92 Escort Speedometer cable

Hi, I'm trying to remove the instrument cluster to replace some dead bulbs, but just can't get the darn speedometer cable to unhook. I've heard lots to
vague descriptions that usually go "reach behind an disconnect the cable." I can reach behind. I can feel the cable. I can turn the cable a little. But I can't see it, and I'm not sure what to do to remove it.
Does someone have a picture of how the cable attaches to the back of the instrument cluster, or know what I need to do to disconnect it. Do I turn the cable 90 degrees? Is there a retaining clip I'm somehow supposed to remove?
Help!
Joe S. snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com
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slywry wrote:

Disconnect the speedometer cable from the transmission. Just give the cable a yank close to the trans. You can then pull it through the firewall enough to disconnect it from the cluster. You squeeze the connector and pull it off of the speedometer. When you are done with the cluster, push the cable into the trans until it snaps in place. The cable doesn't exactly connect to the transmission. It plugs into the Vehicle Speed Sensor that is screwed to the transmission. If you have room, you can unscrew the VSS instead of unplugging the cable.
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Tom Adkins wrote:

I recently changed all the light bulbs on my 95' Escort's instrument cluster. I couldn't disconnect the speedo cable from the back of the cluster either. There's just not enough working room. I tried to pull the speedo cable out of the tranny but it wouldn't release. I had to remove the metal/wire retaining clip on the end of the cable housing to get it out. I used some needle nose pliers to bend the clip back in shape before reinstalling it on the cable. Once the cable was out of the tranny I pushed it through the firewall a few inches while pulling the cluster out of the dash. This is where a helper would come in handy. With the cluster out it's easy to remove the speedo cable from the back. I changed all the bulbs regardless of their condition. I used long life '194' bulbs. They cost more but I don't intend to ever remove the cluster again. I remember when changing an instrument light was just a matter of reaching up under the dash and pulling the bulb out.
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Fordfan wrote:

The cable is retained by that clip. It takes a sharp tug close to it to disconnect the cable. No pliers shouldbe needed. Putting it back in takes a sharp shove.
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Tom Adkins wrote:

I know the cable is supposed to pull out but things don't always go as they should. I pulled on the cable quite hard but it wouldn't release. I was concerned that further pulling might damage the cable so I removed the clip. It wasn't any big deal to reshape the clip and install it back on the cable.
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Fordfan wrote:

Without good instructions, replacing the instrument cluster blubs can take forever, but it really only needs to take about 1-2 hours and that's if you're not a good mechanic. Here's how:
Steps to replacing the instrument cluster/dashboard lights on a 1993 Ford Escort
1. Remove the plastic cover underneath the steering wheel. 2. Now remove the 4 large bolts that you see. This will drop the entire steering wheel down onto the front seat. 3. Remove the driver's side of the dash (goes from the center console vents over to the driver's side door and up and around the instrument cluster) 4. Disconnect any excessories as you pull the dash (e.g. rear defrost, power mirrors) 5. The instrument cluster will now be in view. On the top of the instrument cluster but farther back in, there are 3 little golden star-tipped screws. Use a magnetic-tipped screwdriver to remove them or else you could lose the screws. Note: these 3 screws are not the first ones you see; they're actually back in an inch or two. 6. The clear plastic cover will now come off. You will now see the gauges with nothing between you and them. Grab the gauges individually (e.g. tachometer, fuel gauge, etc.; they're just connected with prongs, not a bunch of wires). You don't need to pull the speedometer because you can access the bulbs from the tach and fuel gauge. 7. Once the gauges are pulled, the bulbs should be in plain sight. Replace them. 8. Do all of these steps in reverse order to put it all back together.
Good luck!
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Very ingenious. How did you discover that method? I used the instructions in the Ford manual which say to remove the complete instrument cluster. It would also have been easier if the driver's side dash panel would come off without having to lower the steering column but there's not enough clearance.
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