My new 98 Cobra. Questions.

Mike’s4ValveCobra

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Hi guys! I just bought a incredibly clean black 98 Cobra from a friend.

Car has 81k miles and I am the third owner. The original owner sold the car to my buddy at 53k and it was garage kept since new and 100% stock. My buddy lowered the car with Eibach pro springs and dampers, installed aftermarket upper and lower rear control arms, caster/camber plates, X2 ball joints and bump steer kit. I re-geared the axle with 3.73s for him when he bought it a few years back. The final mod he installed was a JLT cold air intake tube.

I want to keep the engine mostly stock, but want to install long tube headers with an X pipe and tune the car. I have a couple questions regarding the headers and tunes.

I am planning on getting Kooks 1 5/8” long tubes with 2 1/2” collectors and the matching 2 1/2” X pipe with high flow cats. The car will not be heavily modded so I think the smaller primaries and collector tubes will be beneficial to low end power. I don’t live in an are where I have to pass inspection, so I may remove the secondary air injection and EGR. My thinking is the high flow cats shouldn’t hurt performance, and may help eliminate exhaust drone. The headers can be ordered without secondary air injection and EGR fittings, but if I get the headers with the connections, I have options, and could easily block off these ports if I decide to remove the system. What are your thought?

I have looked around some for tuning hardware and tuning service recommendations but it seems like most of the hardware I read about is no longer available. Any recommendations would be appreciate!
 

96blak54

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Welcome to the forums!

You know, headers are a great upgrade and no one can go wrong with kooks brand. I feel they hold the standard for quality.

Will you be doing the install work?

20hp is about as much a gain headers provide on these modulars. Naturally aspirated or forced induced....20hp is about it. Twenty horse power is fantastic gain for n/a engine and the exhaust notes follow along nicely, but i forewarn you, header installs in our sn95 are a major pain especially with the stock Kmember. Space is limited. Should a starter need replacing or transmission work, the pain becomes severe. Aftermarket tubular kmembers open up space.

The steering shaft most likely has to be removed for the installation. Most headers the steering shaft goes between the header tubes and with this said, the stock steering shaft rag joints dont like the additional heat. Their are upgraded aftermarket steering shafts with u-joints all made from steel.

Dont get me wrong, im along with the rest of the hp crowd, but headers are a pain in our cars. I hope this doesnt scare you away! Its best to pay a reputable shop, but then again they are going to charge dearly.
 

NXcoupe

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Hi guys! I just bought a incredibly clean black 98 Cobra from a friend.

Car has 81k miles and I am the third owner. The original owner sold the car to my buddy at 53k and it was garage kept since new and 100% stock. My buddy lowered the car with Eibach pro springs and dampers, installed aftermarket upper and lower rear control arms, caster/camber plates, X2 ball joints and bump steer kit. I re-geared the axle with 3.73s for him when he bought it a few years back. The final mod he installed was a JLT cold air intake tube.

I want to keep the engine mostly stock, but want to install long tube headers with an X pipe and tune the car. I have a couple questions regarding the headers and tunes.

I am planning on getting Kooks 1 5/8” long tubes with 2 1/2” collectors and the matching 2 1/2” X pipe with high flow cats. The car will not be heavily modded so I think the smaller primaries and collector tubes will be beneficial to low end power. I don’t live in an are where I have to pass inspection, so I may remove the secondary air injection and EGR. My thinking is the high flow cats shouldn’t hurt performance, and may help eliminate exhaust drone. The headers can be ordered without secondary air injection and EGR fittings, but if I get the headers with the connections, I have options, and could easily block off these ports if I decide to remove the system. What are your thought?

I have looked around some for tuning hardware and tuning service recommendations but it seems like most of the hardware I read about is no longer available. Any recommendations would be appreciate!
Welcome! I am not a fan of anything kooks. I used to run a mustang speed shop and now do it as a side gig, and every set of kooks I have installed has been a pita with zero tech support and horrible customer serivice. Jmho. I have installed BBK, stainless works, and hooker headers all without major issues.
After header install you will need a tune as it moves the O2 sensors further away from their original spot and the computer doesn't see the pulses it's looking for at the time it should be seeing them. It's called transport delay, which needs adjusted higher. Among a ton of other things to get the max power out of it. Look at IMRC deletes as well, they are quite the restriction in inlet airflow. Also, clean the ports extensively when you swap these out. There will be carbon goo in there.
Where are you located?
 
