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Please Help! How can I tell my stang is a real cobra or not?

29967 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  BaKishin
ok heres the story. I bought a "96 mustang cobra". I used quotes because my problem is i dont know if it is a real cobra or not. It has all of the apropriate emblems it says cobra everywhere but when i got the VIN it came up as a 6cyl. this car has a good title. the car has a 5.0 in it so i thought that it was a late 95 and titled as a 96. can someone please help me. it doesnt matter if it is or isnt it's still my first pony. thank you for your thoughts
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What does the title say? I think it would say Cobra if it is one. The 96 did not come with a 5.0, it cam with a DOHC 4.6... A pic would be helpful.
Well, the 1996-98 model year Cobra came with a 4.6L DOHC engine. 1994-1995 Cobra's came with the 5.0L. If by some chance your mistaken or mistyped the engine displacement you can tell by the 8th digit of your VIN# which is the engine code.
They goes as follows:
4.............3.8L V6
W............4.6L SOHC V8
V.............4.6L DOHC V8
T.............5.0L H.O. V8
D.............5.0L Cobra V8

And, the 10th digit of the VIN# is the Model Year Code which are as follows:

Another easy way to tell the year is the 1994-95 have horizontal taillights and the 96-98 have vertical taillights.
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Do you know any history on your stang? If the VIN comes back as a 6 cylinder then there is a good chance that is how she was built. Its not uncommon for guys to upgrade their mustang from 6cyl to a GT or Cobra by bolting on the right pieces and badges. This is also true for specialty mustangs such as Roush, Saleen and Steeda. As you said, it really does'nt matter since in effect your pony has all the parts, performance and looks of a Cobra and obviously if upgraded, it is a very good job.

As far a validating whether it's a true Cobra or not, there is probably a Cobra registry where you can check it out. Another approach would be the one I took where I researched my 92 Limited Edition convertible right back to the dealership where she was purchased. Either way it sounds to me you have yourself a Cobra, even if she was not factory built. You got it right. Quite a car for your first mustang. Enjoy your ride!
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thanks for all of your thoughts on my car. i need to take some pics and post them. the car has stickers in the glove box the give tire pressures that say cobra the lower rad hose says cobra the brake booster says cobra the calipers say cobra the intake plentem says cobra everything reads cobra but the title and the vin read 6 cyl. the car out ran my buddys 96 gt hardcore it has white gauges in it that have a 160 mph speedo in it leather and power everything. thank you for your help.
Wow!!! Having a Cobra while paying for V6 insurance! I'll bet if it gets wrecked you could play hell getting a decent amount for it. Post some pics...
Get your authentification if you want to check

stolen from another site:

This is for everyone looking to get there SVT build number.

“Certificates of Authenticity are provided to registered owners of SVT products,whether purchased new or used. The certificates contain exact information and detail the production number, date of production, vehicle identification number and where the vehicle was produced. These certificates are automatically sent to all new owners. All others requesting certificates must provide legal documentation showing the vehicle identification number, your name and current address, and a document validating you as the owner. Examples of this documentation would be a certificate of insurance, registration, title or buyers order. A copy of the documentation must be Faxed or mailed to SVT Headquarters in order to receive the certificate.”

Fax number: (313) 621-2500

Mailing address:
SVT Information Center
P.O. Box 490
Dearborn, Michigan 48121

Phone: 1-800-FORD-SVT
(800) 367-3788

Hours: Monday thru Friday
8:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
Eastern time.

If you are a current owner and you move, please notify SVT via Fax or mail
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Still unsure on how to identify cobra engine

Im trying to buy a 98 cobra and found one that checks out with the VIN but i guess the engine had to be replaced about a year ago because of a blown engine rod, anyways i like the car but im not positive that the engine is still from a 98 cobra. It has a big cobra emblem on top of the engine but i cant find the plaque where the mechanics who make them initial it, i was going to try and find the ford dealer who replaced the enigne and see if theyd tell me why and what engine is currently inside the car. Anyone know what else i could do to check if its a real cobra engine?
I have similar problem. I bought minor damaged car. I've been told that it has swapped chassis because accident. But VIN matches, color matches, everything is in place. Headlights and taillights are aftermarket pieces. VIN tag by the windshield looks ok. Car is 1996 (11/95) It doesn't have vented side scoops like my friends 96 cobra.
Car is painted so I didn't find any vin stickers. Is there anything where I can tell for sure that it is real thing? I know that vin is for real, but did it came from another chassis?
Hope My Replay Can Still Be Of Some Help

I have a 96 Cobra. It may be a little much to hope for, but there should be an authentication sticker somewhere on the engine block. I still have mine, but it is ridiculously faded. With all the aftermarket parts today, it is easy to be duped. I've raced my share of people who put a Cobra bodykit and exhaust on their car, and assumed that it gave their 96 GT a jump from 215HP to 305. Be careful about rounding up your engine size, as previously mentioned, the 96 comes with the 4.6L modular engine. It is faster than the GT because it has DOHC and an upgraded intake. One telltale sign of a fake Cobra is a lack of a snake design on the intake. I'll upload a pic of my block to show you what I'm talking about.

Hope this helps, and I really hope you didn't get screwed. The extra horsepower really is a ton of fun, and in my opinion, the naturally aspirated engine of the 96 Cobra is still one of the best Cobra engines (With the exception of the 5.4L that is now cranking out an absurd amount of power).


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