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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all. I'm new to the forum and Mustangs in general and I have a situation for which I am up for hearing a broad range of opinions. If you see my post duplicated on some of the forums you follow, sorry for the duplicate posts but I want to make sure I reach out to the Mustang community at large.


Background: Sort of middle aged dude, owned a wide range of cars in my time but have been a truck guy (Ford FTW) for many years. I have always wanted to own a yellow sports car and in my recent quest for replacing my truck (have grown tired of trucks really) I ended up buying a very clean 2001 yellow Mustang Cobra. I bought it from a well known used car dealer chain (hence the fact that it is very clean, visually and title-wise) and I paid, well too much probably.

The only mods done to my car are a Flowmaster cat-back exhuast and some after-market shocks/struts.


Based on my over-the-top geek-fueled research over the last 2 weeks I have come to the following conclusions:

1) Had I to do it all over again, I would have bought a yellow terminator via non-retail channels.

2) Since I can't "do it all over again" I am in possesion of a car that I paid dealer retail for and am therefore upside-down by a bit in this car.

3) Regardless, I am 'bound' to my new car. I love it really. Call it fate or providence, in any case, I love my Cobra.

4) No matter the love, I now realize (all too late of course) that unless I am blessed with the skill of the Stig himself, I can easily be walked by a number of new comer's, especially Terminators.

5) My car cannot compete with a ported Termintator without spending obscene amounts of money, more than it would take to sell my car at a loss and buy/port a terminator.


Goals: What do I really want to do with my car?

1) I am not up for spending the the money necessary to compete directly with ported terminators (looks like 8-10K)

2) I do want to ensure that with appropriate skill, I can beat a mostly stock terminator and at least hang with a ported terminator. (I don't mind losing, I just want to hang well enough to give props with dignity.)

3) This is a daily driver car (low miles FTW) and I may never bring it to a strip. I mostly care about stop-light to stop-light performance. I understand that a lot of this is based on skill, I can handle that slack. If I lose because of how I run, that's my fault.

So this brings me to my question (if you've hung in long enough you get a cookie).

What should I do?

I won't directly suggest the many options I know already, I've read enough to write a flippin' book on the subject. I just want a fresh specific opinion on these options from someone in, or close to, my situation. Feel free to smash my conclusions, so long as your advice fits my goals, go for it!

Thanks!

Justin
 

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there's lots things that can be done (forced induction ect.) since you dont want 2 spend that kind of cash i say go full bolt-ons with a custom tune n good tires & see how you feel with it, (either way you'll be spending, just not as much) lol even better be-friend a guy with a stock termi n keep throwin run's n adding stuff till your where u wanna be..
 

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Stock terminators were under rated at 390. In reality 415-420 was actual since most put down 365-380 at the tire stock. You are a 100 horsepower disadvantage in a drag race with a stock one (not many out there). You need to give up the idea that a ported one is beatable without a serious power adder on your part. You can either race termis owned by 1000lb dudes and be even or add a bottle to your car. Your car is not built for loads of NOS but with judicious use and a good tune you can run it. It really is the poor man's supercharger. If that isn't an option you may have to say it is what it is and enjoy your Cobra.
 

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well also a Terminator is literally a pulley and tune away from about 500hp and a supercharger upgrade puts it in a class by itself..
The biggest difference your research seems to have missed is that the termi has forged pistons and rods, that allows it to run almost unlimited boost/power while us other poor Cobra saps are stuck at around 450 max unless you rebuild your shortblock with said internals
Really if I was you, I'd trade or sell the one you have, take small hit financially and get the real deal...you know the rest, I've posted on it many many times
If I had it all to do over, that is what I would have done with my 96 and skipped the whole KB game, don't get me wrong 400rwhp will hang with a stock Termi, but the cost to get it there! Geez, live and learn
 

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01:nono: isnt this the 1 that had problems on hp rating?

if it were me i too would just sell it and just get an03/04

there are alot of 03/04cobras being wrecked ,
the engines are the only thing worth selling
so i think what its gonna cost to upgrade your cobra to even equal to stock 03/04 or engine swap ,
your going to spend more than just getting a terminator and than bolt on stuff..

my 03 is almost stock...i did exhaust when new..1500 than got a used predator for 50..

my best time at track was [email protected] and i cant drive

dyno was 386rwhp with exhaust...404 with predator performance tune..
this car also has 300k on stock motor
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies so far.

I do realize that some sort of FI will be part of the solution. Building this motor to 400+ rwhp NA is a very tall order.

I also understand the limitations of the internals of the stock motor. The cost of building this motor to compete with a ported terminator is what I referred to as 'obscene' in point #5 in my findings.

