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Adaptive Shifting Rest Pigtail

In a valiant attempt to improve fuel mileage, Ford implemented what they call "adaptive shifting" logic in the ECU. The idea was that the computer would change shift points according to the type of driving you were performing in your day-to-day commuting life. This is all well and good, but eventually, you realize that the car starts performing less like a Mustang, and more like a mini-van. I wish they had the foresight to tie the adaptive shifting to the steering mode - if Sport steering is selected, adaptive steering is turned off. Alas, that is not the case, so it's up to us to figure out a work-around.

That work around has been discovered, and essentially, all you have to do to reset the adaptive shifting is to remove Fuse #47 from the under-hood fuse box for approximately 20 minutes, reinstall the fuse. This method appears to have no impact on the rest of your ECU settings. What a hassle, though - every week or so, raise the hood, yank the fuse, stand around for 20 minutes with your thumb up your ass (or if you're more efficient with your time, use the opportunity to take a righteous dump), and put the fuse back in. The whole procedure ain't exactly conducive to a fun way to start your driving day.

Fortunately, a clever individual on the AllFordMustangs.com 2011+ V6 forum figured out that if you splice a relay into the wiring harness under the fuse box, the adaptive shifting would get rest every time you shut your car off without you having to do the fuse removal boogie. When I saw that, I thought to myself, "Why cut into your wiring harness? Why not just interrupt the fuse?"

One silver lining to this mod is that you don't even have to raise the hood of your car until your's ready to actually hook it up. Even better, if for some treason you want to remove the mod (trading in or selling your car, for instance), you can simply pull the harness out of the car, and put the original 15-amp fuse in its place.

What is a Relay?

A relay is nothing more than an elecromagnetic switch. When power is applied to the relay, a secondary circuit is completed, thus applying power to any device(s) connected to the secondary circuit. The two types of relays we're interested in are:

  • Single-pole single-throw (SPST) - this is your standard 4-pin relay, used for thinks like horns, fuel pumps, cooling fans, or auxiliary lighting. It's secondary circuit is what is called a "normally open" circuit because the relay needs power to close (complete) the secondary circuit. I haven't been able to find a weatherproof version of this relay, BUT you can easily find it at your local NAPA store, along with everything else you need to complete this project.

  • Single-pole double-throw (SPDT) - this is a 5-pin relay which can activate two circuits, depending on if power is applied to it. This means that one of the secondary circuits is open when power isn't applied, and one is closed. When power is applied, the circuits change state, so that the "normally open circuit is closed, and the "normally closed" circuit is opened. These relays are readily available (on the internet) in weatherproof variants, and is the one I recommend that you use.

I've added two separate tabs to this page, one for each of the two types of relays. Select the tab that's appropriate for the type of relay you've chosen to use.

Tools

You need tools. I know that this revelation alone is enough to send most of you into a state of bliss that is not easily overcome, but let's try to stay focused. We are, after all, dealing with electricity and your car, and we don't want to reduce your car to a smoking pile of "Oh-shit!", now do we?.

A decent pair of wire cutters (aka "dikes"), wire strippers (aka "wire strippers"), and terminal crimpers are essential, and if you have anything close to resembling a soldering gene, then you'll need a soldering iron as well. If you have the option between soldering and using crimp connectors, ALWAYS select soldering. It's a MUCH better way to go in terms of connection reliability. On the other hand, it's not absolutely necessary, but for this project, you'll need to make accomodations for the much larger solderless connectors you'll need.

Disclaimer

This work involves modifying your electrical system, but does NOT require you to splice directly into your wiring harness, which means you can simply remove the resulting pigtail, and reinstall the original 15-amp fuse if you need to take your car in for service. Since I have no pre-conceived notions regarding your skill with wire cutters, crimping tools, or soldering, you are performing this modification at our own risk. Essentially, I'm saying this:

I accept absolutely no responsibility if you fuck up your car.

If you don't feel comfortable doing this yourself, find someone to do it for you. As you might guess, the normal warnings apply:

  • Batteries not included.

  • Don't run with scissors.

  • Don't play leapfrog with a unicorn.

  • Do not make grilled cheese in the waffle makers.

  • But you're not everyone else.

  • You'll put your eye out.

  • Not intended for use as anal suppository.

  • Not intended for intimate hygiene.

  • For external use only.

  • For ages 35 to adult.

  • May cause drowsiness.

  • Installing this equipment does not enable you to fly.

  • This product is artificially flavored.

4-pin NAPA Relay

Before We Start

Be aware that the 4-pin relay approached described on this tab is NOT weatherproof. It's merely provided because the parts are easily acquired from your local auto parts store. I chose NAPA, because they're literally "everywhere", and I've found their staff to be more knowledgeable than the folks at other auto parts stores. Your mileage may vary, and please, feel free to sustitute parts where you see fit, and obtain them from whatever store you're comfortable with..

Parts

The parts you need are as follows. I took special care to get everything at a single auto parts store just so I could make this as simple as possible. I chose NAPA, because Advance, AutoZone, and O'Reilly all failed miserably at either service or parts on hand. Auto parts stores certainly aren't as good as they used to be "back in the day". Anyway, here are the parts WITH PART NUMBERS where applicable. (I didn't provide links because the parts SHOULD be available locally, which is the whole point of doing it with a 4-pin relay).

  • Single Pole Single Throw (SPST) 30-amp relay - Napa #AR294

  • Relay wiring connector/harness - Napa #EC203

  • Weather-proof inline fuse holder - Napa #784667

  • Tapa-Circuit MiniTapper fuse taps kit - Napa #785133

  • 18-ga primary wire (I used two colors because it seemed like a good idea).

  • Non-insulated 18-22 or 14-16 butt connectors (I already had these, but you can get them on Amazon). They MUST be non-insulated connectors.

  • Heat-shrink tubing of various size. I got a "big-box-o-tubing" from AutoZone for $11 (I think) several months ago, and just used tubing from that box, but Napa also sells it (but for much more to get much less)

Building Your Pigtail

Click image for full size version.

The goal is to end up with three wires coming off the relay connector. The relay harness I cited was the only one that NAPA had on hand, and it's unfortunate that all of the wires are all black. This fact makes the first step shown below the most critical. You MUST be sure you've identified the correct pin/wire alignment before cutting any wires. For the more visual guys that might be reading this, see the schematic at the right. The blue dots indicate where splicing occurs.

Pins 85 and 30

  • Determine which wires on the relay harness were associated with pins 85 and 30 on the relay. Cut these wires to a shorter length (4-5 inches), and strip about 5/16-inch insualtion.

  • Join these two wires (using solder or crimping into one end of a butt connector butt connector).

  • Cut an 18-inch length of orange 16 or 18 AWG wire. You'll eventually be cutting much of this wire off when you decide where you're going to put the relay.

  • Attach this wire (with either solder or into the uncrimped end of the butt connector) to the already paired wires from pins 85 and 30.

  • If you used solder or a non-insulated but connector, apply some heat shrink tubing over the joint.

Pin 87

  • Identify the wire associated with relay pin 87, and cut it to about 4-5 inches in length, and strip about 5/16 of insulation off the end.

  • Take the inline fuse holder, and cut each wire to about 2-1/2 inches in length, and strip the ends.

  • Using a butt conector, join one end of the inline fuse holder to the wire on the relay. We use a butt connector for this because you can't solder stainless steel wire (which is what this fuse holder uses). If you want to use solder, you can find a n inline fuse holder that utilizes copper wire.
  • Cut an 18-inch length of 18 or 16 AWG wire (preferably a color different from the first one you used) and join it to the other end of the fuse holder.

Pin 86

  • Identify the wire going to relay pin 86, and strip about 5/16 of insulation off the end.

  • Crimp an insulated ring connector to the end of the wire. This wire will be connected to chassis ground.

Installing the Pigtail

Click image for full size version.
  • Insert the relay into the harness connector, and wire tie it to a suitable place on or near the passenger side shock tower. I used the grounding wire harness that's already secured to the shock tower because the remaining harness wire goes to ground, and the passenger-side shock tower has two obvious grounding points.

  • Completely remove the fuse box cover from the fuse box.

  • Locate and remove Fuse #47. The inside of the cover will guide you, but it's the last 15-amp fuse closest to the fender (to the left of this fuse is a 5-amp fuse).

  • Route the two 18-gauge wires via an appropriate path to the area of the now empty #47 fuse location.

  • Add one inch of length to where the wires meet the #47 fuse location, and cut them, and strip approximately 1/4-inch of insulation.

