Twin turbo 4V - 1996 Mustang Cobra
This site is dedicated to my 1996 Cobra and follows
the installation of a HP Performance twin 57 mm turbo kit.
Read the installation summary here, see below for quick updates.
03/09/2010 09:27 PM
I haven't touched the site or the car in a while, but I wanted to tell everyone about a company I found that makes great products for do-it-yourselfers. If you don't have a lift (like me), these are a must!
I have the wedge headrest, the mat and the knee pad and honestly I can't work on my car without them.
12/29/2007 07:05 PM
This is a little late, but still worth posting. Back in September I brought the car to the NMRA race in Columbus, OH and entered it in the True Street competition. Here's a video of the best pass of the weekend, a 12.80 @ 111. Launching the car was tricky... too much gas and the tires spun, not enough and the engine bogged. I managed a 2.05 60' time depsite the stock suspension and 3.27 gears. There's no doubt in my mind that an upgraded rear suspension would do wonders.
NMRA Columbus Video
I honestly thought the car would do better than a high 12 at 111, but I think the lack of traction in the first 60 feet really hurt the 1/4 mile time. The full Griggs setup with Torque Arm and Panhard bar should help plant the rear end the next time out.
04/27/2007 04:02 PM
Since the weather has been bad this spring there's
not much to update. Even so, there have been a few nice days
on which I've been able to drive the car some and it feels great for the
measly 4 PSI I'm pushing through the engine right now.
I'm still planning on have the Don Lasota finalize
the tune and when I do there will be plenty of pictures and videos
01/02/2007 07:56 PM
My stint in Canada lasted just shy of 3 months so I
haven't had the time to update the site or update the car.
Needless to say it hasn't seen a dyno yet, but I am confident in the
tune and I have been driving the car. Last week I gave a
couple friends a ride and one of them had a camera...
Click here for the video
10/29/2006 08:53 PM
Well, I've been up in Canada for 18 of the last 21
days so progress on the car has almost ground to a screeching halt.
I had a chance last weekend to take a few pictures of the car and do
a little tuning. I leaned out the idle and part throttle but
still have slight problems with both. I'll rely on the experts
at LaSota Racing (www.lasotaracing.com)
to help me iron those out. More importantly though I got a
chance to do some wide open throttle tuning. I now know why
those O2 sensors were so black. The MAF TF was off causing the
car to be incredibly rich at wide open throttle. I think the
worst I saw was 9.3:1! It's no wonder I thought I had spark
blow-out at ~4000rpms at part throttle. There's no doubt in my
mind that the ECU was drowning the spark with fuel. This
is pretty much a tease though, because I don't have any videos or sound
clips or dyno numbers. However, I can tell you that the car has
a ton of power, well, at least it feels like it to me. At 3.8 PSI I'm impressed and can't wait to turn up the boost a little.
I still have some things I need to wrap up before
phase one of the build is complete. I need to get the
tailpipes bent to allow more clearance for the wheels, have an
exhaust shop close up my open wastegate vents (I'll have them route
it back into the downpipe), install a water temp gauge, and, of
course, get together with Don and Rob of
LaSota Racing and finalize
Here are some pictures I took on Saturday,
October 23. Click them for the high-res (2816x2120) versions.
In some of them you can see the wideband O2 wire and connector
dangling below the driver side exhaust.
10/16/2006 09:13 PM
As I said earlier I thought I had an exhaust leak
based on the logged fuel trims. My short term fuel trims were
not within 5% of each other and at times they were outside of 10% of
each other. Generally they should be within 5% and if they
aren't a few things could be the cause. One is an exhaust
leak, but with all of the exhaust clamps
tight I questioned that line of thinking. Especially since the
driver side O2 sensor was showing odd behavior in all of the logs.
This led to me to believe that I had a bad O2 sensor on the driver
side (Bank 2). Luckily my family has another Cobra on hand for
times like these. I took the Bank 2 front O2 out of the other
cobra, put it in the vert and started it up. Amazingly the slight miss was gone
and the log showed a functioning Bank 2 front O2. I
immediately ordered 2 new front O2 sensors. Afterwards I
realized that I could have just swapped the O2s from right to left.
