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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well it looks like I finally found the "right"deal on a 2003 Cobra. I found a 600 mile "demo" at the dealer for $29k and they are giving me $11k for my 48k 97 Cobra. I'm pretty excited and hope to pick the car up Sat. It's alsoa sonic blue car.

So were is the best place to start with mods? Are there any cheap and easy mods that shoudl be done first?
Chris
 

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Pushrod Dinosaur
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Welcome to the site!!

Best place to start?? hmmmmmmm the usual, catback, CAI, pulley and chip. Should still be under 1000.00 depending on how much work you do yourself. Enjoy the new Cobra!!

gary
 

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HIPSICOBRA said:
So were is the best place to start with mods? Are there any cheap and easy mods that shoudl be done first?
Chris, first, welcome to the site! You will enjoy the knowledge and experience that all of us here have to offer you.

As for modifications, yes, that's easy! Several things can help you right away, and they are exhaust, an intake kit, and tuning. I'd go with the Magnaflow catted X-pipe (it seems to prove to be the most durable), either a Magnaflow or Borla catback, and an intake kit, preferably either the Steeda system, or the new K&N system (both replace the factory airbox and filter). You can opt not to replace the cats, but doing so will result in about a 10 to 15 rwhp gain. Normal gains on a catted x-pipe with catback is around 24+ rwhp. Add in the intake kit and you're looking at around 15 to 25 rwhp more, depending. Tuning will gain you another buttload of power, usually 15 to 20 rwhp at peak, and much more down low torque wise. I would highly recommend "flash" tuning, as it is more warranty friendly, and doesn't present any physical warranty terminating evidence. The DiabloSport Predator is the best overall flash tuning device, and it allows customized tuning, if needed, via email/internet, and it also includes full OBD-2 diagnostics and monitoring/logging.

One of the few easy last options, but can become warranty unfriendly (meaning "physical alterations", although they can be removed the opposite way they were put on), is the addition of an upper (or even lower) pulley. Going with a 2.95 to 3.0 will give you around an additional 6#'s of boost over factory. A lot go with the 2.8 upper, but there can be some belt slip concerns with anything smaller than a 2.95". Reichard Racing developed a line of non-slip upper pulleys, and you can see images of the pulley setup here: www.runninwiththedevil.com/pulley.htm . This pulley does work well, and I never experienced any slip with using an RR 2.95" on my 1st '03 Cobra. If you do get slip, regardless of what upper pulley you use, about the only and best way to cure this is through the addition of an idler setup, which will wrap the belt around the snout pulley much more, and also help with tensioning. Going with a lower setup is more expensive, but you will not have any belt slip. This setup is also more difficult to install, but it does not require the use of a pulley removal tool like the upper does (which adds to the cost, unless you're able to borrow one). Adding in a pulley setup will increase your torque and horsepower substantially (around 30+ rwhp at 3k, and 50+ rwtq at 3k by adding in a 2.95").

Please let me know if I can be of any assistance in your purchasing needs, as I carry most all of the products listed above, and would be happy to help you make an informed decision.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks,
Right now I want to see were I'm at stock. I want to chose upgrades that will be warranty friendly or are easily reversible. Are the x-pipe for the 03 different than the ones for the 96-98 cobra? I like that Predator it looks like it is pretty user friendly. What do custom tunes cost and what will it cost in the future if I change injectors or want to make big changes to the timing and fuel?
Chris
 

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Congradulations ......

to answer your question


the 03 and the 96-98 will not use the same X pipe....


