I screwed up and bought a "cheap" tach but I am not sure if it's my fault...


New Member
Aug 16, 2006
Suwanee, GA
I hooked up this "Type R" http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/e...e=ADME:L:RTQ:US:1&viewitem=&item=180079236364 .

It sounded like a GREAT deal, but I am worried it's not compatible with cobra's or mustangs in general. I asked the seller specifically if it would be compatible with my "1998 Cobra" and they said Yes, it's comes with everything I need etc. I got that question out of the way BEFORE I purchased it.

Well, we spliced into the correct tach wire in the dash(tan) connected a good ground and spliced into a good power source. "In theory" your stock tachometer should read HIGHER than an aftermarket because ford sets it that way so you don't mess up your engine.

However, I have two problems:
1. The tach had 3 settings, 4 cylinder, 6 cylinder, and 8 cylinder. Obviously having a cobra I would opt for the "8 cylinder". The first problem is I can't set the shift light point beyond 5,100-5,200 rpms - even though the tach reads up to 11,000 rpms, the needle while on the v8 setting will not permit me to set the light beyond 5,000. So I tried to "trick" the POS tach by setting it to 6 cylinder and 4 cylinder(tried several ways) and get the needle as high as possible and hold the set button and switch it back to v8, but it will still drop right back to 5,200 rpm's TOPS.

2. Problem number two is the new tachometer is actually reading 100-200 rpms HIGHER than my stock tach and in higher rpms it could be as much as 500 rpms higher than what my stock tach is saying - which makes absolutely NO sense! It should totally be the other way around - meaning if my stock tach says 7,000 then the aftermarket may only read 6,700 rpms. This is not the case.

I contacted the seller who appears to have a good track record with ebay transactions and they said I would have to send back my entire tach and they would send a replacement.

I shot them back a pretty direct e-mail explaining that they either misrepresented the product and it is NOT compatible with my car, or they sent a bad tach, either way I should not have to dig back into my dash to disconnect the 3 tach wires, ship the thing back to Hong Kong or wherever it came from and then wait another 2 weeks to get a replacement. I said I will either send back the POS and dispute it with my credit card company, pay pal and or ebay and buy a tachometer that actually WORKS. My other alternative I offered the seller was to check with the manufacturer (who they claim it comes directly from) and this time specifically ask if it is compatible with a cobra setup. The reason I am being blunt in the e-mail is because I know most of these sellers will try and give you the run around so they aren't inconvenienced. The last thing I want to do is send back the tach I have now, get the new one, install it and it has the SAME problems!

2 questions: Is this expected of an aftermarket knock off - hence the saying "you get what you pay for" or do I have a right to be direct about how I want this to be resolved? I have spent 3 weeks now putting well over 3 grand into my car and I think its silly that a cheap tachometer is the final thing holding me back! Actually it will be over 4 grand counting the tires I get put on tomorrow!

The other question is "If" I have to send this tachometer back is there anyway to get around taking my instrumental panel off and unsplicing the wires and pretty much erase the hour and a half we spent wiring it to begin with? I mean can I send them back the tachometer, brackets , and then include the 3 colored wires that I just end up buying from a local store(and that way I don't have to dig back into my dash...)or do you think the seller might be a pain and make me pretty much start all over and dig the wires back out?

Give me an idea if these problems make sense, and if so do you think I am entitled to make the seller be the one to compensate for mistakes and not me...

Thanks guys!

P.S. I should have spent the $200 and got an autometer like I did on my saleen:nonono:
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No insight? I am really just looking for wisdom on whether I should cut my losses and send back the crappy part and start all over, or if I could have installed it wrong(which would be hard to do if it's reading rpm's fairly accurate...) or is it possible that this specific tachometer was designed to not let a "v8" engine set a shift point beyond 5,200 rpms. It just blows my mind that on a 6 cylinder I can set it where I need it to be(but it doubles my rpm reading, so instead of an idle at 900, it shows 1,800 rpms...) It is clear that it's a defect in the design of the product or a compatability issue and I want to know if any of you guys have any experience with these types of (bad decisions...)....:bang:
I'd read and give my insight, but I'm no mechanic. What insight I CAN give though, is a raptor will run you $18 more than what you paid, is sleek and mounts to our cars and I installed it flawlessly with no prior understanding of what I was doing in 15 minutes.





So many guys here have these. Easy to install. Easy to modify. Easy to everything. I love having this in my car. :nice:
I appreciate the direction, but I am a fan of the "old school" 5" tachometer's and REALLY wish I hadn't messed around with a shady knock off that looked to good to be true. It looks good installed - but it DOES NOT WORK!

I am more concerned about getting screwed on this particular purchase, I mean the tach's readings seem to be inaccurate to say the least and I can't set the shift light beyond 5,200 rpms - for a car that I would shift at 7,000! I mean if it was like 6,500 and the readings were accurate I could LIVE with it, but that's just stupid - get blinded for a second while my engine actually rev's to where it should be shifted and then I hit the next gear, but oh wait my first 3 gears don't drop below 5,000 rpms - so I would never get the light to cut off if I were racing until I hit 4th???

