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'97 Cobra track car #2

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  • '97 Cobra track car #2

    As if I needed another project....had a friend tell me about a guy he knew that was selling a 97 cobra that had plenty of parts on it - guys wife had been driving for several years and wanted a new car so he bought her one and had to sell this one. He is second owner (bought from 1st owner in 1998 ) and it had been his pride an joy until his new wife started driving it in summertime.

    Not partial to that generation of Mustang but figured it was worth the look. Car was in great shape but still could not be convinced to buy it even though it had a slew of goodies. After a few days of negotiations we settled on a great price (for me) and i now own yet another mustang.

    Plan for this is that it will replace the SVO as the dedicated track car. Over the next few months and especially the spring i plan on stripping it down to a light race weight by ditching the leather interior and all non essential stuff for the track. Let the fun begin

    All the goodies that came with the car -
    60,000 miles
    Torsen 8.8 w/ 31 spline axles
    Axle girdle
    Full length headers, MAC exhaust
    Aluminum driveshaft
    Aluminum flywheel McCloud
    Cobra R hood
    Cobra R wheels
    BLACK leather interior
    Garage queen zero rust. Less than any Arizona car I have owned.
    T56 trans - from late 90's viper era before Ford installed in Mustangs
    Tubular K member & Tubular lower control arms
    Front coil over shocks
    Braided steel brake lines

    Click image for larger version

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    38P likes this.

  • #2
    great looking ride, enjoy!
    Flying south, with a flock of bird dogs.


    • #3
      Or you could flip it on Epay. I almost hate to see such a nice car get gutted. But it is your car and I look foward to see what you do with it!


      • #4
        There's another part of the story he hasn't told yet that makes the track car part make more sense.

        It is a nice looking car. The interior should sell for a pretty penny. I don't look forward to scraping off the sound deadener.
        There's always something new to learn.


        • #5
          Yeah - the other part of the story is that John has signed on as my pit crew chief!!!

          It was involved in a bit of a fender bender back in '97 and ended up with a flood title. Ohio law was that since it was < 2 ys old it HAD to be repaired with factory parts and cost of front sheetmetal, hood, airbags made it too expensive for the insurance companies so they wrote if off and was bought by the second owner (driver airbag alone was $3000 back then).
          The repair was top notch and was when majority of the updates were made, 15 years later and i cant see where any body work was done. Therefore the value plummets except for a guy like me who just wants to track it.

          The receipts that came with the car are staggering....Over $20k and that is only up to 2002. Another case of didn't need a car but had cash, and other guy needed to unload the car quick to pay off debts.
          Last edited by odmarco; October 23, 2013, 12:16 PM.


          • #6
            That's a great find! Are you going to keep the B-headed engine stock or start looking around for a Terminator or some such?


            • #7
              Very nice, look forward to seeing the project thread.


              • #8
                Hauen - dont know what you are referring to regarding the heads....not familiar w/ this generation and wasnt a fan of mod motors (nevermind that this makes the 4th car in my fleet w/a mod motor). I have some research to do and likely wont start the project until january/february time frame when i get back from a 2 month work assignment in the desert.

                have two months of scouring the internet and AZ Craigslist/junkyards.

                This car will definitely get a cage and many safety goodies.

                Already put the Recaro driver seat from the SVO in the car to check out the feel, seating position is perfect and helps see over the cowl hood.

                Its fun to finally have a car that i dont care about whatsoever....its a total burnout monster and loves to be hooned!


                • #9
                  Originally posted by odmarco View Post
                  Its fun to finally have a car that i dont care about whatsoever....its a total burnout monster and loves to be hooned!
                  I'm still learning


                  • #10

                    From what I know about cobras they love boost, not sure how that works in road racing. Maybe you can fine out what they did to the 1995 Bondurant Mustang GTs
                    Last edited by Russell; October 23, 2013, 01:29 PM.


