How to buy a Speedo Cluster (head) Aka: I/P CLUSTER (Instrument Panel)            

There are many failure modes.   (Watch out for Prev. owner removing the CEL lamp and or holder use a flash light to see which port is CEL or what?)
  • Bad idiot lamps, replace them. The lamps are just black knobs on the rear of cluster, twist locked, like a jelly jar. The lamps just pull out of the black knobs.  (some lamps can be missing, options)
  • Bad park lamps, replace them.  (parking /tail with dimmer #46)  If the rear and side parking lamps in car are good and the cluster park lamps are dead?, (then bad cluster lamps or dimmer module)
  • If the other dim-able lamps in the cab dim, then the speedo park lamps are bad, 2 or 3 in head.  (Cig lighter port and Radio dim, and A/T console lights)
  • NOISE !  (the head clock movement can make noise , via any of the many bushings , inside, for sure ,may ways.
  • VSS errors ECU Veh. Speed Sensor  is Dead  (is DTC Code  24  or P0500, DTC thrown, causes limphome or just poor MPG )
  • Dead speedo only ( odometer good, is a bad speedo clock section.)
  • Dead odometer only,  (this  just bad odometer clock)
  • Both speedo and odometer dead is 99.9%  broken speedo cable, or the feed gears stripped in the tranny speedo port (under car)
  • Bad fuel gage.  (can be the guage to the sender)
  • Bad Engine Temperature guage,   same as above reasons.
  • Bad idiot lamps, the lamp is bad, or the object feeding it is bad,  the sender, in the case of the CEL the ECU can be bad.
  • Speedo reads too slow? (GPS tells you?  Free app. for Android?), and odometer reads shorter than real, wrong tires! (large OD diamter tires, slow the speedo cable !)
If both odometer and  the speedo are dead, spin the speedo cable end , under car CCW , if both are still dead the cable is bad.
Pull center cable from the sheath of main cable, from below, did you get 1/2 a cable?  See, it snapped?
If the speedo needle bounces this is a bad/kinked cable, to prove it, pull head, spin speedo rear port ccw, by hand or drill ,if smooth and quiet , it's a bad cable.

How to remove this CLUSTER , is shown here. >> (if the spin test CCW, under car at the Tranny , fails? do this) 
CCW= counter clock wise.

  1.    Speedo plastic gear table  or are your tires or wheels too large ?
  2.   How to buy a speedo cluster.
  3.  Speedo symptoms.
  4.  Head Slide show.
  5. Defeating the speedo noises and make only VSS work.
  6. Speedo guts, the speedo clock , insides.
  7. The speedo  ratios (gears)
  8. Finding Suzuki head (cluster) part-tnumbers.
  9. Axle ratio's
  10. Dismantling the CLUSTER !

SPEEDO needle symptoms:
Bouncing needle with no sounds, is a bad cable ( or kinked, or misrouted causing same)
Bouncing needle with loud head noises, is bad head.  test head pulled with drill motor spun , CCW.
The needle fell off, that is the cups/cone crash , bad bushing in the speedo clock that did that, a bad speedo clock guts.

Key features when buying:
  • Part number  ?   Hard to match perfectly?, see both lists above.   Suz part num prefix is 34100-nnLnn  (on bottom of cluster  ,dead center.)
  • MATCH Number of rear connectors and position !
  • MATCH the Pin count on each connector.   91' = 12 left,  10 right (drivers perspective, not looking at rear of speedo)
  • The small black 5 pin (SES) connector on the rear is useless and is only found on Fe-48 heads. (aka; Mileage nag sw. )
  • 4WD, MT, AT , must match or the corresponding lamps (status) will be missing, or extra.  (I wouldn't care)
  • tachometers may  not be present,  I found my harness was wired for Tacho so I upgraded. (new cluster total)
  • 2WD head is missing the Tacho, so get a 4wd head.
  • There are 2wd/4wd, A/T and M/T , Federal and Calif. heads. and vary by year and door count, 

click to zoom

Slide shows:
SPEEDO HEAD's  ( adding new photos now)
Trick one, match the connector count and pin count on the rear, first. or you just bought the wrong speed. (fleabay rule)
My page is to help  GET THE RIGHT HEAD.

