This is my first long over due post concerning my 1998 SVT Cobra. My plan was to document the modifications as I progressed through them for the sake of having a reference if I ever need to repeat a procedure and to inspire those who are not confident enough to work on their own cars. If I can do it, you can do it. Seriously.
Here’s the brief history so far. I moved down to San Diego in December 07 with the help of my loving (soon to be) mother and father in laws and when they departed they left me with their 1992 Dodge Caravan with somewhere near 210,000 thousand miles on it. I can’t even tell you how grateful I was. It had a peppy little 4 cylinder and along with squirrels and a built in aquarium it had soul. You can tell when it was really struggling and in many ways it reminded me of the little engine that could. It delivered me to my first of many job interviews and when I finally landed one I celebrated by blowing out both speakers (unintentionally) on my way home. It was a great little van, but soon after landing my dream job it was time to full fill another dream. I was cruising craigslist one day when I came across the work of art that is the 1998 BAB (Bright Atlantic Blue) Cobra Mustang.
I miraculously convinced my girlfriend that we (I) needed this 8 cylinder, gas guzzling, environment murdering, sports car and a few days later I was the proud owner of my dream car. Unfortunately, the car had seen better days. With 125K miles there are many imperfections in the paint, dings, dents, scratches, cracks in the hood, the list can go on forever…
It’ll take some time before it’s in the condition I’m aiming for, but it should be a fun learning experience along the way.
The first couple of upgrades I made included installing new Cobra head lights with clear (not euro clear) corners. I paired these with krypton bulbs for both the head lights and fog lights. I replaced the ugly amber bulbs in the corners with titanium dioxide coated ones which looks like chrome but still shine amber. I deleted the antenna with a billet aluminum replacement nub and Alix installed a sequential tail light kit. (Even Alix has fallen under the spell of modifying the Cobra)
Last weekend I installed and gapped new spark plugs, replaced the spark plug wires and installed a JLT True Cold Air Intake. It may not sound like much, but I have had no prior experience working on cars without the help of an experienced mechanic. I bought a new PCV valve and a fuel filter for the next oil change. I also plan on flushing the coolant and taking apart the intake manifold and either cleaning of deleting the IMRC’s. (More on this later) This weekend I’ll be buying the parts to build an oil separator that will be placed between the intake and the valve covers along the PCV line to prevent oil from entering the intake and gumming up the inside.
Unfortunately on the way home from Thanksgiving dinner the cluster gear snapped and we no longer had 5th gear or reverse. $2,000 later we had a rebuilt transmission with a Steeda Triax shifter, Steeda adjustable clutch cable, billet quadrant and a King Cobra Clutch installed while it was open. I wish I had just bought a new 6 speed transmission. *slams head on desk*
Alix and I also ran some seafoam through the PCV valve which created a cloud of smoke comparable to the blast from a small atomic bomb. I wish we had taken a video of that…
Next thing on the list is some H&R Sport Spring and some Tokico Hp struts and shocks to get rid of that nasty 4X4 look and to improve handling. Yes, the car has the original shocks and struts on it still. Yes, the smallest bump feels like an earthquake.
Stay tuned for more mustang stories.