If you did a write up that would be great Lilnuts.
I've been thinking of doing this for a while myself.
I've got the guages to swap in and I've compared the 2 wiring diagrams myself so I know which wires "should" go where.... but I know that might not actually be exactly be correct once I do it.
My question to you is, which tach wire did you use? The CTO?
Where did you find it, do you have any pictures of that wire and it's location?
Chromo, sorry I have been away from the computer for the last two weeks. Yes I did use the CTO wire. It's mounted under the hood just to the right of where the driver side rear airbox bolt is located. I connceted it to the #12 pin on the 16 pin F plug. I will do a complete write up here in the next week or so.
The speedo swap is really not that hard at all. However, there are a couple of things that I have yet to fix. The ABS light is always on, I think I know why, I just need to pick the brain of an electrically inclined person LOL. Also. the Cruise control light no longer works, the CC works just fine but the light does not. That is the only down side. I was able to kill my seat belt chime, and I think I can go back in and kill my door alarm. I will also show you how to take your odometer wheel out and install in your new gauges, so your miles on the van is accurate.
The tach works great. I'm amazed that the main usable RPM range is really only 1,000 RPM's. On the average with my 3:55 rear end and slightly taller tires @ 70 MPH it's turning just under 2,000 RPM's, 80 is 2,250 and 90 just for the sake of testing : ) is 2,500, 50 MPH is 1,500 RPM. So from 30 MPH to 70 is only a 1,000 range. Thats why it is important to have any motor or gearing mods kick in at the right RPM, when pulling a load it's even more important. With a tach you can see exactly the power curve starts and falls off. So you can really tell if your mods or chip are working the best for your van. On my van with a DP 20hp tow setting 1,700 RPM's is when things start to fire up.
To take the dash apart is easy, you just have to be careful. you can break it around the radio and heat vents. The very first thing is to either set your ebrake or block your tires, you will have to move the gear selector into low to help get the dash panel out and instrument cluster out. Also, I didn't disconnect the battery and didn't have any issues, but I have done stupid things before.
There are only 2 screws, the headlight switch and the radio that you have to deal with in order to "unclip" the dash panel. The knob on the headlight switch has a little notch out of it. Take an awl and push the little metal clip in/down while lightly pulling on the knob. It's too small to take a picture of. When your all done, if your knob pulls off you have to rebend (open up) that clip and it will be good as new. You just compressed it a bit too much. Then just unscrew the round collar. The 2 screws are up above the instruments, a phillips screwdriver is all ya need. You can see the where the screw recesses are above the instruments. [URL=http://s213.photobucket.com/user/garranch/media/2002%20Forrd%20diesel%20van/20150324_144122.jpg.html][/URL]
There are about 6 or 7 "clips that hold the panel on.
I have an aftermarket radio in my van. When I remove the dash panel the radio stays in place. You'll have to figure out how to release your radio from the dash panel. This vid is for the stock radio. Many after market radios have a similiar release method. But it is a flat sheetmetal like tool that goes one on each side to unclip the radio. I know the car stereo stores have and use them (they come with every radio) and often will give you a pair if you ask. You have to get them for your specific radio, Kenwood, Jensen, etc
I start near the head light switch with a small flat bar or a regular screwdriver and help them release. If you just pull hard enough without a little help they will release, hopefully before the plastic breaks,use the bar. There is one clip near the switch and one on the other side of the steering column, work them free. Now just work around the edge with your little pry bar. When you find a point that is bound up, that is where a clip is located. This probably the hardest part of the swap, getting this panel off. Once all the clips are off and the panel is free you'll have to unplug a few wires the cig lighter/power port, and possibility the radio, not much at all. Set the dash panel out of the way. Note: this is a good time to clean out your heating ducts and the louvers on your dash panel.
The shift indicator cable attaches to a small hook on the steering column. You can either unclip the indicator from the cluster (last pic) and just let it remain in the dash, or unclip it from the steering column. I found it was easier when re-installing to unhook it from the steering column. The easiest way to unhook it is to remove the lower dash panel that below the steering column. It's held on with 4 clips one in each corner. Then remove the sheet metal panel (4 screws) that is behind this lower panel. Use your pry tool to help them unclip. the cable connection is located on the passenger side of the column. After setting the e brake or chalking the wheels, put the shifter in 2nd gear. This is the easiest position to remove the cable. A slightly curved pick tool helps to remove it and greatly helps to reinstall it. The cable end is just a simple loop that goes over the hook. You will also have to unscrew the cable adjuster completely. This allows you to adjust where your red needle aligns on your gear indicator. Make a mental note of where the adjustment is so when you put it back together you can get it close right off the bat.
Now with your tilt steering column in the lowest position and shifter in 1st, pull the cluster out of the van. Put it back in park and take the cluster to your work bench. In order to change the odometer wheel you have to open up the two clusters. It takes a small socket or nut driver and approx 8 screws. In the pic of the two clusters you can see the small bolt heads across the top and on the center round part. After you have removed those screws you have to take out one more small allen screw that is in the back circuit board. You only have to take out the one hex that is by itself. You also have to unclip a wire band to get the two parts of the cluster to separate, this band is white and about an 1-1/4" wide. Sadly I don't have a pic but it is very evident when you try to pull them apart. To unclip the wire is easy. On each side of the wire is a plastic hook and loop type of fastener. Unhook those and the keeper piece will lose it's grip on the wire (you will just have bare wire, no plastic end on it) and you can pull it out. When it comes time to reassemble don't forget to put this back in and be sure the wire is pushed in fully and the keepers are clamped properly. If you get every back together and some things don't work properly, this is most likely where the problem is. Now you have the clusters opened up (you have to do both of them if you want to change your odometer wheel out). You see the wheel is clipped into place with it's silver axle clipped into the plastic. Make a note or take a pic of the position of the same view shown in my pic of your old wheel before you pop it out. The newly located wheel must go back in the same position. Using a fairly long regular screw driver pry the end of the axle out of the plastic, I pryed against the round silver component on the left in the pic and it came out easy. the other end will pop out once you have the (left side) out in the pic.
