2003 Cobra - New restoration/project

hatchke

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Juuust picked it up last night and have some work cut out for me haha. It's obviously a 2003 Oxford White convertible w/ 75k miles.

Fairly clean for being a 18-19yr old Ford. It's always been on my 'to-own' list since I had a '99 GT for several years that I really enjoyed.

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Car came with:
- Pulley (have to find my caliper still, but looks to be a 2.8" metco to match the metco idler)
- Steeda firewall adjuster, quadrant and cable (clutch needed to be adjusted BADLY. Someone didn't know what they were doing lol)
- Steeda short-throw shifter
- Bassani high-flow cats, x-pipe, catback exhaust
- LPF heat exchanger (80% on this one, need to get underneath and measure it up).
- Xcal2 tune (appears to be canned tune). Car should make in the 440-450whp range as it sits I guess? I'll get a proper tune after I verify the health of the motor and get some fresh plugs in.


Immediate to-do list and have parts ordered for:
- Fresh oil change
- Fresh plugs
- Fresh alignment
- Mild window tint
- New factory tail lights and headlights ordered (these tinted ones are AWFUL)
- New third brake light
- Short IRS subframe bolts
- MM roll bar for some ACTUAL safety. Style bar doesn't make me feel secure tbh.

Longer plans:
- Interior refresh, reupholster the front/rear seats or replace with something that's not too "race looking"
- replace the nasty double-DIN screen with something more modern w/ carplay
- Refresh/update the tune
- MAYBE a mild Stieg porting to make that extra 50whp and heaton noise.
- Bilsteins/springs/mm camber plates
- Wheels are that aren't FR500's, Cobra 5-spokes or some drag pack lol.

Whole build concept is to just sort it out better, have something to drive with a/c besides the M4 and have a little fun. The M build got a little out of control so I wanted something a little different that I don't have to worry about as much, log some miles and also maintain a little bit of value when i'm all done and ready for what's next.
 

hatchke

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Couple small things came in earlier than expected so hit up some visuals and made a pretty big difference.

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The not as good. Looks like i'm going to use some bumper plugs for the meantime and then get this bumper refilled and then resprayed. SIX holes for a front plate? I think not.

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There's a shop around the corner that does a pretty good job of smaller jobs so I don't think it'd be too bad so have this taken care of. Also not as high on the priority list just yet.

Plugs should be in tomorrow sometime and i'll get around to a quick compression/motor health check, oil change and then i'll dig in more.
 

hatchke

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I figure i'll just keep adding here and keep a running log of the car until i'm "done". Got underneath it again a bit ago and it's definitely wet around the oil cooler and oil pan :/

Not dripping, but definitely wet. I'll have to add this to the list!

Also, interestingly I have some outside edge rear tire wear on the driver's side. I'll see what the alignment shop thinks. It's scalloped a tiny bit, so leads me to think maybe a rear rod end is bad. I'll have to jack up the car and give the whole assembly a good shake too.
 

MG0h3

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Almost looks like the rears are wrong offset but definitely look like too much - camber

I’d expect the inside of the tire to be cooked.

Maybe it’s rubbing?


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hatchke

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Almost looks like the rears are wrong offset but definitely look like too much - camber

I’d expect the inside of the tire to be cooked.

Maybe it’s rubbing?


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Ahhh yeah, I forgot to mention the GIANT spacers on the rear wheels. I haven't measured the rears yet but they're not even that wide w/ 295's and without the spacers they rub the IRS bolts.

They're definitely the wrong offset or something. I have some low profile IRS bolts coming in so I can at least lose the spacers.

I'm surprised at the tire wear in general. Inside edges are all good, it's just that driver side outside edge. Too much toe-in from something?

Always fun diagnosing other peoples handiwork haha. The rear inner fenders show some rubbing (especially on the driver) so maybe the wear is just from that. Possibly had been lowered with these spacers on in a previous life?

Sweet! Should be a fun project. First cobra?


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Yeah it's my first 03-04. I've had two 07 GT500's but always wanted to do an 03-04.

