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Old 05-11-2015, 09:00 AM   #1
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Thinking about buying an 03-04 Cobra

I always wanted an SVT Cobra from the 03-04 model years but was 16 at the time and obviously couldn't afford it.

I've been on the fence about buying one as I'm not a fan of buying used no matter what. But the urge has gotten the best of me so I'm on here looking for advice and I have some questions.

Before I ask I'll say this car isn't going to be a daily driver. I'll most likley be splitting fun driving time with my Shelby and I'd like to work on the Cobra myself for simple mod installs and tuning as it's always been a hobby I'd like to take up.

So how reliable have the Cobras been this past decade? When buying one what is the miles I should look at, and how much should I pay? What should I look for for any potential problems?

Apart from that I don't mind if the car is modded except I want the original stock rims but it seems that is hard to find a cobra with the original rims.
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Old 05-11-2015, 07:02 PM   #2
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Thinking about buying an 03-04 Cobra

In terms of prices.
The anniversary editions will be more expensive on average, same goes for the mystichrome cars. People are very proud of these cars and won't let them go unless for top dollar or more. I know, I had my eyes on buying several. From what I've seen is the lower mileage cars will be around and above coyote mustangs. Some may disagree, but these are buy it now's, what the seller wants. Unmolested low mileage terminators will be the most expensive, high mileage ones I've seen go for 12-15 grand, and that's high. They are very popular and the owners know it. But in terms of maintenance/reliability I couldn't tell you as the last terminator I worked on was 2 years ago. Car had 70K miles and everything was fine. Only thing you'll need to watch out for is if the car is high mileage and if it's had the guts beaten out of it.


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Old 05-12-2015, 12:42 AM   #3
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In terms of prices.
The anniversary editions will be more expensive on average, same goes for the mystichrome cars. People are very proud of these cars and won't let them go unless for top dollar or more. I know, I had my eyes on buying several. From what I've seen is the lower mileage cars will be around and above coyote mustangs. Some may disagree, but these are buy it now's, what the seller wants. Unmolested low mileage terminators will be the most expensive, high mileage ones I've seen go for 12-15 grand, and that's high. They are very popular and the owners know it. But in terms of maintenance/reliability I couldn't tell you as the last terminator I worked on was 2 years ago. Car had 70K miles and everything was fine. Only thing you'll need to watch out for is if the car is high mileage and if it's had the guts beaten out of it.


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That's why I only buy new as I know people would beat the crap out of these Cobras. Plus some of the exterior mods are just so tasteless to me. I mean the cobra grill emblem is a must and most of them have it. Get the cobra rear bumper colored is ok too but changing the rims and tinting the windows isn't something I'd do


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Old 05-12-2015, 01:07 AM   #4
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That's why I only buy new as I know people would beat the crap out of these Cobras. Plus some of the exterior mods are just so tasteless to me. I mean the cobra grill emblem is a must and most of them have it. Get the cobra rear bumper colored is ok too but changing the rims and tinting the windows isn't something I'd do


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Many advantages too tinting car windows. Besides the fact that a car looks 100 times better with tinted windows, it keeps the interior cooler, protects the dash and leather seats from fading and keeps them cooler in the hot sunny summer. The tint also reduces glare from the sun.

Tint is a must on any and all vehicles.

Have a great day!
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Old 05-12-2015, 08:29 AM   #5
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Thinking about buying an 03-04 Cobra

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Originally Posted by Seebz13 View Post
That's why I only buy new as I know people would beat the crap out of these Cobras. Plus some of the exterior mods are just so tasteless to me. I mean the cobra grill emblem is a must and most of them have it. Get the cobra rear bumper colored is ok too but changing the rims and tinting the windows isn't something I'd do


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If I remember correctly the mystichrome terminators have a mustang grill logo. I could be wrong, but I think that's right.
And I agree window tint is a personal taste/preference.


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Old 05-12-2015, 09:43 AM   #6
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A decent shape/mileage termi is gonna cost u $18-20k, anything cheaper than that with low mileage is a deal. Good luck, prolly my favorite stang ever, but way too overrated these days

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Old 05-12-2015, 12:45 PM   #7
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Yea my Shelby is most def the better vehicle with 662 stock horsepower and soon to be 700 at the wheels (or so I'm told with this new pulley and tune). But the terminator is the reason I feel in love with mustangs and with a Borla exhaust it sounds like pure music to my ears.
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Old 05-12-2015, 04:40 PM   #8
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I want one too but good luck with your purchase and dream.
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Old 05-14-2015, 10:21 PM   #9
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I was in a similar situation last spring. I've always liked the terminators but in high school the 03/04 Mach 1s were my "dream" stang. I did look at a couple terminators but for what I wanted to spend it would've been a high mileage beaten down one, so I focused on the Machs. Couple months later I found my 04 with 58k miles..got it for 10k.

