View Full Version : Fixing up the 95 Track Toy

03-05-2009, 08:45 AM
Well, figured I may as well document the revival of my 1995 Cobra so I've started this thread here (mainly because nobody has been posting in this section and also because my SCMC brethren will be out on the track with me at TWS soon and also because I need to keep records somewhere lol).

First off, the car was purchased back in December 2006 as a backup to my CMC Race Car for $3500. 120K mile beater with rough exterior, tires were threadbare, but mechanically it was supposed to be in good shape. I had it shipped to TX for about $550 so I was over $4K into it and hadn't touched it.

Here's a pic of what I got for that price:

Fast forward to 2008, I tried to sell it over the summer as-is but because I never transferred the title most buyers were scared off (can't say that I blame them!) but I didn't want to pay the State of Texas the taxes on $6700 which was their quote for a "presumptive value". Jeesh, gone are the days of selling a car to your buddy for $1 to save some money on the taxes I guess. As the end of 2008 neared I decided to fix the car up. First thing was about $2200 worth of paint/body work. I didn't want show quality but a decent looking car I could use for a daily driver. I also bought some Cobra wheels and new BFG tires so add another $750 to the total which, for those keeping score at home, is now a whopping $7000 and we're not even at the track or out on the road yet. Car will drive but needs a little love.

I drop it off at a local buddy's auto repair shop for an annual inspection and for him to give it the "once over". Need a new E-brake cable, brake pads are gone, rear tranny seal leaking, K&N air filter has turned to powder, and a few other minor aches and pains to be fixed. I have him change the oil while he's got the car too (hey, why not? no sense getting my hands dirty for another $30 lol).

03-05-2009, 09:01 AM
It's in your blood! :rotf:

03-05-2009, 12:39 PM
It might be in my blood but it's coming out of my wallet!!!

Haven't received the bill from the mechanic, I'm sure I'll end up with way too much into this car way too soon lol. :rotf:

03-05-2009, 12:50 PM
It's going to be good to have another "pushrod dinosaur" out there on the track with me.

03-05-2009, 12:53 PM
Ah, keep the stories coming! I know all about the cost of getting a car up off the ground...it's like these are exotics when it comes to rebuilding costs, huh?

Good luck on the build!

03-05-2009, 01:39 PM
Thanks guys, next up is going to be the Texas Title (ugh) and the no-fun but vitally important "get the car dependable" phase of it. Nothing exotic yet, just make sure all the parts are happy and working as Mr. Ford intended. I'll probably show up at TWS with a pretty much bone stock car with upgraded brake pads and on shaved race tires heheheheeee.

I have the spring/shocks/struts ready to go and CC plates too, but want to do this incrementally. Plus, 3/28 will be here pretty quickly! See ya at the track!

Pheer the Pushrod! :D

Twice Bitten
03-15-2009, 12:59 PM
I'll probably show up at TWS with a pretty much bone stock car with upgraded brake pads and on shaved race tires heheheheeee. :D

Stock??? Mike, you could lap most of us on a Big Wheel! ;)

03-17-2009, 10:07 AM
Stock??? Mike, you could lap most of us on a Big Wheel! ;)

Only if you are on a treadmill!

I'm going to pick up the car this weekend, bring her home for the brake upgrade and a good cleaning. I have a question about the headlights, didn't the Cobras come with different headlights on the 94-95's? HID or something?

03-17-2009, 09:38 PM
Yes, the Cobra lights are different than the Mustang GT's and sixes.

03-17-2009, 10:42 PM
Where do you get them or what do you ask for, Crystal headlights?

03-17-2009, 11:25 PM
You're supposed to get a discount from Late Model Restoration for being an SCMC member. Call them and ask for it. I think it is Brad that you have to ask for.. :thumbsup:


03-21-2009, 08:29 PM
Well, the list of "items" is growing faster than I can count. Today we got the car home from the shop and put in a new air filter (the old K&N was coming apart) and put on new front brake pads, took a ride to bed them in and then we actually washed the green pollen mess off of the car. She looks better now but still suffers from years of neglect. Nothing we can't fix by throwing more cash at her! :D

On a cosmetic note: I'm missing an SVT badge on the rear end.


Oh well, this car is far from perfect. When I had the front wheels off putting on the new brake pads I noticed the struts were in bad shape and the front rotors were looking pretty worn so I"ll be putting the KONI's on sooner than I'd hoped and will have to swing by AutoZoned to get some new rotors. Rear pads/rotors looked ok so I left them alone - for now. Clutch is in bad shape, pedal goes all the way to the floor before disengaging the motor which is making shifts very difficult.