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Mike’s4ValveCobra

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Thanks guys!

I will be doing all the wrenching myself. Been a mechanic my whole life. Definitely looks like a pain in the ass to install headers, but I am sure I can handle it.

I haven’t read any bad reviews for Kooks headers, but have seen multiple pictures of BBKs that didn’t fit correctly. I also have read positive reviews for ARH headers. I know these are significantly more expensive than some of the others, but I would rather buy once and be done with it.

Car will stay N/A and will be driven often. I am not looking for lots of power, just want to make it sound like a V8 instead of a washing machine, and pick up a few horsepower at the same time.

What hardware do I need to tune the car? Since I will have to tune the car for the headers, should I get headers without EGR and secondary air injection fittings?

I am located in SE GA.
 
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Mike’s4ValveCobra

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I guess I could do the IMRC delete at the same time, if I can figure out where to start with the tuning.
 

96blak54

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Uh...oh.....the age old performance mods snowball effect. Its getting you!
 

apsmith49921

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Welcome to the forum. I just did headers on my cobra last winter. It's a uhhh fun time lol

Very important tidbit of information. You can not use a gt x pipe on these cars. The trans crossmemeber is a different spot and it will not fit. I chose the cheap but labor intensive option of pacesetter headers and fabbing my own mid pipe.

So make sure your midpipe matches the car or you'll be in trouble. I've done almost everything imaginable to a b head 4v so let me know if you've got questions
 

badass98svt

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Step 1:
Remove 3.73 and install 4.30s

If you are curious how it would perform with no tune and the IMRCs deleted, you can reach behind the upper intake and find the 2 IMRC cables. You can simply ziptie them open and drive it for a bit and see what it's like. It's honestly not terrible without a tune. When I did it back in the day, I never even bothered to get a tune (15 years ago). Mine were sticking shut, so keeping them open was definitely the lesser of 2 evils
 

lwarrior1016

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I’ve installed some ARH headers here at the shop and they’ve all been great. I’ve done some stainless works and they fit ok but the welds on the primaries break at the head. It’s a small weld and it’s inside the tube not around the outside. I haven’t dealt with kooks yet. I would definitely delete the AIR and EGR at the same time.

For tuning, you can get a SCT handheld and do a remote tune, or you can go to a local dyno shop and get it tuned with a chip. The MOATES chip is what we use on those cars.
 
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Mike’s4ValveCobra

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Welcome to the forum. I just did headers on my cobra last winter. It's a uhhh fun time lol

Very important tidbit of information. You can not use a gt x pipe on these cars. The trans crossmemeber is a different spot and it will not fit. I chose the cheap but labor intensive option of pacesetter headers and fabbing my own mid pipe.

So make sure your midpipe matches the car or you'll be in trouble. I've done almost everything imaginable to a b head 4v so let me know if you've got questions
Good info regarding the crossmember and the X pipe. Most X pipes I see for sale state they fit the Cobra and the GT. Do you know for sure if the Kooks, or ARH X pipes fit the Cobra? Maybe I should call and talk to someone before I place my order.
 
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Mike’s4ValveCobra

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I’ve installed some ARH headers here at the shop and they’ve all been great. I’ve done some stainless works and they fit ok but the welds on the primaries break at the head. It’s a small weld and it’s inside the tube not around the outside. I haven’t dealt with kooks yet. I would definitely delete the AIR and EGR at the same time.

For tuning, you can get a SCT handheld and do a remote tune, or you can go to a local dyno shop and get it tuned with a chip. The MOATES chip is what we use on those cars.
Thanks for the response. Am I correct in assuming the factory ECU uses flash tuning, instead of chip swapping? Can you pro a link to the SCT handheld and a tuner who can help me? I would like to get the exhaust installed and tuned before the end of the year.
 
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Mike’s4ValveCobra

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Looks like MOATES shut down for good a few days ago. That is unfortunate. Seems like lots of options are disappearing rapidly. So thse MOATES chips and SCT Chips would replace the flash memory in your factory ECU and allow multiple tunes to be loaded and accessed?
 

lwarrior1016

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Looks like MOATES shut down for good a few days ago. That is unfortunate. Seems like lots of options are disappearing rapidly. So thse MOATES chips and SCT Chips would replace the flash memory in your factory ECU and allow multiple tunes to be loaded and accessed?
I’ll try to dig up a link in a few. The SCT will flash the tune in to the ecu. The moates chip will be flashed and then installed in to the ecu. We use hp tuners typically, but they only support 99+ mustangs.
 

