Modified Mustangs & Fords
2004 Mustang SVT Cobra Coupe - Comprehensive Cobra
This Terminator Came Ready To Rock Courtesy Its First Owner
Josh Besore's '04 Mustang SVT Cobra Coupe
Josh Besore, who hails out of Louisville, Kentucky, was raised with an automotive restoration background, as his father was very interested in vintage Corvettes. As a young man Josh started out his automotive life with a Merkur XR4TI. Like many of us, his interests were soon focused on Mustangs, and his first one came in the form of a '94 GT. He hopped up the GT's 5.0 engine in many significant areas, but still yearned for more in the way of performance. Josh says that he gets a lot of support and enthusiasm for his Ford fanaticism from his wife Amanda, who, for many years piloted their '04 F-150 Lightning pickup.
The '94 GT ran fine, and so did the Lightning, but the truck was really too heavy to get with the program in the way Josh wanted. Getting the truck to go 12s was one thing--getting an F-150 to go 10s in the quarter-mile and still be a street-drivable vehicle was quite another. Finally, one day a good friend said to Josh why don't you focus on just one good car that will run the way you want it to instead of working on three vehicles? It was a suggestion that rang true to him and soon all three Fords in the stable were for sale. Of course the Mustang sold first. Then an interested buyer was found for the truck.
When the word went out that Josh was looking for an '04 "Terminator" he was soon connected with Brad Birri of West Chester, Ohio. Brad owned an '04 Cobra and already had the car in an advanced state of tune. Initially, Josh was worried because he generally likes to do all of his own work. However the Cobra was in such nice condition that he decided to go ahead and purchase the snake. When he got the Cobra home, the CCW custom three-piece wheels were the only additions made to the car before having it carefully tuned to run reliably on pump gas. Using 22 pounds of boost, the Cobra was pumping out 626 rwhp and 630 lb-ft of torque on 100-octane racing fuel. Then tuning wizard Ken Bjonnes at Modular Depot of Southgate, Kentucky, was able to tune the car to run reliably on 93-octane pump fuel and still produce 585 rwhp.
Obviously, Josh wanted a car that ran hard, and he was willing to work very hard toward that end once he got it. However, when he discovered this car, he had to settle for perfection already delivered. We think he found what he was looking for as the Cobra has so far turned a best time of 10.81 at 132 mph on BFG Drag Radials. The car has never been run on slicks but Josh says that with them he'd be hangin' the hoops for sure.
Cooling The Snake
As most Terminator Cobra owners know, the driver-side cylinder head on the 4.6-liter DOHC engine doesn't have the same coolant drain back arrangement as the cylinder head on the righthand side of the engine. On the righthand side, coolant can escape the rear of the head on its way back to the radiator while on the left cylinder head, the coolant must exit at the front of the engine. Therefore the coolant can pool around the rear cylinders on the left side until it's forced by accumulation to exit at the front of the cylinder head. While not a problem on normally aspirated engines, the extra heat created by the supercharger can create problems during hard use, such as overheating the rear of the left cylinder head and back pistons on the lefthand side of the engine. To counteract this condition, Josh installed an LDC Chicago cooling mod sold through D'agostino Racing (www.drisales.com). The upgrade uses a fitting installed in the rear freeze plug location on the driver-side cylinder head. The coolant can then flow from the rear of the driver-side head where it then merges with the passenger-side coolant flow and routed back to the water pump.