Common failure #1:
if the speed  needle is dead and odometer is dead ,then the  cable is snapped or end key on cable bottom end has snapped (rare transfer case speedo drive gears busted)

MIXING PARTS or other Tricks ?
Next , I mix speedo guts. I get 2 or 3 old clusters and mix part.

If all you need is just the VSS working (the odometer usually never dies.) Just asked this, good question
Use a TOM TOM or the like for speed and distance , hell with the speedo.

DEFEATING THE SPEEDO so my VSS works only, I dont need a working needle or odometer : (and have peace and quiet.)  I have GPS for speed.
Dismantling .   Cluster on the bench.
  1. Remove the front of Cluster, clear lens ,
  2. Then, remove  all meter screws at rear, this frees all the meters from the rear. allowing the font face (all all major parts) to pull free of main case
  3. Do not remove any needles (if all are good)   See photo 1 below , after doing above step, you can see the back side of the actual meter and VSS screw.
  4. Examine the V1 and V2 paths to the actual back flex PC to the VSS attachments, look for damage or corrosion.\
  5. If the speedo needle is dead or bounces, makes noise,drives you nuts and you just want to defeat it then do remove the needle. (this kills the calibration for MPH)
  6. Do remove the needle, from the end shaft (pull it) then the whole speedo meter movement, comes out as seen in the below link
  7. Pull the front cross bar, on the movement box. center of photo
  8. Remove the cup and needle shaft. (the needle bushing was bad) now the cup is gone and can no longer make noise or worse crash in to the main MAG cone.
  9. Bingo, a working VSS. and most likely a good odometer too.
  10. The odometer is gear driven. and usually just works fine. (good cable)
  11. The Speedometer is mag coupling driven simular to a (Ford model "A" style, circa 1930) but our is direct drive and not a dial, but a needle.  (serious old tech)
  12. If the odometer makes noise. lube it, if still noisy , throw away that worm gear top center below.
  13. It is quite possible to have, just a working VSS only head (movement box) by defeating the bad.  (happy trails !)
  14. If only testing, inspecting ,or replacing only the vss read, just leave the needle on the meter and the dial face.  the, solder in new reed. if it really is bad.
  15. This below photo is of my 91 VSS It can be reached with not pulling any needles.
  16. PS: you sure can test the VSS right here, by spinnng the port CCW and getting the VSS clicks , meter across the 2 reed contacts.(not removed yet)
Photo 1 ( in the below I removed 1 screw, see slot in plastic, at 10 AM?  then lifted the VSS upward.,  Just look for damage here.)
If you car is a 1980 non JLX this VSS bracket, part, may be missing.

More SPEEDO guts. (details of the insides)

Photo 2
Done not remove the needle on good speedo's ,defeating it , is another matter see above. Below is circa 1991

VSS: (in the speedo head) 

If the VSS sender breaks ( or cable)  the engine  will never run right (fueling) while moving again.  This VSS sensor is NOT OPTIONAL. sorry , NOT!
This causes DTC code 24, when that happens car goes to LIMPHOME mode:  (MPG as low as 15 mpg )
You must drive car to get 24's
When Limphome (Suz calls it FAILSAFE) the car runs RICH as a pig, ignition retarded, no more cruise control , no more TCC lock up, a very unhappy 4-speed automatic transmission , and a dead EGR, dead, EVAP sys. and Deceleration fuel cut .  (The O2 sensor monitor might fail too)  
VSS is NOT AN OPTIONAL SENSOR, not even close.  

The VSS clicks  4 times per Speedo cable resolution , check this an DVM ohm-meter or continuity tester ,or simple test light.
The Speedo heads states the rev  per mile, and is a hidden lable, inside:
 5speed : sticker  " 1026 Rev = 1 mile"   Rev= revolutions  (lens off front  of cluster ,see markings)  
working backwards from 1026,
the Rear prop shaft turns, 3.8 times more per mile. or 3898.8 rev/ mile ,  and the rear axle (going straight) turns 5.125 less. at  760 Rev/mile
see, my TIRE Rev per mile tables and math here.

