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Mini tachometer installation

Fill that clock void in your 1967 and 1968 Mustang instrument panel with usefulness

Jim Smart - December 22, 2011 10:00 AM

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The Mini-Tach by RetroGauge arrives in a box like this ready for drop-in installation in your 1967-’68 Mustang with three screws. Two types are available for V-8 engines only — 0 to 6,000 rpm (RMT8-6000) and 0 to 8,000 rpm (RMT8-8000).

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Installation is simple with three leads — central ground, signal input from the negative side of your ignition coil, and switched power from the ignition switch. RetroGauge suggests 18 AWG wiring in three different colors for proper identification. Ground should be black. Switched power should be in red with a three-amp fuse from the ignition switch. Green should be signal input from the coil.

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Stang-Aholics in Terra Bella, California, is installing the Mini-Tach in a customer’s 1967 convertible. The 1967-’68 Mustang instrument cluster is retained with five screws and is easy to extract. Where it gets tricky is the speedometer cable, which can be stubborn. There are two different clusters for 1967-’68 and two different plug configurations. Both are simple to understand.

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The cluster pulls out like this with two multiplex plugs, windshield wiper switch plug, and the speedometer cable. While you have the cluster out, lubricate the speedometer cable and head for good measure. You may want to replace the instrument voltage regulator while you’re at it, and inspect the ammeter for heat damage or shorting.

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Optional factory analog clock hasn’t worked in ages. Let’s install something that does work — the0 to 8,000 rpm Mini-Tach for V-8s from RetroGauge. Three screws retain the clock or periscope face plug.

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This is clock power, which is always hot. This is not the power source you want for your new Mini-Tach. Power must be fused and switched from the ignition switch with a three-amp inline fuse.

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Mini-Tach is installed using three factory screws. It does self-ground against the cluster, but we suggest a black ground lead as well.

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Switched power is confirmed from the ignition switch in “ignition on” only, not accessory.

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This is our three-amp fuse from the ignition switch. For ’67, getting power is easy right from the switch post. However, ’68 switched power will have to come from an underdash pigtail lead that’s hot only with the ignition switch on. One source can be the automatic transmission selector light, which is lit only when the ignition is on.

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This very simple wiring diagram quickly shows you how the Mini-Tach wires in.

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Signal power from ignition pulses comes from the negative (-) side of your Mustang’s ignition coil.

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Stang-Aholics opts for marine specification 90-degree female plugs for maximum wiring security at all three points.

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The Mini-Tach from RetroGauge and Mustangs Unlimited blends right in with factory instrumentation because that’s what it is designed to do. Operation is buttery smooth and accurate.

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Ford bucked and assembled a lot of 1967-’68 Mustangs — in fact a staggering 789,525 units in three assembly plants in a two-year period that also included an ugly strike and plant shutdown.

Imagine if the UAW hadn’t walked out on strike in the fall of 1967 — Mustang production would have hugged the million-unit mark without breaking a sweat because these cars were still hot despite heavyweight pony car competition from Chevrolet, Pontiac, Plymouth and American Motors. I’ve seen these early generation ’Stangs loaded with options and I’ve seen them base sticker with a six and a stick. Through it all, there has been that darned crosshair clock substitute mid-cluster that serves no particular purpose but to fill an empty hole between two instrument pods. Because Ford didn’t fit many of these cars with a clock, there it is — that ugly submarine periscope hole filler.

It took an Australian company, MICA Industries, known for RetroGauge, to come up with a perfect mid-cluster substitute for clocks and periscope hole fillers. The Aussies sat down and conceived the Mini-Tach for 1967-’68 Mustangs, which just happens to be available from Mustangs Unlimited. It is designed specifically for 1967-’68 Mustangs, matches factory instruments, and fits perfectly with no modifications. The Mini-Tach is the coolest bolt-on we’ve ever seen for classic Mustangs and you can do it in a matter of a couple of hours. Once installed, it blends right in with your 1967-’68 Mustang instrumentation.

We decided to visit Stang-Aholics in the heart of California’s Central Valley for a closer look at the Mini-Tach and how to do a quick install. All the Mini-Tach needs is switched and fused power from your ignition switch, a solid ground, and pulsing juice from your ignition coil’s negative side. Voila! Watch the needle dance with engine rpm.

For Your Information:

 

Mustangs Unlimited

(888) 229-2929

www.mustangsunlimited.com

 

Stang-Aholics

(559) 535-5669

www.stang-aholics.com

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