17. Transferring the wiper switch to the Dakota Digital VHX system entailed attaching the switch to the ABS rear panel with the included screws, washers, and nuts. Once secured, the ABS panel was fastened to the gauge cluster with the provided Phillips head screws and lock washers.
18. Before seating the new Dakota Digital VHX gauge system to Rusty’s dash, his son, Brian, drops the new dash panels from NPD into place, securing them with a dash trim fastener kit, also from NPD.
19. Wiring the Dakota Digital VHX module couldn’t be easier. Between the well-detailed instructions and the call-outs on the module itself, it is a simple matter of routing the required wires to the control box. Here we’ve routed the fuel level sending unit wire (from the AAW harness) and the oil pressure sensor wiring.
20. The box is small enough to mount just about anywhere convenient. You can wire the connections first and then mount it, or mount it with more access and terminate the wiring after it is mounted, whichever is easier for you. We found this cowl side panel just above where the driver’s kick panel will go to offer a nice spot. We’ve also connected the tach signal (purple), switched power (red), high beam indicator (green), and dash lighting (gray).
21a. As noted previously, Rusty decided to use the stock turn signal locations in the gauge bezel. The wiring pigtails for the two LED indicators are shown here. We wound the white/black wires together to be connected to a ground source, while the white/green wires are the positive wires for the LED lights and must be connected to the original dash indicator wires.
21b. Since we’re using the AAW chassis harness wiring that Rusty installed, it was simply a matter of routing these two dash indicator wires to the dash and connecting them to the white/green wires coming from the gauge cluster. If you opt to use the turn indicators in the face of the gauges, these two wires would alternatively be routed to the VHX module.
22. The VHX gauges communicate with the module via a standard RJ-45 network cable (like the one connected to your computer at work or broadband Internet at home). The VHX kit includes a three foot cable and if you have mounted the module farther away than that, a quick trip to your favorite electronics store will net you a longer cable.
23. Besides the VHX communication cable (and optional turn signal indicators), the only remaining wiring left before installing the assembled gauge bezel is to connect the OE wiper switch wiring to the stock wiper switch now residing in the ABS back panel.
24. Since the Dakota Digital VHX system resides in a stock gauge bezel, the installation into the dash is standard Mustang. You will utilize the three slightly longer screws provided by Dakota Digital for the upper mounting, but you will use the two factory lower screws, shown here.
25. It was easy for us to access the module to plug in the data cable after the gauge bezel was secured, but depending on where you mount the module in your installation, you may wish to connect the data cable to the module before securing the gauge bezel.
26. The finished Dakota Digital VHX installation (along with new dash trim from NPD) gives the Mustang’s dash a little more flair compared to the black painted bezel with stock gauges shown previously. Plus, the addition of detailed engine monitoring, an in-dash tach, and more make the upgrade well worth the $795 purchase price.
If you are running a modern crate engine with OBD-II–based electronics, you might wish to consider the BIM-01-1 OBD-II interface module from Dakota Digital. This module connects to the main gauge module and uses data from the OBD-II diagnostic port in your EFI wiring harness to provide the gauges with certain data, including speed, tachometer, engine temp, and more. Simply mount the module, supply it with power and ground wiring and connect the two supplied leads to the gauge module and your diagnostic port, respectively.
While we've featured Dakota Digital's VHX gauge line in their Silver Alloy gauge face design, Dakota Digital does offer a sharp looking Carbon Fiber Look gauge face option as well. Besides picking the actual gauge face to complement your interior, Dakota Digital offers both gauge face designs in either red or blue LED lighting. Shown here is the Silver Alloy in red illumination (what we installed) along with a Carbon Fiber Look system in blue illumination. Note that the colored accent in the Carbon Fiber Look faces match whichever illumination choice you pick. One additional note for those readers north of the border (or overseas), Dakota Digital does offer its VHX gauges in Km/H and Celsius readings as well. Finally, if you're in need of a new dash bezel, you can pick up a '67 or '68 style bezel directly from Dakota Digital as well. However, please note they only sell the bezel. If you need the rest of the dash trim, fasteners, and more, then you'll have to hit up NPD for those parts like we did.