K.J. Jones
June 1, 2007
We decided to go with G-Force Racing Gear's Pro-Series camlock harness (PN 7000; $149.95) for our project T-top '86 'Stang. This bolt-in, five-point system (two lap, two shoulder, and one antisubmarine belt) features individual shoulder belts, providing a bit more room than U-type shoulder belts offer. The belts also include grip rolls that increase tensioning for easy adjustments and pull-tabs for easy release. A harness for the driver is required by the National Hot Rod Association in any 'Stang equipped with a rollbar or a 'cage.

Horse Sense: Paraphrasing subdivisions of Section 27315 of the California Vehicle Code: "No person shall operate a motor vehicle on a highway unless that person and all passengers 16 years of age or over are properly restrained by a safety belt." And: "No person 16 years of age or over shall be a passenger in a motor vehicle on a highway unless that person is properly restrained by a safety belt." It really makes no difference where or how old you are. "Buckling up" is serious and we strongly recommend you heed the seatbelt laws of your state at all times, especially if you're operating or riding in a 'Stang that's packing several-hundred ponies and stump-pulling torque underhood.

We sincerely hope our '86 T-top coupe build series has given you insights on cool parts and installation tricks for your own Fox-rod resto projects, as well as ideas for great upgrades that can be done on your daily driven, street/strip 'Stangs. We know Editor Turner has been taking notes, as he has his own T-top 'Stang build in the works right now.

From the outset of the project, we made it clear that we want our rare 'Stang to have a true street/strip identity. The car's Paxton-blown, Keith Craft 347 pumps out nearly 630 lb-ft of torque at 2,700 rpm. Lightning-quick acceleration brought about by a 4.30 ring-and-pinion setup will quickly make things interesting when we take off from a stoplight or the Tree.

Because of this mindset, and since we have a good understanding of the situations and challenges we could experience on the road and on the track, it's critical for us to cover all the bases when it comes to making sure the T-top 'Stang is safe, as well as fast and great looking.

A 10-point rollcage was one of our project 'Stang's first upgrades ("'Cage Match," July '06, p. 176). Thanks to this Fox-rod effort, Chris Alston's Chassisworks now offers T-top-specific rollcage systems available in mild steel or chrome-moly for '79-'93 Mustangs. Our cage is highlighted by removable swing-out door bars and front tubes that run behind the dashboard instead of in front. It's much easier to enter and exit the cabin than it is in 'caged-up Mustangs that don't have those features.

Our certified G-Force safety restraints are made from DuPont Nylon 6-6 and feature quadruple, W-box stitching on the end of each strap for additional strength. The belts also meet SFI Foundation's 16.1 specs for driver-restraint assemblies.

For this report, we focus our attention on the G-Force Racing Gear five-point harnesses and other equipment installed in the project car's interior that will keep the driver and passenger safe. With the kind of power our car has, a harness that's secured to the rollcage and chassis, a window net, and a fire extinguisher are elements of the 'Stang that we can't go without including in this series.

We asked Dave Rifkin and Ryan "Junior" Shostle of DS Racing in Simi Valley, California, for assistance with installing belts and a window net in our T-top Fox. Dave and Junior specialize in all sorts of race- and custom-car fabrication. Since we're dealing with items designed to keep us from being seriously injured-or worse-in the event of an accident, we deferred installation of the safety harnesses to professionals because of their expertise with this type of job.

Read on to see the things we've done to ensure our safety when we're driving or racing the project 'Stang.