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EDITOR IN CHIEF.........................................................CHRIS BIRO editor@rpm-mag.com

RPM Magazine is a REGISTERED TRADEMARK of Revolution Publishing & Media Inc. RPM Magazine is a worldwide motorsports publication distributed in 34 countries and can be found on popular newsstands in the USA, Canada and select newsstands in the UK. If you cannot find a copy near you please call 519-752-3705 or email circulation@rpm-mag.com To subscribe to RPM go to www.rpm-mag.com or email Trish Biro at trish@rpmmag.com, or call 519-752-3705. The focus of RPM is to bring a diverse mix of high performance street and race automobiles to life within its pages including race cars, musclecars, hot rods and street legal machines with an emphasis on the “EXTREME,” including fast doorslammer and outlaw forms of drag racing. Not familiar with these types of cars? They are considered to be the top-shelf of the industry and are on the edge with regard to design, performance, and power! RPM Magazine does not sell its mailing list or share any of the confidential information regarding its subscribers.


RPM Magazine has been a world leader in motorsports publishing for 18 years and has support locations in Ontario, Canada, Alabama, Texas, and Virginia, along with contributing writers and photojournalists worldwide. If you have a story that may fit within the focus and scope of RPM Magazine’s coverage, please email our Editor In Chief at editor@ rpm-mag.com. Submission of an article does not guarantee that it will be published. Revolution Publishing & Media Inc. (RPM) / RPM Magazine IS NOT Responsible for errors or omissions in ANY advertisement or article. Advertisements may be rearranged or altered at the sole discretion of RPM to allow the ad to fit in the space purchased by the advertiser. WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE ANY ADVERTISING WHICH WE CONSIDER TO CONTAIN MISLEADING, OFFENSIVE OR FALSE INFORMATION. REPRODUCTION OF ANY INFORMATION HEREIN IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED WITHOUT PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT.

Publication Return/Address Change Information USA RPM MAGAZINE (USPS Periodical #023474) is published monthly 12 times per year by USA Publisher’s Agent, 10387 Main Street, Suite 300, Fairfax, VA 22030.

TRISH BIRO .............519.752.3705.......trish@rpm-mag.com

Periodicals postage rate is paid at Fairfax, VA and additional mailing offices.

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Special Events Managers: Chris Biro, Raymond Knight events@rpm-mag.com Special Events Sales: Trish Biro: 519-752-3705 trish@rpm-mag.com Subscriptions/Address Changes: Circulation circulation@rpm-mag.com General Inquiries: 519.752.3705 info@rpm-mag.com




Chris Biro




e’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our RPM Magazine advertisers and readers for your overwhelming support, and also welcome you to our 18th year of RPM! We’ve stuck to our guns, kept our promise and kept RPM “REAL”...18 years later RPM is still all about YOU, and YOUR cars and stuff that YOU are into—street, strip and once in a while, just to shake things up, something completely off the wall. But no matter what, we want to assure you that we intend to continue to set the trends instead of follow them, innovate, not imitate and above all continue to give you the best original, exclusive high horsepower badass rides and cool real world tech and articles you deserve in the world`s top car mag! In our continuing effort to support the automotive performance and race industries, we’re once again offering a chance for related companies to take advantage of our “Industry Distribution Program” which sees FREE

copies of RPM Magazine sent to performance & racing related businesses in the USA and Canada. So, if you own, operate, or manage any type of performance or race business (ie: speed shop, performance, race or chassis shop, manufacturing firm, installation facility, warehouse, etc.), you need to sign up for your FREE subscription to RPM Magazine today! Simply complete this form and send it in along with your business card and you’ll start getting your complimentary copy of RPM, right to your business door each and every month. Because MORE RPM is ALWAYS better, we also offer an enhanced program that enables you to order MORE copies of RPM for an incredibly low price to either give away free to your best customers or sell on your magazine rack. Industry Distribution Program info can also be found at www.rpm-mag.com and completed online! Or by simply emailing trish@ rpm-mag.com. Do it today!


Color Us Happy....................................................................

Over a year after it went to another paint shop the first time, Project aPocalypSe Horse heads to Braddy’s Custom Paint for what promises to be the last time!


THIS AND MORE IN THE NEXT RPM! may 2017 | RPM Magazine

ADVERTISER INDEX ACC Performance................... 80 Accufab Inc............................ 23 Aeromotive......................... 104 AFCO..................................... 21 Alan Johnson Performance (AJPE)................................. 11 Alston Race Cars.................... 89 Applied Racing Components (ARC).................................. 38 ATI Performance Products..... 22 Auburn Gear.......................... 42 Autoglym.............................. 95 AVAK/Ridgegate Tools........... 37 Baer Brakes......................10, 33 Bear’s Performance............... 59 Be Cool.................................. 79 BES Racing Engines............... 25 Bill Mitchell Products............ 34 Blower Shop............................ 5 Borla................................... 110 BTE Racing............................ 48 C&C MotorSports................. 104 Calvert Racing Suspensions... 41 Canton Racing Products...... 106 CFE Racing Products.............. 82 Chassis Engineering...........8, 33 CN Blocks.............................. 47 CNC Motorsports................... 86 Coan Engineering.................. 62 Competition Products........... 45 Crane Cams........................... 91 Crower.................................. 39 CVR Products......................... 96 DART..................................... 18 Design Engineering............... 65 Diamond Pistons................... 28 DIY Auto Tune/MS3-Pro EFI... 43 Drive Train Specialists (DTS)... 29 DRIVEN Racing Oil................. 16 Dynocologists.......................... 9 Dynomite Dynamometer...... 98 Dynotech Engineering......... 108 Ed Quay Race Cars................. 27 Edelbrock.............................. 46 Energy Suspension................ 87 G Force Racing Transmissions.44 Gibtech Pistons..................... 17 Granatelli Motorsports........ 103 GZ Motorsports..................... 44 Harland Sharp......................... 9 Harwood............................... 81 HoleShot Wheels................... 88 Holley...............................13, 84 Howard’s Cams...................... 99 Hughes Performance............... 7 Induction Solutions............... 19 Indy Cylinder Head................ 66 Innovate Motorsports............ 67 JE Pistons.......................51, 102 Jesel...................................... 30 JW Perform. Transmissions.... 36 LenTech Automatics.............. 35 Lokar Perf. Products.............. 26 LUCAS Oil Products.................. 2

Lucas Racing TV..................... 93 MagnaFuel............................ 60 Magnuson Superchargers...... 92 MAHLE Clevite Inc................. 83 Manton Pushrods.................. 82 Meziere Precision Mfg............. 8 Mickey Thompson Tires....7, 105 Miska Trailers........................ 43 MSD Ignition......................... 14 Neal Chance Converters....32, 64 New Century Performance.... 14 Nitrous Pro Flow.................... 38 Nitrous Supply.................... 100 Norther Racing Unlimited: The Purge....................... 76 Ontario Grudge Wars............. 37 Ontario Street Outlaws.......... 25 Parts Pro Perf Centers.......... 116 Performance Bending........... 15 Performance Improvements.. 10 Perf. Plus Connection.......11, 58 Philadelphia Racing Products (PRP).................................. 40 Powermaster Performance.... 58 Precision Turbo...................... 53 ProCharger.......................... 111 Proform Parts...................... 107 Proformance Racing Trans..... 20 Pro Systems Carburetors... 31,80 PTC........................................ 76 Quebec Grudge Wars............. 78 Quick Fuel Technology........... 34 Quik-Latch Products............ 108 Racecraft............................... 35 Racepak................................ 20 Racequip............................... 77 RAM Clutches........................ 24 Renegade Racing Fuels......... 50 Rhodes Race Cars.................. 85 Ross Racing Pistons..........5, 105 Royal Purple/Karbelt............. 90 RPM Magazine Subscribe!.114 S&W Race Cars.................... 109 Scorpion Racing Prods........... 12 Shafiroff Racing Engines..12, 27 Sharp Trailers........................ 78 SMACKDOWN 1 Event.......... 101 Smith Racecraft..................... 94 Steve Morris Racing Engines. 61 Strange Engineering............. 63 Street Machine Nationals.... 113 Summit Racing Equip.....29, 115 Taylor Cable Products............ 47 TCI Automotive...................... 88 The Judas Contract: Team Titans................... 90 Ti64....................................... 84 Tom’s Upholstery................... 30 Trick Flow.............................. 49 TRZ Motorsports.................... 15 Tuned By Shane T.................. 18 VP Racing Fuels................52, 97 Weinle Motorsports.............. 92 World Products..................... 35


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Be sure to check out our Performance Directory on page 68!

Often Imitated, Never Duplicated—For 18 STRAIGHT YEARS RPM Magazine has been the ORIGINAL Voice Of Wild Street Machines and Extreme Drag Racing WORLDWIDE! Don’t Settle For Less! We DELIVER Insane Fast Cars and Bring You NO POLITICS... JUST ACTION! Your ONLY “Real Time” “Real World” Car Mag...PERIOD!

THE SO Much Horsepower Packed Into One Place... That Place IS RPM Magazine!





Cowmaro........................................................ 54 This beefy late-model Camaro packs a potent punch!

Street Outlaw.......................................................24

If you thought this wild 1950 Chevy 5-window pickup might attract the attention of the local law enforcement, you’d be right!

Trooper-Speed ...........................................................8 Some of them are gearheads. too!



Shop Talk: Seasons Come...Seasons Go...................34 ...But wrenching and racing never change!

Armor Plated Pistons............................................78

Wiseco offers Armour Plating and Armor Glide on its line of pistons. What is it, and why do you need it?

EFI For Nitrous Junkies: Part 3................................82 Harnessing the Harnesses

Down But Not Out.................................................96 Although things haven’t gone exactly as planned, our Project Back On Track Camaro has taught plenty of lessons

Sonic Boom................................................................ 40 Nick Thompson’s ’97 Mustang is armed and ready for action!

The Right Way......................................................104 Steve Yates spearheads the effort to tackle the final few weeks of fabrication before we head to paint


may 2017 | RPM Magazine

www.rpm-mag.com | may 2017



treet racing is glorified in movies, on the web and pretty much everywhere you look. It’s an adrenaline rush that’s great for ratings and views, which all boils down to some big corporation making money.

But more often than not, the ugly reality of it is overlooked as most are never exposed to it. The truth usually will receive a blind eye until it touches someone in an unpleasant way. For those that get away with it, it’s cool and it’s easy to have the attitude

that “nothing bad will ever happen to me.” The fact is, however, that nobody is immune to an accident— and a street racing accident can have catastrophic consequences. Let’s clear the air right now: “street racing” and “street car drag racing” are two entirely different

things. And as a 19-year veteran of the Kentucky State Police, street racing is not an option for Lafe Owens, and he’s seen the not-so-glamorous side of racing on the streets. With 25 years of law enforcement on his resume and a passion for fast true street cars

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may 2017 | RPM Magazine

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may 2017 | RPM Magazine

RACE RED AND READY Owens drives the car to and from the track and clicks off 9-second passes. He installed the front crossbrace and tow hook after trashing his share of rearends in the Shelby.

running through his veins, what’s a fella to do? To some folks this could be a major dilemma, but with some brainstorming and the help of some close friends, Owens was able to come up with a pretty crafty solution. Whoever says that you can’t have your cake and eat it too, we beg to differ. You can. It just takes a little creativity. “I have a passion for true street cars,” shared Lafe, “and with a career in highway safety, street racing

is not an option. I have seen devastation and carnage, and delivered many death notifications to grieving families.” Seeing the gruesome and illegal side of late night racing rendezvous is complicated for a guy who has his own 2011 Shelby SVTPP Mustang sitting in the garage. Circumstances can create opportunities if you just look for them, though, which is exactly what Owens did. “Most of my friends have good

professional jobs and together we started an organization to keep racing on the track, but still have some street cred.” Together Lafe and his buddies masterminded the group: Kytruestreet. “We use established NMRA and NMCA true-street rules with a cruise and a heads-up Top 10 List.” The acceptance of the group and the idea behind it has been well received through central Kentucky, and now over the past couple of

www.rpm-mag.com | may2017



AS LEGAL AS THEY COME Yes sir, it is legit! Fully plated, street legal, and owned and driven by a state trooper. years, Kytruestreet has evolved into two lists. “We now have the original Top 10 heads-up list, and a new King of the Streets Fastest ET list.” Supported by London Dragway from the start, the events now even include payouts to the top three fastest ETs on event nights. To encourage growth and longevity, the group has had to make some changes


may 2017 | RPM Magazine

to allow more cars to participate. For example, with the growing turbo crowd using front exit exhaust, the muffler and behind-the-firewall exhaust exit rules have been waived, but for the most part, the rules stay consistent. Now, with the formation of this true-street group, Owens had the solution for his sticky situation of loving

street car drag racing but not the street race scene… so the next move was to get a car of his own. “My oldest daughter and I looked at a 2011 Shelby SVTPP (Special Vehicle Team Performance Package) Mustang in the showroom at Alton Blakely Ford in Somerset, Kentucky, in late 2010,” explained Owens. “I mentioned to her

www.rpm-mag.com | may2017



may 2017 | RPM Magazine


how maybe one day I would own a car like that.” Fate can be an interesting animal, as although the Mustang that Owens had been wooing over was sold, after a short time, and with only 250 miles on it, the exact same car was traded back in at the same dealership. Now what are the chances of that?

