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So, like many I longed for a cobra. Well, now I have a 98% done car. Just not painted yet. Here is my dilemma, not real sure I like it after all. It's hot, loud, smells like gas...yeah, yeah, I know that is the reason to get one. But it really is not comfortable to drive more than an hour at a time. Gives me a nasty headache. Sell or modify? I usually take roads with max 45mph limit to keep the noise down. But rode today for an hour to see the world famous Dan Babb, and when I got home my head is killing me. What approx. dollar amount can you get for a non-finished, running car?
 

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Hot = Did you insulate the sheet metal and seal off all air from the engine compartment? No reason to be hot from the car itself, if that's your problem. The sun and hot weather, on the other hand, that's another discussion.

Sound = Stock Factory Five pipes? Yes, they're loud. There are options to quiet the pipes down. Wearing ear plugs? You should anyway if you're not. Even with quieter pipes. Wind and road noise by itself is above acceptable DB levels.

Gas smell = Carb'd? A well tuned carb shouldn't be excessive. It will have some extra smell at start-up, especially if choked. But once it's up to temp, shouldn't be bad. I've had two carb'd Roadsters. Neither one had gas smells that were a problem. EFI will be even better.

Even with all of that, unless your name is Ralph Button, probably not going to be a cross country cruiser. At least for most.
 

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Sell. Much of what you aren't especially happy with will still exist even if you were to modify it. Nature of the beast so to speak. They aren't for everyone. Tell us more details about the car, maybe even include a few photos, and we can try to give you a realistic market value.

Jeff
 

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Sell

Sell. Much of what you aren't especially happy with will still exist even if you were to modify it. Nature of the beast so to speak. They aren't for everyone. Tell us more details about the car, maybe even include a few photos, and we can try to give you a realistic market value.

Jeff
I agree with Jeff.
Sell it if it doesn't "stir your soul". If you domesticate it too much, then it is not the beast it is supposed to be...
Owning a Cobra is a lot like owning a Bull terrier. They are intriguing, look cool and are hip but they are a real handful to own and live with everyday.
My 2 cents.
 

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I absolutely love mine for all the reasons you don't like yours, if that helps you make a decision. Earplugs are a must.
 

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I'm very sorry to hear that you're not enjoying it.

I built a cruiser, and absolutely Love it! We have done 350+ mile trips in ours. Sure, we are tired when done for the day. But after a good sleep, I am ready to do it again the next day. Heck, I just put 80 miles on it today, and am planning to drive it all this weekend if I'm lucky.

I'm curious if you built it the way you wanted for how you wanted to use it? Some folk may think all of those reasons you don't enjoy it are the "definition of a Cobra". But if you don't enjoy it, don't try to "force" the enjoyment. May be time to try something different.
 

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Unless you are outright hating it, I would say put some miles on it and make a few adjustments to see if you can make it a bit more comfortable for yourself. Although my car ran well when I first got it on the road in December, it certainly had some unpleasant aspects to it and I really thought 'what have I done here building this thing that I don't enjoy'.
Below are some of the issues that I had that are now mostly sorted.
1. Notchy steering. my steering (manual rack) would almost lock in position under heavy braking into corners which made the car very scary to drive and very stressful. this seems to have been caused by tight ball joints which thankfully have now pretty much loosened up after about 1000 miles. I am already investigating electric power steering. (Got slight added technical hurdle of RHD).
2. Brakes. With the standard FFR braking setup of Wilwood master cylinders and PBR calipers, stopping was barely adequate and almost required 2 feet on the brake pedal. This was predominantly solved by adjusting the bias as I had way too much on the front. The rest was just bedding the brakes in. Now they perform quite well, not fabulous, but I don't worry about stopping anymore.
3. Overall drivability. It feels like everything is loosening up and I am super impressed how easy the car is to drive.
4. Noise is a problem. I run a Coyote motor with catalytic converters and FFR stainless side pipes. They are ok when cruising but are loud under acceleration. I did put a few stainless pot scourers in each side. They reduced the bark considerably without hindering performance noticeably. At one stage I ended up getting the noise level down to 89 DB which is so quiet you couldn't hear the car above other traffic.
5. Fumes have not been a problem with the Coyote. By law I also have to run and an emissions canister. This certainly prevents petrol fumes from the fuel tank when the car is parked in the garage. Perhaps some engine tuning could solve your situation.
6. Heat in the cockpit. x2 on what EdwardB mentioned. I insulated both sides of my foot boxes and transmission tunnel. I also made sure that there were no leaks into the cockpit from the engine bay. My headers are ceramic coated and wrapped. I don't really seem to get any heat into the cockpit at all. I do however get a lot of draught in from my doors as they are not sealed around the edges. On the flipside I run the FFR heater. A bit like a solar heater for a swimming pool it allows me to get a bit more use out of my car in cool times. It works surprisingly well even at 100 kph and I'm so glad I did it. Thoroughly recommend.
Visibility. it's a lot like being on a motorbike can't see much behind and windscreen glare means you can't see much ahead either. my car is painted silver and the glare is pretty bad during the middle of day. It is fine when the sun is low which is usually when I tend to go for a drive. I will probably make some sort of temporary dash mat to prevent reflection when I have to drive it during middle of the day.

