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Acme Lab Rat
Acme Lab Rat Reader
11/30/16 12:13 p.m.

Woof. I love this car. My very first autocross in '97, I'm sitting in our novice group with a Viper, an M3, a two-tone, brand new '97 Cobra...and my little '85 MR2. I beat the Viper...

I have a spreadsheet called "how I'd spend $20K" and one of the worksheets is labeled "SN95 Cobra." The parts list reads like your car...

Tillerman
Tillerman None
12/13/16 10:16 p.m.

In reply to Javelin?:

I recently bought a 97 Cobra and was wondering if your engine has functional IMRC plates or if you are running IMRC deletes? Also, how many miles on the car and/or engine?

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
12/13/16 10:27 p.m.

In reply to Tillerman:

Mine are fully functional. The car has 159000 miles on it and the motor is matching to the car, so I assume it is the same.

Sky_Render
Sky_Render SuperDork
12/14/16 7:43 a.m.

What's the bodywork status?!

Apexcarver
Apexcarver PowerDork
12/14/16 7:59 a.m.

In reply to Tillerman:

about 60k on mine and fully functional for another data point

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
12/14/16 3:45 p.m.
Sky_Render wrote: What's the bodywork status?!

It's done! I've been too busy doing burnouts leaving cars and coffee events to update my thread.

PMRacing
PMRacing SuperDork
12/15/16 7:52 a.m.

In reply to Javelin:

So when are you putting up the "ISO Mustang Cobra front bumper, hood, and windshield" because of hitting bystanders" thread?

Sky_Render
Sky_Render SuperDork
12/15/16 8:52 a.m.
Javelin wrote:
Sky_Render wrote: What's the bodywork status?!

It's done! I've been too busy doing burnouts leaving cars and coffee events to update my thread.

Obligatory:

Tillerman
Tillerman New Reader
12/15/16 9:55 p.m.

In reply to Javelin:

Well, that is good to know. My 97 has a P1519 code. I have bought a set of the resin (plastic) IMRC plates, cables and controller from a guy parting out a high mileage 98 Cobra. I figured that my son and I could clean the plastic plates and test the controller (seller wasn't sure if the controller works) to have as a set of replacements or spares for the ones in the car.

Tillerman
Tillerman New Reader
12/15/16 10:00 p.m.

In reply to Apexcarver:

Thanks for that. Reading the various 4V Mustang forums, it seems most people change to deletes, versus cleaning and/or trying to hunt down a working controller.

I have yet to come across a forum post that described fixing a broken controller. If anyone has information, I would be interested. As is probably well known, the controllers are NLA from Ford.

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
1/10/17 11:35 a.m.

Okay, time to update. Back to the bodywork, I was tired of waiting for my "normal" shop, so I had my buddy Gil at Toyland Speed & Custom knock it out for me in the Gunmetal color. First, metal work on the quarter panel:

Finished with the metal and starting on the finish work:

Notice the guide coats over the primer as they block sand and make sure everything is up to par. Also test fitting the new rear spoiler.

Exactly 10 days after taking the job on, the car was done!

More beauty shots:

Yes, Gil's work is way nicer than the rest of the car. Insurance did cover a lot of blend work and a cut and buff. It actually matches pretty well. I love the spoiler! I found a stock 94-98 decklid with no spoiler and a stock 99-00 GT/Cobra spoiler and had Gil mount it to my decklid pushed all the way to the back of the car. Of all the mods done to all the Mustangs, I couldn't find any photos of this done on this generation car. I think it turned out awesome!

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
1/10/17 11:41 a.m.

Then I started driving the car in-between snow storms and the exhaust fell off, so I had Don at Reliable Muffler install some new hangars for me. As you can imagine, in a car so low with nothing stock there were some interference "issues". He got everything to play nice.

Then I addressed the bent rear control arm with a new set of SVE tubular arms for the rear upper and lowers. Nothing fancy, just stock geometry for now. I didn't want to risk tearing the floor out of the car, and wasn't ready for the Steeda 5-link rabbit-hole.

Then my new not-blue wheels finally showed up:

So I had my buddy Seth at T&T Tire mount them up. Not bad. Not as good as the silver ones I had, but nut bad. I may have my old ones straightened and powdercoated silver anyways and sell these.

And that brings us up to date. Now the fun starts on getting it ready for a season of CAM autocross in the local SCCA region (plus Packwood National Tour!) and at least one Track Night in America at Portland International Raceway.

Sky_Render
Sky_Render SuperDork
1/10/17 11:55 a.m.

Careful with those control arms. They can still damage the torque boxes.

The0retical
The0retical Dork
1/10/17 12:26 p.m.

