In this article, we’re going to be taking a closer look at this PCM cradle bracket from 5.0 Resto designed for the 1983 to 2004 Mustangs with an EEC version 4 or version 5 computer. Like several other interior components in the Fox and SN95 Mustangs, the PCM cradle is one of those items that fall victim to mishandling over the years. This cradle is positioned behind the passenger kick panel and its job is simple... to properly hold the PCM in position.
The 5.0 Resto PCM cradle features the same off-white plastic construction as the original cradle as well as the accompanying pieces such as the flat metal tension spring, pre-cut foam pad with adhesive backing, and two factory style green ground screws. So, the attention to detail is definitely on-point with this kit!
As far as applications are concerned, 5.0 Resto’s PCM cradle is designed to fit 1983 to 2004 Mustangs that utilize Ford’s electronic engine control computer. This system was used in 1983 to 1985 CFI and turbo 4-cylinder cars, 1986 to 1995 fuel injected cars, and all 1996 to 2004 Mustangs.
Now let's talk about a few fitment notes. Even though this is a simple piece, the location of the part ultimately dictates how difficult the installation is. Well, in Fox Mustangs all you have to do is drop the blower box to gain access which is what we’re going to show in this video. SN95 and New Edge applications are more challenging because of the extremely tight working area. It can be done, but you will need some patience, and we would recommend that you relocate or remove any component in this area to help make the process go a little smoother.
- To get started, it may be beneficial for you to remove the 79-93 or 94-04 Mustang passenger side seat for some additional working room. Also remove the negative battery cable.
- For Fox applications, loosen and remove the frontward Phillips head screw from the scuff plate.
- Use a pushpin removal tool to dislodge the pushpin from the kick panel.
- Pull straight back on the panel to dislodge the (2) clips and then pull down to free the panel from the a-pillar so it can be removed from the car.
- Loosen and remove the (2) 7mm glove box hinge retaining screws.
- Open the glove box, squeeze the sides together and then remove it.
- To remove the blower box, loosen and remove the upper bolt that is located just behind the vent tube.
- Loosen and remove the small 7mm retaining screws located directly underneath the box.
- Before dropping it down, dislodge the vacuum line.
- Whenever you lower the box, disconnect the electrical connection, and then it’s free to come out. If it’s needed, go ahead and disconnect a few of the electrical connections for more working room. This car didn’t have a cradle in place so I carefully rotated the PCM out of the way.
- Now we can prep the new PCM cradle for installation.
- Wipe the inside of the large area with a lint-free towel and isopropyl alcohol.
- Dry fit the foam pad first that way you know the correct orientation.
- Remove the backing and install the foam. Press down on the foam to ensure good adhesion. You can either roll the extra foam over the cradle or cut it flush with a razor blade.
- Take the provided flat tension spring and install it over the provision on the cradle. This will only install one way.
- The cradle can now be installed into the car. Loosely install one of the provided screws in the upper screw hole. The included screws have a 9/32 wrenching size.
- Align the cradle into place and make sure to insert the small alignment tab into the body.
- Next, loosely install the lower retaining screw.
- Now that the PCM cradle is properly positioned, hand tighten the upper screw and then remove the lower screw. Carefully pull back on the cradle and slide the PCM into place.
- Align the lower section of the cradle with the screw hole and then hand tighten the screw.
- Reconnect any electrical connection that was removed near the PCM and tuck the wires out of the way.
- Go ahead and reconnect the electrical connection on the blower box.
- Feed the box back into place while making sure that the wires don’t get pinched.
- Align the lower bolt holes and fully tighten the (2) lower screws and reconnect the vacuum hose.
- Then you can align the upper hole and reinstall the screw.
- Position the glove box back into place and carefully retighten the (2) 7mm screws.
- Reinstall the kick panel, the push pin, and the frontward screw for the scuff plate. Reconnect the negative battery cable and reinstall your seat. After that, you’re all done!
Alright, so wrapping things up with the PCM cradle... this very nice 1993 LX didn’t have a cradle and the PCM was just hanging out in the kick panel. We like things to be correct and like components to be properly secured which is why we wanted to install the 5.0 Resto PCM cradle into this car. We value the attention that went to this cradle with the correct off-white plastic and the other supporting pieces that are included in the kit. If you’re looking to replace a damaged or missing PCM cradle in your car, here’s is your solution!
As always, for all things Fox Body Mustang, keep it right here with the Real Mustang Enthusiasts at LMR.com!