For the last five years, the neo-retro interior/exterior styling of the '05-'09 Mustang has been a landslide "hit" characteristic of the latest-generation Pony. Enthusiasts sing high praises of the S197 'Stang's front appearance, and its body lines and tail section, which all strongly resemble late-'60s fastback Mustangs.
The 'Stang's rear fascia is the area we're focusing on this month. Our project, installing Moss Muscle's Chasing LED Taillights (PN 059-795; $249.95), sort of brings the unique and cool taillight technology full circle for Mustangs, as the sequential tails actually date back to '68 Shelby GT350 and GT500 'Stangs.
Chris Balster of GTR High...
Chris Balster of GTR High Performance in Rancho Cucamonga, California, removes the driver-side taillight assembly from Lalo Chavez's S197 Mustang GT, as the first process in installing Moss Muscle's Chasing LED Taillight System. Once the taillights are removed (a 1/4-inch-drive, 11mm-deep socket; T-30 Torx bit; and a small, flat screwdriver are required for this task), the conversion-from-stock process is an easy workbench effort that doesn't require a single tool.
While there are many bolt-on, aftermarket taillight systems made for Fox-body, SN-95, New Edge, and S197 Mustangs (some sequential and many non-sequential), we are really interested in evaluating Moss' new kit because of its simple composition (six Flamethrower LED modules, two sub-harnesses, and six wire-tap connectors) and equally simple plug-and-play installation process, which we think is perfect for the 'Stang owner just getting into personalizing his Pony, who is looking for a straightforward, DIY-style project.
The kit's LED modules produce...
The kit's LED modules produce a deeper-red color and they are much clearer light than the factory incandescent bulbs. Each LED module plugs directly into a 'Stang's original light-bulb socket, and is installed in inner-middle-outer fashion, making sure that the LEDs' built-in microprocessors face away from the wires that exit the sockets.
Since we're throwing the term "sequential" around quite a bit here, let's take a moment to initiate the uninitiated on sequential taillights. Basically, the upgrade is designed to enable each bulb in the turn-signal system to activate in sequence-blink individually starting with the innermost bulb (closest to center of the car) and moving to the outermost bulb-for the left and right turn signals and when the hazard lights are activated..
Wiring the sequential taillights...
Wiring the sequential taillights involves attaching wiretap connectors (included) on the black wire of the OEM middle socket; the red/white-stripe wire, also on the middle socket; and the red/white-stripe wire on the outer connector. The black and green wires from the Moss system's sub-harnesses are tied into the wiretaps, per easy-to-follow directions. Aside from reconnecting the negative battery cable (which, of course, is disconnected at the outset of any tech project, especially those that are of electrical nature), that's all there is to this one!
Installing Moss Muscle's Chasing LED Taillight's definitely will change the way others view the back of your S197 Mustang; literally, and especially from an impression standpoint at night when the system's Flamethrower modules are at full brightness. The sequentials are not new technology by any means, but they really are cool technology for '05-'09 Ponies that help you keep up with the '10 Joneses and their factory sequentials. Plus Moss' system doesn't require removing or replacing any of the factory taillight wiring, and it just requires three hand tools to complete the installation.
Chris Balster of GTR High Performance demonstrates the quick-and-easy install in these photos and captions. The minutes saved on the taillight conversion afforded us the time to also install Cobalt's chrome, Double-Bar Strut Tower Brace (PN 059-390; $189.95), which further enhances the show appeal of Lalo Chavez's S197.
This series of photos shows...
This series of photos shows the Moss Muscle Chasing LED taillights in action. The taillights continuously sequence from inside to outside when the left or right turn signals are activated, and continue until a turn is completed. When braking, after sequencing once (both lights simultaneously), all three sections of the taillights illuminate until the brake pedal is released. The hazard lamps also function sequentially.