2010 Ford Mustang Tim Matherly 2010 Real Street Car Build
Tim Matherly Put Together A Fast 2010 Real Street Mustang-In A Hurry
From the September, 2010 issue of 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
By Michael Johnson
Photography by Michael Johnson
No doubt many of you have...
No doubt many of you have already seen the finished product, but here it is in all its race-ready glory. The car's stickers represent those manufacturers who jumped on board to help Tim defend his '09 NMRA Real Street championship.
In the drag-race arena, you either keep up or get left behind. If a racer stays with a car or combination too long, they'll be off pace within a year. For that reason, racers are always changing combinations, updating suspensions, and going to the extreme of building new cars to run ahead of the pack.
We've seen many racers totally revamp an existing car, like Chris Tuten did a couple years for Super Street Outlaw, but on the whole, racers usually start over to stay ahead. Here recently, perennial Mustang drag racer Tim Matherly chose to start from scratch to defend his '09 Real Street championship.
OK, now that you know how...
OK, now that you know how Tim's car currently looks, reconcile that with this photo. Most of us can, but there are many who would think this hulk was headed for the junk heap. However, this is the body-in-white Tim received from Ford Racing Performance Parts, and this is how it arrived at his shop. A body-in-white is available alone (M-607100-M) or with trim packages to finish it out. They are an exterior-trim package with bumper covers, grille, glass, headlights and taillights, rocker molding, door handles, and related hardware (M-2010-EXTMGTA); and an interior-trim package containing various interior trim pieces, door panels, console, dash, and steering components (M-2010-INTMGTA). Obviously, Tim needed both packages. That is a H.O. Fibertrends hood on the car, as well. By starting out with a body-in-white, racers are able to build the car from the ground up without having to de-street the car in the process. This plays a huge part in helping a racer arrive under weight for a specific race class, as well as the ability to add mass where it's needed. Also in the photo is rollcage artist Jim "Old Man" Bremer. I had to read him the instructions on how to install the car's rollcage. (Not really!)
Tim has always been at the wheel of Mustangs. This time, however, it's with a totally new chassis design. Naturally he's working with some of the best in the business to help him stay at the top of his game.
This is the first of a short series of articles showing the car's progression from body-in-white to full-fledged, championship-defending racecar. Check out the captions for all the details.
You can see that Jim's been...
You can see that Jim's been building rollcages for at least 100 years. We can appreciate a rollcage as a work of art when done right. This is the beginning of the driver "compartment." Just by this photo you can see that the cage is rigid-and that's even without the X-style door bars in place, added after this photo. Built to 25.5 specs, the cage makes the car feel like one solid, rigid unit; naturally, it protects the driver.
Holeshot Performance Wheels...
Holeshot Performance Wheels is a relative newcomer to the Mustang market, but its line of wheels is hard to ignore. Tim chose Holeshot's Revolver wheel. It is a one-piece wheel that is both lightweight and tough. Tim chose 15x3s for the front and 15x10s for the rear. Mickey Thompson ET Drag stiff-sidewall slicks grab for traction out back, while the company's ET Fronts hope to steer Tim to the winner's circle at each event.
Tim utilized a Racecraft suspension...
Tim utilized a Racecraft suspension on the new Real Street ride. Up front, the car wears a tubular K-member, obviously. However, the rest of the suspension is based on a Fox Mustang. The suspension features Fox spindles to open up the brake options. Of course, everything is tubular, to save weight, and made of 4130 chrome-moly. Also shown is Racecraft's tubular radiator support for the front and a Panhard rod for the rear. One additional feature of Tim's K-member choice is the optional tow hook, which makes it easier to load on the trailer or tow back to the pits.
Springing and dampening Tim's...
