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Well to start off with I'll tell you the situation I'm in. My dad just bought a new house or else I'd be driving one of this vechiles already. I have to wait for him to do the mortage on the new house, because it is not already built. That should be alround October/November, maybe earlier or later all depending on how fast they build the house. After the mortage is done, he said he'll co-sign with me on whatever car I want and can pay for. So I'm definately getting a '99 or '01 Cobra. Here is my question. Which one and why?
I'm leaning towards a '99 despite all the problems they have had. I can get it cheaper and also not have to worry about the pinging problems experienced in the '01. What's your thoughts on this?

Thanks,
Matt

P.S. If I went with a '99, any suggestions as to what tell the mechanic to look for before I purchased? Compression test, wear on halfshafts, clunks on IRS, etc.? Also would you recommend that I replace the halfshafts regaurdless? Any other things to look out for?
 

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I'm happy with my 99, and went with it for the exact reasons you mentioned.

Make sure it's had the horsepower fix. If it's still under warranty and hasn't had it, you can get it done yourself.

The other differences between the years are better seats in the 01s, 31 spline halfshafts (although I don't know if they're that much stronger), and slightly better exhaust on the 01. For this reason, most 01's will have a little more HP than a 99 bone stock (but if you're gonna mod it, this is irrelevant).

Drive the car, regardless of year, on the interstate for several miles and feel for driveline vibrations. They were prevalent on the 99's, and It will feel/sound like an airplane propeller. This is a real pain to get out, regardless of who does the work. The 01's have a vibration damper on the differential housing IRS mount that makes the problem a little better, but I had my dealership order a 01 damper and put it on my 99. Problem here, is that even if it's under warranty, there are few dealers who are diligent and/or experienced enough to deal with the problem if adding the damper doesn't remove the vibrations completely.
 

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Being a 99 owner, and owning it from day one, I say go w/ the 99. I'm still skeptical about the pinging issue with the 01. If the 99 had the hp, clunk, rearend fix you're good to go. You can have the dealer run the VIN through their OASIS to verify the work has been done.
I absolutely love my car even though I've been through the bad, Ford stepped up and fixed it.
Regarding the halfshafts, I'd suggest replacing them if you'll be putting a stickier tire on it and drag racing. Otherwise on stock tires and limited track use you'll be fine.
 

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I'm extremely happy with my 01. Had a new computer installed under warranty and it's been great since then. I don't have any vibration or clunking in the back.
 

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Glad you chose to shop for the IRS models either way. I picked up the 01' coupe with 3500 miles on it. Now it has 9000 and have not had one problem with it so far. Mods are basic,( Flowmaster cat-back, VRS X/OR, Eibach pro Kit, K&N) As for the car itself,it has only seen the track one time and its not the car I have to abuse but it does get the occasional street lite brawl so maybe alot of the problems from other owners come from driving styles. Just a guess. With that said if I can give any advice, take your time and check the car out real good. I don't think you'll have any problems if you use the suggestions you've received from the other owners as well. Good luck.:cool:
 

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It was killed by a short in the ground wiring harness or something to that effect. Everything electrical on the car flaked out one day while I was on the highway doing 70mph, including FUEL DELIVERY & SPARK. Not fun when you're surrounded by cars in rush hour traffic.

As bad as that sounds, I don't want to scare this guy away from 2001's, as it's been PERFECT since it was fixed. Runs great. But obviously that's something that should not happen on Ford's "flagship" vehicle as they put it.
 

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I would get the 01, it's newer and had less problems out the box. The 01 should still be under warranty where as the 99 is probably about out (factory). The pinging problem should be covered by Ford.
 

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Tom99GT

Thanks for the info and sorry for your mishap. Sounds like one of those freak things that just happens. I lived in the Atl. area last year and understand the traffic woes.... Sit tight and hope for a hero unit! :cool:
 

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Re: Tom99GT

Yah, I just limped it home on the shoulder of the highway and had it trucked in to the dealer the next morning free of charge via the Ford roadside assistance. No complaints, they took care of me.

