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Thread: Third Gen Black Faced Meter (BFM) Information - 2015-01-09

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    Third Gen Black Faced Meter (BFM) Information - 2015-01-09

    After several months of data collection, I have consolidated all of my information into a few "Final" documents covering all variations of the Black Faced Meter. I will leave the historical discussion below for those who are interested in the process, but I am putting the information I have here at the top.

    The BFMs basically fall into a couple of categories. This is the list of the overall categories and the part numbers that I have confirmed for them.

    Code:
    A/B Type Automatic Transmission                     85015AE010
    C Type   Manual Transmission                        85015AE020
    C Type   Sportshift Transmission                    85015AE030
    C Type   Automatic Transmission                     85015AE220
    D Type   Manual Transmission                        85015AE040, 85015AE260
    D Type   Automatic Transmission                     85015AE070, 85015AE210, 85015AE270
    D Type   Sportshift Transmission                    85015AE050, 85015AE060
    D Type   Automatic Transmission for H6              85015AE080, 85015AE090 
    D Type   Automatic Transmission for H6 (UK Market)  85015AE110, 85015AE111 (counts in Miles and km/h)
    D Type   Automatic Transmission for H6 (LHD Market) 85015AE100 (counts in km/h, but is shaped for LHD)
    D Type   Manual Transmission STI                    ST8500066030,  85015AE240 (S401 version)
    D Type   Automatic Transmission STI                 ST8500066040
    D Type   Sportshift Transmission STI                ST8500066050
    This is not a complete list, there are other part numbers for D-type but I have not yet confirmed them all.

    Between the various categories, there are two "versions", A~C type and D type. All A~C type clusters share the same wiring, and all D type clusters share as well. Other than the wiring differences between the types, there are differences with the face as well.

    The A~C type has one resettable Trip meter and is shared with the Odometer on the left side of the cluster.


    The D type has two resettable Trip meters and they are separate from the Odometer on the right side of the cluster.


    Both types feature a clock, however the position of it is on the Right for A~C type, and on the left for the D type. No BFM cluster has an ambient temperature display, so you will lose that function unless you have an H6 car.

    These are the final pinouts for each type of BFM.

    A~C Types:
    Name:  ACBlackFace_zps047494de.png
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    D Type:
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    All USDM/CDM cars share the same wiring.
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    For those who are interested in using, or are changing from a JDM Non-Black face meter, these are the pinouts for those:

    A~C Type, Non-BFM:
    Name:  ACNormalFace_zpse7eff996.png
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    D Type, Non-BFM:
    Name:  DNormalFace_zps6c6ca5ed.png
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    The connectors are available within the US and Canada from Mouser Electronics. All three sockets needed and all four plugs needed are available from them. To build an adapter, you will need the 30, 16, and 14 pin sockets for the US side, and 30, 16, and 14 or 18 pin plug for the Japanese side. A~C types need the 14 pin plug for its C connector, and the D type needs the 18 pin plug.


    There are also a few special versions of the black faced cluster. There are the D type STI meters (240km max speed), and a few different standard clusters modified by Tommy Kaira with a Digital Speedometer module.

    This is a D-type STI meter:


    This is a C-type 85015AE020 cluster modified by Tommy Kaira:


    This is a D-type UK Market H6 cluster, which counts in Miles, with a secondary km/h scale:


    All of these special clusters share the same pinouts as their "normal" BFM brothers, so they do not need any additional information here.

    ===============================================================================================================================
    I have a 2004 Outback H6 Sedan without VDC that I have been slowly doing various modifications to. Over this past weekend, I planned out and installed a JDM BFM cluster. I decided to make an adapter harness, so that I can put the original cluster back in if the need ever came up.

    My car came stock with the 85014AE84A cluster, which is a fairly specific cluster for this model. I bought a 85015AE030 cluster that apparently came from a 2000 Legacy GT-B E-tune. This past saturday I visited a local junkyard to grab another 14AE84A they had on a shelf, and as much of the wiring harness as I could get out of a wrecked 2002 Legacy. I would use the cluster for its connectors as well as any bulbs and as a guinea pig for odometer adjustment. The BFM itself came with a small bit of the harness attached, but the wires were too short to do anything with, so I moved the wires around on the Legacy harness to match the JDM colors. This is what I ended up with..



