Increased Power from 96-98 Cobra Cams?

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  1. #1

    Default Increased Power from 96-98 Cobra Cams?

    What kind of power increase can I expect from changing my cams to 96-98 Cobra Cams on an otherwise stock Cobra engine?

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  3. #2

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    About the same as the difference between a 96-98 Cobra engine and a Mach-I engine.


    Ed

  4. #3

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    I believe your insinuating there is no increase. I wonder why I'm being encourage to do this mod? I was told that the lob separation was more beneficial for producing power. It seems to be popular. People are asking a lot more money for these cams as opposed to the 03 to 04 cams.

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  6. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by SleepingBeauty View Post
    I believe your insinuating there is no increase.
    Not at all, there is a distinct difference between the advertised power outputs of those two generations of the engine.


    Quote Originally Posted by SleepingBeauty View Post
    I wonder why I'm being encourage to do this mod?
    Perhaps because they produce more power?



    Quote Originally Posted by SleepingBeauty View Post
    I was told that the lob separation was more beneficial for producing power.
    The OEM LSA is identical on both sets of cams.


    Quote Originally Posted by SleepingBeauty View Post
    It seems to be popular.
    Perhaps because they produce more power?


    Quote Originally Posted by SleepingBeauty View Post
    People are asking a lot more money for these cams as opposed to the 03 to 04 cams.
    When you compare the two different cam sets, the only difference is the intake cam and 12mm hardware. A typical set can usually be had for ~$200 to $250 which is a far cry from a typical set of aftermarket cams. The 03/04 cams are not a very high demand item because everybody already has them. As a result, most buyers are reluctant to spend money to buy the same set of cams they already have. This has a depressing effect on the market price for the 03/04 cams especially when 96-98 cams are so inexpensive.


    Ed

  7. #5

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    Ford's advertised power for the 2003 Mach 1 is 305 hp and 320 ft*lbs while the 1996 through 1998 Mustang Cobra is 305 hp and 300 ft*lbs so I guess I'm at a misunderstanding still but I will definitely perform the switch. I was just hoping that maybe some one had some results from the swap.

  8. #6

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    You are right about the '96 tp 98 engines being 300 HP, I misspoke. The '99 engine was the one they rated at 320 HP @ 6000 rpm rather than 300 at 5800 rpm. I believe the difference in this case was the tune. This is a pic of the engine as FRPP was selling them;

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    I believe this and the 96-98 engines both had the 204˚ intake cam. This engine used a different calibration (tune) to move the power and RPM the power was achieved at up the rpm range.

    The bottom line is when you have a cam that offers 20˚ more intake duration than a stock 03/04 cam, it is made by Ford and you can buy it for $200 to $250 this is not only a good thing to do but it is also a good buy.


    Ed

    p.s. FWIW Ford appeared to underrate some of the engines advertised power in an attempt to avoid the unpleasant scenario where a higher power rated vehicle was outperformed by a similar but lower power rated competitor's vehicle. They continued this practice through the 03/04 Cobra's and then apparently began to believe this was no longer necessary with the ultra high powered (relatively speaking) 5.4 powered vehicles they began bringing to market.
    Last edited by eschaider; 05-10-2016 at 04:03 AM. Reason: added postscript

  9. #7
    Senior Member Array IWRBB's Avatar
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    Did the other 4V engines of that era use the "96-98 Cobra" cams? Specifically, the Lincoln Mark VIII or Continental? Edit: What about the Navigator 5V 4V engines?

    There's a 96 Conti sitting in the pull and pay lot here and Navigators are always there in fresh supply.

    Still waiting for the Aviators to start showing up in the yards to get some good 9 thread heads.
    Last edited by IWRBB; 05-10-2016 at 02:14 PM.

  10. #8

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    The intake cams were '96-'98 Mustang specific, but the exhaust cams came from Lincoln (those in the Terminator are all Lincoln, even). Here's a snapshot of the engineering & part numbers as an FYI:

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    Last edited by jrgoffin; 05-10-2016 at 02:29 PM.

