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Installing a shift light in your Stang
Contributed by Dan Z. (aka DZ)
DZ's Homepage



MW Note: What is a shift light ? It's a light that illuminates when you reach a certain engine RPM that you can preset. The light alerts you when you need to shift (in a manual transmission stang). In a heated road race or drag race, it can aid the driver in making accurate shifts for best performance. We've run various shift lights since we got our first 5.0 many years ago, it does help for people that may race their stangs on closed circuit tracks or drag strips. A nice install for a shift light in a 99 Cobra can be found at Rob's site.

The install below assumes a working knowledge of removing the Mustang gauge pod and a familiarity with the markings and base wiring inside the stang.

Now onto Dan's install:


Shift Light shown in center of the pod, looks like a small flashlight.


Slim profile Autometer shift light above in the center of the pod

I found another how to on the net that recommended tapping in to the wire labeled "S" on the instrument cluster, and tried this first. And the light did flash at the designated RPM but only if the tach swung by slowly as in grandma driving. At WOT the light never once lit up when this wire was used on my car. I ended up buying a repair manual at a local book store and traced the right wire from the wire diagram of the ECU.

Parts:
Autometer 5330 quick light
Autometer 5310 module for quick light
Autometer 5355 pill kit (5,000 5,200 5,400 5,600 5,800) rpm pills)
2 wire taps
1 spade connector
Zip ties
1 screw

Tools:
Wire strippers/crimpers
socket set (only used the 10mm if I remember right)
Screwdriver
Drill

What I did to install the shift light on my car:

The module had 3 wires and 1 plug coming off of it, Red Black & Green.

I connected the Red wire to a + power source that only has power when the key is in the "run" position. I used the same wire I had previously run for my voltmeter & oil pressure gauge but you can probably find what you need in the fuse box. I would stay away from the fuse for the airbags though.

The Black wire was grounded behind the kick panel. I drilled a small hole and used a screw to hold the spade (with the ground wire) to the metal of the car.

The Green wire was tapped in to the orange wire with the white stripe at pin 48 of the ECU wire harness. Remove the door sill by gently pulling up on it. Then remove the kick panel by pulling the retaining pin and then gently pulling straight back on the panel. Remove the computer by removing the 10mm(I think) bolts that hold the harness bracket in place but be careful not to drop the socket or the bolt into the frame rail because it is very hard to get them out if they fall in to that bottomless pit. I did not need to remove the computer on my car but you may need to in order to find the right wire.

Tach wire to tap in to according to my Chiltons guide
Year Motor wire color
1994-1995   3.8L   orange with white stripe
1994-1995   5.0L   tan with yellow stripe
1996-1998   3.8L   orange with white stripe
1996-1998   4.6L SOHC   orange with white stripe
1996-1998   4.6L DOHC   orange with white stripe
         

Make sure the module is set to the position for the # of cylinders your car has.

Plug the quick light in to the plug on the 5310 module and start the car. The light should flash one time when the car is started. Rev the motor to 3,000 rpm using the 3.0 test pill and the light should come on. If it does, replace the pill with the one for the shift range you want to use and test it again. Make sure the motor is at operating temp before pushing it too hard. If all looks good hide the module under the dash, mount the light and zip tie the wires out of the way and you are good to go.- Dan


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