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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry if this seems to be overdone. Just can't quite get the answer from what I've researched. I've done a lot of research and figured I might not want to be as aggressive as I originally intended when modifying my car.

Basically my Cobra needs to be my daily driver with maybe once a month track time. I want to get the most out of it while maintaining reliability as well. I'm reading too much about problems with air/fuel, spark plugs, belt slippage, warranty, etc. when you guys start doing some of these mods.

How extreme can I go without having to worry about wrenching my car every weekend??? Warranty isn’t too much of a concern, but it would be nice to be able to switch some stuff easily enough so the dealers can’t really pin it against me.

I'd like to get 450rwhp at least. I originally thought 500 would be nice and it would, but from what I read not realistic if I want it to be a reliable daily driver and weekend warrior. Who/what/where/how?

Thanks guys.
 

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I have the same delima as you. I have been researching on this site and a few others for about a month now. My wife is hardly talking to me because I spend so much time online.

Here is my thinking, for it is worth. I was initially not too concerned about the warrantee but the longer people have these, the more the problems seem to pop up. I do not believe a 3.10 pully with properly tuned diablo chip would come close to harming these engines. Those 2 upgrades along with the other standard upgrade (exhast, air, TB) should get you real close to your horse power goals and very few problems with A/F (assuming the chip is tuned right). However, according to many on this site and others, the pulley and/or chip is being used as an excuse to void warrantee.

I have CAT/Back, X-Pipe w/Cats, Air Induction Kit, Throttle Body, Chip, & Pulley but I am not sure how much I willl install immediatley. My concerns are on 2 levels.

1. Warrantee-Every car needs warrantee work at some point and lets face it, some dealers will use any excuse to get out of it.

2. Emmissions-I am 90% sure with the free flow x pipe w/cats, I will still fail our tough emmissions laws. Not sure if taking off the new and installing the old every time I need an emmissions test is worth it.

With all that said, I still ordered everything knowing I will want more & more power and that desire will eventually overcome my consevative nature. I am hoping some more experienced moders will reply with a more inteligent response but this is my thinking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply! I've been thinking about emissions too. Also, I'm 99% sure that any of those mods will void the warranty. In fact, I'm 100% if you take it into any dealer and they notice it's not pretty much stock then you'll get shafted. I know some dealers refuse warranty because of the use of a K&N air filter. Your exhaust is definitely not covered and I'm confident they'll blow steam if you expect them to fix problems after changing the pulley and messing with the computer.
 

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Times are tough with Ford right now. They have boosted power to increase sales and visibility. They have also mandated a 20% across the board reduction in warranty work, and are going out of their way to use the "void" stamp. This is a big role of the dice for them, and they aren't letting us get away with much now.

As for what's safe with the warranty, a chip is a nono. If they see the silicon is off of the PCM, odds are better than 50/50 they'll void EVERYTHING. I've put in a couple of random calls to service writers and explained:
"In a previous Cobra, I chipped the car when I was told the warranty wouldn't be effected. So I chipped my '03, then came to find out that you guys are voiding warranty's for this, so I took it out immediately. If I bring my car in for work, is it going to be ok?" The answer I got was "sorry, but you might be in trouble. The odds aren't in your favor."

Several of us have pulled our resources and attempted to find a way around the chip issue. You can buy a new PCM, but everytime you switch a PCM out, you have to reflash it, AND run the program to have the PATS (anti theft system) recognize the keys so your car will start. Unless you have a tuner who can do all this close at hand, it's hardly worth it.

Of course, there are extreme's. Some dealerships are cool and will let you do anything short of 800rhp. Others, such as one here in Austin, have voided warranties for such things as bugs in the PCM and underdrive pulleys on an SVT Contour.

You should be safe as long as you don't chip the car. You can hit 450rhp easy with a pulley and other mods, but a chip reduces your chances of keeping your warranty significantly. There are about to be some nice products to hit the market that will let you tune your own A/F.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So what parts/mods we talking about where we can me "mechanically" safe? Like I said, I don't want slipping belts, blown spark plugs, crappy idle, pinging, blah, blah. as the cost for high horsepower. I think exhaust, reasonable pulley, chip and perhaps some other stuff would be sufficient. But which ones can stretch the #'s without stretching reliability? Thanks.
 

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You don't absolutely need to adjust the A/F when you get a new pulley...............but it sure is a smart move :p


If you want to be hassle free, I don't see anyone getting slippage with the 3.1 pulley.
New exhaust is a must. Go with anything but FlowMasters, since I've witnessed quite a few posts where people get them for sound, knowing they are sacrificing power gains.
Install some kind of CAI kit, or simply find a big K/N and put that in replace of your stock airbox.
As for the chip, if you have a local tuner shop that can custom burn a chip for you, go that way and no other. If you don't have one locally, I'd get a CUSTOM chip from Amazon Racing. You can send it back in for reburns or tweaks, and if you change your mods, he'll reburn it for free, as long as it's for the same car. Can't really go wrong there.
There's your "safe and hassle free" list.

I'm also sending you a PM :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah I knew the BPUs were a must just wasn't sure which ones and how extreme I can go. Yes, I have a custom dyno tuner here I can use (Diablo Sport chips). 3.1 pulley seems like what I should do. How much slippage are people experiencing with anything smaller? Thanks.
 

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Well it's not all negative... I've had some minor problems with my car. Moisure in the lights, thin paint (see thue) and the dealer never even blinked @ my CIA, or full Bassani exhaust, all the service manager did was compliment me on the sound. You just need to find a mod friendly dealer, and treat them with the same respect you want.

Jayson
 
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