  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by IWRBB View Post
    Did the other 4V engines of that era use the "96-98 Cobra" cams? Specifically, the Lincoln Mark VIII or Continental? Edit: What about the Navigator 5V 4V engines?

    There's a 96 Conti sitting in the pull and pay lot here and Navigators are always there in fresh supply.

    Still waiting for the Aviators to start showing up in the yards to get some good 9 thread heads.
    96-98 Cobras were the cars to receive those cams. The Mark 8 cams have 22 degrees less duration.

    The differences between the Mach and 96-98 Cobra engines are many, the earlier engines had terrible heads which were not good for making power. This is the reason that the Cobra engine made less power than the one in the Mach despite having more intake duration.



    The 96-98 intake cams when installed in 03/04 Cobras offer little power gain. I've seen people do the swap and lose power down low and get no increase at peak. This is not uncommon. IMO, when using the cobra intake cams in a 03/04 they should be installed 4-5 degrees advanced which puts the LC at 114-115. This places the intake close a couple degrees later than that of the stock cams but opens the valve much earlier to so that cylinder filling begins sooner.

    Also, the split in the int/exh durations becomes quite great and in the wrong direction for a PD blown car. Boosted cars need more, not less exhaust duration when compared to the intake side. A supercharged car should have equal durations or more on the exhaust side.

    IMO, the only benefit of going with the Cobra intake cams is their larger bolt. The exhaust cam at a minimum should be changed to one with a 12mm bolt as that is the one that most commonly breaks.

  12. #10

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    Todd's observations about the engine's appetite for exhaust duration are similar to my own. If you measure absolute power obtained you can not beat aftermarket cams, they simply are better — if you choose wisely.

    If you have budget limitations anything that provides better cylinder filling will provide more power. With increased exhaust duration it can be even greater. For $200 or so the 98 cams offer a very low price in absolute dollars for the improved driving experience*but will fall short of aftermarket cams for power production. Then again however aftermarket cams are $1000 to $1500 depending on what you buy from who. The benefit of the 12mm hardware especially on the exhaust as Todd has already indicated is a very nice extra.


    Ed

  13. #11

    Default 1996-1998 Cobra Intake Cams swap into Lincoln Mark VIII

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepingBeauty View Post
    Ford's advertised power for the 2003 Mach 1 is 305 hp and 320 ft*lbs while the 1996 through 1998 Mustang Cobra is 305 hp and 300 ft*lbs so I guess I'm at a misunderstanding still but I will definitely perform the switch. I was just hoping that maybe some one had some results from the swap.
    Great article. Hi, Im new on here. You brought up some amazing points You got to remember too that the Mach 1's have a MASSIVE Ram air induction system. That can account for the additional power with those cam profiles for Mach 1. But the induction system is pretty crazy! lol. I want to fabricate a similar set up for my 94 Mark VIII and get 1996-98 Cobra Intake cams for the extra duration. I wonder if it will give the idle a little ratchet to it. Rite now, Ive got side exit pipes. no mufflers, w/cats. 4:10's are coming soon.

  14. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danny351C View Post
    Great article. Hi, Im new on here. You brought up some amazing points You got to remember too that the Mach 1's have a MASSIVE Ram air induction system. That can account for the additional power with those cam profiles for Mach 1. But the induction system is pretty crazy! lol. I want to fabricate a similar set up for my 94 Mark VIII and get 1996-98 Cobra Intake cams for the extra duration. I wonder if it will give the idle a little ratchet to it. Rite now, Ive got side exit pipes. no mufflers, w/cats. 4:10's are coming soon.
    The Mach 1 "ram Air" system is useless; provides absolutely no power gain. Changing the intake cams to those used in a 96-987 Cobra will result in the engine sounding like that in a 96-98 cobra...it will idle smooth.

  15. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by na svt View Post
    The Mach 1 "ram Air" system is useless; provides absolutely no power gain. Changing the intake cams to those used in a 96-987 Cobra will result in the engine sounding like that in a 96-98 cobra...it will idle smooth.
    +1^


    Ed

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