Controlling a 2014 Mustang Instrument Panel Cluster

2021-11-11


Motivation

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:

IPC missing the PCM, showing various errors

Several conversion projects solved this by deactivating the whole IPC and replacing it with a non-Mustang speed gauge [1] [2]. 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.

Motor and powertrain related IPC signals

The Mustang IPC is connected to the other parts of the car [3] [4] by:

Of the various signals, the powertrain related signals are:

Solution

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:

IPC showing no errors anymore, fully controlled via CAN and analog signals

The following table lists the controllable parts of the IPC:

IPC partNameNotes
Speedometer
RPM
Fuel Level GaugeVia analog input
Engine Coolant Temperature
Oil PressureVia analog input
Check Engine Lamp
Fuel Level LampControllable separately from Fuel Level Gauge
ABS Lamp
Airbag Lamp
Repair/Wrench Lamp
Hill Lamp
Battery Lamp
Brake Lamp
Safety LampAlways blinks when activated
Stability Control Lamp
AdvanceTrac Off Lamp
Turn Signal LampsMS-CAN; left, right, both; generates "turn signal" sound in IPC
Low Tire Pressure LampMS-CAN
Door Ajar LampMS-CAN
High Beams LampMS-CAN
OdometerCounting meters and wheel turns, counted by IPC into miles or km
Various Messages

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.

Notes

All these descriptions apply to the 2014 Mustang's IPC model shown on the images (called "Type 1" in the Owner's Manual [5] ). It should apply to the slightly more complex IPC variant including the LCD information display (called "Type 2" in the Owner's Manual).

Contact

For a matching ECU device that can work with your own solution, or adaptable microcontroller software to integrate into your ECU, or just the CAN codes, contact me at:
Roland Reichwein <mail@reichwein.it>

References

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NE0xi5Lh80U
[2] https://cleantechnica.com/2021/08/12/aem-built-this-tesla-powered-mustang-now-you-can-too/
[3] https://www.reichwein.it/manuals/Mustang_2014/Workshop_Manual_Wiring_Diagrams/Service%20Manual.htm
[4] https://www.reichwein.it/manuals/Mustang_2014/Workshop_Manual_Wiring_Diagrams/Wiring%20Diagrams.htm
[5] https://www.reichwein.it/manuals/Mustang_2014/2014-Mustang-Owners-Manual-version-3_om_EN-US_02_2014.pdf




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