Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
December 7, 2006
Photos By: Steve Turner
Project Real Street has taken up more weekends than we care to remember, but the results will be spectacular. The final installments will include the drivetrain installation and tuning of our project.

Many racers either buy a car that's half-done, or they simply paint a new chassis and throw in last year's drivetrain. Although a few build cars from scratch, they usually start with at least a 5.0-based Mustang-most likely the racer's daily driver pressed into track duty. The few racers who can, say, whip up Don Walsh Jr.-spec stuff in no time flat are also paying big bucks to have Skinny Kid build a chassis, Wires & Pliers to run all the wiring, Livernois to build a motor, and so on. Then everything has to be put together. We're not doing that. That's not what the Real Street class is all about anyway. We did have D.S.S. build us a long-block, but the rest we assembled in-house. The chassis fab and welding were farmed out, but we installed the main rollcage, the suspension parts, the new interior, and we handled all the wiring changes (of which there were plenty).

At various NMRA events throughout 2002, many racers asked us why Project Real Street wasn't yet completed. Our answer has been that we are simply taking our time and doing it right. The two driving forces on the project-yours truly and Editor Turner-have spent untold hours away from family and other responsibilities to keep the Real Street Mustang on schedule as much as possible.

Though we had previously installed most of the Aeromotive fuel system, we couldn't install the digital fuel-pump controller until we had made a routing plan for our project's wiring. Here, our Year One-supplied Moroso battery box and Aeromotive controller coexist peacefully in their final mounting places.

We're not making excuses here, as-apart from the delay in the paint and body stages-we feel the project has moved along quite well. And when you have to stop and take photos of each step along the way, it can easily double the work time. So, cut us some slack. Project Real Street is almost at its phoenix. By the time you read this, it will have been seen in its completed glory (barring any last-minute problems) at the NMRA World Finals in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Can Mr. Kinnan say that? We don't think so.

Horse Sense: When tracing and verifying wiring for your project, make sure you have a reliable ohm meter or continuity tester and the right wiring books. In the case of Project Real Street, we needed an '89 book for the chassis wiring, a '90 book for the black dash assembly we installed, and a '93 book for the Ford Racing Performance Parts EEC IV harness (as a backup to the instructions). Helm Inc. [(800) 782-4356;] can supply you with the proper

Part of the fuel-pump controller is a manual-override switch. Editor Turner decided to mount the manual switch in the trunk on the left inner trunk brace. His reasoning was that the trunk-mounted switch would keep the interior clean looking and would prevent anyone from inadvertently engaging the switch.

After some careful consideration, we opted to run our starter 1-0 gauge cable from M.A.D. Enterprises through the inside of the car so there would be less chance of a floor jack pinching it than if routed under the car. This required a pass-through in the firewall. We drilled a hole near the A/C drain and used a grommet for protection. We then passed the starter cable and the main hot lead for the alternator through the hole.

When we threw the car together for its debut at the Bradenton, Florida, NMRA event, we didn't have time to install our Maximum Motorsports solid steering shaft. So, since the solid shaft is an easy install with the engine out, we made sure Real Street got the shaft this time around.

Our MSD Digital 6 Plus ignition system was mounted inside the car in the rear floor area. This allows for quick and easy adjustments of the two-step, the rev limiter, and other functions, while adding an extra measure of heat and moisture protection for the unit.