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  1. #1



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    1997 Pacific Green Cobra build

    I'm just going to go ahead and post up a build thread. It'll be slow since I generally like to gather all of the parts I need before starting anything. Just to start, you can read a little bit of my history and about acquiring the car in my introduction thread here: http://www.sn95forums.com/showthread...mber-returning

    TL;DR: I joined the site a long time ago when I had a difference PG Cobra and wanted to get another one. Decided to get a clean low mile example.

    So, the car is in great shape and has only 68k miles. My goals overall are to have a car that is comfortable and capable. After having quite a few truly excellent sports cars in my past, the Cobra feels a little weak and definitely way too loose in the suspension. Ideally, I'd like to have it ride, handle, stop and go like my old 1LE Camaro. Probably an impossible task given how dated the chassis and suspension components are in comparison, but I'm going to do my best.

    In order of modifications, I will start with brakes and suspension, then power mods. I am firmly of the belief that you should only have as much power as the car can safely handle and I think the stock 305hp of the Cobra is all the stock car can handle.

    Onto pictures and where I am currently.

    So, here's the car when it was on the dealer lot:






    And after I got it home:





    At this point, I started maintenance including some autolite iridium plugs, FRPP 9mm wires, fuel filter, trans fluid, air filter, and I had to replace a bad drivers side window regulator. That sucked.

    After that, I started mods. Shifter replaced with a Steeda Tri-ax:

    Old:



    New. Not pictured, but I also cut some thick 1" foam to put around the base for noise control:



    Installed my Sirius XM radio:



    Love how clean this car is:



    I got a steal of a deal on a new set of Russell braided brake lines. The stock brakes are in great shape and I've always thought they were adequate for this car. If I do any further upgrades, it won't be for a long while. The stainless lines helped take just that little bit of sponginess out of the pedal:






    In the meantime, I've acquired a set of Steeda Aluminum LCA's (thanks to a member on here), a set of Saleen Racecraft springs, and a set of UPR CC plates (which I may replace with a 4 bolt design CC plate later).

    I was going to wait until I had everything to do the suspension, including a MM Panhard bar, new shocks/struts and a set of Eibach sways, but I decided I could go ahead and knock the rear LCA's out in an afternoon.

    Old:



    New:





    That brings me to current. I haven't gotten a ton done on it to this point, but I'll update the thread as I go.
    Last edited by ForcFed93; 07-14-2017 at 01:28 PM.


    1997 Pacific Green Cobra

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  3. #2


    Burninriverdiver's Avatar
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    Nice clean platform! Looking forward to seeing the progress on it

    96 GT

  4. #3



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    ..
    Last edited by Firefighter181; 08-03-2017 at 08:50 AM.

  5. #4


    1998cobrasvt's Avatar
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    Awesome Man! Congrats!

  6. #5



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    I now have a full set of Bilstein HD's on the way. Since I already have a set of Saleen springs and a set of CC plates, I'm going to install everything once the shocks/struts arrive.

    For those that don't follow the suspension section, I initiated some discussion about an IRS that popped up for sale near me and there was some good back and forth with some knowledgeable people: http://www.sn95forums.com/showthread...go-IRS-or-SRA/

    Cliffs: I'm going to stick with the SRA and do a simple damper/spring package and a rear PHB.
    1997 Pacific Green Cobra

  7. #6



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    That car is super clean. You are off to a really good start.
    1997 Cobra

  8. #7



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    Update. I got a case of the mightaswells.

    While I'm in there, I might as well do all of the following:

    Bilstein HD shocks/struts
    Racecraft springs
    Camber Caster plates
    Prothane front control arm bushings
    Prothane sway bar bushings
    Prothane end link bushings
    Prothane steering rack bushings
    FTR Bumpsteer kit (classic version)

    I'm starting on the rear end tonight since it will be easy compared to the front. After that I'll have the front taken apart for quite a while since I like to take my time.

