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Lanter

Lanter's rebuild of a '98 Cobra

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First off my name is Kevin and though I haven't been a member very long I have been a part of mustang forums elsewhere. I actually have build threads at svtp and sn95forums but I was wanting to place one as well. As much knowledge and help as I have gained on svtp the site is really moving forward with the newer cars, gt500s and s550s. Seems the sn95 sections are slowing down considerably, and after seeing some of the builds here like Det-Riot, Opal, Tabres, and Rio's I am hoping to follow the foot steps of quality and love to the SN.

This all started for me in the spring of 2006 when I sold my DSM in favor for a '98 all black cobra. At the time I was in high school so the car was everything I wanted, fast and fun. I had always been into mustangs and read every muscle mustangs and fast fords magazine I could so when the issue with a turbo '97 cobra came out I was hooked on the idea of building my car to a similar fashion. This is the car I am talking about:

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By the time high school ended I realized my dream build would have to be put on hold until I finished college. I got accepted at Purdue and made my way into the department of Mechanical Engineering. School completely took over all my spare time so the car got demoted to DD duty. I graduated with my undergrad in mechanical engineering in 2012 and began working as a combustion and performance engineer. So finally my plans to build my car could come off the back burner, but by this time the plans had changed and I found myself obsessed with rare SN parts as much as speed.

So officially the project started around August 2012 with the removal of the engine.

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I sent the engine to a local engine builder, Williams Precision Engines, out of St. Paul, Indiana. After consulting with him we decided on a direction and ended up with what I hope will be a strong reliable engine.

Engine has the following:

-Diamond 2618 dished pistons (-11cc)

-Manley H beam rods with ARP2000 rod bolts
-Stock micro polished crank
-ARP main studs
-ARP side bolts
-ARP crank balancer bolt
-ARP head studs
-Manley SS intake and exhaust valves

-New valve springs
-Valve job/bowl port
-New water pump
-TSS billet oil pump
-New ford timing chains/tensioners/gears

Other engine parts:
-COP conversion
-Underdrive pulleys
-MMR IMRC delete plates

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While the engine was at the builder I went ahead and tore the interior out to install a MM 6pt roll bar with swing out door bars. The desire was to stiffen the chassis as much as possible and since I have only used the rear seat maybe 3 times since I have owned the car I'm not concerned about losing it.

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Also decided to make a rear seat delete. Delete consists of 1/4" MDF and a roll or black carpet. I decided to make my own to try and get the rear to sit flush with the back panels and also I didn't want to pay 100+ dollars for one. I got all the materials from Lowe's for 30 bucks. You'll have to excuse the poor pictures as I don't have a nice point and shoot camera and being all black and in the garage makes for horrible pictures.

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Next area I focused on was the front suspension, mostly because I needed to get the car rolling again as my wife and I moved to a different house. I purchased a UPR chrome moly k member and coilover kit for the front. I plan on also running coilovers in the rear but can't decide on whether to buy the upr kit and put in springs from maximum motorsports and also swap the front springs, or to buy MM rear coilovers and eventually upgrade the fronts to MM as well. I plan to let the car see a road course from time to time so the UPR springs will not work. But this is an area I'll come back to after the car is running.

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Don't mind the horrendous fender liners, I have new ones that will take their place as the build gets closer to completion.

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I also cleaned and painted my brake calipers.

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This brings us to November 2014 where my wife and I purchased our first house, so with that and our son the project really slowed down. Not being as able to work on it didn't stop me from stocking up on parts though. So I was able to get my hand on a set of chrome Saleen lemans.

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I am going to send the rears off to weldcraft to have them widened to 10.5". I also picked up some speedhut gauges on sale.

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This led me to make a relay board to power the gauges, which I am still in the middle of installing. My next purchase was a turbonetics 7868 turbo.
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That pretty much catches the project up to this point. So the most recent project has been the coolant system. I purchased an on3 crossover delete kit along with some fragola AN fittings and black nylon braided hose.