Stock tires can vary by style , passenger tire and off road types. same size. but.... 744 is the rule here.
EG: 27.1 Diameter times Pi  π  (3.14  {3.14159265}  ) is 85.1 circumference.
So, Tire rev per mile , is   5280 feet times 12"   63360 inches per/ mile divided by 85.1" and you get 744 rev / mile .  (not hard math at all)   
I see many companies list 744.   (and will be less as it wears down)

( this is the revolutions per mile and the transfer case speedo gear set must follow this rule, there are 3 factory speedo gears.  for the 3 axle /tranny combonations.)

VSS is just a simple reed switch. Any will work fine, get one at Radio Shack.  Tiny is best.  Solder then new one in, cut the old one out.
I do have GM / GO P/N for these gears but GM is a bit dead now.  (sold GEO parts to some other company, so good luck figuring that out)

Speedo gear choices table:

 & speed
Drive teeth
Cable teeth
Ratio speedo
 (760 Suz spec)
speedo cable
M/T-5 or A/T-4
any  5.12 axle
744 (tire spec) 1003 actual
1026 speedo
A/T 3  
8v  2 door only
744    " 1003 actual
1026( speedo)
A/T 3
16v 2 door only
744      " 727? actual
special speedo
2 Door 2WD MT  
tranny to speedo
6 23 3.83  any 5.125 744 945 actual
special  speedo
4Door  2WD
AT 4
5  19 3.80  any 5.125 744 see row 1.

Do not expect 6 tooth gear to fit any transfer case, IMO,I think it will not. This fits 2wd 5speed tranny tail shaft only. (I never tired it)
I do not have the Rev count tags for the special speedo's above.  
As you can see the speedo will read a tad low, at 1 mph,  but as you go  real fast and tires expand, the tires, may hit  spec 760 Rev/per/mile.  ( my theory)
This table will allow you to predict the speed change with speedo gear changes (the speedo gears are plastic)
The ratio (speedo-gears) above, is the ratio from the rear prop shaft to the Speedo cable.
Suzuki part numbers for these gears, are as per below.

keep in mind transfer case must be pulled to swap the drive gear.  so, try new cable gears.
I am not sure if the pitch on the teeth must match.? drive to driven.?
Suzuki P/N , all:
Tooth count: and Suzuki P/N (part number = P/N)
Drive 5--- 29411-60A01    drive gear is mounted to tranny tail shaft.  very hard to replace for sure!
Drive 7--- 29411-60A11     "                          "                                "

Cable 19--- 29421-60A01  cable gear is at end of cable. (easy change)
Cable 22--  29421-60A31
Cable 24--   29421- 60A12

Suzuki's might have a gear kit, ask them.  ( most say , no)
So , if you  are running big tires.
With 5 speed or 4 speed, you can not speed up the speedo. No options for that.
If running the 3sp A/T , you and try the  Drive 5 and driven 19  pair set.   to spin the Speedo the fastest  (unless you already have this set.)
Remove the 22 gear and put in the 19 gear.  changing the ratio to 3.8: 1   The speed will be faster now , faster indication than real.  
Indicating, about 4% higher than actual,  if tires before gear change,  made speedo 10% lower than actual.
A GPS speedo is less trouble.

The common ratios of rear axles. (or matching fronts with 4wd)
89-98 Tracker/Sidekick Gear Ratios (North American Models)

89 Sidekick 2D 1.3L Carb 8V SOHC 5 speed man. 5.625
89-95 Sidekick 2D 1.6L TBI 8V SOHC 5 speed man. 5.125
89-95 Sidekick 2D 1.6L TBI 8V SOHC 3 speed auto 4.625
92-98 Sidekick 4D 1.6L MPFI 16V SOHC 5 speed man. 5.125
92-98 Sidekick 4D 1.6L MPFI 16V SOHC 3 speed auto 4.30
92-98 Sidekick 4D 1.6L MPFI 16V SOHC 4 speed auto 5.125
94-98 Sidekick 2D 1.6L MPFI 16V SOHC 5 speed man. 5.125
94-98 Sidekick 2D 1.6L MPFI 16V SOHC 3 speed auto 4.30
94-98 Sidekick 2D 1.6L MPFI 16V SOHC 4 speed auto 5.125
96-98 X90 1.6L MPFI 16V SOHC Auto or man. 4.625
96-98 Sport 1.8L MPFI 16V DOHC Auto or manual 5.125

Cluster P/N lists by Suzuki.  

