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Thread: Base '86 Gauge Cluster to Full Electronic

  1. #1
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    Default Base '86 Gauge Cluster to Full Electronic

    Has anybody here ever swapped out the base '85/'86 gauge cluster to the full electronic? I've always liked the full electronic cluster. I see on "CoolCats" about going from a base/full to the analog, but not from base to full. Assuming one could find a full electronic cluster (which I suspect is difficult), how hard is that swap? I understand that it would probably required re-pinning, but besides that, anything else? If the car came with the base cluster, does it have all the connections (like the gallons-to-empty, instant and average fuel mileage, etc) to go to a full elec cluster? And finally, would the donor car and the car being modified have to have the same engine (really this has to do with the tach)? I might like to make this swap someday, again assuming I could find the electronic cluster and the cost wasn't too prohibitive. Anybody got one for sale? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Bump.

  3. #3
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    if your serious about this ,,,, pls continue the conversation.

    you will need to do a dry run on taking out your cluster and get pictures.
    -identify and verify against the 85/6 evtm the exact wire in each connector and its numerical location.

    -print out the 87 evtm and start doing inventory on the electronic cluster.

    -in colums on paper, start documenting "what you have" "function" "location" and the following columns showing where you want to be for each wire.

    -next add conductors as required to accommodate the full digi cluster.

    -your car will drive without a cluster if its needed.

    evtm sources are in my sig below however, keep in mind there are supplemental changes that might or might not apply that are found in shop manuals only. i have 87 shop manuals..

    i would target the year 1987 as your final wiring appication.

    there were enough revisions in 1988 that ford gave up and built up a separtate evtm and shop manual set just for that year alone.
    this makes the 1988 bird/coug sorta like its own critter.- this is my opinion only... but its valid so be careful.

    Example,,
    i converted an 87 CFI v6 car wire for wire and converted the drivers side fuse box harness to a "grafted/ soldered in" V8 harness application.
    I have a full blown 88 eec and fuse box harness but knew that if i could obtain an 87, it would be more "like 85, 86 and 87. i found the 87 parts and avoided 1988 stuff.

    i have a lot of experience working on my son's 88 bird doing headlamp slave relay mods, ign sw slave relay mods and found several wire color differences that it taught me that i should avoid 88 parts in my 87 car.


    i dont know what year your car is but this full digi cluster was avail in your years as well if you want to target that wiring model.

  4. #4
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    Scott, all the pinouts are on my site...
    https://www.coolcats.net/reference/c..._8588base.html
    https://www.coolcats.net/reference/c...lectronic.html

    Going base to electronic, there will be some wiring needed to get the fuel computer to operate. IIRC it should be similar to adding the Tripminder.
    https://www.coolcats.net/modifying/tripminder.html

    If the base T-Bird didn't have the System Sentry option (door ajar, lamp out, etc.) then that wiring can be ignored.

    Honestly, if one were to print out the base cluster page, and the full electronic cluster page, then compare all the circuit numbers, that might be the easiest way to figure out what wiring swaps are necessary. That's why I put the circuit numbers on there, because wiring colors can sometimes vary but the circuit numbers generally do not.

    Over and above that, a few sensors will need swapped (oil pressure, temp sensor, fuel level).

    I really don't see what this swap wouldn't work. It should mostly function correctly, minus the System Sentry stuff.

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