Author Topic: Cowley speedometer  (Read 275 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline yoshimasa negishi

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Join Date: Nov 2018
  • Posts: 27
Cowley speedometer
« on: 18 Jun 2020 at 08:51 »

I plan to start the restoration of my Douglas model D31 600cc from now on.
I want to wear a speedometer.
I got two special gearboxes.

The gearbox ratio is 28/10 and 29/10.
I think I need a Cowley speedometer.

Is there a meter that fits the 28/10 ratio?
Is there a shop that can repair the Cowley speedometer?
Is there a shop that can manufacture Cowley speedometer cables and lock nuts?

In Japan, there is very little information on pre-war British cars, which is a problem.

Offline isettaman

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Join Date: Mar 2018
  • Posts: 65
  • Location: Wakefield UK
Re: Cowley speedometer
« Reply #1 on: 18 Jun 2020 at 10:36 »
Hi yoshimasa
They are actually Cowey speedometers, however
Are you a wealthy man?
Try this one...

Offline arturro

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Join Date: Dec 2012
  • Posts: 106
  • Location: Poland

Offline Doug

  • Administrator
  • ****
  • Join Date: Mar 2004
  • Posts: 3904
  • Location: Glen Mills, PA, USA
Re: Cowley speedometer
« Reply #3 on: 18 Jun 2020 at 13:38 »
The internal body of the early thirties Cowley speedometers are die-cast zinc. They are very prone to warpage and decay, making working Cowleys rare and expensive; and repairs not practical.


Offline Chris

  • Master Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Jun 2004
  • Posts: 503
  • Location: Kent, UK.
Re: Cowley speedometer
« Reply #4 on: 18 Jun 2020 at 16:39 »
From playing about with Cowey speedos in the past I can offer the following advice. Firstly, the nut at the bottom of the drive cable to screw onto the special Douglas front  hub gearbox (Illustrated above) were made at one time and were available from the LDMCC Spares scheme as were the gearboxes themselves. On Cowey models I have used, the thread on the back of the speedo head is the same or near enough the same to that used on domestic shower hoses and the shower hose itself makes an ideal "outer" for the drive cable. So a length of inner can be adapted to make the drive. It is probably quite a rare item nowadays but there was a small tool available to create a square on the end of the inner using a vice to crush it. To finish the drive cable to look authentic, the chrome plated spiral of the hose shower outer can be covered with thin leather carefully stitched up the side.
The Speedo head itself, again in the examples I have seen, is actually a very simple mechanism. I remember when I came into contact with my first one I spent a while consulting with all the speedo experts and could find no one willing to even look at it. When I took it apart I found that unlike Smiths chronometric and some of the other expensive and sophisticated speedos the Cowey was a simple centrifugal device which with care I was able to clean and repair.

Offline yoshimasa negishi

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Join Date: Nov 2018
  • Posts: 27
Re: Cowley speedometer
« Reply #5 on: 19 Jun 2020 at 15:20 »
Thank you for the great information.

I would like to try to repair the Cowley speedometer by myself, referring to Chris's advice.
I'm good at repairing cameras in the 1930s so I might be able to take advantage of that experience.
I'm looking for a shop that can make speedometer cables.

Offline roger h

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Join Date: May 2012
  • Posts: 90
  • Location: ulverston, cumbria, uk
Re: Cowley speedometer
« Reply #6 on: 19 Jun 2020 at 15:54 »
Hi Yoshimasa,
I've used Speedy Cables for car and motorbike speedo drive cables.
Best of luck,