My Part Number List   ( a condensation)

A 92-93  list.   

  ALL heads for all USA Sidekicks 1989 to 1998  1.6L The All USA PDF list.

Custom speedo shops ( yellowpages) can correct your speedo, but it will be an expensive trip.
Best is just put a sticker in the SPEEDO that says.
Error 110%  and drive accordingly.  Or buy a GPS speedo, but the odometer will always be off with large tires.

NOISE:   The speedometer/Odometer (I'll call it a speedo, for short)
The cables Spins at 878 RPM at near 60 MPH.  (about 1/4 the speed of the rear axles at all times.) (so, 1 mph is about  14 RPM) so, faster is more noise....

(if the noise from the head stops ,when you drop off either end of the main cable attachments , the head is bad.)
You can drop either end (1 at  time and drive.), and find out ,if in fact only the cable is bad.(all this is obvious, but I feel compelled to state this and cover all fail paths)

The cable can fail many a way,  it can snap, or dry out, and make noise, then when really dry and really sticking , it snaps , and all is quite and a dead speedo head. (needle and odometer dead)

  • The head can also fail in a vast number of ways, but for noise, is caused by , worn bushings or just lack of grease. (on a new head , I see grease on plastic gear shafts, not teeth)
  • The if the needle bounces, as it makes noise, this is a clear sign the needle (rear, closest to driver) is bad, allowing the mag cup to hit the needle cup. (remove the needle/cup end parts)
  • The front (farthest  form driver) at the entrance of the cable head.  needs grease. (small amounts) if you go wild here, that crease can migrate to the head parts, and make a good head fail.
  • The clock in side, (all those gears) are all bushed, any can make noise, of any kind. Squealing, rattling, chirping, grinding.. you name it, it can do it.  My first one failed at 97K.
  • I buy heads that are a match or very close and swap internal parts. to get one head. Suzuki still sells some heads ,but are very expensive.
  • has them, as does many sellers on EBAY.(used)  (warning, match the P/N or the rear side looks, or FAIL) See my list its very complete. (all heads above)and above that.
  • The odometer can make noise.  (and can be defeated, if you don't mind a missing odometer) In fact removed , totally , (by owners, and never real shops)
  • The USA Federal car, has that silly nag switch, gear drive parts can make noise (defeat it and you solve that) or remove it.
  • The VSS is a reed switch ,it never makes noise, do not remove this critical device.
  • The only thing that needs to be kept running in the whole clock, is the rear drum and the VSS reed.  all other parts, can be defeated, or removed.
  • This would be just the front (farthest from driver) front drum and the reed switch must be left intact. The rear drum/needle part  can be removed.
  • The needle portion/drum and mounts all gone, the odometer all parts gone and the NAG clock gone.  (I'd bet its quiet now?) Keep the VSS alive.  (a stripped head)!
  • Then run TOM-TOM or any Smart phone  , Free Navigator APP to get speed, and distance using GPS.  Only the VSS needs to stay, today.
There Are OBD2 , speedometers, too. (special gauges that fit 1996 and newer cars) In fact, I made my own (MPG and speedo gauge);

Best link: on Speedo facts.

There is a very specia,l no migration grease used, high temperature. Finding some for sale is , near impossible. 

Keep in mind, for real shops, in many USA states, resetting an odometer, is a felony.  (if your's is missing, there will be no proof , of who or how it was done, no evidence)
Obviously, owners can swap speedo clusters, all day, any day.  (in the dark , no witnesses.) LOL.
But don't make the mistake of asking others to do that.... dig?

ver 6;  (edits for noise) 10-1-2013