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Old 08-28-2010, 12:54 PM   #31
SubaruMike
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Re: 99 wagon speedometer works when it wants to, HELP

I have it figured out!!!! I went through everything in this forum changing the head worked for about 3 months (it was the longest fix I found). Then I started pulling the old head apart because I was pissed to waste my money on a new one that did the same thing. What I found was the female connector (blue) was not making contact, it had a high resistance open. I stuffed some folded paper into the side of the female connector and a tiny bit into the inside of the female when sliding the male half in. I has now been 6 months and still working fine.

The part has the single wire feeding to it. hope you are all as happy as I am with this VERY CHEAP FIX!!!! WOOOOHOOOOO
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Old 11-23-2010, 01:43 PM   #32
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Re: 99 wagon speedometer works when it wants to, HELP

I took a jumper wire and spliced into the single blue wire that plugs into the head. Then soldered other end of the wire directly onto the circuit board. Took care of the problem.
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Old 12-10-2010, 05:47 PM   #33
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Re: 99 wagon speedometer works when it wants to, HELP

Fixed it too!

I had the same issues except my cruise wouldn't engage either. Speedo was crazy and worked sparingly if I used the power windows, but not always.

On the back of the Speedo head I noticed that the blue GROUND plug was loose in the connector. So instead of paper I took a toothpick and broke it off in the connector/wire area and another one between the the two connectors. WORKS GREAT!! BTW I checked all the solder joints and had no cracking or oxidation, fortunately.

Thanks for all those for their input!

Last edited by jcardisco; 09-10-2011 at 06:29 PM.
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Old 09-10-2011, 06:29 PM   #34
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Re: 99 wagon speedometer works when it wants to, HELP

Update 9-10-11:

Trying to run a new ground didn't work at all. I get about 2.6 Volts when working or not working. So I took off those Stainless steel screws on the back of the speedo head and on the other heads. I noticed that the SS screws where oxidizing (white film) on the hardware. I pulled them off and used a brass brush to clean them. After installing them again the head works great!!!!!!!

Unfortunately, the cruise control still doesn't work so not sure. Additionally I accidentally broke off the needle on the Hot/Cold gauge and had to glue on an ORANGE colored Toothpick. Don't mess up the needles like my dumbass..

The wife doesn't like the toothkpick needle so she wants a new cluster, but we'll see.
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Old 09-11-2011, 05:12 PM   #35
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Re: 99 wagon speedometer works when it wants to, HELP

Okay I finally went through the trouble of taking off the steering wheel of my 99 legacy wagon to properly fix the broken speedo. The problem as someone mentions above was corrosion on the screws holding the actual speedo head unit to the cluster (5 phillips screws) there is a light white film i took off with an emery board. Also at the base of the green ground connector (on the circuit board) there was some brown substance that I scraped off (very very carefully). Drove it around for a few mile using turn signals flashing brights (all the things that would disable the speedo before, that is for the maybe 10% of the time it was working) and all is well.
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Old 10-06-2011, 07:57 PM   #36
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Re: 99 wagon speedometer works when it wants to, HELP

man, when seeing the title, i just thought you're speaking the game speedometer.
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:28 PM   #37
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Re: 99 wagon speedometer works when it wants to, HELP

Another unhappy Subaru owner, except that the car didn't cost me anything. My speedo went out about 2 years ago, and before I had a chance to get it fixed we bought ourselves another car and stopped using the Subaru. We had brought it in for something, and the estimate we got back just made it not worth the cost at the time.

Fast forward to 3 months ago and I finally started the car up again after sitting unused for those 2 years, and took it out for a short spin. I then brought it to a mechanic and for a hefty fee got it in like new condition. The car has only 50k miles on it, lost miles to the speedo notwithstanding (not more the 2-3k). The ONE thing he couldn't fix was the speedo! He wanted to send out for a replacement head, but that it would take a few weeks, but in the meantime my son needed the car so we couldn't wait. It was still mostly working at that point anyway.

We drove it to Florida from NY and the speedo would kick in as soon as we hit 50mph and keep running all day. But once down there my son said it never worked. We drove it back to NY last week and it worked maybe over 50 miles of the trip, but while it was working I noted the speed vs the RPM and was able to judge speed on the tach.

I took the speed head out this afternoon, checked the green wire, checked the connector, looked at the traces, tried the screw in the connector tricked mentioned elsewhere, all to no avail. I'm wondering too about the ground screw, it was fully oxidized. That in itself should have at least been fixed by unscrewing/rescrewing but not that I can tell. I put it all back together and everything else still works.

I'm going to try hard wiring from the green wire to the board, and also hard wiring a ground to the chassis and see if that'll do it.
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Old 04-29-2012, 07:43 AM   #38
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Re: 99 wagon speedometer works when it wants to, HELP

After doing the above, when my son used the car again he said the speedo has been mostly working. Every now and then it stops but then starts up again. All I really did was jiggle a lot of wires, and unscrew and re-screw everything. That makes me believe it is just the ground screw, and all the other fixes out there work because by unscrewing it you've removed enough oxidation to make contact. I'm leaving well enough alone at this point.

And nobody has read this board since I posted anyway...
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:34 PM   #39
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Re: 99 wagon speedometer works when it wants to, HELP

I have the same intermittent speedometer problem on my 1999 Subaru Outback...179000kms.....my cruise control works fine, I am told that rules out the sensors, they are working fine....or the cruise control would not work.
I have followed all the advice on here, replaced cluster......, cleaned and tighten screws , added ground wires....checked circuit board and connections....... added the wire to bridge the trace...resolded connections....and so on.....
my speedometer is still intermittent...
I have found that I when the heat is on mine will start to work , may work for a day or 2 Min's ....but does seem to be heat related....which brings be back to poor connection...
I am completely out of ideas....any suggestions?
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:31 PM   #40
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Re: 99 wagon speedometer works when it wants to, HELP

Why is there no recall on all the problems with the 1998 and 1999 subaru's with the odometer problems. It seams like it should be illegal for subaru not to fix this problem because the milage also stops and it can never have TRUE milage readings? There are hundreds of people talking about having this problem all over the internet and at the subaru dealerships.

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Old 03-02-2013, 03:27 PM   #41
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Re: 99 wagon speedometer works when it wants to, HELP

dalerace......I guess the only people who can answer your question regarding a recall is Subaru.....but first they have to admit that there is a problem.
By the way I think I may have fixed my problem with the speedometer intermittently not working, the problem that Subaru had never heard of.
I removed the famous blue socket connector from the speed sensor and replaced it, it has been working for the last 200kms, I am keeping my fingers crossed....
Subaru seems to have a problem ever admitting they have any problems.
I had a problem with my automatic transmission, there are lots of threads regarding from a cold start, there's a delay of engagement into drive from park or reverse, so-called morning sickness,, but according to Subaru they had never heard of that problem either, even though they sent me an email telling me they now supply a rebuilt automatic transmission for my 1999 Subaru Outback for only $4000.00
I do love my 1999 Subaru Outback....just not Subaru the company (Fuji Industries)
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