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View Full Version : '97 vs. '98 changes


Zedoc
12-12-2004, 05:32 PM
Did the 1997 and 1998 Cobras change in any substantial mechanical respect? It doesn't indicate any thing major on the shane roberts site other than the '98 had Cobra R 17" wheels while the '97 just had regular 17" wheels. Is that the only significant difference? What are the Cobra R wheels?
Was the overall drivability and suspension improved generally? I found a nice '97 and wonder if I should hold out for a '98.

nckissfan
12-12-2004, 05:52 PM
I would say they are relatively the same. I, personally, like the 97 wheels over the 98 wheels. But, that is just me. If the 97 is a good deal, why hold out? The clock is on the radio on the 98, rather than being mounted on the top of the dash.

smashedheadcat
12-12-2004, 08:06 PM
Here's what I know for sure:

Center counsil is different. The 98 cobras are similar to the 99+ counsil with 2 cup holders (1 has an ashtray cup). The 97's have a regular ash tray and the cup holder folds out from under the arm rest. The clock on the 97 is integrated on the dash. The 98's have it integrated into the radio. The 97's radio has 6 presets for station memory, but the 98 has 5 with a clock button in place of the "6" preset. The 98's did not come with a strut tower brace, the 97's did. The wheels are different. Early 97 cobras had T-45 transmissions made by borg warner, and the late 97 and 98 cobras t-45's were made by tremec (same trans, hold the same power, just different stamping on the case). Also, the 98 cobras intake manifold runner control plates are made of plastic, and have slightly larger ports than the aluminum 97 IMRC plates.

I'm not sure about this one, but I believe the computers on the 98's offer more tuning features than the 97. Just something I remember reading.

I personally like the 97's having owned 2 of them. :) But no major differences between 97 and 98.

Josh

Zedoc
12-12-2004, 08:22 PM
Great answers! Thank you both. The '98 came in yellow. Mine's going to be Black w/tan leather.:bounce:

nckissfan
12-12-2004, 10:13 PM
the only thing I do not like in my 97 is the cup holder. It covers up the fog light and convertible switches, leading to a drink condensating on them. Yeah, 98 did have the yellow. 97 had the great Pacific Green color:D

Zedoc
12-15-2004, 03:28 PM
... If the 97 is a good deal, why hold out? ... .
I don't know if it is a good deal. If I go to edmunds.com and run the numbers on the appraisal feature for a '97 black Cobra convertable w/27000 mi. I get a private party to private partly price of approx $11,300 for a car in outstanding condition. Dealer wholesale in Kelly Blue Book is $9,700. He wants more like $13,000. What do you think?

:eek: :mad: :rolleyes:

rawsn8k
12-16-2004, 08:19 AM
To correct a previous statement. The 98 wheels are not Cobra R's. The Cobra R wheels where 17X9's, where as, the 98 Cobra wheels were 17X8's. They only appear to be simular.

RAWSN8K

nckissfan
12-16-2004, 05:48 PM
I don't know if it is a good deal. If I go to edmunds.com and run the numbers on the appraisal feature for a '97 black Cobra convertable w/27000 mi. I get a private party to private partly price of approx $11,300 for a car in outstanding condition. Dealer wholesale in Kelly Blue Book is $9,700. He wants more like $13,000. What do you think?

:eek: :mad: :rolleyes:

I think that sounds fair. I bet you offer him 11,500 on the spot he might take it. That is a low mileage car, if you ask me.

Zedoc
12-16-2004, 08:26 PM
I think that sounds fair. I bet you offer him 11,500 on the spot he might take it. That is a low mileage car, if you ask me....
That's what I was thinking. Of course, it's not a GREEN one like you have! One other thing, the weight differential between a convertable and a coupe is almost 300 lbs., I think. Is that additional weight really noticable in performance and handling? Structural integrety? Does anyone think the coupe is better than the convertable?

nckissfan
12-16-2004, 10:37 PM
I am sure coupe owners will argue that theirs are better. Physically coupes handle better. I had some Kenny Brown sub-frame connectors installed. This helped a little. I plan on a roll cage, which will help dramatically I hear. The disadvantage with a convertible is if you like to run on the track. Some clubs, like ours, have restrictions on verts running certain speeds with no roll cage, not that this is a bad thing. So, if you plan on running on a track, then either get a cage for it, or go with a coupe model. In the summer, it sure is nice to drop the top, and let the wind run through your hair, not that I have much for the wind to run through:D (right Lisa??)