Once he learned of the car being back on the lot, Owens acted quickly and was able to make the deal, and in the fall of 2011 he took ownership of the Race Red Shelby. One of the first modifications the Shelby saw was a Posi Performance ported stock Eaton supercharger. “I remember at that time, and with my

limited budget, I just wanted to run 10s and make 600rwhp on Lee Blankenship’s Mustang Dyno.” Also, being a stickler for the rules, Lafe wasted no time putting in a roll bar. Far too often on the newer cars we don’t see roll bars, most likely because putting such an intrusive piece of equipment into

www.rpm-mag.com | may2017



may 2017 | RPM Magazine


GIMME A BOOST That’s 5.4 L of horsepower, Farva! The supercharged mod motor is tuned by Lee Blankenship Tuning and Performance and is packed with goodies such as a bigger, badder “Black-Ops” TVS blower, Ford Trinity camshafts, 1 7/8-inch American Racing long tube headers, JLT cold air intake and larger Kenne Bell throttle body.

such a nice, new vehicle can’t be easy to stomach. But, as Owens attests to, it’s all about safety; “I put the roll bar in the car early. Not only did I feel it was an important safety feature, but my long term goal was a true 9-second street car.” Owens’ first trip to NMRA saw the car get into the mid-10 second range

with a 10.50 E.T. on slicks which got the juices going for him at the time. “It was my first experience with NMRA tech. They went so far as to check the manufacture date on my helmet, and told me not to bring it back.” Through the years, the ’11 Shelby saw more and more modifications, and eventually the car

dipped into that 9-second territory that Owens was gunning for. The 5.4 L modular engine was tuned by Lee Blankenship at Blankenship Tuning and Performance in Shelbyville, Kentucky. Cranking out the boost is a 1320 Junkie Performance Black-Ops V2 Trinity TVS Supercharg-

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www.rpm-mag.com | may2017



er with a BPS 2.39 pulley. The Shelby emits a healthy ear-pleasing rhythm by way of a pair of 1 7/8-inch American Racing long tube headers with off-road X-Pipe and Ford Racing axle-backs. Out back the Race Red GT500 sits on a braced 8.8 rear-end with 3.73 gears, an Eaton Detroit Truetrac and Moser axles. The 8.8 has had the tubes welded and was been braced by Mike Adams in London, Kentucky. “Having broken the rearend a couple of times, I run a front bumper bar and a tow hook,” says Owens with a smile. “I found it was very


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may 2017 | RPM Magazine

As the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The wicked lines of the Ford factory hot rod are as cool as they come, so Owens hasn’t messed with that perfection. The Weld wheels and Mickey Thompson tires add style and performance.


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may 2017 | RPM Magazine

J. LAFE OWENS’ 2011 SHELBY SVTPP MUSTANG STREET/STRIP Chassis & Suspension: Factory Ford GT 500 chassis with BMR K-member, A-arms, lower control arms, upper control arms with mount, panhard bar and anti-roll bar. CHE torque limiters. Cobra Jet springs and QA1 shocks. RPM roll bar. Body & Paint: Factory Race Red Paint with white stripes. Weld Racing wheels with Mickey Thompson Pro drag radials. Simpson safety belts. Rear Seat delete. Engine: 5.4L modular engine tuned by Lee Blankenship Tuning and Performance. 13-14 Ford Trinity camshafts. 1 7/8-inch American Racing long tube headers with Offroad X-Pipe and Ford Racing tailpipes. 170-degree thermostat. JLT oil separator. BPS radiator support Induction: Kenne Bell 168 throttle body with JLT cold air intake. Ported lower intake. ID 1000 injectors. E85 return fuel system. Fore Innovations hat and rails with Walbro pumps. TR-6 plugs. Power Adder: BPS 2.39 pulley on a 1320 Junkie Performance Black-Ops V2 Trinity TVS blower. Metco 90mm Idler pulley. Thump tensioner. ATI 15% lower. 13-14 Ford Trinity Intercooler. AFCO heat exchanger. Trunk mounted icebox. Electronics & Ignition: MSD 2-Step. Braille battery. Aeroforce wide-band gauge. Transmission: Ford Racing FR500 clutch line, McLeod clutch, MGW shifter and DSS driveshaft. Differential: Braced 8.8 rear-end. 3.73 gear with Eaton Detroit Truetrac and Moser axles. Performance: Best ET of 9.76 in the quarter at 143 miles per hour, October 7, 2016 at London Dragway in London, Kentucky.


hard to load the car onto a trailer or rolloff deck.” Once the Kentucky native put a pair of Mickey Thompson Pro drag radials on the car, he officially achieved the goal he had been after from the start. Owens was now driving the car to and from the track and clicking off 9-second passes in a true street car. The car still has AC, radio, and all the goodies it came with from the factory. To save a bit of weight,

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THE OFFICER BEHIND BARS One of the first modifications the 2011 saw was an RPM rollbar. Years later, on his second run in with NMRA Tech staff, Owens was ordered to install safety harnesses for his now-9-second street car, which he did immediately. The car utilizes a Ford Racing FR500 clutch line, McLeod clutch, MGW shifter, and DSS driveshaft. If you are looking for backseat, you won’t find one as this Pony was ordered with the rear seat delete.




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REALITY CHECK With a career in law enforcement and knowing the devastation a wreck and bust in street racing can bring, Owens keeps his racing at the track. Here, he leaves hard at London Dragway.

PEEK UNDER THE PONY The Shelby sits on a braced 8.8-inch rearend with welded tubes and 3.73 gears on an Eaton Detroit Truetrac and Moser axles.

Lafe Owen s (le friend John ft) with Phillip

Owens did convert the driver’s seat over to a manual base from the original power assembly and removed the odd non-essential item here and there. After all, with a car that tips the scales at 3,800 pounds, give or take, every little bit counts! To date, the Shelby has been a best of 9.76 at 143 miles per hour, which happens to also put him in the #2 spot on the list. According to Lafe, if you’ve ever been passed on the interstate by a trooper that is flying, that’s referred to by them as “Trooper-Speed,” hence the name of his 2011 Race Red Shelby GT500. So tip your hat, shake their hand, be respectful, and just remember, some of them are gearheads, too.

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may 2017 | RPM Magazine


may 2017 | RPM Magazine

story and photos by


riving a wicked tubbed-andblown street machine isn’t for the faint of heart. It is often a taxing experience where you are constantly monitoring gauges, listening to every squeak and rattle, and smelling for telltale signs of impending doom like fuel, other fluids, and

signs of heat and fire. And then there’s the ever-present fear that the local authorities might take exception to one or more of your ride’s cool modifications. For Midland, Texas resident Rusty Theobald, piloting his sinister 1950 Chevy 5-window pro streeter around his West Texas home is always an adventure. But

Toby Brooks

unlike most of us, he has no need to fear the law. He IS the law. Slated to retire at the end of July this year, Theobald has logged 24 years of service to his community in law enforcement, currently a Patrol Sergeant with the Midland County Sherriff’s Department. But don’t let the stereotypes fool you:

www.rpm-mag.com | may 2017




may 2017 | RPM Magazine

NOTHING NASTIER THAN BLACK While Theobald says he wishes the truck were some color other than black since it is so impossible to keep clean, it is hard to argue with just how sinister it looks on the well-prepped Chevy steel. Factory chrome on the impeccable grille, headlight bezels, bumpers, and other trim add just enough contrast, while custom touches like the blower-pierced fiberglass lift-off hood, mildly chopped top, and massive fabricated rear wing let any would-be challenger know this is no sleepy restomod. you’d be much more likely to find him with his nose buried in a Summit catalog rather than his teeth sunk into a cruller at the local donut shop. “I started building cars in the 10th grade,” he said. The gearhead gene has spread among his progeny, too (son Dalton’s pro street Duster was featured in our July 2016 issue). But the elder Theobald’s latest ride is a fast and fun take on modern pro street that has provided plenty of fun on the strip and the street. “I purchased the truck fairly complete from a guy in North Carolina in 2013.

He had traded a pro mod car for it and just wanted to sell it outright, but it was originally built in Florida at some point,” he said. The foundation for a wild ride was well in hand, as the truck had already been treated to a host of modifications. A GM front subframe helped bring the ride height down while offering independent suspension and the convenience of power steering and disc brakes. Out back, a 2x3-inch mild steel backhalf was fabricated using a custom ladder bar setup and coil overs on a narrowed Ford 9-inch rearend.

At the same time, the truck also looked the part, with a miles-deep black basecoat/clearcoat paint job covering the expertly prepped factory sheet metal, the lone exception being a pin-on fiberglass hood. A mildly chopped top adds some definite cool points, while the truck was also treated to a custom rear wing and some nice sheetmetal work inside the factory stepside bed. The truck was also fitted with a six-point cage to add occupant safety and enhanced chassis rigidity. “The truck was priced right and much of the hard part was already

www.rpm-mag.com | may 2017



done,” Theobald said. However, like most any true gearhead, he wasn’t satisfied to leave well enough alone, opting to completely rebuild the big block Chevy and go through the whole truck to suit his personal preferences. First up, a nasty blown Rat motor was fitted together by Mike Cook in Stanton, Texas. The iron 454 block was poked and stroked to a more spacious 502 cubic inches with the help of an Eagle forged steel crank, Eagle

H-beam connecting rods, and Aries 8.5:1 blower slugs. A COMP Cams roller blower cam was installed, and a pair of Brodix heads equipped with Comp roller rockers were fully ported and polished before being torqued into place. Induction is a classic 8/71 Roots blower from Weiand with a pair of Quick Fuel E-85 blower carbs fed by a MagnaFuel electric pump. Topping the blingy and breathy tower

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may 2017 | RPM Magazine

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PARTY IN THE BACK The narrowed 9-inch Ford housing has been beefed up thanks to a pair of 40-spline Moser axles and a tall 4.56 Moser gear set. The twin nitrous bottles were once used for juice when the Chevy ran nitrous (before the upgrade to a blower) but now are used for compressed air storage. Check out the cool LED third brake light behind the Simpson parachute tether.

NA NA NA NA...BAT TRUCK The huge fabricated rear wing looks to have been crafted by the Dark Knight himself, but Theobald says it is actually functional.It helps keep the big Chevy’s weight distributed by adding substantial down force at top speed.

of forced induction intimidation is an equally impressive polished aluminum Enderle Big-N-Ugly injection scoop adapted for dual carb duty. Ignition is managed by an MSD 6AL box with a Pro Billet distributor. A pair of custom-built stainless

headers with 4-inch exhaust and dual FlowMaster mufflers route spent gases rearward while keeping the roar to a barely-legal throb—even at idle. Backing the 1,100 hp mill is a fortified GM Turbo 400 trans with a manual reverse

valve body. A PTC 5,500 stall converter helps the blown Rat behave well on the street without compromising the hook on the track. Theobald also opted to beef up the rest of the drivetrain to keep up with the new power. The narrowed 9-inch

housing was upgraded with Moser 40-spline gun-drilled axles and Moser 4.56 gears. With all the focus on making the truck go faster, Deputy Theobald decided it would be wise to update the truck’s brakes, too. He added a 4-corner disc

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www.rpm-mag.com | may 2017



SEATING FOR TWO. BARELY. The Chevy’s interior is tight but well appointed with a full cage and a number of custom touches to go along with the classic body color steel dash. setup and a Simpson chute to add some assistance in the event the new binders need some help on the top end (Theobald says the truck has cranked off a best of 8.69 in the quarter). Other updates came in the interior, where a pair of cloth covered racing buckets, a billet steering wheel, and a quartet of aftermarket gauges contrast nicely with the well-preserved factory steel Chevy dashboard. A B&M Pro Ratchet shift-

er and an on-board fire extinguisher have both been mounted to the carpeted trans tunnel, while custom flamed door panels add



B ELT D R I V E SYST EM Patented High Torq Drive™ reinforced belt runs dry, spins with less friction than timing chains or gear drives and absorbs harmonics. Kit hardware is all Grade 8 Allen and Torx™ design. Cam timing is externally adjustable. 2 Piece Pulley is infinitely adjustable ±10°. Solid Pulley is adjustable ±8° in 2° increments. Crank Pulley is heat-treated steel and incorporates a High Torq Drive™ tooth configuration. Hard coated Billet Aluminum Upper Pulley features patented High Torq Drive™ tooth configuration. Teflon® coated vacuum cam and crank seals. Accessories available to run distributor drives, fuel pumps or oil pumps off front of cam. For product videos and information, visit us at Jesel.com or call us at 732-901-1800


may 2017 | RPM Magazine

www.rpm-mag.com | may 2017



NASTY OL’ RAT A 1,100 horsepower 502 ci big block Chevy now resides where a docile 92-horse 216 ci inline six once lived. The 8/71 Weiand supercharger adds the familiar look and whine of a classic pro streeter, while the E-85-friendly Quick Fuel carbs keep the thirsty Rat happy. A modified polished Enderle injection scoop tops the whole thing, necessitating a hole in the fiberglass hood despite the massive underhood clearance present in the classic pickup.


may 2017 | RPM Magazine

NICE RIDE, OFFICER Deputy Rusty Theobald proudly poses behind his classic 5-window pro streeter.

an additional custom touch. Meanwhile, the cleanly fabricated cage with funny car supports adds safety, and the matching black color keeps it classy. “If I had it to do over, I’d

probably go with a different color,” Theobald said. “Black is too hard to keep clean.” In the dust of West Texas, that’s no doubt true. So the next time you feel the sudden pierce of blue and red

lights in your rear view while you’re piloting your mostly-legal ride on the street, you better hope the officer stopping you is as cool as Randy Theobald. Maybe he’ll let you off with a warning.

