Making Repairs To My Brantz Retrotrip Odometer

The Brantz Retrotrip is a reasonably popular electronic/mechanical rally odometer that is used where average speed rally computers are not allowed and car owners are looking for an older style rally odometer.  I have had a Retrotrip for a few years and have used it in several rallies.  However I began to notice that sometimes the numbers would not advance when they should have.  I did some testing and I discovered that this was happening with both displays, so I knew that I couldn’t trust either display.  As this had happened to me, I also used a similar Retrotrip owned by a friend of mine in a rally and I discovered that the same thing was happening with his Retrotrip.  I also found out from two other sources that the same thing happened to them.

The issue is that the counters, which are the mechanical part of the unit, will wear out.  In an exchange of messages with Michael Bruns of Germany, I was told that the counters can be changed either by sending the unit back to Brantz or doing it myself.  Therefore in order to restore my Retrotrip to a new condition, I decided to change the counters myself.  This post describes how I did it and hopefully can serve as a guide for others.

You’ll Need a #10 Torx Screwdriver, Needlenose Pliers, And A Small Slot Screwdriver To Change The Counters

Remove the back cover of the Retrotrip odometer.

Remove All Five Screws From The Back Plate

The light shade on the top of the Retrotrip needs to be removed to get access to the top mounting screws on the counters.

Remove Top Light Shade

Once the top light shade is removed, then the two screws holding the counters in place can be removed.

Remove The Screws Holding The Counters In Place

The photo below shows the two counters.  Note that they are manufactured by a company based in Brazil – Veeder-Root.  The model number of the counters is important to note – 779185-207.  I live in Massachusetts and I found a dealer in Connecticut, Walker Industrial, who imports and retails these counters.  I am sure that there are others similar distributors throughout the country.  Be sure to get the model numbers exactly the same.

The Two Existing Counters Appear To Have Been Built In May 2007

I ordered the two new counters and about 3 to 4 weeks later, the two new Veeder-Root counters arrived.  The only difference between the existing counters and the new counters is that Brantz had added a decimal point to the clear plastic display cover to identify the distance to two places of decimal.  I will have to add my own decimal place and the plastic cover that protects the numbers in the display.

One Of My New Veeder-Root Counters

As shown in the photo below, the two wires from the Veeder-Root counters are inserted in two connectors at the back of the Retrotrip unit.  The wires from the existing counters can be removed from the connectors by depressing the little orange tabs, while pulling out the black wires.  I made notes so I would not forget which wire went into which side of each connector.

Depress The Orange Tabs In Remove Or Reinstall The Wires From The Counters

The installation of the new Veeder-Root counters is just the opposite of the removal.  It is really not particularly difficult.  I should have shortened the wires coming out of the back on the new counters as I wound up cramming at lot of excess wire inside the Retrotrip box.

I want to thank again Michael Bruns who gave me the idea to fix the Retrotrip.  I now am heading in a different direction with respect to older odometers, so I just might put my Retrotrip up for sale, but now I know that it is in “new” condition and I can pass it along feeling good about the Retrtrip.

If you have any comments or questions about this post then leave a comment below or you can send me a private email message at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net

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6 Responses to Making Repairs To My Brantz Retrotrip Odometer

  1. Hello

    I have followed your explanation about the repair of your retrotrip Odometer. Therefor I have two questions about:

    The first one is, do you have a photo of the circuit on the circuit board? Or photos of both sides of the circuit board? It would help me to understand the circuit an the mechanism of the adjusting.
    The second question is, where do you get the veeder counters? Dou you have an internet adress where I can buy those?

    Greetings
    Ian H.

    • Hi Ian,
      My response to you is somewhat delayed as I was over in Germany competing in a car rally over there.
      I did not take any photos of the circuit board as I did not want to disturb any more than I absolutely had to and I was not concerned about the adjustment issues.
      I obtained my Veeder Root counters from a supplier in Newtown, Connecticut in the USA. The company’s name was Walker Industrial. Their website is http://www.walkeremd.com
      You might be able to find a supplier closer to you. Let me know how your repairs get along.
      Steve McKelvie

  2. Roy says:

    Hi Steve, with your post i decided to repair my Brantz Retrotip 3. I opened It and veeder root are 1998…with reference 779195-207 vs 779185-207…I found specifications notice for both (technical and tall) and i discovered they are the same as if one is 1998 and the other 2007.
    Now i need to buy 3 new counters but it seems to be not so easy as in USA in Europe. I could tell it in few days. But old Retrotrips seems to be repair with news counters.
    Alex

    • Hi Alex,
      Thank you for the information that you sent me in the email message. If you have big problems getting the part, then perhaps my USA supplier could help you.
      Steve McKelvie

      • Alex Roy says:

        Hi Steve,
        I’ll tell you un few days if i need to contact the company who sold your counters in USA.
        Il you want to publish the picture and notices of course you can !
        Alex

      • Hi Alex,
        Let’s wait until your Retrotrip is repaired. That way others can benefit from your experience.
        Steve McKelvie

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