KJ Jones Senior Technical Editor
April 18, 2011

The Information Age kicked off way back in the ’70s when personal computers were born. That development sent us hurtling toward today, when the Internet is used for information, business transactions, and communication. Today it is as much a part of our daily lives as running water.

Computers have played a big role in the Mustang hobby since the mid-’80s with the emergence of Electronic Fuel Injection and engine-management systems that include On-Board-Diagnostics, known as OBD-I and OBD-II. OBD technically dates back to the ’70s, which we’re willing to bet probably was a few years before some of the ’Stangbangers reading this were born. Those systems were simple and weren’t required by the government or auto manufacturers. They weren’t officially mandated until 1987, when the California Air Resources Board declared that all ’88-and-later model-year vehicles sold in California be equipped with basic OBD capability.

In those early days, problems were identified through a Malfunction Indicator/Check Engine light on the dashboard, which required taking your Pony to a mechanic or Ford Service department to get to the bottom of your concern. Today’s OBD uses a standardized (in ’88) digital communications port that provides real-time data on a Mustang’s engine ops, in addition to a standardized series of Diagnostic Trouble Codes that now allow owners to rapidly identify and correct malfunctions.

While there are several methods of scanning and identifying such codes, and monitoring those various engine-operational functions, your tech editor was impressed by MossMuscle.com’s ScanGauge II device (PN 232-250; $179.95), which is the focus of this month’s Tech Inspection. The ScanGauge II is a digital, three-in-one, plug-and-play computer that features a scan tool, gauge package, and trip computer in a small 4.8x1.5x1.0-inch case.

In the accompanying photos and captions, Tech Editor KJ Jones covers the simple steps for installing and configuring a ScanGauge II. The device can be placed almost anywhere in the cockpit of a ’96-’10 Mustang, and for those with multiple ’Stangs, the unit can be swapped between all of the Ponies in your stable as long as they’re OBD-II-equipped.

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery