’90s Ford Gets Shift Paddles And A Digital Dash Upgrade

The EA Falcon took Ford’s popular Australian sedan line into the 1990s, even if it gave way to the EB Falcon by the end of 1991. Few would call it high tech, but it introduced several innovations to the platform that were very of its time. One hacker, however, has taken a humble EA Falcon and given it a set of homebrewed modern upgrades.

The maroon EA Falcon has scored a Barra heart transplant as well as some nifty digital upgrades.

The example in question is an EA Fairmont Ghia, which featured a handful of high-tech displays in the dash cluster, which was very on trend in the late 80s and early 90s. This dash has seen much revision, however, and now features a large TFT display and a smaller OLED unit, both of which show various vital statistics for the car. The screens have been neatly hacked in, one as part of the tachometer, the other replacing the original fuel and temperature gauges. With the data displayed on the screen instead, there’s no need for the original dials.

The car is also fitted with a more modern drivetrain. The EA scored a Barra six cylinder from a BA Falcon, along with its computer-controlled BTR 4-speed automatic transmission. First seen on the EB model, the BTR was considered a very modern unit in the early 90s, and is readily modified for manualized shifts. In this build, a pair of 3D-printed paddle shifters have been added to the steering wheel to enable Tiptronic-like operation.

Modern fuel-injected vehicles are often ripe for hacking in this manner. Everything from Arduinos to CANBUS shields and the like can be used to open up a car’s systems and bend them to one’s own desires. We’ve seen it done time and again, with hackers creating everything from fancy sci-fi digital dashboards to working active aerodynamics! These days, armed with what you can grab off the shelf, the sky really is the limit. Video below.

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