Despite most of the common gauges remaining the same over the last 60 years, the automotive dashboard of days past used very different technology to those today. Cable driven speedometers were common, along with mechanical drive for the odometer, too. Fuel and temperature gauges were often wired directly to their senders, and some oil pressure gauges actually ran an oil line right up to the back of the dash. Now, things are mostly handled over the CAN bus, which inspired [Thomas]’s bookshelf-based Mustang build.
The idea behind the project is to build a nice piece of bookshelf art, using a modern CAN-driven Mustang dashboard. Through research and much trial and error, [Thomas] was able to figure out the CAN messages necessary to interface with a 2009 Mustang dashboard. There were innumerable hiccups along the way – [Thomas] had to 3D print his own connectors, reflash CAN bus interfaces, and make more than a few educated guesses to get things working.
The dash is combined with an Arduino with an MP3 shield and a 30 watt audio system, which provides both CAN signals to drive the dash as well as the obligatory sound effects of a Mustang tearing about town. It’s all finished up with an ignition keyswitch and 3 LED-lit buttons in the traditional Mustang colors.
It’s a fun build which does a great job of showcasing the basic tools and techniques required to interface with modern automotive subsystems. Salvaging an instrument cluster can be a great way to add immersion to your home racing sim, too. Video after the break.
17 thoughts on “Mustang Dash Becomes Bookshelf Art Piece”
Who rebuilt this cluster for you and made it blue LEDs?
Mustang built it. They call it purple however.
Some of the factory dashes had color changing dashes this was one of them it looks like the non color changing ones just had an odometer without the dot matrix on the bottom
I was expecting the whole dash, not just the instrument cluster. Boo
pls… the nice view here gives a great taste; why boo?
This technique needs to the put into a driving simulator.
It has been.
Now THAT I want to see!
I know it all would have looked and sounded better if u had used a Chevy Camaro cluster instead of a Ford
He choose a performance vehicular. Not a government sponsored vehicle. Just saying!
Wonderful Art Deco I guess.
You need to make these and sell them I’d buy one
You get tired of it sell it to me
It’s a shame but the new Camaro looks fantastic but then you open the door and see two cheap looking pods sticking out of the dash. Wouldn’t call that art!
I’ll just leave this here. ;)
The article’s link is dead (site closed). But a PDF reprint is available at the project’s github:
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