03-21-2009, 10:23 PM
You can buy the SVT badge at late Model, too. Sounds like you are determined to have that thing rocking and rolling. :thumbsup:

Sounds like we need to have a "Rio Red Cobra" convention! :D

03-27-2009, 11:20 AM
I am both sad :( and glad :) that I did not buy this car! ;) Good Luck Mike:thumbsup:

03-28-2009, 10:40 AM
Hiya Rick, good to hear from you. Hope you and the wife are doing fine and that you end up hating Corvettes and come back to the Small Block Ford camp sometime soon lol. :D

As far as the car goes, I've made little progress thus far, work and family have priority. Looks like there is an electrical drain as a brand new battery is dead. Since I didn't make the TWS event this weekend I'm headed up to the storage facility to grab some more parts and hopefully wrench on the car today. We had a cold front come through, 41 here this AM but I may pull the 66 Cobra out and get some shots of the two Cobras together, at least some eye candy to inspire me to do something lol.

An update saying "no update", how satisfying. :doubt:

04-09-2009, 03:45 PM
Mini-update as of 4/9/09:

Been travelling out of town with work but got the SVT badge from Jegs for $12, then found a screaming deal on Cobra headlights for $27.54 each. None of that makes the car go faster but have to try to get the car back to "authentic" if possible. Unfortunately the rear bumper cover says "Mustang GT" instead of correclty saying just "Mustang" but hey, I can live with that one.

Next up we need a new clutch. I already have the cable kit from MM so I guess I need to man up and get under the car for a few weekends in a row. Found the King Cobra clutch kit for $180 instead of the usual street price of $319 so I've ordered that also. Mo' money! :bounce:

04-11-2009, 03:48 PM
Got the clutch cable checked out today, it's fine. I decided to tackle the springs/shocks. Looks like I may have the wrong rear shocks so I just put the H&R super race springs on the rear. Job was tougher than I remember, had to disconnect the shocks and quad shocks to get the rear lowered enough to kick out the stock springs. Here's a before picture:


Rear was a tad over 28" tall at the top of the wheel well opening before the springs, here's a pic of it after the rear springs install:


The rear springs lowered it almost a full inch in the back. I didn't want to do the fronts as I wasn't going to have time to install the struts and C/C plates before I ran out of time. I think I'm going to go do a NASA Time Trial event next weekend like this to get some baseline on the performance and handling. I know progress is slow but I want to do all of this myself so you'll have to endure the turtle pace! :D

04-11-2009, 04:24 PM
Looking good Mike!! Bet you're glad you didn't sell it to Rick after all. :)

04-27-2009, 12:00 AM
Keep it coming, good to see someone getting one going:thumbsup:

06-03-2009, 12:16 PM
Well it has been over a month but the here's the latest update:

Took the car to the shop to get a new clutch installed. I may have them do the remainder of the springs/shocks install for me since my ribs are still killing me if I get out and turn a wrench for more than 20 minutes. I hope to have the car in good enough shape to take to the track on 6/27. Will update after I write the next check lol. Sorry for the terrible progress!

06-03-2009, 09:43 PM
Keep the progress coming and show some pics when you get a chance to take them. I'm going to "lighten up" my 94 Cobra so I can take off quicker and stop faster. :)

06-07-2009, 09:39 AM
Well, got the car back from the shop yesterday. My wallet needs a rest for a bit and my wife agrees!

Here's what we had done this go round:
New clutch (glad we did this, old one was almost gone)
New tranny fork and pivot ball
New rear main seal
New tailshaft seal
New front rotors

Also finally found the annoying clunk in the right rear, turns out the LCA bolts were loose - and that was after I inspected them when putting on the new rear springs. Shows you how bad of a mechanic I am!

The good news is the car runs/drives very well now so I'm going to just slowly put on the rest of my shocks/struts/springs and ease into some HPDE events with her as time allows.

