Forgot to update this but tires are on the car, just burned the old gas off and put some fresh in, about done with the instrument cluster (have a thread on that), so now its down to this seat issue.
I may end up cutting the cross bar out of the hoop on the roll cage. The seat backs rest on it and I think they are not reclined as far back as the ones in my Mustang which has the same seats and the Griggs uppers in it as well. Have been driving the Mustang the last couple of days (temps are in the mid 80's here) which is what has me thinking its a seat recline issue. I have an adjustable angle so I am going to measure where the Mustang seats are set and then when I get back to the Bird next weekend see where those are. Will suck to cut the bar out but something has to give.
Great work on the red car and the Firebird vert is awesome! Have a buddy that has a '73 455 HO car so his knowledge has bled ever so slightly off on me. He would be proud I actually sort of recognized that nose trim.
Any other sheet metal replacement in the works for the Cougar?
Appreciate it as it was a long time coming and I like it. Will get back on it in a couple weeks and see about getting the speedo calibrated. I am going off of what I have read on a few Mustang sites that the Autometer speedo will utilize the signal coming off of the stock 94/95 Mustang VSS. This is with one wire grounded and the other one going to the SIG connection on the speedo. I found where the black and green/white stripe wires from the factory VSS connector on my car came into the cabin and followed them up to just behind the radio area on the driver side. Cut the wires there (I have no EEC and cruise control is long gone) and grounded the black wire and took the green/white stripe to the SIG terminal on the speedo. The VSS connector on my car was pretty dirty but a little scrubbing with some WD40 and an old toothbrush got it clean. Followed that up with some contact cleaner and a little light bulb grease and it connected right up to the 94/95 Mustang VSS.
I saw on Eric's site (https://www.coolcats.net/instrument-clusters/) that he had the clusters for the different year cars and the 83-84 base cluster had the pin outs for the cluster connector. Just wanted to give Eric a shout out for having that and I can verify that it is correct. I cannot verify #5 as the speed input as I did not chase that out but it helped with all the other connections.
So with regards to what gauge is where I have a 3-3/8" speedo, 3-3/8" tach, 2-1/8" fuel level and 2-1/8" volt in the instrument cluster itself. Fuel pressure, oil pressure and water temp are above the glove box with the angled adapters. I used 2-5/8" on these as they are easier to read at distance.
If the black trim ring around the instrument cluster did not have the angle on the top of it (where I had to remove the material with the pvc pipe and sand paper) I think you could squeeze one more 2-1/8" gauge in there but it would be tight.
Yeah, I’m prepared to do it but just trying to mitigate how far back these go. The far left AC vent duct runs right behind the dash where the cluster installs. Cutting the back of the dash will get me another 1/4” to maybe 1/2”. Just trying to avoid having to modify that AC duct.
So I unwired the gauges so I could cut the gauge mounting studs down with the dremel and cutting wheel, removed the tabs off the center two gauges (where the ground, ignition, and sending unit wires land), and flattened the two tabs for the LED lighting.
You can see all of it here:
Close up of the tabs that I removed off the back of the volt and fuel level gauges:
Close up of the LED tabs on the volt and fuel level gauges that I flattened as well as that threaded studs that I will use the ring connectors on:
Bought some 90 degree insulated spade connectors and will use those on the speedo and tach wiring to flatten that out. Will use ring connectors on the fuel and volt gauges where I removed the tabs as there are studs there. Should have it rewired this evening.
Sooo getting the original cluster out took waaay longer than I thought it would. Mostly me not remembering what all had to be removed to get it out which was basically everything.
Gonna have to trim a little in the car and on the new cluster. The Autometer gauges have studs on the back to attach the mounting bracket and they are way long. They include thumb wheel nuts to affix the mounting bracket to the gauge that are long as well so those are coming off and going to machine nuts and lock washers and the studs will be trimmed. Hoping that will be all that is necessary as the driver side left dash vent air duct is right behind the cluster.