Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
June 1, 2005

Step By Step

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Mump_0506_01_z Mustang_rally_pac_install Rally_pac_gauges_installedMump_0506_02_z Mustang_rally_pac_install Rally_pac_gauges
1 The all-new '66 low-profile reproduction Rally-Pac is made by Scott Drake and is a high-quality reproduction. The cast housing is identical to the original and the Nordskog-built gauges within the housing look exactly like they should. We heard that one of the toughest parts of the reproduction process was building a clock that had the "ticking" second hand like the original, but Scott Drake did.
Mump_0506_03_z Mustang_rally_pac_install Removing_the_scuff_panel
2 Ford used the interior illumination circuit to power the Rally-Pac's clock. Remove the driver-side door-sill scuff plate and driver-side kick panel to access the cowl side panel to route your wiring to the door-jamb switch.
Mump_0506_04_z Mustang_rally_pac_install Removing_the_gauge_cluster
3 The rest of the wiring under the dash attaches to the dash-light circuit, a good ground, and the stud on the back of the ignition switch. It's possible to find these connections lying under the dash, but at our age the thought of removing six Phillips head screws and setting the gauge cluster aside sounded easier on our backs. A small battery-operated screwdriver, like this Craftsman 3.6-volt Brite Driver, helps locate the screws you need to remove and replace.

There's always one last item that makes a project perfect. The handblown glass Christmas-tree topper, the fancy ribbon around a gift box, or even the cherry on top of a sundae are examples that come to mind. For Mustang Monthly's Project '66, the one item we wanted to top off our restoration was a Rally-Pac. The Rally-Pac Ford offered in the '60s became a much-coveted option through the years, and having one in your restored Mustang was icing on the cake. Though our project car has been completed and on the road for more than a year, we've added a few items as they became available, such as the newly reproduced console trim that allowed us to finally install a console. Now we can do the same with a Rally-Pac.

Until recently, the problem has been finding a decent one in restorable condition, sort of like finding someone under 18 at a Barry Manilow concert. But things have begun to shape up for us Mustang enthusiasts (although I can't say the same for Barry). The highly sought-after Rally-Pac is now available as an accurate reproduction for '641/2 to '66 Mustangs (both low- and high-profile models) in 6,000- and 8,000-rpm tachometer versions. A brand-new exterior-case casting (wrinkle-finished like the original) is the foundation for all new internals as well. An accurate electronic air-core-movement tachometer and a quartz clock assembly with all new lenses, chrome trim, attaching hardware, and wiring are part of the kit. The tachometer and clock faces are silk-screened like the originals, though they are now backlit for easier viewing at night.

Installation isn't difficult (just some minor wiring and turning a screwdriver or ratchet gets the job done) and you can add the classy look of a Rally-Pac to your Mustang in about an hour. It comes only in black or white, so if you want to color-match the Rally-Pac to your interior (only correct for the low-profile model in cars with the Interior Decor option), we suggest picking the white model and buying a can of interior spray paint so you can color-match it yourself. Our Interior Decor color is black, so we didn't need to refinish the exterior housing. If you decide to color match yours, use light coats of paint to prevent losing the wrinkle-finish look.

We picked up our '66 Rally-Pac from CJ Pony Parts (PN RP5, $434.95). CJ also carries the '65 high profile-model.

But if it bothers you (it does us a little), you can purchase green bulb covers from any vendor that carries aftermarket gauges. Simply remove the two screws at the rear of the Rally-Pac for each gauge, slide out the gauge, pop out the bulb and socket assembly from the rear of the gauge, then slide a bulb cover over the bulb. You can also use a green permanent marker to color the bulbs (shown here) if you can't find the correct-size bulb covers for the low-profile '66 model.

Rally-Pac Perplexity
Reproducing a vintage Mustang part is never easy. Even if it's a single stamping of a metal part, hundreds of hours are spent checking the stamping for accuracy, thickness, quality, and so on. Now take a look at the Rally-Pac we installed and the dozens of parts it took to create (that's just one model; there are several when you include different gauge faces and colors) and you can imagine what an undertaking this project must have been for Scott Drake. We talked with the folks there about this latest reproduction part to find out what they had to go through to get it engineered, built, and to market so enthusiasts could once again enjoy the look and style of the Mustang's Rally-Pac option.

From our conversation with Scott Drake employees, the Rally-Pac was one of the most difficult reproductions the company has undertaken. Starting with designing and manufacturing all-new tooling to produce the pressure zinc die-cast housing, Scott Drake spent well over a year perfecting its new Rally-Pac. Nordskog didn't just provide an existing gauge for the Rally-Pac, it had to redesign its own products to work the way Scott Drake wanted them to.

For owners of '64 1/2 Mustangs and '65 models with the standard (non-GT or Decor Interior Group) instrument panel, CJ Pony Parts also offers the early, or low-profile, version of the Rally-Pac.

Unfortunately, Scott Drake had to relent on wiring the tach under the dash like the original. With the proliferation of in-distributor electronic-ignition devices, Scott Drake and Nordskog couldn't get an air-core tach to work properly. So the decision was made to run the single wire to the coil. I think we can live with that.

At the time of this writing, Scott Drake was working on a restomod version of the Rally-Pac that features a cool, bare-aluminum-look housing. Requests for a white-face version of the Rally-Pac haven't fallen on deaf ears and are being investigated. We were also told the company might offer the Rally-Pac in several popular interior colors or at least with some kind of paint-mask kit for those who want their Rally-Pac to match the interior. Last, Scott Drake employees told us to be on the lookout for a '66 five-dial-cluster conversion kit that will change the gauges to a more modern backlighting (like the new Rally-Pac that's much easier to read at night) but will look original. We're all for that!