Tag Archives: Ford BA Falcon

How to install gauges into the BA-BF Falcon

I was asked how I had wired up my gauges in my XR6 when I realised I couldn’t find anywhere that specifically showed you, so I thought I would do a write up on it!
BA XR6 Gauges

As I had done this quite a while ago, I can’t remember where I purchased my items from, but you can get them at most auto shops, or from online stores and ebay!
You will need to purchase a mount for the gauges (You can get single, double and even triple mounts for the BA-BF falcons that go above the ICC) as well as the gauges to put in them. I purchased a double gauge holder, similar to the ones that were included in the FPV range. I also purchased a vacuum/boost gauge (This was mainly the one I wanted) as well as a voltage gauge (This was originally purchased just as an easy to install substitute to fill the second pod, but has worked out well as I’m installing the carputer)
What you purchase is up to you, but to install them is all going to be different, except for the wiring of the ground, power, ignition and illumination (which I’ll show you here)

The easiest and least intrusive way I found to wire my gauges up was to connect them to the plug that lies behind the fuse box located in the cabin. It was originally intended to be used for bluetooth hands-free car kits, but as I have none, it was trivial to just use that. To do this though, you will need to purchase a 4 pin auto plug to connect your wiring to.
I bought mine from Jaycar Electronics, cat code: PP2066. If you do however have a hands-free kit using it, you could splice into the wires, otherwise maybe find another source for your wiring. I also wired the illumination up to the traction control and fog light switch.

First things first, when working with anything electrical in the car, it’s always wise to disconnect the battery.
Car Battery

Now to remove the top of the ICC, you’ll just need to stick a credit card at the back of it, and pry it upwards and out, it should just clip off as you pry it.
Lifting top of ICC

Then, you’ll need to remove the ICC, which you can find instruction on here. You might be able to do this without removing the ICC, and by just feeding the cables down, but I had no luck.
Now you’ll need to get the wiring that came with your gauges, and feed the cable down the drivers side behind the dash, until you can see them coming through the foot well. Then just pull them through until you have just enough wire above the ICC to plug the gauges in.
Feeding wire

PP2066 4 way Auto PlugThen you’ll need to wire up your plug. What you’ll need to do is get the power, ground and ignition wire from each gauge, strip the wires, and twist them together (i.e. twist the each of the power wires together, each of the gorund, etc.). Then using a lug crimper, crimp each one to their own male spade lug.
Then, insert each lug into the respective spot shown in the diagram below (note, the bottom right is not used, it was originally intended to mute the audio for phone calls):
Power Plug

Once you’ve done that, remove the fuse box cover that’s located to the right under the steering wheel.
IMG_0470

Now I removed the fuse box, to give you a better idea of what is behind it, but you can fairly easily connect it without removing it, and just by feeling it instead. There is only one plug that will fit behind there, so you can’t plug it into anything incorrectly.
To remove the fuse box, disconnect the brown plug.Fuse Box brown plug

Then unscrew each of the 3 bolts shown below.Fuse Screws

Then the remove each of the 5 plugs that are attached to the back of the fuse box, as well as unclipping the white OBDII connector.
Fuse Plugs

And finally, you can unclip the boot release as well.
This is the socket we want to be plugging into, the blue one:

Power Socket

Once you have connected your plug into the hands free socket behind the fuse box, then reattach the fuse box by just reversing the instructions.

Traction/Fog Light SwitchNext, you will need to connect the illumination wire. To do this, I just tapped into the illumination wire located behind the traction control and fog light switch, to the left of the steering wheel.
Just unclip the whole thing (switches and plastic housing) by inserting a screwdriver on the left hand side of it, and prying outwards.
Then, using a quick splice connector (such as this), use a small length (say 200mm) of wire to splice into it. The illumination wire is shown below.Illumination wire

On the other end of your wire, just crimp a male spade terminal. Then strip your illumination wires for each of the gauges, twist them together, and crimp a female spade terminal to the end. Then connect these two together.

And that’s all you need for the wiring! I then connected the hose for the boost gauge to the blow off valve. Here is where I put it through the firewall:
Boost Hose Firewall

Now, when re-installing the ICC, there are two things I had to do. Firstly, I had to cut a little bit out for the wires to fit through (I used a hot knife).
ICC Cut

You also need to watch the wires near the air vents, as the wires seem to like to sit in front of them as shown.Wires in Air Vent

As you slowly put the ICC back in, use a screwdriver or something similar to make sure the wires aren’t pinched in the air vent.

