How to install a new speedometer needle
Ideally, if you had a speedo needle press and removal tool, it would be best to use that, or take it to a speedometer tech to have the needle changed. It looks like you would like to attempt this job yourself, so we'll give you a few hints on how to remove the needle.
Read all instructions through before starting. Make a mental note or take picture of needle placement on the speedometer in relation to the numbers on the face.
1. Place a small mask over the face of the speedo to avoid any scratches. Do not apply directly on the face with body shop masking tape, too much adhesive.
2. Grasp the speedo needle shaft with a set of needle nose locking pliers below the tapered part of the shaft under the needle. Hold the shaft firmly without making into the metal. Place a shop towel between the speedo face and the locking pliers to cushion any impact during work.
3. Grasp the speedo needle firmly where the hub of the needle joins to the shaft with your thumb and two forefingers. Using gentle pulling force 'wiggle' the hub slightly to see if the needle will release from the shaft. Do not bend the needle off-center while you pull on the hub, the shaft will bend and eventually break. The shaft tapers down to half its diameter before entering the speedo needle hub and will break very easily.
4. Still won't release, take a breather, stop and think. The hub of the needle has a round hole in it. The shaft has a taper on it. 40 to 50 years ago a speedo tech in the factory pressed the two together using a small press. The two have been locked in place for a long time, the time has come for them to part.
5.Gripping with your fingers as evenly as you can, lift up and slightly turn the hub a degree or two back and forth while wiggling the needle slightly. Did it POP!
6. Now that you have the old needle off, wash and dry your hands and fingers to rid them of any oils that will stain the new needle.
7. Spin the needle shaft between your thumb and forefinger a few times, allow the shaft ( and magnetic cup) to stop and come to rest. Make a spot on the shaft with a micro pointed marking pen closest to the original 'ZERO' mark for a reference point. We will use this to place the needle as close as we can get to zero or full stop. You did remove the locking pliers during this step?
8. Let's test our full stop position. Place the needle on the post (shaft), press down very slightly, flick needle up with finger and allow to come to rest, note position. Try it a few more times, until satisfied. If it hits like a rock, move clockwise a half a degree. Floats like a feather, move counter clockwise a half degree. Somewhere in-between these two references is the exact place.
9. Ready to lock needle in place. Clamp locking pliers on the shaft. Remove as much in/out slack on the post as you can. A couple of tapered wedges under the locking pliers will help to do this too. With the needle in place, slightly and firmly, using a nylon/plastic headed hammer, tap down on the new needle hub once. The needle should be seated firmly in place. If the needle falls off as you cross a set of railroad tracks, you didn't hit it hard enough.
10. When your putting the speedometer back together, pull the cable out of its sheath, curl it up around your hand, place it in a bath of solvent, swish back and forth to remove old grease, etc, let dry completely in sun or use air, apply a glob of lithium grease to the palm of your hand, run the cable through while squeezing it in a fist, wipe off excess and install the cable. Your done.