    Should feel like a new car by the time I'm done. Will add pictures as I go.
    1997 Pacific Green Cobra

  9. #8



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    Got the rear end done today. Hasn't dropped it much, but then again, these pictures were immediately after. I'm sure it will settle. Plus I didn't do any measurements or before/after shots.






    Last edited by ForcFed93; 07-14-2017 at 01:36 PM.
    1997 Pacific Green Cobra

  10. #9


    Burninriverdiver's Avatar
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    Nice work! The rear should settle some, it took a week of driving for mine to sit right after installing lowering springs

    96 GT

  11. #10



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    Started tearing apart the front last night. I've decided that I should probably change out the ball joints when I have the control arms out. They're in good shape, but at least one of the dust boots is torn. Plus, when I separate spindle from the ball joint, I'm sure it will be damaged.

    ive read really mixed reviews on the Steeda X2's, so I'm probably going to go back with OEM Ford or Moog joints, unless someone else has anything else they recommend.
    1997 Pacific Green Cobra

  12. #11


    lwarrior1016's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForcFed93 View Post
    Started tearing apart the front last night. I've decided that I should probably change out the ball joints when I have the control arms out. They're in good shape, but at least one of the dust boots is torn. Plus, when I separate spindle from the ball joint, I'm sure it will be damaged.

    ive read really mixed reviews on the Steeda X2's, so I'm probably going to go back with OEM Ford or Moog joints, unless someone else has anything else they recommend.
    Nice work on the springs. Be prepared for a real fight on the front control arm bushings, those suckers are in there.

    Ive had good luck with both oem and moog, so at that point it would be preference. I think the moogs have a grease fitting where oem doesnt, I cant remember.
    Rio Red 98 GT
    Always Under Construction


  13. #12



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    Quote Originally Posted by lwarrior1016 View Post
    Nice work on the springs. Be prepared for a real fight on the front control arm bushings, those suckers are in there.

    Ive had good luck with both oem and moog, so at that point it would be preference. I think the moogs have a grease fitting where oem doesnt, I cant remember.
    Yeah, I'll probably run OEM since I know they're good and MM says they'll last 200k. As far as the bushings, I'm dreading that portion. Both removing the control arm bolts and the bushings from the control arms themselves. But, on the plus side, I have a buddy with press I can use (and also a blast cabinet to sand blast them). If I still can't get them with his press, I can take it to my families machine shop and I can guarantee their press will make it happen.
    1997 Pacific Green Cobra

  14. #13



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    Front is completely apart now.

    Had some help with the disassembly:



    After hearing horror stories of people torching or cutting out their front control arm bolts, I'm happy to report that pretty much everything in the front end of my car came apart easily. I really didn't struggle with anything. I guess that's the benefit of buying a good condition low mile car. Control arm bolts look pretty much new even. The hardest part I think was pulling the rack forward to get the control arm bolts out.





    Now I just gotta these to my buddies to press out the bushings and ball joints. Will do that tomorrow.

    Also, I'm still waiting on some parts to arrive. Mainly, the control arm bushings, which should arrive tomorrow. Still waiting on my FTR bumpsteer kit to ship as well. Still have to buy ball joints as well.

    This thing should feel like a brand new car by the time I'm done with it.
    Last edited by ForcFed93; 07-14-2017 at 02:31 PM.
    1997 Pacific Green Cobra

  15. #14



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    Update: Got the Moog ball joints installed along with the prothane bushings. For anyone interested, the control arm bushings do not press out. We tried on both a 20T and 110T press and they just deflect. Got the torch out, heated them for about 30 seconds each and they popped right out with a smack of the hammer.

    Got the control arms finger tight, reinstalled the rack with the new prothane bushings (so far, this was the most challenging thing I've done yet, PITA), and in the process of installing the prothane sway bar bushings I broke a sway bar mounting stud. So I'll have to get another from Ford ASAP.