When I took the O2 out of the convertible and
compared it to the other Cobra's O2 this is what it looked like:
One guess as to which one came out of the turbo
car. I guess the oil and ridiculously rich condition took it's
toll on this bad boy. The plugs look good though.
10/15/2006 04:59 PM
I've wanted these 10th Anniversary Cobra wheels for
a while now and I got a screaming deal on them with tires. My
biggest concern was tailpipe clearance because the stock wheels were
very close to hitting the Bassani pipes and these wheels are an inch
wider. They fit, barely, and it took a 1/2" spacer to keep the
tires from hitting the tailpipes. Here they are:
10/12/2006 07:51 PM
The original plan was to put the 500 miles of
break-in on the clutch and then have it tuned. I hit the 500
miles in late September, I think it only took me a week and
half of driving to do it. While I was driving around I noticed
that during braking from ~60 mph the car shook violently. Of
course I was eager to get the car tuned but I sure as hell didn't
want to go through the embarrassment of telling my tuner that, "um
well, the brakes shake, but we'll just have to deal with it."
So I ordered Brembo replacement rotors and Hawk HPS pads. I
have this setup on another car and it stops... in a hurry.
On October 2nd I changed the brakes and my plan was
to get the car tuned that Thursday. I
finished everything up at about 10 pm and took it for a spin to make
sure I had everything buttoned up. To my dismay I heard a
dragging sound coming from the rear of the car and under heavy
braking there was a clunking sound coming from the front. Back
to the driveway it went.
Remember this piece:
It was seized so we bought a replacement from NAPA.
At first the guy at NAPA ordered the whole caliper, but we didn't
want to pay for all of it so we asked if he just had the bracket.
He did, we got it, and put it on. BUT we found out on Monday,
October 2nd that he ordered the wrong part. When we took the
wheel off of the passenger side rear we noticed that the bracket
wasn't wide enough for the rotor. After a few minutes of
scratching our heads and wondering how that could be I remembered
that GT brake rotors aren't vented and are therefore thinner than
the Cobra vented brakes. The old rotor was thin from wear so
it fit with the GT bracket! We grabbed the old rotor and put
it back on. Later that week I stopped by a local Ford
dealership and ordered the correct caliper bracket.
Wait, it gets even better. The new caliper
bracket arrived from Ford on Friday, October 6. I've been out
of town since that morning so Dad went to the dealership and picked
it up for me. Everything was going fine until he went to put
the screws in the pins (the top two in the picture above).
They wouldn't thread into the hole. The NAPA piece came with
its own screws and they're different threads than the stock Ford
piece! Unreal. The last I heard was that Dad found the
right screws at a hardware store.
The front brakes are still a mystery. Under
light braking we don't notice any noise, but under hard braking it
almost sounds like something is loose. It's odd because the
clunking sound follows the wheel speed. We went over
every nut and bolt that we could think of and none of them are
loose. I don't know what to do.
Needless to say I'm not going to be doing any WOT
blasts with questionable brakes, so the car remains untuned.
The good news is the stock bottom end is still together.
09/21/2006 10:53 AM
I drove the car to work today. I'm really
happy with the way it's running right now. The break-in procedure for the clutch says no WOT
for the first 500 miles, which is good anyway because the car
doesn't have the final tune yet. Not mashing the throttle has been
difficult, but I have seen about 3 psi at half throttle and it felt
pretty damn good. The blow-off valves sound awesome. At half throttle it's
12:1 so I think I'm safe enough there until I get the full tune. It
rides like stock once you get going, but the idle is just a little
bit off. I think there's a slight miss but it's not very noticeable.
All in all I'm happy with the way it is right now.