  • Using the appropriate crimp-on connectors from the fuse tap kit, crimp the connectors onto the wires.

  • Insert a spade from the fuse tap into each of the connectors

  • Insert the fused wire into the side of the fuse socket closest to the fender, and insert the non-fused wire into the other side of the socket. You will have to bend one connector toward the back of the car, and the other toward the front so that they sort of fit next to each other (you can see this in the picture).

  • Insert your original 15-amp fuse into the inline fuse holder, and close the cover on the fuse holder.

  • Reinstall the fuse box cover, close the hood and if it's been 20 minutes since you removed the #47 fuse, go for a ride.

Final Notes

You may want to wire-tie the wires together at strategic places in the fuse box. It feels like the fuse box lid puts pressure on the crimp connectors, and this is probably a good thing because that means they won't vibrate out of the fuse connector.

You can substitute 16-gauge wire where I used 18-gauge if that's what you have on hand.

The relay listed in the parts section has aluminum spades. I actually wanted brass spades, but the girl behind the counter couldn't manage to find any in her parts book. Brass spades are more weather-tolerant than aluminum, so try to get a relay with brass spades.

I also wanted a weatherproof relay harness, but once again, the NAPA girl couldn't find one in her parts book. I know these are available, so all I have to do is find the on the internet somewhere.

If you don't already, carry a couple of spare fuses for each amp rating used by your car. If you make this mod, at least carry a spare 15-amp so you don't have to partially dismantle this pigtail to restore your car's function.

You may have noticed a 3rd (red) wire in the picture. This wire is not associated with this mod, so it's safe to ignore it.

5-pin (Weatherproof) Relay

The following instructions are to be used if you're utilizing a 5-pin relay. I know it says "weatherproof" in the heading, but you can also go with non-weatherproof parts. It will cost you a little more if you choose the weatherproof stuff, but I feel the extra cost is worth the peace of mind you'll get knowing you did everything you could to make the pigtail as reliable and maintenance-free as possible. Furthermore, if you want a parts list, for the non-weatherproof version, the only things that have to change are the relay and relay harness, and then it's a simple matter of getting parts locally. Everything else remains the same.

Parts

I found it impossible to find weatherproof relays locally, so I resorted to Amazon. I posted a set of links in AllFordMustangs.com for Amazon for the parts listed below, and posted a link fro the WRONG relkay harness. The link shown below for the harness is the corrected link.

If you're not going to solder, you'll need solderless connectors large enough to crimp onto 12-14 AWG and 16-18 AWG primary wire. Whether you use insulated or non-insulated connectors depends on whether or not you want the most weather resistance pigtail.

When you receive your inline fuse holder (if you ordered the one I specified on Amazon), you'll notice that the wire is copper. This is MUCH better than the stainless wire found in the NAPA part because you don't need the butt connectors (unless you've chosen not use solder at all).

When you receive your relay harness, you'll notice that all of the wires are different colors. This will help you more easily identify which pins connect to which wires. Another benefit to going with the 5-pin relay.

Building Your Pigtail

Click image for full size version.

The ultimate goal is to end up with three wires coming off the relay connector - one goes to chassis ground, and the other two are connected in the fuse box. The relay harness I cited above has the benefit of having multi-colored wires, and as far as I know, even the non-weatherproof ones use the same colors for the given pins, so I'm often going to refer to these pins by their associated wire color. STILL, you MUST ensure what wires on YOUR harness line up to the pins on the relay.

For people that would rather use a pseudo-schematic, you can see it to the right of this text. Notice that everything is labeled. You may also notice that the reklay is an irregular shape. This matches the shape of the actual relay so that you might be properly oriented when identifying wires. Splice points are inticated with green arrows.

Pins 85 and 30

  • Determine which (red) wire on the relay harness is associated with pin 85 and the (blue) wire associated with pin 30 on the relay.

  • Cut these two wires to a shorter length (about four inches), and strip about 3/8 inch of insulation from the ends.

  • Join these two wires together with either solder or solderless connectors.

  • Cut an 18-inch length of 18 or 16 AWG wire (I had orange 16 AWG laying around). You'll probably be cutting much of this wire off, but I used 18-inches because I wasn't really sure how long the pigtail was going to need to be, which would be dependant of where I wanted to mount the relay.

  • Attach this wire (with either solder or into the end of the butt connector) to the already paired wires from pins 85 and 30.