Zedoc
12-17-2004, 12:38 PM
The only racing I'll be doing is to the train track every morning. So apart from that the 'vert' is fine, weight, performance and handling wise?

Actually, I'm going to see this car for the first time in about 30 minutes. I haven't got the balls to bring a certified check with me. I have to sleep on it. And I'm scared to death that I should just get a new '05 V6 Premium.

Zedoc
12-17-2004, 04:27 PM
I just got back from seeing and driving this '97 Cobra! This is the first time I drove one. Well, this car was much nicer and cooler than I had been expecting it to be.

I guess I had been mislead by all the hooplah surrounding the new '95 GT and the 'problems' in the old platform, and by driving the new GT, which I really did like. The old model doesn't have any major 'problems' that I saw. The shifter works fine. The lump pulls like a locomotive. The convertable is a little heavy, but overall, solid feeling as a result. The interior was very attractive, I would say, at least as attractive as the new one.

But this '97 Cobra is the cool one! I was impressed.

FIrst of all, '97 is the good year. The '98 doesn't have the tower braces or the clock hump mounted on the dashboard! It's no good without those. Second, the '96, '97, '98 are better than the '99 because they have the cool nostril air intakes on the hood and other styling cues that are more classic than the later models.

This is a black car with tan leather upholstry and convertable top which works brilliantly together. THe car I'm looking at is like new. 27,000 mi. It's perfectly cared for and maintained. Not a scratch, drives tight, maybe a little shimmy in the steering, It has some Kumo tires or something, but they're like new.

My problem was, that not only wasn't he going to take my lowball offer of $11,500, which is the private party transaction value that I saw, but he's turned down $13,000 and wants $14,000. Yipes! I wasn't ready for that so I don't have a deal. I don't know what to do. But I loved that car!

:bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

nckissfan
12-17-2004, 06:36 PM
sounds strange that he upped the price. I would just tell him that you will only pay the $13,000. Yes, the hoods on the 97 is what I like most. So, do you work for a railroad? Which one? And, where do you live? I am a big railfan. I love taking pictures of them, and am active with a model railroad club here in my area.

Zedoc
12-17-2004, 08:08 PM
sounds strange that he upped the price. I would just tell him that you will only pay the $13,000. Yes, the hoods on the 97 is what I like most. So, do you work for a railroad? Which one? And, where do you live? I am a big railfan. I love taking pictures of them, and am active with a model railroad club here in my area.I might have misunderstood him the first time. I thought he had indicated that he would accept $13,000 but apparently he had said he had not accepted $13,000. It's not too unusual for me to misunderstand if I'm not paying close enough attention. I really don't want to pay $14,000.

It's funny about the trains. What I meant was I commute on the train each day and it's usually a rush to get there on time. However, yes, I am a train fan and I have quite an O gauge layout in the basement that I work on winters. Well, it's quite a layout for me, but not compared to the things you see in O Gauge magazine. I recently got a Lionmaster Big Boy for my birthday. I do like trains. I'm in southeast Wisconsin.
:thumbsup:

cobrabitn
12-17-2004, 08:21 PM
Personally, I would look for another Cobra since he's unwilling to budge. it's winter time and convertibles sell cheap in the winter. If the BB value says 11,300 and you offered him 11,500 and he turned it down then just wait for a better deal. That car is 7 soon to be 8 years old. It's the holidays, he has bills, you hold out. If you don't get it then it wasn't meant to be and you will find another deal somewhere else that is just as good. Times are hard, you'll find a good deal. Stick to your guns and definitely don't pay the 14K for it.

JMHO

nckissfan
12-18-2004, 06:52 AM
agreed with Tony.