I still need to get in touch with the Lasotas at Lasota
Racing in Columbus, Ohio. Don will be doing the tuning and
he's got a great reputation. If you have a chance check out
their website at
09/18/2006 12:12 PM
The oil problem has been fixed! Rotating the
turbos so that the drain was straight down and re-routing the driver
side drain line fixed the oil drain back-up. I took the car
for a long ride last night and didn't notice any smoke. I need
to log the fuel trims to see if the exhaust leak is still there.
We found evidence of a leak on the passenger side and tightened the
exhaust clamp in the hopes that it would eliminate the leak.
Finally, the car is driveable.
09/12/2006 03:08 PM
A BIG THANKS TO D&D PERFORMANCE FOR THEIR HELP WITH THE
As I've documented I contacted D&D Performance
about the crack in the tailhousing. To be honest I was little
worried about having to pay for the new tailhousing. As it
turned out I didn't have to. D&D went above and beyond the
call of duty by replacing this part for free. I spoke with Don
Walsh Sr. at the NMRA Atco race and the NMRA Columbus race and his
wealth of knowledge and approachability are impressive. We
spoke for about 20-30 minutes about the differences between the
mustang transmissions over the last few years and I really
appreciated the conversation. In fact, when I called him
between races about my speedo gear being incorrect he said he'd
bring one to the Columbus event and sure enough when I stopped by on
Sunday he had one there waiting for me.
Thanks for the help Don Walsh Sr. and to all of
those reading this go to
www.ddperformance.com and checkout what D&D has to offer.
They are definitely THE place to go to for transmission upgrades.
09/12/2006 02:54 PM
The car sat in my garage untouched for almost a
week. On Labor Day, September 3, 2006, I drove the car over to
my parents and put it halfway inside their garage. It smoked,
pretty badly at times, out of the driver side tailpipe.
There's no doubt that the oil drain line on the driver side needs to
be rerouted, the turbo drain flanges need to be rotated, and the
exhaust clamps needed to be checked for signs of leakage.
We're also going to investigate crankcase pressure build-up
preventing adequate oil draining. If we find that it's a
problem we'll have to redo the crankcase vent. Right now it
goes from the passenger side valve cover to the passenger side air
filter and the driver side is stock.
Finding these problems and applying solutions might
take a while. The car will remain parked until we stop the
smoking and fix the exhaust leak.
08/31/2006 09:23 AM
Well, the tailhousing arrived last week and we
installed it on Sunday. It was raining off and on so I only
got to take the car for a short drive afterwards. The tune
still needs some work, so I've kept it under 4 PSI and 4000 rpm but
I got the car home Tuesday night and did about 70
miles of driving along the way (took a long detour to help out a
local stanger). The driver side smokes badly. I think we
have oil drain line issues on the driver side. I'm sure there
is a low spot in the line that caused the back-up. I'm also
going to look into a feed line restrictor to keep too much oil from
flowing into the turbo housing. The oil issues need to be solved
before any significant driving is done because they could lead to
blown turbo seals and a turbo rebuild...
I finally figured out what was wrong with the Xcal
2 / Livelink. I was using a configuration for the 97 and it
was causing problems. I made a new configuration Tuesday night
and it worked flawlessly. The datalog indicated that we have
an exhaust leak. While we are working on the drain lines I'll
go over all of the clamps and see if I can find the leak. I
hope it's not between the header and the head...
08/25/2006 11:59 AM
The tailhousing showed up yesterday. I'll
install it this weekend. If everything goes as planned I'll be
putting the 500 mile break-in on the clutch next week and then it's
off to the tuner for some WOT fun.
08/19/2006 07:59 PM
On Tuesday night we took the T-56 out of the car.
We were able to get the transmission out of the car and the
tailhousing off in less than 3 hours. I honestly thought we
would have been working a lot longer than that. D&D is sending
a new tailhousing, it should arrive next week sometime.
08/15/2006 12:53 PM
On one of the Mustang forums a while back I was
complaining a little bit about a few problems I've encountered along the way. One guy responded with: "That's hot-rodding get
used to it." Well, whether or not I'm used to it, it certainly
Last Tuesday the car got aligned. The guys at
the alignment place said it was almost perfect, but the car was so
low that they ran out of caster adjustment on the Maximum
Motorsports caster camber plates. Close was good enough, I
just wanted to drive the thing.