A lot of people will tell you that the Cobras are overrated and don't compare to the coyote cars and some of that's true (interior, stock suspension/chassis), but they still are highly sought after and are a damn good bang for your buck car.

I mean you can pick one up for 15-18k with moderate miles and for another 2k have a solid 450-500 rwhp car. The 4v's from the SN platform will last forever with decent maintenance. Obviously if you shove boatloads of boost down it's throat and don't match fuel and spark you're gonna have issues.

The biggest issue from the factory is the infamous head tick, not sure it really affected performance or reliability...and there was some silly recall for the carpeting causing the gas pedal to get stuck after wot.
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Old 05-14-2015, 10:34 PM   #10
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4.6 4V is a mean engine.


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Old 05-14-2015, 10:34 PM   #11
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^ and have a 500hp over rated cobra that gets beat by 5.0's with 50hp less.

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Old 05-15-2015, 12:41 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by The Great Recon View Post
If I remember correctly the mystichrome terminators have a mustang grill logo. I could be wrong, but I think that's right.
And I agree window tint is a personal taste/preference.


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All of the 99-04 Cobras came from the factory with the running horse. The cobra emblem is aftermarket





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Old 05-16-2015, 09:27 PM   #13
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Buy one from the SVT Performance classifieds. Look for garage kept, bone stock, all receipts, there are a fair number of them on there. Be prepared to fly out/drive back or have the car shipped to you.

Do NOT buy one from a dealer or one with a lot of mods.


They are great cars but they legit do not stand up to the 11-14 GT cars for what you pay... which is the same price. $22-$24k gets you a super clean stock 20-30k mile Terminator. Same price gets you an 11-14 GT with the same miles.
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Old 05-16-2015, 11:07 PM   #14
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Why not from a dealer? Idk how but a mom and pop dealer had a COBRA R 😫
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Old 05-16-2015, 11:12 PM   #15
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You sure it was an R?


I would not buy one from a dealer because you don't get to meet the person who had the car before you. Dealer can blow all the smoke up your *** they want in that case. Hell it could have been raced hard and put back to stock and you'd never know unless there was some sort of obvious giveaway.


BTW Seebz13... If you don't like buying used... you aren't going to find one much better than this one.


04 Comp Orange Coupe 4k Miles


That's as "new" as you are going to get...
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Old 05-16-2015, 11:40 PM   #16
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You sure it was an R?

2000 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra R - Discount Auto Sales -
http://phoenix.craigslist.org/cph/ctd/5024786404.html
Or someone did a lot of work to do a clone
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Old 05-17-2015, 01:00 AM   #17
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Pass lol
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Old 05-17-2015, 08:51 AM   #18
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Whose that at the bottom 😁
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Old 06-09-2015, 02:17 PM   #19
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Is the new 5.0 cars really that superior to the Cobra? I guess the chassis is a lot better too.

and for real, who is that at the bottom
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Old 06-09-2015, 02:18 PM   #20
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Whose that at the bottom 😁
I didn't see this lol, that is my wife

---------- Post added at 12:18 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:18 PM ----------

Quote:
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Is the new 5.0 cars really that superior to the Cobra? I guess the chassis is a lot better too.

and for real, who is that at the bottom
And yeah they are lol
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Old 06-11-2015, 08:47 AM   #21
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14 GT's are definitely monsters no doubt- I've test drove one and pretended I was "seriously considering buying a new vehicle" loll that whole song and dance, and the guy was telling me to like WOT the thing on the freeway xD but there's still just somethin about the terminators that makes me love driving that more loll
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Old 06-11-2015, 01:07 PM   #22
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Probably the blower whine. I love the SN95, don't get me wrong. But the interior is straight up Fisher Price and the chassis is a 1978 design...
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Old 07-28-2015, 12:49 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seebz13 View Post
I always wanted an SVT Cobra from the 03-04 model years but was 16 at the time and obviously couldn't afford it.

I've been on the fence about buying one as I'm not a fan of buying used no matter what. But the urge has gotten the best of me so I'm on here looking for advice and I have some questions.

Before I ask I'll say this car isn't going to be a daily driver. I'll most likley be splitting fun driving time with my Shelby and I'd like to work on the Cobra myself for simple mod installs and tuning as it's always been a hobby I'd like to take up.

So how reliable have the Cobras been this past decade? When buying one what is the miles I should look at, and how much should I pay? What should I look for for any potential problems?

Apart from that I don't mind if the car is modded except I want the original stock rims but it seems that is hard to find a cobra with the original rims.
The 2003-2004 Cobras are monsters and in a class all their own. If you can find a low mileage, unmolested Cobra for around $20K-$24K you'll be doing great!