                    • #11
                      Which manufacturer of K-member and a-arms?
                      I'm still learning


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by odmarco View Post
                        Hauen - dont know what you are referring to regarding the heads.
                        I can't take credit for this writeup, but the information is accurate:

                        B/Swirl Port: (93-97 Lincoln Mark VIII, pre 99 Lincoln Continental, 96-98 Cobra).
                        The first and only production Ford head with two (square primary, round secondary) intake ports per cylinder, these swirl port castings arrived first in the ’93 Lincoln Mark VIII. Aptly named, due to the way they promoted the incoming air to swirl into the combustion chambers, much like water running down the drain of a once full sink.
                        Through the years these heads have proven themselves to be excellent high rpm (8000rpm+) performers—mainly in power adder applications--since their tremendous combined intake port cross sectional area and volume (when combined, a full 55cc more than any other 4.6L head design) provide for exceptional power production in the upper regions of the tach. Ironically, it’s those same big, beautiful, twin ports that also prove to be the B head’s largest inherent design flaw. The extra intake port size has a tendency to kill low/mid rpm intake port velocity and power production—hence the use of Ford’s first IMRC (intake manifold runner control) intake on the 96-98 Cobra. By allowing air to reach only one of a B head’s twin intake valves, velocity, and therefore low/mid range torque production was restored in situations under 3250rpm. Later head designs are clearly superior in this regard, which happens to be the one of the most important considerations for those wanting a stout street motor.
                        There is also some controversy over the single fuel injector/dual intake port setup. Some claim insufficient air/fuel mixing because of the compromised design, however, others contest that the ability to make 1000+rwhp with only minor porting and some form of power adder is testament to the contrary. Whoever you believe, there is little doubt that even after as little as 8,000 miles, carbon and other deposits tend to form on the secondary ports, causing a major airflow impedance, as there is no fuel present to clean them. B heads feature a somewhat small stock exhaust port that really hinders flow in power adder applications. Major gains from porting come with a quality valve job, some pocket and lots of exhaust work. There really isn’t a lot of material to remove from the intake ports themselves.
                        The Bottom Line: B heads aren’t the best choice for a naturally aspirated street motor. In order to really shine, they need to be paired with a power adder and a short block that can sustain high horsepower and rpm levels. These, the oldest heads, may still be a great choice for full race applications.

                        Stock Intake Choices: ‘93-‘97 Lincoln Mark VIII, ‘96-‘98 Cobra.
                        Aftermarket/Modified Stock Intake Choices: HCI, SSR, PHP.
                        B head dimensions: Combustion Chamber: 52cc, Intake Port Vol.: 107cc primary (square), 115cc secondary (round). Intake Port Entrance: 1.500x1.300” primary (square), 1.660x1.400” secondary (round), Valves: 37mm Int., 30mm Exh.

                        C/Tumble Port: (99/01 Cobra, 99 Lincoln Continental).
                        These second-generation Ford DOHC heads feature a single intake port per cylinder with a smaller cross sectional area that boosts incoming airflow velocity compared to previous years. To understand how C heads earn their “tumble port” designation, try to imagine an Olympic high diver doing repetitive front somersaults before cleanly entering a pool at the bottom. This controlled tumble allows for better air/fuel mixing than in the earlier swirl port heads. The new port design allowed for both substantial increases in midrange torque, and superior horsepower production under 8000rpm when compared with earlier heads. Combustion chamber size is also up 2cc.
                        The design downfall of C heads, and their larger (5.4L Navigator) cousins, is the relatively flat floor and utter lack of a short turn radius in the throat of the intake port. As such, the incoming air tends to overshoot the valves, making the port think the valves are smaller than they actually are. Some ‘99/’01 Cobra owners reported a “ticking/pinging” noise coming from the drivers side head of their cars. This is due to insufficient cooling around the #6, 7, and 8 cylinders that allowed the valves to overheat and therefore seat improperly. Ford remedied the situation by issuing a TSB to remove and replace the affected heads with a version that featured altered coolant flow.
                        C heads feature a small exhaust port much like Ford’s earlier swirl port heads, but unlike in B heads, both the intake (throat region) and exhaust ports can see extensive porting work. However, removing too much material from the intake port (mouth region) of a tumble port head will kill velocity very quickly, so make sure your head porter knows what they are doing!
                        The Bottom Line: C heads remain a viable performance upgrade for those looking for more punch in their street driven 4.6L four valve, without having to pay new part prices for the ’03 DOHC or FR500 versions. The increased midrange torque production and greater overall area under the power curve (when compared to swirl port heads) will enhance the performance of a street/strip driven (8,000rpm and under) modular regardless of application.

