Building '95 Cobra for road racing - Ford Mustang Forums : Corral.net Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 149 Old 11-06-2017, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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Building '95 Cobra for road racing

It's been a long time since I've posted on The Corral, but find myself back after about 13 years.

Over the last several years, a few friends and I have been racing in an endurance road racing series. We started out with a 300ZX, and after a few years split off and formed another team running a Mazda 626 in which we rent seats. We all have been tracking far faster, higher horsepower cars for many years (ACR's, Z06, GT500, etc.) and we decided to build a second car that we would drive and possibly rent out a few stints per race.

To that end, we recently acquired a real D-VIN '95 Cobra. The car is high-mileage, paint is rough, but does not appear to have any substantial crash damage (unibody, undercarriage, etc. all look great). There are a number of advantages to running a Cobra over base Mustang V8's in the series, mostly related to what we get without taking a hit on points.

We are currently talking to fabricators for the cage, have bought the seat (Sparco Pro Circuit 2) for sizing and decided on our wheel/tire combo. We will be running an 18" x 9.5" with a 285/35 square RS4.

The plan is to peel ~400-500# out of the car. We have gone through the rules and believe that we will be able to run coilovers within points. So MM coilovers with MM2 custom-damped (non-adjustable) struts/shocks, MM front K-member/A-arms, Extreme rear LCA'a with panhard bar and various other bits. We will also be going to larger brakes and are looking at moving to the 4-piston Brembos with 14" slotted Stoptech cryo rotors. Nice thing with the Cobra is that we can use the fog light openings for ducting along with rotor duct plates.

We are limited to a "stock" engine, so will port the GT40 irons and intake, ported TB along with some bolt-ons, long tubes, obviously no cats and some other details. SCT will be directly tuning this car for us. Will be moving to a Fuel Safe 18-gallon fuel cell. We're hoping for ~260-270 rwhp.

Any immediate items we should be aware of with the platform from an endurance road racing perspective?
S.

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post #2 of 149 Old 11-06-2017, 03:31 PM
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Is that weight after removal of stuff? I weighed my 1994 GT with full tubular front suspension, coilivers, aluminum headed 363 (dart block) and a full tank of gas and it weighed 3380.

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post #3 of 149 Old 11-06-2017, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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No. That's stock with ~1/2 tank of fuel. When we are done there will be no interior, doors will be gutted, no glass, polycarbonate rear window, everything that can be cut out will be. We may skin the decklid and will be gutting everything that isn't functional including heater, all AC components, PW, PM, cruise, etc., etc..
S.

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post #4 of 149 Old 11-06-2017, 07:42 PM
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I'd consider an external oil cooler, oil and coolant temp gauges, and a road-race trapdoor oil pan.
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post #5 of 149 Old 11-06-2017, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MFE View Post
I'd consider an external oil cooler, oil and coolant temp gauges, and a road-race trapdoor oil pan.
Yes, we're looking at the Aviaid pans and will have to coordinate that with the mounts and long tubes. We also are running a Speedway 3 2 5/8" gauge pack on our other car. We'll probably keep the top half of the dash and retain the instrument panel and convert the centerstack to a gauge/switch panel (for what we can fit).
Oil pressure is obviously a big concern.
S.

'17 Viper ACR-E, blue...'16 Charger Hellcat, billet, brass monkeys...'14 Porsche 911 Turbo, blue...'03 Cobra, 5.0, big Whipple...'90 'notch, 363" with turbo...'95 SVT Cobra, road racer...
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post #6 of 149 Old 11-06-2017, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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Also, the SN95 Cobra has an "oil cooler", but we'd prefer an external heat exchanger setup. We have to figure out how to do that without getting dinged on points.
S.

'17 Viper ACR-E, blue...'16 Charger Hellcat, billet, brass monkeys...'14 Porsche 911 Turbo, blue...'03 Cobra, 5.0, big Whipple...'90 'notch, 363" with turbo...'95 SVT Cobra, road racer...
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post #7 of 149 Old 11-06-2017, 09:02 PM
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What class are you setting up for?
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post #8 of 149 Old 11-06-2017, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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Depends on the series. WRL really only runs one race we'd be interested in running at Road Atlanta and we'd probably class GP2 if we put some weight back in it based on rated HP. AER runs (ran?) two, but not sure where we'd sit. The series we'd most often race would class us in 3.92 liter and up cars.
Because of the fuel limitations in this platform, and the "big" hp V8, these cars are starting off with a disadvantage.
S.
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post #9 of 149 Old 11-20-2017, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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It took us one day to completely gut the interior, remove the drivetrain and turn the car into a rolling shell.
On Saturday we dropped it off at our fabricator's shop to begin work on the cage. Obviously this will be a full 8-point road racing cage and we'll be tying the front strut towers into it as well. The A-pillars and sills will also be plated to the front downbars and the sill bars.
Work on the engine has started. It will get a leakdown test. If all is good, we'll put a fresh set of heads on it, fresh bearings, new oil pump, all new gaskets, seals, etc. before it goes back into the car.
S.
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post #10 of 149 Old 11-25-2017, 10:49 PM
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Update this post along the way. I look forward to see how the car progresses.


