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post #1 of 10 Old 05-07-2017, 02:52 AM Thread Starter
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Spark-plugs and coolant

I own a '96 Cobra with 110k miles. The engine is stock and non-aspirated. It needs new plugs. Is there any particular type/brand that will provide me the best performance (e.g., platinum)? Also, the radiator is a Fluidyne and the coolant needs replacement. Is there a preferable type/brand and should I add a corrosion/rust inhibitor (also type/brand?)? Thank you very much.


Last edited by therzl; 05-07-2017 at 07:16 AM. Reason: Incomplete, my fault
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post #2 of 10 Old 05-09-2017, 01:29 AM
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Originally Posted by therzl View Post
I own a '96 Cobra with 110k miles. The engine is stock and non-aspirated. It needs new plugs. Is there any particular type/brand that will provide me the best performance (e.g., platinum)? Also, the radiator is a Fluidyne and the coolant needs replacement. Is there a preferable type/brand and should I add a corrosion/rust inhibitor (also type/brand?)? Thank you very much.
"The engine is stock and non-aspirated." Stop, resist. Its sooo hard.. but I can do it..


How do you know the fluid needs replacement? If you haven't chemically tested it, it's possible the coolant is fine. There are many variables affecting coolant life and the manufacturers recommendations are conservative and based on averages. Try these, they make cheaper kits with less strips.. just search for them. https://www.amazon.com/Phoenix-Syste...ant+Test+Strip You can find out in minutes if you need to change your coolant and/or how much life is left on it.

When you do change your coolant you'll want to do a complete service. Check the hoses for possible replacement, inspect the water pump, change the thermostat, totally flush the system, and then refill either with a quality pre-mix (50/50 water/coolant) or mix your own making sure to use ionized water to mix wiht the coolant.. or at least distilledl water. And use a wetting agent such as Purple Ice or Redlines Water Wetter. Be sure to verify operation of your electric fans. Verify when and at what temps they turn on.

And keep in mind these engines are notoriously difficult to bleed. So be very familiar with the procedure for YOUR car or invest in a Airlift of similar device. I use this one: https://www.amazon.com/UView-550000-...oolant+bleeder This may seem like an unnecessary expense.. but perhaps not after you spent a few days trying to find out why your engine overheats or worse you blow a head gasket in the process. With an Airlift you can more easily bleed the system, and then refill it air pocket free in under 5 minutes. It's actually fun.

There's a lot to cooling systems, but it's something you can easily tackle with a bit of preparation. Good luck.

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post #3 of 10 Old 05-11-2017, 12:16 AM
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NA == naturally aspirated.
FI == forced induction

I drive my car on ramps and fill the coolant through the bypass. Works for me. I'm a philistine; I use the Walmart green stuff. I'm switching over to the newer orange stuff soon.

Most folks like NGK for plugs. Iridium, platinum or copper.
I'd pick up a k&n filter and clean the maf & iat sensors while you are at it. Again I'm a philistine and only do this every 75k or so.
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post #4 of 10 Old 05-11-2017, 02:59 AM
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"The engine is stock and non-aspirated." Stop, resist. Its sooo hard.. but I can do it..





How do you know the fluid needs replacement? If you haven't chemically tested it, it's possible the coolant is fine. There are many variables affecting coolant life and the manufacturers recommendations are conservative and based on averages. Try these, they make cheaper kits with less strips.. just search for them. https://www.amazon.com/Phoenix-Syste...ant+Test+Strip You can find out in minutes if you need to change your coolant and/or how much life is left on it.



When you do change your coolant you'll want to do a complete service. Check the hoses for possible replacement, inspect the water pump, change the thermostat, totally flush the system, and then refill either with a quality pre-mix (50/50 water/coolant) or mix your own making sure to use ionized water to mix wiht the coolant.. or at least distilledl water. And use a wetting agent such as Purple Ice or Redlines Water Wetter. Be sure to verify operation of your electric fans. Verify when and at what temps they turn on.



And keep in mind these engines are notoriously difficult to bleed. So be very familiar with the procedure for YOUR car or invest in a Airlift of similar device. I use this one: https://www.amazon.com/UView-550000-...oolant+bleeder This may seem like an unnecessary expense.. but perhaps not after you spent a few days trying to find out why your engine overheats or worse you blow a head gasket in the process. With an Airlift you can more easily bleed the system, and then refill it air pocket free in under 5 minutes. It's actually fun.



There's a lot to cooling systems, but it's something you can easily tackle with a bit of preparation. Good luck.


All of this is wonderful advice. It's $130 well spent
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post #5 of 10 Old 05-11-2017, 10:57 AM
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Or if you don't have or want to spend $130 for something you will not use $130 worth of your time.


2003 cobra overheating what's the cause?

NASVT post again!!

"park on incline or put front on ramps
remove radiator cap and the crossover fill plug
add coolant to the expansion tank until it reaches the full line
install cap
continue to fill at the crossover
start and let warm up
shut off and let cool
fill at the crossover
start and let warm up
fill again if needed, if not, install plug"

NASVT has spoken

Also I'd like to add; squeezing the upper radiator hose at first helps the burping process, air likes to catch there. this pushes the air up into the bypass where it can escape during the fill process.

