96' Procharged Cobra "Casper" Build

01silverstang

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So, what do you do, when the wife gives the greenlight to get another Mustang for cruise nights in the summer? Do you buy the 99-04 GT in working order with 100k miles… Hell No, you buy the 96’ Cobra with 54k miles and a Procharger P-1SC kit that doesn’t drive due to a shredded belt and transmission issues. I can’t seem to resist the siren call of a good deal, or the potential to get an amazing car with some wrench time even if it’s a gamble.

Parts List: Procharger P-1SC kit with Stage 3 Intercooler and Big Red Blow Off Valve, Tubular K-member and front Control Arms, Aluminum Driveshaft, Coilovers, BBK Long Tube Headers and Mid-Pipe to dumped flowmaster exhaust, Stage 3 McLeod Clutch, AEM Boost and AFR gauges.

The previous owner advertised the car as running but not driving. I was advised the vehicle had shredded the serpentine belt, and that it had not been replaced yet because it required removal of the supercharger. I was also advised that the vehicle had a TKO600 that wouldn’t shift between gears, he initially told me about a year prior a transmission shop told him the synchros needed replaced, and most recently he advised to check the clutch cable as the shop said it was fine but he speculated it may be part of the issue.

So that’s where I started. Drove up to Milwaukee with my father-in-law and a U-Haul trailer and brought the car home. Being as it was winter, we started the car and drove it only short periods to load and unload, since the water pump was not spinning. The engine sounded healthy, no oil smoke out of the exhaust, no rod knock, no tick, nothing suspect.

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Once home I started to go through the vehicle. The Procharger was very misaligned from the alternator pulley. I spent a week talking to a Procharger tech and playing around and feel that I got that issue sorted out. The Procharger and timing cover where very dirty, I had guesses that the front seal behind the pulley was damaged from the belt shredding. So, I marked a bottle with 6 oz. and then drained the P-1SC and found the oil level was less than half of what it should have been. This seemed to confirm that oil was probably leaking out while the pulley spun covering the timing cover and blower. I need to replace the seal (which I have) and then refill the supercharger with oil. I also have a new Gates belt.

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Left was starting, and the next two show the alignment improving, still needs to be tightened up but it was close enough that I can tell it will be fine once its back together. I was holding the laser by hand which is why it's slightly off.

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You can see the grime prior to the blower being cleaned up.
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Oil Level less than half.
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Hopefully with the seal replaced it stays this clean.
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Big Red
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Clean up picture.
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Another clean up picture.


The thing that’s currently giving me pause is that the coolant expansion tank was empty. Once removed you can see coolant almost all the way up the hose that connect to the lower radiator hose. I also found that it was missing the upper radiator support brackets, and that the radiator is a 97+ with the 97+ fan assembly. I tried to check the OASIS to see if the cooling TSB was done, but I can’t tell. The fact that it’s missing the brackets makes me wonder if a previous owner attempted to upgrade and found the stock brackets didn’t fit, or if they were removed and forgotten about. I may try to pressure test the cooling system this weekend, and if it holds pressure, I’m going to assume that some coolant was lost and not replaced sufficiently during removal/installation of some part of the cooling system. I will refill the expansion tank, and then burp the system through the upper cross-over and hopefully be done with it. I really, really don’t want to deal with head gasket issues.

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Once the cooling system is done, I will re-install the Procharger with the Gates belt. I also need to source the Filter that’s missing from the Anderson Ford Power Pipe that came with it, along with the silicone connectors to attach to the Procharger. That should be the end of the engine stuff for now, at some point I will install a catch can prior to summer use… but that’s it.

Now on the transmission. I noticed that it felt like the clutch was never completely disengaging. When loading it on the trailer, even with the brakes firmly pressed it was like the engine was trying to drive through it. Same when moving it into my garage. I talked to a couple guys in my local Mustang club, and they advised they didn’t think there was anything wrong with the transmission itself. They said to start with the clutch cable and the throw out bearing. The first test was putting the car in gear and then depressing the clutch to the floor to see if it would roll forwards or backwards. Each time the car would not move, confirming that the clutch was not releasing. Next step likely this weekend, will be to jack the front up and look at the clutch fork while the clutch is depressed to see if the cable is moving. If the clutch cable appears fine, then I will probably need to drop the transmission and replace the throw out bearing and potentially the input shaft sleeve if they have fused together.

I’ll try to update this as I order stuff, and would love tips and feedback from people more knowledgeable than myself. Finally if you want to follow along on Instagram the user name is: casper_the_cobra

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Balt21

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I don't really have any advice on the transmission issues, but I'm interested in following along. I really want to put a Procharger or Vortech on my car, but haven't been able to talk myself into it yet haha.
 

jman37

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Seems like a decent pick up for sure. I'd love to procharge mine, but for the price of the kit I might as well buy a hellion kit. Crazy after all these years procharger and vortech still get 5k+ lol.
 

98 svt

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Seems like a decent pick up for sure. I'd love to procharge mine, but for the price of the kit I might as well buy a hellion kit. Crazy after all these years procharger and vortech still get 5k+ lol.


They used to be $3499 or so. I remember when the old 5.0 kits were $1999


OP looks like you are doing a great job so far. Its really cleaning up.
 