06-07-2009, 11:53 AM
I've been tossing the idea around of getting another 94/95 for a daily driver. The truck is extremely nice to drive but the 94/95 got 5-6 mpg more everyday. :D

06-07-2009, 12:23 PM
I have driven my 95 to work once or twice but not everyday. I am hoping to keep this one sort of OT/street type car but I have to admit that I pretty much am keeping my fingers crossed for no more major mechanical items to need repairing! The budget is SHOT! :eek:

11-11-2009, 06:15 PM
Here's a Veterans day update:

Installed Koni rear shocks and front struts along with the front H&R Race Springs. I decided to skip the Caster/Camber plates for now. Car has a much better stance with the front lowered a bit. I'll check the alignment settings this weekend and have signed up for a track day on 11/21 at TWS to check out the handling. Bone stock motor and exhaust, I'll toss on the shaved Toyo RA-1's and hopefully have a day of fun! :cool:

Will report back on the handling.... :thumbsup:

Edit: Springs were H&R Race Springs (51650.88) and not Super Race Springs (51650.99), been so long I forgot what I purchased lol.

11-11-2009, 10:32 PM
Happy Veteran's Day!

Sounds good, have fun at the track!! Take Pics and do a write up on it for the newsletter!

BTW, my 94 has 128K original miles on it including the original clutch, and those were hard driven miles at the track and dragstrip. :thumbsup:

11-22-2009, 09:29 AM
Well, the car did great at the track yesterday. Nothing broke and in hindsight I could have driven it to the track and back home with no need for any tools or the race car trailer. That was impressive for me given that this is a 15 year old, 123K mile car that has been abused and was purchased as a parts car. I'm really happy with the first outing.

We had a bunch of rain for most of the day so I kept the full tread street tires on it (even though I really wanted to put the shaved toyo RA1's on I had to admit it would have been a bad move). Overall I'd say the handling was much improved with the Koni adjustable shocks and struts along with the H&R springs. Slight oversteer when really hustling the car on those tires which is just fine with me.

One big problem was keeping my rear planted in the drivers seat. I kept having to prop my left knee against the door to stay centered and I felt like I was riding a motorcycle after a few laps with the way I was having to move left and right in the seat getting ready for the next corner. I may have to look into a different track seat which is very contrary to what I want to do with this car, my main goal was to make a fun track car and keep the stock interior and appearance.

Not many pictures or video since the weather was so sloppy. The sun did come out late in the day (3:30pm or so) and the track began to dry quickly, I was able to chase down and easily pass a S197 Bullitt car, but I'm not sure if the driver was really hustling it or not.

11-22-2009, 11:37 AM
I have the same problem with the seat so an easy solution is to go to Wal-Mart or Sears and get some tool lining rubber mat and put it in the seat. Then get yourself a harness for the track and it willhold you in there better. I'm looking at getting a new " recaro pole position" seat with simpson 5 point cam lock harnesses. I don't plan on streeting mine, so it doesn't matter what I do to my snake. I do want to find another 5.0 just for the street but then that would be adding another snake in the driveway and I'm not so sure I can get away with that. :rotf:

Post pics anyway!! :thumbsup:

11-22-2009, 08:39 PM
I need some Anti-skid for my butt??? :rotf:

11-22-2009, 09:01 PM
I just went to Sears today and it is called drawer "liner" and is non skid fabric. :)

11-22-2009, 09:36 PM
I need some Anti-skid for my butt???

My wife has told me that before:rotf:

11-24-2009, 07:44 AM
I have some pics coming soon, will post them up but it's pretty boring stuff - stock looking SN95 leaning left and right lol.

Next up I need some lap times or GPS data, maybe a transponder or hot lap timer is in the works or I'll hook up the data-trak from the race car. :thumbsup:

02-13-2010, 04:58 AM
Well, we got out to the track for a few sessions back on January 31 at MSR Houston running in the CCW direction with NASA Texas Time Trials. I managed a 1:55.808 on street tires as a best time for two sessions but it sure felt like there was more to be had. Car did fine, the motor and transmission just kept on trucking along. Car weighed in at 3572lbs with driver so it is a heavy car for those stock size BFG's I'm using.

To compare, I used to run 1:52's in my 3200 lb SN95 CMC race car at that same track on Shaved Toyo RA1s so I'd say this "resurrected parts car" is running at a decent pace considering the 123K mile motor and the extra 300lbs weight, stock tires and no Panhard bar, etc.

The Time Trial format with NASA Texas was fun - a few very fast movers in the run group but nothing like the traffic you deal with in a Spec Miata race group, I have to admit for the price it was a ton of fun even compared to racing. Alot more laid back and just seemed to allow me to focus on my driving rather than "racing" for position the whole session.