Speeometer and Tach......they don't function, but don't you think they look cool! :cool:

    Attached Files:

  13. MaxGlide

    MaxGlide Member


    That is very cool.

    I'll let you know how my JC Higgins turns out.

  14. azbill

    azbill Active Member

    as I mentioned in the other thread, my head unit (the carpy plastic 'sports') gear stripped after 50 miles...not sure if it was because they are cheaply made or we just overpower them
    the cable and sending unit are still good

    I kept the bad case as I am planning on modding it to hold my electronic speedo when-ever I get around to it
  15. MaxGlide

    MaxGlide Member

    Are you wanting to sell the cable and gear?

    Do you think this would work with my old JC Higgins speedo and would you sell it?

  16. azbill

    azbill Active Member

    not sure if it will work, but I see no reason to sell it to you
    I would send it to you via a prepaid envelope (cable and sender should fit in a med-large bubble envelope no prob):cool2:
    (I am a broke old guy, who lives with his daughter, and can't afford a stamp at the moment LOL)
    same age, same nationality (I am a proud displaced canuck, born in Hamilton, Ont)...
    e-mail me (I don't pay much attn to pm's here)and we'll get 'em up to you :)
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2009