Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
August 30, 2012

Your Mustang's gauges are an important and vital part of monitoring your car's engine vitals, your fuel level, and, of course, your speed going down the road. Many factors come into play that can turn your stock gauges into inaccurate "guesstimates" at best and sometimes completely non-functional at worst. Often, modern tire sizing or aftermarket wheel sizes play havoc on the accuracy of your speedometer, a situation that is not always an easy fix via a speedometer gear swap. Age also takes its toll on gauges, causing them to read lower or higher than the actual level the sender is telling it. Modern drivetrains with high-output alternators aren't kind to the stock ammeter found in the early Mustang gauge cluster as well (not to mention the ammeter itself is a hazard). The early Mustang gauge clusters were often sans a tachometer option, especially the '65-'66 five-dial setup, were there was no physical location in the cluster for the tachometer to reside. Lastly, age also affects the gauge's readability. Four decades of sunlight fade gauge faces and needles, and the stock incandescent perimeter lighting is tough on the eyes during nighttime driving.

Finding a replacement gauge solution just got a lot easier thanks to the folks at Dakota Digital. You might remember the all-digital gauge options for the Mustang that the company has been offering for years, well it now offers a new line called the VHX (a loose acronym for Vehicle Hybrid Instrument Systems). The VHX system takes the best of digital gauge accuracy and electronic dashboard technology, and utilizes precision stepper-motor-driven analog gauges to give your classic Mustang an easy-to-read and easy-to-install full gauge solution. Backlit faces and lighted pointers, just like your modern daily driver, make the gauges easy to read, day or night, while the LCD information panel offers supplemental warnings like low fuel indication, over temp warnings, quarter-mile and 0-60 times, and much more, all while fitting directly into the Mustang's dash with the stock gauge bezel with no modifications.

We didn't have to look far for a volunteer for our installation either. The blue '66 Mustang coupe we used in our engine bay detailing story that appeared in our May '12 issue has its share of wiring issues; and when we drove it, we found an inoperative temperature gauge and a speedometer pointer that waved a "range" of speed, versus an actual indication. The dash lights didn't work and we were a little concerned his new high-output alternator would set his ammeter on "kill." The best solution for this mildly-modified coupe was an all new gauge solution and the Dakota Digital VHX system will solve this Mustang's entire gauge issues in one simple install.

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