Well the only good news to come out of this tach situation is I just dusted a turbocharged neon beyond belief - he thought if I pulled 4 car lengths instantly going 45mph that he might stand a chance from a stop....which turned into 8-9 car lengths before I tapped my break lights doing about 90mph. He probably saw my shift light and said "damn maybe I need to redline my engine to keep up..." little did he know I had BULLSh*%$t behind why the light was "really" going off... Still not happy about the weak purchase, haven't heard from the seller, so I am wondering if I am in the right or not...?:bs:

Want to see a picture of the guy in the neon when he caught up at the next light....

and my cobra said:flame::nonono:
So this is funny...here is the response the guy sent me from Hong Kong...mind you BEFORE I purchased it off ebay I asked him point blank "is this compatible with a 1998 cobra" he replied before I bought it to that ?:
"Hi, It is universal one, can fit any car. Yes, the necessary parts are included. You just need simple tool to fit it. Yes, it is 7 color changed. If the item is broken on the way because of transport, we will send the new replacement after you send the wrong one back."

So with that said the whole "broken on transport" should have sent me a message, but I was impulsive and clicked "buy now"....

So I tell him the whole deal about the rpms being off as much as 1,000 rpms, and at the least the idle is off 200 rpms. He replies:

"Hi, Frankly speaking, It can work for 8 cylinder car, That is my reply. You did not mention the rpms too. We sold lots of this items, you are the first case for rpms problem. Please kindly send the item back by cheapest way, we will only refund your first payment upon receipt."


So I send him back a LONG "legal worthy" letter stating my law background and he has either a. sold me a defective product or b. committed FRAUD. I went as far as to define Fraud. I said go ahead and try and fight this one, but if you do I will come after you legally and financially if you really want to take the whole "screw me" attitude.

I said: "So yes your "reply" it "can" doesn't mean it will and it doesn't - which is actually a form of FRAUD. Let me give you the definition of fraud: deceit, trickery, sharp practice, or breach of confidence, perpetrated for profit or to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage. Fraud is a bad thing and can ruin your credibility and is a criminal act. Let me pick out some words I like from that definition that apply here "Deceit, trickery, sharp practice, breach of confidence", all of which you potentially have utilized to gain profit. Either you committed fraud or you sent a defective product(doesn't show the correct RPM's of the engine), neither of which I will accept financial accountability for, or in this case shipping charges."

I guess the PRINCIPLE is I am not going to pay $15 or whatever it costs to ship a product back that he F'd up to HONG KONG. Am I right, I mean if this model tach is NOT compatible with cobra's then why would he tell me that! I also ripped him a new one about his "you did not mention rpms too" - I said by the way, in case you didn't know, that's the ONLY purpose of a tachometer! crapola

Do I let it go or fight him out of principle, I mean he is in the wrong either way - and shi%t it will cost me a 1/4 of the cost of the tach to ship back to him to begin with??? The guy is a "power seller on ebay" has all types of products he sells, so I know if I did "throw the book at him" he would suffer.
why do you need a 11k rpm tach? it reads close to DOUBLE what you shift at...

5" tachs are ricey unless you have a race car... just get a raptor and call it a day, it might not be "old school" enough for you but its a lot better and wont be hundreds of rpm off... dead on everytime according to my predator..
Thanks for the advice guys, I ASSURE YOU I learned a lesson here - you get what you pay for. Actually, he has committed fraud ( I have paper trails that support that.) So at the least I will dispute it through paypal and or my credit card company. Leave him BAD feedback that will tarnish his credibility and contact the US government and inform them that this particular seller committed fraud and let them handle it. I am a PRINCIPLED man and will waste my time when someone screws around with a principle. His return policy is irrelevant to both the law and ebay's seller policies - he uses it as more of a scare tactic if you encounter problems, a "disclaimer" if I may.

"why do you need a 11k rpm tach? it reads close to DOUBLE what you shift at...

5" tachs are ricey unless you have a race car... just get a raptor and call it a day, it might not be "old school" enough for you but its a lot better and wont be hundreds of rpm off... dead on everytime according to my predator.. "

To answer that question my Cobra has WELL over 400 horsepower(13 grand in mods), will lift the front wheels off the ground with slicks, and is EASILY a 12 second car. If I launched the car I would instantly shift when the tach light showed 7,000 rpms ( the one he sold me will only let you set it up to 5,200 rpms) and then when I catch 2nd I will be at about 5,500 rpms and instantly bang into 3rd - where I am STILL at least at 4,000 rpms and again shifting to fourth at 7,000 rpms - when the tach "assists" in telling me to do so. Plus your stock tachometer is incorrect and reads higher than it is supposed to. So he sold me a USELESS procuct for my purposes - which I outlined in my very first e-mail.

No offense but I just don't like the raptor's, plain and simple.

Thanks for the advice guys.:hail2:
Word of warning if he hasn't left you feedback already when you leave him Neg he will return the favour. PayPal and eBay (on in the same) and the Government aren't going to do a thing. If you used a CC you can dispute it, if you used a debt card your screwed.
I don't think you need a tach adaptor for "PRE" 1999 cars mine is the last year you don't need one if I am not mistaken (unless cobra's are different from gt's) - I know in my 1996 you could just splice into the wires - but I know they did change it in 1999 and required a tach adaptor...I think it's just a bad product. I will probably eat the 15 bucks but the guy did screw me - it's not the money, its the fact that I have to dig into my dash again and "un do" everything I did to install it...