2stangBK said:
Thanks for the info and sorry for your mishap. Sounds like one of those freak things that just happens. I lived in the Atl. area last year and understand the traffic woes.... Sit tight and hope for a hero unit! :cool:
 

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I think they're both really good cars. I went with the '99 primarily for two reasons. First, I found one locally that had 12k miles and was driven by a grandma, and the price was right. And second, in '99 they had Rio Red, which I like much better than Performance Red.

On the other hand, mine has the infamous 'clunk' (though not for long, if I have anything to say about it), and it's about to go to the dealer to fix the A/C and a chirping throwout bearing. Not that either problem is specific to the '99, though.

I think you'll be happy with either one. I would like better seats in my '99, but I don't think the '01 seats are better enough. Perhaps the '03 seats -- they look pretty nice. :D
 

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I'm probably a little biased here (lol), but if you can swing a healthy '01, go for it.... don't get me wrong, finding a '99 would be ideal (will cost less). But, if the interior items (seats/6 cd) mean a lot to you, you may want to search for an '01 since a handful of owners will be looking to upgrade to the '03s.

I've loved every minute of my '01 & haven't had any complaints...

:D
 

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I've had both. As a general rule, the 2001s are better cars, because Ford took 2002 off to fix the problems. While only a very small percentage of (vocal) 2001 Cobra owners have pinging problems, nearly all 99 Cobras were down on horsepower and many had vibe problems.

Improvements for 2001 included:

  • Better seats
  • Improved 3650 over T45
  • Improved air intake pipe
  • Polished rims
  • 31-spline vs 28-spline half shafts
  • Pinion damper and improved drivetrain tolerances
  • "Cobra" on rear valence
Of course there are exceptions to the rule, but I think the 2001s are better, even considering their higher cost.

FYI, I may have my 2001 for sale in the next couple of weeks. Check sig for mods and email me if you're interested.
 

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99's and prevalent vibes, yes. Some of the '01's have it too. The important thing is to drive the car thoroughly and check for it.

99's down on power? Not really after the HP fix which consisted of new intake, new programming, and better mufflers. The average 99 may make a few (3-7) HP less than the average '01, but there are numerous exceptions in both years. The difference can mainly be attributed to the catalytic converters, since the '01's main converters are tiny, and the 99's are larger.

I don't think there are significant differences to the drivetrain other than the TR3650 being used over the T45 from 01 to 99, and 31 spline axles. Both transmissions have their detractors; some people prefer the T45, some the 3650. Other than that, I think Ford maybe tried to do a better job of matching driveshafts and pinion flanges, but that's about it. The damper on the 01's made the biggest difference of anything with the vibes, and if you're experiencing a vibration, Ford will add one under warranty to your 99.

Would I have bought a 01 over a 99? Yes, if I'd had the extra $4000 or so to spend on it. I didn't so I didn't. I think the additions to the 01 are nice, and overall you have less of a chance to get one that has some vibration with the drivetrain. But other than that, the cars should be judged on an individual basis and not as a lot.

Basically drive the car and get the one that you like that fits within your budget. Can't go wrong with that approach.
 

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I think the only plus for getting a 01 would be the interior.

Otherwise, I got the 99 because it was cheaper,,i like the wing better.
 

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If you like the factory polished rims, you have to go with the 01. As JOEYS pointed out, the wings are different and another point is the smoked headlights for 01 and the chrome accented headlights for 99. And a minor cosmetic point is the "COBRA" lettering the rear bumper of the 01 and the "MUSTANG" in the 99. Small details if its the 4.6 DOHC is your main objective.

From my perspective, the 01 seats are worth the extra cash. Two toned with stitched Cobra and great support in the seats and a four way adjustable headrest. I personally haven't had any pinging problems with mine, but I do have a tad of drivetrain clunk, but it doesn't really bother me that much. I love driving it and you'll love either 99 or 01.
 
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