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Discussion Starter #1
All,
I've always loved these cars, and recently have been tossing around the idea of actually owning one. I would be looking to buy a completed car and due to budget($~30k) would be looking at a car that has some miles.

I may have missed it, but I haven't seen a comprehensive "what to look for" thread if purchasing a complete car second-hand. Can anyone help with the following questions?

-Where can I go to see a summary of differences between Mk1->Mk4? Are there any preferences from one to the next, beyond just technical specs?
-What's best way to identify original build specs if current owner doesn't know them? I've seen FFR #'s in some threads- is this what I need?
-What is best way to get inspection before purchase? I don't know enough mechanically myself to do it- is taking to a Ford dealer sufficient for basics?
-Any other tips/hints?

Thanks to anyone for your help. I feel a bit out of place since I'm not the typical builder/owner, but would be happy to learn the ropes of working on the car myself after purchase.


Thanks!
 

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Unconventional Builder
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Charter Member
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Where are you located?


Some Cobra are build on a shoe string buget and the bugs are not worked out. A lot of guys built their first Cobra and take a lot of short cuts because "they don't know."

The next guy buys the Cobra and ends up repairing, replacing, rebuilding the car. Total cost is more than he wanted.

I have worked on several of these Cobra. An engineering nightmare. I could go on for hours with stores about this. I do have a lot of pictures of these problems.

If you have someone close to you that could look at a Cobra before you buy it. Remember some guys can fix anything so they may not think "it's a problem". But if you have to pay someone, it's big bucks.
Take your time, learn all you can about building a Cobra. There are a lot of good Cobras out there for sale. The ones with 5000 miles or more may be the best buy.



Dwight
 

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Snake Farmer
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10,299 Posts
Some Cobra are build on a shoe string buget and the bugs are not worked out. A lot of guys built their first Cobra and take a lot of short cuts because "they don't know."

I have worked on several of these Cobra. An engineering nightmare. I could go on for hours with stores about this. I do have a lot of pictures of these problems. Dwight
Lets see some of the pictures of the problems, be nice to know what to not do in a build..

Good advice on buying a higher mileage car. I would suspect that the "bugs" have already been worked out of them.
 

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I resent when someone paints "a lot" of guys for doing budget builds as if that means poor workman ship. I have built two and both have been done on a "budget". There are no issues with my builds. Sold my 1st and have a happy customer, my 2nd is also for sale and I will soon start my 3rd. I build for a fun and easy driver, if some one want to bling it up and add more hp, thats fine by me.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the quick responses guys, especially the link to MrMustang's post(not sure how I didnt find it before). That should help get me started. My main goal is to find something that's mechnically sound(hopefully with newer components) and I'm willing to give up a little on cosmetics. I hope to find a great runner that I can then upgrade parts, repaint, or whatever is necessary over time, as my budget/freetime allows.

I like the idea of getting one that likely has the bugs worked out, and will likely look to the community here for more help when I get closer to buying. I like the idea of buying here from the classifieds too, since I can bounce off other members and a feel for their thoughts on the particular car.

Thanks guys!
 

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In about 30 days I'll have another legally PA titled MK 3.1 up for sale for around 32-34K (not done with spending money yet :D). Regardless of whether or not you have interest in it, ask questions from people here, they hold a wealth of knowledge of these cars. Some are strictly in it for the sale of their (or a friend of theirs) cars, others will respond quite candidly. Most of all, enjoy the hunt, sometimes, at least to me, it is half the fun.



Bill S.


PS: 30K will get you a really well built FFR. Do a search in the classifieds for a seller named "cougar", he has FFR4760 for sale (click this chassis # to go to the for sale thread), the car needs nothing and can be had for below your budget ceiling. I will tell you right up front, I sold it to him, so I know it was done right. He went even further and tweaked the motor a bit more afterwards.....
 

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I'd jump on the Red car Bill posted the link to. He knows what hes talking about if he says its a steal!
 

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I would use this post to post cars in question that you are interested in buying... More than likely the fine folks here will know the car and give you the skinny on it...

I would try to target a Mk3, but a Mk2 with the backbone should be a good car as well... Even nicely built Mk1's are OK but by now they are 10+ years old, and with your budget you should be able to find a very nice car for around 30k.

I HIGHLY recommend getting a car that has at least a 3 link rear suspension or IRS. A fuel injected car will run better in most cases and get much better fuel economy...

PLEASE dont buy a car sight unseen... and make sure you get it inspected by a qualified mechanic of YOUR choosing.... and not the sellers. Shops that build or work on hotrods would be good for that. Should be able to have one done for $100 or so.

Chances there are other FFR owners in your area and maybe they would be willing to go look at cars with you if you take em to dinner or something ;) Make sure you take someone who is a quality builder though!

Good luck! David
 

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Junior Charter Member
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Bought a used FFR Cobra

Where are you located???

I bought a used FFR Cobra with 3350 miles on it. It was built by a guy who I thought did a good job (it could have been better). However looking back I would make these recommendations.

1) If an FFR Cobra, then how many posts did the builder make on this site? (after I bought it, I looked and could find only the ones he posted to sell)

2) What kind of questions did he ask?

3) Will he return e-mails or calls when questions come up? (Did for the first month, not anymore)

4) Look at FFRs in your area and get to know the guys that built them. Try to get one of them to look over the Cobra you are looking at buying. Then a mechanic too.

5) Main thing is to look and find ANY potential safety issues or concerns before or after you buy it.

I did find several safety concerns and still found one recently after 15,000 miles in two + seasons. These are hand built FAST cars and need to be looked over carefully. I have put mine on jacks each winter and go over everythink I can get to, looking for trouble down the road. Find some and miss some, only running the car will find them all, IMO. Be prepared for a break down far from home.

Would I do it again, YES. Despite the problems I found and am still finding.

I hope this does not dampen your interest, it is not meant to.

I also hope this does not step on anyones toes that has built one.

Lee
 
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