It should say install cap(s). So you are filling the radiator (one side of the closed t-stat), the reservoir (the other side of the cold t-stat), then closing the caps..then filling the rest of the block through the bypass and giving the upper radiator hose a squeeze to force the air out of the hose before firing her up the first time.

I only had to start my car once again after the initial fill.
you may need to fill/top-off the overflow tank once more after the car is off the ramps and totally cooled down..as the car is ramped during all of this..just check it.

I like NGK platinum; although I think I have champion plats in her right now $$$.

expansion tank..reservoir..overflow tank....whatever..

Now you can get that K&N filter..

1999 Mustang Cobra DD
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post #6 of 10 Old 05-11-2017, 07:34 PM
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Or if you don't have or want to spend $130 for something you will not use $130 worth of your time.
They have an economy version for $79 though I can't speak for that one. $130 worth of your time? Not sure what that means, but every time I use mine it saves me time and time is money. How much time depends. If we go on what we've seen just in these forums from days of aggravation trying to bleed the system in different ways, to the overflow plug being seized, to blowing head gaskets..

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post #7 of 10 Old 05-12-2017, 11:11 PM
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They have an economy version for $79 though I can't speak for that one. $130 worth of your time? Not sure what that means, but every time I use mine it saves me time and time is money. How much time depends. If we go on what we've seen just in these forums from days of aggravation trying to bleed the system in different ways, to the overflow plug being seized, to blowing head gaskets..
I'm saying, pay-wise, $130 or even a mere $79 is a lot of money to some of us folks..and time is what we have more of...i.e. time is just time for the working poor.

And I think if head gaskets are getting blown, something more serious was going on in the first place.

1999 Mustang Cobra DD
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post #8 of 10 Old 05-14-2017, 01:29 PM
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I'm saying, pay-wise, $130 or even a mere $79 is a lot of money to some of us folks..and time is what we have more of...i.e. time is just time for the working poor.

And I think if head gaskets are getting blown, something more serious was going on in the first place.
I suppose that's always an issue when you consider obtaining a new tool. Understanding the tool is a good start towards knowing it's true value.

Airlift's device not only bleeds your system eliminating the possibility of air pockets (which can surprise the inexperienced sometimes resulting in a blown head gasket), but it also totally empties the cooling system which ensures all the contaminants are all removed so they don't mix with and possibly reduce the life of the new coolant. Some coolant like that BMW requires to maintain their warranty in my 530i runs $35 a gallon.. add the wetting agent and you're nearing $100 worth of cooling fluids you want to ensure don't have to be replaced prematurely. According to the manual this device wasn't designed to remove fluids, but its very easy to do

A critical function of the Airlift device is checking your cooling system for pressure leaks. I can't over-emphasize how important this is to be done. Pressure leaks are very common and you often have more than one.

New users should probably practice a few times using plain water. 2-3 practice runs and you'll be a pro.

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post #9 of 10 Old 05-15-2017, 02:00 PM
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I suppose that's always an issue when you consider obtaining a new tool. Understanding the tool is a good start towards knowing it's true value.

Airlift's device not only bleeds your system eliminating the possibility of air pockets (which can surprise the inexperienced sometimes resulting in a blown head gasket), but it also totally empties the cooling system which ensures all the contaminants are all removed so they don't mix with and possibly reduce the life of the new coolant. Some coolant like that BMW requires to maintain their warranty in my 530i runs $35 a gallon.. add the wetting agent and you're nearing $100 worth of cooling fluids you want to ensure don't have to be replaced prematurely. According to the manual this device wasn't designed to remove fluids, but its very easy to do

A critical function of the Airlift device is checking your cooling system for pressure leaks. I can't over-emphasize how important this is to be done. Pressure leaks are very common and you often have more than one.

New users should probably practice a few times using plain water. 2-3 practice runs and you'll be a pro.

ok..good point.

I'm switching over from the older green coolant to the newer orange stuff soon...
new hoses..etc, etc.

I wasn't trying to give you a hard time...thank you for the thoughtful response.

1999 Mustang Cobra DD
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post #10 of 10 Old 05-15-2017, 10:54 PM
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ok..good point.

I'm switching over from the older green coolant to the newer orange stuff soon...
new hoses..etc, etc.

I wasn't trying to give you a hard time...thank you for the thoughtful response.
I'm still running the green (Motorcraft) in my 99. At the time when I bought the car new Ford was adamant about not putting in any of the extended life coolants. They claimed they didn't react well with aluminum and over time would wreck havoc with the all aluminum block and heads. I was a skeptic.. but I continue to drop by my Ford Parts counter when its on sale and pick up the green coolant. Though, I've heard the extended life coolants have changed their formula and all is good with them. Ford, including SVT, still tells me me to use only green in the 99. Yet, my BMW, the Coyote, Voodoo, and other all aluminum engines use extended life.

I'll probably continue to run the green until it's first rebuild. I'm still running all Motorcraft fluids just because I'm crazy that way. And they're cheap.

I think though.. when I do rebuild this engine I'm going to use waterless coolant. It lasts a life time and its easier to start with it than to transfer over to it. Jay Leno uses it on every car he owns once his warranty is expired..


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