                        Stock Intake Choices: ‘99/’01 Cobra, ‘03/’04 Mach 1 & Aviator, ’03 Marauder, FR500.
                        Aftermarket/Modified Stock Intake Choices: Al Papitto short runner/ported ‘99/’01 Cobra, Sullivan, Aviator, '03/'04 Mach 1
                        C head dimensions: Combustion Chamber: 54cc, Intake Port Vol.: 177cc, Intake Port Entrance: 1.960”x1.350”, Valves: 37mm Int., 30mm Exh.

                        ’00 Cobra R: (’00 Cobra R and now Ford GT/GT500 with .020" raised intake ports, unique adjusters, and better casting quality throughout)
                        Cobra R heads are bar none the best Modular heads available today. However, their extremely scare supply makes them both ridiculously hard to find, and unbelievably expensive.
                        Initial performance results are understandably hard to obtain, however Al Papitto reports that with only 25hrs of port work into the his new ‘00R heads, they have already eclipsed the performance of his old Navigator heads with months of labor in them. These heads feature larger intake and exhaust ports, +1mm larger exhaust valves, and a dry exhaust port divider. Cobra R heads also require the use of a specific valvetrain not shared with any other modular application due mainly to their overall physically larger size. Al also claims R heads have too much port volume for a street/strip 4.6L application; only consider them with a larger 5.4L motor or a serious 4.6L race application paired with some form of power adder.
                        The Bottom Line: The best heads you can or can’t find for a Modular four valve motor.
                        You are as likely to come across a set of these Modular “Godfather” heads as you are to be Catherine Zeta Jones' next uterus masseuse. Though based on their performance abilities, you may want to start saving, just in case…
                        Stock Intake Choices: None (4.6L), ’00 Cobra R (5.4L)
                        Aftermarket/Modified Stock Intake Choices: Sheet metal
                        ’00 Cobra R head dimensions: Combustion Chamber: N/A , Intake Port Vol.: N/A , Intake Port Entrance: 2.370”x1.300”, Valves: 37mm Int. 31mm Exh.
                        Stock Intake Choices: ‘00R
                        Aftermarket Intake Choices: Sheetmetal.

                        ‘03 DOHC head: (‘03+ Aviator, Marauder, Cobra, Mach 1, Australian Boss 260/290)
                        Featuring a nearly identical (though 17cc larger in volume due to the fact that they are also used on the much larger Australian Boss 260/290 5.4L DOHCs) intake port to the FR500 head, but combining it with a newly designed, larger and more rectangular exhaust port, these may be the best all around DOHC Ford heads ever manufactured. The improvements made to the intake port shape over previous years include a raised port roof and the introduction of a short radius turn in the throat of the intake port that helps assure the incoming air charge finds the combustion chamber. For those with a forced induction street/strip motor, these are without question the best heads available, and as with the FR500s, they should produce great power up to and beyond 8000rpm regardless of application. ’03 DOHC heads also feature higher quality head castings from the supplier, which is at least partially responsible for the modest increase in flow vs. earlier castings--chalk that up to Ford’s revised quality control standards.
                        Early runs of the ’03 DOHC head fell victim to the same #6,7,8 cylinder coolant flow problems as earlier tumble port castings. In mid ’03 Ford made a running revision to the ’03 DOHC heads that allowed for more coolant to circulate through the affected areas. A blue mark on the driver’s side head indicates an updated casting, and there are no additional revisions to the ’04 version of this design.
                        The Bottom Line: On all accounts these are the best modular four valve heads currently available. They combine the exceptional flow of a slightly larger FR500 intake port with a gigantic new rectangular exhaust port.
                        38P likes this.


                        • #13
                          I think the K member and A arms are from AJE based on the receipts. Havent seen a manufacturer sticker on the K member.

                          Hauen - I meant that i have no background on the mod motors; i have a steep learning curve ahead of me, thanks for the info!

                          Pictures of the Recaro's installed in the car.
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                          Last edited by odmarco; October 23, 2013, 05:45 PM.


                          • #14
                            Could not stand the shifter arm that came with the car. It was a stock Pro5.0 with an obnoxious knob.

                            Took some time today and fabricated a new lever to go with a new round shift knob. pics below.

                            Position is now further car rearward which is what i needed and is also higher in car to where it is aligned with the top of the center console arm rest.

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                            Last edited by odmarco; October 25, 2013, 09:38 AM.


                            • #15
                              Nice work. I need to take every friday off, I'd get more done.
                              There's always something new to learn.