Early Mustangs didn’t come with a tachometer as part of the standard equipment. However, I found that a tachometer is an indispensable tool if you want to tune your engine correctly.
This short guide will assist you in installing a tachometer on your Mustang without too much hassle.
1965 Mustang tachometer installation guide
First of all, make sure you have the right tach for your car. The one I bought is compatible with 4, 6 and 8 cylinder cars. The following instructions are based on the above mentioned Bosh model. If you’re installing a different tach, be sure to consult your manual as well.
To install the tachometer, proceed as follows:
- Cylinder selection: Use the switch at the back to select the appropriate number of cylinders.
- Red line: Optionally, set the red line on the meter bezel to a meaningful spot, such as engine red line.
- Mount the tachometer: The tach can be mounted on top of the dashboard, underneath the dashboard, or on the steering column. I chose the latter, and mounted the tach on my steering column with a hose clamp (not included) with a piece of leather underneath (i cut a piece off an old leather belt) as padding, so as not to scratch the steering column.
- BLACK wire: This is the ground wire. Connect it to the negative battery terminal or to an unpainted chassis part (the option I chose).
- RED wire: This wire powers your tach. Connect the red wire to a switched (keyed) power source (not ‘accessories’).
- WHITE wire: This wire powers the tach backlight. Connect it to the instrument panel lighting circuits so it is controlled by the instrument lights dimmer. For this one, i spliced power off of another instrument light.
- GREEN wire: This wire provides the tachometer with the engine RMP signal. Connect it to the negative (-) side of your ignition coil.
That’s all folks! Turn on your engine and test your new tachometer!
A bit of tachometer history…
1964 1/2 and 1965 Mustangs came with the instrument panel of the Ford Falcon, which was anything but sporty. There was the optional Rally-Pac, which is a steering column-mounted gauge set containing a tachometer and a clock, but many Mustangs came without this option.
If, like me, you are one of the unlucky Mustang owners whose car doesn’t have a tach, there’s only one solution: fix it yourself! As it stands, you have two options: purchase and install an original or reproduction Rally-Pac (which is expensive) or install a third-party tach (the cheap option).
I took the cheap way out and installed a Bosch tachometer in my ’65 Mustang. Specifically, a Bosch SP0F000020 Sport II which set me back the whopping sum of 66$ on Amazon. The chrome bezel and white face give it a vintage-y look which doesn’t clash too much with the interior of my car.
Did this post help you? Do you have experience with this subject? Share your thoughts or ask a question in the comments section!