View Full Version : Considering a terminator (AKA turning to the darkside)

04-27-2006, 01:59 AM
For some odd reason, I've been taking more and more of a liking the 03/04's. I never really used to love them as much, but recently seem to be liking them more and more...

I'm still a pretty huge SN95 fan myself, but I feel like i'm fighting myself on the issue. With the 97 paid off in a month, I'm not gonna be super strapped on financing by any means :D

Any previous SN95s out there that can give me you opinion on the issue? Any opinion is appriciated, but I'm just trying to keep it from being completely biased.

For anyone wondering, i've got my eyes on a few 03/04 Yellow verts in the region...maybe the color sells me just as much as the year ;)

Although I'm not strapped, car payments/finances tell me that maybe I should talk myself out of it, but wow...390HP as well as SC whine screams to me that I should! :D

04-27-2006, 07:14 AM
I was stuck in that same boat as well but on a slightly different bias towards the 03/04 Cobra. I did not like the changes they made although suttle. However, once I sat in one shortly after I bought my 01 the more I wanted it. It basically boiled down to the need for more speed and why try to modify what I had which would cost more than the price difference between an 01 and an 04. I could not resist the offer from Ford so I took home the silver 04 I now have. :thumbsup:

04-27-2006, 07:51 AM
yea i recalled you haveing an 01 awhile back, and you as well as a few other SN95 owners particularly came to mind. I remain torn, and still have no idea which way i'm gonna head on the issue. If you have any other insights that might be helpful (or entertaining, for that matter), let um go :thumbsup:

04-27-2006, 09:47 PM
Ok here we go. Even though I own one ill try to be as unbiased as I can.

The positive things to this car are.. Power, speed, handling, and its very appealing to look at. There arent many cars you can buy with a supercharger for under 30k that perform like this car. Also when you own an 03/04 its sort of special like people who know cars realize its not any old mustang. There just something fun about owning one. Also if you decide to mod your car. For under 5000K you can realistically gain 150hp and tourque and have an insane STREET LEAGAL car. pretty strong engine, can take some abuse.

Now with that said some of the draw backs ive seen are. Interoir dash is kinda cheap, also the plastic in mine sort of rattles a little bit. Plus I have a convertable and I live in Boston so when I hit a bump I really feel it in this car, very noisy, the top rattles. now on the 03 wheel hop is a major concern, but if you start to mod that can be help quite a bit from what im told. The car shifts like an american muscle car, not smooth like a foriegn at all. Gas mileage (well who cares its a sports car)

All in all I have to say I think it is worth the money spent only because its such a fun car and the fact that I believe these cars will hold some nice value in a few years simply because its not any OLD GT. And if you can afford it , you wont be diappointed, plus with some small mods you can smoke a VET at a light ....now isnt that worth it lol..... hey man you only live once.. good luck

04-27-2006, 09:49 PM
sorry i meant to say that where else can you find a car for under 30 k with a supercharger that has 390 under the hood stock. nice

RF Cobra
04-27-2006, 10:32 PM
Interoir dash is kinda cheap, also the plastic in mine sort of rattles a little bit. Check to be sure all your trim is seated correctly. I had them replace the stereo in mine because the clock would not keep time accurately. When I got it back I noticed there was a rattle that wasn't there before. Turned out they did not have the trim on the center console completely seated correctly and when I was checking it for fit it snapped in the rest of the way. Just to look at it, it had appeared that it was installed correctly.

As far as 97 vs 03-04...

Compared to my father-in-laws 97 rio red coupe, I like the seats, overall interior feel, and of course the performance of my 04 much better. They are both great cars, and there are plenty of mod options for the 97's as well so I think you can be happy with either one. You have a great looking '97! :thumbsup:

I definitely wouldn't do it if it would cut the budget too tight. Don't forget about the increased insurance premiums for the 03-04 in addition to the loan payments.

04-27-2006, 10:47 PM
Thanx for the replies fellas. :D

I'm leanin towards trying to keep the 97 for now, although I know how that can go :baby: It could very easily flip on a dime if the perfect opportunity arises around here.

I know that on autotrader, there are only THREE terminators for sale in 100 mile radius...they are rather rare around here...but then again, ANY cobra seems to be rare in these parts.

Just incase anyone wonders my 97 route, the only real thing I plan on changing is to some FRPP B springs, which will drop here down about 1 1/2 inches...kinda tiresome of the 4x4 look, ya know? Heck, I even have to change my profile pic, cause i'm gettin sick of the severe attention drawn to the SEVEN inch gaps in the wheel wells :eek:

Once again, thanx for the input, and I'm always listening for more fellas!

04-27-2006, 11:53 PM
I had a 97 with many suspension upgrade and some performance. I really like my 97 and had it almost where I thought it should be. I traded it in for an 03 and I can say I'm very Please with the 03. I enjoy the the ride that it has and the power is awesome. I would say hang on for a little bit and then make your choice go take a couple 03-04's for a ride. I remember all the trouble you went through your tranny. I enjoyed my 97 it was a great car and I got to enjoy it now I've went up to an 03 and will enjoy just as much. I also like the seat height better in the 03-04.

04-28-2006, 01:29 PM
yeah i am in the same boat, i have a 2001 silver cobra and have my eye on this 2003 red fire cobra and don't know what to do. i love my car being silver (its my color) and i love my exhaust. BUT!!! 390hp Supper charger sound nice as well!!!