Repositioning the spoiler really gives the car a different look. Something about the SN95 never sat right with me in stock form but lowered and with the rear wing like that I like it. A lot.

Good to see some progress.

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
1/10/17 3:12 p.m.

In reply to The0retical:

That's how it is for me, too. I can't stand stock fox bodies, SN95s, or New Edges, but once you drop them, change the wheels, and do a few mods they look great!

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
1/10/17 9:56 p.m.
Sky_Render wrote: Careful with those control arms. They can still damage the torque boxes.

Really? I know the drag guys doing hard launches can rip out the torque boxes, but these are plain-jane OE-replacement style, just tubular. Nothing fancy in the bushings and no adjustability to put any more strain on any one area.

Sky_Render
Sky_Render SuperDork
1/11/17 7:27 a.m.
Javelin wrote:
Sky_Render wrote: Careful with those control arms. They can still damage the torque boxes.

Really? I know the drag guys doing hard launches can rip out the torque boxes, but these are plain-jane OE-replacement style, just tubular. Nothing fancy in the bushings and no adjustability to put any more strain on any one area.

If the durometer is the same squishiness as the OEM bushings, you'll be fine. But if they are any stiffer...

apexcarver and I witnessed a New Edge Mustang with aftermarket poly-bushing control arms completely destroy an upper control arm after about half a season of autocross. Fortunately, his control arm failed (easy fix) instead of the torque box (not easy fix).

Bodywork looks AWESOME, by the way.

Apexcarver
Apexcarver PowerDork
1/11/17 8:18 a.m.

Agree with Sky_Render, we did see that, it was as stated. That's why I wouldn't replace an upper control arm with anything but stock or the 5-link geometry change.

As I said before, the factory geometry binds and relies on bushing compliance to not have broken parts or snap oversteer. Basically, if its too stiff it can break stuff and can also exhibit as snap oversteer as it binds. The primary stresses we are discussing arent drag launch related, rather from cornering loads and vehicle body roll resistance.

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
1/12/17 1:23 p.m.

Well crap, I guess I need to get the torque box reinforcements in and have Gil do some welding. They are polyurethane bushings, but no mention at all about higher durometer. I had to replace the uppers, that's what was bent!

pres589
pres589 UberDork
1/12/17 1:41 p.m.

Get new stock uppers from somewhere like Maximum Motorsports or possibly Ford. You want big, fat, squishy bushings in those things if the rear suspension is in a stock or nearly stock configuration. The upper arms can also bend and flex around which is sadly a good thing in this case.

pres589
pres589 UberDork
1/12/17 1:44 p.m.

p.s. I still love how that rear spoiler turned out. Probably the nicest looking pre-New Edge SN95 setup I've seen. They don't look great with the stock spoiler, they don't look great without it. Oddly, I really like the flat deck look of a New Edge Mustang without the spoilers that came from the factory.

Apexcarver
Apexcarver PowerDork
1/12/17 1:59 p.m.

Jav, as Pres589 alluded, just get new stock ones from Ford or Maximum (or even a junkyard if you are modding soon). Reinforcing the torque boxes just means the floor bends back and forth less and the stresses are on the aftermarket control arms. I have seen aftermarket UCAs fracture from the repeated stresses in an autocross car (it didnt do trackdays, just a half season of autocross on those control arms, no accidents)

Sorry, but it is really true that there are awful aftermarket parts mixed in with some good stuff and some of the stuff can even be made well, but still turn out dangerous in some applications. Most of the stuff marketed for these cars figure you are either someone who just drives on the street and wants bling, or are a drag racer. They just dont put nearly as much stress on the parts in the same ways that trackdays and autocross does. BUYER BEWARE!

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
1/12/17 2:05 p.m.

I'll see about some MOOG OE-style replacements, I have some connections there. The actual Ford arms are double what the set of 4 aftermarket arms were...

Thanks for the comments on the bodywork and the spoiler. I am disappointed I couldn't work the color change, but the work did turn out great. The spoiler I am very happy with. It's so aggressive looking in person!

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
1/12/17 2:06 p.m.

Actually, thinking about it, what about adding the Panhard rod now? If that reduces the side-loading forces on the UCA's, will I have to worry about them impacting the floor anymore?

jj
jj HalfDork
1/12/17 2:13 p.m.

I see you have 315's on there! Did you have to do anything to make it fit? What is your wheel width/offset? I have a 1994 SN95 I am building. I havent bought tires yet and was worried about the 315's fitting.

For the control arm issue, I have heard about the uppers causing problems also. I went with MM lowers plus a PHB, stock uppers.

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