"New" mustang, a few issues - Mustang Evolution

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Old 03-26-2014, 10:00 PM   #1
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"New" mustang, a few issues

Hey everyone! New to the forums here but not really new to the mustang scene. Anyway I bought a 1996 ford mustang v6 3.8L bone stock car. Even the exhaust, which is a shame. Anyway I'm having a few issues with the car after the first week of driving it, not huge issues but something id like to work out.
- gauges:
- water temp gauge doesn't read accurately and it jumps from time to time. I also don't have heat so I'm guessing the owner before me never "burped" the coolant in the motor and I just have a big air bubble, but I'd like advice anyway
-oil pressure gauge won't budge. It reads in the normal range, but doesn't go down or up ever. Even after the car is turned off. It's been a few years since I had my other mustang (95 but I t-boned another guy, his fault, and got a Sebring instead) so I don't really remember if the oil pressure gauge ever did go down or if I have a blockage or a bad sensor or what? It moves when I start my car but goes right back to where it was before.
-battery.. Not sure if this is a bad gauge or not but my car has some trouble starting at first. Takes 3-8 seconds to get it going.
- heat.. I don't have heat. Is this the heater core or am I looking at an air bubble that just needs popping? I'm about to flush the radiator anyway so maybe when I add the new coolant I will do it right like the other guy didn't?
-start up.. Like I said takes 3-8 or 9 seconds to start the car. Should I replace the coils, wires, and plugs? I want to replace them regardless because they are stock but is this part of the issue or am I looking at a fuel pump/free issue?

As far as performance goes, I'm looking at doing the following mods before July (mustang week at myrtle beach !!)
So I was thinking:
-new exhaust. Debating true dual or H pipe. This is a daily driver so I don't want off road cat deletes or anything like that but loud exhaust is always nice.
-CAI
-New coils, plugs, & wires
-BAMA tune
-possibly 3.73 gears but I'm unsure
-swaybars & other handling mods
-new tires? I have stock rims so what tires do you all recommend size wise?

I want this car to run pretty nice before July and lord knows I'm working my tail off to pay for all of the parts so that it does !!
Anyway!! Those issues above, how would I go about fixing them and what do you think are the causes? As far as performance mods go, what are your recommendations to go along with a nice tune?

Thanks!!
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Old 03-27-2014, 02:43 PM   #2
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Sounds like you need a new gage cluster. Check the vacuum lines it might fix your heater. You have 2 vacuum lines next to the heater core on the passenger side. Make sure they are connected. The lines are coming out of the firewall
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Old 03-27-2014, 04:53 PM   #3
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Where would I find a new gauge cluster? I have looked on American muscle and car ID but I can't find a new one. (Not OEM)
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Old 03-27-2014, 05:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 199sixxer View Post
Where would I find a new gauge cluster? I have looked on American muscle and car ID but I can't find a new one. (Not OEM)
You have to go to the dealership because PATS communicates with the gage cluster. They have them on Ebay. But I am pretty sure the anti-theft system runs through the cluster. I would call the dealership and make sure first. I know PATS communicates with the cluster on 99-04, but I am not 100% sure about the older years.
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Old 03-27-2014, 05:12 PM   #5
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Gotcha! Yeah that makes sense.
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Old 03-29-2014, 01:45 AM   #6
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Is the heat blowing or not if it's warm but not hot might be that thermostat but if it's not blowing then it could be a blower motor or blower motor resistor and since all those gauges arnt working properly could be the cluster if not the cluster it would be a few sensors oil pressure switch and coolant temp sensor also go to autozone and get you alternator checked to make sure it's working properly because the battery gauge reads the output of the alternator
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Old 03-29-2014, 01:59 AM   #7
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Before you replace the cluster get a wiring diagram and see if there is a common ground maybe the block ground?
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Old 03-29-2014, 08:05 AM   #8
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If your car takes a few seconds to start it could be a bad fuel pump. But plugs and wires can't hurt.
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Old 03-29-2014, 10:13 PM   #9
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Pats on anything 98 or older doesnt run through the gauge cluster and u dont have to use an ids from a dealer to learn the keys, def sounds like a bad gauge cluster tho. Check ur heater hoses while the car is warm and see if both hoses feel the same temp so u can see if coolant is even flowing through the heater core
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