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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10-19-2019, 12:57 PM
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I am torn between the Smith electronic speedo and the Smith cable type. The electronic one will definitely perform better, and the tremmic TKO 600 has an electronic output built in, but it has the digital odometer reading. The Cable type is more period correct, but the electronic one i feel is better.

If I were building a 100% period correct car I would go with the cable type ( it has the analogue tripometer and speedometer . But I personally like the electronic the original 427 cars came with smith gauges. I am removing the shelby (autometer) logo gauges.

I am being told all the new SPF cars are going electronic.

thoughts?
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Old 10-19-2019, 02:12 PM
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I prefer electric, because I started with the cable-driven many years ago and within 15 years 2 cables broke, and the mechanical reverser failed once. Not a big deal to change cable or reverser, yet I believe the electric speedo will be more trouble-free.
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Old 10-19-2019, 02:23 PM
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Do they look the same? Appearance does matter - you've got a Shelby Cobra, the gauges ought to look right - but this is not a concourse car so noone's going to trace a cable... On the other hand, the car already has a cable and you'll never drive it far enough or long enough to wear through a cable and it will probably take some effort to pull it out instead of just leaving it.

Do they still use the plastic gears to calibrate the speedo? There's a formula for tire size and rear end stuff to choose the color. I found a web page at I think Tire Rack to figure it.
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Last edited by twobjshelbys; 10-19-2019 at 02:28 PM..
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Old 10-19-2019, 05:10 PM
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Mechanical speedo properly calibrated works well enough imo.
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Old 10-19-2019, 05:15 PM
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Nisonger did a great job for me. feet or so and count the rotations. Reasonably priced.
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Old 10-19-2019, 05:16 PM
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*Push 90
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Old 10-19-2019, 05:32 PM
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I have all Smiths mechanicals and love the looks. My reverse speedo is actually kind of accurate. Not perfect, but not too bad. What I have always done is to just look at my tach and, depending on what gear I'm in, I know the speed I'm driving. The tach is right in front of my eye anyway. I've been doing that so long now that I don't even think about it. I hardly ever look over at my speedo.
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Old 10-19-2019, 07:46 PM
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Mike, if you're going to the trouble of changing out the Autometer gauges (which I would do too) then my thinking would be to go with the mechanical/cable speedometer as on the originals.
A digital readout on a Cobra .......just doesn't look quite right to me.
Which gauges did your ERA have?

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Last edited by xb-60; 10-20-2019 at 02:01 AM.. Reason: needed to
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Old 10-19-2019, 07:56 PM
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I have all electronic Smiths gauges with a mechanical speedometer. It looks correct, and works well. I would not want the electronic odometer look.
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Old 10-20-2019, 08:49 AM
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If you want accuracy or flexibility to change gears and tires, with easy correction, then go digital.

If you want to stay true to the 1960's, stay with the cable. I think you already blue that, when you installed the TKO. You would at least have to have an FE for this to bother you in the least.

PS
Does an aluminum 482 stroker count as an FE? Well it sure is a modern improved FE, to me. So you tell us, does nostalgia bother you, when you use more modern improved parts?

Last edited by olddog; 10-20-2019 at 08:54 AM.. Reason: PS
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Old 10-20-2019, 11:32 AM
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my ERA had a smiths mechanical sppedo, It bounced all over the place. The Smiths electronic looks the same except the digital read out for the odometer. Nisonger recommends the electronic. My car is NOT concourse, it will have a shelby FE motor
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Old 10-21-2019, 10:16 AM
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My Superformance came with the cable type speedometer. Initially, it bounced and jumped and was anything but useable. I installed a longer speedometer cable (to ensure there were no tight radius bends) and it became dead-on rock steady. I put over 20,000 miles on the car and had to replace the speedometer reverser twice. A real pain to remove and reinstall the speedometer, but in my mind, well worth it. To maintain it close to "period correct" was worth the repair costs and headaches with removal and reinstallation. Mark me as a cable guy.
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Old 10-21-2019, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailfish View Post
My Superformance came with the cable type speedometer. Initially, it bounced and jumped and was anything but useable. I installed a longer speedometer cable (to ensure there were no tight radius bends) and it became dead-on rock steady. I put over 20,000 miles on the car and had to replace the speedometer reverser twice. A real pain to remove and reinstall the speedometer, but in my mind, well worth it. To maintain it close to "period correct" was worth the repair costs and headaches with removal and reinstallation. Mark me as a cable guy.
I agree completely. And here's an authoritative thread on removing the needle bounce from a Smiths reverse speedo and greasing the reverser, which most guys don't even know has a handy zerk fitting. Lubricating the Smiths Speedometer Cable To Stop Needle Bounce
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Old 10-21-2019, 12:55 PM
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Patrickt----

Your reference pertaining to lubricating the speedo cable is spot on. I remember reading the article several years back. My issue wasn't so much a lack of lubrication, but one of insufficient cable length. My engine installer installed a cable that was insufficient and caused tight kinks. Once I installed a well lubricated and adequate length cable all was excellent. And my two failed reversers------neither came equipped with a zerk fitting. One failed because the speedo cable was too long and pushed the end out of the reverser (the original speedo cable) and the other failed internally from unknown reasons.
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Old 10-24-2019, 05:52 PM
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Electric just doesn’t look right.
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Old 10-25-2019, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olddog View Post
If you want accuracy or flexibility to change gears and tires, with easy correction, then go digital.

If you want to stay true to the 1960's, stay with the cable. I think you already blue that, when you installed the TKO. You would at least have to have an FE for this to bother you in the least.

PS
Does an aluminum 482 stroker count as an FE? Well it sure is a modern improved FE, to me. So you tell us, does nostalgia bother you, when you use more modern improved parts?
OK I get it,
Am I building a concourse CSX car to duplicate a 1965 car? no. do 95% of guys who have a cobra have a concourse reproduction of a 1965 car? no. I am building a close to period correct car. My car will have an EFI aluminum SHELBY motor with Shelby heads, shelby water pump etc... lots of the parts that are being use on my motor came from Shelby engine Co. True, I am using a TKO600, is a modern day TKO-600 Road race transmission with a true track kirkham rear end light years better than the top loader/ jag set up used on the 1965 cars YES. Are the smith gauges period correct? yes however the electronic odometer readout is not period correct. The EFI is not period correct either. Do you think for one moment that if the guys in the 60's had this technology they would use it? hell yes.

Its funny that guys here start looking down on some one building a cobra claiming it is not period correct while their car having power brakes, MSD ignition, lug nuts, box chassis etc... if it is not a CSX car or a Kirkham car it is not even close to period correct... I can make a claim that the ERA, car with the exception of the box chassis is the closest to period correct as it gets.
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Old 10-25-2019, 12:52 PM
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But you asked for opinions. And opinions are funny things. You know, I know a lot of guys that will charge you way more to tell you what you want to hear rather than what they believe to be true.
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Old 10-26-2019, 05:55 AM
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The cable drive speedo is the clear favorite in this thread. Has the poll helped with your decision?
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Old 10-26-2019, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ERA 626 View Post

If it is not a CSX car or a Kirkham car it is not even close to period correct....
I think the Hi-Techs are pretty close to period correct....

I went with mechanical gauges on my build.
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Old 10-26-2019, 08:28 PM
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yes agreed the hi tech cars are spot on...
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