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As you may remember I said I have an obsession with rare parts, that brings us to January 2015 when I finally after three years of searching came across a set of export tails.

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Also grabbed a new set of corner lights to stick with the amber theme.

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I know this has been a long first post but thanks for sticking with me. So at this point we are almost up to date. The next purchase went to PowerAdderSolutions for an on3 ff turbo kit.

I ordered the kit without the turbo as I already have a turbonetics 7868 that I will use. I also went ahead and got upgraded v band clamps for the install.

My son was as excited as I was, only he was more interested in the boxes themselves not so much for the contents haha.

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Here is the turbo that will be put to use.

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Took a while to get everything unpacked and laid out but it all seems to be there and in good order. The true test of course will come when I try to install it all.

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Decided to wrap the merge pipe and passenger side pipe to try and protect and wiring and plastic components in the engine bay. I will also be wrapping the downpipe as far back as I can before I run out of wrap. I purchased a 2"x 50' DEI wrap from summit and some stainless zip ties from cable ties and more.

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Merge pipe before:

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The wrap was really quite easy to work with, just needs a lot of patience to get the overlap looking ok and as tight as possible.

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Nearly finished. I ran out of time last night so I need to just wrap the last bend and it is done.

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Knocking out the passenger side pipe was easy though being relatively straight.

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Now we are completely up to speed, though there is some things I plan to better document and update as I go.

Plans for the weekend will be dropping the k member and engine back out to paint some of the bay. Also mounting the headers will be a lot easier with the engine dropped. Planning to order the fuel system in the coming weeks so I can map out and run the fuel lines and hopefully by the end of summer start the car on a start-up tune and seat the rings while I save up for the transmission and clutch to finish out the drivetrain.

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Nice ride! I like what you're doing with it. I remember that Pacific Green Cobra from the magazines. I thought it was pretty awesome as well. What transmission are you going to run?

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damn this looks like a fun build.  nice ride man!

Thanks,  so far its been fun..... just way to long.

 

Hell ya getting off to a good start man!!

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Thanks!

 

Nice ride! I like what you're doing with it. I remember that Pacific Green Cobra from the magazines. I thought it was pretty awesome as well. What transmission are you going to run?

Thanks,  that car was just ridiculous.  Especially reading about it in high school where my car and my brothers '00 SS camaro were considered fast  :facepal:  

As for a transmission it will be a t56 magnum and a mcleod rxt for a clutch.

 

I like I like! Great start to a build thread @Lanter! Jealous of your boost!

Thanks, I have really enjoyed flipping through your build thread so that means a lot.  No reason to be jealous, is there not boost in the near future for you as well? 

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love the wheel choice.  this build will turn out pretty sweet when you get it all buttoned back up.  what is your power goal?

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love the wheel choice.  this build will turn out pretty sweet when you get it all buttoned back up.  what is your power goal?

Thanks, they are by far my favorite "stockish" SN wheel, plus it sticks with my theme of rare-ish parts when I can use them.  I don't really have a number in mind but the plan is 20 psi using e85, so whatever the car wants to put down at that level.  Probably should be something like 730-760 through a six speed.

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Thanks, that car was just ridiculous. Especially reading about it in high school where my car and my brothers '00 SS camaro were considered fast :facepal:

As for a transmission it will be a t56 magnum and a mcleod rxt for a clutch.

Haha, yep I remember those days well. LS F-bodies were a force to be reckoned with. Nice choice for the transmission setup. Glad to see you aren't going with a slush box.

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This will be one hell of a car when you're done. I love the wheels, IMO one of the classiest 5 spoke wheels ever. I'm also a bit partial to those exports ;)

 

Looking forward to more updates!

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This will be one hell of a car when you're done. I love the wheels, IMO one of the classiest 5 spoke wheels ever. I'm also a bit partial to those exports ;)

Looking forward to more updates!