I am now very satisfied with the car which is a complete turnaround from where I started when I first got it registered. Whatever way you decide to go I hope it works out well for you. Don't hesitate to contact me if I can help you with anything in more detail.

Cheers, Nigel in South Oz.
 

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Have the driver seat re done. More pad, correct thickest, lumbar support, a little extra padding under your legs.

I could drive mine for five hours easy.

Pedals need to be in a good position for your. Same for the steering wheel. Seat on tracks so you can move it.
 

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I'm going to sound like a broken record here but get yourself some Quiet Pipes that I described here before you give up. I don't get the smell thing unless you haven't plugged up the body gaps and sealed the compartment form the engine bay. Most here will never have that issue so should be any eay fix there.

Like Dwight, I can spend MANY hours a day of seat time with no smell and no ear plugs. I bought Richmond style original style seats years ago when they were available from TriStates Motorsports which unfortunately can't be had any longer. Ultra comfy. :smile2: You might try sourcing upgraded seats from ERA or Superformance.



 

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Sell it if you don't like it. Not a hard decision to make, why would you keep something you don't like?
 

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Ear Plugs

I'm running a throttle body efi in mine so exhaust smell is barely noticeable.

With ear plugs in I can go for hours no problem.

Traffic is a whole other issue. It's not my exhaust that drives me crazy it's every other car on the road. I just make sure to check my route and avoid it best I can.

Like other have mentioned, sell it if you don't love it. It's a shame you did not realize what you were getting into at the start. I always tell people it's as raw as riding a Harley only you don't need a helmet.
 

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Gas smell and headache - Clues?

I wonder if you are getting CO2 poisoning??
Make sure you don't have any fuel or exhaust leaks.
Check a spark plug.
Then get the engine tuned properly.
 

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The beauty of these cars is you can build what you want and tailor them to what you want to use them for. I built mine as a street car to travel in. I have throttle body EFI, insulation, a top, under car exhaust, etc. My wife and I don’t hesitate to drive 700+ miles to the mountains for a 3 day cruise with the club. It’s still a relatively “raw” car, but not unpleasant. If you still love the car, you can take steps to make it more what you want. I’ll close with this, one of the best things about these cars is the great people you will meet and the adventures you’ll take.

Best of luck whichever way you decide to go

John
 

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I am still in the planning stages, but have two observations.

1. I was surprised by how raw, noisy and unrefined these cars were when I got my first ride in one. I have since read the future owner thread and have a better idea what I am getting into. I am not dissuaded in the least by this as they are still a Cadillac after riding bikes for most of my life.

2. The gas smell could be tuning related. My donor has a 302 with tons of bolt-ons and I can both create and eliminate horrible exhaust smell just by changing the timing and fuel pressure. I also have a tune-able chip and have been playing with that.
 

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I have GasN pipes with CAT's. They quiet the car down a lot. High back seats seem to help with comfort. They keep the wind from coming around from the back also which helps at freeway+ speeds. Also, extra padding in the seat helps. Carbs can be finicky because they need to be tuned. On a long trip with other Cobra's in Tahoe last year the smell of gas and exhaust was so bad I had to break from the pack to get fresh air. The fumes were filling my cockpit, I had a headache and felt sick. Maybe as others have said you are getting CO2 poisoning.

These cars can be show stoppers, drawing crowds because everyone loves them but are scared to own one. It's a small price to pay for such a beautiful beast. If you stick with it, it'll pay you back in dividends.
 

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I am still in the planning stages, but have two observations.

1. I was surprised by how raw, noisy and unrefined these cars were when I got my first ride in one. I have since read the future owner thread and have a better idea what I am getting into. I am not dissuaded in the least by this as they are still a Cadillac after riding bikes for most of my life.

2. The gas smell could be tuning related. My donor has a 302 with tons of bolt-ons and I can both create and eliminate horrible exhaust smell just by changing the timing and fuel pressure. I also have a tune-able chip and have been playing with that.
1. If there's anything I've learned over the now 10+ years of being around these cars, seeing hundreds, and building several myself, it's there is a huge variation in build quality and how they're equipped. I would be very hesitant to make the statement you did based on one ride without knowing more about it. An open top, overpowered, short wheelbase, and basically race suspension are is not going to be like your father's Oldsmobile. But they can actually be relatively civil depending on how built and equipped. I did a buyer's inspection for an out-of-state buyer this past summer. Was a donor build (not that there's anything wrong with that...) Mk4 with no heat/sound insulation, air pouring into the cockpit, marginal brakes, and just average build quality. I was honestly very surprised how different it was than what I was used to.

2. Agree completely. As I said in an earlier response. A carb'd setup will likely never be as clean an efficient as EFI. But well tuned there's no reason for gas smell to be overwhelming. A nuisance at best. My observation is many drop a carb into their build, maybe do nothing, or maybe swap a few jets. But done right it's more complicated than that and yields big improvements. Most carbs out of the box are extremely rich. They do that on purpose. EFI on the other hand takes a different approach, but also no reason for gas smell to be an issue.
 
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