04-28-2006, 02:39 PM
Personally, I would wait a few months for two reasons:

1) Gas prices - if this is an everyday driver that SC just gulps down the gas. If this keeps up, it may push prices on the 03/04's down.
2) The '07. When a 'new' supercharged mustang is available, the prices on the 03/04 might drop a little.

04-29-2006, 08:34 AM
Since I had my clutch replaced I noticed a difference in gas milage (as well as my driving habits). I used to get about 160 miles per tank (in town/rural driving, no highway) now I am up to getting 240 miles for the same type of driving. I could probably get more if I stay out of the boost (18mpg is better than 12mpg). The benefit is the amount of torque you have at low RPM plus the higher gear ratio 3.55 you can drive at 35 in a higher gear (4th or 5th) without having that bogged down issue. Not all of it is conservative driving either.

By know I am sure that most know of the differences between the earlier models and the 03/04. In a nut shell (stock); the gear ratios in the trans and rear are different (more so in the rear gear since the 1 through 4 gears have a similar ratio that the T-3650 has). The major difference is in the head design and different cams (to benefit the forced induction). To compare just the motor (without paracitic loads; water pump, power steering, and AC), the 03/04 motor is capable of 370bHp naturally aspirated (MM&FF, modular madness article). With the supercharger on board, the power is 487bHp (lack of paracitic loads except the SC). The bHp is the brake horse power which is what you get from an engine dyno and simulated load which is called a brake. Typical flywheel HP numbers in the stock 03/04 are in the vicinity of 420HP (all paracitic loads included, note: the supercharger is also a paracitic load since it takes up 8hp just to spin it). Not sure what the bHP is of the other model years but I would guess it is not close to 370bHp. SAE net HP numbers are a representative figure which are usually more conservative than actual for explicit reasons (makes the insurance cost less as well as make the EPA happy).

The other is the fact that the 03/04 sort of lost that 4x4 stance typically found in 99 and 01 model years and probably earlier ones as well.

Drivability, when they say neutral that is a good thing. That is either due to change in suspension geometry (lacking 4x4 stance, as well as different shocks/struts and spring rates) and a slight change in weight distribution. Where I used to find myself on the outside of a turn after the apex in the 01, the 04 just stays where I want it to. The reduction of understeer is a blessing. Not quite sure how the car would hold up on a road course but on the back rural streets it is perfect.

Before I bought into the 04, I tried to convince myself that the supercharger was not necessary and that lower number in the quarter mile ET was not all that important. I just could not get it out of my thoughts that the 01 was missing something but yet would I be able to accept the vehicle without it. When pushing the 04 I spend less time in 1st, 2nd and 3rd that I did in 2nd gear with the 01. Got torque? I do now... :D . I am sure that a different gear for the 01 would help but if you are lacking that extra ft-lb where you need it, is hard to go unnoticed once you have gotten used to it.

05-01-2006, 09:26 AM
well, i went ahead and got the 2003 red fire cobra!!! it was such a good deal that i could not pass it up. the gave me 16,000 for my silver 01 cobra and i worked the price of the 03 down to 23,000. put some money down and i got a nice payment too. now i need to do sum add on's.


05-01-2006, 09:36 AM
First off, sorry be being in hiding the past few weeks, have had some family issues. Now, getting back to all of andy's posts. As you probably know where I stand on the issue, all I can say is GO FOR IT!!! If you want to wait a little while, and next time we get together, we can go for a good drive in my car. You can drive it all you want, really get a feel for the differences between yours and mine. As of last night, my father joined the svt family(and will be joining the cobra club any day now). He just picked up a 04 mystic drop top. Can't wait to hear from you andy, take it easy buddy, Mike

05-06-2006, 01:15 PM
The 03-04 is cetainly the way to go for performance. The beefed up bottom half will cost you a bunch as well as the boost!!!!!!!!!!

05-07-2006, 10:29 AM
~Any previous SN95s out there that can give me you opinion on the issue? Any opinion is appriciated, but I'm just trying to keep it from being completely biased.~ I went from a '98 Cobra to the '03. With only the blower left to bolt-on the '98, my struggle was with 390/390 & a warranty -or- a Vortech & engine build-up. I chose the warranty :D

I liked the fact the Terminators have a nice unique rear wing & not the same wing as found on a v6. I took my wing off & liked the 98 better without. Not so with the 03.
gas mileage is a toss, if you keep your foot out of it. I get 23-24mpg highway with the '03 & maybe 24-25 with the 98.
IRS. I like its street manners. Driving in a curve & over a road imperfection your rear doesn't kick out like a live axle ('98) would/did. Downside is wheel hop - Mine only rarely does it but there are tons of threads with people who frequently experience it.
Modding. Changing pulleys gives your car an enhanced Jeckyl/Hyde attitude everytime. Hard to replicate that on the SN95s.
respect. The f/y body guys think twice before tapping you :cool:

05-07-2006, 04:55 PM
After having various stangs, I can honestly say the 03/04 cobra rules the stable~ I've had a 2000 Saleen, 01 Roush Stage 2, and a recently sold 02 corvette with a few mods and the cobra is on top of the list. This is my second Terminator and possibly the only one I will need! I had an 03 vert that I traded in on a vette. I was not satisfied with the vette as much s I thought I would be. So I sold it and bought another 03 snake! I am happy again! I loved the looks and handling of my Saleen and the Roush. The performance was not even in the same ballpark as a STOCK Terminator. Just go for it! :thumbsup: