In preparation for an electric conversion of a 2014 Ford Mustang, you will see various errors showing up on the Instrument Panel Cluster (IPC), due to the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) either missing or the PCM reporting errors related to the missing combustion engine:
Several conversion projects solved this by deactivating the whole IPC and replacing it with a non-Mustang speed gauge  . However, you would lose an important part of the Mustang and miss some important infos still shown on the IPC.
One way to fix this is to emulate the missing parts of the Mustang due to the electric conversion which at least removes:
This article will show how the IPC interacts with the now missing parts of the car and how we can emulate the signals to finally use gauges and lamps again, as expected in an electric car.
To use the IPC Gauges for Speed, RPM, Fuel Level and Temperature, I needed to reverse engineer the various HS-CAN messages to finally emulate them with new live data from an electric conversion ECU. The analog signals needed to be replaced with dedicated new hardware, generating CAN messages.
After designing a new ECU as PCM replacement and building new circuits for the analog signals, I'm now able to fully control all the original gauges and lamps on the Instrument Cluster Panel:
The following table lists the controllable parts of the IPC:
|Fuel Level Gauge||Via analog input|
|Engine Coolant Temperature|
|Oil Pressure||Via analog input|
|Check Engine Lamp|
|Fuel Level Lamp||Controllable separately from Fuel Level Gauge|
|Safety Lamp||Always blinks when activated|
|Stability Control Lamp|
|AdvanceTrac Off Lamp|
|Turn Signal Lamps||MS-CAN; left, right, both; generates "turn signal" sound in IPC|
|Low Tire Pressure Lamp||MS-CAN|
|Door Ajar Lamp||MS-CAN|
|High Beams Lamp||MS-CAN|
|Odometer||Counting meters and wheel turns, counted by IPC into miles or km|
All this can now be controlled via CAN messages with my own ECU. Only some of them need to be generated after electric conversion. The others will work as before when keeping the respective CAN modules of the car. E.g. all lamps marked with "MS-CAN" are controlled via the other CAN bus and therefore not related to PCM which is connected via HS-CAN.
It is actually possible to put the new ECU in the original Mustang's PCM housing, since the necessary wiring, casing, connector, power and correct CAN connections are already present at the original PCM's location. Of the 3 PCM connectors (T,M,B = Transmission,Motor,Body = Top,Middle,Bottom), only the "Body" connector is still necessary now.