View Full Version : Original owners: 03/04 Cobra

10-12-2009, 12:43 PM
I would be interested in hearing from original owners who still own their cars. How many miles on your car? Any major problems? Kept stock or modified?

I have owned my car from new since 3/05. Just reached 30,000 miles. Ford replaced a head at 7,000 miles.....no problem since. Bone stock except for a few billet trim pieces on the engine, interior, letter inserts rear bumper, gas tank door, etc.

Things I like: Performance, appearance (still get compliments daily)

Things I don't like: clunky drive train, periodic rear wheel hop under hard acceleration, notchy shifter, rather cheap looking interior

One current problem: Recently, the front end feels "squirely"....Driectional stability is poor, follows every crack in the road. Recent alignment didn't solve. Possibilities: 1. the front tires are about 80% gone (Firestone Firehawks)? 2. front camber is not set correctly? any ideas?

I will say the Firestone tires were garbage! Poor grip, fast wear.
This is rain country 9 months a year (Pacific Northwest) so I will buy a set of Goodyear all-season F1 Eagles.

Andy M
10-12-2009, 05:14 PM
OK, so I am not the original owner of my 03, but I've known the car since the previous owner bought it new back in 2003. He and I did a lot of track events together when I owned my 2000 R so I feel like I've known the car since new.

To answer your specific issues regarding things you don't like....

1) clunky drive train - I assume you mean the noises the OEM drive train makes? My car now has a terrific road racing diff with 3.73 gears and makes more noise now but sounds great and performs much better than stock. This is unfortunately something you will have to live with relative to these cars.

2) wheel hop - as most IRS car owners can attest to, this is par for the course. It can however be fixed. Visit this link to see how to fix this problem once and for all. If you are the type of guy who loves the sloppy cushy ride of a stock car, you will not likely want to do this upgrade. However, if you really do want the car to hook up and stop hopping around like an Easter bunny under hard acceleration - check this link out...


3. if your tires are that old and worn - get a set of Nitto Invos. I just put a new set of rims on my 03 along with a staggred set of Invos and noticed a huge improvement in handling and overall road manners.

My car is pretty heavily modified so you will probably want to also hear from someone with a stock 03/04. I will say however that aside from my old 2000 R which I sold back in 2006, this is the most fun car (and certainly THE fastest one) I've ever owned.

10-12-2009, 10:51 PM
If you buy Goodyears, get the GSD3's ... great rain tire and street tire. They are pricey, but are a great street tire. I have also heard good things of the INVOs. As to the front end problems ... get the tires first, then caster/camber plates and a good alignment. Most likely the tires will fix the problems. Yes, the drivetrain is clunky, but change the bushings and put on a diff brace and it gets better. Get a new shifter and that will improve ... I have the Steeda (bought it prior to the MGW) and I have heard great things about the MGW shifter. My car is now very heavily modified and only used as a track car, but I loved driving it prior to that. I can still drive it on the street, but it is just a little too fast for that and it only takes a second to be breakiing every speed limit out there. I still have less than 20,000 miles and honestly have had little to no problems.

10-13-2009, 12:13 AM
Thanks guys, for the imput. It's appreciated.

Don't get me wrong, I love the car. It is great fun to drive, and even in stock trim, it's lightning fast. I have yet to lose a freeway on ramp grand Prix. I can't go anywhere...gas station, grocery store, drive-thru, etc.....without somebody saying, "cool car", "nice Mustang", etc. I even hear kids saying to their parents......"Wow, cool, that's a Cobra".

Yes, it's a Mustang.....PLUS Dual overhead cams, supercharger, intercooler, oil cooler, forged internals, brakes, suspension, etc. etc. Some kid pulled up along side the other night in a black, "Bandit" Firebird......reving the loud magna-flow exhaust. He yells, "is it Supercharged"? When I said yes, his jaw dropped a foot. Suddenly, he wanted no part of me.

I seldom use the car's power.....but it's still nice to know it's there.

11-01-2009, 12:04 AM
we own a 2003 cobra coupe #1815,,,we have had the normal problems..head ,alt,rear,,

as to the wierd feeling in the front end,,i would say its from having wide tires,,

rattles and clunks and creaks are normal for any car that has a stiff set up..its built for speed not comfort,,,

we kept ours stock other than long tube headers,off road x pipe and flow master cat back,and performance tune from predator,,,we dynoed 408rwhp,410rwtq

we use ours as a daily driver,,here is a pic of our odometer as of today


01-19-2010, 06:50 PM
I have been the only owner of my 2004 SVT. No performance mods as of yet except for the MGW shifter, BBK RK plasma wheels, SLP catback and UPR clutch quadrant. Car has seen over 50 passes at the not so local drag strip. Now have a little over 50k miles on the odometer. Only issue I had with it was the clutch (18k miles, probably to to the amount of track use). Other than that, still an awsome vehicle.

As for the issue you have with tracking, it is not alignment, but the tires!

I have three sets of wheels I use from time to time. The first set are the wheels from my 2001 SVT Cobra (17x8) that I traded in with the BBS wheels on it, kept the BBS wheels (18x8.5 and 18x10) and swapped the OE 5 spoke wheels at time of trade-in. I eventually bought the 10th anniversary wheels (17x9) for the car.

With the 2001 SVT wheels and the BBS wheels the tracking is flawless and never have any problems, However, I did have issues at first with the BBS wheels which was related to the tires (Bridgesone Potenza Pole Position S03 tires). I had the same set of tires on the 2001 wheels and never had an issue. As I found out, the older set I had on the 01 wheels had a different tread pattern than the tires I had mounted to the BBS wheels. Tires with solid treads in the center of the tire was the cause for the tracking issues, . Now run Toyo Proxes T-1R tires on all 4's. As for the 17x9's had a set of Firestone Firehawks on them, not bad on the dry but not so great on the wet. They wore down quickly and were replaced with BFG KDW's. Both the BFG and the Firestone tires have two solid treads in the center. Have had some tracking issues when driving slow or stopping where the car felt uncontrollable. I try to avoid tires that have solid unbroken treads in the center of the tire. I will have to check out the toyo site and see if the 275/70-17 are available in the T-1R style.

The GY Eagle F1-GS-D3 have a similar tread pattern to the Toyo T-1R tire. Great in wet driving.

I had michelin pilot sport AS tires and were not all that great (had them on my 2001 Cobra). Tire compound was too hard and no grip at all.