5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
1994 Cobra Mustang - The Ex-Terminator Cobra
David Smith's '94 Cobra Is Not What It Seems-It's Much More
"As fate would have it, I came across a guy that had basically everything from a wrecked '04 Cobra," David says. He had already gathered many pieces, but he put the wife and two daughters (Courtney, who tells everyone the Cobra is hers, and Brooke) into the family truckster for a weekend trip to Atlanta. "I put everything, and I mean everything, in the back of my F150," David says. "Everything" included the '04 Cobra's drivetrain (minus the IRS), the complete wiring harness from headlights to taillights, the computer, evaporator box, A/C controls, radiator, condenser, brake lines, fuel lines, fuel tank, filler neck, Hydraboost system, front brakes, steering rack, column, heat exchanger, pedals, dash frame, gauge cluster, door locks, Mach 460 stereo system, wiper motor, washer fluid bottle, cruise control, all electronics, airbag system (minus the airbags), and horns-can't forget the horns.
The best part was that anyone with Internet access could see the build play out on the Corral (www.corral.net). Though David started the project around September 2007, he brought the rest of us up to speed February 26, 2008, with his first post in the '94-'95 Tech section of the Corral forums. That's when the first pictures of the swap surfaced. David stripped the car to prep it for the Cobra drivetrain. David first ripped out the '94's wiring harness...all of it. In its place went the '04 Cobra's wiring harness. The process is way over-simplified here, but imagine ripping out the wiring harness from headlight to taillight. That's what David did. He wanted everything to work like a factory-fresh '03-'04 Cobra, and when that's what you want, everything must be changed over.
With the wiring harness in place, David added the PA Racing tubular K-member, Steeda Autosports' X2 ball joints, and the donor Cobra's front lower control arms, sway bar, and brakes. David had plenty of work to do before he dropped in the engine, so he moved to the dash by removing the factory '94 Cobra dash. As with the exterior, David wanted to keep the look of the '94's interior but with the guts of a Terminator Cobra. "I swapped my dash pad and heating ducts over to the '04's metal dash frame," David says. He also used the '04 Cobra's gauge cluster.
Swapping the dash wasn't without its issues. David had to change the passenger-side airbag connector from brown to black, and he also had to splice the defroster harness to work with the stock '94 Cobra defroster switch. Worst of all, David broke the car's windshield when the ratchet slipped tightening the top three dash bolts.
Besides the initial mechanical setbacks, David had plenty of wiring issues mating the '04 Cobra's harness with the '94's Mach 460 amps. The foglight switch orientations and seat-belt switch differences were tricky as well. It wasn't just the wiring that gave him fits. In order to use the Terminator heater box, the heater tube provision in the firewall required modification. The '04 Cobra's airbag module was different than the '94's. The firewall brake booster provision had to be opened up for the Hydraboost system before he could bolt the '04 Cobra's pedals in place.
With all this work in motion, David was closer to getting the car down the road when he received the donor engine's Eaton supercharger back from Stiegemeier after a Stage 5 port, a front-drive rebuild, a BilletFlow 2.76-inch pulley, and an Accufab throttle body port match. Then came the Fore Precision Works fuel hat from Lethal Performance, and a new fuel level sending unit and Ford GT fuel pumps from Tousley Ford.