All 99-04 cars (Cobra, Mach, GT) do use the same X pipe though



-THe Magnaflow rep
 

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The Ubiquitous Jimmy V.
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Best of Luck ...welcome to the Family:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks,
I picked it up last night and the car is fantastic. I can't wait to get it to the track and see what it'll run stock. What are most guys seeing? I have to get used to the T-56 the pattern is a lot closer than the T-45 and I keep looking for 5th or hitting between 3rd and 5th. That shifter leaves a lot to be desired also, I can see that being the first modification.
Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Here's what I'm planning, in this order:
- Sunday baseline at Thompson raceway
- replace all the fluids with synthetics and I may try a set of the Denso plugs. I'm leary of the plugs though only because after racing GN's for so long I've learned that nothing really works better than a good old copper plug with high cyl pressures, thoughts?
- Predator
- I want to raise the boost but do not want to have any warranty issues or streetability problems. I'm considering a lower pulley for this reason and looking for 12-14 psi. What is the best setup that is easiest to swap.
-A friend of mine builds intercoolers www.chargedair.com and is going to make a new HE and replace the pump. Is the pump the same one used on the lightning?

I'm going to skip the CAI and exhuast for now. I thought I really liked the Bassani on my 97 until I drove the 03. I guess I'm getting old but it is nice to hear the radio without having it cranked to the point that my ears are bleeding:)

That's it for now any freebies that need done? What are your thoughts on my mods. I figure this is going to be the most bang for the buck and should get me in the 11's as soon as I improve my rowing skillzz I've been racing autos way to long.:D
 

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HIPSICOBRA said:
Thanks,
Right now I want to see were I'm at stock. I want to chose upgrades that will be warranty friendly or are easily reversible. Are the x-pipe for the 03 different than the ones for the 96-98 cobra? I like that Predator it looks like it is pretty user friendly. What do custom tunes cost and what will it cost in the future if I change injectors or want to make big changes to the timing and fuel?
Chris, the X-pipe is different from the 96-98 compared to the 99-03 years. You will need 93335 catted x-pipe, or 15445 off road x-pipe, which works for 99-03 Cobras and Mustang V8's.

The Predator is definitely user friendly, no doubt about that. It works flawlessly, and programs without any hitches. Normal program time is around 2 minutes when you modify the program or change to a different one.

Custom tunes will be a 1 time fee of approx. $120, depending. However, with that being said, I will not charge, and neither should any other dealer, for custom tuning for cars that have standard modifications such as pulleys, exhaust work, intake kits. The rest you can do through the Predator yourself, such as gears, fans, rev limiter, etc. With that being said, however, we should charge for vehicles with extensive modifcations, such as Cobras with the Kenne Bell, and/or larger injectors. Though, I do work with my customers on a one on one basis, as to keep the personal relationship with them strong.

I hope this helps!
 

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You'll be fine with the Denso plugs. They have the least amount of misfires of any plug, including the NGK copper plugs. If you want a plug for a cheap price, then the NGK's are a decent plug, however, if you want the best plug, bar none, go with the Denso.

Well, raising boost will not give you streetability problems on this car, trust me. If you go with the lower pulley setup, just remember that this setup is more expensive, and it is also normally more difficult to install. Replacing your upper pulley, with a good puller, such as the one at www.pulleyboys.com, is not going to damage your snout. You have to be careful of some pulley pullers, however, like the ASP puller, as not only will the front puller bar bend after repeated use, but the puller's piece that actually surrounds the backside of your pulley can and will rub on your snout and scuff it (been there, done that with the ASP!). This is really up to you, but if you go much more than a 2.95" upper pulley, you will start to experience belt slip after a month or two, and some see it sooner. I would recommend the idler puller if you're going to do a 2.80" (and really even larger pulleys, too), which is the common upper pulley used these days.

I would at least get a K&N drop in replacement air filter if you're not going to do a CAI. I swear to you that you'll see 10 to 14 rwhp gains! I'm not lying. I verified this on BOTH of my '03 Cobras. A CAI will give you even more power and additional flow capacity, some give over 20 rwhp, especially when you start adding in the additional boost (the K&N filter isn't efficient enough to keep up the demand past 6k rpms and with a minimum of a 2.95" upper; I know this from experience, too!).