  • If you used solder or a non-insulated but connector, apply some heat shrink tubing over the joint.
Click image for full size version.

Pin 87

  • Identify the (red) wire going to relay pin 87.

  • Cut this wire to about 5 inches inches in length, and strip about 5/16 of insulation off the end.

  • Take the inline fuse holder, and cut each wire to about 2-1/2 inches in length, and strip the ends.

  • Using solder or a butt conector, join one end of the inline fuse holder to the wire on the relay.

  • Cut an 18-inch length of 18 or 16 AWG wire (preferably a color different from the first one you used) and join it to the other end of the fuse holder.

Pin 87A

  • Identify the (red) wire going to relay pin 87A, and cut it to about 4-6 inches in length and strip about 5/16 of insulation off the end.

  • Crimp an insulated butt connector to the end of the wire. If you want to, you can optionally wrap electrical tape around the end, because this wire will not be used. (You can see in the pictures of the assembled pigtail that I crimped a solderness connector onto my 87A wire).

Pin 86

  • Identify the (black) wire going to relay pin 86, and strip about 5/16 of insulation off the end.

  • Crimp an insulated ring connector to the end of the wire. You can use the one that came with your inline fuse holder (if you ordered the one I specified). This wire will be connected to chassis ground.

Install Pigtail

Click image for full size version.

The instructins below will be replaced when I determine how to use the yellow fuse connector.

  • Completely remove the fuse box cover from the fuse box.

  • Locate and remove Fuse #47. The inside of the cover will guide you, but it's the left-most 15-amp fuse closest to the fender (to the left of this fuse is a 5-amp fuse).

  • Bend the large tabs on the yellow fuse connector at a 90-degree angle, and insert it into the fuse box. If the fuse connector seems a little loose, pull it out, and with some needle nose pliers, GENTLY twist both connector pins about 1.5 (*)RCH so that the connector is more secure in the fuse socket.

  • Insert the relay into the harness connector. The relay used in this mod has a metal bracket that is easily removable. I removed mine because of the way I was going to install the pigtail.

  • Determine how you're going to install the pigtail (as in where in the engine compartment in relation to the fuse box). As you can see by the pictures at the right, I simply put mine right next to the fusebox. Route the wires as needed, until the two hot leads (for me, they'r ehgte orange and green wires) are positioned over the yellow fuse connector (see picture #2 of 4).

  • Cut the hot leads to the desired length. At this time, you should also determine if you need to shorten or length the (bloack) ground wire coming off the pigtail. Take whatever steps are necessary to ensure this wire is long/short enough, strip the end, and crimp a ring connector onto the end of the wire. I used the passenger side shock tower because other grounds are attached there.

  • Strip the ends of the hot lead wires, and crimp INSULATED female spade connectors onto the stripped ends. After crimping, I insert a small flat-bladed screwdriver into the spade end to open it about half a (*)RCH more than it comes out of the package. This keeps the connection tight, but not so tight that it requires super-human effort to connect it to the male spade.

  • Insert your original 15-amp fuse into the inline fuse holder, and close the cover on the fuse holder.

  • Prepare the pigtail for final install. I chose to wrap the entire harness because I think it looks better than a bunch of bare wires. Do whatever blows up your skirt.

  • Connect the hot leads to the yellow fuse connector. I find that it's easier to do this BEFORE inserting the fuse connector into the fuse box.

  • Install the relay into the desired location, route the pigtail as desired, and insert the fuse connector into the fuse box. Finish up with appropriate wire-tying.

  • Re-attach and close the fuse box cover, close the hood and if it's been 20 minutes since you removed the #47 fuse, go for a ride.

Final Notes

You may want to wire-tie the wires together at strategic places in the fuse box. It feels like the fuse box lid puts pressure on the crimp connectors, and this is probably a good thing because that means they won't vibrate out of the fuse connector.

If you don't already, carry a couple of spare fuses for each amp rating used by your car. If you make this mod, at least carry a spare 15-amp so you don't have to partially dismantle this pigtail to restore your car's function.

You may have noticed a 3rd (red) wire in the picture of my fuse box. This wire is not associated with this mod, so you can safely ignore it.

(*)RCH - acronym meaning "red cunt hair", universally acknowledged by hot-rodders world-wide as being the smallest meausurable unit of distance. Learn it. Love it. Live it.