Wiring A Fender Mustang

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Wiring a Mustang

This tutorial will show you, play by play, how to wire a vintage Fender Mustang. This particular Mustang is a 1966 model that has been refinished. The control plate, switches, pickups, pots, input jack, capacitor and wiring are all new. The only thing original was the brass shielding plates and one original ground wire.

Tools Needed

1. Rosin Core Soldering Wire (lead) 2. Acid Paste Flux 3. Soldering Iron (gas or electric) 4. Small wire cutters (dykes) 5. Needle nose pliers 6. Flux brush (a toothpick will do) 7. Wire strippers (not your teeth!) 8. Wire 9. Knife 10. Mustang switches, pickups, vol/tone pots (250k), .05 mfd capacitor and an input jack. (Assuming, naturally that you have all the other components for the Mustang.) 11. Beer optional.

Getting Started

You are obviously going to need a clean, stable work area with proper ventalation. Fire up the soldering iron, lay all your tools and materials out, within easy reach and break out the guitar. Hopefully, the pickguard and control plate are already off and ready to go. Let's get started.

Here, you see all the new parts installed onto the pickguard and ready for final wiring.

Wiring the Switches and Pickups


Here, I've grounded the switch. The wire used was the excess wire from the capacitor. Apply your acid paste flux to the wire, tab and switch body, make contact with the soldering iron to the flux, then immediately touch the area with the solder. Hold it there for 1-2 seconds...you should see the solder do it's job. If not, the soldering iron is either not hot enough, or you need more practice. Also, please notice which tab you solder by noting where the tab is, in relation to the pickguard holes and pickup.


Repeat the same thing for the second switch. Because of the close proximity of the connection to the pickup, I had to temporarily remove the pickup. Once you add the ground wire, reinstall the pickup to the pickguard. (Please note that the wire isn't soldered to the switch body yet. What you are seeing is the acid core flux.)


Here, you see the second ground wire you soldered. In addition you should see the lead black wire from the control plate/cavity. Make this happen.


In this pic, you'll notice that I've soldered the white wire from the control plate/cavity. There are two ways to do this. You'll see what I mean in a minute or so...


To make the "Out Of Phase" part of the Mustang happen, here you see the 'criss-cross' pattern starting to take shape. Please notice that I didn't cut the wire...I simply stripped the cloth back, twisted the wire to open it up and slipped it over the tab.


Here, we take that same white wire and make the jump to the neck pickup's switch.


You guessed it! The end of the line for this white wire.


Now...let's do that again. This time, it's the black wire.


Here, I'm using my solder to apply flux. Probably not the smartest thing in the world, but I usually get impatient...



Ok...now for the fun part. We've just wired all the lead wires that go into to the contol cavity. Now, we are going to wire up the pickups. In this picture, again, please notice the wire and the switch in relation to the pickguard, and it's holes. Also, notice how I ran the wire (through one tab and back into the other). You'll want to apply flux and solder both tabs.


Here is the same switch, but now I've just installed the white wire.


Now for the other switch:




And voilĂ ! Here's what the switches and pickups should look like.


Control Plate Wiring

Well, the hard part is over. Now for the easier part. (Trust me)

With this particular guitar, the ground wire from the brass/copper shielding was cut too short to be of any use. So, instead of completely replacing this wire, I wanted to show off my mad skillz and do a wire splice for youse guys. First, pull the cloth back (or denude the plastic shielding) far enough back to work. Apply flux to both wires and solder them together. From the pic, you should be able to see what I'm talking about.


Now, you'll want to get the cloth as close to one another as possible and slip a 1/2" long piece of shrink tubing. Apply a bit of flame and you are done.


Ok. You should have fed the white and black wires from the pickguard to the control cavity. And now you have one white wire and two black wires. Strip back the two black wires and get ready to ground those bad boys to the volume pot. Here, you'll see where I've lightly scratched the area and applied flux. Apply flux to the wires, too.


Now, solder away. It should like the picture below. If not, you need more practice. LOL! Also, please notice that the tab closest to you is bent towards the pot's body. Flux and solder that, too.



Remember that white wire? Make it happen.


Now, jump the white wire to the center tab on the tone pot...


Now, solder some white wire to the input jack to...


the center tab on the volume pot and install your capacitor just like the pic...


and you're done!


Cheers! -Aug

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