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Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
2/13/18 12:12 a.m.

 Original Build

So I've had the Cobra for a year and a half now, and last season was pretty exciting. I managed to autocross in CAM, drag race to the low 13's@104, and do my first Track Night in America event. The thread died out as my medical issues kept me from running, but now I'm back and the car will be, too! 

Step 1: wash it

Donebrokeit
Donebrokeit SuperDork
2/13/18 5:32 a.m.

SWEET!

DrBoost
DrBoost MegaDork
2/13/18 8:11 a.m.

Looks good!

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
2/14/18 11:28 a.m.

Okay, let's back up here. In the original thread, I was getting ready for my first Track Night in America. I have done track days before, including at Portland International Raceway, but it had been awhile so I signed up for the Novice section. 

 

The Track Night was *amazing*! That program is easily the best thing the SCCA has done in the 12 years I've been a member. It was run very efficiently, and I maximized my track time. It made all 3 sessions with almost no issues. The surprising thing was it was the fastest car in the corners. This suspension setup is perfect for track days, it grips so hard and never washes out, the balance is perfectly neutral. On the very last session, I managed to get to the front and absolutely hauled the mail every lap. The data showed vmax of 122MPH on the front straight before the kink! And then the front pads turned liquid, and that was that.

Cooper_Tired
Cooper_Tired HalfDork
2/14/18 11:38 a.m.

Glad to see updates on this car!

 

I have a soft spot for the 96-98 Cobras. I used to go drool over them on the local dealer lot when they were new. My old neighbor bought one new in ‘97 and at the time, it was the fastest car I had ridden in. 

 

Looking forward to seeing where this project leads

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
2/19/18 11:14 p.m.

So more thoughts on track days in the Cobra: That really is it's "home". You can drive to the track in relative comfort (A/C, cruise, power windows) and then drive all sessions with no issues at frankly ludicrous speeds for the safety equipment involved with no changes, even the tires. I simply can't believe how good it is at cornering compared to the other 30+ fox-chassis I've owned. You know you can play a sim game like Gran Turismo or Forza and just get this amazing race going where you spend the final laps in the front nailing perfect lines with a sunset in your face? Yeah, I had that in real life.

Now, the brake pad failure. This car had PBR drilled/slotted rotors and street/track pads on it, that were simply not up to repeated 120+ MPH stops. I installed a StopTech slotted only street/track package on the front and left the still-functional rears alone.

I spent a few months just driving the car some as I dealt with my medical stuff and managed to find an abandoned mill site on one of the good days and did some drift testing...

That was fun!

 

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
2/19/18 11:24 p.m.

So as the summer wound on and I got better, I took it drag racing at Portland International Raceway with one of the car clubs I'm in and had a good night. It was super-consistent and I got to a new best with it.

 

 

13.509@102.66 with 2.0 60's with a street-tire, autocross-setup, stick-shift car in full street trim in daytime heat is pretty good!

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair UltimaDork
2/20/18 10:43 a.m.

nice work!  it's hard to get sub-2.000 60' on street tires, so don't feel too bad about that.

Floating Doc
Floating Doc Reader
2/20/18 11:31 a.m.

Thanks for sharing. I like this generation of Cobras too. 

Apexcarver
Apexcarver PowerDork
2/20/18 2:12 p.m.

Glad to see you are back at it with it!

 

Hope to have mine out of winter storage soon, been down and out all winter with a medical issue as well. 

Will
Will UltraDork
2/20/18 6:06 p.m.
AngryCorvair said:

nice work!  it's hard to get sub-2.000 60' on street tires, so don't feel too bad about that.

Took me years to get one in my Supercoupe. Tons of 2.0X launches, never could do it. One day I launched and instantly knew it was the best launch of my life--ended up being a 1.97 60', best MPH, and .4 second off my previous best ET.

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
2/22/18 11:34 a.m.

I took the Cobra to PIR again for the Rose Cup Races and joined some other Mustangs in the car corral and took a few exhibition laps.

