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How To: Aftermarket Cruise Control Install

MountaineerGreen

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For some odd reason, Ford Motor Company failed to put cruise on my 1993 Ranger. :thumbdwn: I really missed cruise, so I looked into my options. I could add "factory" cruise from a donor vehicle, but removing the dash is necessary, not anything I want to do. Furthermore, the possibility of finding a suitable donor is slim to none given the high prices of scrap metal these days.

So, I got and Audiovox Cruise Control unit, CCS100. I looked into other brands, they were twice as high as this unit, $200 and above. I paid $84.99 for the CCS100 to my door from Amazon.

I got the installation manual ahead of time online, read through it a few times. It was helpful reading ahead and made the installation easier. I also went to the12volt.com and got the wiring colors for my truck. It tells the location and color of the wires pertinent to the installation of electrical components. It's a great resource for all kinds of wiring projects.

This install is on my 1993 Ranger 3.0, but the process is similar for any vehicle.

I began by opening the box and looking at its contents-

IMG_0828_Medium_.JPG


The kit came with every possible connector needed for installation in most every vehicle, plenty of wiring length, quality wire loom, instructions and a reference manual.

I removed the plastic throttle linkage cover from the truck-

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See the square hole in the bracket. That's where the factory cruise connected.

I found this adapter that fit the hole just right.

IMG_0833_Medium_.JPG


I put the adapter on the cable, sat the servo in the place where I wanted to mount it, routed the cable so that ended up running parallel with my throttle cable. Away from any heat or moving parts obviously. I took my time on this and made sure it was just right.

IMG_0838_Medium_.JPG


The servo was mounted on the drivers side fender using the green ground screw just above the bracket. The servo grounds right there also. For now I left it sitting loose until I made all the connections and set the DIP switches.

The servo requires a vacuum to run it. The best place is the tree on the back of the intake manifold.

IMG_0840_Medium_.JPG


I found a suitable port, removed the cap.

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The port was larger than the line needed for the servo, so I used the included reducer and short piece of hose.

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Then attached it to the tree, then the other end to the servo.

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Set the DIP switches using the reference guide, all the information turned out to be spot on.

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Now to run the wires through the firewall. All but two wires go through the firewall. The only two that stay are the VSS and Tach. I found a grommet in the perfect place, cut an X in it, slid it over the wires. Then I taped the wires to a dowel rod, pushed them through the hole.

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Servo mounted and grounded with the screw, wires loomed and ran through the firewall.

IMG_0856_Medium_.JPG


Wire loop ran over the stud, the connected to the servo cable. I had to adjust the adapter to leave just a little bit of slack in the cable.

IMG_0861_Medium_.JPG


The red and purple wires connect to the brake switch on the brake pedal. The red connects to the +12v constant, the purple connects to the other side, its +12v when the pedal is pressed.

IMG_0866_Medium_.JPG


The brake switch-

IMG_0868_Medium_.JPG


To mount the control panel-

Drilled two holes, then cut the plastic between the holes. I removed the dash piece to do this.

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The control panel mounted with double sided tape, peel the backer and feed the wires through the hole, stick the panel on.

IMG_0873.JPG


Put the colored wires in the connector per the instructions, there will be two wires left- one black, one grey. The black goes to a chassis ground, the grey goes to the instrument lamp lead for back lighting the switches. The headlight switch was right there, so I removed it to probe the wires and find the instrument lamp lead.

IMG_0875_Medium_.JPG


Use a scotch connector to connect the wires.

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The lighting:

IMG_0884_Medium_.JPG


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I found the VSS wire, right there near the bulkhead, grey with a black stripe just like the book said. I connected the wire from the servo to it.

IMG_0891_Medium_.JPG


I don't have a picture of it, the blue wire connects to the coil for a tach signal. The12volt.com said that the wire was on the coil, brown with a yellow stripe. I found that wire, but near the coil was not a suitable connection because the interference caused false deactivation of the cruise. I found what harness the wire ran in, followed it over to the bulkhead fitting that the wires passed through, then connected it there.

The nearly completed install (at this point the tach wire hadn't been moved)

IMG_0892_Medium_.JPG


I have used the cruise a little bit, just got the tach wire stuff straightened out this afternoon.

