How To Reset a Classic Mustang Odometer

Odometer000000If your doing a classic Mustang restoration you’ve probably thought about resetting your odometer to zero; so how can you achieve this? I’ve read about people using a drill and hooking it up to the odometer and letting it wiz away until they reach the mark, this could potentially take hours. There is an easier way to do this by rolling the odometer back by hand.

This article and video demonstrates the procedure on a 1967-68 Mustang Odometer but should apply to 65-66 Mustang and 69-73 Mustang as well, and the procedures would probably work on a lot of other Muscle Cars from the era.

Removing the Odometer

DSCF0061The first step is to remove the instrument gauge cluster form the dash; you’ll need to do this so you can remove the odometer from the speedometer housing. The Odometer is held in place with a spring clip, a very small screw driver and a little nudging will remove the spring clip allowing the odometer to be removed.

When you remove the odometer you will see a series of tabs between each if the digit barrels, these tabs are the piece that keep the numbers in line and in place until the number to its left passes nine. Don’t panic if these tabs and numbers start spinning around as you handle the odometer in preparation for setting it to zero, your going to spin them anyway.

Rolling back the odometer

OdometerRingTabsSo you’ve taken a good look at your odometer and noticed the rings between each of the digit barrels; each having two tabs exposed. The odometer reading is always between these two tabs and this is where we want to line up all the zeros while conforming to the tab alignment.

The first step is to set the left most number on the odometer to zero; turn the entire assembly until this zero is facing you; don’t worry about the tab position when doing this that will be set next.

With the zero farthest to the left facing you; secure it with your thumb so it stays in this position. Then turn the rest of the assembly away from you until the digits lock in place; unlock the tab between the zero and the number next to it OdometerSpinby turning it toward you until it lock in place. Repeating this procedure will bring the tab around until it is in position where the zero you are holding is between the tabs.

To align the remaining zeros and tabs, repeat the procedures above. Start by bring the next number (working from the left) so the zero is facing you and is lined up with the zero to the left. Now secure both zeros with your thumb and give the rest of the assembly a spin and repeat the tab movement until it’s in line.

Confusing, yes! You should watch the video.

5 thoughts on “How To Reset a Classic Mustang Odometer

  1. Excellent article and video!! I tried to roll back my odometer to zero and made a mess of it until I found this. You have a great site and I have used several of your videos to help me restore my 68 fastback. Keep up the good work.
    Fred — July 3, 2009 7:32 AM

    Happy Independence Day! I also mad a mess on my first one.. and I also searched the web for information on how roll back the odometer but could find nothing.
    After getting a hold of a few speedometers I decided to sit back and fiddle with them to to figure out what makes them tick.
    Happy to know that you had success and I hope that anyone else that has success after reading the article and viewing the video will post a comment.
    JoeResto — July 3, 2009 8:22 AM

    There’s a small hole on the wheel portion of the dial, I found that by inserting a paper clip through the first hole, it keeps the first tumbler from turning until you line up the next one. After that is achieved, slide the paper clip through the next dial, and so on and so on. I think it lines up the dial to 99999, but once installed, it’ll roll to 00000 on your first drive.
    Jesse — August 30, 2009 6:21 AM

    good info, and thank you, but i have a little problem…. now my odometer doesn’t turn…. did i loose a piece in there or something ??
    jimmy — February 28, 2012 12:48 PM
    I got mine all lined up too. won’t turn. sometimes i can get the 10ths to roll but it wont turn over the first mile. help?
    will — August 8, 2013 8:53 PM

    i have the same problem. everything lined up but wont turn. sometimes i can get the 10ths to go but they won’t roll the next row over.
    will — August 8, 2013 8:57 PM

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