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 79-86 Center Console Restoration 

Please excuse the low quality of some of the pictures.  I had to try to use fairly high compression to keep the size of this site under control. Please be helpful and send comments here.

Go to part: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11

Part 9:  Too Much Information Center


Time to get down to some nitty gritty.  In this part, we're going to clean up the information center and I'm going to actually show you how to test it to make sure it works.  Pin-outs, voltages, the works.

To start, pop off the back lights on the information center.  Simply take a small flat bladed screwdriver and gently push under one side of the back light and the light will pop off.



Now you have just the information center to deal with.

First, looking at the face, the PO got some grey paint on it.  I guess taping this off was too much to ask for.

In the picture below you can see some splatter drops of paint.  Not much but it needs to go.



For this, I generally like to use some Turtle Wax paint rubbing and polishing compounds:



The rubbing compound gets the paint off and the polishing compound shines it up a bit.



All better.

Now, on to testing.  To test it we need the pin out.  There are two connectors coming from the unit.  13 total wires.  Below is a description of those connectors (note the red locking block in the center of each connector).  The indicated uses were pulled from the Ford Electrical and Vacuum Troubleshooting manual. 



One very quick test that can be done is to simply grab a 9v battery and hook it up.  9v positive goes to the White wire with Purple stripe.  The Black wire goes to the negative 9v terminal (ground). 

To get the wires out of the connector, you simply remove them or "de-pin" them from the connector.  There is a red block on the connector you first need to push up and out from the sides with a pencil.  Then there are little internal tabs in the connector for each wire that an awl or small screwdriver can be used to pull back and then the wire can be pulled right out.



Hit the button.  All the LEDs should light (I had to keep my camera's flash off for this picture.).



At this point you're probably good to go if all your LEDs light.  This module I think is pretty dirt simple inside so i doubt much of anything can go wrong.  I didn't feel like opening it up since I didn't have an issue.  Maybe that's a write-up for another time when these things start failing on people.

But I did feel like trying some other tests.  I figured I could hook it up to my car easily enough.




My car has almost no gas in it, immediately I got a "low fuel light".  I also pulled a front low beam head lamp.  Cool, it's working!



This is where I get lost.  If I put 9-12v to various wires I can light up each LED individually.  There are only 5 LEDs and 13 wires.  Why so many wires?  Even the Ford wiring manual doesn't list all the wires on the brown connector.  I had to play around and sort of guess what they are.

Here is what I do know:

Low Fuel Light when tested with 9v battery: 

Wire Connector Voltage
White/Purple Stripe (Power) Grey 12v
Black (Ground) Grey Ground
Yellow/Black Dot (Low Fuel) Grey 12v
All Others   0v/Open

The dash harness reports the same values.

Now, here it gets odd. 

Head Lamp Out Light (tested outside the car with battery):

Wire Connector Voltage
White/Purple Stripe (Power) Grey 12v
Black (Ground) Grey Ground
Brown/Purple Dot (Head Lamp) Brown 12v
All Others   Not Connected

That's all you need to get the Head Lamp LED to light.

Now when inside the car, and a low beam head lamp is removed, the dash harness reports the following: (Key must be in the ON position and headlights must be ON)

Wire Connector Voltage
White/Purple Stripe (Power) Grey 12v
Black (Ground) Grey 0v
Red/Black Stripe (Head Lamp Power) Grey 12v
Brown (Park Lamp Power) Grey 12v
Brown/Purple Dot (Head Lamp) Brown 12v
White (Rear Park Lamps) Brown 12v
All Others   0v

So why all the extra hot wires?
  And why is the White wire showing 12v?  When I test that with the 9v battery, the rear tail light LED lights up.  But not when plugged into the harness...weird.

If I get some time, I'm going to look into this farther.  Maybe some wires need to be specifically grounded too and not just left open.


I do know that my car's dash harness is missing the White/Red Stripe wire on the dash harness's brown connector.  I also see that in the Ford Electrical manual, Capris do NOT have the same information circuits as Mustang's.  The Capri actually has wires differentiating the RH/LH brake lights.  The Mustang does not.

To top it off, I don't know if I have a Capri or Mustang dash harness.  Everything appears to work for me. So I'm going to leave it at that.

If anyone has any insights, feel free to drop me a line.

UPDATE:  Foxchassis at FEP scanned in some Ford shop manual pages.


In Conclusion:


The Information center is pretty easy to shine up and test.

There are still some unanswered questions on exactly what the dash wiring reports to the Information Center.

Part 10: Tick Tock.