There is a new build going on over in Pennsylvania, and this time it’s a ’98 Mustang Cobra. This car started out mostly as a street car, but it has seen some action from the oval track all the way to the autocross, and everything in between. The owner likes to compete in the go/stop braking competitions and also the car saw some runs down the dragstrip as well. But the problems then came off track, when the owners wife overheated the engine, which lead to more and more problems, ultimately resulted in tearing out the motor and doing some rebuilding.

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The reason this builder reused the stock engine, because he was unable to purchase an LSx engine like he wanted, doe to budget constraints. The plan now is to get the car running and save up some money for a 6.0L iron block (LQ4) and T56 magnum, and then save some more money after that to put in the LS7 dry sump and supercharger.

This project started out just like any other builds would - ripping everything out. Instead of removing the engine through the hood, this builder did it like the factory does - lifted the body and rolled the engine, transmission, and front assembly out, leaving the wheels, shocks and K-member all intact.

With the engine out, he started to disassemble it and see what components he can re-use. The pistons needed to be cleaned up a little, but they were still in good shape and he will be able to get away with just buying new rings. The crank looked pretty clean for having 120,000 miles on it, and there is no doubt he will be able to re-use the crank. After the engine was completely torn down, he decided the only parts that were necessary to replace were the common gaskets, rings, and bearings.

The radiator support had a bit of rust on it, so the builder decided to junk it and install a new one. He started by drilling out the spot welds on the corner braces, in order to remove them. Once those and a few more spot welds were all drilled out the radiator brace came right off and went right into the trash. The new one fit on perfectly and it was much lighter than the stock piece according to the builder.

It was time to start reassembling the engine, starting with the crankshaft. Once everything spun easily, he moved on to installing the pistons. He made sure all of the pistons were clean, and before he installed them, he took automatic transmission fluid and a rag to the cylinder walls in order to get all of the gunk left behind.

The heads got sent off to the machine shop to get some work done to them. They received a 5 angle valve job, valves back cut, hot tanked, decked, new valve stem seals, chopped the intake valve guides out of the port, ported the bowls, intake and exhaust ports, and smoothed out the short side. It made over 300 cfm @ .450 lift.

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