RUSTY THEOBALD’S PRO STREET 1950 CHEVY PICKUP Chassis Type & Mods: 2x3-inch square tube backhalf with custom ladder bars. 1970 Chevy Nova front subframe. Suspension: FRONT: Strange single-adjustable shocks. Aerospace disc brakes. REAR: Custom ladder bar setup with Strange doubleadjustable shocks. Aerospace disc brakes. Body & Paint: 3-inch chopped top. Custom fiberglass hood and fabricated rear wing with otherwise stock GM factory sheetmetal. PPG jet black basecoat/clearcoat paint. Engine: 502 ci BBC built by Mike Cook of Stanton, Texas. GM block with Brodix heads. Aries 8.5:1 pistons with Eagle H-beam connecting rods and forged Eagle stroker crankshaft. COMP Cams roller blower camshaft with COMP lifters and COMP roller rocker arms. ARP fasteners. Milodon 8-quart oil pan, Mezeire electric water pump, and Champion aluminum radiator. Induction & Power Adder: Polished Weiand 8/71 supercharger with dual Quick Fuel E-85 750 CFM carbs. Polished Enderle Big-nUgly scoop. MagnaFuel electric fuel pump. Electronics & Ignition: MSD 6AL box with MSD Pro Billet distributor and MSD plug wires. Exhaust: Custom-built stainless headers with 4-inch exhaust and FlowMaster mufflers. Transmission & Converter: GM Turbo 400 with manual reverse valve body and PTC 5,500 converter. Tires & Wheels: FRONT: 15x5 Weld Racing Magnum Drag 2.0 wheels with 4.5x15-inch Mickey Thompson Front Runner tires. REAR: 15x15 Weld Racing Magnum 2.0 wheels with 33x22.5-15 Hoosier Quick Time Pro tires. Performance: 1,100 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm, 900 ft./lbs of torque. 8.69 seconds best in the quarter-mile.

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www.rpm-mag.com | may 2017




story and photos by


he vast majority of us tend to gravitate towards a hobby that is season-specific. Hobbies and passions are an integral part of our lives. Without them, we simply go


SEASONS GO >> ...But wrenching and racing never leave you!

through life working and not being good stewards of the limited time we have here on earth. When I was younger, I focused each season on one of my many passions. I could barely wait for winter to come

may 2017 | RPM Magazine

so I could ski, ice skate, snow shoe and enjoy the long Coyote hunting season. Spring welcomed fly fishing and a quest for the elusive monster trout. Summer offered more opportunities to fish, enjoy

car shows, ride the 4-wheeler and dirt bike, and of course drag race. Fall awakened my passion for hunting, both small and big game, and my all-time favorite: waterfowl season.

For many years, I somehow managed to juggle all of my hobbies in between my work schedule and I looked forward to the change of seasons. For those of you who know me or read my column



1: Here is a new t-shirt for you all: “Seasons Come and Seasons Go but Wrenching and Racing Never Leave You.� Sure, in the spring and summer we enjoy driving, racing, or showing off our prized possession. Autumn reminds us of the upgrades that need to be done and parts that we need to order. Winter becomes an all-out thrash to rebuild better and faster than last season. 2: Being a tinkerer, I gravitated toward fly-fishing as it kept me busy in my shop tying and creating my own flys. In the pursuit of more performance, my addiction for the perfect rod and reel got out of hand. Each river and each region needed its own rig and tune up, much like different race tracks, classes, and altitude/ air density. 3: Fly-fishing all over the country for these beautiful fish kept me busy during my retirement from drag racing and kept my OCD very active for a while.

3 on a regular basis, you are aware I have a serious case of OCD. I am the consummate student and a firm believer in constant and never-ending

www.rpm-mag.com | may 2017



4: This is the car that gave my daughter big block fever. Sure we love fishing, bow hunting, 4-wheeling, martial arts, and snuggling on the couch together...but nothing beats spending a beautiful day at the drag strip or car show and working in our shop together.


5: Our family race car, a 572 ci big block pro street Camaro sitting next to the reason for its existence. I wonder if my daughter is still going to love me when she finds out that this hungry beast ate her college fund. improvement. So it’s no surprise to hear that my fly fishing hobby turned into a very expensive addiction, in a very short amount of time. I had multiple thousand-dollar rod and reel rigs for the different regions I fished. You see, after fishing EVERY river in my own region, I ventured out west and fished the famous rivers of the Rocky Mountains that I read about in all


may 2017 | RPM Magazine

of the magazines. I even fished as far as Canada and Alaska in the pursuit to quench my appetite for improvement. Naturally, my passion for skiing and hunting were approached with the same insane level of enthusiasm. As time progressed, though, I focused the majority of my energy building my business and had very little spare time to enjoy most of my hobbies.

Like many of us, after getting married I became the family man and decided to grow up. My new focus was my family and being the best dad I could be. It’s funny—the first passions I put aside were drag racing and motocross. Looking back, this was probably one of the worst decisions I could have ever made. You see, I am a tinkerer. Plain and

刀椀瘀攀琀 ⬀ 刀椀瘀攀琀 一甀琀 ⬀ 刀椀瘀攀琀 匀琀甀搀

6 6: Thanks to a fun day at the drag strip and a very understanding wife, my fly-fishing waders got put aside for my fire suit and helmet.

7: Waterfowl hunting is the ultimate non-car hobby for me. The intense preparation is much like drag racing. The quest to keep your boat running perfectly, and re-designing it for each hunt keeps me tinkering in my shop. Loading up the truck and trailer the night before and the long road trips all have a similar resonance. simple, I was born to fix things, make them faster, stronger, and more reliable. Fixing things for other people kept my game sharp, but was not the same as doing it for myself. This cycle slowly took the sparkle from my eye as the years passed. Recognizing this in the early stage, my wife prompted me to buy the Harley Davidson I talked about for years. This was just what I needed, but it unleashed my OCD into a new level of ridiculousness. Within three years I made every possible upgrade to a brand new Springer Softail and even pioneered a few of my own secrets. This kept me and my OCD happy for a while and re-ignited the sparkle in my eye. My home shop turned into a Harley shop, customizing bikes for my friends and not long after for their friends. Soon after I stopped drag racing, I hung up my skis and I now much preferred spending a snow day snuggled

with my wife and daughter. Fly fishing soon followed suit, but thankfully my daughter caught the fishing fever, and the two of us now spend many care-free summer days fishing remote ponds and lakes. Hunting was perhaps one of the most difficult hobbies to let

䴀甀氀琀椀ⴀ䘀甀渀挀琀椀漀渀愀氀 唀渀氀椀洀椀琀攀搀 倀漀猀猀椀戀椀氀椀琀椀攀猀 䄀嘀䄀䬀 䴀愀砀䐀甀琀礀 䘀氀攀砀 吀漀漀氀 䬀椀琀 ∠ ㌀ⴀ椀渀ⴀ㨀 刀椀瘀攀琀Ⰰ 刀椀瘀攀琀 一甀琀 ⬀ 刀椀瘀攀琀 匀琀甀搀 ∠ 䘀氀攀砀椀戀氀攀 栀愀渀搀氀攀猀 昀漀爀 攀愀猀礀 猀琀漀爀愀最攀      眀椀琀栀漀甀琀 氀漀漀猀椀渀最 愀渀礀 氀攀瘀攀爀愀最攀⸀  ∠ 唀渀椀焀甀攀 儀甀椀挀欀匀眀椀琀挀栀 昀攀愀琀甀爀攀 昀漀爀    爀愀瀀椀搀 昀甀渀挀琀椀漀渀愀氀 挀栀愀渀最攀 ∠ 䠀攀愀瘀礀 搀甀琀礀 猀甀瀀瀀漀爀琀椀渀最 猀琀愀椀渀氀攀猀猀    昀愀猀   昀愀猀琀攀渀攀爀猀 愀渀搀 猀琀爀甀挀琀甀爀愀氀 昀愀猀琀攀渀攀爀猀

刀椀瘀攀琀 ㄀⼀㐀ᴠ ⠀㘀⸀㐀洀洀⤀ 刀椀瘀攀琀 一甀琀 ㄀⼀㈀ᴠ  ⼀ 䴀㄀㈀ 刀椀瘀攀琀 匀琀甀搀 㔀⼀㄀㘀ᴠ ⼀ 䴀㠀 

7 go of, because it was one I learned from and shared with my dad. We shared a storybook four-decade passion for hunting together until his passing. As a tribute to him, I now turkey hunt every spring, but wind up crying like a sissy every time I hear the first gobble.

Waterfowling, my all-time absolute favorite pastime, is still very much alive in my heart and mind…just awaiting the return of my beloved young hunting partner. All of my nephews joined the Marines a year apart from each other, and when the oldest left for boot camp, I

刀椀瘀攀琀⼀刀椀瘀攀琀 一甀琀 䐀爀椀氀氀 䄀搀愀瀀琀攀爀猀

䔀û漀爀琀氀攀猀猀 愀渀搀 䔀ϻ挀椀攀渀琀 䜀攀琀 琀栀攀 樀漀戀 搀漀渀攀 昀愀猀琀 䄀嘀䄀䬀 刀嘀䐀 愀渀搀 刀一䐀 䐀爀椀氀氀 䄀搀愀瀀琀攀爀猀 ∠ 䰀攀瘀攀爀愀最攀 琀栀攀 瀀漀眀攀爀 漀昀 瀀漀眀攀爀 琀漀漀氀    昀漀爀 攀û漀爀琀氀攀猀猀 爀椀瘀攀琀椀渀最 ∠ 唀瀀 琀漀 ㈀砀 愀猀 昀愀猀琀 愀猀 洀愀渀甀愀氀 琀漀漀氀猀 ∠ 匀洀愀氀氀 瀀爀漀漀氀攀 昀漀爀 攀砀琀爀攀洀攀 瀀漀爀琀愀戀椀氀椀琀礀 ∠ 唀猀攀 礀漀甀爀 搀爀椀氀氀 昀漀爀 搀爀椀氀氀椀渀最 愀渀搀 爀椀瘀攀琀椀渀最⸀    一漀琀 漀渀攀 漀爀 琀栀攀 漀琀栀攀爀⸀ 䴀漀搀攀氀猀

刀嘀䐀ⴀ㄀ 㨀 唀瀀 琀漀 ㄀⼀㐀ᴠ 爀椀瘀攀琀猀 刀一䐀ⴀ㄀ ⴀ嬀匀⼀䴀崀㨀 唀瀀 琀漀 ㌀⼀㠀ᴠ 漀爀 䴀㄀  爀椀瘀攀琀 渀甀琀猀




刀䤀䐀䜀䔀䜀䄀吀䔀 吀伀伀䰀匀 ☀ 吀䔀䌀䠀

www.rpm-mag.com | may 2017



lost the most hardcore, waterfowling buddy one could ever imagine. I pray every day for his safe return and the opportunity to rekindle our tradition when he is finished with his tour of duty. The old saying, “the more things change, the more they stay the same” is total nonsense. As time went on, everything was changing around me and NOTHING was staying the same! Fast forward to a few years ago. Some of my loyal readers have heard this story before, but it’s crucial to bringing the meaning of this article into full bloom. On a routine trip to my local auto parts store, my daughter and I went to visit my buddy Scott and get his advice on some parts for our lifted GMC Sierra. As always, our conversation turned to


8: There is something very therapeutic about having something that needs repair, getting lost in deep thought plotting a plan of attack, opening up your tool box and selecting the proper tool, and fixing it with your own hands. Some may not understand this, but what I call “Wrench Therapy” saves me from the stresses of life.

drag racing and Scott invited us to spend the day with him and his family at the drag strip. Scott has an 8-second, wheel-standing, 1969 big block Chevelle that is absolutely stunning and ferocious at the same time. We accepted his gracious offer and drove to our local dragstrip the following weekend. Within seconds of our arrival, he hurried my daughter over to his car and drove her to tech inspection with him. Upon her return, it was obvious that my then-eight-year-old daughter had a bad case of big block fever. She had a smile from ear to ear and a look in her eye that said, “that was so bad-@$$!” We had a blast together that day and I was reminded of what was missing from my life…but I kept it to myself. On the way home

may 2017 | RPM Magazine

9: The quest for excellence and constant and never ending improvement can from the track that most certainly be traced day, my daughter asked to a bad case of OCD. The why I got rid of my hot rods and stopped drag only people that think this is a bad disease racing. I told her that are the ones who are happy with mediocrity, not to mention I needed to focus on the people who think squandering your children’s college fund building our business, building our home, and on a serious extreme horsepower car is a waste of money.


making sure our family was taken care of. She nodded and in a very adult moment told me she understood. She then told me something I will never forget for as long as I live. She said, “Dad, you always tell me that God loves to see us happy. You were so happy today that I think he wants you to build us a race car.” I broke into tears… for two reasons. The first was how blown away I was with the maturity of my daughter for simply saying that! The second reason was because it was the TRUTH! It hit me hard and deep, and I knew she was right, because

I truly felt so happy that day. When we got home we shared our amazing day with my wife. When I told her what our daughter said on the ride home, her only response was, “I agree! What are we waiting for!” So here we are. Winter is finally winding down in the northeast. This past season, I actually went waterfowl hunting twice (couldn’t help myself). I never went coyote hunting….in fact, I never even bought my coyote permit. I didn’t go skiing, ice skating, or snow shoeing even once. The funny thing is, I’ve never been more happy. My fingers are stained

with grease, and I have spent every spare moment working on our family race car in my own shop teaching my daughter how to wrench. The stresses of life have melted off over the winter from something I refer to as “Wrench Therapy.” Wrenching and the quest for high performance is very much like a martial art to me. You never really reach the top or stop learning as long as you are doing it. It satisfies every one of my over-thetop desires for excellence. My OCD has a whole new meaning these days. We now refer to it as Obsessive Camaro Disorder. As spring quickly approaches, it’s unlikely

I will put my waders on in pursuit of that elusive monster trout that had once haunted me. Instead, I’ll be putting on my fire suit and helmet and will do my best to wear out a perfectly good set of tires. My advice to you: do whatever it takes to keep the passion in you alive. Life is too short for regrets and wishes. I read this quote the other day that sums things up perfectly, “Are you really living life....or are you just paying bills until you die?” So in closing, I will leave you with this: seasons may come and seasons may go, but ’tis the season my friends. Be Jolly!

www.rpm-mag.com | may 2017


story and photos by

Tabitha Sizemore


ho doesn’t love a good ol’ fashioned swap meet? It’s a flea market paradise for the gearhead, young

or old. You never know what you’ll find, because as they say, ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.’ From Hot Wheels to fenders, from door panels to cylinder heads,

not only is it a good opportunity to do a little shopping and browsing, but you may get to spin a yarn or two, and probably hear some tall tales in return.



