96-98 Cobra v/s 03-04 Mach 1

Discussion in 'SVT Tech Forum' started by uhoh5.0, Feb 6, 2010.


  1. uhoh5.0

    uhoh5.0 Founding Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2002
    Messages:
    354
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    17
    Location:
    Montgomery, AL
    I have a question, why is it that the 03-04 Mach 1's seem to outperform the 96-98 Cobra's in stock form. According to what I have found, the 96-98 Cobra has a curb weight of about 3400 lbs and produces 305hp @5800rpms and 300 ft. lbs of torque at 4800 rpms. Whereas the Mach 1 with an almost identical curb weight produces an identical 305hp at 5800rpms and a slightly higher 320 ft. lbs of torque @ 4200 rpms. These numbers come from the same type of engine also, a 32 valve DOHC 4.6L modular V-8. What am I missing here???? The cobra is said to run 13.99 stock, whereas the Mach is good for extremely low 13's stock. I remember when they first came out, Ford enlisted a professional driver and a set of full blown slicks to run 12.xx something (high 12's) bone stock. Any thoughts are welcomed/appreciated!
    #1
  2. EPIK

    EPIK Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    Messages:
    830
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    LEFT COAST
    Mach 1's are rated at around the same hp as 96-98 Cobra's, but the Mach's have a higher compression ratio of 10.1:1, while Cobra's have a compression ratio of 9.85:1. The Mach 1's also have the better 03-04 Cobra heads which is a much more advanced & higher flowing design. The intake manifold is also better flowing. On top of that, the Mach 1 also has 3:55 gearing which is slightly better than the 96-01 Cobra's 3:27 ratio.

    IDK if this is true, but I have heard that Mach 1's hp ratings are slightly underrated from the factory. I would think this is probably truth because 99-01 Cobra's are rated at 320 hp/317 tq, but they have the same lower compression as the 96-98 Cobra's, but don't have the better flowing heads & intake that the Mach 1's & 03/04 Cobra's have. The 99-01 Cobra's do however have better heads than the 96-98 Cobra's.
    #2
  3. COBRA90GT

    COBRA90GT Mod Dude

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2001
    Messages:
    6,841
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    87
    Location:
    HOCKEYTOWN ® , MI
    Because the Mach 1's were (and are) awesome 'stangs. :)

    They even beat up on the 99 and 01 cobras too :D - THAT was the comparo OFTEN discussed on the various mustang message boards on the 'net. Not gonna sidetrack this thread, but the 3.27 IRS (ie - wheel hop) equipped 99/01 cobras did not fare too well against the solid axle 3:55 geared 03/04 Mach 1s in a STOCK Vs STOCK race.

    I think it's fairly well known that the Mach 1 engines were probably "underated" to a certain extent as well. Or perhaps it stems from the debate (03/04 Cobra cams or not?) in the past about which cams were used in the Mach. The Machs had "C-heads" and the 96-98s came equipped with "B-heads." I don't know the specifics about the Mach cams, but maybe someone else will chime in with the correct info...

    Here's more Mach I specs: Mach 1 Technical Specifications

    The Mach 1 registry has an excellent "Mach" message board too...
    #3
  4. uhoh5.0

    uhoh5.0 Founding Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2002
    Messages:
    354
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    17
    Location:
    Montgomery, AL
    I appreciate all the info. Based on some of the stock dyno numbers on the manual Mach's, it does appear that they are more likely in the 325hp range. That makes sense, and in conjuction with better flowing heads, higher compression ratio, 3:55 rear axle, that certainly would account for the edge performance wise.

    I've posted on this board for quite awhile, my first stang was a 94 GT (uhoh5.0), and then later a 2004 GT vert. I tinkered with and raced them both a lot! I kinda miss having one in the garage now, and I'm trying to think of a new project. I like to be different, and there are just sooooo many fox body mustangs at the strip I want something not so common. I think a Mach would make a GREAT project, but they are still kinda pricey to me, for a mess around with 3rd car. But I guess you get what you pay for. I'm open to any ideas.
    Thanks
    #4
  5. EPIK

    EPIK Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    Messages:
    830
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    LEFT COAST
    Mach's are starting to become very affordable though nowaday's, you should be able to find a relatively low mileage example for around $10k-$12k.