Before I did anything I wanted to get some
datalogging done so I could be sure that the tune was safe enough.
Unfortunately I couldn't get the SCT Xcal 2 to keep communication
with the LiveLink datalogging software. I called SCT and they
kindly pointed out that I did not have the latest version of
LiveLink. Lesson learned: SCT does not update the forums with
the latest software. The latest software is only available in
the downloads section. At any rate, the car was low on gas so
we decided to run up to the gas station and fill her up.
When we got back I took the wideband O2 out of the
driver's side exhaust and noticed this:
The T-56 tailhousing has a crack in it.
08/03/2006 09:52 AM
The T-56 is in the car, we had some time on Tuesday
night to finish up the transmission mount, but as we were putting
the exhaust back on we noticed that the downpipe was hitting the oil
filter. I ordered an oil filter relocation kit from Maximum
Motorsports yesterday and I got the expedited shipping so it should
be here by Friday evening. Also, I figured out why the SCT
Advantage software would not communicate with my Xcal 2 (hint: keep
your software updated). With some luck I should be able to fire the
car up this weekend and let it idle without doubling over from the
raw fuel in the exhaust.
My tranny rebuilder had time to look at the
internals of the T-45 and noticed that he put the 1-2 shift plate in
backwards. Live and learn, we now know that everytime you
rebuild a tranny you should put it in each gear, rotate the input
shaft, and count the output shaft revolutions to make sure you did
it correctly. It's not really a big deal though, that
transmission was a ticking timebomb with this setup anyway.
Now I have a transmission that I don't have to worry about.
07/26/2006 01:03 PM
The T-45 is out, and hopefully we can install the new DFX clutch
disc and the T-56 this weekend.
I added the May 7,
May 13 and 20, and
May 26 write-ups, along with
updating the To Do List
07/10/2006 10:07 AM
We fixed the fuel leak and started the car but
we've got more problems. The base tune was off and the car was
incredibly rich, so rich in fact that we couldn't let the car run
for more than a few seconds while in the garage. It didn't
take long before our eyes were burning and we were having trouble
breathing even with the garage door open and fans running. So
we put the car on the ground and tried to move it outside. The
first thing I noticed was how difficult the shifter moved into gear.
When I tried to move the car forward the transmission felt like it
was still in 3rd gear. I moved the car outside and drove it up
and down the driveway and was sure that something was wrong.
Originally we thought the clutch was not adjusted correctly because
we hadn't received the adjuster from the Modular Depot, but upon
investigating further we ruled out the clutch. That leaves the
transmission and if you remember when I broke the transmission back
in the fall it wouldn't come out of third gear.
So we're going to tear it down again, remove the
T-45 and replace it with a Viper spec T-56 that I just purchased.
I'll also need to upgrade the clutch disc to a 26 spline unit and
I'll make sure I get the DFX clutch this time. So completion
of the project has been delayed yet again.
06/26/2006 12:24 PM
We tried to start the car yesterday but couldn't because of a fuel
leak at the regulator. We figured out the problem and should
have it fixed and running soon.
To Do List
06/13/2006 02:41 PM
I decided to not use the pyrometer and gauge and
also decided on my front O2 extensions. I'll modify an old MIL
eliminator to work as an extension.
Updated the To Do List.
06/12/2006 09:10 PM
The shipment arrived from Inline Motors on Tuesday with the GSS342
in it. Third times the charm... I also got the lower
spring perch and sleeve from Maximum Motorsports.
Saturday I installed the pump, tank, finished the front suspension
(minus ride height adjustment and alignment), and test fit the
exhaust. Here's what's left to do.
06/06/2006 01:12 PM
Unbelievable! When I opened the package from
inline motors on Saturday morning this is what I saw.
