5.0 Mustang & Super FordsFeatured Vehicles
1999 Ford Mustang Cobra - Overcompensation Sensation
Benjamin Lee More Than Makes Up For The '99 Cobra's Factory Power Problems
Cobra owners are a justifiably proud bunch, happy to cough up the hefty premium that snake ownership demands, knowing they're getting something special and exclusive in return. They make this fiscal sacrifice-leaving bags of extra cash with the dealership and perhaps their first-born child with the insurance company-for a number of reasons. Certainly not the least of these reasons is the soul-satisfying knowledge that the Four-Valve cammer has invariably made the Cobra the most powerful modular Mustang in any given model year.
You may recall, however, that the golden-horsepower rule came close to being broken in 1999. That was the year the modular GT finally grew a pair, while at the same time the Cobra suffered partial emasculation when its factory 320hp rating was found to be more than a bit optimistic-the apparent victim of some intake, exhaust, and calibration blunders.
Of course, computer-whiz Benjamin Lee had no way of knowing that when-as a birthday present to himself-he picked up this spanking-new Cobra in November 1999, telling his wife, Debra, it would be their "Sunday afternoon car." He says he didn't mention she wouldn't be able to drive it after the modifications.
Those mods began within days of the purchase, with Flowmasters and an X-pipe changing its aural attitude. When word got out about the power deficiency, Ford invited the Cobra back to the dealership for a fix that added about 10 hp-a step in the right direction, but still not enough for Ben. As owner of the firm Computer Integration, Ben had plenty of online time to scope out the Internet, researching what his next step should be. This resulted in the purchase of a ProCharger P-1SC. Ben thought the P-1SC, with its intercooler, would be ideal for a daily driver and that it would allow dialing up the boost a bit. Apparently he was a little too nervy with the boost dialing and promptly laid waste to his unsuspecting modular's stock bottom end.
That's what brought Ben to No Limit Motorsports [(404) 366-3037] in Forest Park, Georgia, where owner Mike Johnson set about building a new long-block that would be up to the task. Regular readers may recall that it was Mr. Johnson who was responsible for Aaron Archer's eight-second modular racer featured on our September '03 cover. The full details of the new cammer's construction can be scoped in our 5.0 Tech Specs sidebar, but the basics include Manley billet rods, CP pistons, and a stock Cobra crank, all housed within a '98-style Cobra alloy block bored 0.020 inch over. No Limit then ported a set of Four-Valve heads and fitted them with a set of the company's own camshafts.
According to Mike, No Limit is a shop that basically does "everything but paint." The company constructed the car's six-point cage with a Pro-Stock- style rear hoop, and ditched the IRS in favor of an 8.8-inch stick axle fortified with 31-spline Superior axles, 4.30 gears, and an Auburn Pro diff. While the rest of the fairly extensive list of chassis mods is also listed in the spec box, it's important to remember that this is not some quarter-mile warrior; it's Ben's street car-one now boosted by no less than a ProCharger F-1R that previously saw battle on Aaron Archer's race car. This may explain why-at somewhere between 12 and 15 psi of boost-the black beauty now possesses more than 700 rwhp and 596 lb-ft of torque on pump gas.