@Zedoc, I wa born in Wisconsin, Milwaukee, in 1970. I lived there until 1983 when we moved down to NC. We lived in Madison most of the time up there. That is pretty country. Good luck with your quest for a Cobra.

racinjason89
12-18-2004, 09:36 PM
I agree with Tony.The price seems a little steep to me, even if it is in excellent condition.I've seen them on the internet on various sites with a little more mileage for 3-4k less than he wants.

Zedoc
12-20-2004, 09:23 PM
The thing is, I'm picky.

Color availability being limited on Cobras in the '97s, which is the year I like, I just like the Black w/brown leather best, and low mileage and just stock. It's not too easy to find that way. There are several reds out there, but I don't get turned on by them.

The one other one I saw black w/brown leather, was even a little more dosh. It had a light bar and side pipes, which I wouldn't mind, I guess, but the guy was a little hard to get information out of. He said he bought it used fom Ford M.C. at an auction, which, I guess means it was a lease vehicle.

By the way, what does it mean when you feel a little shimmy in the steering. Tires need replacing? More cost.

Yeller'
12-21-2004, 03:09 PM
By the way, what does it mean when you feel a little shimmy in the steering. Tires need replacing? More cost.

More than likely the front end just needs balancing. $50

Psssst.. 98! ;)

Zedoc
12-21-2004, 09:16 PM
More than likely the front end just needs balancing. $50

Psssst.. 98! ;)Why '98? I just let one go with only 8000 mi. Of course it had black leather instead of brown. It was only $13,500 too. good deal. I think I blew it. In fact, I'm about to kill myself. AAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.....(Me jumping of a cliff) I let the other guy have it for $13,250 because I couldn't get to Nebraska in time. Oh my God, what am I going to do?
Why '98? They dont have dash mounted clocks or tower braces! I asked about this before and no one said anything.

:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

Yeller'
12-22-2004, 08:48 AM
Why '98?

It's just small trivial stuff, I mean 96-98 Cobras are 99% the same car.
But I'll pitch you my argument just for the hell of it...

1. The obvious reason is that... hey! It's newer! Can't argue with that.

2. The 98's may be worth a little more in the future if you plan to hang onto it, since it's the last year of that body style.

3. 98's don't have the dash clock pod which is good because I think they're goofy looking. I mean, you're driving your Cobra... who cares what time it is? Furthermore, I certainly don't need a vision-obstructing "pod" specially dedicated to it, we ain't talkin' about your Grannys' Lincoln here, man.

4. The 98 has the Cobra R "knock-off" wheels which are prettier.

5. 98's have a more user-friendly cup holder area in my opinion.

6. The 98's seem to have a little more aggressively/easier-to tune computer, this has been the subject of much debate and the jury may never return on the subject.

7. The 98's don't have the cooling problem that some of the 96's had... and if I'm not mistaken the 97-98's may have a larger/better radiator.

8. The 98's have composite IMRC's whereas the 96-97's had metal which conducts more heat and gums up easier, a small thing, but an improvement nonetheless.

9. 98's have a 150lph fuel pump instead of the 88lph in the 96-97. Gives you a little more leeway if you ever plan to use forced induction.

10. The 96-mid 97 trannys were built by Borg-Warner, the mid 97-98 trannys were built by Tremec. Again, a small thing and they are the same transmission, but Tremec wins that dual no doubt.

11. The 98's have little metal etched plaques with the builders names on the valve cover, most of the earlier models just have little cheesy stickers.

12. The only disadvantage the 98 has is that there was no strut tower brace installed from the factory. People with 98's say that it's because the STB's don't really help any... people with 96-97's say it's because Ford was trying to save money. I (naturally) side with the former, if Ford was trying to save money, why in 98 did they redesign the wheels, fuel pump, and IMRC's? You can get a STB off Ebay for $50... so the point isn't really worth arguing.

13. And last but not least... two words... chrome yellow!


All you 96-97 losers bring it! Game on! j/k :D;);)
Many of these are just my opinion, the big picture is...IT DOESN'T MATTER, GO BUY ONE ALREADY!!!

Zedoc
12-22-2004, 11:58 AM
Brett,


Really, that is one of the great forum responses of all time! Not that it makes the case, necessarily, which it goes a long way to doing, but that the response was thoughtfully set out, conveyed in a literate way, and is apparently inclusive of all outstanding issues surrounding the question asked. Thank you.