    After carefully testing each and every pin on the BFM, I mapped out what their functions and came up with this chart:

    *Removed for update above*

    This was followed by mapping out the wiring for the USDM cluster, which is as such:

    *Removed for update above*


    On Sunday, I began constructing the harness and I implemented a speedometer converter to bring the VSS signal down to have the km/h Speedometer read in MPH instead. This would ensure that the odometer would also register miles. I did not connect anything to the Illumination control, as I figured I would just rely on the headlight dimming for brightness control, but I may go back and put that in as it seems to dim on its own after a few minutes when those inputs are left floating. After a few hours, the harness was complete:



    After fitting the harness and taping it up for neatness, it seems to fit quite well.



    I removed a portion of the plastic behind the cluster so that the CCFL inverter would fit properly, and attached the adapter harness. In the end, I did not use this hole in the metal support as it was pinching some of the 'B' connector wires, so they are instead just routed behind the metal brace now.



    On the first try, everything looked great, the PRND321 and gauges all work fine, I found out there are some burnt out bulbs in the Halos which I will correct tomorrow. This was before I reprogrammed the EEPROM to reflect the correct mileage, the cluster only had just shy of 90,000 kms on it.



    After re-programming the cluster, I decided to do some before and after shots. First, I replaced the original cluster and these is what it looks like:



    This is the BFM with the car off:



    And finally, the BFM fully assembled and powered on!




    In the end, I am extremely happy. As you can see from the final picture, the Halo around the temp gauge is out, but I will sort that out shortly. The only other major issue I have found is that the tachometer is not accurate. This is due to the cluster coming from a 4 cylinder car, and since mine is a 6 cylinder, it shows that my RPMs are about 33% higher than they actually are. This is a minor annoyance since it is an automatic transmission car anyways.

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    Re: Yet another BFM install thread!

    Good lord. This thread is full of win!

    How did you reprogram the EEPROM?
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    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another BFM install thread!

    Well, I have an EEPROM programmer that I used to use for making my own Super Nintendo games.. I desoldered the EEPROM from the board, read it back, altered the values and wrote it back to the chip.

    There are websites around the internets that explain the algorithm and the checksums to program it correctly. I was able to have it read within 3 miles of the actual mileage which is good enough for me!

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    Re: Yet another BFM install thread!

    I think you just made a bunch of new best friends. Awesome work and thanks for all the info!

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    Re: Yet another BFM install thread!

    Unfortunately, the pinout that I have is specific to the '030 cluster and will not help much for other versions, but I wanted to put what I have out there in hopes that it would help someone else.

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    Re: Yet another BFM install thread!

    Very nice write-up! I might look to you for help when I decide I want to wire mine up. My main concern is reprogramming my mileage, and of course figuring out the japanese pin-out. But I'm sure I can figure it out by screwing around with it for a bit.

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    Re: Yet another BFM install thread!

    Ive seen complex mods and builds but this is a whole other level. Very impressive

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    Re: Yet another BFM install thread!

    Quote Originally Posted by rkrenicki
    Unfortunately, the pinout that I have is specific to the '030 cluster and will not help much for other versions, but I wanted to put what I have out there in hopes that it would help someone else.
    This is true. The '02 GT30 cluster I have (15AE090) has a different wiring layout. But the sportshift cluster is VERY common and this should help a lot of people.
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    Re: Yet another BFM install thread!

    That is the cluster that I would love to have (The GT30 one), as the tachometer would be accurate, but unfortunately my choices were limited to what was available on eBay and funds available.

    Today, I ran by one of my local dealers with one of the Halo bulbs in hand to see if they can match it up with something there. The closest one looked more like a type 74 bulb in a brown socket, but they wanted $45 for it.. yes, for one little light bulb..

    In the end, I am extremely happy with the cluster even with the inaccurate tachometer, and once I source some new halo bulbs, I will post on here what I find.

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    Super Moderator amgarrety's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another BFM install thread!

    Just by comparing your two pinouts, it appears that even though the pinouts are different between countries, the wire colors are universal (except for the right front door ajar). So given you have the stock wiring for the BFM, wiring should be as easy as matching the wires up color-by-color.

    Also, check out superbrightleds.com and look into converting to all LED in your cluster. Much better light output and longer life, not to mention different colors, and cheaper per bulb than $45. As far as I can tell from looking at the bulbs, it looks like they are the same bulbs that illuminate the USDM cluster.

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    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another BFM install thread!

    Hah, I actually just responded to your PM with basically that information. I believe the reversal of the Brown-Red and Yellow-Red has to do with the difference in Driver Position in Japan. I would be willing to bet that they are labeled as "Driver Front" and "Passenger Front" instead of Left and Right.

