Differences between a 2.3L and a 5.0L Instrument Cluster - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017 Thread Starter
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Differences between a 2.3L and a 5.0L Instrument Cluster

Hey guys,

So does anyone know how to tell the difference of a 2.3L cluster from a 5.0L for a 1989 Mustang?
I've been trying to find a used one locally but a lot of people don't know whether the cluster came out of a 2.3L car or a 5.0L car. I know that the instrument clusters between 87-89 and 90-93 mustangs are different, however I can't seem to tell the difference between a 2.3 and a 5.0.

Does 2.3L Mustangs only ever have the 85mph clusters? Are the 140mph clusters automatically from a 5.0L?

Thanks in advance.

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017
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Originally Posted by Elyairis View Post
Hey guys,

So does anyone know how to tell the difference of a 2.3L cluster from a 5.0L for a 1989 Mustang?
I've been trying to find a used one locally but a lot of people don't know whether the cluster came out of a 2.3L car or a 5.0L car. I know that the instrument clusters between 87-89 and 90-93 mustangs are different, however I can't seem to tell the difference between a 2.3 and a 5.0.

Does 2.3L Mustangs only ever have the 85mph clusters? Are the 140mph clusters automatically from a 5.0L?

Thanks in advance.
I don't believe it makes one bit of difference which Mustang it came from. If you see a 140 mph speedo for a 1989 Mustang, it is probably an after market one. I had a 1988 5.0 LX with a 85 mph speedo. There were after market 140 ones available back then. I remember wanting one.

All of the speedo's in all cars sold in the US back in that day 1980 - 1989 stopped at 85 mph. It was mandated by the feds. Even Ferrari, Porsche and all other Euro and Asian cars sold here. Check this site out. The mandate ended in 1982 but Ford and most others kept it until they redesigned the dashboards.

My 88 5.0 spent a lot of time with the speedo needle pegged hard WAY beyond the 85 spot pointing at empty space.



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Last edited by Dana W; 03-11-2017 at 06:58 PM.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017
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Any cluster should work, however the 90-93 ones have an airbag light at the bottom right of the speedometer (only visible with the light on obviously). Just check the tach for any adjustment. I remember at least the 79-82 had a slot for 4, 6, or 8 cylinder cars.

The 140 MPH speedo started in early 1989, if you had one produced in late 88, still had the 85 MPH. Mine is 3/1989 and its 140. Btw, the pony emblem on the dash didn't show up unil 4/1989, wish mine had it. Cute critters Dana, too bad for the irresponsible owners that gave the breed a bad rep.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017 Thread Starter
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Interesting, I didn't know that. Thanks!
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017 Thread Starter
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Any cluster should work, however the 90-93 ones have an airbag light at the bottom right of the speedometer (only visible with the light on obviously). Just check the tach for any adjustment. I remember at least the 79-82 had a slot for 4, 6, or 8 cylinder cars.

The 140 MPH speedo started in early 1989, if you had one produced in late 88, still had the 85 MPH. Mine is 3/1989 and its 140. Btw, the pony emblem on the dash didn't show up unil 4/1989, wish mine had it. Cute critters Dana, too bad for the irresponsible owners that gave the breed a bad rep.
This is really good to know. I know there was the difference what with the airbag stuff for the instrument cluster. I just wanted to know whether I needed to do a full instrument cluster swap or just a tachometer swap. Cause my issue is that I did a swap of a 5.0 HO from a newer year into the car, and now that we got it running right the instrument cluster has been a little screwy. My oil gauge, fuel gauge and such is fine. Just my tachometer is reading double (which I have already found out is due to it being a 2.3 tach, not a 5.0). However what's really puzzling me is my speedometer.

My speedometer is completely thrown off. It goes anywhere from reading 50 km/h when I'm actually going 40 km/h to it can be reading 160 km/h when I'm actually going 130 km/h (It's a Canadian car). So I really don't understand why there's such a deviation in the amount the reading is out. We thought it was just the 2.3l speedometer screwing with it, but now I'm not so sure.

Any ideas?
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017
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On instrumentation, the 4 cylinder tachometer will not read right with a V8 under the hood and vice versa. The 89-93 V8 Mustangs also have the 140MPH speedometer so hopefully you can get the whole instrument cluster from one of those and just bolt it right in. The V8 tach will read one-half of the RPM with a 4 cylinder and a 4 cylinder tach will read twice the RPM with a V8. Get the right tachometer, but honestly it's easier to just change the whole instrument cluster
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017 Thread Starter
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On instrumentation, the 4 cylinder tachometer will not read right with a V8 under the hood and vice versa. The 89-93 V8 Mustangs also have the 140MPH speedometer so hopefully you can get the whole instrument cluster from one of those and just bolt it right in. The V8 tach will read one-half of the RPM with a 4 cylinder and a 4 cylinder tach will read twice the RPM with a V8. Get the right tachometer, but honestly it's easier to just change the whole instrument cluster
Your confirmation of the 140MPH speedometer for the V8 instrument cluster is exactly the answer I was looking for. I know of a guy that has a 140MPH instrument cluster with a 6000 rpm tach on it but he didn't know the year of it or anything so we didn't know if it was for a V8 and fix my problem, or it would be a 4 Cylinder and do the same as the one I have.

Thanks!
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvRfoxes View Post
Any cluster should work, however the 90-93 ones have an airbag light at the bottom right of the speedometer (only visible with the light on obviously). Just check the tach for any adjustment. I remember at least the 79-82 had a slot for 4, 6, or 8 cylinder cars.

The 140 MPH speedo started in early 1989, if you had one produced in late 88, still had the 85 MPH. Mine is 3/1989 and its 140. Btw, the pony emblem on the dash didn't show up unil 4/1989, wish mine had it. Cute critters Dana, too bad for the irresponsible owners that gave the breed a bad rep.
I wasn't sure which year the 140 speedos were put back in. I musta missed one by months in my '88. It was one of the last ones on the lot in August 1988. #adoptdontshop #adoptthecropped.


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017
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Also 90-93 not just an air bag light but the bottom of the assembly is curved where the 87-89 is flat at the bottom, making them non interchangeable


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