    On a side note, the used CC plates I bought off of eBay for cheap were a bust. They were both passenger side plates. So I ordered a new set of J&M plates, should be here Thursday and my FTR bumpsteer kit still hasn't arrived. I'll update with pictures later.
    1997 Pacific Green Cobra

  16. #15



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    Pretty much buttoned everything up except for the bumpsteer kit and the CC plates. CC plates were ordered yesterday, will arrive by Thursday. FTR bumpsteer kit was ordered 4/21 and still hasn't even shipped. I'm leaving Friday for Arizona and will be there all weekend. Wanted to get this thing done before then, but it looks like that isn't going to be in the cards.



    Broken sway bar mounting stud. Got it fixed up though.




    Pretty much where she sits now. I went ahead and used the stock camber plates and just left them loose until I get my new ones Thursday.

    Last edited by ForcFed93; 07-14-2017 at 02:44 PM.
    1997 Pacific Green Cobra

  17. #16



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    My FTR Bump Steer kit won't be here until Thursday. I have a cars and coffee event coming up on Saturday so I decided to button everything up and I'll do the bump steer kit later.



    Camber Caster plates installed:



    First time I set her down:



    Remembered that I needed to install the shorter bump stop for the rear pinion:



    After a couple miles:




    Now, onto the bad news. A few miles in I got a check engine light. Got a P1131. Sounds like a bad o2 sensor. Just more money to drop a possibly an excuse to get an ORX. We'll see what the wife says. In the meantime, I decided I should clean the MAF since I have some of the CRC cleaner on hand now.



    Overall driving impressions, and keep in mind that this is without an alignment and I know the camber and caster are probably way off:

    It was a bit bumpy. I know it's going to be stiffer, and it is, but I feel like bigger bumps seem to jounce the car a bit. I had hoped with the expensive Bilstein HD's it would give a firm, tight feel without the jounce. Perhaps I just need a few more miles to settle it in. On the plus side, it corners flat. I really didn't push it, but it is a lot flatter. Steering is much sharper too. I was expecting some additional road noise with the CC plates and poly bushings, but really there is not an ounce of additional noise.

    I'm really happy with it. Now I just need to get a PHB and new wheels/tires. Oh, and get rid of the P1131.
    Last edited by ForcFed93; 07-14-2017 at 02:50 PM.
    1997 Pacific Green Cobra

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  19. #17



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    They took a while to get to me, but man are these beautiful. Truly a work of art. Thanks Pete! Can't wait to get these installed this weekend.

    Last edited by ForcFed93; 07-14-2017 at 02:50 PM.
    1997 Pacific Green Cobra

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  21. #18



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    Installed bump steer kit last night. Took all of 15 minutes per side.

    Scheduled an alignment today at 2pm.

    My specs are going to be as follows: Caster - +6.0, Camber - -1.0, Toe - Factory. Anyone have any thoughts? I wanted to be aggressive, but not overly so since most of my driving will be normal street driving.

    Also, I have a set of OEM Ford o2 sensors arriving today to hopefully clear up the P1131.

    Last edited by ForcFed93; 07-14-2017 at 02:51 PM.
    1997 Pacific Green Cobra

  22. #19



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    I feel like I'm talking to myself on here....

    Car is aligned. Surprisingly, it seems less bumpy now.

    They weren't able to get a 6.0 in the caster. So it's setting right around +4.5 caster, -1.0 camber and very slightly toe in.

    Also, I replaced both upstream oxygen sensors with Motorcraft brand sensors (deceptively easy to do) and it completely cleared the rough idle and P1131 code. Cars and Coffee tomorrow morning.
    1997 Pacific Green Cobra

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  24. #20


    96laseredcobra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForcFed93 View Post
    I feel like I'm talking to myself on here....

    Car is aligned. Surprisingly, it seems less bumpy now.

    They weren't able to get a 6.0 in the caster. So it's setting right around +4.5 caster, -1.0 camber and very slightly toe in.

    Also, I replaced both upstream oxygen sensors with Motorcraft brand sensors (deceptively easy to do) and it completely cleared the rough idle and P1131 code. Cars and Coffee tomorrow morning.
    Looking good bro, are those sport line springs? And my cobra is way less bumpy now than when I got it. Kyb gasajust shocks and struts with eibach sportlines. I am after a bump steer kit next.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk

 

 

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