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Driver's report - 3500 miles


Three Cobras

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It's sometimes easy to forget how good I've got it now that I'm not sweating the VIN assignment, or where the car is, or whatever. Not so with many, many folks here. So I thought I'd start a thread to let those in waiting have some information on how it's going for me as well as my impressions.

 

I was a PowerLease guy, so I got an early car, probably in the first six hundred or so. I well remember the day to day sweat of when it will be done, where is it now, what will I think when I finally get it, and will it be a let down. The PowerLease thing is important because it means I was driving an '04 Cobra right up until the new car was delivered. Also, because I was one of the first PL guys apparently to get his car, Ford Credit wasn't yet ready to do the final early trade-in on my car which had not hit the end of the lease. As a result, after the car sat at the dealer for a few days I took it back home when I found out their insurance did not cover it on their lot. So, after driving the GT500 for a few days, I was able to refresh my memory with the '04 again. The '04 was bone-stock with only Flowmasters added, by the way, because it wasn't 'my car'.

Overall: while I had it, I REALLY liked my '04 and went back and forth several times as to whether I should keep it and sell my option on the GT500 or not since I could not test drive the GT500 before making the decision. Car for car - stock - the GT500 is a much better car. It is a different car, too, and it takes some driving to get used to the difference. I drive it every day - 3500 miles since 7/21 when I picked it up. I would not go back to the older car. No dis to anyone who has one or prefers it. I made the right choice for me.

I am an IRS advocate, and haven't changed my mind on that. I'd much rather the GT500 had it. In truth, though, for most of the driving I've done on the same roads and under the same conditions and driving style used with my '04, the live axle is about as good as the IRS was. I did say MOST. There are times when the rear end does dance around some, as there were times (fewer) when the IRS did too. Overall, the suspension works very well. But there are still times when I get some side thrust on bumpy roads even when the car is going straight. The ride is much better than the '04 under most circumstances, but the car does 'float' under some bumpy road conditions. It feels to me that the rebound in the shocks may be a tad slow when compared to the '04. I keep thinking I should feel a little guilty that the car handles so well AND rides well too. But I really like the combo. Not sure if I will change the suspension or not when Ford Racing comes out with their kit. Initially I thought I'd be one of the first in line for that kit, now I'm not so sure. If only the car sat a bit lower and more even, there wouldn't be a choice to be made.

All the stuff about weight is of relatively little importance to me. The car does feel more solid, but not really more heavy that the '04. I don't doubt those that count tenths and hundredths of seconds who feel it, I just don't in my driving. In fact, I'm probably going to add weight. I just don't like the idea of not having a spare tire and jack in case I get stuck somewhere remote. I'm willing to pay the weight penalty for piece of mind.

One thing I have taken some time to adjust to is not just the size difference (which isn't really that great when you park the two side by side), but the visibility out is not as good as the '04. Yes, the spoiler does block rear vision. It's hard to judge how far back that following car is very often. And those side mirrors are BIG whether they are painted body color or not. Making turns, they block vision, and you have to look elsewhere when compared to the '04 to get your visual cues. While I'm on visibility, I find it hard to read the gauges in bright sunlight while I have sunglasses on. There really needs to be a way to turn up the backlighting on the gauges while the headlights are off.

All is forgotten when you stomp the loud pedal. Objects definitely appear closer than they are VERY quickly. This car is a rocket. What more needs to be said? It definitely feels stronger than the '04. I will say the throttle does feel a little sluggish below about 2400, probably the result of that rich tune others have discussed.

So, to those waiting for it, keep the faith. It IS worth the wait. I know that's easy for me to say. But I refuse to counsel others to have the patience I lack. Just know that from one impatient one to others, the waiting will end at some point. Never as soon as you wish, but it will end. Then you can write your own thread and tell me how very right I am. That would please me greatly - my wife never seems to want to say those same pesky words.

Chime in you others with some decent number of miles experience.

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CWH -

First of all, glad to see your saga is approaching an end! Congratulations.

 

Quality is very good. I've yet to find any oversights or problems with misalignment. Some have reported problems with the stripes, but mine are fine - any problems I see are very tiny.

 

Any noises? NO, damn it, it's too quiet. I bought a set of Flowmasters because the car needs more bark to go with the bite. I'm not sure if they are the final solution, but the car sounds good now and I couldn't wait any longer to improve that part of the car. I like the black coating on the mufflers because I think mufflers should be heard and not seen.

I did have a chirp for about a week that sounded like it was either suspension- or exhaust-related. I suspect it was one of the exhaust hangers. I shot plenty of silicone lubricant on them and the sound went away in another day or two. That's been about it. Every now and then a brief squeak that may be the dashboard brow, but gone too quickly to locate. With the windows up and the stock exhaust, this thing is almost too quiet. My '04 was a lot noisier in general, and had several squeaks that came and went (headliner, dash, and behind the radio) depending on temperature.

So far so good with the GT500, though it is early, of course.