Unfortunately, it looks like you're going to have to break down and buy a used car is you want a Terminator (obviously).

"Simple mod installs" - what all does this include? You would also like to tune your Cobra because it's a "hobby"? I would highly advise against that. Just my $.02.

Price will all depend on the year, interior color (suede inserts), exterior color, whether you want a coupe or convertible, mods, mileage, maintenance/upkerrp, etc... These are super-reliable cars too. The only problem I have ever encountered was the alternator (common replacement on the Cobras).

You can find OEM or OEM-style rims for sale if that's your breaking point.



Quote:
Originally Posted by The Great Recon View Post
If I remember correctly the mystichrome terminators have a mustang grill logo. I could be wrong, but I think that's right.
And I agree window tint is a personal taste/preference.


Adventure till you drop
From the factory, all 03-04 Cobras came with the running-horse emblem in the front grille. They are a Mustang, first and foremost, but with the SVT Cobra Package.


Quote:
Originally Posted by fomoco4life View Post
A decent shape/mileage termi is gonna cost u $18-20k, anything cheaper than that with low mileage is a deal. Good luck, prolly my favorite stang ever, but way too overrated these days

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$18k-$20K may net you a Cobra with 35k-50k miles, with mods, wear and tear, etc. That's the norm. If you keep on digging and searching, though, you can definitely find a good Cobra in that price range. Just do your research and don't give up on searching for the right one.

Also, why are they way too overrated these days? I am not following?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Seebz13 View Post
Yea my Shelby is most def the better vehicle with 662 stock horsepower and soon to be 700 at the wheels (or so I'm told with this new pulley and tune). But the terminator is the reason I feel in love with mustangs and with a Borla exhaust it sounds like pure music to my ears.
Most def the better vehicle... in terms of what? It's a personal preference. What did you spend for your Shelby (especially since you only buy "new" and never used)? For that amount of money, you could have a pristine Cobra with the mods that would shutdown your Shelby in its tracks. Best bang-for-the-buck car, I think.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sonicpony03 View Post
I was in a similar situation last spring. I've always liked the terminators but in high school the 03/04 Mach 1s were my "dream" stang. I did look at a couple terminators but for what I wanted to spend it would've been a high mileage beaten down one, so I focused on the Machs. Couple months later I found my 04 with 58k miles..got it for 10k.

A lot of people will tell you that the Cobras are overrated and don't compare to the coyote cars and some of that's true (interior, stock suspension/chassis), but they still are highly sought after and are a damn good bang for your buck car.

I mean you can pick one up for 15-18k with moderate miles and for another 2k have a solid 450-500 rwhp car. The 4v's from the SN platform will last forever with decent maintenance. Obviously if you shove boatloads of boost down it's throat and don't match fuel and spark you're gonna have issues.

The biggest issue from the factory is the infamous head tick, not sure it really affected performance or reliability...and there was some silly recall for the carpeting causing the gas pedal to get stuck after wot.
Well said.

The infamous head tick only affected early model 2003 Cobras, and it was the driver-side head. Was not really an issue, more of an annoyance. Did not affect power or performance of the vehicle and you could barely even notice the tick, to be honest.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandonj02 View Post
All of the 99-04 Cobras came from the factory with the running horse. The cobra emblem is aftermarket





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This.


Quote:
Originally Posted by scottydsntknow View Post
Buy one from the SVT Performance classifieds. Look for garage kept, bone stock, all receipts, there are a fair number of them on there. Be prepared to fly out/drive back or have the car shipped to you.

Do NOT buy one from a dealer or one with a lot of mods.


They are great cars but they legit do not stand up to the 11-14 GT cars for what you pay... which is the same price. $22-$24k gets you a super clean stock 20-30k mile Terminator. Same price gets you an 11-14 GT with the same miles.
I agree with everything in the first part of your post. The second part...? Meh.

You are comparing apples to oranges. There is a reason you can get a super clean, stock Cobra for the same price of an 11-14 GT with the same miles... because the Terminator Cobra was only made in 03-04 and is not a dime-a-dozen car. I can throw a rock 20 ft. in any which way and hit an 11-14 GT. They're everywhere and everyone has one. The 03-04 Cobras are what you would call a "rare"/collector's vehicle.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Strata197 View Post
Is the new 5.0 cars really that superior to the Cobra? I guess the chassis is a lot better too.

and for real, who is that at the bottom
Depends what you are comparing them both for? Two different animals here - completely opposite ends of the spectrum. Better chassis? Debatable.

The 03-04 Cobra is more of a pure, raw, true "muscle or pony car". They are unrefined and do not have a lot of creature comforts - that is true. But they were not developed for creature comforts. They were developed to "Terminate" the competition back in that time. The chassis was even equipped with an IRS - which is awesome!