Once you have popped your wheel back in place turn over your cluster and be sure your mileage is correct. If so repeat the process to reassemble. Note: this is a great time to clean the clear plastic cover inside and out, just be careful not to get cleaner in the nooks and crannies it's a ***** to get them clean (again don't ask me how I know) Use a good plastic cleaner scratch remover, you will thank me later lol. Other then cutting the upper driverside tab off your done with the F cluster, put it aside and we'll move on to the wiring. Also, if you want to use the gear selector from your van, they just unclip with these black hooked clips, I didn't change mine out because they were both in the same condition. About the only thing that changes is the red arrow gets faded. This pic shows the black hooks you need to release to get the gear selector out.
The wiring is fairly simple. Please note, as I said in the beginning of this process I have yet to get my ABS light to turn off and my cruise control light to turn on. I'm pretty sure I can fix those 2 items, but as of this writing I have not had the time.
You can see in a previous post the 3 wiring plugins are the same in the F and the E series.
Member RPM1 has kindly posted pics in this link of the 3 plugins for both the F and the E's Note the E "A" has been drawn backwards compared to the F series drawing. You don't have to flip all the connections. Actually, the 16 pic has the least amount wires to move.
The 3 plugins are labeled as A,B & C on both drawings, sadly Ford changed the labeling between the E and the F series.
The F series plugin (12 wire) closest to the passenger side is the A plugin, the center (16 wire) is B and the driver side (12 wire) is C. These are the C250a or b or c drawings
The E series are the C220 drawings The C220A is the 16 wire plug which is the B plug in the F series. The C220B is the F series C 12 wire plug. The C220C van plug is the F series A 12 wire, clear as mud? I recommend you print out all 6 pages and study them, it will make sense and you can see they do have many wires in common that won't have to be moved.
To unclip a wire from the plugin connector is easy. I found an eyeglass regular screwdriver works the best.
The metal ends of the wires have a clip on the bottom of them that spring into the plastic and hold the wires in place. if you poke the super small screwdriver under the metal end and compress the "trap door" metal so it will glide over the plastic lip it is designed to catch on you can easily pull on the wire and the wire and the metal end come out easily. Sadly I don't have a pic of this but it is not hard, it will take a few tries before you have the method down pat. I practiced on an end I was not going to reuse (seatbelt alarm) to be sure if I messed it up it wouldn't matter.
Lets start with the E 16 pin plug (c220a) converted to the c250b F series.
Remove the ground wire in #1 position (circuit #57) and abandon it, it seems to be redundant and move what is in the #2 pin (circuit 19) to the number one position.
After you have located your CTO wire (see a previous post above) extend a wire from it through the firewall long enough to reach the instrument cluster. I cut off the unused ground end and spliced to the extended CTO wire and clip it into space # 12. (circuit #648)
Move the wire from c220c #8 (circuit 683) to the #13 position, you are done with the 16 pin (c220a) plug
The 12 pin c220b converted to the c250c
Move van #11 (circuit #464) to position #1.
Move #8 (circuit #803) to position #11
Move #9 (circuit #12) to position #8
Move #12 van to the F c250a position #11 (circuit 643) (cut the end off a few inches back and splice in about 16" of new wire so it will reach.
Move van #7 (circuit #450 to F c250a #9.(extend the wire)
If you have a 4x4 van there is a wire off your transfer case that if you attach to pin #9 on this plug it will light up your 4x4 light when your in 4wd.
c220c van to c250a
Move #5 (circuit #904 to position #8
Move position #1(circuit #570 ground) to F c220c #12 (extend the wire)
Move #4 (circuit 977) to position #3 on the F c220c (need to extend the wire)
Thats is it for wiring, plug everything and start your van before you screw the cluster back in place, check to see if everything works.
The final step is to cut one tab off the F cluster (sometimes referred to as the F'n cluster if it doesn't work).
The upper left tab has to be cut off the F cluster it cuts easy with a small saw (I used a coping saw)
For a better alignment in the dash I cut a small notch in the van dash, it's only about a 1/4"
All I know this is an old Post but if you did the swap and never figured out the ABS light...you'll have to remove the three legged transistor, it's the only one on the back of the cluster, and then jumper from the two resisters to the top and left of where the transistor was. I'll add a pic once I get a chance. I just wanted to share since I completed mine tonight based on all the information posted. Thanks for the how to tutorial. P.S. don't try to use an LED for the ABS light, there is to much residual energy and will almost be fully lite... incandescent adds resistance where it shuts off like it's suppose to.
Lilnuts, sorry for the delay on the photos for the ABS light fix. Life caught up to me. Here are before and after shots. Haven't had time to sort out the cruise light yet. Let me know if you have any questions.