I couldn't agree more, they have just enough concave to the spoke design to make them pop a little more than most 5 spoke wheels. I'm hoping my car can wear the exports half as well as yours does. I don't know how many times I've read through your build on here. Absolutely top notch work.

Without a doubt one of my favorite sn95s. It's a toss up between yours and Tabres.

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I know you and I have talked about this before but I love your wheel choice.  I'm always a day late or have funding appropriated elsewhere when a set becomes available.  Someday...

 

I'll definitely have to get over to Indiana to see this when you've got it completed.  It's going to be one hell of a nice car between the power it will make and the rare parts you've got for it.

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Haha, yep I remember those days well. LS F-bodies were a force to be reckoned with. Nice choice for the transmission setup. Glad to see you aren't going with a slush box.

They can still hold there own for the most part but when they first came out it was a lot of car to handle in stock trim. Times have definately changed since the late 90s lol. No auto will ever make it between the sub-frame in this car. Goal is to be a street car first and track car second.

I know you and I have talked about this before but I love your wheel choice. I'm always a day late or have funding appropriated elsewhere when a set becomes available. Someday...

I'll definitely have to get over to Indiana to see this when you've got it completed. It's going to be one hell of a nice car between the power it will make and the rare parts you've got for it.

Absolutely, after drooling over your car all these years seeing it in person would be awesome. Thanks for the kind words, I'm definitely taking my time and trying to do this car right the first time.
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damn man that's a lot of badassery in 1 post lol. awesome!

Thanks man. It helps when the one post covers a couple years worth of collecting parts and working here and there.

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I couldn't agree more, they have just enough concave to the spoke design to make them pop a little more than most 5 spoke wheels. I'm hoping my car can wear the exports half as well as yours does. I don't know how many times I've read through your build on here. Absolutely top notch work.

Without a doubt one of my favorite sn95s. It's a toss up between yours and Tabres.

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Thanks man! I appreciate the kind words! :drink_to_that:

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Had some spare time last night to finish wrapping my merge pipe. All that's left with the wrap is to try to tighten the ties a bit more and trim the excess off.  Most of my tools are at my parents house so I need to run over and grab a couple things to do this task.

 

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Ended up having a good amount of left over wrap so I went ahead and wrapped up the downpipe.

 

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No real update but I did go about tightening my stainless steel zip ties and I figured some may like a couple tips that make it a little easier.

Things you need:
1) skinny needle nose pliers.
2) cutters
3) flat tip screw driver
4) patience. (This ones key for wrapping exhaust)

First trim the zip tie to about 3/4 to 1 inch in length.
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Grab the end with your needle nose pliers and twist, the tighter the twist the cleaner it will look.  The more you twist the tighter the zip tie will become, just be careful to not over-tighten and break the tie.
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If needed stick the screwdriver between the pliers and zip tie to tighten it as much as possible.
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All done, now just 14 more to go!
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A side benefit is the rolled end isn't sharp so no chance of cutting anything.



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I wish I had rolled mine.  I just folded mine over super tight.  They've never come loose but I have cut the shit out of my hands on them more than once.  Even through a pair of mechanics gloves they're still sharp.

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Very good tip! I couldn't get my ties tight enough when I wrapped my X pipe, ended up breaking both of them so I used two stainless band clamps and some stainless safety wire lol.

 

Definitely going to keep that roll method in mind for next time!

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I was able to get the headers in the car last weekend.  I had forgot how big of a task it was, I put my long-tubes in 7 years ago so my memory had hidden that nightmare away.  Foolishly I tied to get the headers in without moving the engine and k member but quickly came to my senses and just dropped the k member and lowered the engine down to gain better access.  Also got away with only having to cut/clean the threads in one bolt hole, which happened to be the easiest one to get to.  So I suppose a small victory there haha.

 

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Then came to task of snaking the rest of the hot side in but ran into some real issues.  I was able to get all the pipes in but the v band clamps I used, from the scrap bin at work, had to shallow of a channel to properly hold the v bands together.