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thanks for the post, 3 cobras

 

i have not driven the '04.... it is nice to hear a first hand comparison from someone who has driven both. i am at 1,000 miles now.... when i get closer to 3,000 i'll post my impressions again. so far i agree with all you have said.

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Car for car - stock - the GT500 is a much better car.

 

Ah, geez! :doh: Now you've done it! Now you're going to get people who've never driven a GT500 coming in here telling you how wrong your opinion is. Don't you realize that this car wasn't "built by the hand of God"? That Carroll Shelby didn't personally torque the head bolts? Don't you know that the extra couple of hundred pounds negates everything about the car that's better than the previous Cobra? You can't possibly be a Mustang enthusiast! ;)

 

 

Just kiddin' ya! Thanks for the great feed-back. I really enjoy reading real-world opinions based upon actual experience with the car.

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Yeah, yeah. I know, I sold out. Oh, and I'm one of them rich old farts trying to relive my youth. Blah, blah.

First Mustang I wanted (but couldn't afford): 1970 Boss 302 (brand new at dealer it was $4200 as I recall). First one I got new was my 1993 Cobra, then a 2001 Cobra, also new. Then the '04 Cobra. Along the way I've had a Turbo Corvair, 240Z, Turbo Scirocco (first series), Probe GT to name a few. They've all been Arrest-me Red, too. Face it, naysayers, not everyone that buys this car just wants it as a status symbol.

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It's sometimes easy to forget how good I've got it now that I'm not sweating the VIN assignment, or where the car is, or whatever. Not so with many, many folks here. So I thought I'd start a thread to let those in waiting have some information on how it's going for me as well as my impressions.

 

I was a PowerLease guy, so I got an early car, probably in the first six hundred or so. I well remember the day to day sweat of when it will be done, where is it now, what will I think when I finally get it, and will it be a let down. The PowerLease thing is important because it means I was driving an '04 Cobra right up until the new car was delivered. Also, because I was one of the first PL guys apparently to get his car, Ford Credit wasn't yet ready to do the final early trade-in on my car which had not hit the end of the lease. As a result, after the car sat at the dealer for a few days I took it back home when I found out their insurance did not cover it on their lot. So, after driving the GT500 for a few days, I was able to refresh my memory with the '04 again. The '04 was bone-stock with only Flowmasters added, by the way, because it wasn't 'my car'.

Overall: while I had it, I REALLY liked my '04 and went back and forth several times as to whether I should keep it and sell my option on the GT500 or not since I could not test drive the GT500 before making the decision. Car for car - stock - the GT500 is a much better car. It is a different car, too, and it takes some driving to get used to the difference. I drive it every day - 3500 miles since 7/21 when I picked it up. I would not go back to the older car. No dis to anyone who has one or prefers it. I made the right choice for me.

I am an IRS advocate, and haven't changed my mind on that. I'd much rather the GT500 had it. In truth, though, for most of the driving I've done on the same roads and under the same conditions and driving style used with my '04, the live axle is about as good as the IRS was. I did say MOST. There are times when the rear end does dance around some, as there were times (fewer) when the IRS did too. Overall, the suspension works very well. But there are still times when I get some side thrust on bumpy roads even when the car is going straight. The ride is much better than the '04 under most circumstances, but the car does 'float' under some bumpy road conditions. It feels to me that the rebound in the shocks may be a tad slow when compared to the '04. I keep thinking I should feel a little guilty that the car handles so well AND rides well too. But I really like the combo. Not sure if I will change the suspension or not when Ford Racing comes out with their kit. Initially I thought I'd be one of the first in line for that kit, now I'm not so sure. If only the car sat a bit lower and more even, there wouldn't be a choice to be made.

All the stuff about weight is of relatively little importance to me. The car does feel more solid, but not really more heavy that the '04. I don't doubt those that count tenths and hundredths of seconds who feel it, I just don't in my driving. In fact, I'm probably going to add weight. I just don't like the idea of not having a spare tire and jack in case I get stuck somewhere remote. I'm willing to pay the weight penalty for piece of mind.

One thing I have taken some time to adjust to is not just the size difference (which isn't really that great when you park the two side by side), but the visibility out is not as good as the '04. Yes, the spoiler does block rear vision. It's hard to judge how far back that following car is very often. And those side mirrors are BIG whether they are painted body color or not. Making turns, they block vision, and you have to look elsewhere when compared to the '04 to get your visual cues. While I'm on visibility, I find it hard to read the gauges in bright sunlight while I have sunglasses on. There really needs to be a way to turn up the backlighting on the gauges while the headlights are off.

All is forgotten when you stomp the loud pedal. Objects definitely appear closer than they are VERY quickly. This car is a rocket. What more needs to be said? It definitely feels stronger than the '04. I will say the throttle does feel a little sluggish below about 2400, probably the result of that rich tune others have discussed.

So, to those waiting for it, keep the faith. It IS worth the wait. I know that's easy for me to say. But I refuse to counsel others to have the patience I lack. Just know that from one impatient one to others, the waiting will end at some point. Never as soon as you wish, but it will end. Then you can write your own thread and tell me how very right I am. That would please me greatly - my wife never seems to want to say those same pesky words.

