Possible 99 Cobra purchase help

Discussion in 'SVT Tech Forum' started by 25thmustang, Jun 3, 2010.

  1. Hey, I never post in this section of the forum, but my significant other is looking for a newer Mustang. I have talked her into a 96-01 Cobra vert, and looked at one over the holiday weekend. I have a couple of questions, if some more "in the know" than me could help with.

    Details: '99 Cobra vert, 100,000 miles, Red/Tan.

    The car was nice, but I did notice what I describe as a driveline "clunk" when I depressed or released the clutch. I noticed not other sounds, smells, or issues associated with this. I couldn't tell 100% if it was in the clutch/tranny, rear end, or chassis. Has anyone experienced or know what this could be?

    The car was spotless underneath, no drips, smoke etc... Did Ford install subframes on the newer vert cars?

    There was some grime build up on the front of the motor. Not a lot and could just have been due to very little underhood cleaning. Did not appear to be caused by an oil leak, at least not a significant one.

    The car had regular maintenance, 3 owners, with the first being an SVTOA member, and putting the majority of the miles on it. Synthetic oil done every 3000k miles, or less according to the gentleman I spoke with.

    Typical wear on the driver seat and areas of the interior. Shifter springs were shot, but it comes with a Steeda Triax that was never installed. Car also comes with a catback that was on it for some time, but the current owner removed. Has a BBK fenderwell CAI, but comes with the stock one as well. Otherwise appears bone stock.

    I have a VIN for the car, and want to get a Carfax if someone could help out there?

    Does anyone know to steer clear of this mystery "clunk", or if the little build up on the front of the motor is a sign of bad things to come?


  2. The IRS driveline "clunk" first appeared in the '99 cobras and would be quite familiar to other IRS cobra owners as well.

    It is considered by most to be "normal" (or at least "tolerable"), due to the fact that Ford tried to retrofit an IRS into a chassis/body designed for a solid rear axle (SRA).

    Historically, several of the first '99 cobra owners began to notice the clunking and Ford even went as far as having Bill Franco (a higher ranking guy up at Ford) visit certain dealerships to try and "cure" the problem IIRC - all to no (or little) avail. This was well documented over on the BON message board (Blue Oval News/Network - can't remember the exact name) several years ago.

    You can try to index the driveshaft if you'd like, but the "clunk" will probably still remain. It doesn't really hurt the car - so don't stress too much about this issue. Most IRS owners will notice the "clunk" while putting the car into gear, while at a stoplight, for example.

    If the rest of the cobra you are looking at checks out ok, then it would still be a "buy" IMHO. It sounds like that particular '99 has been fairly well cared for, based on what you typed out above. :nice:

    However, if your clunk is accompanied by severe driveline vibrations, you may want to think carefully before purchasing the car. Test drive the car at various speeds, including highway - before buying.

    There are also a few IRS "band aids" out there to try and remedy some of the shortcomings of Ford's IRS design. Several of them may work, while others are a waste of money. You can ask other IRS owners what has worked for them and try to experiment with some fixes. Some avoid the whole situation and swap over to a solid rear axle (SRA) instead.

    G'luck in your cobra hunt. :cheers:
  3. From what I have heard so far the car sounds like something I would consider buying. The clunk is probably just some bushings and the IRS can be a fun project to work on if you plan and have the proper tools and instructions. There are bushing kits available ranging from $400 on up. Cobra Bob's Cobra FAQ has some great car buying tips.
  4. Thanks for the replys.

    This is exactly what I was looking for. Although a mysterious "clunk", it sounds like common place with these cars, and not something that will make or break a sale.

    Other than that and normal wear and tear, the car is in very nice shape. The outside shows well, although the current owner has only waxed it one time. I would have no problems bringing the paint back to near new. The underside looked great to me, like stated before, no signs of leakage.

    Time to carfax and it, and see if the significant other is interested in making an offer.
  5. What was the asking price?