In Reply to: Face Swap posted by KDS on March 10, 2000 at 12:56:29:
: I replaced my original (malfunctioning) speedo with a reconditioned unit a while back. The replacement works well mechanically, but aesthetically it's in worse condition than the other gauges—which really bugs me.
: I thought that swapping in the original needle and face would be easy. Turns out it isn't. The problem is, speedo needles are spring loaded to always return to the 0 mph positon. That little peg that the needle rests against is there to keep the spring from uncoiling altogether. If you pull off the needle (which you'd need to do to put on a new face) that's exactly what will happen. It's sorta similar to cracking open the retractor unit on your seatbelts—argh—NOT A GOOD IDEA! It'll be impossible to reset the gaugewhen you put it all back together.
I did it on a nissan (for someone else). Before replacing the needle you need to remove the stop peg. Replace the needle pointing below the stop to maintain spring pressure, then bring it up and replace the peg. Should work on 02's too.