Electronic GPS Speedometer VDO - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old June 22nd, 2014, 07:24 AM
richord
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Richard Ordowich
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Electronic GPS Speedometer VDO

I installed the VDO GPS sensor and speedometer. Installation and setup was simple.With the sensor on the top of the dashboard it appears to work well so far.

The speedometer I installed has a top speed of 85MPH. I thought that was high enough given that above 70MPH I expect things to start flying off the truck such as doors, windows and other body parts

No more wobbly speedometer needle!

VDO Cockpit International 85MPH/130kmh 4" Electronic Speedometer with Autocalibration - 437 957

VDO GPS Speed Sensor - 340-786

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  #2  
Old June 22nd, 2014, 09:55 PM
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John
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How many wires go from the sensor to the speedometer?

Tell us if it works well in the "city", ie tall buildings, or wooded areas. Although it likely wouldn't matter as those are areas where the speedometer isn't as important, ie slower than open highways.
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  #3  
Old June 23rd, 2014, 08:43 AM
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Richard Ordowich
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There is only one wire from the GPS to the speedometer. You have to connect 12v to both devices as well.

I connected the GPS to a constant source of 12v even when the ignition is off the GPS stays powered up. This reduces the time the GPS has to search for a signal when you first drive off. It draws very little current.

I don't expect to drive is a city setting anytime soon but there is very dense foliage where I live and in the past GPS signals were blocked but the current generation of GPS receivers seem to still work in these conditions.

I may experiment with a Hall effect sensor if I can determine if both can be simultaneously connected to the speedometer.
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  #4  
Old June 23rd, 2014, 09:32 AM
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John B.
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Why did you just not use the stock LT230 hall effect sensor? It is cheaper and would be more reliable.
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  #5  
Old June 23rd, 2014, 10:21 AM
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GPS Speedo

I have used these and find them very accurate and no need to ever calibrate or recalibrate when changing tire/wheel size.
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  #6  
Old June 23rd, 2014, 10:33 AM
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Richard Ordowich
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I replaced the speedometer and cable after having suffered with the wobbles. Unfortunately that did not resolve the problem so I suspect that the pickup on the transfer case is defective and a hall effect sensor that used that same point wouldn't work. I was thinking of installing a non standard hall effect sensor that doesn't use that pickup point (off the driveshaft) to experiment.

From my limited experience with the Defender, anything electrical or mechanical on these vehicles should be considered unreliable. So far I have replaced all the lighting wiring and lights (with LED's) as well as all of the dashboard switches (and wiring) with Carling switches. Unfortunately the column switches are not easily replaceable with different devices, although that's still something I want to do.

Replacing the mechanical parts with more robust components is not feasible but at least when I break down I will have all my lights working!
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  #7  
Old June 23rd, 2014, 11:13 AM
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I seriously doubt there is anything wrong with the speedo output gear. Even if there is, they are cheap and simple to replace. You just pop one out and pop another in. I've never seen any unreliable electrical item other than those done by owners or bad aftermarket parts. The proper Defender hall effect sensor is very well designed and should be 100% reliable.
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  #8  
Old June 23rd, 2014, 11:33 AM
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100%

Just using oem Defender part and 100% reliable in the same sentence gave me a chuckle.
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  #9  
Old June 23rd, 2014, 12:22 PM
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In my defense, I am an electrical engineer and have decades of experience mis-desiging all forms of hardware and software. My electrical redesign of the Defender was preceded by installing a fire extinguisher (just in case).

100% reliability on any vehicle is equally amusing. Land Rovers should be used as a case study on how not to design a vehicle. I recall Land Rovers were frequently at the bottom of the reliability lists of JD Power and Consumer Reports. Of course Ford hit that bottom as well recently with their dashboard user interface (this after BMW had similar experience with their IDrive). Which is also amusing because both Ford and BMW owned Land Rover!

Buying a Land Rover requires, naiveté, ignorance, love or masochistic tendencies. I think I suffer from all of these I

But now at least my speedometer will continue to work as I coast down the road after the engine or transmission fails.
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  #10  
Old June 23rd, 2014, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rommel View Post
Just using oem Defender part and 100% reliable in the same sentence gave me a chuckle.
In this case, it is. It is a properly designed, modern speed sensor attached to a very reliable transfer case.
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  #11  
Old January 29th, 2015, 05:16 PM
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How is the GPS Speedo holding up? ever get to try it out in the city?
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  #12  
Old January 29th, 2015, 05:46 PM
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I am a fan of the GPS units as well. No need to recalibrate if changing gearing/tires. Never had a problem with drop out accept for going through the Bay Bridge Tunnel...but then I loose my Satellite radio too.

When I restored the dash on my TR6 I had Morris Mintz at West Valley Instruments update my mechanical tach and speedo to electronic units using VDO internals and added GPS to the speedo. He also installed a significant amount of led lighting in each gauge( I can actually see the gauges at night). The speedo has a electronic trip/mileage window which also gives information in order calibrate the unit. The last modification that I made was to use a PWM(pulse width modulation) style dimmer for the gauges as the original rheostat was unable to do the job to my liking.

Chip
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  #13  
Old January 29th, 2015, 05:50 PM
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Richard Ordowich
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Mine has been working fine. I haven't driven in a city setting so can't provide any information on that.
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  #14  
Old November 13th, 2017, 12:00 PM
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Paul von Klosst-Dohna
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Can you share an image of the speedo you installed and also let us know where you purchased it please?

Thanks


Paul
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  #15  
Old November 13th, 2017, 12:25 PM
richord
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Richard Ordowich
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I am traveling this week, be back Thursday. I will send you the information you requested. A couple of suggestions in the meantime.

1. When you install the sensor you should wire an on/off switch so you can easily reset it. Occasionally it has trouble capturing the satellite signal and a quick reset corrects this.
2. Around where I live, the trees cover the road during the summer months. This sometimes blocks the satellite signal momentarily so your speedometer freezes. Usually this only lasts a few seconds. Don't speed during these momentary lapses
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