 

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As I am sure your all wondering, "why not use the on3 clamps".  As it would turn out that isn't even possible.  The clamps themselves seem to have one issue that can be solved a couple of ways.  The bolt is two short.  When you go to place the clamp around the v band there isn't anyway to thread the nut onto the bolt.  I tried clamps, pliers, hitting with a hammer, and on and on.

 

So either the bolt needs extended so you can put the nut on and start tightening the clamp down or the clamp needs redesigned to have a wider profile and less foot clearance from the get go, but I digress.

 

So I put in an order at RPS for three new 2.5" v bands... but of course they are on back order.  So four weeks of wait time until I put the hotside in.  In the meantime I would like to try and punch the oil pan for my oil return, also make the return line from the aeroquip fittings and hose I bought a couple weeks ago.  Need to move the radiator and fan forward and inch or so to accommodate the turbonetics being a little to big.  Also would like to get the gauge wiring and sending units ran as well as make a new panel to hold my relay board in the glove box.

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The clamps themselves seem to have one issue that can be solved a couple of ways.  The bolt is two short.  When you go to place the clamp around the v band there isn't anyway to thread the nut onto the bolt.  I tried clamps, pliers, hitting with a hammer, and on and on.

 

So either the bolt needs extended so you can put the nut on and start tightening the clamp down or the clamp needs redesigned to have a wider profile and less foot clearance from the get go, but I digress.

 

 

I feel your pain because I've been there before; not with On3 v-bands but I broke the v-band that mounted the downpipe to my turbo like 2 days before I had a tuning appointment.  Scrounged around best I could locally but nothing fit right, most having the bolt too short to get a nut started on a thread.  I wound up having to spend like $60 on overnight shipping for a suitable replacement that I finally found on Summit.  And as much as that sucked, I can't imagine a 4 week wait for some clamps.

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I know what it's like to finally be getting something accomplished, then have to stop and wait for parts... it sucks big time. On the plus side, things are looking good so far!

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I feel your pain because I've been there before; not with On3 v-bands but I broke the v-band that mounted the downpipe to my turbo like 2 days before I had a tuning appointment.  Scrounged around best I could locally but nothing fit right, most having the bolt too short to get a nut started on a thread.  I wound up having to spend like $60 on overnight shipping for a suitable replacement that I finally found on Summit.  And as much as that sucked, I can't imagine a 4 week wait for some clamps.

Overnight shipping can really hurt, that's about the only advantage I have right now is no real end date.  I would love to get the car done for mustang week 2016 but that may be a stretch.  So the waiting is more an annoyance than anything but it is giving me a chance to do some small tasks that need attention.

 

I know what it's like to finally be getting something accomplished, then have to stop and wait for parts... it sucks big time. On the plus side, things are looking good so far!

Yea its frustrating for sure but part of it.  Thanks, I am really hoping to keep it going at a steady pace and finish with a nice car that I can be proud of.

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Small update from last night.  Being that I am in limbo with the hot side while I wait on the v bands from RPS, I decided to tackle some smaller tasks.  First up was punching the oil pan for my turbo oil return line.

 

Items used:

1) Hammer

2) Punch set 

3) 3/8th NPT tap

4) All purpose grease

5) magnet

6) 3/8th to -10AN fitting

7) Oil drain line 

 

First step was to remove the paint from the oil pan and make out the location of the hole.  I used the directions from Vortech that can be found here:

 

http://www.vortechsuperchargers.com/images/7.pdf

 

specifically page 12.

 

After marking the oil pan I used a small punch to start the hole and then stepped it out to the final size using a 17/32" punch.

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Once the hole was punched out with the 17/32" punch I packed the flutes of the tap with grease to catch metal shavings as the tap cuts the treads into the oil pan.  This process took some time as I cleaned out the grease and replaced it with new grease after a couple of turns to be sure no chips fell into the pan.  I also used the magnet to clean out chips that were left in the threads.  I will run oil into the drain hose to flush any possible chips down and out of the pan before I fill the engine with oil for start-up.

