Michael Johnson
Technical Editor
July 1, 2008

Horse Sense: The Driveshaft shop was located in Islandia, New York, but due to the weather and the rising cost of living, the company relocated to Salisbury, North Carolina. The whole staff moved with the company, and we're told they're all happier.

With The Driveshaft Shop's Extreme Level 5 axle shafts in place, Jason Sharrow warms up the drag radials at Bradenton Motorsports Park. Jason's Cobra makes 650 hp to the wheels thanks to a Kenne Bell supercharger and a small, dry shot of NX nitrous. It routinely runs in the low 11s in the Florida heat on pump gas and Nitto 55R Extreme Drag radials. Jason tried slicks with the new axles, but the clutch wouldn't hold. He has since added a new clutch but hasn't been back to the track to test the results. However, Jason drives his Cobra every day and hasn't had any problems with the new axles.

During the Fox Mustang days, some mainstream enthusiasts some mainstream enthusiasts screamed for an independent rear suspension. Whether standard or optional, these enthusiasts reasoned that one was necessary in order for the Mustang to compete with European performance cars. An IRS would improve handling and the Mustang's overall ride characteristics. Every newcar newcar magazine railed the Mustang's aged Fox platform and suspension, which only added fuel to the IRS fire.

The 320hp '99 Cobra came with an IRS, but this development was overshadowed by a low-power output problem, requiring a TSB fix to bring the power to factory-rated specs. Even so, the majority of these Mustang owners have one thing on their minds: drag racing.

We're used to going to the track, bolting on a set of slicks, and lettin' her eat. The Four-Valve engine made us salivate and head straight for the nearest dragstrip, but with an IRS, dropping the hammer at 5,000 rpm wasn't a good idea. Even with the naturally aspirated Four-Valve '99 and '01 Cobras (the Cobra wasn't available for '00 and '02), axleshafts were routinely broken at the track.

Exacerbating that problem, Ford released the 390hp supercharged Cobra in 2003 with the same IRS in place. As Ford fans, we were flabbergasted that the Cobra had 390 hp, but more importantly, that it had a supercharger-from the factory.

Now we take off the brake rotor, exposing the factory hub.

With the stock Eaton supercharger, 450 rwhp was available with only a few mods. However, taking this Cobra to the track was a lesson in patience. To get a decent number out of the cars, the driver had to slip the clutch out of the hole perfectly. Forget launching these cars in our accustomed way, with slicks and side-stepping the clutch. That exercise was reserved for those who swapped out the factory IRS for a solid-axle 8.8.

The Driveshaft Shop offers a solution that benefits the best of both worlds. Why go through all that trouble swapping out the whole rearend to bolt in old technology? Many people see that as going backward, but with The Driveshaft Shop's Extreme Level 5 axle system, bring on the drag radials and the slicks-let's go to the track.

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