Gauge cluster swap w/ tachometer possible? | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)

Gauge cluster swap w/ tachometer possible?

Discussion in '2nd Gen 1991-1996 1.9L SOHC' started by mozzles, Mar 30, 2013.

  1. mozzles

    mozzles FEOA Member

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    My dash gauges doesn't have a tachometer.. at the scrap yard today I found a wagon, 96 I believe, with the tach. It is an automatic unfortunately and my car is a manual, not sure if that matters but it seems like it could. Would it be possible to swap the new gauge cluster in and have a working tach, and how big of a project would it be?

    Zac
  2. 95wagonlx

    95wagonlx FEOA Donator

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    It is possible. I did it a month ago. It is not to big of a project it involves moving the wires around in the plugs for the cluster.

    You will need to run a wire from the EDIS for the tach signal so chop off the EDIS harness(EDIS is near the fusebox if you did not know) so you can slice in a wire to run to the cluster.
    I think, if I remember correctly, you will need two more power and one more ground so chop off the harness on the cluster from the junkyard so you can splice them for the extra power and signal and ground wires you will need.

    I have the wiring diagrams for the 1995 year which could be helpful other than the fact that they change the wire colors each year but the places for the wires are the same.

    Whenever I sit in my car, which is a manual, it seems weird that it did not have the tach cluster original...it is a very good and not to hard of a thing to do.

    I will keep an eye on this thread if you have more questions but you should do it for sure.

    This is a helpful related thread (that might have the 96 wiring order):
    https://feoa.net/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=13 ... meter+swap
    Rafael D. likes this.
  3. mozzles

    mozzles FEOA Member

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    Thanks! It's good to hear that it's possible and not a tough job, although I'm sure I will have many questions in the process, so I appreciate it.

    Is it very hard to remove the dash from the donor vehicle? I want to make sure it comes out without getting cracked or scuffed up too much. If you can remember what the process is roughly, that would be great.

    As far as the wiring, sounds like once I get both of them out I should be able to work with your '95 wiring diagram and figure it out. Where did you connect the 2 extra power and the ground to, if you can remember?

    Thanks again,

    Zac
  4. 95wagonlx

    95wagonlx FEOA Donator

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    For the extra power and ground I took one of the power(or ground) wires and chopped it off, close to the pin, then I took some of the extra wires from the donor wiring harness(that I cut as long as possible), and used a wire nut to connect them. Basically I multiplied the existing power and ground as I needed.

    I took a random wire from the EDIS harness and tach harness and took my piece of wire and used wire nuts (or solder(but wire nuts would be easier)) on both sides to do the tach signal wire. On your EDIS you will have to make a hole in the rubbery thing so you can push it in.

    I found it to be easy when I took the plastic plugs that go into the cluster and transfer the wires over one at a time.
    The hardest part for me was finding a place to push the wire through the firewall.

    I will upload pictures of the diagrams and of my car and whatever I feel could be useful sometime.

    --Just be careful with tightening screws tight enough they do not rattle and make noise but also not to tight that they crack the plastic. Also you can just swap your speedometer over so you do not have to mess with the mileage. While you are at it buy a couple of boxes of the bulbs(I got a box of 10(model 194 bulb if I remember correctly) I think the tach cluster uses 15-20) off eBay or somewhere cheap and replace them all.


    I will now go into the process to remove the instrument cluster....it sounds worse than it is. I have gotten it into 5ish a minute process...took me awhile the first time.. just be careful not to over tighten screws that go into plastic.

    First there are 3 or 4 screws that hold the steering column cover on. Remove them and CAREFULLY get the bottom part loose and set it aside. Then remove the 4 bolts that hold the steering column in place and let it sit in your lap.

    You can then remove the top piece of the steering column cover carefully(I broke the hazard light switch the first time so be careful don't push or pull or hit it to get it on or off). Remove the bunch of screws that hold the black plastic thing with the rear defrost button and side mirror stuff (you will have to disconnect the two wiring things from the two things I mentioned). You should then be able to remove that plastic piece and set it in the seats behind you or wherever.

    You can then remove the screws that hold the cluster in place. At some point you have to remove the speedometer cable from the transmission and push it a little through the firewall so you can get the cluster wiggled out slightly and pull the cable off the back along with the three wire plugs.

    If you are careful and use common sense it will come out in good condition.
  5. 95wagonlx

    95wagonlx FEOA Donator

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    Pictures of stuff like I promised. Let us know how it turns out.

    Page 1 - Layout for no Tach model
    [​IMG]
    Page 2 - Layout for no Tach model
    [​IMG]
    Page 3 - Layout for Tach model
    [​IMG]
    Page 4 - Layout for Tach model
    [​IMG]
    The wire connects to the EDIS on the side where I put the green circle. You can see the wires I connected together I used a white and a red wire...it was all I had laying around and it works fine....would have liked to have used a larger stranded wire like the other wires for the instrument cluster though.
    [​IMG]
    The Tach cluster in my car looking awesome
    [​IMG]
    You can see how I wrote where the wires came from to the side of the tach layout. I used the format (plug pin). I also numbered the plugs as you can see in the pictures I linked.
  6. mozzles

    mozzles FEOA Member

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    Wow thanks for the pictures, and the detailed instructions. I didn't realize you had replied or I would have said something sooner. I just found this video on youtube, does it show the same process you did as far as the wiring? I can't tell if this is the same generation Escort or not, and it doesn't say. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDSkPQ_nl4I
  7. 95wagonlx

    95wagonlx FEOA Donator

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    The video is the same for if you decided to just get a aftermarket gauge and install it(I think the whole cluster look nicer for just a little more work but that is just my opinion).
    Even if it is a different generation it has the same looking stuff from what I saw.
    That wiring to the EDIS for the signal is exactly what I did except for the fact I did not cut the harness long enough so I had to improvise. I put the power and ground to different places but that is just since it was easier/logical for me to put them where I did.

    Glad to be able to help.
  8. greybox

    greybox the starting point

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    If the gauge cluster is from a manual and going into a manual is it as involved as the above info? If I am buying the gauge assembly without having the donor car's wiring am I looking at issues?
  9. Tiny1995

    Tiny1995 FEOA Member

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    Double checking here, this is the wire on the far left of the edis module?
    I have a 95 lx wagon. No tach but I'm going aftermarket rather than find a whole cluster
  10. marclar

    marclar Moderator Staff Member

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    its more intimidating than it actually is. ive done this on multiple vehicles.
  11. Tiny1995

    Tiny1995 FEOA Member

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    Found that one out the hard way. All I had to do was shove a wire up into the edis connector where the tach wire would go if I had one and voila

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