NXcoupe

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I tune with HP, SCT, and Binary Editors proffesional line called CORE tuning.
Horrible that moates shut their doors, probably staying one step ahead of the EPA. Not sure what I'll do for chips any more but I will find another source.
I've owned a mustang performance shop for 28 years. You're too far away for me to help you out. You can either flash a chip and insert it into the test port of the ecm or do a direct flash through the DLC. On 96 up I prefer to direct flash.
Good luck. I'd call for tech advice before I buy from Kooks or anyone.
 

apsmith49921

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Good info regarding the crossmember and the X pipe. Most X pipes I see for sale state they fit the Cobra and the GT. Do you know for sure if the Kooks, or ARH X pipes fit the Cobra? Maybe I should call and talk to someone before I place my order.
That's a good idea. I'm not sure about those 2 brands. If you want an easy install with fantastic fitment the bassani midlength is a good choice. They sell headers and a matching midpipe I know for a fact fits because I have it.

The x pipe is also multiple pieces and a breeze to install as well. All of their stuff is stainless and I feel it's top quality. Mid lengths will sacrifice a couple hp but if you don't care about losing 2 or 3 hp it's an ideal set up and cheaper with known good fitment.

You can call lethal performance and they're a dealer I bet they can hook you up with a black friday deal on it too. That's where I got my bassani stuff, the only down side is its all made to order
 

lwarrior1016

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I tune with HP, SCT, and Binary Editors proffesional line called CORE tuning.
Horrible that moates shut their doors, probably staying one step ahead of the EPA. Not sure what I'll do for chips any more but I will find another source.
I've owned a mustang performance shop for 28 years. You're too far away for me to help you out. You can either flash a chip and insert it into the test port of the ecm or do a direct flash through the DLC. On 96 up I prefer to direct flash.
Good luck. I'd call for tech advice before I buy from Kooks or anyone.
We deal with Craig Moates pretty directly since he is local to us. I’m pretty sure he said once his stock of chips ran out, he wasn’t going to order any more. I don’t know if that means he couldn’t get them or if that means he was just calling it quits. How do you direct flash the 96-98 cars, since hp tuners doesnt support them? Is that where you use SCT?
 

white95

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We deal with Craig Moates pretty directly since he is local to us. I’m pretty sure he said once his stock of chips ran out, he wasn’t going to order any more. I don’t know if that means he couldn’t get them or if that means he was just calling it quits. How do you direct flash the 96-98 cars, since hp tuners doesnt support them? Is that where you use SCT?

Supply issues and generally being burned out doing the same thing for so long.
 

apsmith49921

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We deal with Craig Moates pretty directly since he is local to us. I’m pretty sure he said once his stock of chips ran out, he wasn’t going to order any more. I don’t know if that means he couldn’t get them or if that means he was just calling it quits. How do you direct flash the 96-98 cars, since hp tuners doesnt support them? Is that where you use SCT?
Yeah sct is what you would use. Any xcal device will direct flash to the ecu. That's how I've had Mike tune mine. Speaking of hows Mike doing? He's been pretty well out of pocket for a while
 

NXcoupe

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We deal with Craig Moates pretty directly since he is local to us. I’m pretty sure he said once his stock of chips ran out, he wasn’t going to order any more. I don’t know if that means he couldn’t get them or if that means he was just calling it quits. How do you direct flash the 96-98 cars, since hp tuners doesnt support them? Is that where you use SCT?
I do SCT when customers want that, otherwise I use CORE.
His website says he's done.
 
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Mike’s4ValveCobra

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Maybe another option to make my car sound like it has a V8 instead of a washing machine would be to go with an off-road X pipe (if I can find one) and down stream O2 emulators. Will the car run correctly with the stock tuning and that set up?

I really want to do headers, but it seems like there aren’t many options still available. I will call Kooks and ARH Monday and ask about X pipe fittment.

Looks like the closest SCT dealer/ tuner is about two hours away. That isn’t too far, but I’m not sure I can get this low slung beast loaded on a trailer.
 

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