DSG2003Mach1

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looks a potential nice find if the coolant issue isn't a HG or something. Seems like you're on the right track to diagnose everything. Belts are cheap on amazon. I had no luck with pre-filters or small catch cans on the pass side, procharger pulled oil right through it to the blower (I am north of 15psi so you might see different results). Never pry on the pulley to remove it, I've had to heat mine up with a heat gun and then it slides right off.

Did you post in the procharger group on FB? Pics looks familiar

lastly with the cooling issue recall wasnt the answer a different AC condensor and you can count the number of rows or something similar to figure it out?

edit: used procharger kits can usually be found for 2k or so, you'll end up ordering odds and ends but overall save a boat load
 

01silverstang

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Seems like a decent pick up for sure. I'd love to procharge mine, but for the price of the kit I might as well buy a hellion kit. Crazy after all these years procharger and vortech still get 5k+ lol.

Thanks, I knew based on where I’m at in my life with two young kids and not a ton of extra money that I’d have to find a car that already had a blower. I grew up outside of Kansas City and have wanted a Procharged Mustang for a long time.

looks a potential nice find if the coolant issue isn't a HG or something. Seems like you're on the right track to diagnose everything. Belts are cheap on amazon. I had no luck with pre-filters or small catch cans on the pass side, procharger pulled oil right through it to the blower (I am north of 15psi so you might see different results). Never pry on the pulley to remove it, I've had to heat mine up with a heat gun and then it slides right off.

Did you post in the procharger group on FB? Pics looks familiar

lastly with the cooling issue recall wasnt the answer a different AC condensor and you can count the number of rows or something similar to figure it out?

edit: used procharger kits can usually be found for 2k or so, you'll end up ordering odds and ends but overall save a boat load

I do post on the Procharger Technical group on Facebook. The coolant issue is kinda bugging me because there are lots of reasons other than a head gasket that it could be a little low, but since I don’t have a ton of background on the car it’s hard to say.

If anyone could take a picture of their negative battery cable and grounds I’d appreciate it. Mine was a mess and I bought the stuff to repair it and now my interior light stays on and won’t go off. I’m assuming it’s related to how I hooked up the cable and grounds... o_O
 

01silverstang

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Need help identifying some wires:

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I think this is supposed to route down for the fog light? I can see a ballast behind the front bumper, just want to confirm.

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Noticed this grey clip is not connected to anything... not sure what it is.

Finally... I believe only one of these grounds goes to the battery, question is where does this one connect too?

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Not sure if I just never noticed as the battery has been out on a charger but where would you start with the dome light that won’t turn off?
 

01silverstang

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Nice find! I have alot of parts for this laying around lol, radiator, 200amp alternator, some random other stuff as well im local to you in hanover park.

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Send me a picture of the radiator and your price please.
 

98 svt

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Nice find! I have alot of parts for this laying around lol, radiator, 200amp alternator, some random other stuff as well im local to you in hanover park.

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk


Who makes the alt, how many miles, and is it the standard finish on it?
 

CobraBob

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Another PLUS for your project. You have someone in your area who might help you with parts. Awesome!!

After reading through your posts, you definitely started off with a great project car and you have a great, organized plan of attack. I feel good about how this story might end. I'm looking forward to hearing more and more good news.

Hope you get your transmission related issue resolved (trouble-shooting wise) this weekend. Peace out!!
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01silverstang

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Another PLUS for your project. You have someone in your area who might help you with parts. Awesome!!

After reading through your posts, you definitely started off with a great project car and you have a great, organized plan of attack. I feel good about how this story might end. I'm looking forward to hearing more and more good news.

Hope you get your transmission related issue resolved (trouble-shooting wise) this weekend. Peace out!!
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I reached out to the guy I bought it from, I hate to be that guy that hits a seller up after the transaction is complete but I needed answers. He advised that he hadn't driven the car in about a year, and that when the belt shredded some coolant spilled. He said he removed the cap to expansion tank? He was adamant that it didn't have any head gasket issues and just needed topped off. I'm inclined to believe him, attached is a picture of the hose that connects from the expansion tank to the lower radiator hose.

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ViciousBlack97

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Need help identifying some wires:

View attachment 1691029

I think this is supposed to route down for the fog light? I can see a ballast behind the front bumper, just want to confirm.

View attachment 1691030

Noticed this grey clip is not connected to anything... not sure what it is.

Finally... I believe only one of these grounds goes to the battery, question is where does this one connect too?

View attachment 1691031

Not sure if I just never noticed as the battery has been out on a charger but where would you start with the dome light that won’t turn off?
Simplest solution first: is the headlight switch turned all the way to the left resulting in the interior light staying on? That stumped me for a minute before I realized what had happened.
 

01silverstang

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Simplest solution first: is the headlight switch turned all the way to the left resulting in the interior light staying on? That stumped me for a minute before I realized what had happened.
That was the first thing I checked, lol. I will play around with it again, I have been recommended to WD40 the switches on the doors as well.
 

01silverstang

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Simplest solution first: is the headlight switch turned all the way to the left resulting in the interior light staying on? That stumped me for a minute before I realized what had happened.
Well I could have swore I checked dimmer switch last night, but based on your post I went out and checked again...

It was clicked all the way to the left, turned it back and a second later dome light turned off...

I feel dumb but I’ll take a simple fix.
 

DSG2003Mach1

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Well I could have swore I checked dimmer switch last night, but based on your post I went out and checked again...

It was clicked all the way to the left, turned it back and a second later dome light turned off...

I feel dumb but I’ll take a simple fix.

happens to the best of us, better than chasing a wiring gremlin!
 

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