Then screw everything back together, connect your battery, and try it out! Turn on your headlights to make sure your illumination is working and also change the colour of your gauges (if they support it). If you remove the keys and put them back in, and your colour stays the same, then everything is wired correctly!
Please note, when you’re testing a boost gauge, it will sit at 0, and will not go into boost while your car is in neutral or park.

Installing a touch screen in the BA Falcon

I finally got round to taking some pics on installing the touch screen itself on the LCD. It’s fairly easy once you remove the ICC. You can find instructions on that in my previous post, How to remove the BA Falcon’s ICC.

The touch screen kit I bought from eBay, off of the seller cnx00x. It may seem a bit pricey at $112 after postage, but it is definitely well worth it. It comes with the touch screen itself, a ribbon cable, USB adaptor, USB cable and a disc with instructions and various drivers/utilities.

Remove the ICC and place it on a stable surface, standing upright.
Remove the four screws from the bottom that connect the metal bracket to the fascia.ICC Fascia

Disconnect the three cables connected to the back of the metal box containing the LCD.LCD Cables

Unclip the white cable tie holding the brown wire on the LCD Box.LCD Cable Clip

Unscrew the 4 screws holding the LCD in.LCD Screws

Fascia Removed

You’ll then need to pull the fascia away from the rest of the ICC (as shown on the right). The blue cabled plug that connected to the bottom of the LCD box will need to go underneath the LCD as you do this.

You will then be free to remove the LCD and its enclosure.LCD Box

Get some double sided sticky tape, and place it around the edges on the back of the new touch screen. Then place this on the LCD firmly.Touch Screen Install

Now you’ll have to feed the ribbon cable from the front to the back in the opening shown. I also used some electrical tape to hold the cable in place.Ribbon Cable

Washer


You will need to get 4 washers that are about the same thickness of the touch screen, and then place them between the LCD and the fascia where the screws screw in, to make sure that there isn’t too much pressure on the new touch screen. Then screw it back on.

Washer InstalledOnce the LCD is screwed back on, you can then screw the fascia back on to the metal brackets, and connect the 3 plugs back into the LCD.
You can then connect the rainbow ribbon cable to the ribbon cable from the touch screen. I fed it in between the two plugs on the right, and then along and down the right side of the ICC, in between the fascia and the CD stacker, as shown.Ribbon Wiring

Now you can re-install the ICC, which is just the reverse of the instructions from my previous post.
Once everything’s back in place, you can test the touch screen by connecting a computer or laptop to the ICC’s screen. Details on how to do that can be found here. Then use the USB adaptor and USB cable to connect to the computer, install the drivers and software from the included CD, and just run the calibration.
Here’s a quick video of me testing it in my car.

How to remove the BA Falcon’s ICC

So, after making sure I was able to hook a computer up to the ICC, I pulled the trigger on a touchscreen for the LCD in Ford’s BA Falcon ICC. eBay member cnx00x sell’s them. ICCWhen I bought mine they were $99 with $13 shipping. Not cheap, but after receiving mine, and using it, it’s definitely well worth it.

In my next post, I’ll show you how to actually install the touch screen. For now, this is how to remove the ICC itself.
I should note here, that this is a guide only. If you do decide to do this yourself, I’m not responsible for any damage that you may cause. I would recommend reading the whole post before attempting this.
The ICC is a very delicate and expensive piece of equipment. You do not want to take any shortcuts when playing around with it.
I have heard many stories about the ICC. I’ve even seen someone destroy theirs by not being careful enough. If something happens to your ICC you will not be able to start your car, as it is connected to your immobilser as well. If you have to replace it, they are pricey buggers, starting at well above $1k, and you’ll have to tow your car to Ford to get it installed and connected to your new car with their fancy computers. Not a cheap mistake. I’v seen it happen before. One of the stories I heard though was that you cannot let the ICC be tipped at any angle further than a certain degree. I have no idea whether this is true or not, but I’m not willing to find out.

