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.
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 Mystang. 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.
Read on to learn how to install one yourself!
1965 Mustang tachometer installation
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 abovementioned 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 appripriate 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 ‘accesories’).
- 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!
Did this post help you? Do you have experience with this subject? Share your thoughts or ask a question in the comments section!