View Full Version : Help with 2001 Cobra purchase...please!

12-28-2005, 05:59 PM
I'm brand new to the boards, so a little background. I purchased an 1988 LX 5.0 in 1990, modified it some and sold it in 2000. (I loved that car!). After reading this board and searching used cars for sale, I'm interested in a 2001 Cobra as my next car (would love an 03 - 04, but they are pretty pricey). I could use some advice on what to look for.

I know the 5.0 motor and car fairly well, but what are the problem areas on the Cobra 4.6 and the IRS? Thanks!

12-29-2005, 02:18 PM
The 4.6L is a good motor in stock form. They tend to be sensitive to some fuels due to the higher compression ratio 9.8:1. You do not want to run anything lower than 92 Octane fuel. Power adders may not favor well unless you take some precautions prior to installing them. Keep in mind that the motor was not designed for forced induction and does not have forged internals (pistons, connecting rods). Some, however, have been successful with power adders without modification to the lower end. IF you want a bit of extra gain, you can install a CAI but avoid those that have a bend infront of the MAF as that will cause lean A/F ratios. If you plan on modding it, I would recommend getting it tuned properly. As for the IRS, it works as it should. It does tend to wheel hop when you dump the clutch especially on a wet surface. It will take alot to snap a half shaft unless you are using drag slicks. That is more of a problem with modified 03/04 Cobras due to the amount of torque and power they produce. I had a good 32k miles on my 01 before trading up to the 04. The only reason for the trade in was it cost me less to trade it in than to add a supercharger to the 01. Once you get the mod bug, it is hard to let it go. I would have to admit, the 01 spoiled me to the point I really did not notice much of a difference with the 04. Instead of the unexpected jump in the launch, I now expect it. The 01 would probably benefit a different gear ratio in the rear. The stock 3.27 is okay but takes forever to wind out 2nd gear once you are used to it. Many swear by the 4.10 and I am sure that would have made a difference if I had done the gear swap.

I would ask the seller if the car was modified. If so ask what was done. If it was tuned, he or she should have some data to support the claim by a dyno graph or A/F chart. You are better off buying one that was not modified unless you know the owner and trust wat was done to it. Only one problem area I can think of is a minor issue with the head castings. Some may experience insuficient cooling of the heads and will ping only at operating temperature. Either it is a result of not properly bleeding the cooling system or it is a design flaw in some of the heads or a closed off coolant hole in the casting. I am not sure how reliable that information is, but it was written up in an article in 5.0 Magazine back in Ocotber of 2004 about all of the heads used in the SVT development.

12-29-2005, 07:03 PM
Thanks for the information!

12-31-2005, 07:16 AM
I would see if you can get some sort of history report on the car through the selling dealership to see what has been performed on the vehicle as far as TSB/Recalls. There are really no big problems with the car except for the "ping" described above which can be fixed with a reflash of the computer. Wheel hop? Yep, you're going to have it unless you lower the car and put some variable rate springs on the car along with some poly IRS bushings. Do a search on this board to find out about any more potential problems. Good luck and have fun! :thumbsup: