S550 Mustang Cluster Signals

Thread Starter

04Retrofit

Joined Oct 7, 2019
10
Hi, I'm pretty new to the modifying of clusters and their inner workings. I have a basic understanding of the use of CAN signals in today's cars but do not know if there are different types used. I'm wondering if the signals sent to the S550 cluster are different from the signals sent to those in a new edge mustang cluster. I'm trying to retrofit the cluster from the s550 into the sn95. Any input on where to start or what to do would be helpful. I do not mind the challenge and have a really good understanding of electronics and wiring diagrams/schematics, but I do not know about the signals that are sent.
 

bwilliams60

Joined Nov 18, 2012
1,198
I would start first by supplying us with the years of the two cars. Being that they are both Fords, it is possible that the signals may be the same if they are within a couple of years of each other but if there is a wide spread, then probably not. There are a lot more variables in this equation such as sensor construction and calibrations. Keep in mind that it will possibly have mileage, hrs, trip etc plus all of the calibrations that wont match up as well as some form of security that you may have to overcome. Perhaps @narkeleptk can chime in on this as well but I think the only way you will figure it out is to compare them side by side or connect them up and see how it responds.
 

narkeleptk

Joined Mar 11, 2019
375
What year is the sn95? It looks like they range from 1994-2004. Is this a common swap in the mustang community?

I'm not one to say anything is impossible but I just don't see it happening even with a lot of trickery and emulation. If your mustang is 1997+ then one of the biggest issue you will have to deal with is the PATS (immobilizer) which is stored in both clusters. The sn95 will use a much older pats system with 40bit encryption in the keys. The new cluster uses 80bit or 128bit. I guess in theory you could program the proper chip on bench and get a new key or just hide it behind the dash but even then I'm not sure if the pcm would accept the clusters id and verify code it needs to match with the cluster to deactivate the immobilizer.

Now that I think about it, Ford clusters usually talk on MSCAN (medium speed can) but I'm pretty sure a sn95 model will use an older protocol since ford did not start really using can networks til 2005. That would mean any module that needs to communicate with the cluster on the data line would not be able to. (including the pcm which needs to verify the pats code) Maybe just maybe if yours is one of the rare mustangs without PATS you can make some of it work but as much communication as those new clusters do I doubt much would function properly. I mean we are talking at the least 10 years difference and at the most 25 years difference in technology.
 

bwilliams60

Joined Nov 18, 2012
1,198
Perhaps I should have looked a little farther into this before I answered but the bottom line is that you will probably not be able to do it. After checking my notes, clusters from that generation were still all analog and the S550 is fully digital. I don't believe you can emulate the signals you need as @narkeleptk pointed out without a lot of major work which would include an PCM swap to make that part of your life a little easier. That leads to other issues. I believe there are places where you can buy newer gauges to fit your car. Not sure what it is you are looking for?
 

Thread Starter

04Retrofit

Joined Oct 7, 2019
10
I'm sorry, I should've explained this. I plan on retrofitting a full s550 (preferably 15'-17') interior into a new edge project car (01'-04') but want to retain the fitment of the factory dash. This means some custom work on my end, but nothing that I'm not used to. The gauges from the 2015+ would replace those from the 01-04, creating more modern feeling, and better-looking aesthetics. If I need to I can just hardwire the mil lights, and all other warning lights in some way by tapping into the power source from the original cluster, but I feel that there is some way to transfer the signals from the 01-04 PCM to the 2015+ cluster (possibly with a CAN signal decoder/translator?).
 

Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
12,576
I'm sorry, I should've explained this. I plan on retrofitting a full s550 (preferably 15'-17') interior into a new edge project car (01'-04') but want to retain the fitment of the factory dash. This means some custom work on my end, but nothing that I'm not used to. The gauges from the 2015+ would replace those from the 01-04, creating more modern feeling, and better-looking aesthetics. If I need to I can just hardwire the mil lights, and all other warning lights in some way by tapping into the power source from the original cluster, but I feel that there is some way to transfer the signals from the 01-04 PCM to the 2015+ cluster (possibly with a CAN signal decoder/translator?).
IMHO this is a highly dubious undertaking. The whole reason for using CAN in the first place was to reduce the diameter of the "horse cock" of home run wiring. There is just too much in the CAN implementation that you won't have access to.
 

Thread Starter

04Retrofit

Joined Oct 7, 2019
10
Here are the examples of the related clusters:

As for the anti-theft, I can turn off PATS with my tuner, so no issue there. Something that might also work is planting the stepper motors from the newer style cluster somehow? PS: The center section most likely wouldn't be used, only the two outermost gauges (Tach, Speedometer, Fuel level, Oil pressure, Possibly Voltage). What're your thoughts on this? I appreciate the help as well!
 

narkeleptk

Joined Mar 11, 2019
375
If you immo-off the pcm and only want some basic functions then it may be a little More doable. Basic stuff I generally simulate on the bench pretty easily so I can't imagine it would be that bad to implement in the car. You may could avoid the data lines all together but Im not that familiar with that newer cluster to say for sure and I don't have any diagrams on it
 

narkeleptk

Joined Mar 11, 2019
375
I'm pretty new to this whole thing, what is immo-off?
It the common phrase for turning off the immobilizer. You mentioned your tuner could do this, tho this is not that common in the US and not that common on fords in general so I would be a bit surprised. What tool are you using?
 

narkeleptk

Joined Mar 11, 2019
375
If that is all there is then most everything is being sent via the can lines and your not going to be able to make it work with out some serious engineering. Probably easier to build your own cluster.
 

bwilliams60

Joined Nov 18, 2012
1,198
After looking at the wiring diagrams and figuring out the protocols, I don't think you can do this based on the platform you are adapting it to. The 2017 Mustang is using CAN which can run up to 1Gbps and trying to adapt it to a system that is running at 41.6 Kbs. That is like putting a Cheetah in a snail race. I don't believe there is a gateway on the 2004 and even if there was, I don't think it could do what you need it to do. I guess I am the belief that there is only one way to find out and that is to hook it up and start from there. Good luck on this adventure and keep us posted. this sounds like fun.
 

Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
12,576
After looking at the wiring diagrams and figuring out the protocols, I don't think you can do this based on the platform you are adapting it to. The 2017 Mustang is using CAN which can run up to 1Gbps and trying to adapt it to a system that is running at 41.6 Kbs. That is like putting a Cheetah in a snail race. I don't believe there is a gateway on the 2004 and even if there was, I don't think it could do what you need it to do. I guess I am the belief that there is only one way to find out and that is to hook it up and start from there. Good luck on this adventure and keep us posted. this sounds like fun.
I would believe CAN at 1 Mbps. 1 Gbps is quite outside the realm of possibility since that would not allow any finite sized cable system, even with no optos.
 

Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
12,576
@Papabravo, you are correct. Sorry i was in between classes and headed out the door with other numbers in my head. Thanks for the correction.
If I had not wrestled with that problem for about 6 months, I never would have spotted it. We tried to do 1 Mbps, with low delay HP optos and could not get a positive maximum cable distance to work. Thus our highest "standard" network speed/cable distance combination for DeviceNet was 500 kbps and 100 meters. That we could guarantee.
 
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