The largest cap on the market!

No need to fight getting ice into your intercooler again! With PRP’s new billet machined extra-large filler caps it is not a problem at all. These one of kind extra-large caps offer almost a 7” opening and are sealed with a Buna-N O-ring for a water tight seal. All kits are completed with an anodized finish in either clear, red, blue, or black. Two available styles complete with stainless steel hardware in either a weld on version, or bolt on version.



may2017 | RPM Magazine

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www.rpm-mag.com | may 2017



FRONT AND CENTER The 427 ci small block Ford has a huge Precision Turbo PT106 CEA turbocharger hanging off the front, pushing loads of boost down its throat. An early March swap meet at a local dragstrip was the perfect convenience and accommodation to get a closer look at a beautiful 1997 Sonic Blue Ford Mustang that we had been ogling. If you want to make


a few heads snap at a swap meet on a crisp early spring day, simply have a wicked blue SN95 Stang come rolling in on an open trailer. A healthy sized snail front and center, the eye-catching fender exit

may2017 | RPM Magazine

exhaust, some laundry hanging off the back, and some of them ol’ radials mounted up—that’ll cause more than a few cellphones to come out of pockets. Nick ‘Dooser’ Thompson has

always had a love for drag racing, and just as many drivers in the small tire racing world, wheeling a Mustang is a fairly common choice. Albeit, the SN95 platform, such as Thompson’s car, may not be as pop-

ular a choice as the infamous Fox body platform, which is still going strong some 23 years after they ceased production. The SN95 came about in 1994 as an updated version of the Fox platform, and ran

FREQUENT FLYER The Sonic Blue SN95 is all steel with the exception of the hood. Nick also installed an Optic Armor front windshield.

www.rpm-mag.com | may 2017


NO STORAGE ON THIS SHELF, BUT THE LAUNDRY HAS BEEN FOLDED A cool Racecraft wing and chute mount hang off the back of the Mustang. until 2004. Although sales numbers didn’t come near those of the Fox body, they are certainly as attractive when done right, and Thompson’s Sonic Blue ‘97 is definitely a “done right” example. For Thompson, his first tastes of drag racing didn’t come in the package of a turbocharged pony.


That came along later on down the road. Thompson’s need for speed first started elsewhere. “My love for speed started with imports,” said Nick, “after all, at the time I started driving, The Fast and the Furious was the big

may2017 | RPM Magazine

SONIC BOOM NICE SHOES! The Sonic Blue Mustang sits on Billet Specialties Comp 5 wheels up front and Bogart Bolted RT wheels with double beadlocks on the rear.

www.rpm-mag.com | may 2017



FORGET THE RICE. BURN THE CORN! Double the cylinders, double the fun! Thompson traded in his love for 4-cylinder imports for 8 cylinders of boosted horsepower nestled neatly between the framerails of classic American iron. Bennett Racing Engines prepared the methanol-burning 427 small block using a Dart Iron Eagle block, Lunati billet crank, GRP aluminum rods, and Ross pistons.

A GREAT COMBO 1,081 HP & 841 ft-lbs. Torque

Matt Woodard built a powerhouse big-block Chevy for Super Comp class racing with an Edelbrock Super Victor II intake #2897 and Victor 24° cylinder heads. These components were prepped by Shaut Racing Heads and the block features a 4.625" bore and 4.50" stroke for 605 cubic inches. Testing was performed at Edelbrock’s R&D dyno facility in Torrance, California. “Making 1,080+ horsepower with conventional aluminum cylinder heads is really amazing.” — Matt Woodard





may2017 | RPM Magazine


NICK ‘DOOSER’ THOMPSON’S 1997 FORD MUSTANG NO-TIME DRAG CAR Chassis Type & Mods: Factory frame, tubbed and caged with 25.5 certification to run 7.50 quarter-mile elapsed times. Suspension & Brakes: REAR: Menscer Motorsports custom-valved double-adjustable coil overs. Racecraft upper and lower control arms and wishbone. Strange brakes, with dual calipers on the rear. FRONT: Menscer Motorsports double-adjustable custom valve struts with Racecraft chromoly k-member and control arms. Heim end joints for all control arms with factory spindles and Strange brakes. Body & Paint: All steel except hood. Racecraft wing and parachute mount. Optic Armor windshield. Sonic Blue paint. Billet Specialties Comp 5 front wheels and Bogart Bolted RT rear wheels with double beadlocks. Engine: Bennett Racing 427 cubic inch small block Ford engine, 9.5 deck, Iron Eagle block. Lunati Pro Crankshaft, GRP aluminum rods, Ross pistons, Lunati lifters. Bennett turbo spec camshaft. Bennett TFS Hi-Port cylinder heads. PAC valvesprings and retainers, Jesel shaft rockers. All ARP hardware, studs, and bolts. Induction: Proline 4150 elbow. Aeromotive mechanical fuel pump. Billet Atomizer 550pph injectors. Runs on methanol. Power Adder: Precision PT106 CEA Turbocharger. Tial wastegate, ProCharger blow-off valve. Electronics: Haltech Elite 2500. Haltech WB1. Haltech Can Bus/Racepak IQ3 dash. Transmission & Converter: Reid-cased Powerglide by BTE. ProTorque Revolution converter. Differential: Moser M9 9-inch rearend with all Moser components. Performance (quarter-mile): This is no-time drag racing so we’re keeping those numbers hush hush! Special thanks: Nick has had a lot of help from good folks to make such strides in such a short period of time on the car. “I would like to thank my wife for sharing our love for drag racing. A big thanks to my good friend, Blake. He wired the entire car and was there every step of the way. He was there from the moment we picked up the engine, ’til the first start up. Thanks to Dynosty and Billet Atomizer for going out of their way to give me some great deals on parts and for their support.”

SO FRESH. SO CLEAN. Massive 550lb injectors are held in place by Edelbrock billet rails. Haltech was charged with engine management and the engine bay is surprisingly clutter-free when considering the amount of power this boosted small block is capable of producing. thing. That being said, I did at least have good taste in imports worth drag racing.” For Thompson, it all started with a 1994 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX, and from the day he was old enough to drive, he was in the middle of the racing scene, no matter where it took place.

Eventually, Nick made the transition away from the 4-cylinder and although he still maintains some of his love for the high-revvin’, smaller cubic-inch engines, he realized that to make big power and have some reliability, a change was needed. “After driving a

boosted V-8, I never looked back,” chuckled Nick. As they say, there is no replacement for displacement, so Nick began shopping. Thompson spotted this 1997 Mustang for sale on a well-known racing forum in mid-2015, and really wanted it. At the time however, the price was

www.rpm-mag.com | may 2017



SAFE AND SECURE The Mustang retains a bunch of the factory interior mixed with a pair of race bucket seats. The cage carries a 25.5 SFI certification, meaning it is good to run as quick as 7.50 in the ¼-mile.

just out of his reach. Sometimes persistence is the key to success, so Nick continued to keep in contact with the owner of the Sonic Blue Stang. “I messaged him back and forth and kept in touch until he relisted the car for sale

later that same year.” It’s funny how things sometimes work out as just as the ’Stang was relisted, it so happened that Thompson just sold the drivetrain out of his Fox body. So the gears in his head started turning and the pieces

of the puzzle began to fall into place. “I threw out a few options that I was able to do on the table to the seller, and we eventually worked out a deal for the car as a roller.” Once the final deal was made and

accepted by both parties, Nick couldn’t get hooked up to the trailer quickly enough to hit the road towards his new prize. Road trip time! Thompson wound up with the ’97 in January 2016 with the original plan of

making passes in early 2018. Determination and motivation kept Nick digging in towards his goal, and with the combination of scoring some smoking deals on parts and the ability to put in the extra hours at work, he was able to

800-626-1828 www.bteracing.com Bill Taylor Enterprises 2 Memphis Avenue • Mt. Pleasant, MS 38649 Some Parts Not Legal for Sale or Use on Pollution-Controlled Vehicles


Top Sportsman / Top Dragster FEATURES: New BTE Magnum SFI Approved Case, Ringless Vasco Turbo Spline Input Shaft, Mega Racing Band, Two Ring Servo, Performance Servo Spring, Coated Deep Aluminum Pan, BTE Straight Cut Gear set (Available in 1.80, 1.98, and 1.69 ratios), Roller Tail housing/Rear Cover, New BTE High Volume Pump, Roller Governor Support, 10 clutch drum, BTE Top Sportsman High Pressure Transbrake Valve body, Dyno-tested.

$359599 Bracket Powerglide FEATURES: 1.76 Gear set with 4340 forged output shaft and housing, Steel Clutch Hub w/ 5 clutch pack, Rebuilt Pump, Two ring servo, BTE Bracket Transbrake Valve body, Kevlar lined Band, Dyno-tested.



may2017 | RPM Magazine

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Trick Flow’s PowerPort ® 365 aluminum cylinder heads were designed and built for you to win races. These extreme performance race heads for big block Chevy engines flow a massive 424 cfm @ .900" lift. The high-strength castings can withstand enormous amounts of compression and RPM. Rectangular-shaped 365cc CNC Competition Ported runners, 119cc heart-shaped chambers, CNC bowl blended valve seat transitions, 24° intake valve angles with 4° side cants, and the highest quality valvetrain components help make PowerPort 365 heads the best choice for your car. Use PowerPort 365 heads on your engine and turn your goal of winning into reality! Dyno Results PowerPort 365

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www.rpm-mag.com | may 2017


BABY GOT BACK The Ford sits on a Moser M9 9-inch rearend with all Moser components. Nick is also using custom valved double-adjustable coilovers out back with Racecraft upper and lower control arms and a Racecraft wishbone.

ALL BUSINESS The gutted steel trunk lid hides a fuel cell for the methanol, a water/ice box for the intercooler and of course, the battery for power.


whittle away at the build way faster than he had anticipated. The Mustang was actually moving under its own power in the fall of 2016. In fact, to get it there, Thompson had even went so far as to sell his

truck to help build the engine, but as he says, “whatever it takes. Right?” Sometimes you just gotta do, what ya gotta do! As far from his former 4-cylinder days as it could be, Nick now wheels

may2017 | RPM Magazine

a 427 cubic inch small block Ford by Bennett Racing Engines. The 9.5 deck engine has a Dart Iron Eagle block at its foundation. A Lunati Pro crankshaft, GRP aluminum rods, Ross pistons, and

a Bennett Turbo Spec camshaft all rotate inside the small block. A pair of Bennett-worked TFS hi-port cylinder heads sit atop the 427, housing Jesel shaft rockers and PAC valve springs.

Front and center, breathing loads of healthy boost down the throat of the potent powerplant is a Precision Turbo PT106 CEA turbocharger. An Aeromotive mechanical fuel pump feeds a healthy

dose of methanol to the 550 pph fuel injectors. The ’97 Mustang gets its power to the ground through a Reid-cased Powerglide transmission built by none other than BTE

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MEET THE THOMPSONS From left to right: Trina, Jase, Nick, and Brantley.

and equipped with a ProTorque converter. Out back, the Ford is sitting on an M9 fabricated 9-inch rear end complete with all Moser components. Strange brakes can be found on all four corners with dual calipers on the rear, along with a set of double-beadlocked Bogart Bolted RT wheels. Since Nick plans on joining the ranks of the no-time drag racing scene in 2017, we can’t disclose any

horsepower numbers or potential elapsed times. Right now, we can tell you that the 10.5/275 classes look to be a good fit but he’s also considering some 26-inch tire drags. So keep a close eye out for this wild Sonic Blue boosted ’97 Stang in the staging lanes this season. We’re sure you will get almost as big of a rush watching it as the guy behind the wheel driving it!



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may2017 | RPM Magazine

www.rpm-mag.com | may2017


story by

S tan S mith

photos by

D ustin W ince



rudge and no-time drag racing have become all the rage with gearheads, young and old. But, as much as TV and the web try to convince you otherwise, most of it takes place legally at dragstrips around the world. It’s as close as it gets to street racing without the obvious ramifications. So it’s no wonder we are seeing a whole new breed of drag racers emerge because of these new ideas in headsup first-to-the-finish line drags, and John Dougherty is a part of that new breed. Wait a minute though. Racing side by side on an instant green light start without times posted is not something new. In

fact, its how drag racing started. It just somehow got lost in the mix when heads-up class racing took hold of high-power, thrill-seeking car owners and fans alike. There’s no doubt that heads-up class racing provides intense action but, as history shows us, it too often becomes a money game that is not within the budget of many. The result is either the same cars winning time after time or dwindling participation. So, while change can be tough, sometimes it provides new energy for not only those who mothballed their cars from class racing, but also to encourage an entirely fresh generation of enthusiasts and racers. And



may 2017 | RPM Magazine

There’s something about the look of this SS that says don’t mess with me. A very keen eye might notice the trick 15-inch conversion on the rear of the car.