Fast forward 12-13 years (more than a decade's time there) and you get a lot more technology that is available these days in your newer GT's. That is true. The GT's these days are more refined and more "tame" - great cars nonetheless, though.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TxHxE MadHatter View Post
14 GT's are definitely monsters no doubt- I've test drove one and pretended I was "seriously considering buying a new vehicle" loll that whole song and dance, and the guy was telling me to like WOT the thing on the freeway xD but there's still just somethin about the terminators that makes me love driving that more loll
This.


Quote:
Originally Posted by scottydsntknow View Post
Probably the blower whine. I love the SN95, don't get me wrong. But the interior is straight up Fisher Price and the chassis is a 1978 design...
See above. The new GT's are just as much plastic on the inside. Chassis? Not that much better. Ford is lacking in the interior department big time compared to Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep and even Chevy on some vehicles.
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Old 07-28-2015, 12:52 PM   #24
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03-04 cobras are over rated. Simple as that

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Old 07-28-2015, 01:16 PM   #25
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03-04 cobras are over rated. Simple as that

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Great input.
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Old 07-28-2015, 01:22 PM   #26
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Great input.
Yes it is actually. Take it how you wish I give no *****s

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Old 07-28-2015, 01:23 PM   #27
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Yes it is actually. Take it how you wish I give no *****s

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10-4 buddy.
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Old 07-28-2015, 02:12 PM   #28
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I personally think they are overrated too. And the S197 chassis is far far better than the SN95/fox4 chassis that isn't even debatable.
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Old 07-28-2015, 02:36 PM   #29
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Old 08-03-2015, 08:19 PM   #30
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03-04 cobras are over rated. Simple as that

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This Sir is sinful the 03-04 Cobra is great, yes the new 5.0 puts out more HP and is NA but a Cobra on boost simply sounds wicked and it smoked Z06's back in its day. I'm a fan of the New Edge so yes I'm a little partial but compared to the NS95/Fox Body's I grew up with these were beasts!

Time marches on but thing how great the 429 was in its day we will look back and say the same thing in few decades how great they were and how we wish we had one. Just like our father's did...
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Old 08-03-2015, 08:25 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by rocknbronco View Post
This Sir is sinful the 03-04 Cobra is great, yes the new 5.0 puts out more HP and is NA but a Cobra on boost simply sounds wicked and it smoked Z06's back in its day. I'm a fan of the New Edge so yes I'm a little partial but compared to the NS95/Fox Body's I grew up with these were beasts!

Time marches on but thing how great the 429 was in its day we will look back and say the same thing in few decades how great they were and how we wish we had one. Just like our father's did...
I was in a modded 03 on a street pull making 425 documented to the wheels and it was only barely pulling on the bone stock C5 Z06 next to us. Dude in the Z06 does only a few mods and a cam swap and its not a contest.

I sound like I'm bashing on the Termi... I'm not. It was the **** back in its day, it still is, but a Coyote is better in literally every way. Want the blower whine? Find a Roushcharged one for $25k. Saw a 2012 Lava Red M6 Roushcharged Coyote go for $25k last year with 20k miles on SVTP. Made 640 the the wheels IIRC and something like low-mid 500ft lbs.
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Old 08-03-2015, 08:52 PM   #32
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Only downside to the coyotes with a tvs or twin screw is, you will not get the instant kick in the pants like the 03-04 cobras. Or even a 3v with a twins crew ect.

The high compression is what causes this in the coyotes. Drop the compression down, then we have a different story.

Just wanted to throw that in there

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Old 08-03-2015, 09:11 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Rapinator126 View Post
Only downside to the coyotes with a tvs or twin screw is, you will not get the instant kick in the pants like the 03-04 cobras. Or even a 3v with a twins crew ect.

The high compression is what causes this in the coyotes. Drop the compression down, then we have a different story.

Just wanted to throw that in there

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Peak tq on tvs is around 35-4500. Then it falls off and makes the good ole HP


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Old 08-10-2015, 12:34 AM   #34
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Tryin to get my hands on this mineral grey vert.
Supposedly there's only 154 of these.
Crossing my fingers


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Old 08-10-2015, 06:45 AM   #35
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Tryin to get my hands on this mineral grey vert.
Supposedly there's only 154 of these.
Crossing my fingers


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Heh, that looks just like the 03 that I mentioned a few posts above. Mineral Grey is my favorite color in them after CO and OW. They do look damn good.

Just make SURE it has not been modded much if at all. I see aftermarket rims on it so right there is the start of the "uh oh" light bulb in my head. These cars usually got modded correctly or really really badly...
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