It works like any factory type cruise, nice smooth acceleration when resuming, hold the set speed well. This deactivates with brake signal, the off switch or a swift rev of the motor (like say I press in the clutch to shift).

Overall, I am very pleased with this, a nice product especially for its price. The instructions are not perfect, but pretty good, the reference manual is very complete though. The install took me about 4 hours and then a few minutes today to move the tach wire. Someone not so familiar with vehicles should expect a longer install time, but this is definitely doable by the do it yourselfer.

I have lots of brackets and adapters left over I will save for other projects.
 


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Tbars4

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...Great Writeup...:thumbsup:
 




Blacksheep Josh

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Good writeup! I wonder if that control panel is available by itself, I want to put a different steering wheel inside to change the look a bit, and that'd be a great substitute as I don't use it that much.
 




MountaineerGreen

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I am not sure if the panel would work with factory cruise or not- you'd have to consult a wiring diagram to be sure. I'd bet if you told a good enough story Audiovox would send/sell you one.
 




vroomzoomboom

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i got lucky. on my 98 sport, it never came with, fog lights, overhead console, tilt, or cruise, but had everything else. i put a factory cruise, and tilt in at the same time. all the wiring was there. i had to get the cable, motor, master cylinder, and buttons. when it was all hooked up, even the light in the dash came on! in total i think everything was about $175, and the guy pulled it all for me.
 




MountaineerGreen

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I have gotten used to the location of these switches and been using this every day now. This is one of the best mods I've done to this truck. No cruise sucks, I didn't realize how much I appreciated it until I didn't have it.
 




willy2

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Hi Evan,

How were you able to recognize the Grey/Black VSS wire? (I assume that means Grey with black stripe)? There are so many wires there, but could only find a grey with white stripe and a grey with pink stripe.... It said the wires were coming from the transmission (I have a manual) but couldn't find it coming from there either...
 




MountaineerGreen

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I used the12volt.com for my wiring info, colors change year to year, look them up and find your year for the best info.

I forgot to add- I ended up adding a vacuum globe to my system- the cruise just wouldn't pull hills without dropping off. It wasn't a power issue just not enough vacuum.
 




willy2

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Thanks for the update Evan. It's nice to have this as a reference, thanks for doing this...

It was the12volt.com that threw me.. They only list one entry for 98 Ford Explorer (which of course has 3 different engines, two body styles, two transmission styles, etc) and it was wrong for mine. I did find the VSS eventually on the other side of the engine... Now I just have to find the tach wire since it's too tight in the PCM to splice in there....

Another question for you, it sounds like you drive stick but didn't hook up a clutch switch in series with the brake switch, do you think that would be worth doing in hindsight? And if you are downshifting going up a hill, will the VSS override the tach when you re-engage to keep the same speed?
 




MountaineerGreen

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The cruise has an over rev built in for a manual trans, if the RPM's rise too fast, it kicks the cruise off. But, it didn't always detect the over rev soon enough for my tastes. It may not be a bad idea to add the clutch switch into the wiring.

Keep in mind, this audiovox is a bare bones cruise- the cheapest I could find. There are aftermarket cruise systems for hundreds more, this is pretty good, but not perfect.
 




dino3721

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Wow, this was a great write up. I would like to add a few tips from my 1991 Ranger install. The wire on the dimmer lights on the dash was light blue with a pink or red stripe.

Also to remove the trim to get to the headlight switch, remove ashtray, then the two screws on ashtray assembly. The rest of the trim just pulls off. The trim is held with clips.

This is the best write up I have ever seen.
 




vargthewanderer

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Very nice write up! I didn't know they made kits for vehicles with manual transmissions. I am looking at installing cruise control on my '84 ranger. Does anyone know if this is possible on a vehicle that old?
 




TheJackal

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Very nice write up! I didn't know they made kits for vehicles with manual transmissions. I am looking at installing cruise control on my '84 ranger. Does anyone know if this is possible on a vehicle that old?

I don't see why not. The Audiovox kit is very good; I've heard people really like it and it costs less than others.

I looked into this for a friend of mine once who had a manual transmission Cherokee but he ended up getting rid of that car.

IIRC this kit also comes with a magnet kit if there's no VSS wire in your car. The magnets are strapped to the driveshaft and a sensor picks up the signal.

Audiovox products are pretty good as they also make the Code Alarm systems, and the factory Ford alarm systems.
 




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