The part number was GSS341. I couldn't
believe they sent the wrong pump again. I finally reached them
on the phone Saturday afternoon and they agreed to overnight the
right one on Monday. The package arrived today so I'll be able
to check it out tonight. Hopefully they got it right this
time, otherwise I don't know what I'm going to do.
The Maximum Motorsports package arrived today too.
It should contain a new lower spring perch for the front coil-over
setup. If all goes well the build could be completed this
05/29/2006 10:07 PM
More setbacks. Before this weekend I thought
there was an outside shot that I'd be able to fire up the car on
June 4th. Due to some uncontrollable mishaps I don't think
that will be a real possibility. Against my better judgment I
bought the Walbro 255 lph fuel pump part #GSS342 on Ebay.
Inlinemtors sent the wrong pump, I received and installed pump
#GSS340 and only noticed it in the picture below (hard to see in
these low res versions I put up on the site). Who knows, maybe
that pump would have worked but I'm not taking any chances.
I'm going to overnight the pump to him and ask for the correct one
to be here by Friday so I can install it on Saturday. I'm
keeping my fingers crossed.
The other problem involved the front coil-over kit
from Maximum Motorsports, a company I definitely did not think I
would have a problem with. However I could not get the bottom
spring perch to thread onto the sleeve on the front coil-over kit.
The driver side went on perfectly but the passenger side assembly
didn't, the sleeve would not thread out of the top of the perch so
I'm going to call them tomorrow.
05/29/2006 09:08 PM
I added more pictures, pictures page 9,
page 10 and page 11 have the
newest pictures as of Friday May 26.
I've done some research into turbo drain line routing and everything
I've seen has said no low spots and put the drain at the lowest
point of the center section. Take a look at the picture below
and let me know if this drain is too far from the lowest point of
the center section. I think it's at about 45 degrees.
Shoot me an email with your comments.
To be honest we didn't really see any other way of routing the drain
line. We put it in just about the only position that would
allow the drain line a straight shot to the oil pan without large
bends and ridiculously low spots. We did end up with one low
spot and again, I'm not sure if we can get around or how serious low
spots are. I meant to snap a picture of it today but I forgot.
05/28/2006 11:58 AM
More updates. I added 3 pages of pictures,
and found some pictures that should have been included before but
were left out for some reason. Pictures pages
5 and 6 have
new pictures and I added pages 7,
8, and 9.
I also added the April 9 write-up
Starting the drivetrain install.
We were able to get the oil pan back on, and install the new
flywheel, clutch disc, and pressure plate; and we finished up the
day by nearly completing the transmission install.
And I updated the
part list to reflect everything I have received or at least
ordered as of today.
On Friday I ordered the Bassani catback and the
Fiore adjustable clutch quadrant. The only thing left to get
is a pyrometer sensor (I already have the gauge).
05/26/2006 12:08 AM
Time flies, especially when you have a full-time job, are coaching
junior high lacrosse, and trying to build a twin turbo mustang.
I finally had some time to add a little bit of content.
Click here for the March 18
write-up: Tackling the Rear suspension (Part 3)
As you can guess we're a lot further along than I've had time to
update. As of today the oil pan has been welded and installed,
the flywheel, clutch disc, and pressure plate have been installed.
The transmission is back in, the turbos have been remounted (and in
better spots with more clearance), the drain and supply lines have
been connected, the gauges are installed (minus the pyrometer), and
I have ordered everything (including the 4 psi wastegate springs) except the Bassani catback. Hopefully we can wrap things up by
mid-June. Check back for more updates.
05/02/2006 12:41 AM
I'm still adjusting to the 12 hour time difference
and I couldn't sleep so I added the March 11 write up page 1: "During the week Dad drove over to the local NAPA and picked up the
right bolts for the rear control arms. When we got
to..." read more
And I added page 2: "We were ready to
dig into the driver side rear suspension and felt that we knew what
to do from..."