The Nitto NT05's wore out way too fast. They don't last on any kind of street driving, and wear super fast when being tracked. I switched back to my first love of competition tires, the Falken Rt-615K+. I also changed sizes down to 255/40/17 F and 275/40/17 R to get rid of my rubbing issues. This also allowed me to decrease front camber another 2 tenths of a degree.

The big local car show/cruise was coming up at the end of August, and the red engine bay was getting to me. It was time to fix it...

Apexcarver
Apexcarver PowerDork
2/22/18 10:50 p.m.

Because not enough is changing about mine to deserve its own thread, this is last summer.

 

 

Apexcarver
Apexcarver PowerDork
2/22/18 10:52 p.m.
Javelin said:

Missing inner fender liner as well!

smokindav
smokindav Reader
2/23/18 6:33 a.m.

Are you running any brake cooling? I was constantly cracking my front rotors when doing track days - Road America, Mid-America Motorplex. My car was a ‘97 Mustang Cobra. Stock calipers with track pads and the only rotors I could find where the cheap Chinese ones. I was running front brake cooling ducts and hoses and backing plates. One theory was backing plates were directing air to center of hub (good) and also rotor face (bad) creating uneven cooling g and cracks.

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
2/24/18 9:45 a.m.

Always liked this car. Funnily enough, the DOHC  n/a cobra/mach1 is something i've never driven, only rode in. I'm working on a '95 5.0 right now and it made me curious about the DOHCs again. What rpm do you shift at?

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
2/25/18 1:36 a.m.
Vigo said:

Always liked this car. Funnily enough, the DOHC  n/a cobra/mach1 is something i've never driven, only rode in. I'm working on a '95 5.0 right now and it made me curious about the DOHCs again. What rpm do you shift at?

7400, but I'm trying to be nice to the motor since it has 160K on it. 

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
3/6/18 8:13 p.m.

So, I took everything apart as far as I could, masked the rest, and brought the old spoiler to a paint shop to match the custom paint and put it in a couple of spray cans...

I even did literally under the hood.

And the battery area of the engine bay.

And the airbox area.

And the finished package! I also painted the factory strut tower brace a wrinkle silver, and touched up a few other items.

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
3/6/18 10:56 p.m.
Apexcarver said:

Because not enough is changing about mine to deserve its own thread, this is last summer.

 

 

I wish I could thumbs up this more than once! A white Cobra when they were new was the local killer car that got me into these.

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
3/14/18 12:08 p.m.

Forgot to show underneath the actual hood, which I also did.

Come fall, I finally made it to a neat thing where a local company (PRE in Portland, OR) put on a car setup clinic in their shop on a Friday night, and then on Saturday we ran a test-and-tune all day at PIR where we put what we learned to the test. I figured out my tire pressures were too low, and that I needed more camber in the front.

Here's a look at the front suspension, which is very different from stock. The spring has been moved from the lower A-arm to the strut in a coilover setup, the LCA has been converted to tubular with no pocket at all, the swaybar is larger with beefier endlinks, and the rack has been raised and the outer tie rods are the Steeda bumpsteer ones.

I've been trying to add lightness to this pig, and my future BIL got me a new carbon fiber wallet! Yes, it's real cf, and it's actually really cool.

Mezzanine
Mezzanine Dork
3/14/18 12:15 p.m.

My wallet doesn't need any help to get lighter...

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
3/14/18 12:20 p.m.

October brought nice weather and the first real autocross, that also went well. The Falkens on the front gripped a lot better than Nittos had, and I was starting to actually dial in tire pressures and an alignment that I liked. The car sits with a pretty big rake though because of the rear tubular control arms, so I need to look at raising the front. That was the end of competition for the season last year.

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
3/14/18 12:27 p.m.

Looking through my timeslip collection, I had drag raced a few more times and the best the car got last season was actually a 13.458@103.11! The 60' was 1.954 and ran 8.619@81.33 in the 1/8th. That's really not bad for an autocross car. Those were the best 60' and MPH as well. 

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
6/12/18 10:17 p.m.

Some semi-pro shots taken from autocross in 2017:

 

Floating Doc
Floating Doc HalfDork
6/12/18 10:54 p.m.

Nice photos, hope to see more updates.

Is that brake lockup? Doesn't it have antilock brakes?

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