1957 Thunderbird Engine Noise (Squeal/Squeak) - Tachometer Cable??

Hi folks!
I have just noticed a noise that sounds like a belt squeal or squeak. It is not a belt though. It changes/varies as the engine RPM changes. It makes the noise sitting at idle as well. I tried listening around the engine bay with my ear as the car idled (very crude diagnosis I know). But it sounds like it may be coming from the rear area of the engine.

Could this be the tachometer cable? Could it need lubricating? What else it could be?

Any input is welcomed.

Thanks!
 

64ZCODE

Well-Known Member
You can use a short length of dowel to locate the noise, keeping one end of the dowel against your ear and touching different locations of the engine/trans etc. with the other end of the dowel. Of course, keep well clear of any rotating parts!
 

doug7740

Well-Known Member
The oil cup on the distributor housing is for lubricating the upper bushing in the distributor. If the noise you are hearing is originating from the distributor, than lubricating the upper bushing would be a good starting point. If the noise that you are hearing is coming from the tachometer or the tachometer cable, I would disconnect the cable at the tachometer to determine if the noise is the cable or the tachometer itself.

Attached are some pictures of the distributor on my 1955 Thunderbird when I overhauled it. Looking at the pictures you can see the oil cup and how it routes the oil to the upper bushing.

doug7740
1955 Thunderbird Blue
1955 Distributor Disassembled.JPG 1955 Distributor Housing.JPG
 
Last edited by a moderator:
The attached pic is before rebuild so it's dirty. But circled in red is the cap for the oil cup View attachment 15672
The oil cup on the distributor housing is for lubricating the upper bushing in the distributor. If the noise you are hearing is originating from the distributor, than lubricating the upper bushing would be a good starting point. If the noise that you are hearing is coming from the tachometer or the tachometer cable, I would disconnect the cable at the tachometer to determine if the noise is the cable or the tachometer itself.

Attached are some pictures of the distributor on my 1955 Thunderbird when I overhauled it. Looking at the pictures you can see the oil cup and how it routes the oil to the upper bushing.

doug7740
1955 Thunderbird Blue
Thank you both so much for helping out this novice!! You are great. I will check this out the next chance I get along with disconnecting the tach cable.

I assume I need to make sure the tach drive gear comes out with the cable prior to running the engine??
 

Ward 57

Well-Known Member
Thank you both so much for helping out this novice!! You are great. I will check this out the next chance I get along with disconnecting the tach cable.

I assume I need to make sure the tach drive gear comes out with the cable prior to running the engine??
No, just pull the cable out enough to disengage from the gear. Spin the cable by hand once pulled out an inch or so and see if you feel any obstructions. You can pull it and lube with graphite as needed. Bad kinks are probably not the problem as long as the cable housing was left undisturbed. As a budding 'shade tree mechanic' you will learn by understanding the primitive (but at the time cutting edge) Logic. Finger tight for small fasteners to Hand tight for larger bolts ( belt adjustments etc. ). Have fun, investigating and exploring what went on before you found it is half the fun. I like to think of it along the lines of the show Antique archeology.
 

doug7740

Well-Known Member
If you remove the tachometer cable from the distributor and the noise goes away, you still do not know if the noise is coming from the cable or the tachometer itself. If you disconnect the tachometer cable from the tachometer and the noise goes away, you will know the tachometer is the source of the noise. If you disconnect the tachometer cable from the tachometer and the noise is still there, then you will know the cable is the source of the noise. Since the cable is already disconnected from the tachometer, you can remove the cable from the housing from under the dash to clean and lubricate it.

Attached is an article from the July/August Early Bird magazine that addresses speedometer and tachometer cable care.

doug7740
1955 Thunderbird Blue
 

Attachments

If you remove the tachometer cable from the distributor and the noise goes away, you still do not know if the noise is coming from the cable or the tachometer itself. If you disconnect the tachometer cable from the tachometer and the noise goes away, you will know the tachometer is the source of the noise. If you disconnect the tachometer cable from the tachometer and the noise is still there, then you will know the cable is the source of the noise. Since the cable is already disconnected from the tachometer, you can remove the cable from the housing from under the dash to clean and lubricate it.

Attached is an article from the July/August Early Bird magazine that addresses speedometer and tachometer cable care.

doug7740
1955 Thunderbird Blue
Thank you! Good article.
 
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