Here's the 'other' car. It's a '15 M4 with Pure Stage 2+ turbos. Made ~620whp on E50 and hitting fueling limits. With my bigger injectors and HPFP mods i'll retune to closer to 700whp. The rods start to bend once you make much more than 650 torque and i'd like to NOT build one of those motors.

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hatchke

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Nice, you got my twin!! 1 of 137 with parchment.

Good luck with the build, you sound like you are on track to getting back to normal.

Oh that's super cool, I didn't realize this combo was quite that uncommon. Maybe i'll try to have the seats redone in the OEM style to keep it correct.
 

TerminatoRS

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Wonder if the rears are 18x10.5 and the PO didn't know about the low profile IRS bolt option and went for spacers...? Anything's possible I suppose. Most IRS's don't sit perfectly square either so maybe the tire rubbed on the driver's side and not the other. Seems extra plausible given that it's a convertible.
 

hatchke

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Looks like a good project, mind sharing what you paid in this market?

Oh not at all. I ended up overpaying a bit imo but I specifically wanted a 'vert and OW was one of my top two colors so I paid ~26.5. Digging more into the overall condition i'd call it a mid-20's car with having 75k miles on it.

Wonder if the rears are 18x10.5 and the PO didn't know about the low profile IRS bolt option and went for spacers...? Anything's possible I suppose. Most IRS's don't sit perfectly square either so maybe the tire rubbed on the driver's side and not the other. Seems extra plausible given that it's a convertible.

That's also really good to know about the IRS not sitting square haha. I was a little panicked when I first noticed it but read a few threads about them being a little offset in one direction. I'll pop that wheel off tonight and see what the deal is when I get back underneath it for an oil change.

Bottom side is pretty oily and looks like it's coming from the oil cooler assembly. Also seems like a common issue, but isn't dripping. It's just.. pretty wet on the underside.
 

hatchke

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Just measured fender to floor and it's a touch over 28.5" on each side of the rear. Are verts taller or compensate for the extra weight with taller springs?
 

MG0h3

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Just measured fender to floor and it's a touch over 28.5" on each side of the rear. Are verts taller or compensate for the extra weight with taller springs?

Not that I’m aware of, but they have a little stiffer spring I believe.

I’d say get it up in the air and pop the wheels off. Most aftermarket springs are powder coated but you should be able to find a PN

My car came with Saleens that had a spacer to make them fender flush. Yours seem to stick out and the you’re def cambered in unless it’s an illusion. I’d expect inner tire wear. Unless he rotated them side to side of they aren’t directional tires.


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CobraBob

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In today's market, $26,500 isn't a bad deal. You do have some work to do, of course, but I'm sure you'll be very happy with the end result.

Nice BMW, too!
 

hatchke

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Thanks y'all, i'll see what I can uncover this weekend. Changed the oil and all looked pretty fresh actually, but liked the peace of mind on it.

Already collected a few drips on the cardboard I stuck underneath so i'll have to get it back on ramps and make sure it's the oil cooler assembly again. I went ahead and ordered the Speedconcepts oil cooler rebuild kit just cause - OIL COOLER O-RING GASKETS & HEX TOOL REBUILD KIT 1996-2004 COBRA & MUSTANGS | Speed Concepts

I was also hoping to have gotten my IRS bolts in by now, but i'll just focus on changing out my fender intake for a straight-shooter while also changing plugs and doing my dreaded compression test. Nothing to suggest it's not ok, but you never know what you'll find sometimes. Car came with a fender-well intake, which is fine, but the filter is filthy and this is intended to see more active use. Hot air intake it is lol.

Clutch is definitely making some noise, hoping it's just from not being driven much. It's a little tapping from the lower driver's side of the driveline where the inspection cover is (or would have been, had it not been left off). I'll have to mess with the firewall adjuster a little bit more and see what I can get out of this setup. Not really wanting to do a clutch yet, but that's part of the game right?

I'll shoot some more pics tomorrow when i'm back underneath the thing and see what I can come up with.
 

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