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Upgrade to the '03 or add a S-trim to the '97?

  • Trade in the \'97 and upgrade to the \'03!

    Votes: 28 40.0%
  • Save yourself thousands and just get the S-trim!

    Votes: 42 60.0%

  • Total voters
    70
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As most car enthusaists I am constantly looking to do someting new to my car. I have always wanted an S-trim on my 44,000 mile 97 Cobra, but now with the introduction of the '03 Cobra I'm wondering if I should just trade in my 97 (it's completely paid for) and upgrade to the sweet '03. Of course if I bought a '03 I would have to modify that as well but it would be brand new but also cost $35000. Basically I'm just wondering if I do go with the S-trim will I be dissapointed that I didn't get a '03. I had planned on the S-trim all along and have built up my car for that goal. What do you guys think?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I realize that but I was wondering what you guys thought. Especially any guys with 96-98 4 valves with S-trims.
 

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Id just go with the S-Trim, but thats just me.. I think the 2003 cobra looks great, but alot of $$$$$. :)
 

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I had the same decision to make on my 43,000 mile 1998 Cobra.

See sig for what I decided on. :)

I didn't worry about what the "smart move" was or anything like that. I figured I am 25, single and may bever have the opportunity to own a very fast modified car ever again so I went for it.
 

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HABU,

I'm in the process of getting my S-trim sorted out on my '96. A/F ratio is all over the place with stock injectors and FMU. I'll be going with 42lb injectors and no FMU soon. I'm getting a chip from a vendor who I will not name at this point (I don't have any local tuners but have access to the dyno with A/F ratio measurement). He claims that he will send me an initial safe chip that I will run on the dyno and get the A/F ratio graphs and that the reburn as a result of getting that data will be right on. I'll report the results of this later.

My car on a Mustang dyno pulled 394hp at 5500rpm (9psi) with an A/F ratio of 9.9:1 (bloody pig rich!). Black smoke was coming out of the tailpipes at that time so I shut it down and didn't go any further up in RPMs.

The car is still soft down low just like stock since there's little boost, but past 4000rpms, man, it pulls like crazy (smoke and all).

I have no intention of trading it in for an '03, although having the IRS would be a plus to me (I don't drag race) since I like playing on road courses.

The bottom line is that if you go the S-trim route, it is a tradeoff of time vs. money. It'll take time to get it installed and tuned unless you're blessed with a local tuner with dyno, but will take less money than buying a new car.

On the other hand, buying an '03 will instantly get you a big power boost, but will cost a lot of money.

NakMan
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys. If I get the S-trim i plan on having Lidio at Alternative Auto up in Mt. Clemens do it. I'd like to have around 440-450 at the rear wheels.
 

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I say keep your car and get the S-trim. I went to a local ford dealership here in Houston to see what I could do to trade in my 99 cobra. This is what they told me:

1. They require a $10,000 deposit.

2. This deposit is non-refundable and does not apply to the sticker price of the car, rather it will be applied to the "adjusted market value" of the car.

3. I do not have a choice of colors. They said that they were only getting about 5 cars and they didnt know which colors they would be.

4. They were not sure if the car I would recieve would be a convertible or a coupe.

45 grand for a mustang? I'm sorry, I love my cobra, but I dont think that they are built well enough or hold their value well enough to justify that much money. If I had 45 grand to spend, it would go toward a BMW M3 or Corvette z06. I decided to wait and try to buy one used in a year. Not only will I save the 10,000, but The car will probably depreciate $12,000 in a year, so its like saving $22,000.
 

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saleen46 said:
keep the car, its PAID for. buy the blower, it'll be like having a new car for $3000.
I thought about this too. My car is paid for.. I have too much money and time in my car to just trade it in now. Plus I can modify my car even more to make it way faster then a moded 03 for alot less$$$$$$$$$ I still love my car

So now I plan on a vortech soon.
 

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dont bother w/ the s-trim. soon you'll find out it was more trouble then its worth.. I have a 98 Cobra w/ a vortech(t-trim now) and in 5-6 weeks will have my 03 .. TRUST ME, AFTER BLOWING UP A MOTOR YOU WILL BE KICKING YOURSELF FOR NOT GETTING THE 03.. For the people that are saying they will mod their 96-01 cobras and be faster the a (stock) 03. Yup your right.. then when the crappy stock pistons/rods let go you'll see who was right... Its not even a point of doubt... YOU WILL BLOW YOUR MOTOR..
Right now we dont know how much power a 03 can make..im guessing w/ a kenne-bell on top it will go 500 RWHP and have a built bottom end too... oh yah and a 6- speed, wider rims,intercooler ETC..financially if you can do it(sounds like you can) , GO FOR IT !!!!
 

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You have a lot of interesting responses here Habu. I think many of us were faced with the same decision. It's funny because my old man and I purchased our 96's brand new (about two weeks apart). He's since sold his 96 and is awaiting his new 03 snake.

I liked the idea of not having a car payment (even though there are many pluses with the 03 - factory blown, forged internals, etc), but to me, it wasn't worth the extra money spent.