    I had the thought of using LEDs, but I have had back luck with them in the past as they tend to flicker or outright fail after a few months. The Halo bulbs do not match anything on my USDM cluster, but I am still researching alternatives.

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    Re: Yet another BFM install thread!

    So, the 2723 bulb is the correct type for the Halo's. I originally bought some 24's, but they are too wide for the base. The 2723 type is a slightly different shape, but it lights up the halos to about the same brightness as the stock bulbs. I replaced all 6 just so that I do not have to worry about them again in the future.

    The bulbs can be found here: http://www.bulbtown.com/2723_MINIATURE_ ... p/2723.htm

    This is the new and old side by side with the blue condom removed so you can see the shape difference.


    This is the new, old with no condom, and old with it side by side in their holders.




    I was unaware that the fuel gauge halo will blink when you are low on gas.. that was pretty slick!

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    Re: Yet another BFM install thread!

    I just went through my 020 pin by pin, and found out that just about everything was the same as your pinout. All of my indicator lights were the same, the only things I couldn't test were things like the fuel gauge, the speed, tach, door ajar indicators, and anything with the word "illumination" in front of it. Of course I couldn't test things like sportshift or the automatic gear tree. In general, the B and C plugs were pretty much spot on, and I assume the A plug will work once everything is hooked up properly.

    One small difference I did notice when checking my pins, on the C connector, when you have 12V going to the ignition pin (C13) and have ground going to pin C12, it makes a soft buzzing noise. Not really a unwanted noise, but instead something that sounds like it is to warn you of something.

    Also, on the A pin, hooking up 12V to A27 and hooking ground to any door ajar pin around it causes the board to fry. I had a lot of smoke. All lights still work though, so here's to hoping I didn't mess anything up too bad.....

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    Re: Yet another BFM install thread!

    well, smoke is never a good thing.. A27 for me was a battery indicator, but it was the opposite polarity for me which was unusual. I figure it is probably a voltage detection circuit so that if that input is low or high that the battery light will light up. The only reason that I am not that sure about it is that the black-white wires (of which there are two) on the B connector both illuminate the battery light and are Ground active.

    The CCFL inverter will buzz slightly, its part of the nature of CCFL since it requires high voltage AC to fire up that backlight, is that what you were hearing?

    I would probably take a good close look at all of the traces on the circuit board of your cluster to see if any of them burnt up. If so, it may be repairable..

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    Super Moderator amgarrety's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another BFM install thread!

    I'll get a video of the sound later so you can hear. It's definitely not related to the back light, it is a sound my girlfriend was able to hear from the next room over.

    Also, I wasn't able to get that backlight to light up just by hooking it directly to a battery. Bad or normal? I figured I just needed more than two wires to light it up. Same goes for the halos and the mileage/time displays.

    I'll take a look when I get home to see what I fried. It appears to have nothing to do with any lights (even though it seemed to be frying around the VDC light), so I'll take a look at the front and maybe grab a nice high res picture of what I find.

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    Re: Yet another BFM install thread!

    The backlight comes on when the Battery constant (Blue-Red A8) and the Ignition (Green-white A9) are connected to 12v, while both of the Grounds (black A18 and B7) are connected to ground. It will start its light up sequence, which is the halos and needles first and then the backlight itself after a second or two.

    If only one ground is connected, the cluster will stutter and flash.

    There is a buzzer on the cluster that I did not figure out how to activate, perhaps you found some combination that was kicking that on?

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    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another BFM install thread!

    Oops, I hit quote instead of edit.

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    Re: Yet another BFM install thread!

    The buzzer came on for me just by sending 12V to C13 (ignition) and ground to C12 (not designated on your pin out). Like I said, I'll get a video just to make sure it's the sound you're looking for. I'll also try lighting the cluster up.

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    Re: Yet another BFM install thread!

    Keep in mind that I know absolutely nothing about the 020 cluster, so I cannot say that those are the correct pins for you.

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    Re: Yet another BFM install thread!

    Ok, that is pretty bad ass! You totally lost me on the when you got into the tech stuff, but this is truly cool!

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    Re: Yet another BFM install thread!

    Oh, I forgot to mention, I believe if you ground the fuel gauge pin, the gauge will slowly climb its way to a full tank. It was either ground or 12v, I cant recall.. but ground wont kill anything if you try that first.

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    Super Moderator amgarrety's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another BFM install thread!

    My buzzer sound:


    AND!





    I think the only difference between the 020 and the 030 is legitimately the difference between 5MT and 4EAT, which is very nice.


