Jim Smart
June 1, 2000

Step By Step

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JME Enterprises offers an array of ’65-’68 Mustang instrument panels. For ’65-’66 cars, there’s a choice of black camera-case finish, woodgrain, and natural aluminum billet with black- or white-faced gauges.
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For ’67-’68 Mustangs, camera-case finish or brushed aluminum with black or white-faced gauges are available. Instrument choice is limitless.
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This is a nice ’66 Mustang restomod interior with racing pedals, a column-mounted tachometer, underdash instrumentation, and a custom sound system. A JME instrument cluster, in camera-case black finish, will add a little more restomod flare, plus it will clean up the appearance by eliminating the stand-alone tach and hang-on underdash instruments.
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Before removing the original instrument cluster, be sure to disconnect the battery’s negative terminal.
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For easy access to the instrument panel, we’ll remove the Grant custom steering wheel first, then the big, honkin’ tachometer and underdash instruments. When we speak of tasteful modifications, we mean clutter-free installation.
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Removing the stock five-dial cluster is easy. Six screws release the panel.
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Then carefully pull the panel away from the dash.
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Disconnect the speedometer cable and electrical leads. This is a good time to label the leads if you’re unfamiliar with the vehicle’s electrical system.
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It looks like a bowl of spaghetti, but a Mustang’s instrument wiring isn’t hard to understand as it’s all color-coded. All you need is a wiring diagram, which can be found in the Ford Shop Manual.
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Instrument lamp leads are blue with a red stripe. You can eliminate all these unnecessary sockets, as we did, or you can wrap them up and safely tuck them away. You’ll only need one lead for the JME cluster instrument lighting. The factory oil-pressure light/gauge and ammeter leads must be tied off safely. They aren’t utilized with the JME cluster unless electric gauges are used.
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The JME cluster uses a convenient plug that must be wired in first. Fuel, coolant temperature, voltmeter, and tachometer are wired in as shown. With fuel and coolant-temperature gauges, factory wiring is used. We suggest soldering all connections for best results.
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When splices are complete, we suggest the use of heat-shrink, a soft tube that fits around the connection. When heated, it shrinks around the connection to provide insulation and protection.
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The JME instrument cluster plugs into the modified harness for convenient removal in the future.
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Sending units must be replaced or eliminated for compatibility. The JME cluster uses its own coolant-temperature sender, included with the kit.
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We’re using a mechanical oil-pressure gauge, which means replacing the original-style sending unit with a braided oil- pressure line to the gauge.
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Install the proper fitting at the oil- pressure gauge.
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The oil-pressure line is routed through the firewall to the cluster. Don’t forget to tighten this fitting. It could get messy if you don’t.
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The billet JME cluster installs using the same attachment points as the stock panel. Carefully fit the cluster in place, making sure all wires and connections are solid and clear of any moving parts (windshield-wiper linkage, for example) behind the instrument panel.
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Run the screws down gently. Be careful to not overtighten.
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The JME instrument cluster is striking and functional. What’s more, all the clutter of an original panel with hang-on gauges is gone.

As more and more enthusiasts understand the value of tastefully modifying a vintage Ford, constructive modifications are making older Fords and Mercs more fun to drive, not to mention safer. Along this line of thinking, young-blooded JME Enterprises has introduced a new billet instrument panel for ’65-’66 Mustangs and ’64-’65 Falcons and Comets. The handcrafted, machined billet aluminum panel is a high-tech, upscale quality piece for enthusiasts who want more from their classic Fords. JME makes it easy to upgrade your Mustang, Falcon, or Comet instrument panel, and we’re going to show you how.

With a JME instrument cluster, you have a choice of electric or mechanical instruments, the most popular being AutoMeter. Julio Mayen of JME has treated this slice of billet aluminum to AutoMeter Pro Comp instruments, lighted in a soft green, which is easy on the eyes.