First thing you’ll want to do is disconnect the negative terminal on the battery.
Now, you will have to remove the shifter surround by pulling it away at the edges. I found it easiest to pull it away from the side closest to the ICC.
Shifter Surround

Then you’ll need to remove the two screws holding the plastic side ‘wings’ in place, and remove them.Wing Screws

Remove the two screws holding the tissue box, then remove the tissue box. Make sure you disconnect the cigarette lighter plug at the back.Tissue Holder

Now to disconnect the cables under the ICC. You will have to do this in the order shown in the pic, that is, from driver’s side to passenger side. The battery has been disconnected, so it shouldn’t matter, but better safe than sorry. If the battery is connected, you’ll hear a lot of relay chatter if you do it in any other order. Also disconnect the antenna cable.ICC Plugs

Take off the plastic panel at the top. This might be blank, have gauges or a clock, but either way its the same. Just stick a credit card in the back of it, closest to the windscreen, and pry up. Then pull it forward to remove. If you do have gauges or a clock, disconnect them as well.Top Panel

Unscrew the screw holding the ICC at the top.Top Screw

Unscrew the 4 bolts holding in the ICC.ICC Bolts

ICC Removed

Making sure you are supporting the ICC properly, pull it forward and out. I held it from the top and bottom. Take great care not to tip it on too much of an angle, and place it down standing up right.

When pulling it out, take note of the picture below for the 4 clips holding the ICC into the car.clips

Installation is just the reverse of these instructions. Make sure not to reconnect the battery until you have plugged everything back in.
Also, makes sure the large white plug that connects to the ICC on the dash is pulled forward fully before inserting the ICC back into your dash. And the plugs at the bottom of the ICC will need to be connected in reverse order, that is, from passenger side to drivers side.

In my next post I’ll show you how to actually remove the LCD screen and install the touch screen. Forgot to take pictures while doing it, so will do it again this weekend.

Connecting a computer to the ICC (Wiring Info)

Wanting to do this without forking out a few hundred on a converter or adaptor specially made for the BA, I set out to find a way of doing it on the cheap.

Without all the info I found at fordmods and fordforums, I would never have figured this out, so my thanks go out to both sites.

The ICC Plug

The ICC Plug

First things first, was creating the cable to actually connect to the input connector on the BA ICC.
You can look at this document from fordmods (where I found the bulk of the info for this) to see how to do it. I’ll also explain it here.
The connector itself you can get from the older E-Series falcons (EF and EL to be more specific). Their window demister and antenna height switch both use the same connector. Whilst this is really how the quintessential cheapskate would do it, I got lazy and ended up buying the AerPro harness that had the same connector. The one you’ll want is the Toyota/Diahatsu OEM Harness, Product code: 71-1761. You can get it online from here, otherwise you can get it from any auto shop and costs about $15-25.

Now we have the 10 pin connector needed for the ICC, we also needed to make up a cable. Originally, I had it wired directly to VGA (As shown in the document), but after no luck trying to use PowerStrip to change the horizontal scan rate manually, and without wanting to fork out $100+ on a PCI-E graphics card that I couldn’t fit into a small case anyway, I ended up using a CGA to VGA adaptor.
These are traditionally used for connecting a computer up to an old arcade monitor, which also uses this annoying 15KHz horizontal rate. I bought mine from eBay, as I could not

VGA to CGA Converter

VGA to CGA Converter

find anywhere else to purchase one. It cost me $42 after postage. But it is needed to connect your computer up. And still going to be cheaper than buying a ready-made adaptor/converter.
You will also need a 5v supply to power this. You can do this however you want (even going from USB from the computer itself) but I ended up just using a DC-DC power converter, which I again bought from eBay. It only cost me $3, but you have to wait for postage from China.

Now, as for the cabling itself, I used a 6-core shielded/screened data cable from Jaycar Electronics (WB-1575), which was $1.65 per metre. You can also use the same stuff from Altronics (W 2710)
I should also warn you now that you’ll need the right tools and skills to solder the wiring together. I won’t explain how to solder as there’s an abundance of information on the net.

RGBS Plug

RGBS Plug

What you want to do is wire the ICC connector to the RGBS out of the VGA converter. So, get the RGBS cable that came with the converter, and chop it off at the end.

You will have to wire the RGBS connector to the shielded cable, and the ICC connector to the other end of shielded cable. This is so the cable is shielded from any interference from any other electrical equipment in the car.
Below I’ve drawn a wiring diagram to help. The ICC Connector is from the rear view, i.e. if you were looking at the connector from the rear side where the wires are coming out.

