Marc Christ
Brand Manager, Modified Mustangs & Fords
August 31, 2012

After a project car sits untouched for a while, it's hard to motivate yourself to pick up a wrench to end the hiatus. Dust collects, excitement fades, and the reality of the colossal task at hand comes rushing back. But even after months away, few other things can revive interest in a project like a fresh coat of paint and a garage full of new parts waiting to jump into the bare, clean carcass.

Our '85 Coyote coupe recently received a makeover courtesy of Spike's Performance and Summit Racing Equipment. Our fresh Blue Sky Metallic paint has given our four-eyed coupe a new lease on life, and final assembly of all of the components is all that remains. Granted, that's the entire car, but we had already mocked up our engine and transmission, welded in the Kenny Brown Performance Matrix subframe system, and pre-fit the rollbar. All that's left now is putting the pieces of the puzzle together.

We found an open lift in the warehouse of our Source Interlink headquarters that we could tie up for a while as we connect the dots in the best order possible to avoid doing double work. Since we know the engine fits (and because we just can't wait any longer), we decided to drop it in first thing. Plus, we needed to find a home for our ECM and Controls Pack harness.

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Under Control

Designed for the popular PN M-6007-M50 Coyote crate engine, the 5.0L manual transmission Controls Pack (PN M-6017-A504V) from Ford Racing Performance Parts is sold separately and retails for $1,799. This universal kit is unique in that it is designed specifically for street rods and restomods like our coupe. Instead of splicing into the original harness (which is useless at this point anyway), this standalone system controls everything under the hood through its own distribution module and harness--all it needs is 12V battery power.

In addition to being all-inclusive, this kit is surprisingly easy to install. In the box, it looks like a jumbled web of wires and connectors. But once you stretch it out, it couldn't be simpler to install. Every pigtail is labeled, and each comes with enough extra wire to meet your project's needs.

A canned FRPP calibration is included and already uploaded to the ECM, so no tuning is required--as long as you don't modify the engine like we're doing. Obviously, we'll have to have ours custom tuned, but there are provisions for that built in as well. There's an OBD-II port in the harness near the distribution module, so plug-and-play custom tuning is just as easy as with all other OBD-II vehicles.

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Routing

There are a number of different ways to route the wiring harness and a few convenient locations to mount the ECM. We've seen ECM's mounted in the firewall, in the inner fender, and there's really no wrong place, as long as it's secure and safe from moving objects. We chose the underside of the right framerail. With the length and routing of the engine harness limited, this was the most convenient location. Besides, locating it there allowed all of the other pigtails to lie close to where they will reside once everything is wired up.

We then routed the cowl wiring harness along the right front inner fender and through a 2-1/2-inch hole we drilled in the inner fender into the passenger compartment. On the inside, we mounted the distribution block inside the right kick panel where the stock ECM once mounted.

Extending from the distribution block are the OBD-II and accelerator pedal pigtails. There's plenty of room for the pedal connector to reach the driver's side, but we'll mount the OBD-II port inside the glovebox. Also attached to the harness from the block is a cluster of blunt-lead wires to be connected to the ignition switch, clutch switch, tach, and fuel pump. We'll hard-wire these permanently when we do the interior a few installments from now.

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Under the hood, the only wires left hanging are the starter, cooling fan, MAF, and oxygen sensors. We have the oxygen sensors pre-routed, the starter wires are hanging right next to where the starter will mount, and the fan wires are resting atop the ECM, near where our fan controller will be mounted.

Next month, we'll install the clutch, flywheel, pressure plate, and T-56 Magnum from American Powertrain. Then, we'll start working on the Kenny Brown suspension and get our coupe rolling. Also, look forward to a brand-new Aeromotive fuel system install in a coming issue.

We still have a long road ahead, but the pieces are finally fitting together, and we'll be out tearing up the open track and street with this notch before you know it.

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