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Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
6/30/16 1:05 a.m.

Aaaaand there goes $200 on an MGW shifter. The Cobra has a worn out stock shifter that feels like E36 M3 and I'm afraid I'll break my new transmission! I put some miles on the clutch, feels pretty good.

Mad_Ratel
Mad_Ratel Dork
6/30/16 6:00 a.m.

Not sure on your car but one some of the fords there are two gears for speed (and traction control etc.)

one is in teh cluster, the other is in the transmission. You have to change the one in the transmission and buy it according to which diff you have. Otherwise it'll always be off. (but this is was from the autotragic 1996 tbird I was driving...)

Just mentioning in case the new tranny came from a different car witha different set of rear gears.

Apexcarver
Apexcarver PowerDork
6/30/16 7:16 a.m.

If your speedo is working then the trans gears are likely fine. But that is accurate that those are the gears you replace to fix the speedo for a gear change.

Mustangs didnt get traction control until at least 1999 AFIK, my 97 surely doesnt have it.

Cooper_Tired
Cooper_Tired HalfDork
6/30/16 8:32 a.m.
Apexcarver wrote: If your speedo is working then the trans gears are likely fine. But that is accurate that those are the gears you replace to fix the speedo for a gear change. Mustangs didnt get traction control until at least 1999 AFIK, my 97 surely doesnt have it.

Yep! TC showed up in 99

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
6/30/16 9:06 a.m.

Yeah, no TC, and the speedo works fine. Also the VSS in the transmission changed with the new transmission!

Gab
Gab
6/30/16 12:12 p.m.

Javelin, excellent thread. I own a black '98 Cobra that I've begun AX'ing this year and love every minute of it. I'll be following this thread!

egnorant
egnorant SuperDork
6/30/16 2:29 p.m.

Been hammering my 96 Cobra too. Your seems in much better shape and I have fought through most of the little stuff. Had some odd surprises too. Checked a small rattle coming from the passenger front and discovered that only 1 of the 5 exhaust hangers was functional. The one at the transmission had broken at the weld to the crossbar!

Drivers door panel had many breaks and the power windoe button had fallen inside...delicate part there!

Looks like they did a refit on the suspension so you might dodge my problems with several bushing just worn out.

Hope it has lived without major bumps and scrapes as a lot of my plastic had missing push pins or torn mounting holes. My gauges are all reading high and I cannot figure why. Just turning on the key shows 20 mph, 2000 rpm, 18 volts on the gauge, good oil pressure and that it is near overheating! This is before I start the car!

But it is still a hoot to drive!

Bruce

Cotton
Cotton UberDork
6/30/16 6:52 p.m.
Javelin wrote: In reply to Cotton: Thanks for the idea to google it (duh!), turns out is some $25 plastic gears. I got a set on order.

Well that makes sense.....for some reason I was thinking it was digital. I had to do the gears in my 95 GT....pretty easy job.

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
6/30/16 8:40 p.m.
Gab wrote: Javelin, excellent thread. I own a black '98 Cobra that I've begun AX'ing this year and love every minute of it. I'll be following this thread!

Post up what's done to yours and how you're doing in AX!

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
6/30/16 8:42 p.m.
terrantmike wrote: I'm jealous of you Amazing pics ! I'm just learning about performance swaps.

Hey thanks. You'll learn a ton reading these forums. I've learned a LOT from all of the other posters here, they've done just about everything.

jfryjfry
jfryjfry Reader
7/1/16 12:56 a.m.

I must have missed something - how did you get this car and not get the low-down on its history???

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
7/1/16 10:19 a.m.

In reply to jfryjfry:

The guy I got it from only owned it 6 months and bought it at a dealer trade in auction!

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
7/1/16 11:10 a.m.

We've seen that with modified Miatas. The original modifier keeps it for years and knows everything. Then they sell it. The new owner keeps the car until something goes wrong, then they sell it. It'll often go through several owners really quickly at this point and might even get traded in. Any history of the modifications gets lost.

Then the newest owner calls us to try to figure out what they've got.

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
7/7/16 4:03 p.m.

Observations from basically DD'ing this thing:

The A/C and cruise both work. It always starts right up. No leaks, no smoke. The new clutch and trans are fantastic. It will haul a roll of laminate flooring thanks to the fold-down rear seats (I have a Mazda5 and a buddy's 08 Ram in my driveway, and I pick the flooring in the Mustang, because racecar?).

The shifter will be here Monday. I also had to order some header gaskets and new header bolts because the right one has a small leak since we had to take it out to do the transmission. The new style bolts have a hex and a regular head so you can use a ball hex socket to get them in easier and a regular wrench to tighten them up, as opposed to the 12-points that are on there now.

Aiming to go drag racing the 23rd at PIR's Late Night Drags...

tester
tester New Reader
7/8/16 8:34 a.m.

In reply to Javelin:

Darn you to heck. Now I miss my '94 Cobra. It was a 302, not the 4.6, but it had the same suspension and brakes, etc... Once you get all of the previous owner E36 M3 fixed, these are great cars. When I had mine, the Mach1/Bullitt suspension parts were readily available and cheap. Maximum Motorsports makes great stuff.