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post #11 of 149 Old 11-26-2017, 10:07 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitrous SSC View Post
Update this post along the way. I look forward to see how the car progresses.
We will. Sound deadening is stripped out of the car and the fabricator will be starting on bars this week.
S.

'17 Viper ACR-E, blue...'16 Charger Hellcat, billet, brass monkeys...'14 Porsche 911 Turbo, blue...'03 Cobra, 5.0, big Whipple...'90 'notch, 363" with turbo...'95 SVT Cobra, road racer...
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post #12 of 149 Old 12-19-2017, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
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Things are going a little slower than we hoped at the fabricator, but he is making progress.
We have a freshly rebuilt set of 3-bar GT40's for the car and ordered a fresh, stock-rebuild shortblock in place of the tired 100k+ mile engine. Many parts for the car have been ordered and are at the shop for install after the car returns. From the fabricator, it'll go to the paint shop to have the interior and bar painted. We'll likely go with a durable texture paint in a lighter color like tan or gray.
S.
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post #13 of 149 Old 12-20-2017, 02:34 PM
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Cool project. I W2W race with NASA in a 96 mustang (4.6). Class is called CMC (Camaro Mustang Challenge) and what you're building is very close to what we are allowed with a few exceptions that wouldn't be (17in wheels, no coil-overs, stock K-member). Ironically we are allowed a max of 267 RWHP at 3,150 lbs

If racing is like sex.....why would you want it to only last 10 seconds. (road races last 25 to 45 minutes!)
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post #14 of 149 Old 01-03-2018, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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More progress and we hope to have the car back in a week or so after having the interior and cage painted.
S.
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post #15 of 149 Old 01-07-2018, 03:41 PM
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I would love to get build like this going.
I looked at doing a LeMons or similar build, but could not get a group together. And since they all seem to require multiple drivers, I was not about to foot the bill and do all the work to make it a "rental". Perfect opportunity for someone I don't know to abuse the crap out of my car and walk away.

Good luck with the build!! Looks like a great start!

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post #16 of 149 Old 01-18-2018, 09:37 AM Thread Starter
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Just about done and we are hoping to pick up the car to take to the paint shop this weekend.
S.
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'17 Viper ACR-E, blue...'16 Charger Hellcat, billet, brass monkeys...'14 Porsche 911 Turbo, blue...'03 Cobra, 5.0, big Whipple...'90 'notch, 363" with turbo...'95 SVT Cobra, road racer...
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post #17 of 149 Old 02-12-2018, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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A good amount of progress over the last 3-4 weeks. We've gotten the car back from the fabricator, had the interior and cage painted and the paint shop also compounded the car for us. We don't think it will need any paint work to be race-presentable. Front suspension is out of the car and we'll be working on it this weekend. We're about 3-4 weeks behind where we hoped to be, so not sure if we'll make the first race we planned in April.
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post #18 of 149 Old 02-26-2018, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
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We now have the majority of the suspension components and fuel cell bolted into the car, at least for fitment. Hopefully this weekend we can get the engine/trans assembled and into the car.
S.
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post #19 of 149 Old 02-27-2018, 12:58 AM
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Moving right along!
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post #20 of 149 Old 02-27-2018, 08:19 AM
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What are the wheels you're running? You previously mentioned they're 18x9.5", but they're not a model I recognize. Sharp looking wheels (which is, of course, the main concern for track wheels ).

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post #21 of 149 Old 02-27-2018, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
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We are running Avid AV-20's 18"x9.5". They won't look so sharp after a few races as it's doubtful we'll ever even wash them, lol. They were the right price and size and looked pretty decent. We'll likely go through a few wheels each season (racing incidents, off-tracks, bent from curbing), so the low replacements costs are good as well.