AWESOME ALL THE WAY AROUND Despite being a 1,000-plus horsepower street machine, this 2012 Camaro SS looks pretty much as it did the day a teenage John Dougherty drove it off the lot from new. However, to the trained eye, telltale clues like the front bumper-dumped exhaust and the burnt Mickey Thompson residue on the rear quarters share the real story: this Chevy is no sleepy stocker!

www.rpm-mag.com | may2017



may 2017 | RPM Magazine


SPOILERED ROTTEN John ordered the car with the dove tail spoiler and heritage grille. But that wasn’t quite enough for the teenage gearhead…before he drove it off the lot he had long tube headers and a full exhaust installed. This car sees plenty of street driving despite the fact that these tires don’t quite look to be trooperapproved. Dougherty runs on Mickey Thompson 15-inch Pro radial tires out back.

with manufacturers giving us the second coming of cool, high powered muscle cars, it’s pretty easy to grab a car and just going racing. But beware, that can lead to an addiction suffered by most reading this, including the owner of this stout 2012 Camaro SS.


Some car owners pride themselves in saying that they can drive their car on the street, lay waste to a few worthy challengers, and drive it to work (or school) the next day. No longer is it about massaging our egos by boasting about ETs (many of

which are exaggerated anyway, especially on the web). Now it’s about who you can beat on race day or even who you can call out and give a good run for their money. Call-outs are common and over the past few years we’ve seen a number of grudge and no-time classes appear that take the best of both worlds (of class and grudge racing) and mash them together. Nothing levels the playing field in a drag race more than not having a clue of what the car beside you is capable of running…so good no-time racers will keep their ETs and performance numbers off the web. That, however, is a

www.rpm-mag.com | may2017


COWMARO tough job for John, as he is a devout Youtuber and makes drag racing vlogs and videos of what its really like owning, maintaining, and driving a 1000+hp street car, and of course, documenting the build and additions to it, as well. “You can find me by searching ‘John Doc’ on youtube,” said Dougherty. “The car is known as the Cowmaro because it’s a heavyweight.”


Dougherty has his hands full at 23 and recently graduated from Campbell University in December with a degree in Professional Golf Management BBA and is actually a PGA Class A teaching professional. On top of this he currently works for RPM Motorsports in North Carolina doing their online marketing and advertising, and of course his growing Youtube channel about drag racing and fast street cars is a going concern, as well. The Camaro was actually purchased new while Dougherty was in high school and working for his neighbor’s Chevy Dealership (Valley Chevrolet). At that very young age, though, he had already developed a taste for performance and before it left the dealership it had Corsa exhaust with long tube headers


installed. “I drove this car daily up until December of 2016, when the 10-point cage was installed,” he said. But it was back when he was a sophomore in college that his love for drag racing started, when the car received an RPM Motorsports cam. “The car would run 12.4 at 118mph until I destroyed the rearend,” Dougherty added. From that point, the car went back to RPM Motorsports and received a Strange 9-inch rearend conversion and drag race coilovers and was raced by John for a year or so before things got really crazy. “It went under the knife in a big way at RPM for a 6-month turbo engine and transmission build.” When it was done, despite the amazing new power, John says the car was as reliable as stock and he drove it every single day to class, the store, and of course the golf course, even with the 5-inch bumper-exit exhaust. He quickly realized, after running some some fast passes while only wearing a stock seatbelt that the car needed serious attention to safety and it went back in for a 10-point cage, race

may 2017 | RPM Magazine

IT’S A TIGHT FIT... ...but it works great and looks top-shelf. Jeff Short at RPM Motorsports gets credit for all the piping and turbo setup.

PRETTY MUCH STOCK. SERIOUSLY. The mostly factory LS3 retains its stock block, crank, heads and more. Wiseco pistons are mated to Compstar rods and ARP head studs were installed. The really big addition is the massive Precision Turbo billet 88/91 unit. seats and proper SFI race harnesses. “I love the fact that Jeff at RPM Motorsports was able to keep all the interior stock looking, even the rear seats,” Dougherty said. “All of this build was done in-house at RPM Motorsports in North Carolina, they are amazing guys that do

amazing work.... hell they even hired me!”


When you look at what Dougherty’s SS is capable of, it’s amazing how much of it is still factory original.

www.rpm-mag.com | may2017



may 2017 | RPM Magazine


FRESH ROAST Dougherty heats up the rear Mickeys emitting copious amounts of smoke prior to another testing run.

Use your QR code reader app on your smart phone top see the Cowmaro in action!

JOHN DOUGHERTY’S 2012 STREET/STRIP CAMARO SS Chassis Type & Mods: OEM Camaro chassis with stock-type rear IRS configuration. Suspension: Mirror Image Autoparts 15-inch conversion kit, Lingenfelter double adjustable drag coil overs front and rear. Body & Paint: Stock OEM body, doors, hood, trunk, bumpers and windows. Factory paint. Engine: Stock cubic inch LS3 with stock block, crank, heads, and intake. Wiseco pistons with Compstar rods. Custom RPM Motorsports cam. ARP head studs. Fore triple pump fuel system with Holley fuel rails and 85lb injectors. Plans are to make the jump to 220lb injectors when the car goes on E85 fuel. Power Adder: Precision Turbo billet 88/91with all piping setup done by Jeff Short at RPM Motorsports. Electronics: 2-step, AMS Boost controller and Davis Industries bump box. Transmission & Converter: RPM Transmissions Turbo 400 with brake and Yank 10.5-inch converter. Differential: Strange 9-inch with Driveshaft Shop axles and Driveshaft Shop one-piece driveshaft. Tires & Wheels: FRONT: 17X4 Race Stars with 28x6 Mickey Thompson tires. REAR: 15x10 Race Stars with 275 Radial Pro Mickey Thompsons. Performance: Can’t tell. This is a grudge race street car. Special Thanks: Thanks to my entire family. My mom and dad, (who are both named Pat oddly enough) and sister Taylor. My neighbor Ken Wallace who allowed me to get this car and all the guys from RPM Motorsports, Jeff Short, Ryan Robinson, Martin Cox, Donnie Long, Chris Crawford, and my good friends who would help me the whole time, Try Sellers, and Wesley Devane. YouTube channel and cool links: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCopG_BLcwnTGHT-pxoTmVng https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJ8W9VvRPGQ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pP1_61BrJ9Q&t=140s

Body and frame wise, the car is completely factory. The Cowmaro name came from when the car was first built, and although it is still considered heavy, since then John has been able to shed weight here and there wherever possible without compromising the necessities of life. It is still the well optioned original SS that John ordered with the dove tail

spoiler and heritage grill. “The car still has factory air but only out of certain vents,” laughed Dougherty. “The outer ones don’t quite work. When we did the cage install we went behind the dash and removed weight there, such as airbags and took out any unnecessary materials.” The heavy stock seats were also swapped out for 12-pound racing seats at the time.

Considering the Camaro is still an independent rear suspension car, to get some hook on the dragstrip John had some more trick parts installed to go along with that Strange 9-inch and coilover shocks. A custom 15-inch conversion from Mirror Image Autoparts was added which consists of stock reconfigured lower control arms,

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aftermarket torque arms and aftermarket smaller rear brakes. The engine is mostly stock with just a few upgrades to take the stresses caused by forced induction…oh did we not mention that Dougherty’s Camaro is turbocharged? Oops, we missed that. Let’s start with what the engine has kept from birth. The car came with a 426 horsepower 6.2 liter LS3 and still retains the stock block and crankshaft, factory high flow LS3 heads and intake, and even the OEM throttle body. Only the pistons, rods and head bolts were tossed and replaced with aftermarket pieces.


Now here’s where the fun really starts. Dougherty chose a sizeable turbo to stick up


STILL HAS THAT NEW CAR SMELL During installation of the 10-point cage non-essential items were removed in an attempt to save weight. The biggest savings, though, was installing 12-pound race seats over the heavy factory units. Aside from those seats, the cage and the B&M shifter the interior looks factory. John and the RPM Motorsports crew made sure that even the back seat was still intact and useable after the interior mods.

may 2017 | RPM Magazine




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NOT STOCK BACK HERE The Camaro retains the factory independent rear suspension, but a number of aftermarket components have been added to ensure hook at the track. As for the rearend, it was grenaded when the car ran 12s. Now, a Strange 9-inch conversion unit sits in its place.

UNDER CONSTRUCTION RPM Motorsports handled the build, and the end result was an LS capable of fourdigit horsepower.


may 2017 | RPM Magazine

Use your QR code reader app on your smart phone top see the Cowmaro in action!

front of the LS in the form of a Precision billet 88/91 turbo installed by RPM Motorsports. As we said, the complete install took about six months and the now-turbocharged 6.2 was backed up by an RPM Transmissions TH400 with transbrake and Yank 10.5-inch torque converter. John tells us that most of his challengers will only agree to run eighth-

mile once they see the big turbo make steam in the quarter!


Once completed, the Camaro turned heads and made for some interesting memories for both Dougherty and those he was lining up against.

“It was only the second time we had the car to the track after the build was complete,” told Dougherty. “Which was the first time running the quarter-mile, and I entered into a street car event with no testing on the car at all. We struggled to get it to hook on the cold, windy Fayetville track all day. The car was spinning off the line and the converter

was starting to go out on me at the top-end as well, but it spun and bucked its way to qualify last. I actually made it to the finals but by that time the converter had enough so we turned the car up even more... terrible idea. The whole RPM crew was at the track as I pulled into the beams in the finals against a very fast CTS-V coupe with a veteran


driver. I bumped into the beams on the two-step and when the tree fell the car finally hooked after six passes of spinning and I treed the guy in the CTS-V. The converter was toast by the time I was at the eighth but I didn’t lift and bucked the car all the way through the quarter-mile traps on the limiter and ended up winning the event my first time

Continued on page 76

www.rpm-mag.com | may2017


Page 68


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COWMARO with the car on this setup. Of course the converter was done but the car broke the world record for the fastest stock cubic inch Camaro that day. Since then we have moved up to a 10.5” converter, played with boost and tune-up and the car is MUCH faster.”

THAT GUY John Dougherty IS that guy! The guy driving his 1000-plus horsepower car on the street, kickin’ ass with it at the track on weekends, and lovin’ every minute of it! This is a grudge racer, so its ol’ school flat trailer/pickup truck towing for Dougherty...when he does actually tow it!


Not that he’s old by any stretch of the imagination but it’s nice to hear a 23-year old say that as a kid he always wanted to have a fast car and then fell in love with the Camaro bodystyle. Plus, no one Dougherty knew had a turbo Camaro, especially one with a large turbo that was also driven on the street. “I wanted to be that guy,” he said. “When people talk to me and find out what the car is and that I drive this 1,000-plus horsepower car on the road....every day, then their jaw drops, that’s what I wanted”. Unfortunately, despite his Youtube presence, we took a sworn oath not to divulge Dougherty’s elapsed times or 60-foot times, but let’s just say speaking in terms of quarter-mile runs, that if you guessed John’s Camaro to be a 9-second capable car, you’d be wrong!


may 2017 | RPM Magazine

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Armor Plated Pistons “Unlike other metal coatings that lose hardness and soften when exposed to heat, this plating actually gets harder as it runs.”

—Dave Fussner, Wiseco R&D Manager

>> Wiseco offers Armour Plating and Armor Glide on its line of pistons. What is it, and why do you need it? by

Robert Poole


n internal combustion engine has a lot of moving parts, but the parts that may take the most severe abuse are the pistons. They are subject to the extreme changes in speed and motion of the two- and four-stroke cycle, the intense heat of combustion and resultant pressure, and the occasional abuse of detonation that tries to either tear the piston apart or burn a hole through it.

All pistons are made of aluminum, but high quality pistons, like those manufactured by Wiseco, use more involved manufacturing processes, better and stronger material, incredibly intricate machining processes, and occasionally plating to help them survive and thrive in the unforgiving environment of a combustion chamber, compared to less expensive, high-volume cast pistons. We won’t get into all of the choices in alloys and manufacturing techniques

since that could fill a book on its own, and instead concentrate on the exciting new piston plating available from Wiseco, specifically Armor Plating. After decades of research, Wiseco brewed up its own subset of one of the three broad categories of metal-based auto catalytic plating, trademarking it as Armor Plating. This plating is applied to the piston domes, ring grooves, and wrist pin bores to provide an extremely low coefficient of

JUNE 23-24, 2017




may 2017 | RPM Magazine

friction, reduced piston ring blow-by, and detonation protection. Wiseco’s R&D Manager Dave Fussner explained how their plating is different than others on the market, saying, “Unlike a lot of different metal plating, Armor Plating does not lose its hardness with heat. In fact, it gains hardness when heated—it doesn’t soften with heat, it hardens. And that’s very useful on a piston dome.” Without giving away any of Wiseco’s highly

protective, proprietary trade secrets, essentially a piston is coated with Armor Plating, then the plating is machined off the skirts and lands, leaving the plating to protect and serve the piston pin bore, ring grooves, and piston top or dome. Fussner said, “From an aesthetic standpoint, when you pull these pistons out of the box you see this beautiful plating on the ring grooves, wrist pin bores and dome, and the beautiful shiny aluminum skirts where the plating is


turned off. They look like gems when you take them out of the box, but that beauty is there for function.” About that functional aspect, Fussner added, “Armor Plating coats the piston with

ultra precision in the ring grooves and pin bores, and it even coats blind holes with amazing accuracy. That is not achievable with any kind of process like chrome or electro plating. It is important


1 & 2: Anytime you can reduce friction of any kind in an internal combustion engine, it’s a good thing for heat management, oil temperature, and power production. Armor Plating applied to the piston pin bore reduces friction in this normally highfriction area. The left (1) piston was used in a popular 24-hour road race under the most severe racing conditions. Look at how well the pin bore is wearing compared to the new piston on the right. (2) Close up shot of the used piston’s pin bore.

in a ring groove because ring grooves are very precisely engineered and machined, and you don’t want to put a plating on there that doesn’t go all the way around [the groove] evenly.” So Armor Plating is

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3: Another shot of the raced piston. Armor Plating reduces blow-by of combustion gas past the pistons and rings by doing a far better job of sealing the top ring on the bottom of its ring groove, and maintaining that seal much longer, than an uncoated ring land.


