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Old 05-20-2009, 02:02 PM   #1
Duct_Taper's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 601
DIY Motometer Speedo Recalibration

Well, after the discussion in this thread, I decided to try recalibrating my speedometer. Did it last night and figured I'd post a brief write-up.

First off - check out this thread on e30tech that explains the concept of how to do it. I essentially followed the procedure used there, except instead of setting up a signal generator, etc etc I just did a trial and error method.

If you can pull a cluster, this procedure is not hard at all. See pics on e30tech for what the speedo looks like out of the cluster. To figure out your real speed based on the tach, use a gearing/speed calculator with your tire size, transmission and diff ratios to figure out what RPM corresponds to what speed.

1) Pull cluster.
2) Remove speedo from cluster.
3) Measure resistance of pot resistor using multimeter (optional, but useful)
4) Decrease resistance (adjust clockwise) to make the speedometer read lower for a given input signal. Only adjust a little bit at a time - my total adjustment was less than half a turn.
5) Re-assemble and test in car.
6) Repeat until accurate.

In my car, the resistor came from the factory set at 22k ohms and the speedometer read about 10% high. I ended up with it adjusted to about 10k ohms to read about 2-3% high (I wanted to leave a bit of a buffer - and I got lazy in adjusting it ).

Good luck!

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Old 05-20-2009, 03:31 PM   #2
2nd Gear Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 98
thanks for the resistance findings. im quite suprised at how much of a resistance change is required. should allow for quite a precise adjustment.

did you check for offset error at all?
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Old 05-20-2009, 04:18 PM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 601
Yeah, I was surprised about the resistance change as well - I suspect it's actually some sort of an exponential relation, because I initally increased the resistance and a fairly small change made a pretty big difference in the speedo readout.

I thought I was going to end up around 18k ohms, but kept having to adjust it down farther.

What do you mean by offset error? Like in the needle itself? The error in mine seemed to stay fairly consistent as a percentage (about 10%) across the range (i.e. at 60 km/h it showed about 66 or 67, at 100 km/h it showed 110 or 111, etc).

Now it's at around 2-3% (i.e. at 60 it shows about 61-62, at 100 ir shows about 102-103).
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