505 Speedo mod.
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Thread: 505 Speedo mod.

  1. #1
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    Default 505 Speedo mod.

    I've done it folks! I've successfully grafted a Volvo speedo into a 505 instrument cluster.
    I know there aren't many mad people still driving a 505 but for those who are I will describe my little mod.
    I was already on my second instrument cluster and the speedo was showing round 20k's faster than I was going.
    While I could adjust to that the final straw came when the odometer went postal.
    So my options here in the bush were to order another speedo and get some other piece of crap plastic bodied thing with way too much wear or look for alternatives.
    I've been doing a few things with Volvo 240 gl's lately for my kids and bought some old speedos on ebay for them. Turned out there was a ring in as mostly they are electronic but I got one that ran on a cable as does the 505.
    The big difference between Pug and Volvo is the Volvo speedo has a solid metal body compared to really crap plastic for the Pug.
    But the Volvo cluster is made from separate components while the Pug has a common face with the speedo unit mounted behind a face that is part of the main display. Therefore to fit the Volvo I first had to cut out the face to admit the round 4" dial of the good unit.
    However I had to be sure that I was going to be able to fit it and that it would then fit onto the cable and actually work.
    So without the face I got my very bad cluster and dremilled out the back of the speedo housing to admit the new one as otherwise the rear protusion of the drive assembly would not have been out as far so would not have pushed hard onto the speedo cable end, as I'm sure anyone who owns a 505 knows, this is a strange design in speedo cable coupling.
    So using the dummy backing I fitted it in place and pressed against it while ambling up the road and it worked OK.
    So then I got serious. I fitted the new unit through the back of the plastic housing in my good cluster by cutting with the dremil the way I had rehearsed on the bad Pug cluster and to hold it in place I cut the back off the Volvo housing and then screwed that onto the back of the Volvo unit while it was sitting in the Pug cluster. It worked out that it aligned pretty well and the back of the metal housing on the Volvo unit was flush with the outside of the plastic housing on the Pug assembly.
    I had to drill a small hole through the face of the volvo speedo to take the trip meter shaft from the Pug. It was a hole guided from behind by a hole in the casting that was in the correct spot for this mod. It appeared to be there for alternative designs such as the one I was doing.
    Then I cut a circle out of the face plate that would house this new speedo and assembled, the new speedo sits about 15mm below the original and there's a gap all round at the side. I had considered filling this with a strip of black cardboard till night when I saw how beautifully the new unit was illuminated by having a space all round the edge. I like a well lit speedo at night.
    Then I took it for a spin and found the ratios to be close or even correct, though so far I've only taken it up to 80K's.
    Sadly I did not record a pictorial essay of this process because I was feeling superstitious that it might be jinxed by over confidence and I really needed it to work.
    Happily I can report it to be a fix, though not sure which models of Volvo 240GL 's had the cable drive speedo, though you can bet they were early ones. The build quality is lightyears above the Pug for this item, strangely a let down for our marque, as the car in general, the 505 that is, is so far above the 240 as to make 240's really not worth driving. Life is definitely too short to drive a Volvo. The handling, the performance, the comfort are all majorly , hugely, better on the 505GTI manual over the 240GL Volvo manual. Chalk and cheese.
    Happy to take pics or talk with anyone who needs to do this mod.
    Cheers,
    Dan

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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by luthier View Post
    I've done it folks! I've successfully grafted a Volvo speedo into a 505 instrument cluster...Life is definitely too short to drive a Volvo. The handling, the performance, the comfort are all majorly , hugely, better on the 505GTI manual over the 240GL Volvo manual. Chalk and cheese.
    Cool mod Dan, nice one - any chance of a pic of the final result? My odometer just broke...she goes from 13,467km to 953,470km between here and the village, heheheh...

    And agreed on the 240 volvo comparison - there isn't one.
    Goonengerry 505


  3. #3
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    Well done Luthier and good that you are sharing the knowledge on A/F, will be interested in seeing the results also and I bet that now you have done it, are there improvements or shortcuts you might consider if you were doing this conversion a second time.?

    Regards

    Ken

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the interest guys. OK I've taken some pics after the event but didn't take any of the final fitted unit before installing. You'll be able to see most of the process however.
    Here's the back of the old Pug cluster showing the Pug speedo in place after the cutout was done for the Volvo one.




    Here's the cutout of the back from the inside. The area with the 'x' also needs to come out to allow travel for the trip meter reset.


    Here's the butchered Volvo cluster with the back removed which was then screwed directly onto the back of the Volvo speedo to hold it in place in the Pug cluster.

    Showing the way the back was cut from the Volvo cluster, with a dremil.

    Here's the piece I cut out of one of my Pug cluster faces shown against the still intact one. I used a jewellers saw for most of the cut but finished with the dremil allowing it to remain intact though fragile. It was made with a perspex backing plate so this leaves only a very narrow bridge intact above the dial.

    Here it is in the car.


    I might end up puting a black cardboard surround in there with strategic holes to light it up but only if it annoys me.
    It does look slightly rough but functionality is my main aim and if you only glance at it it passes inspection.

    I'm thinking these cable drive speedos must be pre 1985 as all others I've seen have been electronic and I wouldn't know how to hook them up. You'd need the right sensor and stuff, so really not an easy alternative. The electronic ones look like this:
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  5. #5
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    Pug one looks very similar to the Fuego instrument setup.

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