Jim Smart
February 28, 2007

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Although people tend to have mixed feelings about a global economy, it has brought a lot of exciting products from around the world. A case in point is the Mini-Tach from Retrogauge of Australia. Australians love classic Mustangs, thus inspiring a wealth of terrific products from Down Under.

Retrogauge's '67-'68 Mustang Mini-Tach's typeface and style make it look factory original. Made with extraordinary quality, it requires no cutting or modification to install. The only thing to be done is remove the crosshair blank or clock and drop it in. After that, plug it into 12 volts of ignition-switched power and a signal from the ignition coil.

Available in 0-6,000 and 0-8,000 rpm versions, the Mini-Tach is available for a checkbook-grabbing $79, plus shipping from West Australia.

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Wiring Simplicity
The Retrogauge Mini-Tach is easy to wire. There are three leads: Signal, 12-volts, and Ground. Signal goes to the "-" or distributor side of the ignition coil. The 12-volt power lead should be switched power, meaning it's live only with the ignition switch on. Ground, as its name implies, grounds to the body. We suggest making a mini-harness to support the Mini-Tach. Wrap it into plastic conduit or with electrical tape to make sure everything is secure. Route the signal lead through a rubber grommet located in the firewall, ideally where your Mustang's air conditioning compressor clutch lead goes or through one of the vacuum-hose passages. Don't drill a hole in the firewall unless there's no other option. Always drill where the factory did, which can be identified as a dimple mark in the firewall.

Preventative Maintenance
While you have the instrument panel out, take care of the speedometer cable and head with the all-important lubrication. Based on years of experience, we suggest a mix of white grease and WD-40, which keeps the speedometer cable lubricated even in the coldest of weather. Draw the cable out, fill your hand with white grease and WD-40, then run the cable through the mix.

Consider replacing the instrument voltage regulator and light bulbs while you're at it. The instrument voltage regulator, or voltage limiter, regulates instrument power to ground to maintain constant instrument voltage. When it fails, instruments won't work at all or they will peg out at maximum. In either case, replace the voltage limiter.