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In mobile ad hoc network (MANET) studies, it is imperative to use highly detailed device models as they provide high layer protocols with good prediction of underlying wireless communication performance. However, such studies often utilize abstract models for execution speed and simplicity. This paper first shows that physical layer variables including path loss, shadowing, multipath, Doppler have significant effects on the predicted overall networking performance. It then proposes an approach to simulate details of wireless propagation and radio characteristics in networking studies while still maintaining a reasonable simulation execution time. Through our runtime performance studies with detailed OFDM Simulink/MATLAB models and QualNet network simulator, it is shown that the proposed approach can improve the simulation runtime performance by three to four orders of magnitudes without compromising the fidelity of simulation results.