Casper the Cobra - Procharged 96' Cobra

Venompower

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Back in January I had been kicking around the idea of purchasing another Harley, and my wife in a not so subtle way reminded my that I have two young boys who need a father, lol. She met me half way and gave her blessing to pick up another Mustang project, so that I could take the boys to Chicago Cruise nights around the suburbs. I had sold my previous Mustangs to fund home purchases or moves, and now that we are settled it's time to get back into it.

I found Casper on Facebook Marketplace in Milwaukee. I had several conversations with the owner, and had a local friend check the car out. Zero rust, low miles, lots of great mods that I'll list below, but the car wasn't capable of being driven. The two large issues were a missing serpentine belt (I was told the old belt had shredded) and a transmission that didn't want to shift. I came to a price I was comfortable with based on those issues and made arrangements to come and pick Casper up.

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I drove up from the west suburbs of Chicago with a U-Haul car trailer, and let me just say luck was on my side. This was probably the nicest day we had yet had in Chicago, and the following day we got snow.

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Got it loaded up, and then made a couple stops finding a Chase Bank that wasn't booked up to get the bill of sale notarized. Previous owner had just paid off his loan through his credit union and title wasn't yet available. I was a little nervous about completing the sale with no title, but I verified everything with his credit union and have since received the signed title in the mail.

Got her home and tucked away in the garage!
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So details on the car are:

1996 Cobra
- Procharger P-1SC Supercharger w/ 3-Core Intercooler and Big Red Blow Off Valve
- VMP Blow through MAF
- TKO600 transmission with Quick Time Bellhousing
- McLeod Clucth
- Aluminum Driveshaft
- Tubular K-Member with Front Control Arms
- Coilovers
- Subframe Connectors
- BBK Long Tube Headers and Off Road Mid-Pipe
- AEM Boost and AFR guage

I also received the stock transmission as part of the sale (pictured behind the Cobra)

I have already done quite a bit to the car, and will document that in some follow up posts. I'm happy to be back in a Cobra, continuing my tradition of having never owned a V8 Mustang that wasn't a DOHC 4.6. Look forward to documenting the car here!
 

Venompower

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The first thing I noticed was that the Procharger pulley was not in alignment with the Alternator pulley.
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I assume this misalignment may have had something to do with the belt shredding. So after spending a couple weeks talking to Procharger and some friends there and ordering the correct spacers, some laser alignment, I finally got it sorted.

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Once the bolts on the Procharger bracket were tightened the alignment was spot on. While the blower was off I noticed it was covered in oil grime, I had planned on changing the oil anyways and it was just below half of what it should have been. I thought the belt shred might have taken out the pulley seal, so I changed the seal and filled it back with the proper amount of Procharger oil. Fired it up not really knowing what it should sound like, and got feedback from the local Mustang Club that it sounded like the Procharger needed a rebuild. Fast forward a few weeks and sparing all the painful details, I planned to bite the bullet and have Procharger clean and inspect the blower and then hopefully just do new bearings and seals. The night before in preparation for sending it I noticed the outside of the pulley was shiny, realized the grinding noise was the pulley rubbing against the alternator housing. I also found the Ford idler was completely shot... replaced the idler and clearanced the alternator housing and the blower sounds great!

 

Venompower

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Used Plastidip for the lower section of the rear bumper, I think they all should have come this way:
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Replaced the GT500 cobra badges on the side, as they are simply to big for an SN95 and in my opinion look comical:
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Replaced the license plate bulbs and gauge bulbs with LED's:
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Replaced the trunk 99' SVT emblem to the correct style emblem for my 96 (yes I know it's not the soft stick on emblem that was stock):
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I also picked up everything need to run 10 AN line from both valve covers to a breather catch can. Only problem is the can is large enough that I don't have room under the hood... debating putting it under the front bumper somewhere, or doing a battery relocation kit and putting it where the battery used to be....
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Venompower

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You could probably hear the vacuum leak in the video I posted, I tracked it down to the throttle body and noticed that a) there is a hole in the top of the throttle body and I don't know why and b) it was plugged from the factory and mine is not. Not sure why the plug was removed, or what size the plug is, or where to get another... going to try and go to Ace on my lunch break to see if they have anything that will thread.