Wiring Diagram 1

Once it’s all wired up, you can test it by making sure you have a 5v source (I chucked some spade terminals on my DC-DC converter and connected it to the cigarette lighter plug behind the tissue box) and powering the converter. Then plug a VGA cable from any computer into the input on the VGA converter, and plugging the RGBS to ICC cable in.
Everything should be plug and play, but if there is an issue, try changing the switches on the bottom left of the board. There’s is a lack of info on the VGA converter, but from what I’ve gathered, the switches will 1. Switch between PAL/NTSC, 2. Switch between CGA or S-Video output, 3. Swap output size/zoom.

ICCEDIT: I should note, where the ICC connector is for the video input. It is pictured to the right, and you have to plug it in towards the front. It makes sense if you feel for the plug as  indicated. Read through the first few steps here to see how to get to the connector itself. You only need to read up to removing the tissue box holder.

And that’s it so far! This was more a proof that it could be done for me, making sure I could actually connect a computer up before I invest all the time/money into doing it. Next up I’ll install a touch screen overlay onto the ICC screen.

Here’s a video with a laptop running on mine (Note I was bad and didn’t use shielded cable. I will be once I install the computer)

BA XR6 Falcon Car PC

car1jpgSo after wanting to do so since I bought my car, I’ve decided to install a computer into my car.

I bought a citric acid 2003 BA XR6 Turbo a year or so ago now, and it had the premium sound on it. This meant that the ICC had the colour screen as well, and ever since I’ve always been seeking to connect something to it, be it a DVD player, or a carputer.

Bitfenix Prodigy OrangeQuite a few months ago, I had decided to build a Mini-ITX PC as a HTPC/Gaming computer, and was going to wait for Intel’s Haswell CPU’s to come. Then a friend from work showed me the Bitfenix Prodigy case and I was in love. I bought an orange one, and couldn’t let it sit there doing nothing, so I decided to build something I could use in the interim whilst waiting for the new processors. I ended up purchasing a Gigabyte GA-H77N-WIFI Mini-ITX motherboard with an Intel i3-3220. Had a couple of 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 sticks lying around, a spare 750GB Hard drive, and ended up buying a Samsung 120GB 840 SSD and Corsair CX430 PSU to finish it all up. This is what I’m currently using as my HTPC, as I wait for Asus to release the z87 motherboard I’m after. This is also the guts I plan on using for the carputer to go into the BA.

So, first things first, I had to find a way to connect a VGA out to the colour screen on the BA’s premium ICC. There’s a lot of info out there, if you check places such as fordmods.com or fordforums.com.au. After searching for hours, even days through lots of forums and posts, I found there to be a few options, but I won’t go into each here. Essentially, Ford had made a video input connector for the BA-BF’s on the bottom of the ICC. It’s easy enough to access, by removing the shifter surround, the two plastic side ‘wings’ and the tissue box. Also, thanks to this technical document (and the guys who created it) over at fordmods.com, I was able to create a cable that went from VGA to this connection. The connector itself I had to source from AerPro. It was a wiring harness for a Toyota haha. The problem with this setup was that the ICC’s screen had to have a horizontal refresh rate of about 15KHz.

My first attempt was using EnTech’s application called PowerStrip.
Basically what I was trying to do was use software to change the output of the computer’s VGA so that it would display the 15KHz horizontal refresh rate needed. After much frustration, whilst I was able to get an image, it was being displayed three times across the screen…. Not exactly what I had in mind.

The next step was purchasing a VGA to CGA adaptor. Harder than you think. When I was searching for one, I came across an abundance of CGA to VGA adaptors, but that’s not what I was after.
Finally, I found this on eBay. It required 5 volts, so I also purchased a 12v to 5v power converter.
This ended up being the solution to my problems, and was literally plug and play once I had it wired up and powered.

If you want more info on how to connect from VGA to Ford’s BA Falcon premium ICC, just check out this post.

So, this is now where I’m at. Now that I’m 100% I can connect my computer up, I’ve started this blog, and will start logging how I’ve gone about each step. Hopefully it may help someone, but it’s mainly here so I can have it permanently stored somewhere for future reference.