I highly recommend exhaust too! If you go exhaust, you're going to see 22 to 26 rwhp gains. I've verified I don't know how many '03 Cobras that have made these gains after installing a catted x-pipe and catback (good quality exhaust systems, such as Magnaflow, Steeda/Borla, etc.). I can drive from 0 up to 70 mph and not have any drone from my Magnaflow catted x-pipe/catback setup. The sound is not much different than stock at cruising, this I promise you. Ask around, others will tell you the same thing. The best bang for the buck starts here, aside from a pulley.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
RWTD said:
You'll be fine with the Denso plugs. They have the least amount of misfires of any plug, including the NGK copper plugs. If you want a plug for a cheap price, then the NGK's are a decent plug, however, if you want the best plug, bar none, go with the Denso.

The other issue I have with the Denso's is the price. I'm one for constantly changing and checking my plugs. If my Buick saw a 100 miles out of a set of plugs it was amazing or I hadn't been to the track in an extrordinary amount time. I may try the NGK I've used them in the past. I personally always like the AC delcos or Autolites.

Well, raising boost will not give you streetability problems on this car, trust me.

I realize this I was speaking in terms of octane requirements

If you go with the lower pulley setup, just remember that this setup is more expensive, and it is also normally more difficult to install. Replacing your upper pulley, with a good puller, such as the one at www.pulleyboys.com, is not going to damage your snout. You have to be careful of some pulley pullers, however, like the ASP puller, as not only will the front puller bar bend after repeated use, but the puller's piece that actually surrounds the backside of your pulley can and will rub on your snout and scuff it (been there, done that with the ASP!). This is really up to you, but if you go much more than a 2.95" upper pulley, you will start to experience belt slip after a month or two, and some see it sooner. I would recommend the idler puller if you're going to do a 2.80" (and really even larger pulleys, too), which is the common upper pulley used these days.

Thanks that was very useful. I was at my friends shop at lunch. He has a lightning they are redoing the motor in and has a lower pulley setup from JDM. It does look like a bigger PIA than the upper. He has one of those pullers so I think I'm going to go with the upper. I'm going to start with a 3". You should see his truck he has the entire body off the frame.

I would at least get a K&N drop in replacement air filter if you're not going to do a CAI. I swear to you that you'll see 10 to 14 rwhp gains! I'm not lying. I verified this on BOTH of my '03 Cobras. A CAI will give you even more power and additional flow capacity, some give over 20 rwhp, especially when you start adding in the additional boost (the K&N filter isn't efficient enough to keep up the demand past 6k rpms and with a minimum of a 2.95" upper; I know this from experience, too!).

I highly recommend exhaust too! If you go exhaust, you're going to see 22 to 26 rwhp gains. I've verified I don't know how many '03 Cobras that have made these gains after installing a catted x-pipe and catback (good quality exhaust systems, such as Magnaflow, Steeda/Borla, etc.). I can drive from 0 up to 70 mph and not have any drone from my Magnaflow catted x-pipe/catback setup. The sound is not much different than stock at cruising, this I promise you. Ask around, others will tell you the same thing. The best bang for the buck starts here, aside from a pulley.

I plan to make these changes soon I want to look into it a little. The pulley and predator can be done and pretty much unnoticeable modifications. I have a thing for stock appearing stuff and tweaking factory parts. My GN ran mid 10's and was a 3700# stock appearing GN. Thanks for the info I will be talking to you about the predator soon.
 

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too bad it doesn't....

GNN60GT500 said:
Congradulations ......

to answer your question

the 03 and the 96-98 will not use the same X pipe....

All 99-04 cars (Cobra, Mach, GT) do use the same X pipe though

-THe Magnaflow rep
Use the same GT catback... I just bought the thing last year and I have to get another one again this year. =)
 

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My first mods are gonna be Inserts, Shifter, Bassani Catback (already own it from my gt with irs), k&n drop in and thats it for a few months
 
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