KJ Jones
Brand Manager, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
September 1, 2009
Photos By: KJ Jones

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M5lp_0909_01_z 1994_cobra_mustang Front_view
"My Cobra is my daily driver and represents what a lot of Mustang folks have done or want to do to their cars. I did all the work myself (except for tuning) and every part I installed is 50-state street-legal," says 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords' Castrol Syntec Top Car Challenge candidate Ron Cooper. "I drag race the car at Fontana. I've run it on the big track at Willow Springs, and with the T-56 (six-speed transmission) and 3.55 gears, the Cobra has pulled 28 mpg on the freeway while driving at 60 mph with the A/C on."
M5lp_0909_03_z 1994_cobra_mustang Front_view
No, your eyes aren't deceiving you: An OG 5.0-liter engine powers Ron's Cobra, and Vortech's SQ S-Trim supercharger feeds the stock-block bullet 10 psi of boost for extra oomph using a far-from-small 3.33-inch pulley. Ron, a hands-on, do-it-yourself 'Stangbanger, assembled the standard-bore/standard-stroke engine with a stock crankshaft and rods, as well as SRP forged pistons, a Crane 2040 hydraulic-roller camshaft, and AFR 165 cylinder heads. A now-classic Saleen/Vortech intake manifold sits atop the last-gen pushrod engine; modified 30-lb/hr injectors feed the fuel, and MSD's complete ignition system-billet distributor, Blaster coil, and 6A box-sets off spark and timing. This potent combination churns out 433 hp at the rear wheels. We realize this probably won't dominate the power-evaluation segment of the competition, however, from a power-to-weight standpoint, Ron's Cobra's PTW ratio should be comparable with that of other competitors in the Castrol Syntec Top Car Challenge. When matched with a solid suspension, grippy tires, and good driving, we think it will prove our theory that more horsepower is not really necessary for an all-around competition like the Challenge.
M5lp_0909_04_z 1994_cobra_mustang Front_view
A complete set of progressive-rate lowering springs give Ron's Cobra its killer profile, which is further complemented by 17-inch, '98 Cobra R-style wheels and 245/45ZR-17 Dunlop tires. With the exception of the hood and front bumper cover, the super-clean Snake's Crystal White finish is original and still beams brightly.

Although most of us really are car enthusiasts on the global scale, we're sure that readers and the staff of 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords stand behind the modern-era (Fox-body to present) Mustang first and foremost whenever the monumental "us-versus-them" divide between Mustangs and Japanese or European import cars is the topic of discussion

While our disdain for imports is understandably viewed as pure hatred by those who don't know the history of the rivalry (which Mustang historians polled agree has existed since the mid-'90s), we gladly accepted the opportunity to spend a few days with import owners, magazine editors, and cars at the Castrol Syntec Top Car Challenge (www.syntectopcarchallenge.com) in June 2009.

Now before you start thinking your favorite 'Stang mag has gone soft, we agreed to briefly coexist with the Dark Side for reasons that are far from social. Our mission is to enter a 'Stang in the contest and show the import crowd what many of you already know-Mustangs rule when it comes to the across-the-board performance (handling, acceleration, braking, dyno horsepower) of real-world (registered, insured, interiored, accessorized, minimally polluting) street cars

The Crystal White '94 Cobra seen here belongs to longtime Mustang enthusiast Ron Cooper. Ron and his Vortech-supercharged Snake were selected by 5.0&SF editors to take on "the enemy" as the magazine's representative in the Castrol Syntec Top Car Challenge. Our goal is to prove (for at least a year) the Mustang's superiority. Tests range from measuring horsepower on K&N's chassis-dyno to measuring emissions output using a five-gas engine analyzer, as well as road worthiness in a massive cruise on the streets and freeways of Southern California and the road course at Buttonwillow Raceway in Buttonwillow-and ultimately on the dragstrip

While we're sure our competitors have a few tricks up their collective sleeves and may bring "ringer" cars and drivers to the event, we chose Ron-a true, hard-core 'Stangbanger, who has both road-course and drag-strip racing experience. We picked him and his self-built, 5.0-powered SN-95 Cobra because enthusiast and Pony truly embody the all-around performance any blue-blooded 'Stang fan can appreciate.

Enjoy the photos and details on Ron's pride and joy, and join us in cheering car and driver on to victory in the battle for domestic-versus-import supremacy-as well as the $10,000 prize that goes with winning the Castrol Syntec Top Car Challenge!

1994 Cobra
5.0 Tech Specs
Engine And Drivetrain
Block
Stock Ford 5.0-liter/302
Bore
4.000-in
Stroke
3.000-in
Displacement
302ci
Crankshaft
Stock
Rods
Stock
Pistons
Probe forged
Compression Ratio
9:1
Camshaft
Crane 0.498 lift; 220 degrees of duration @ 0.050Heads
AFR 165
IntakeSaleen/Vortech
Throttle Body
Stock 65mm
Mass Air
Ford Lightning 80mm
Injectors
Modified Ford Racing Performance Parts 30-lb/hr (actual flow is 45 lb/hr)
Power Adder
Vortech SQ S-Trim supercharger
Intercooler
N/A
Fuel Pump
Walbro 255-lph
Headers
Bassani
Exhaust
Magnaflow/Borla
Transmission
D&D Performance T-56 six-speed
Converter
N/A
Rearend
Ford 8.8 with 31-spline Superior axles, 3.55
gears, and Trac-Lok differential

Electronics
Engine Management
Stock
Ignition
Stock w/MSD billet distributor, MSD 6A, and Blaster coil
Gauges
Auto Meter Phantom oil pressure, boost, and fuel pressure

Chassis And Suspension
Front Suspension
K-member
Stock
Control Arms
Stock
Springs
Eibach progressive
Struts
Koni
Caster/Camber
N/A
Brakes
Power Slot rotors w/Hawk HPS pads
Wheels
'98 Cobra 17-inch
Tires
Dunlop 245/40ZR-17
Rear Suspension
Springs
Eibach progressive
Shocks
Stock
Control Arms
Stock
Brakes
Stock w/Hawk HPS pads
Wheels
'98 Cobra 17-inch
Tires
Fusion 245/40ZR-17