05/01/2006 09:34 PM
Well I spent the last week in China for work, fortunately I had time
on the plane to work on the site a little bit. I added some
content to the March 4 page 2
And I added page 3: "The suspension arrived from Maximum Motorsports
in a big brown box a few weeks earlier. It included..."
04/16/2006 09:12 PM
I'm finally starting to catch up a little. I
finished the February 18th
I also added page 1 of the March 4 summary: "After a one weekend hiatus we
were back at it. With two glaring mistakes behind us we were
ready to make some progress..."
And I started page 2: "On Saturday March 4,
I had, in my hands, a clutch setup that I was happy with and I
wanted to install it..."
There's a lot more to add to this part of the
04/16/2006 11:04 AM
I added a picture to the home page and made some buttons for the
04/11/2006 10:18 PM
I had some time tonight so I started the
February 18 write-up. I only got about 1/4 of the way through,
I'll add more later: "I was away from the install for just over a
month because I traveled for work and went on a few personal weekend
trips. On January 21, Dad worked alone and removed..."
I also changed the look of the
installation page to mirror what I
have here on the home page. I still haven't figured out why
the menu doesn't center over the main container in Firefox, it looks
perfect in Internet Explorer. Oh well, I'll figure it out
sooner or later...
04/08/2006 06:31 PM
I added more pictures, page 5 and
page 6 are now up. Obviously we're
a lot further along than I've had time to summarize here. The
transmission is out, rebuilt, and ready to be installed; the stock
clutch, pressure plate and flywheel have been removed; and the rear
suspension has been installed.
04/08/2006 05:09 PM
I had some time today to work on the website... but when I'm
working on the website I'm not working on the car. I
added page 4 to the The Weekend of January 14
installation: "Removing the transmission mount should be
straight forward. There are two bolts and two nuts that need
to be removed..." read more
And page 5: "While working on the exhaust we talked
about our transmission removal options and decided that we would try
to lower..." read more
04/03/2006 03:36 PM
I've posted links to the site on several mustang forums and have
received some feedback. Using the feedback I made changes to
the background page and the home page so that both now include a
little bit more information about my intention to complete the
project in two steps. I noticed that a few people asked if the
kit was going on a stock short block or a forged short block... the
stock rods and pistons will remain in the block until I either blow
them to pieces or have the time and resources to build the forged
bottom end. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they'll be
able to survive with 6 psi.
03/30/2006 05:11 PM
I finally started The Weekend of January 14 installation.
I added page 1: "When we walked into the garage on Saturday, January
14 we already had our minds made up that we would be installing the
turbos and..." read more
Page 2: "Before we could see how sturdy the setup was we had to do
a little more metal-work. We noticed that there wasn't much
room between..." read more
And page 3 (even though it is incomplete right now): "The
first thing we did Sunday morning was grab the blow off valves, the
small blue flexible hose, and some clamps..." read more
03/07/2006 10:41 PM
Whew! I can't believe it's been a month since I touched the site. A
lot has changed with the car since I last posted an update: the tranny's out of the car, the stock cat back has been cut-off, I've
ordered and received the clutch/flywheel, and the wrong fuel rails.
Right now I have everything but the new cat back, the right fuel
rails and the complete fuel system (which is still up in the air,
but I think I'll have it nailed down soon). Tonight I had time
to write page 3 of The Weekend of
January 7 installation: "While I was busy messing around removing the old exhaust gaskets, my dad was
busy cutting up some sheet metal..." read more
And page 4: "Our plan was to slide the k-member over the exhaust
flanges on the headers. We tried going straight up from the
bottom, but the k-member wouldn't clear..."
02/05/2006 05:03 PM
I added page 2 to The Weekend of January 7 installation:
"With the stock k-member out of the way we had easy access to the
stock headers. Anyone that has tried to work on a DOHC 4.6
knows..." read more
Off to watch the superbowl.
02/04/2006 01:04 PM
I changed the look of the home page to include a section for my
comments and updates.
01/28/2006 08:38 PM
I wanted this site to be a way for me to document the installation,
but it takes a lot of freaking time to write this stuff.