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How-To: Aftermarket Tachometer...CHEAP

Old 02-02-2005
88MaroonB2's Avatar
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Jacksonville, AL
Posts: 22
How-To: Aftermarket Tachometer...CHEAP

If you don't have a tachometer, and don't want to pay 100+ for a BIG tach...this is the thread for you.

Let the modding Begin!!

Mounting tach 1/10
Wiring 3/10 (if you know your dash like I did this will be 1/10)

Wire cutters/strippers/crimpers (I had one tool that did all this)
14-16 gauge wire crimps
Summit Racing 3 3/8" shift light tachometer -$36.95 + S&H so roughly $45 shipped...order # is SUM-G2905
volt meter
couple hours if your not familiar with your dash

Wire Guide:
Green - tachometer signal wire
White - cluster light wire(lights up the tach at night time)
Red - 12V power
Black - Ground

1) Select a suitable location that you want to mount your and drill a 1/8" hole to bolt the tach onto the dash with the supplied hardware. Bolt it down securely. Follow the provided instructions on how to attach the tach to the provided bracket.

2) Now take out your gauge cluster and unplug it so you have plenty of room to find wires and splice them.

Example (my dash was one piece):

3) Locate a power source and good ground to hook up the tach. Choose wisely as you only want the tach to work when you turn the key on so you don't drain your battery. Since I don't smoke I used my cig. lighter wires. This is easy since they are already fused which saves you a step.

Hooking up the power (red) and ground (black) wires. Use the wire cutters/strippers and strip your power and ground wires(not on tach). Twist each wire to where its neatly straight and put a crimp on it and secure the crimp. Now after you have to done this to both wires, connect the red wire to the 12V source and crimp, follow the same steps for hooking up the ground. Take a breath because your done with this step.

4) Hooking up the white wire now. This is a little bit tricky...I found out the easiest way is just take your time on this. Take your volt meter and ground it out properly then take each wire and push the positive wire of the meter into the cluster harness so its touching the wire. Turn on your panel lights and see if you see a 12V source that ONLY turns on when you turn on your panel lights. Once you find this wire just splice the white wire into it. This part will be easier if someone posts which wire is the cluster illumination(sp?) wire.

5) Hooking up the tachometer signal wire(green). On my 88 Bronco II I have a HEI external coil which is located in the engine bay. It'd help if you had a friend to watch the tach and press the gas to see if you got the right wire when testing it. But if your HEI external coil is like mine you could just follow the pictures. Run the wire through the firewall and connect to the tach signal wire. You could follow the pictures to have a visual image.

6) Crank up your vehicle and give it gas a few times to make sure the tach is reading properly then just dial in your shift light.

Finish product(my B2):

Tach in action(showing you guys mainly just the shift light turn on):

Please feel free to comment about my write-up. If I need to edit some of the material I will be glad to do so.


btw- Don't worry you don't have to take your entire dash out like I did. I was taking out all my A/C and heating stuff so I had to, and just did it with the dash out so it'll be easier for me to hook up.

Last edited by 98liftedranger; 11-27-2011 at 10:18 PM.
Old 04-19-2006
spec_ops57's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Edmonton, AB
Posts: 353
is the guage wiring colours the same between the 88 and 91 rangers?
Old 04-19-2006
V8 Level II's Avatar
RF Veteran
iTrader: (4)
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Michigan
Posts: 7,910
Originally Posted by BlackRanger93
Hey do you know if theres any way I can hook up a tach in my 93 ranger its a 4-cyl 2.3. Is it an easy 1 day install or a week?
The tach signal on a 93 ranger is on the tan/yellow wire. You can pick it up at the PCM, at the Ignition Control Module or at the instrument cluster.

The dash illumination is light blue/red and found at many locations in the dash.

Keyed B+ (hot in START and RUN) is red/yellow to the cluster or Chime Module.
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