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I then threaded in my AN to NPT fitting and test fit my half assembled oil drain line, to be sure I had clearance between the oil pan flange and the fitting so I could tighten it.  All seems good with around a 1/8" to 1/4" of clearance between the AN fitting and the crankshaft pulley.

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Final step was to paint the bare metal around the oil drain fitting with some semi gloss black paint.

 

Once my v band clamps come in I can mock the hotside up and bolt the turbo down to measure for the oil drain hose length.  Then I can finish assembling the hose and move on to the cold side piping.  This week I also got my -08 ORB fittings for my fuel rails so I can go ahead and pull the stock rails and injectors and install my 80lb injectors and aeromotive rails.  

 

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Looking good man, the thought of tapping the oil pan while it is still on makes me cringe .

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Thanks,  yea I was holding my breath and going really slow while doing it.  Like I said I also cleaned the grease and threads about every two turns to get rid of all the chips I could, then chased everything with a magnet to try and ensure everything got picked up.  I think with that process and flushing everything with oil I should be ok, I have seen a lot of builds that used the process vortech suggests and haven't heard of anyone having issues.  Still didn't make it any less nerve racking lol.

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This turbo build is so similar to my old setup mid I had a 7675 billet wheel. I ran 18 psi and loved it on 93 you will not regret it. Just make sure to get upgrade v bands, bov, wgs. I had great luck with turbo smart. Sorry if you had mentioned this I just glanced over the thread.

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This turbo build is so similar to my old setup mid I had a 7675 billet wheel. I ran 18 psi and loved it on 93 you will not regret it. Just make sure to get upgrade v bands, bov, wgs. I had great luck with turbo smart. Sorry if you had mentioned this I just glanced over the thread.

Yea it is similar for sure, I have been watching your car for a while now.  Love the new direction with the orange and ysi, going to be sick when it's finished!  I have placed an order for RPS v bands but the shipping date isn't until May 21st so its got stuff halted at the moment.  I am planning on running around 20 lbs but on e85 so it should be a fun car if I can just get it finished.  I will keep turbo smart in mind as I am planning on just running the on3 stuff until I get the car mostly done and can appropriate the funds to get new wastegates and bov. 

 

While I am still waiting on v bands to ship I decided to mock up the hotside with the clamps I have, that are to shallow.  I put the hotside in and turbo on to measure for the oil drain line and assemble the rest of it.  I was also able to finish installing the fuel injectors and fuel rails.  Had to cut down the intake manifold bolts, the ones used to retain the wiring harness clips, to let the rails fully seat the injectors.  

 

Turbo oil drain finally fully assembled.

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Turbo hot side mocked up.

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I still need to move the radiator forward, I am trying to figure out a way to retain AC if I can.  I never really use it so if I can't it's certainly not the end of the world, but with a black car and black interior it can get really uncomfortable really quick without it.  Has anybody moved the radiator up about 1/2" or so and also kept the AC condenser?

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So while waiting on my v bands to get in I placed my fuel system order through glenn's performance.  It will take a little extra time since I ordered all black ptfe hose to keep with my theme of black braided lines, cost an extra 100 to get everything in black though.  Also found a stock cobra oil pan with a -10 AN fitting welded to it for cheap so that's on its way.   I already tapped my pan but the fitting is a 3/8th npt to -10AN so there is a slight necking down effect in the drain line circuit, this has me a little concerned as I don't want to cause any restriction.  Also will give me a chance to make sure no shavings are in the pan since I will be swapping them out, so if anyone is planning to tap their pan I will have an answer on if shavings get down there.  Lastly I have started the process of moving my radiator forward,  decided to move it 1.25" total which should give more than enough room.  Looks like there will be enough room for the AC condenser as well just needs custom lines ran to it.  Anyway that's where the car is right now......still a waiting game  :(  

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I'll be interested to see how the radiator and a/c condensor set up turns out and how the a/c lines are done.