4: Carbon buildup as a result of combustion is common on an uncoated piston dome. The richer the air/fuel mixture the more carbon buildup happens, and that will effectively increase the compression ratio (by reducing chamber volume) leading to increased detonation. Wiseco’s Armor Plating makes it difficult for carbon to “take hold,” all but eliminating the problem of carbon buildup. precise and makes for pretty looking pistons, but what is its main function? Once again, piston ring blow-by reduction, friction reduction and detonation resistance primarily. The reduced rotational friction offered by the Armor Plating is a real benefit in the piston pin bore. The blow-by reduc-


tion comes as a result of a better “fit” between the rings and the ring grooves. Fussner said, “It significantly improves the lower edge sealing of the top ring groove, maintaining a very low amount of blow-by for a long time, compared to an uncoated groove. As an added benefit, it also eliminates

may 2017 | RPM Magazine

microwelding of the top ring groove.” In regards to detonation, Armor Plating doesn’t prevent detonation but it does protect the piston from erosion due to detonation. Fussner explained, “If you’ve ever removed a piston and it looked like it was sandblasted, with little

pits on the dome—that’s the result of the beginning of severe detonation. If it kept on detonating, you were either going to blow the land off a ring groove or rip the top of the piston off. Or it might just burn a hole straight through the piston. The Armor Plating has a great amount of resistance to this

erosion. The plating won’t keep the piston from breaking, but it combats erosion from detonation, and it does fantastic at that.” He also pointed out that with the Armor Plating, carbon has a very difficult time adhering to the piston dome. That means that the piston won’t develop carbon


5: The plating is applied to the piston domes, ring grooves, and wrist pin bores and provides a lower coefficient of friction, less ring blow-by, and a measure of detonation protection. The piston is removed during the manufacturing process and coated, then it goes back into a CNC to get the skirt turned up to the accumulator groove. The Armor Glide skirt coating is a nice, complimentary coating.

buildup that leads to an increased compression ratio and therefore even more detonation. It also allows the domes to run 20 degrees C cooler and reflect heat back into the chamber for better combustion efficiency. Armor Plating is used on the higher-end pistons

in Wiseco’s line and it’s making its way onto more and more “mainstream” pistons. Of course it’s available on all the company’s custom pistons as well. On the latter, Fussner said, “Custom pistons are almost like ordering food ala carte; do you want Armor Glide skirt coating? Armor

Plating? There are options to add or delete when specifying custom pistons.” When asked if there is an application that would not benefit from Armor Plating, Fussner replied, “I can’t imagine a situation where you wouldn’t want to use it.” So there you have

it. If you want the best anti-friction, lowest piston ring blow-by and detonation protection piston plating that Wiseco offers, make sure to order your pistons with Armor Plating—Armor Glide for the skirts—for the ultimate in beautiful and functional pistons.

SOURCE Wiseco Performance Products www.wiseco.com 800.321.1364

www.rpm-mag.com | may 2017






>>Harnessing the Harnesses story and photo by

Chuck Scott


he one part of installing a race EFI system that inspires dread and deters folks from making the switch is the actual wiring. The bundles of wires may look

intimidating but when you take it one harness at a time you will find it’s quite simple and straightforward. Much of the Holley Dominator EFI system is plug and play with very little hard wiring except

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may 2017 | RPM Magazine

for optional sensors and ECU-controlled user-defined outputs. This will be the least glamorous or entertaining installment in the EFI series but hopefully we can show what it takes to wire a real

world full race Dominator EFI system and help you better understand the process. If you can install a carburetor, a distributor and a modern race ignition system, you can hook up Holley EFI.

1: Last month we installed our new 2000cfm Holley 4500 throttle body, main sensors and eight Holley Smart Coils. Now we need to find a place to mount our new Holley Dominator ECU and other electrical components. Before, everything was mounted in the space previously occupied by the back seat. That proved to be quite inconvenient and a literal pain in the pancreas to work on. This time we will mount everything behind the removable VFN fiberglass dash. I cut out a panel from a sheet of ABS plastic to mount the ECU, the relay board, the two Holley solid state solenoid drivers (one for the nitrous solenoid and one for the water injection solenoids) and the boat fuse panel sourced from eBay.

2 2: The panel is mounted to the roll cage dash bar using plastic conduit clamp mounts from a hardware store. It is important that the ECU is isolated from the vehicle chassis so there is no chance for the ECU case to ground out. With the electronics mounted here, we can easily wire it and make changes while sitting comfortably in a seat. No more hanging though the cage or laying in the floor with feet out a window. The fiberglass dash is held on with just two Quik Latches and can be removed and installed in seconds.

The Holley Dominator is Holley’s flagship EFI System offering the most complete vehicle management available in one powerful box. You can control fuel, ignition, nitrous, water/methanol injection, boost, fuel and water pumps, fans and anything else electrical in your car. It even has an extremely easy to use data logger that records every sensor hooked to it anytime it’s activated at up to 100FPS. It is the same as the Holley HP system but adds a second wideband oxygen sensor controller and more additional inputs and outputs than anyone could ever use up.


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www.rpm-mag.com | may 2017


RPM PROJECT CAR The HP system shares the same main harness with all the necessary sensor inputs like a wideband O2, MAP, intake air temp, water temp, throttle position, oil pressure, fuel pressure and even idle air control and knock sensor input if you want. All of those are pre-terminated with common connectors for Holley and GM-style sensors. The main harness also has a plug in it with four inputs and four outputs. The four inputs can be used for sensors or switched inputs like nitrous activation or transbrake input. The four outputs can be used to trigger relays for ECU controlled devices or Holley solid state solenoid drivers for nitrous systems controlled by the advanced Holley internal progressive nitrous controls.


3: The main power harness is common between both the Dominator and HP. It is simply heavy 10GA positive and negative wires together in a harness that plugs into the ECU and goes straight to the battery. Holley is adamant that this harness connects nowhere but the battery terminals. You may be concerned that it won’t be shut off by your battery disconnect but the main harness also has a power and ground that will disable the ECU if the disconnect is thrown.


4: If you have been following our EFI conversion so far, you may remember when we installed our eight Holley Smart Coils. We plugged in our already terminated Holley coil harness that were clearly labeled at each connector. That harness doesn’t connect to the ECU or the main harness though. There is another harness that connects it to the main harness’ J1 output connector that plugs into the ECU. The 558-307 (universal coil-on-plug harness) does that job. The connectors that plug to the engine-specific coil harness is already on one end, but the other end just has pins attached along with an un-terminated pair of power and ground wires. The pinned wires will plug right into the back of the open spots on the main harness’ output connector.


may 2017 | RPM Magazine

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The Dominator adds the option of four more harnesses that can be added at any time to add up to 46 more inputs and 36 more outputs which are user-defined. That my friends makes the Dominator an amazing bang for the buck in data logging. Can you think of even half that many possible things to monitor and control? We won’t go into the actual

wiring schematics because no two cars will be the same. You will actually assign the pins on the auxiliary harnesses yourself in the Holley software. Other wiring like the coil-near-plug ignition will be vehicle engine type dependent and Holley provides that info. We will go over each harness in general and explain what they are used for and how they work.



6: On the back of the output plug of the main harness (J1B), you will find 10 spots in the plug with no wires in them. They will have little cavity plugs sealing the holes. You can remove the cavity plugs with a pick or a small flat head screwdriver after you unlock the connector by pushing in the white tab on the side. These positions in the harness plug will be used by the pins of the universal coil-on-plug harness.


may 2017 | RPM Magazine

5: The main harness (part number 558-104 also used with the Holley HP) has pretty much everything needed pre-terminated with plugin connectors for the main sensors. It takes up the first two receptacles on the ECU, P1A & P1B. When referring to the ECU receptacles, they are referred to as P1A and P1B. When referring to the plugs on the harness, they are called J1 input (J1A) and J1 output (J1B). There is also a switched wire that ties into the ignition switch and a set of power and ground wires that will connect to our fuse block. The fuse block is connected to the emergency battery disconnect at the back of the car. The additional loose wires won’t be used in our project. Check the Holley wiring diagram for the main harness for more information.

7: We used the included wire wrap to cover the universal coil harness keeping the left and right sides separate. We also used heat shrink to close the ends on the wire wrap and cover the remaining wire, leaving just the ends exposed and ready to plug into the back of the main harness output or “B” connector. Notice the left and right side ground wires were connected since they will share the same pin cavity in the connector. These pins will occupy nine of the ten open cavities in the connector. One for each of the eight coils and one for the shared ground.




8: Here you can see the universal coil-onplug harness pinned out into the back of the main harness output connector. The 10th open cavity is also now used to power any optional 12V sensors. Pin B20 is a clean ECU-regulated 12V that is for low current draw only, to be used to power 12V sensors like Hall-effect sensors. Connecting other 12V devices can burn out the output. The main harness also has outputs for sensor grounds and 5V sensor power. Those don’t have open cavities to plug into, though. They are already being used by other sensors pre-wired in the harness. To use those, you will need to tap into the existing wires. They are, pin A18 in the input connector (J1A) for general sensor ground and A26 also in connector J1A for 5V sensor power. There are also sensor power and ground sources in the optional harnesses J2A, J2B, J3 and J4. You can see what pins in each ECU connector have sensor power and ground by looking in the Holley V4 software. Click on the “PIN MAP” icon then select the “View Fixed” tab.

9 9: Once the harness is run through the firewall, you just plug in all the sensors. All the sensor connectors are labeled and should just plug right in if you are using Holley sensors. One wideband O2 sensor connector is in the main harness but if you have the Dominator and want to use a second one for the other engine bank, you will need to get the optional J2A harness (part number 558-401). The J2A harness gives you 23 new inputs along with a preterminated 2nd wideband O2 connector attached.

www.rpm-mag.com | may 2017


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10: Once the universal coil-on-plug harness (part number 558-307) is connected to the main harness (part number 558-104), we plug it into the Dominator ECU mounted inside the car. The terminated section of the harness is run through the firewall to the engine bay and the power and ground are connected to the fuse block. The ignition switched wire is terminated at the steering wheel terminal strip to the left of the steering column. It ties to the switched side of your ignition switch. The ignition switch on Project Thug is actually on the steering wheel. It is a large “pull on push off� switch. It is always recommended on a raced car to make your ignition switch a “kill� switch that can be hit easily without looking or reaching in emergency situations. If your throttle is hung, you don’t want to have to look up or over and reach far away from the wheel to get to it. This picture is labeled to show the receptacle of each harness on the Dominator ECU. The HP is the same except it doesn’t have J2A, J2B, J3 or J4.

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11: We used a 100psi Holley fuel pressure sensor screwed into the gauge port in the side of the billet Holley regulator. Holley’s pressure transducers are the widely used 3-pin connector type stainless steel 5V sensors. 12: The connector for the MAP sensor is a typical GM style. Holley has already set up calibrations to choose from in the software for several common MAP sensors. Holley sells several types from 1 to 7 Bar in both GM style and the stainless 1/8-inch NPT style. We used a 1 Bar GM type screwed to the firewall. A vacuum hose will connect it to a port on the throttle body. We also added a second 1 Bar MAP sensor inside the cowl box that has a hose ran to a valve cover to monitor crank case vacuum. That one is wired to the optional J2A harness. Monitoring crank case vacuum can be a great tuning aid. Dropped CCV on a data log can indicate the rings fluttering from detonation. A savvy racer could use the Advanced ICF tables in Holley’s V4 software to map out typical CCV traces and have the ECU pull timing or cut nitrous back if it dips below a typical run. That is just one of many advantages to using Holley Dominator EFI on a nitrous car.


13: Along with the smaller pinned ground wires from the 558-307 universal coil on plug harness that went in the back of the main harness J1B connector, there are 2 separate unterminated 16ga ground wires in the 558-307 harness. Holley instructs us to ground those two wires to the cylinder head of the bank its coils fire to. I covered them in heat shrink and grounded them to the back of each head.


www.rpm-mag.com | may 2017



16: Since ol’ 4 Lug has front exit exhaust, our O2 sensors are a little further away from the ECU than with traditional headers. Holley offers several different length O2 extension harnesses to remedy that problem. A set of 3-footers gave us plenty of slack to make it up to the O2 harness connectors.




18 14 & 15: Up next is an easy one: the injector harness. This one is enginespecific and just plugs into the main harness and then to the fuel injectors. We ran it under the intake manifold and out between the runners to the injectors. When you order the correct harness for your motor type, the injector numbers are labeled at each connector.


