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1993 Ford Mustang Cobra - Cyber Warrior

Car Craft's Pro Touring Mustang Gets Ready For The Ebay Editor's Charity Challenge

Photography by Rod Short, Brad Grissom

John Meaney of Big Stuff 3 kicked in with Precision Turbo to provide a SEFI engine management system with wideband O2 capability that really saved the day. Ours was a developmental unit that was used to iron out some of the nuances associated with the EEC-IV system, which is why we got it at such a good price. In other words, they used our Mustang as a development car and we got an outstanding EFI system-a great trade in our opinion. Big Stuff 3 and Precision Turbo joined forces as sponsors to get us the engine management system and then tune the car. By the time everything was tweaked, Team Mustang had an exceptionally sweet-running car.

We knew that good brakes would also be vital if we were to have any chance carving corners away from the dragstrip. While the '93 Cobra came with four-wheel disc brakes and 17-inch rims (the only Fox-body to have these), the front 10.84-inch rotors provided anemic stopping power. There were a number of auctions that offered all the parts needed to upgrade to the larger 13-inch front discs found on the later model Cobras. While this necessitated extra expense in going from a four- to a five-lug rim, the benefits were worth it.

Noted road-racing specialist Kenny Brown was less than two hours away from us, so we plugged his name into eBay's search engine and came up with a wide variety of suspension parts, many of which found their way onto the car. We brought Kenny Brown Performance all the parts from eBay we could find. KBP sorted through everything and used the best of what we had.

In the end, we changed or modified nearly everything under the car in one way or another. We also added a pair of excellent Sparco seats and Auto Meter gauges. With some lettering and a little wax, our steed looked ready to battle the best of the Charity Challenge contestants.

Lessons Learned, Memories MadeBy the time we were done, there were more than a few lessons learned that changed not only how we looked at modifying Mustangs, but also how we bought items from eBay. The most lasting memory is that it takes more than throwing money and parts at something to come up with a solid performance package. Mixing and matching parts until you find what works is sort of like starting your own research and development program. That's fine if you have excess time and money, but it's definitely better to be sure that the parts are compatible both with one another and also with the car.

For example, we discovered that the shock and spring kit didn't work with the car. With the springs, the front was too low and the back was too high. Another issue was that the exhaust that was on the car wouldn't fit with the changes made to the rear suspension. The aftermarket lower control arms with the hard polyurethane bushings were more suited for straight-line acceleration than overall handling, which caused a serious oversteer condition during hard cornering. The inner and outer tie-rod ends also had to be changed to fit the new spindles with the later-model Cobra brakes.

While the sum of all these surprises gave us a few detours, the overall plan for the car worked out well. The Big Stuff 3 EFI package gave us a well-mannered car that was optimized for performance, while the turbo gave us as much power on demand as we wanted. The suspension changes and big brakes provided plenty of confidence that the car could more than handle anything the road could throw at it. The car ran, rode, drove, and looked so good, it was tough to let it go.

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