'17 Viper ACR-E, blue...'16 Charger Hellcat, billet, brass monkeys...'14 Porsche 911 Turbo, blue...'03 Cobra, 5.0, big Whipple...'90 'notch, 363" with turbo...'95 SVT Cobra, road racer...
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post #22 of 149 Old 02-27-2018, 03:13 PM
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Nice! Are those the +22 or +38mm variant?
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post #23 of 149 Old 02-27-2018, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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+22mm and 6.12" BS

https://www.nlmotoring.com/Avid-1-AV...18955h22bz.htm

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post #24 of 149 Old 02-27-2018, 05:33 PM
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I'm loving this build! How much did you end up paying for the cage?
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post #25 of 149 Old 02-27-2018, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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I'm loving this build! How much did you end up paying for the cage?
I'll just say more than $5k, but there were lots of little extras that we wanted. And it included the fuel cell fabrication work, rear bulkhead, a custom "cage" that encloses the entire fuel cell can and bolts to the unibody, boxed LCA's, etc..
S.
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'17 Viper ACR-E, blue...'16 Charger Hellcat, billet, brass monkeys...'14 Porsche 911 Turbo, blue...'03 Cobra, 5.0, big Whipple...'90 'notch, 363" with turbo...'95 SVT Cobra, road racer...
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I noticed you're running the GT500 rear dif cover. MM told me that wouldn't clear. Do you notice any interference?

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post #27 of 149 Old 03-04-2018, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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I noticed you're running the GT500 rear dif cover. MM told me that wouldn't clear. Do you notice any interference?
There is no interference. We have not yet installed the lateral brace, but it's in the same plane as the diagonal bar you see, and that puts it a few inches behind the rear cover.
S.

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post #28 of 149 Old 03-05-2018, 03:57 AM
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They have a fuel cell in the car, so the spare tire well is cut out. The GT500 differential cover hits the spare tire well in a Fox/SN95 chassis. Without the spare tire well in the car, there can't be interference.

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post #29 of 149 Old 03-05-2018, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
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More activity on the car yesterday and we "test fit" the engine after we bolted on the heads and "2-bolted" the headers just for fit. We are awaiting a set of solid MM mounts, but wanted to clearance the firewall and check the steering shaft with our long tubes. We also buttoned up a few minor things on the front suspension and will have to lower the rack due to oil pan interference. We pulled the factory fuel lines out of the car and also gutted the rear deck lid. We will be sending the door trim pieces, rear sail panels and deck lid to the paint shop to be painted matte black (just like our hood). We'll either wrap or paint the roof the same.
Next we'll get the engine/trans in the car and start dressing it and reinstalling everything else.
S.
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post #30 of 149 Old 03-06-2018, 10:22 PM
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I see in that last pic you stripped the dash, do you have any pics of what it looked like outside of the car?
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post #31 of 149 Old 03-06-2018, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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I see in that last pic you stripped the dash, do you have any pics of what it looked like outside of the car?
I'll see if we have any.
The dash was completely removed from the car. We then gutted it and sent it to the fab shop with the car. The fabricator cut much of the metal frame out of it to clear the dash bar and down bars. We will probably end up cutting more out of it. We will be running the stock gauge cluster along with a number of 2 5/8" Autometer Phantom gauges in the center stack. But the dual brows of the stock SN95 dash are staying.
S.

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post #32 of 149 Old 03-07-2018, 07:44 AM
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Would you mind posting more pictures of the cage?
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post #33 of 149 Old 03-07-2018, 11:15 AM
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Would you mind posting more pictures of the cage?
Look at the previous posts in the thread, there's quite a few.

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post #34 of 149 Old 03-07-2018, 05:54 PM
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Look at the previous posts in the thread, there's quite a few.
How on earth did I miss all of those. Lol. Thanks
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post #35 of 149 Old 03-18-2018, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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We continued to work on the car today. We test fitted the engine/trans two weeks ago, but dropped it in today to stay. We're running the MM solid motor mounts and used the rear mounting position so set the engine back ~1". Parts will be in the washer this week to get them ready for assembly. The engine will start to get dressed over the next few weeks along with assembly to include the fuel system and engine bay.
We also mounted the front brakes. We have a little work to do on the front spindles to accommodate the MM bumpsteer kit needed with the K-member/FCA's.
The door pillar trim and sail panels were sent out to be painted matte black to match the hood. We'll probably wrap the roof to match.
I have a track weekend next weekend at Sebring with my ACR-E, so won't have any updates for probably two weeks.
S.
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'17 Viper ACR-E, blue...'16 Charger Hellcat, billet, brass monkeys...'14 Porsche 911 Turbo, blue...'03 Cobra, 5.0, big Whipple...'90 'notch, 363" with turbo...'95 SVT Cobra, road racer...
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