I finally got the combo that I was looking for (see sig). I know it is less power than you are looking for, but with a 10:1 A/F curve and only six pounds of boost, I don't think I'll have to be looking at a rebuild anytime soon.

Good luck with your decision. :)

Brian

BTW, I have about the same amount of miles on my car as you.
 

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Gatorhouse said:
I say keep your car and get the S-trim. I went to a local ford dealership here in Houston to see what I could do to trade in my 99 cobra. This is what they told me:

1. They require a $10,000 deposit.

2. This deposit is non-refundable and does not apply to the sticker price of the car, rather it will be applied to the "adjusted market value" of the car.

3. I do not have a choice of colors. They said that they were only getting about 5 cars and they didnt know which colors they would be.

4. They were not sure if the car I would recieve would be a convertible or a coupe.

45 grand for a mustang? I'm sorry, I love my cobra, but I dont think that they are built well enough or hold their value well enough to justify that much money. If I had 45 grand to spend, it would go toward a BMW M3 or Corvette z06. I decided to wait and try to buy one used in a year. Not only will I save the 10,000, but The car will probably depreciate $12,000 in a year, so its like saving $22,000.
:eek: Holy crap. Ford doesn't make it easy. At least you have a 4V. Look at the positive. Lots of us would like to have a 4V. Keep the cobra.
 

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If you can get an '03 for close to MSRP then get it. It will take about $10k in parts to equal the '03 in stock trim with a warranty. The blower with intercooler is $4500, the T-56 is another $2500-$3000, the forged engine is another $3000-$4500 so you're in the $10-$12k range just for parts. I didn't even include all the little things that add up to several thousand more dollars like fuel system upgrades, tuning, cooling system improvements, labor (if you don't install yourself) etc. You can put the S-trim on but get ready to start fixing all the things that are going to break like pistons, rods, tranny etc. Once I went over 400 rwhp I had to deal with all kinds of things that started breaking. It wasn't cheap to replace the broken parts with ones that could reliably take the hp.
 

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My vote:
Keep the '97 and buy the '03 also! That's what I think I'm gonna do!
Good luck,
CW
 

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I believe the new body style is just around the corner with a modular 4V 5.0. I'd wait for that one if I was you. If 35k is burning a hole in your pocket you can always give it to me. :D
 

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/me crawls out from under my rock/

I was going to get an '03, but then the realization hit me that this car will also be produced in 2004 with very little change, if any.

Here's some food for thought. I would keep your current car N/A.

If you want some more power, wait until '04 late in the year and pick up the 2004 Cobra for a steal, as when the new body style gets launched, one of two things will happen to the '03 and '04 Cobra market.

1. The new body style will suck eggs, and grab onto a 2004 Cobra Quick.

2. The new body style and powertrain will rock, and you'll be able to get a '03 or '04 for a steal, or hold out for a newly redesigned '05 with a rumored 5.0 4V supercharged powerplant.

It's a win, win situation.

If you mod your car now, there's a good chance you will gernade the motor, and spend thousands of dollars getting it to a point to sell or keep. There are safe tunes, but no tune is a sure thing. This has been proven time and time again.

My best hope is for another limited edition Cobra R in 2005 to launch the new body style. That will be the car I'll jump all over if it stickers for under $60K.

We all are guilty to wanting everything immediately. Good things come to those who wait, either by getting a better price on the 2003-2004, or waiting until the new body style gets launched.

Or, mod the snot out of your current car and be happy until she blows.

/me crawls back under my rock/
 

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96HskerCobra said:
/me crawls out from under my rock/

I was going to get an '03, but then the realization hit me that this car will also be produced in 2004 with very little change, if any.

Here's some food for thought. I would keep your current car N/A.

If you want some more power, wait until '04 late in the year and pick up the 2004 Cobra for a steal, as when the new body style gets launched, one of two things will happen to the '03 and '04 Cobra market.

1. The new body style will suck eggs, and grab onto a 2004 Cobra Quick.

2. The new body style and powertrain will rock, and you'll be able to get a '03 or '04 for a steal, or hold out for a newly redesigned '05 with a rumored 5.0 4V supercharged powerplant.

It's a win, win situation.

If you mod your car now, there's a good chance you will gernade the motor, and spend thousands of dollars getting it to a point to sell or keep. There are safe tunes, but no tune is a sure thing. This has been proven time and time again.

My best hope is for another limited edition Cobra R in 2005 to launch the new body style. That will be the car I'll jump all over if it stickers for under $60K.

We all are guilty to wanting everything immediately. Good things come to those who wait, either by getting a better price on the 2003-2004, or waiting until the new body style gets launched.

Or, mod the snot out of your current car and be happy until she blows.

/me crawls back under my rock/
Thats all good and all,,but I think we wanna drive these cars before we turn 90 years old!

:lol:

I ain't waiting for nothing that might never happen. Life is to short.
 

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I was headed down the same path as you with the same decisions to make. I'd take the 2003 Cobra, but that's just me.:) Good luck with your choice.
 
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