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Brian, Auto Service Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 1227
Experience:  5 years Ford Technical Hotline/Service Engineer. 2005 Ford Master Cert. Automotive Technology degree
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How to replace a speedometer cable on a 1998 escort zx2

Customer Question

how to replace a speedometer cable on a 1998 escort zx2
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Brian replied 9 years ago.
You don't! Because there is no cable. It's electronic instead. The Vehicle Speed Sensor on the transmission creates a pulsing signal to the engine's computer. The signal is shared by the speedometer and other items.


The VSS Vehicle Speed Sensor mounted on the transmission as shown above.

The VSS signal is picked up by the speedometer and converted to a reading. Here is a wiring diagram:


A problem with the sensor is usually the most likely fault, since it is a moving part it wears out. The wiring could be at fault as well, and may require electrical diagnosis (checking for shorts, looking for broken wires and bad connections).
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Brian's Post: where is speed sensor located on transmission top l side r sideany tips on replacing the sensor
Expert:  Brian replied 9 years ago.
It is on the lower rear of the transmission. So you have to put the front of the car up on jackstands or ramps to slide under and access the sensor. Look for something that matches the first picture I posted. Unplug it, remove the bolt, and install the new sensor. Tighten the bolt to the specified torque (70-95 in-lbs). If you don't have a torque wrench, just be careful not to overtighten the bolt. Make it nice and snug but don't use super strength force.
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Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I cannotlocate the speed sensor on the transmission topside bottom side I have rmoved battery & battery box & have car on ramps. could you be more specific on location of sensor looking up from under the car is it on THE BACKSIDE TOWARD THE FIREWALL OR ON FRONT SIDE TOWARD THE RADIATOR OR TOWARD THE LEFT FRONT WHEEL BELOWTRANS MOUNT ETC.
Expert:  Brian replied 9 years ago.
Here is a picture showing a transmission. The VSS can be seen near the hole where the CV Axle Shaft inserts in the transmission's passenger side. So the sensor is hidden on top of a deck that makes it hard to see from underneath. You have to reach up on top of the little deck portion where the sensor is installed.