Springing and dampening Tim's '10 are Strange Engineering 10-way adjustable coilovers. At left are all the components; at right is how they should look once put together. The coilover sleeve and jam nut slide down over the strut; then on goes the spring itself. At the top of the spring is the spring seat, bearing, and caster/camber plate. These struts are familiar Fox Mustang parts. Tim can adjust rebound to best fit the needs of the car depending on the starting-line grip, or lack thereof.
Here are the Racecraft front...
Here are the Racecraft front lower control arms, rear lower control arms, antiroll bar, and manual brake conversion plate. The front lower control arms are made from 4130 chrome-moly, like the K-member. Likewise, the rear lower control arms are also 4130 chrome-moly, and are double-adjustable. Racecraft's antiroll bar uses bolt-in end plates and spherical bearings to eliminate binding and premature wear. The manual-brake conversion plate is also available with a master cylinder, which Tim has as well.
Here's Tim installing the...
Here's Tim installing the K-member, front suspension, and manual rack and pinion. You can also see the basecoat of Kona Blue on the car's front inner structure.
Here's a closer look at the...
Here's a closer look at the right-side suspension and brake. We'll talk more about the brakes, but like the front struts, they're from Strange Engineering. Also seen is the front suspension-travel limiter, which reins in the big wheelies.
The brakes are Strange Engineering's...
The brakes are Strange Engineering's Pro Race system, featuring lightweight rotors and four-piston calipers. Rotating mass is the enemy of any racecar, and these brakes are a racecar's best friend. The housing is a welded-steel unit, specifically designed for the S197 chassis, with a Third-link mount. Its welded construction means reduced flex. The center section is what Strange calls its Ultra Case center section, made from aluminum with a billet aluminum pinion support and a chrome-moly yoke. Inside the center section is a 35-spline spool with the corresponding axles.
Here you can see the Strange...
Here you can see the Strange Engineering 9-inch rear, mounted with the Racecraft Third-link, Racecraft lower control arms, Racecraft Panhard bar, Racecraft antiroll bar, and Strange's double-adjustable rear shocks. The purpose of the Panhard bar is to keep the rearend centered in the car; the antiroll bar is designed to enable the car to launch perfectly straight. The Strange double-adjustable rear shocks allow Tim to adjust for both compression and rebound. These adjustments come in handy when trying to dial-in a car's suspension.
The Detail Zone got the nod...
The Detail Zone got the nod for the car's wiring needs. The Detail Zone offers complete wiring kits available for most modular Mustangs. This looks like a daunting task, but for Tim, it's nothing new. Everything's color-coded by the Detail Zone, so it's not that intimidating. Tim also chose an MSD DIS-4 ignition system for the car, which can be wired into The Detail Zone harness.
OK, so maybe I overstated...
OK, so maybe I overstated the ease of wiring the car. Check out this hot mess of wiring, sensors, relays, fuses, and the MSD ignition system components. Most of this will disappear under the carpet, but this photo should give you new respect for the guys that build these cars.
This is the view from the...
This is the view from the underside, with the front and rear suspensions installed, and the wiring waiting to find its final destination. Carnes Customs' Jason Carnes and crew split the underside color from the Kona Blue to a light gray color. Next month we'll bring you more on the car's drivetrain and other mechanical items as we finish up the car's build.
We tried not...
We tried not to pester Tim too much during the car's build as he only had just a few weeks to finish the car done and make it presentable for the 2009 Performance Racing Industry show in December of 2009. The paint was so fresh when we saw the car at the show that you could smell it. When Tim had to get something out of the trunk, the fumes almost knocked me down. It's safe to say the paint was still curing at the PRI show, but the car was a resounding hit, and we know everyone who saw it there will remember where they saw it for the first time. Tim, Johnny, Shane, and Bart Tobener from MV worked constantly on the car; Carnes Customs' Jason and Johnny Carnes, and James Brown worked on the car's paint when Tim and the MV crew weren't surrounding it. Many times they were almost tripping over each other trying to get the car done in time, but the hard work paid off for everyone involved. Now all Tim has to do is go out there and defend his championship. No pressure.