I'll document everything as best as I can. Planning right now to just stab the condenser into the core support and worry about lines later. I'm just wanting to make sure to keep the option of AC in this car.

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not that im going to do it, but cant wait to see how easily the radiator and condenser move forward. looks like thered be enough room?

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not that im going to do it, but cant wait to see how easily the radiator and condenser move forward. looks like thered be enough room?

In my case it looks like there just isn't enough room the turbo is just too big. I move my radiator up an inch and a quarter and that leaves about a little under an inch for the AC condenser. I may be able to finagle it in there but it's going to be really close. Now if I ran like a 70 or 76 mm turbo or even possibly a smaller hotside there would've been plenty of room I'd say.

I am going to try and adjust the turbo plumbing back towards the engine and possibly free up a little extra room to give everything the additional room it needs

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Officially the v-band clamps have been shipped......should be here Saturday.  What a relief to finally be inching closer to getting parts in and being able to get back to the build.  Also my GP1000 fuel system should be in Saturday as well but may be delayed until next week.  So in the mean time I have just been trying to keep myself busy with small jobs here and there.

 

So I moved my radiator forward a little over an inch.  There looks to be enough room for the AC condenser but it will be close.  I will have to cut the mounting tabs off and will need to figure out a way to secure it besides sandwiching it in there.  I still haven't put it in the car though as I never used AC so its on the bottom of my to do list at the moment.  So to move the radiator forward I used a small punch and drill to start new mounting holes 1.25" forward of the factory mounting cups.  Then I opened the holes up with a step drill bit to allow the radiator mounting posts to slide down into the holes in the core support.  I will open them up a little more so I can put a grommet down in the hole to prevent cutting into the plastic as the radiator vibrates.

 

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Moving the radiator forward required ditching the hard plastic wiring harness protector that is molded to run along the core support.  I just wrapped the wiring in spare loom and tied it up out of the way.  With the radiator in the fan shroud now sits flush with the core support and gave me about 1 inch of additional clearance.  It is still tight, so a turbo blanket will be a must, but everything fits.

 

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I was able to just keep my factor radiator tie downs and just use them to hold the upper radiator posts from moving back.  I may try to fab something up in the future but for now these hold everything in place and are really solid.

 

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You can see the radiator post to the right of the tie down bracket.  The bracket is pinching the radiator between the core support and itself.

 

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Next task was replacing my original oil pan with one that has welded -10 fitting on it.  I am glad I did as the one I punched and tapped did have some shavings in it, most of which I imagine would have been flushed out with oil easily but honestly not worth the risk.  I would advise anyone planning to tap their pan to just pull the pan and do it off the car.  It's a headache but would be a much smaller headache then trashing the motor with preventable debris.  

 

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And while the pan was off I went ahead and snapped a couple inside shots of the motor.  I really dig the look of the 12 point head nuts and bolts, though hopefully I won't be seeing them for a really long time.

 

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Took one picture that came out pretty neat I think.  It shows the turbo piping and valve covers through the empty core support, which needs cleaned and painted something fierce.  So please excuse the dirtiness but I still think it looks neat.

 

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My next update should actually show decent progress as I should be able to finalize the turbo kit install and start on ripping out stock fuel lines and running my new ones.  

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Off topic, but do you run brad penn racing oil in the car that green oil looks familiar lol; what I run.

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Off topic, but do you run brad penn racing oil in the car that green oil looks familiar lol; what I run.

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I am not sure what it is as this engine hasn't been ran since it was built.  The builder did suggest brad penn's break in oil which will be what I go for but as for now the engine is dry.  Could be though as its what my builder says he uses in most his engines so I wouldn't be surprised. lol.

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that turbo looks awesome in there.  for the top radiator mount, could you just cut some reliefs in the part of the bracket that goes down, so you can then slide the grommet over the radiator stud, and then drill a new hole in the bracket and re-use the existing hole to mount it in?  if that makes sense?

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