I am not trying to get enough power to beat a ported terminator, I would just like to get in the neighborhood of a stock termi. I am thinking in the 400-450 rwhp range.

The 01 Cobras do not have a power issue, that was the 99 Cobras.
 

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well here's the rub on "building to 450 rwhp"...by the time you do that you might as well just sell the car and buy a Terminator, seriously it takes about $5-7000 to do that "right"....if your car is worth 8-10K you can add the "mod money" and have the termi
At that point you still won't have a forged motor or 6 spd transmission...
One other point you may not have considered: Mods take CASH, cars can be financed...a big deal to most people since most have little on hand that they can just blow at one time, not to mention finding someone to build/tune your car can be a feat in itself, probably 50% of the work my tuner has is Unf+cking other peoples messes
Oh there is also the option of selling your car and buying someone elses modded car, usually the most cost effective way to go since people dump cars all the time in this economy...had you known you wanted 450rwhp you should have just bought that to start, I see these cars on Ebay all the time...
 

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It's a VERY Tall order and Expensive to get 400RW normally aspirated out of these 99-01's 375 is even tough, you won't do it with stock cams!
My advice piece together a Centri-Blower and run low boost levels with your stock shortblock which you can safely tune to about 475RW:bigthumbsup You can go that route for about $3-$4K that includes supporting Mods like fuels system etc.. Not $10,000
 

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If I had mine to do over, a single turbo is really the way to go, yes, lower boost, easier to intercool...huge hp
Brutal, Josh's fastest cars are all turbos...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the feedback. I don't intend to try to get 400+ NA, have not been under that illusion. I really do want to keep this car though.

What do you think is the lowest cost route to FI and 400+ at the wheels? Any specific SC or turbo kit recommendations? Any ones that typically get sold used as complete kits?
 

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Like Brutal said, a low boost centrifugal to keep your internals from scattering. Call Paxton/Vortec or Procharger. They have kits for your application.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you all for your advice. I have pretty much decided what I am going to do. I am going to keep the car and build towards a low boost FI setup, between 400 and 450 RWHP.

I am going to start where it seems to matter most, beefing up the IRS and changing gears, probably 3.73. I'll probably do a new shifter and mid pipes either at the same time or shortly after. Then I'll start piecing together an Eaton swap. It may take a while to get it all done but that's OK. I am a low miles driver so I plan to enjoy this car for a few years at least.

Thanks again!
 

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There is a company out there TorkTech,Tork Tec Something like that which specializes in Eaton swaps. All the needed stuff in a kit. By the time you get this together, a terminator would be cheaper and still yield the Tremec T56 and resale of a terminator.
 

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There is a company out there TorkTech,Tork Tec Something like that which specializes in Eaton swaps. All the needed stuff in a kit. By the time you get this together, a terminator would be cheaper and still yield the Tremec T56 and resale of a terminator.
+1 1000 times....I have said this for years, also there is no "low boost" and 450rwhp, I'm at 400wheel on about 10-12 with a Kenne Bell,,yeah, you might score a USED vortech for a couple grand, but you still need an intercooler, supporting mods to the fuel system, install and custom dyno tuning...it really adds up fast
Get a Terminator, or at least a Termi engine...sorry, but it's true
As one possible sidenote, sometimes you can find entire Eaton swaps on Ebay...since you have the right heads you just need to find that rare opportunity...occasionally they show up...we recently sold one for $2500
 

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+1 1000 times....I have said this for years, also there is no "low boost" and 450rwhp, I'm at 400wheel on about 10-12 with a Kenne Bell,,yeah, you might score a USED vortech for a couple grand, but you still need an intercooler, supporting mods to the fuel system, install and custom dyno tuning...it really adds up fast
Get a Terminator, or at least a Termi engine...sorry, but it's true
As one possible sidenote, sometimes you can find entire Eaton swaps on Ebay...since you have the right heads you just need to find that rare opportunity...occasionally they show up...we recently sold one for $2500
Your numbers for the Kenne Bell seem kind of low. I have a friend with a 2003 mach 1 non intercooled putting down 466HP to the wheels. Not tuned and no other supporting mods other than a t56.

Sent from my Transformer TF101 using Tapatalk
 

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the Mach 1 has better heads and electronics no doubt, if it hasn't been tuned, how does he know what it puts down? Not to mention he's one redline pull away from blowing the motor...the stock internals just can't take that kinda power: Oh by the way, mine puts down exactly what KB says it should. Of course I really don't give a damn at this point, I have a 427 stroker car and a GT500 motor for the 96:bigthumbsup
 

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^^+1. Way better flowing heads and cams on the mach. I dont see that mach 1 running for long with stock internals unless its just a freak.
 
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