    But besides that, 96-98 Cobra's IMO are still great cars, & you can find them for VERY cheap nowadays, usually in the $5k-$7k range. Despite the Mach's having the performance advantage, the Cobra's can still be made to be pretty fast with a few mods. 4.10- 4.30 gears are a must & really wake those cars up, & with the addition of full exhaust, you should have a pretty quick car....
    #5
  6. 7upstang91

    7upstang91 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2008
    Messages:
    828
    Likes Received:
    37
    Trophy Points:
    29
    Location:
    Florida
    I would say solid axle with 3.55 gears would do it, as well as the better flow heads.

    As far as the 325Hp range are we talking flywheel wheel stock? RWHP stock?
    #6
  7. uhoh5.0

    uhoh5.0 Founding Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2002
    Messages:
    354
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    17
    Location:
    Montgomery, AL
    I think the 325 is a more accurate estimate of flywheel horsepower for the MACH based on what they dyno stock at the rear wheels. Assuming the basic bolt-ons, which in my mind would be full exhaust, gears, air filter, underdrive pulley, and some suspension/sticky tire work what would a 96-98 Cobra run in the quarter?
    #7
  8. jeremy canter

    jeremy canter Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Messages:
    400
    Showcase:
    7
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    17
    Location:
    Orange County , NY
    Drag radials with 4:10 or 4:30 gears ,long tube headers ,x-pipe and a cat back and Good cold air intake > a 96-98 cobra with run in the 12's with a good driver . with Nitrous you can cut 1/2 to a full sec. off of that > your chassis set will have a lot to do with your time's >
    #8
  9. 7upstang91

    7upstang91 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2008
    Messages:
    828
    Likes Received:
    37
    Trophy Points:
    29
    Location:
    Florida
    Ah well I know a guy who put down 310rwhp with longtubes, x pipe and flowmasters with the flowmaster tail pipes, cold air intake. He never ran it at the track till he went Procharged about a week after he dynoed. Sick car. I guess I'm not much of help on the time wise part. Sorry man.
    #9
  10. uhoh5.0

    uhoh5.0 Founding Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2002
    Messages:
    354
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    17
    Location:
    Montgomery, AL
    That's pretty interesting! That is also very inticing to buy/build one of those:rolleyes:
    I had a 94 GT with the 5.0 and I was pretty pleased with it's performance. I also had a 2004 GT Convertible that I did a lot of mods to but it never really impressed me that much 1/4 mile wise. Both of these cars were autos, the later of which had a reworked valve-body and 3400 stall converter with 4.10 rear end:D
    I'm just searching for my next project. The first 2 were daily drivers and this one will just be a project car. For that reason though, I want to get the most bang for my buck!
    #10
  11. stang-geoff

    stang-geoff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2010
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    sorry to revive such an old thread, but I used to be in the Ford ASSET program at mt hood community college and we had a mach 1 mustang and several other mustangs and a chassis dyno. When we put a 3 valve 05-09 mustang rated at 300 horsepower we were getting approximately getting 240-245 horsepower rwhp. The (bone stock)Mach 1 when we put it on the dyno it was getting just over 300 rwhp. under rated would be understatement
    #11
  12. 03Stangr

    03Stangr New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Messages:
    131
    Showcase:
    2
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ford did that quite a bit back in those days and so did Chevrolet and others as well. I love all the Mustangs out there, but I have to say after driving and owning a few, that my favorite Mustang to own and drive is the one I have now. It corners excellant and w/the new FR clutch kit/pilot bearing and bolt/dowell kit it really shifts easier and it's not as stiff pushing in the clutch now. I could use some wider tires some day for more traction. It was even more so after I put the new clutch in. The intake and custom tune really woke it up as well. It's my personal opinion that anybody with one of these cars should have a custom tune of some flavor, either by hand held or what ever. They run a lot better. I've used diablosports on both of my last stangs and loved the results. I know some will swear by SCT and that' ok as well. I have a mustang website from 64 1/2 to present if anyone wants to take a look at all the past and present Mustangs. The link is in my profile for anyone that's interested
    #12

Share This Page