Chime in you others with some decent number of miles experience.

 

 

See this is exactly what I can appreciate and applaud. :)

 

Just a nice even handed opinion contrasting both cars. I'm sure the GT500 is a great car, I love my 04 but I am sure the GT500 is a better car overall. :)

 

Grats on your purchase, and appreciate your opinion! :shift:

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Yeah, yeah. I know, I sold out. Oh, and I'm one of them rich old farts trying to relive my youth. Blah, blah.

First Mustang I wanted (but couldn't afford): 1970 Boss 302 (brand new at dealer it was $4200 as I recall). First one I got new was my 1993 Cobra, then a 2001 Cobra, also new. Then the '04 Cobra. Along the way I've had a Turbo Corvair, 240Z, Turbo Scirocco (first series), Probe GT to name a few. They've all been Arrest-me Red, too. Face it, naysayers, not everyone that buys this car just wants it as a status symbol.

 

 

"First Mustang I wanted (but couldn't afford): 1970 Boss 302 (brand new at dealer it was $4200 as I recall)."

 

Three Cobras this was my experience as well (but I especially loved the 69 Boss 302 and Boss 429--I liked looks of the the front end a bit better). My first Mustang was an 89 GT (I also had a 84 Capri RS), as for my first, present, and only Cobra, so far--a 96. In addition, I've owned a 67 Sunbeam Tiger Mark II (289)--wish I still had it. And I had a 76 Scirocco that had an aftermarket Turbo--not a Ford but I really liked that car.

CC

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See this is exactly what I can appreciate and applaud. :)

 

Just a nice even handed opinion contrasting both cars. I'm sure the GT500 is a great car, I love my 04 but I am sure the GT500 is a better car overall. :)

 

Grats on your purchase, and appreciate your opinion! :shift:

 

 

OK. Dropping_Chronic, you are NOT evilchris. Evilchris could never have made that post. I apologize for saying I think you two were one and the same. Please forgive me for my previous posts. My bad. :sos:

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Great read thanks for the info....but PSDS is Setting in Hard core...been buying parts...mats...Tint....I need to just stay away from my dealership is getting bad...16 days to go....till expected delivery date....allthough with a 16th construction date...I won't hold my breathe...thanks for keeping it real.

 

Cheers,

 

Barry

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Glad to provide my subjective views and to provide encouragement for those who have already redone the bedroom for the new baby that may be some time in arriving. Use 'em or ignore them as you all see fit. I STILL like the earlier cars like the '04 Cobra, just not as much as this car. It's not a 90 / 10 thing, more like 60 / 40.

Cobra Crazy - mine was an '81 Scirocco with a Callaway turbo system (before he went to Corvettes) and a lowered supension. That car was a rocket! In fact, my license plate was ROCC IT. I would have stayed with VW if the Corrado came close to equalling the Scirocco. It didn't, but the 1990 Probe GT did. Traded that boy in for the 93 Cobra, so the rest is history. Got the V8 bug and never got cured.

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Great post Three Cobras. I happy to hear the car is still as solid at 3500 miles. I have just under 200 miles and all but the first 30 have been some of the most enjoyable driving experiences on pulbic roads that I can recall. I am truely amazed that this high perfomance street car can absorb the rough Michigan roads without a squeek, rattle or shutter. I am also amazed that a vert can be so isolated from road and wind noise. To sum thing up, SVT has packaged all the thing I enjoy from my existing street cars and put them into the GT500.

 

As far as complaints, I only have four

1. No red striping available

2. No engine note to speek of. With the radio on you can't hear the RPM's while engauging the clutch in 1st.

3. The car pulls so strong in 1st gear it hits the rev limiter way to fast when I'm not watching the tach or light

4. Lat G's and mid speed cornering are limited. I would prefer the car to have slight oversteer than understeer as a limiting factor, which is fine for the average driver for year round usage. I'm sure that someone will come out with at performance package that will satisfy my needs. (210-220% of the rated speed limit of any on or off ramp)

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4. Lat G's and mid speed cornering are limited. I would prefer the car to have slight oversteer than understeer as a limiting factor, which is fine for the average driver for year round usage. I'm sure that someone will come out with at performance package that will satisfy my needs. (210-220% of the rated speed limit of any on or off ramp)

 

You can slightly decrease front tire pressure (3-4 psi) and slightly increase rear pressure to move towards oversteer. Also, harder bushings in the rear sway bar than in the front would help with this. I guess that would mean you'd have to go with urethane in the rear and keep rubber in the front unless there are companies making multiple "deflection" variations of urethane. Stiffer springs in rear or softer in front would do it, but I'd be cautious about that...let the experts make a "kit". Also any weight transfer to the rear would help, such as moving the battery, etc.

 

I'm sure there are other ways to induce the oversteer...let's hear from everyone else.

 

Dave

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Terry1234,

I agree with getting more weight distributed to the rear and transfering more to the front with rear spring and bar. Also more front camber would help. But I feel the same way, I would prefer to let the persons with the resorces develope a kit that works.

 

Jason

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