If anyone near Chicago has a stock 96-98 Cobra throttle body they want to sell cheap, let me know... really bugging me that I the thread size appears to be non-standard. Menards had nothing that fit.
 

joe65

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that's the car that changed me into a Mustang man. A coworker in 1996 bought a white cobra and showed up to work in it. I wanted one so badly but just couldn't fit it in the budget then and i was so close to buying a chrome yellow and even a mystic. Anyways white 96 Cobras are one of my favorites!! Like your project!! Good Luck with it.

also really like the cobra r wheels on it.
 
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Venompower

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that's the car that changed me into a Mustang man. A coworker in 1996 bought a white cobra and showed up to work in it. I wanted one so badly but just couldn't fit it in the budget then and i was so close to buying a chrome yellow and even a mystic. Anyways white 96 Cobras are one of my favorites!! Like your project!! Good Luck with it.

also really like the cobra r wheels on it.

Thanks, my wife thinks white is boring, but there is just something about a white SN95 Cobra. The Cobra R wheels are in good shape, but I'm missing two center caps... which is one more thing on my list lol.
 

joe65

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Our Wives must be related. Mine is not into white cars either. They are just wrong about that one.
 

Venompower

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Our Wives must be related. Mine is not into white cars either. They are just wrong about that one.
I'll let you tell them both that... lol, she actually asked me if I was going to wrap it or paint it a different color... my jaw dropped and I was like white SN95's are FIRE! She was just like whatever, and walked off lol.
 

joe65

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funny thing i just found a guy locally with a 98 white cobra that is parting it out. was thinking about asking what he wants for the whole car, but i really don't need another money pit. As badly as i want one...lol
 

ttocs

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funny thing i just found a guy locally with a 98 white cobra that is parting it out. was thinking about asking what he wants for the whole car, but i really don't need another money pit. As badly as i want one...lol
are you sure about this? I mean it seems to me if it were absolutely wrong you would know for sure and that does not sound like the case here so for the sake of stirring the pot I vote you get it. Anyone second that? :)
 

Venompower

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Hope everyone had a good Easter, the weather here was absolutely phenomenal, 75 and sunny. Did Easter baskets and egg hunt for the kids in the morning, then went for a long walk, and sat on the deck doing some day drinking... which led to me telling myself to not be lazy and get something accomplished on Casper.

When I purchased the car the previous owner told me that the vehicle didn't shift. He claimed that a transmission shop told him he needed new synchros. The car has a TKO600, and it seemed unlikely to me that the synchros were trashed. The local club agreed, that the transmission was probably fine and suggested it could be a throw-out bearing seized to the input shaft. Upon deeper inspection I found the firewall adjustor was installed backwards. I checked under the car and the clutch cable was tightened at the very end. I had a hunch this was the problem.

Today I finally uninstalled the cable and reinstalled it correctly. I found that instead of the second nut being tightened against the first to lock it, one was installed on each side of the clutch fork... I used a prybar and tightened the cable to the half way point on the threaded end and fired it up, moment of truth. When I was able to shift into reverse with the engine on, I had a very good feeling. After driving it down the street and back effortlessly shifting through gears I was overjoyed.

We will ignore the fact that I forgot to plug in the passenger side coil, and was running on 4-cylinders lol. That was immediately corrected once I returned home. I'm still having an idle issue after cleaning the IAC, it know idles right around 1,000 rpm but every now and then it dips and almost stalls then goes back to normal. It's not the throttle body as I put a temporary rubber plug in the top hole. I did go ahead an order a new IAC as it appears cleaning is a band aide, others have reported similar in different threads. I should be receiving the T-Bolt clamps I ordered and can finally get the intake installed correctly.

Man look at all that grey hair in the last picture... I need a vacation to a beach!


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