    All displays work correctly (I know it doesn't look like it in the first picture, but the ODO works and the time reads 1:00). It comes on in stages as well, halos first, then needles, then backlight. My two small halos were working, but now aren't. It was also blinking because of low gas. Thats freaking cool.

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    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another BFM install thread!

    Well... that is absolutely the beeper on the cluster. I guess for things like a seatbelt reminder chime. I would have thought that I had checked that pin, but I guess its possible I skipped it by accident.

    As for your halo's, I cant think of a reason why they would go out on their own.. but I guess it wouldnt hurt to replace the bulbs while you have it all out.

    Ive been thinking more and more about my Tachometer issue.. and I think it may be software related. I cannot imagine that Subaru designed multiple tachometer circuits for the two motor types.. it is much more likely that there is either a resistor or jumper selecting which signal type, or some sort of flag in the EEPROM telling the microcontroller on the cluster what engine type it is...

    I think I am going to try to get my hands on as many different BFMs as I can to map them all out, and dump the EEPROMs to look for differences.

    Oh, and are you using a car battery to do these tests? I would be extra careful as that has enough amperage behind it to do some serious damage.. I used a small 12v drill battery that was about the size of a pack of cards for my tests.

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    Super Moderator amgarrety's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another BFM install thread!

    I got them working again. I think its just a bad connection.




    Yeah I was using a car battery, unfortunately thats the only thing I had. The good news is I practically mirrored your results, so now I don't need to test anymore, I just have to get the male plugs and make my harness.

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    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another BFM install thread!

    As I mentioned in that PM, I will work up a HOWTO on moving pins around on those connectors too, as that was a good portion of my saturday morning trying to figure that out. Might as well have others benefit from that minor frustration.

    When you get a moment, do you mind checking to see if you have the same VDC, * Hold, DIFF LOCK, and Steering lights? I am putting together a preliminary pinout for the 020 based on your information that it is the same but missing the PRND321 and Sportshift wires.

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    Super Moderator amgarrety's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another BFM install thread!

    I have all of those, but only VDC has a light installed behind it. There are no lights installed behind *Hold, Diff lock, or steering.

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    Re: Yet another BFM install thread!

    Okay great, I updated my spreadsheet to reflect that. I took the bulbs out of those locations so that I have good spares on my shelf for the lights that I do actually use.

  28. #28
    Super Moderator Yamazaki's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another BFM install thread!

    I'll post up the map for the 090 (H6) cluster when I'm done installing it. For some reason, I've looked through every page of the factory wiring manuals and a few of the wires are never mentioned....
    I even went back to previous years to see if I could learn anything, but they have some different colors and different places. That's why the year is important too, not just the vehicle model.
    Current lineup(click on links):
    His: '05 Impreza STi / '91 Suzuki Cappuccino / '15 Honda NM4
    Hers: '04 Forester XT / '02 S401

    Past lineup:
    His: '95 Legacy Brighton / '93 Suzuki Cappuccino / '08 Kawasaki Ninja 250R
    Hers: '97 Legacy GT-B Ltd / '05 Mercedes E500 4matic / '02 H6 VDC Sedan

  29. #29
    Super Moderator amgarrety's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another BFM install thread!

    I lied, I have a light behind steering.

    I don't have light behind Diff Lock, * Hold, or Power.

    I have 3 other light holes open with no corresponding symbol on the faceplace. According to the 040, one of them looks like it would light up an engine symbol (a separate check engine light in addition to the check engine text).

    elislider has the 040 cluster, and its faceplate is drastically different than mine (in terms of symbol locations). Here is a picture he gave me awhile back:


  30. #30
    Super Moderator Yamazaki's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another BFM install thread!

    Quote Originally Posted by amgarrety
    elislider has the 040 cluster, and its faceplate is drastically different than mine (in terms of symbol locations). Here is a picture he gave me awhile back:
    That's because you have a year older than his (you have an '00, he has a '01-'02), even though it's from the same model. That's what I meant by the years being different too.

    So rkrenicki mapped out the '00 SS-4EAT. Other things may be similar, but shouldn't be exactly the same.
    Current lineup(click on links):
    His: '05 Impreza STi / '91 Suzuki Cappuccino / '15 Honda NM4
    Hers: '04 Forester XT / '02 S401

    Past lineup:
    His: '95 Legacy Brighton / '93 Suzuki Cappuccino / '08 Kawasaki Ninja 250R
    Hers: '97 Legacy GT-B Ltd / '05 Mercedes E500 4matic / '02 H6 VDC Sedan

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