View Full Version : problems with 96-98 Cobra's?

06-01-2003, 09:32 AM
Hey all, i am in the market to buy a 96-98 Cobra, any advice for things to look for mechanically to avoid problems in the futyre? I had an 88GT w/135k miles and it ran great, are miles an issue anymore w/ 4.5 engine? Thanks in advance!!:thumbsup:

06-01-2003, 11:33 AM
BUY ONE THAT IS STOCK!!!!! no mods! i was the stupid one that bought my cobra with nos already on it.... bad idea..... the motor pretty much blew and everythgin else did too... the stocker the better....

06-01-2003, 09:55 PM
I know 96's had some cooling issues but I'm not sure what the fix was, maybe a recall.

I know on my 98, they were having trouble with the portion of the 98's that used Borg Warner trannies, they liked to go out (i.e. breaking shift forks etc). Mine went out at around 35k miles.

Can't think of anything else off the top of my head.

06-03-2003, 09:44 PM
Sway bars on 96 and early 97 cars like to break but that is cheap. trannys are prone to going bad especially if abused. You will know when driving 2nd gear is usually 1st to go. While test driving go from 1st to 2nd at 6000-7000rpm if it shifts fine you are ok. Generally on the 96s at this point if the cooling is a problem it has been fixed. I wouldn't worry about that unless you live in Arizona or texas or Florida or somewhere else real hot and buy a car from a much cooler climate or from someone who drove like an old lady and never ran AC in traffic, etc.

06-03-2003, 09:45 PM
SVT Cobra Owners Association http://www.scoa.org (http://) has the Technical Service Bulletins (TSB's) on their web site. Cooling problems on the 1996 Cobra, Engine accessory drive belts coming off, parking brake disengaging and parking brake gap hider needing to be replaced prematurely are problems that come to mind. The 1996-1998 Cobra's are very reliable in stock form.

06-05-2003, 10:08 AM
speaking of shopping for a 96-98 Cobra with no mods. I've got a beautiful Mystic Cobra for sale !! ! !! !! !! !!
there's a link in my sig.

06-05-2003, 10:09 AM
Sway bar, e-brake, and radiator (cooling) were the main issues. All replaced on my car. BONE stock!

big dave
06-16-2003, 09:45 PM
First of all Hellow everyone, I am brand new here.

I just purchased my 97 cobra convertible about 4 weeks ago and now I am seeking help trying to make her perfect and mine. I allready love this car more than any before her.

Could someone tell me more about this sway bar problem because I think I have it.

When I purchased the car I didn't notice the noise, but now that I have her I can hear it when I turn the wheels its a slapping kinda noise comming from the front right. It is really previlent when I make right turns and such. I have tried everything... I took the wheel off and it all looks fine. Is this a sway bar problem? Could it be a shock problem, I am comming up on 50,000miles?

06-16-2003, 10:11 PM
The sway bar problem is in the rear. You would know if it happened, metal clunking around sounding like something was going to fall out. If you haven't noticed anything obvious, maybe take it by an alignment shop and have them look for a problem. Could it possibly be your tire rubbing the inner fender? Lowered cars with wider than stock wheels/tires somethime have this problem.

big dave
06-16-2003, 10:18 PM
My car is bone stock, And will stay that way. But the previous owner didn't do any maintiance really besides the transmission and oil. So this is probibly cause of bad shocks and shock mounts?

06-17-2003, 11:52 AM
If you don't know your way around the front end, then you should take the car to a shop and have the front end checked out. It could be the shocks, but I doubt it.

big dave
06-17-2003, 12:04 PM
I hate taking my car to shops. :(
Anywhere I could peek and try to figure it out? nothing looks bent. The pice that goes between the control arm and the way bar looks good, I figured it could be that. Maybe I just need new bushings?

06-17-2003, 12:24 PM
maybe you could describe the noise and the conditions of the nosie a little more and we can give you some advice of what to look for/at.

big dave
06-17-2003, 12:37 PM
well its like a slapping noise that seems to come from the front right. If you were driving down a straight away and starting going side to side like an indy driver to warm up the tires it would go "slap slap slap slap" both on the turn and rebound turn.

Pretty much any time you turn the car right you hear a "slap" comming from the front right.

the suspension is completely stock, even the tires are the same kind that came on it new.

comming up on 50K

06-17-2003, 12:42 PM
First thing I would do is check to make sure you have the pin for the brake caliper in place. You do not want to lose that for sure.

It could be loose lug nuts or broken studs, did you check them?

You may have a missing pad clip that reduces brake noise. It's hard to determine what it is without driving the car.

All else fails, maybe Tom Gentry can look at it for you since he lives in Rockford,IL? You can ask him if you like and maybe he'll offer you his expertise?


big dave
06-17-2003, 12:53 PM
Oh wow it might be that clip or pin thing. Because the brake squeel pretty bad sometimes. They were just done before I purchased the car. New tires and brakes. I will take that wheel off when I get home.