Apexcarver
Apexcarver PowerDork
7/8/16 8:45 a.m.

Jav, dont know if you know this, but every once in a blue moon you want to lift up on the clutch pedal. That is how the auto-adjust for the cable works. (random thing I just recalled)

I ran mine last weekend for the first time in a number of years with decent tires and a working diff. FUN. it drives so differently than the miata that I need more seat time. I only got 3 runs instead of the full six that our club does (perils of being an organizer and what venue double books a wedding and an autocross? furthermore, who the hell gets married at a baseball stadium?). Will need more seat time to really get everything out of it. Was within a second of a national-level STS miata with it though. My miata has been within a half second of him and I know that I have at least that much to drop once I get my head back around the car.

I need to find my micro-SD card so I can shoot video next time.

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
9/13/16 12:18 p.m.

I also found that it has a Steeda Aluminum Underdrive pulley set:

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Then it was time to do the shifter mod. First, out with the old:

OE shifter assembly next to the FAR superior MGW unit, which is made in the USA:

Check out the totally ghetto-modified stock handle that was cut and booger welded to make it "short throw" (no wonder they cooked 3rd gear!):

Close up of the top of the MGW, which is completely adjustable:

The business end:

The new shifter is the single best shifter I have ever used, and I've used a lot! It's so smooth and precise, like a Miata, but actually gives you that "positive engagement" feel, like an old Hurst Competition Plus on an external-linkage trans like a T-10. I put quite a lot of miles on it just enjoying it:

Next to a friend's Roush:

And at work:

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
9/13/16 12:21 p.m.

Then I decided to go drag racing at PIR on a test and tune night just to see what it would do. The stock 3.27 gears aren't correct for drag racing (shift into 3rd just before the 8th and then run through the traps in 3rd) and the tires were just dead, but it was still a load of fun! And reasonably quick for an autocross car:

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
9/13/16 12:26 p.m.

Then THIS happened!!!

jj
jj HalfDork
9/13/16 6:40 p.m.

Great project. Glad to hear some SN95 work. I just picked up a 5.0 SN95 and ordered a MM road and track box. I'm interested to hear how you do with tire fitment as I am still researching that.

Tirerack has enkei rpf1's in 17x9.

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
9/13/16 6:51 p.m.

In reply to jj:

I had a separate thread on the tires, ended up going with 275/40/17 on 17x9 fronts and 315/35/17 on 17x10.5" rears, Nitto NT05.

jj
jj HalfDork
9/14/16 8:48 a.m.

I didn't realize Nitto made a tire like that. Good price too.

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
9/14/16 10:05 a.m.

So, the big question on everybody's mind is probably "why is the engine out?!?", and I'll tell you. Remember that one header we had to unbolt to do the trans and clutch? Well, it leaked. Bad. No amount of fiddling would get it to stop, nor could we slip a new gasket. There was no other choice, I had to pull the cradle.

First things first, we took the headers off and put on new Remflex header gaskets and new BBK header bolts. The new bolts have a recessed allen hole in the hex to allow you to use a ball allen socket to spin them, which makes future work much easier.

And yes, we did both sides.

I also head a belt chirp going on. I couldn't figure out if it was the tensioner pulley or the idler pulley, but since the job is such a bear (you have to take off the RF coil bracket and the EGR pipe to get the tensioner off!) I changed the entire tensioner assembly and the idler.

I also degreased the motor really well and made sure there was nothing else that needed to be done while it was out of the car.

I kept looking at that red engine bay though...

And it was driving me nuts, so I cleaned it and painted it grey! It's a much lighter shade than the car so I can see any future oil leaks, but it will blend with the color of the car so much better. I still have to do the top of the bay, but at least the impossible to reach part is done.

I also did something that for some reason I took no photos of. I traded the original heavy all-powered leather seats for a set of matching cloth all manual seats. Saved about 40 pounds! The seats are pretty nasty, but really I was after the back seat (nice enough) and the all-manual tracks in anticipation of new racing buckets.

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
9/14/16 10:09 a.m.

Then it was new tire time. The old 300TW Dunlops were starting to cord on the insides of the fronts, and the rears were just about bald. After consultation with the GRM hive mind, I decided on 200TW Nitto NT05's in 275/40/17 front and 315/35/17 rear.

But first I had to make sure the old ones were done.

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
9/14/16 10:16 a.m.

Then this happened. Hit and run by a drunk driver while it was parked in front of my house because I was in the garage rebuilding Gladys' carburetor for the fourth time.

Luckily, we not only caught the perpetrator, but I also have Hagerty agreed-value collector car insurance. So despite the significant damage to the suspension and body (LF hub assembly, spindle/upright, strut, C/C plate, and LCA, 3 wheels, LR quarter, LF fender, headlight, bodywork, and 3/4 of a paint job), the car is getting fixed. Now I have to decide on a new paint color and wheels! I am paying the difference out of pocket to paint the whole car, because I don't like this color anyway.

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