For my part, I agree in part and disagree, in part. I like the clock. The clock is good. It should be analogue, but it's something to do. But I do like Yellow! I wish I was getting yellow. But I'm not. Black w/tan leather just flat works. THe strutt tower brace is important. The '98s have to be modified cars to have a STB. The '97s don't. Obviously, Ford got the money for the Cobra R wheels from the STB and clock deletion. That's what it is. The rest of the points are pretty well taken. Plus, I have to believe that a more recent car has had suspension tweaks, injection tweaks, and additional welds as the need became clearer. That would be my suspicion.

So I'm not going to jump. In fact, after a hurried e-mail and phone call I'm encouraged that the '98 'vert' may still be available. I'll be trying over the nexzt day or two to ink a deal. We'll see. If not, I'm going to be considering coupes. Thank you all for your past and, hopefully,continued input.
:D

Yeller'
12-22-2004, 01:09 PM
The '98s have to be modified cars to have a STB.

No. I'm pretty sure they bolt right up.

Thank you all for your past and, hopefully,continued input.


No problemo.

tazzracing1
12-22-2004, 06:33 PM
I like having the clock on the dash. The strut tower brace really does help I have installed them in a few different cars I have had and the handling is really different. I got a good deal on my Cobra and I have no regrets about buying it.
Driving the car is truly an enjoyable experience. I can tell you though get the one you want or you will never be truly happy with it.:)

Zedoc
12-22-2004, 09:25 PM
I like having the clock on the dash. The strut tower brace really does help ... I can tell you though get the one you want or you will never be truly happy with it.:)
Well, the '98 Black vert w/8080 mi. is gone. Some dude got it for $13,250 after it didn't sell on E-bay. I hesitated and I lost. Sometimes you just got to step up to the plate.

That brings me back to the '97 Black & Tan vert w/27,000 mi. at $14,000. Is that the one I want? I guess so. But will I be truely happy with 27,000 miles on the odo? WIll I always be thinking of the 8000 miler that got away?

:bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

Somehow, I imagine all you invisible forum guys as the wise ones with the answers. :flash: Probably just pimply faced teens as clueless as I.
:wildguy: :wildguy: :wildguy: :wildguy:

:shockwave :evil: :lol: :raise: :007: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :grinangel :grinangel :tomcat: :tomcat: :tomcat: :tomcat: :tomcat: :tomcat:

Zedoc
12-22-2004, 10:17 PM
I take it back.

Yeller'
12-23-2004, 08:49 AM
: Somehow, I imagine all you invisible forum guys as the wise ones with the answers. Probably just pimply faced teens as clueless as I.


Nah, we're mostly 30 and 40-something codgers. Some more codgerly than others. :)

97Cobra
01-08-2005, 02:07 AM
Well, I was in the same dilema, 1997 or 1998 ... I got the 97. Part it was just what I wanted ... and a killer deal ... immaculate condition, approx. 4,000 below kbb/nada/edmonds. Course, I haven't any real pointers, since I have not been driving it much ... snow storm hit 2 days after I got it. But no complaints, looks great in the garage! Can't wait till it warms up again!!!!!!

My only advice ... get what you want, you will be thrilled either way! Don't regret what was lost, there will be other cars. I have been looking for the Cobra for about 6 months, and sure enough, it appeared in the middle of winter. Most importantly ... get one, have fun, start driving it!!!! Good luck on your hunt!

~Erik

Stavesacre21
01-13-2005, 07:11 PM
97 had the great Pacific Green color:D
I totally fell in love with that color Cobra. I only wish that I would have found a green 97 that hadn't been torn apart. Maybe it was just my luck of the draw, but i couldn't....for the LIFE of me.....find a 97 green Cobra that didn't look OR sound like it had the crap beat out of it. Kind of a bummer :( ...I settled for my second color, Rio Red :D

Venom55
02-10-2005, 12:52 PM
I agree, I payed 14 for mine 2.5 years ago and it had 38k on it at the time. Low miles is always a plus but it isn't worth paying what the car was worth 3 years ago.