Performance Distributors hooked us up with its 5.0L ignition system, which included a Screamin' Demon coil, Livewires, a Dyna module, and an all-new PD distributor. We also popped for one of PD's 130-amp alternators to keep everything juiced up.
Wheel selection was an agonizing ordeal, as my head was always imagining this or that shoe
Texas Mustang Parts came through for us with an FRPP aluminum driveshaft, and MPS Auto Salvage saved us from some tedium by supplying numerous factory fasteners and wiring harnesses. Without its assistance, we could have easily added another couple of weeks to the project just trying to fit things together and wire stuff up. When you have a project where you're missing most of the factory items, a place like MPS Auto Salvage is a godsend.
Mustangs Unlimited provided Stolen Goods with a number of small items, including engine and transmission mounts, a harmonic balancer, and virtually every sensor the engine required. Going through a company like Mustangs Unlimited that has a specific clientele is much easier and more accurate than going to your local parts house and having them ask you, "Does that have air conditioning?"
Since I planned on doing a bit of road racing and autocrossing with Stolen Goods, keeping the Cobra cool was paramount, so I called upon two cooling experts in the Mustang aftermarket. Meziere sent one of its billet electric water pumps-an item that came highly recommended by AFM's Rick Anderson, who stated that he "wouldn't build another car without one." The pump's operation is seamless, and the car has stayed cool even in scorching Florida summer traffic jam conditions.
The other part of the cooling system is the trick unit from Flex-a-lite. The radiator/electric fan combination fit like Ford engineered it and has also done its part to keep the Cobra operating at a constant 185 degrees. At the dragstrip, we could leave the key in the "On" position in the lanes and cool down the car considerably, despite the sweltering summer heat.
Slithering And Stopping
With driveability being first and foremost, we didn't want to go hog wild with the suspension modifications; we just needed something that would give us spirited support on the track and good manners on the interstate. To that end, Maximum Motorsports hooked us up with its Road and Track box. Conventional performance coil springs from MM, combined with Bilstein struts and shocks, offer the ride quality we were looking for, but one that doesn't sacrifice stability when pushed hard. Some of that also comes from the MM Panhard bar we installed, and we have yet to mount up the MM torque arm, which should be remedied by the time you read this.
We didn't get enough dragstrip time to properly evaluate Stolen Goods, but we'll be back f
Adding to the grip situation are the Falken Azenis RT-615 tires at all four corners. We chose them because they're designed for autocrosses as well as interstates, and so far they have proved to offer exceptional grip on the street both in the dry and in the monsoon Florida rain. We'll follow up in a future issue with Stolen Goods' first autocross excursion and get back to you with an at-the-limit tire assessment.
Of course, wheels make any car, and we mulled over the options for several weeks. We even experimented with Adobe Photoshop, trying on different rims for the Cobra. The braking system we utilized required an 18-inch wheel and, when combined with the Fox-body's stock track width, we were left with just a few choices.
After some Internet investigation, we decided on a quartet of black FR500-style wheels from American Muscle. The black would give the Cobra an R-model appeal, and it seemed to work well with the Teal Metallic paint. We made the call, and American Muscle sent us 18x9s for the front and a set of beefy 18x10s for the rear. We're happy with the way the car looks, and as it turns out, most people who say they don't like black wheels have given us the thumbs-up, too.
Most people find the SN-95 Cobra brakes to be extremely good when used on the lighter Fox-body Mustangs. Ford thought so too, seeing as how these were standard equipment on the '93 R-model Cobra. We hoped to exceed the '93 R's performance numbers, and thus needed some-thing beyond the SN-95 Cobra fare.
Baer Brakes subsequently sent us its Extreme Plus setup, with 14-inch rotors and Baer's six-piston, Mono-block calipers up front, and its Track kit for the rear, which utilizes 13-inch rotors and single-piston calipers. The main reason we went with Baer brakes is that everything bolts right up without an issue. Everything you need is included, and the end result is an OEM-like finished product.