17 & 18: Here is a little tip that can make keeping all your additional inputs and outputs straight when wiring or making changes down the road. The first image is a screenshot from our Pin Map input screen on the Holley V4 software after the added inputs were dragged and dropped to the pin positions we chose. The second image shows one of the guides I made to save on my phone and in a folder on the tablet/laptop I use for tuning. I just did a screenshot of the Pin Map screen by using “print screen” then opening it as a new image on photo editing software. You can see I used white font to note which color wire I used and teal to make further notes about that input. Instead of tracing wires later or trying to find and decipher handwritten notes, we can quickly pull up the info we need. As you may notice by some white font notes that are beside pin locations that aren’t assigned, we terminated nine extra wires that can be quickly used for additional sensors without getting back into the harness. Any new sensors can just be assigned in the PIN MAP screen to one of those pins.

may 2017 | RPM Magazine

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RPM PROJECT CAR 19: Anytime you want to add or remove pins from the ECU end of Holley harnesses, you just push in the white lock on the side of the plug.




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may 2017 | RPM Magazine

20: Another tip for reference images to save on your phone is the pin numbering images cropped down from Holley’s instructions. I saved a cropped photo of both the larger and smaller ECU side plugs so I could open them on my phone while pinning out a connector. Here I am pinning out a J2B harness connector for additional outputs. With the connector lock released you can just insert the pre-terminated pins from a harness into whatever pin location you chose in the software.

21: I only needed a few extra outputs so I added a couple extras for future use and used the provided cavity plugs to seal off the rest of the connector. There is no need to pin out the entire harness with extra wires that will just have to be tied up behind the dash.


22: Once the connector is pinned and the cavity plugs are inserted, push the white lock on the opposite side of the plug to lock the pins in place. I like to use some friction (fabric) tape on the first few inches of the wires at the connector to keep them from being pulled on separately and to make it look like a clean factory harness.




23: Any pre-pinned wires from the harness kits that aren’t used are coiled up and kept in the box for potential future use. Anytime we need more inputs or outputs, we just pick the wire colors we want from the box and stab them into the appropriate harness connector. Holley makes the life of an OCD sufferer so much easier.

24: Instead of going directly to the additional sensors or switches with each wire from the main harness’ auxiliary inputs or the added J2A harness, I opted to first terminate them in a long 40-position terminal strip I found on Amazon. Notice the label strip has the harness connector pin number written on it for each wire. This way it would be easy for multiple sensors to share the same sensor grounds and 5V+ or 12V+ ECU regulated sensor power. This add-on panel will be mounted above the ECU at the windshield and is on hinges so it can be lifted up for easy access. Now any additional sensor wires can be run to this panel and terminated on the opposite side of the terminal strip. Most installers just make a buss bar for shared sensor grounds and power and run the wires from the harness straight to the sensors, which works fine, but we felt that this way would work better for our particular application.

www.rpm-mag.com | may 2017



26 27

25 25: With the additional J2A and J2B harnesses installed along with the added panel with the 40-position terminal strip, we can start terminating our additional sensor leads and switched inputs to the terminal strip. You can see all the un-terminated wires from added sensors lying across the top. They come from all over the car. We added a driveshaft speed sensor, a front wheel speed sensor (Holley 554-124 crank sensor aimed at the 20 bolts on the right Holeshot front wheel), two nitrous pressure sensors, front and rear brake pressure sensors, transmission temp sensor, crank case vacuum sensor, oil temp sensor, nitrous arm switch, water injection arm switch, data log trigger, and a Holley transbrake input protection module (554-128).


28 26, 27, & 28: Lastly, we have to connect the ignition harness from the main harness to our crank and cam sensors. Since we used a Holley hall effect crank sensor, that part just plugged right in. We did not, however, use a Holley cam position sensor so of course the connector was not correct our Ford Windstar minivan sensor. We could have just cut the connector off the end of the Holley harness and put our Ford pigtail on it, but instead we made an adapter with the Ford pigtail and a Holley-type connector. Either way would work. In fact I may go back and do it the other way to get rid of the extra plug. When changing or hard wiring any connectors on the Holley harnesses, just check Holley’s schematics and find a good diagram for the sensor being used. Always use Holley-recommended crimping and wire splicing methods.

may 2017 | RPM Magazine

Follow along next month when we install Holley’s awesome 7-inch touchscreen digital dash and dive into the V4 software.

SOURCES Holley Performance www.holley.com 866.464.6553


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>> Although things haven’t gone exactly as planned, our Project Back On Track Camaro has taught plenty of lessons


Blake Robinson


hen our Back On Track third gen build started in February of 2012, I felt it would produce around eight to ten articles for RPM, and I would be back in a race car within a year. Boy did that plan take a huge turn, but a turn for the better. The build was based

on an idea some friends had put together to get me back in a car after my accident in 2009. The accident, as a result of a nitrous bottle explosion, left me with a damaged left hand and an amputated left leg. We forged ahead with a plan but ironically, those guys who planted the seed in my head have never actually helped us on the build thus far. It was and still is a great idea, though.

I approached RPM in 2012 for help on this project as I knew they were in over 30 countries in print, on literally thousands of newsstands and read worldwide online, so I knew publishing the progress there would provide a solid platform to give contributors to the project the exposure they would need for their generous support. And they welcomed me with open arms. This is my car, not an RPM in-house

1 1: The modifications completed by Humberto and his dad were completed in a timely manner and as close to perfection as possible.

cvrproducts.com For more information visit


may 2016 | RPM Magazine


project and they have been kind enough, and patient enough, to see it through with me, through good times, and bad. Recently, a number of calls and emails to RPM head office have been from a number of folks asking about the Back On Track Camaro, so it’s time to clear the air and bring everyone up to speed, so to speak. To recap the details of our build that have been completed so far, and to

bring new RPM readers up to date, here’s my spill. The project was originally going to include ‘mini-tubbing’ our 1992 RS Camaro donor car. This was going to be achieved by widening the rear wheel wells inboard to the location of the stock frame-rails to gain maximum tire clearance without cutting up the factory frame. After contacting the fine folks at Chris Alston’s Chassisworks, our build was steered in a completely new direction, and

for good reason. Through their insight, we decided to build the car right the first time, and long story short, we ended up with a chassis we could grow into and go faster with in the future. Thanks to Chris Alston’s Chassisworks and one of their dealers out of Lubbock Texas, Humberto Ortiz, owner and operator of Vulcan Specialties, they did the work and knocked it out of the park! Up next was our rearend, and believe me, it’s no slouch either. Our Chris Alston

2: The Chris Alston’s Chassisworks Fab 9 is not only a beefy unit, it looks pretty cool, too.


3: After installing the tubular control arms and struts, the car starts to show a much more “race” vibe.


www.rpm-mag.com | may2016


RPM PROJECT CAR 4: The tubular K-Member and rack & pinion really made for a lot more room in the engine compartment. The weight loss was great as well.

4 Fab 9 housing was completed with a nodular center section featuring 4.10 rear gears, a spool, and custom 35-spline axles manufactured by Mitchell Differentials. A set of Chassisworks four link bars, a wishbone track locator, and a set of adjustable shocks were installed to help us put the power to the ground. Now we were really on our way to a top notch race car. When it came to

front suspension, all the factory components have been removed and tossed into the circular filing cabinet. We replaced all that heavy, outdated (and ugly) stock steel with a state of the art tubular K-member, tubular control arms, and coilover struts from Anthony Jones Engineering. The factory steering gearbox was removed as well and replaced with a

rack and pinion from Racecraft, Inc. To help stop the car, a 4-piston heavy duty front Drag Race Kit from Aerospace Components was installed. With the chassis now capable of handling a lot more horsepower than what we were originally going to throw at it, our wheels began to turn. The important part of that last sentence is “originally.� The 400


5: I was ecstatic when I found out we could remove the factory fender wells. This modification opened up a lot of room that lets me gain access to work on the car.


may 2016 | RPM Magazine

6: It might just be a little mouse motor, but we are expecting to shock some people with our horsepower goals on this Bad Attitude mill. cubic inch power plant was now being built by Tommy Eufemia of Bad Attitude Engines and was stuffed with far too many upgrades to list in an update article, but feel free to read about it in past articles offered online at rpm-mag. com/rpm-e-mag/. No longer was our SBC to be naturally aspirated, either, as we opted for a custom-built 80mm turbo from Work Turbo, and I cannot wait to see the dyno numbers on this combination. We were definitely on a roll and things were falling into place nicely. It was taking far more time than expected (as RPM reports their builds in real time, so you see them as they

are being built –the good, the bad and the ugly part of taking on a project), but we were definitely on the right track. I contacted John Goebel, the owner and operator of Goebel High Performance Transmission to assemble our powerglide trans. John and I go way back and when it comes to transmissions, this guy is up there with the best of them. John sat down with me and had me order exactly what he thought would be best for our build. Practically every nut, bolt, and component came from BTE to complete this endeavor and once the parts arrived, I was allowed to watch and


even help build this bulletproof transmission. With everything moving forward and the build continuing to grow, I thought stiffening up our chassis and shedding some weight was now going to be the right thing to do. We had a good start up front with all our new suspension, rack and pinion, and brake upgrades, but we still had those bulky fenderwells that third gens are famous for. We managed to find a fiberglass front end at a huge price discount and a new 6-inch cowl hood followed. We cut out as much fender well area and installed front downbars as well. The rear hatch and factory doors were also on

7: The Powerglide is complete with a 1.80 straight cut planetary assembly and a tough BTE case.

www.rpm-mag.com | may2016


RPM PROJECT CAR our list and we dropped weight anywhere we could on them. A mockup engine was installed next to allow fabrication of the motor and mid-plates. Bars were added up front to mount our radiator and electric water pump, and we began assembling hoses for the cooling system. The turbo was mounted next, and here begins the next installment of Back On Track, which will begin once I am able to get back on track


with the build itself (hopefully in the not so distant future). The location I chose to put the turbo was ruled out by another party involved in the project and a bracket was welded on the top of the frame to secure the turbo, which is about four inches higher than where I wanted it. The hot and cold sides of the turbo were then fitted and made to work for this location, and everything seemed good at the time. We started on the fuel


8: We used a friend’s mockup motor to get our components trial-fit.

9: Since we intended on building some decent horsepower with this combo, we went with the dual needle and seat bowls on our tricked out Quick Fuel blow through carb to ensure we had enough fuel to prevent a lean condition.

may 2016 | RPM Magazine


www.rpm-mag.com | may2016


RPM PROJECT CAR system next, and all I can say is: “Houston, we have a problem.” We had measured everything and ordered the cell to be placed in a specific spot, but that was all decided with the plan of using an aftermarket nose only, not a complete front end with a tree for support, like we have now. This is entirely my fault and I will own it, but it will be fixed easily with the purchase of a smaller radiator and a couple of brackets. Have you ever heard the old adage, “crap rolls downhill?” Ok, maybe it’s usually expressed slightly different, but it means the same thing. Well, my name is Blake, and I’m located at the bottom of that hill and that is where it stops. The crap that is. While I was involved as possible through the entire build, much of the placement and fabrication work as far as the engine bay goes was done or advised by someone else working on the build. While waiting for the car to be completed for paint, I received a phone call and was advised that I would not only have rework the fuel cell mounting, but that my hood will not fit on the car due to the turbo sitting too high as well. It was that phone call that took the wind out of my sails and my




10 & 11: The engine compartment looks a bit cluttered on most turbo applications, and we still have several components to put on. JE_BBC_RPM_2015_Layout 1 8/11/15 2:29 PM Page 1

12: Danny Miller’s Rear Gears was responsible for assembling the third member and it saddens me to say they—like countless other speed shops and race tracks— have closed their doors. I’d like to thank the owner Kevin Biggers and his family for their support.

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13 13: We got the Camaro fiberglass front end for a steal deal. Once we installed it and the cowl hood the Camaro took on a new personality.


may 2016 | RPM Magazine

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14: With our wing installed, bodywork and prep for paint was started.

build suddenly stalled. In all, there is several thousands of dollars in re-work required due simply to the fact that I had the wrong person making critical decisions on the car. This brings me to now: the point where you see the “ugly” part of a build. Even though we were rolling along with an amazing project, what can happen did happen. Faced with a sizeable financial commitment in reworking a number of items on the car, to compound the challenge, as often happens, life can throw the odd curve ball and certain things have to be put before our cars (yes I just said that). I have not given up in any way shape or form. We still have a lot of parts and components to put on this car, and in time it will be done. Before I

can move forward with the build, though, we have several things that will need to be completed. If you are interested in learning more, I have created a list under the “Getting Back on Track” tab of my website www. awalkwithblake.com When we return to the pages of RPM you will see articles covering the completion of our fuel system, torque converter, body work, paint, Lexan window install, electrical components, safety equipment, interior, and rework during the final assembly of the car will hopefully be completed this year. Trust me when I say, I want this build done more than anyone, and I cannot wait to be behind the wheel of my own car again. So for now, we’re down, but definitely NOT out!

SOURCES Anthony Jones Suspension www.ajsuspension.com 800.877.7233

Aerospace Components www.aerospacecomponents.com 727.347.9915

Bad Attitude Engines www.badattitudeengines.com 352.528.5386

BTE www.bteracing.com 800.626.1828

Chris Alston’s Chassisworks www.cachassisworks.com 888.388.0297

Goebel High Performance Transmission 254.875.2045

Mitchell Differential www.mitchelldifferential.com 508.755.3790

www.rpm-mag.com | may2016



1: After countless hours of fabrication, our project Mustang finally has a fully functional 5-inch stretched Harwood fiberglass hood that hinges AND quick releases, not to mention a fully mounted custom front clip.


