5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
2003 Cobra - Thrice As Nice
724 Horse Power Terminator
We're forever being asked what it takes to get one's car featured in this magazine--a question for which we have yet to formulate a simple answer. Sometimes it's just a random matter of being in the right place at the right time. In this particular case, the right place and time was a fast-food restaurant at the breakfast hour.
You see, I had a South Dakota Burger King all to myself early one morning during last September's Sturgis Mustang Rally (obviously living the culinary high life on my editor's expense account), until this black-flamed, blue Terminator with its R wing rumbled into the parking lot. A cool-looking ride, under which I couldn't help but notice humungous rear rubber.
The Cobra's two passengers being the only other patrons in the joint at that time, I struck up a conversation and soon found out the reason for the fat donuts: Like a WWII-vintage fighter aircraft, this Terminator packs compound boost. And that, good people, was enough to get my camera trigger-finger itching.
Owner John Forquer is a Colorado coal miner who had been quite happy with his heavily modified '01 Power Stroke Super Duty until a chance encounter with a Terminator convinced him that he needed his own Cobra. He traded the pickup on this '03 Cobra and managed to leave it stock for about six months. Then the boost-o-rama began with installation of a Kenne Bell 2.2-liter twin-screw. Says John: "After the first time I heard it wind up, I knew I had made the right decision."
A couple months later, he failed to properly tighten the blower's dipstick, which then blew out under boost and dented the underside of the stock hood. This led to the purchase of an Extreme GT carbon-fiber hood from Cruizin Concepts that he took to friend and bodyman, Mike, for painting. This, in turn, led to the car's subtle black-with-blue-pearl flame job--an accent that works particularly well with the black American Racing Cobra-style rims (which are a full 10.5-inches wide in back). John then took it relatively easy for a few years, adding such things as the Cobra R-style rear wing and other little mods, but nothing major.
But then, "At a Mustang roundup, it became apparent to me that besides the paint, my car was the same as the others, and that wasn't sitting well with me." Now, we all know that such thoughts can get expensive and, in John's case, the initial expenditure soon came in the form of a Hellion HellRaiser twin-turbo kit, in preparation for which, John decided to switch back to the Cobra's factory Eaton supercharger to make things simpler.
On startup after re-fitting the Eaton and installing the pair of 61mm turbos at Stang Auto Tech in Broomfield, Colorado, John explains, "They found that the motor had excessive crankcase pressure, and said I wouldn't have noticed it before the turbo install because the vent was routed into the intake pipe. I had broken rings in [cylinders] 7 and 8, so I had to address this before they could continue with the tune..."
So he took the wounded warrior home and began saving yet more money. Once the bank account permitted, he turned to D.S.S. Racing for nothing less than one of the company's Super Mod aluminum 302-inch strokers. "My friend Kyle and I installed the new motor," says John, "but before we put the Eaton on, I contacted Robert [at Stang Auto Tech] and asked what he thought about putting the Kenne Bell on instead, knowing I was going to miss the sound of it, and it was going to kill me having it just sitting on a shelf in my garage." They got the shop's green light, installed the KB twin-screw, and headed back to Stang Auto Tech for final sorting and tuning--but the expensive fun wasn't over yet.
"While tuning," John tells us, "they ran into issues with turbulence affecting the mass air meter, and had do a lot of research to get everything working right. The car was plagued with mass air meter problems causing it to run lean or not run at all. This eventually led to holes being burned in the pistons of cylinders 2 and 4. After having D.S.S. rebuild the short-block for me, we switched the mass air meter to an SCT Big Air 5000 and haven't had any issues since…"
A lot of work and expense, but John considers it money well spent: "It's running 25 psi of boost at the manifold and currently makes 724 hp and 725 lb-ft at the wheels, with great driveability."
John also enjoys removing the Terminator's front fascia at car shows and watching the double-take reactions of passersby at seeing all those boost generators. At Sturgis, he had a constant crowd checking out the Cobra's exposed turbo plumbing. Though still not done with its mods (we'd suggest some rear lowering springs), he sums up his Terminator this way: "It's a lot of fun to drive around and it's hard to beat the sound of the Kenne Bell whine mixed with the turbo whistle when I mash the throttle…" And, that's why he needs those fat rear skins...
Horse Sense: In theory at least, compound boost fills in the "weak" spots of any single power adder's power curve, with boost available across the entire rev range. Then there's the shock and awe effect.
5.0 Tech Specs'03 Cobra
Engine and Drivetrain
Block D.S.S. Racing Level 10 aluminum
Crankshaft Kellogg forged steel stroker
Rods D.S.S. forged 4340 H-beam
Pistons D.S.S. custom forged, 8.5:1 compression
Camshafts Ford Racing Performance Parts
Cylinder Heads Ford Racing, CNC ported
Intake Manifold Stock
Power Adder Kenne Bell 2.2-liter w/ Hellion twin 61mm turbos
Fuel System Twin 255-lph pumps w/Lethal Performance dual-fuel-pump driver module, KB Boost-a-Pump, and Ford Racing high- impedance 80-lb/hr injectors
Exhaust Bassani crossover pipe and after-cat system
Transmission T-56 w/D&D Performance 26-spline input shaft and SPEC SS-trim Super Twin Disc
Rearend 8.8-in w/3.55 gears
Engine Management Stock, with custom tune
Gauges AutoMeter boost and fuel pressure, digital A/F ratio
Suspension And Chassis
Springs UPR coilover
Wheels AmericanMuscle.com Cobra-style, 17x9-in
Tires Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3, 275/40R-17
Control Arms Stock
Wheels AmericanMuscle.com Cobra-style, 17x10.5
Tires Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3, 315/35R-17