THE RIGHT PART 36 >>Steve Yates spearheads the effort to tackle the final few weeks of fabrication work before we head to paint


2 & 3: The car had never had an appropriate understructure for the front end, so after Yates installed the strut bars, he and Keith O’Fallon (right) started crafting one from various sizes of chromoly tubing. In addition to mounting the fenders, the pair fabbed up mounts for the Saldana Racing aluminum radiator, the factory headlights, and the factory urethane front fascia. With the Roush upper and lower grilles in place, you can really see the distinctive ’Stang lines at long last.

may2017 | RPM Magazine

WAY story by


ake a quick peek just to your left there. We are now solidly in year three of our build. If it sounds like we are bragging, then you misunderstood. We are more ready than you

can probably imagine to finish up our pro street project car and debut it to the world. The problem is we’ve made some costly mistakes along the way. Whether it was our own errors or those done on our behalf, it ended

up costing a fair amount of time and no small amount of money. The truth is, we’ve been tempted to throw in the towel on this thing more than once. If your project is like ours, screw-ups that cost

Toby Brooks

time and money really pull the wind from your sails. Things grind to a frustrating lull or even halt altogether as you are confronted with the cold, hard truth that there are really only two options: out or through.

2 4: A pin-on hood would have been lightweight and relatively easy, but they can be a real pain when you are working solo or want to take a quick peek under the hood. On the other hand, a hinged hood is in some ways more practical but also not ideal when you want to get the whole hood off quickly. After some thought, Yates opted to secure these Ringbrothers billet Camaro hinges via custom mounts to the strut bars, allowing hinged function. However, if you look closely, you can see thay have been modified with a custom milled billet catch in the back and quick pin provision in the front. As a result, two people can pull the whole hood in seconds by simply removing a ball-lock pin on each side.


To choose out would be to admit defeat and likely take your lumps, selling your dreams for pennies on the dollar to stalled project vultures who have learned to prey on your crushed soul. In our case, that was never really an option (tempting as it may have seemed at times!). No, in our case, the only way out was through. And to get through, we needed some help from our friends. Enter Steve Yates, Keith O’Fallon, Kurt Pfitzner, Rod Bollini, Pat

Yates, and Jeff Cox (and likely a few others who dropped in to lend a hand). The car had been delivered to a paint shop over a year ago after spending more than a year in another chassis shop. It soon became clear that it was nowhere near ready for paint, so we made the tough decision to scrap plans for 2016, bring it home, and retool for 2017. While we’ve made some progress, there was still a long list of tasks to be accomplished before the chassis was



5: Race cars might sport stickers for headlights, but we needed the real deal. When we started with a 2006 Mustang, it had typical composite headlamps, but when we decided to upgrade to the 2014 nose, we also had to get a pair of the factory HID Mustang lights. While they look killer, the housings are enormous. Yates and O’Fallon created a mounting cradle on each side using 3/4-inch chromoly.

5 6



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www.rpm-mag.com | may 2017


RPM PROJECT CAR 7 7 & 8: A pair of black anodized Quik Latch minis were used to secure the front fenders to the lower tree work. The fenders will be notched to clear the stainless Borla zoomies Yates will fabricate once the car returns from paint.


6 6: Here you can see the impressive front tree work as well as the cool hood hinge mounting configuration. Most of the bars in the nose were custom bent in a slip roll rather than a tubing bender to ensure that the radii of the bends most closely matched those of the factory fenders and nose. Attention to detail like this is what separated the elite fabricators from the wanna-bes and the good builds from the great ones. complete and the car was ready for color. The most pressing need was for a stable mounting tree for the front end. While Norovich’s Customs and Braddy’s Custom Paint had done a remarkable job getting the car in one piece in just over a week way back last March, we really hadn’t given them enough time


to fabricate an appropriate mounting structure for the custom clip. And without that, any attempt to fit a hood or properly gap the body lines would have been an exercise in futility. Yates and O’Fallon remedied that in the span of a week using custom contoured chromoly tubing meticulously pieced together

may2017 | RPM Magazine

9: After the fenders and hood hinges were mounted up, Pfitzner (left) and O’Fallon turned their attention to fitting the hood.


to hug the factory panels as closely as possible. Using a slip roll and lots of trial and error fitting, the front bars so closely match the shape of the factory fascia that the car still looks like a Mustang even when the urethane piece is completely removed! Yates also fabricated a pair of cool mounts with threaded mounts to secure

the billet Ringbrothers hood hinges. With an extended cowl, we knew we needed a hinge design that would articulate the hood up and out, so we selected a pair of their first-gen Camaro airframe units. They look fantastic and work smoothly. However, Steve wasn’t satisfied with a simple bolton hood. He wanted one

that could quick release, too. After studying the hinges for a bit, he fired up the Bridgeport and milled out a unique positive engagement clip for the rear of the hinge and a ball-lock pin provision for the front. Now the hood can be opened by simply unlocking the four Quik Latch minis across the front and completely removed by

www.rpm-mag.com | may 2017



12 11 pulling two quick pins. It looks like a hinged hood but behaves like a pin-on unit. How cool is that?! While Steve was spending his time working with aluminum, Keith and Kurt were picked to handle fiberglass duty. They are both more than up to the challenge, as Keith is a Corvette guy and Kurt owns Spanish Lake Body Shop and has built his very own composite bodies for monster


trucks. Within minutes, the pair was elbows-deep in fiberglass dust as they worked to get the hood to fit properly. Starting with a Harwood 2013-2014 Mustang cowl induction hood, the duo trimmed off all the factory edges, glassed in the understructure Yates had built, and added a series of core mat inserts that looked much like the bead rolled tin work we had created weeks

may2017 | RPM Magazine

10: After the hinges were complete, Yates started fabricating an aluminum understructure for the hood to help it retain its shape and add a cool look. A quartet of dimple died holes added style and carried the “four horses” theme under the hood. 11: O’Fallon custom cut a series of panels from core mat to further stiffen the lightweight hood while carrying the look of the bead rolled panels we did two months ago. Here he’s laying out the position for the heat extractors.

12 & 13: Using a pair of Spectre 4-inch mandrel U-bends, Yates fabricated these feed tubes from the ProCharger inlets outboard to the lower valance openings. The Spectre cone filters look cool and flow enough volume to keep up with the Boss’ copious air needs.




14 14 & 15: Steve’s attention to detail is unmatched. Here, he’s creating a mounting bracket for the Moroso spun aluminum breather tanks, mounting one to each strut bar. He also fabricated a mount for the ClearView Filtration remote filter mount (gray circle) as well as a billet horn originally intended for a Harley that we found for cheap on eBay (pink circle). You can also see the CVR accumulator hiding beneath the inlet tubes.

16: A closer look at the breather tank and ClearView Filtration remote mount filter. We’ll share more about this cool unit once the engine is plumbed and running, but it looks fantastic!

www.rpm-mag.com | may 2017



17 17 & 18: With such a cool filter mount, the AC Delco filter Steve stuck on there just to mess with us (he’s a Chevy guy) just wasn’t gonna cut it. We picked up one of these trick billet reusable units from Performance Products and it looks great and will outperform any typical disposable filter on the market.


may2017 | RPM Magazine



19: Nestled down beneath the blowers is a CVR 3-quart oil accumulator. We will outfit this unit with an electric valve to automatically prelube the engine before startup. You can also see Steve’s handiwork in the inlet tube and mount for the ClearView filter and Moroso breather. There is NO wasted space under the hood!

20 20, 21, & 22: Next up was the dual DJ Safety parachute mounting. Yates used a kit from Tim McAmis Performance that comes complete with all the mounting hardware, a dual mount with the tabs already welded in place, and the release cables & lever. He added a slight bend in the center to match the contour of the Badd Habit Customs rear wing.


22 earlier. After countless hours of work, the hood not only fits the car perfectly now but it also matches the theme of the build and reflects design elements seen elsewhere—all while retaining an incredibly light weight. The underside is now as smooth as the top and includes some incredible craftsmanship that we aren’t going to show you just yet (show up at DuQuoin in June to see it in person!). Lastly this month, Yates also tackled the task of mounting the dual rear DJ Safety spring launcher parachutes. Using a dual chute mount kit from Tim McAmis Per-

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RPM PROJECT CAR 23 & 24: The Tim McAmis chromoly perimeter bracket that the chutes attach to comes with all the tabs already welded for a quick install, but additional fabrication is still required. Steve added the bend not only to match the contour of the spoiler but also to allow the long tubes for the spring launchers to clear the support struts used to hold the wing in place.



25 & 26: The kit also comes with the pieces need to fabricate a dual tether for the twin chutes, so Yates used the components to tack one together that would work with our chassis. He will also be adding some additional gusseting to ensure the tether won’t rip off the car when the chutes are deployed. While he was at it, he also incorporated a functional and incredibly cool integrated mount for a Clarion backup camera (circled) we ordered from Sonic Electronix. We’ll tie this in to work with our Clarion in-dash double DIN DVD/navigation unit. It can also be tied into the ZadaTech high definition OLED gauge cluster that will be mounted in dash. It’s little details like this that take so much thought and planning but are totally worth it in the end.



Ornery Pony: Keith O’Fallon (left) and Rod Bollini (right) have just about had enough of your poor attitude, aPocalypSe Horse.


may2017 | RPM Magazine

formance, Steve first figured out how far back the chutes needed to sit by temporarily installing the Badd Habit Customs rear wing. The chutes need to be angled up slightly with the mounting bases near the trailing end of the wing so that the slip stream will grab them upon release. However, before just mindlessly tacking them up in place, we had some other tricks up our sleeve. First, Yates crafted a typical dual parachute cord tether bracket using the pieces from the Tim McAmis kit...with one twist. He added a custom mount to secure a Clarion backup camera we ordered from Sonic Electronix. Lightweight and highly functional, this camera will be helpful to ensure we aren’t backing over someone or something

www.rpm-mag.com | may 2017


RPM PROJECT CAR and could even be helpful when preparing to stage after a burnout at the track. Next, we knew we also wanted a third brake light mounted on the parachute mount, so we looked for the widest billet LED unit we could

26 27

find. That’s when we found the impressive 16.5-inch 50 LED unit from Watson’s Streetworks. With integrated turn signals, it added the perfect touch of safety and style. As we write this piece this month, the car is literally 48

hours away from being loaded up to head to Braddy’s Custom so that paint work can begin. Tune in next month as we show you our progress as we race the clock for the aPocalypSe Horse’s big 2017 DuQuoin Street Machine Nationals debut!

SOURCES Yates Performance Chassis

27: At 16.5 inches wide, this billet LED third brake light from Watson’s Streetworks was the perfect length to sit atop our chutes. The integrated turn signals will add safety, too. Ever seen a chute mount with an integrated third brake light? Us either. #becauseprostreet


may2017 | RPM Magazine

Spectre Performance


www.spectreperformance.com 909.673.9800

Spanish Lake Body Shop

Moroso Performance

www.spanishlakebodyshop.com 314.867.3333

www.moroso.com 203.453.6571


ClearView Filtration

www.ringbrothers.com 608.588.7399

www.clearviewfiltration.com 509.467.7584

Quik Latch

Performance Products

www.q-latch.com 469.387.0212

www.professional-products.com 323.306.5067

Harwood Industries

CVR Products

www.eharwood.com 800.822.3392


Tim McAmis Performance www.timmcamis.com 800.980.9656

DJ Safety www.djsafety.com 323.221.0000

Sonic Electronix www.sonicelectronix.com 661.257.9993

Watson’s Streetworks www.watsons-streetworks.com 603.943.7923

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PN 40470

AdvantEDGE 5 1/2" Bull Bars

• Unique Design • All-aluminum construction • Reversible Crossbar The 5 1/2" angular, eight-sided tube profile and octagonal grid crossbar offer a fresh look to complement the style of today's pickup.

Available in Carbide Black or Chrome Powder Coat

Optimized Engine Tuning For Maximum Power & Performance

The Max Energy 2.0 Power Programmer delivers more power-per-dollar than any other bolt-on on the market today. Plus, it installs in less than 15 minutes without using tools or getting your hands dirty.

Available for most popular vehicles. Ask for details.

High Performance



Cast nodular iron. For engines up to 400 horsepower. The hub and ring are splined to prevent radial movement of the outer ring. 30% stronger than OEM dampers made from grey iron. NOT SFI Certified. BORN FROM JOE GIBBS RACING


Carb Defender Fuel Additive Protects against corrosion caused by Ethanol blended gasoline and the moisture it attracts. It also restores performance and protects carburetors from performance-robbing deposits.

Space Age Spark Plug Boot Protectors • 6" long, heat treated fiberglass • Available in six wire matching colors • Withstands temperatures up to 1200°F • Slides over most plug boots and installs best on universal sets prior to final boot termination • Packaged individually or in 8 packs


(705) 435-6271 (705) 728-5911 (705) 726-6161 (519) 757-1200 (705) 445-9311 (519) 235-0290 (519) 924-1444 (519) 524-8389 (905) 545-9339 (705) 457-2322 (519) 364-2960 (519) 338-3441 (705) 789-1818 (905) 476-7721 (519) 396-3381 (519) 291-1213 (519) 453-0337 (705) 526-5488 (519) 348-9639 (519) 323-1530 (888) 572-8867 (519) 662-2411 (519) 662-2821 (519) 941-1510 (705) 325-1335 (905) 579-9884 (519) 371-0810 (705) 746-9564 (905) 839-4421 (519) 389-4242 (519) 925-6311 (519) 273-0361 (519) 273-0650 (519) 284-1090 (905) 643-7700 (705) 566-9870 (877) 351-5604 (905) 936-4292 (519) 881-0980 (519) 357-3830 (519) 539-7483



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(800) 565-3795

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May issue 2017  

THE RIDES COVER CAR - COWMARO....This beefy late-model Camaro packs a potent punch! TROOPER-SPEED...Some of them are gearheads too! SONIC B...

May issue 2017  

THE RIDES COVER CAR - COWMARO....This beefy late-model Camaro packs a potent punch! TROOPER-SPEED...Some of them are gearheads too! SONIC B...

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