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1979 Cobra 302 auto

I got rid of my 1970 coupe to make room for amother project fox. A 79 cobra. It appears to be all original, other than wheels and an aftermarket cassette player. It didn't run and has been stored under a tarp. State inspection shows it was last on the road in 2000. There is a lot of surface rust on the top surfaces, but repairable. The only real rust i have found is the rear hatch (I already have a good replacement) and the very bottom of the radiator core support, which will need replaced. Shock towers, frame, floor pans, torque boxes and even the fuel tank are clean.

The driver's seat is trashed, but the rest appear to be fine. I was able to find some nos material to have the one seat recovered.

I filled the crankcase completely full of diesel and let it sit for a week or so, while my hand was healing from a nasty dog bite. Once I regained use of my hand, I was able to turn it over freely. A buddy came over and we tinkered with it. Rebuilt the original 2 barrel carb, did an extensive tune-up, replaced battery and cables, and she fired up. Not running great, but I suspect some vacuum leaks and ground issues. It was pretty crusty under the hood.



I may have already strayed a bit from the "pretty much stock" plan. Hard to pass up a good deal. I planned on having the c4 rebuilt, anyway. I had an extra one lying around so I sent it to a local guy who's well-known for his c4 builds. I got it back the other day. He hooked me up with basically a bulletproof rebuild...kevlar bands, shift kit, etc. He said it could take just about anything I could throw at it.

So I figure what the heck. Let's pick up a 351w. I have some 351w stuff lying around, too. A machined block, intakes, heads, etc. I contacted a buddy who has a running 351w roller motor. So I'm picking that up when I get time. I also spoke to a guy and worked out a trade on one of my extra toploader 4 speeds. So it looks like I'm bringing home another machined 351w block and a new forged 408 rotating assembly.

I always tend to shoot for the stars with these builds, which is why they end up taking so long. But one day, I'll be the coolest 86-yr-old fox body hot rodder in town lol!
any updates on this project?
Well, I'm still collecting parts and junk. I have another buddy with a running 351w. Picking that one up as well. But in the meantime, I did some trading and ended up with a 351w block and 408 stroker rotating assembly. So I definitely have my options! I also may be picking up a fitech stand-alone kit from one of my 351w buddies. I've been on the boat for a month and have to work over an extra week. When I get home, we're headed to VA to visit family for Christmas. I may get to start on some body work, but to be honest, any garage time I have will most likely be spent getting the pace car running.
I forgot to mention that I put new brakes and brake hoses on it. I also got it running enough to get it pulled into the garage. I'm going to try and tune the carb so it will run a little more smoothly. I'd like to sell the motor to make room for the 408w. I dropped off the block and rotating assembly to have it checked out and balanced. He's also going to assemble the short block. I forgot I had a new cam lying around, too. I may use it but need to figure out what kind of power, idle, street manners, etc it will have. I may be better off ordering a new one and using this cam in my 393w build next year.
Got a call from my machine shop guy the other day. Block has been finish honed and checked out fine. The wife is going to drop off a new flex plate and possibly cam this week. Machine shop ordered me a balancer and everything should be ready in another week or two. I'll have to save up for a good set of heads, but that's ok. I'm pretty focused on getting my pace car all buttoned up (mechanically) so I can get it to my buddy's for paint.
Pulled the motor and transmission. Closer look and I found a spot of rust at the passenger frame rail...lower shock tower. Not bad, but I plan on repairing it before it gets any worse.

I also decide to switch directions again. I picked up a low mileage non-ho roller 302 and stripped it down to the short block. Just going to stick with the original plan of a mild-build cruiser. Keeping ac and c4 tranny.

Other than pulling the motor, I haven't really done anything to it. I've been focusing on getting the pace car ready.
Finally home after 5 weeks on the boat. I got off this morning and drove a couple hrs away to pick up a set of old D0OE-C 351w heads. I've jumped around so much on this car, but I'm still in the planning stages, so don't shoot me lol! Anyway, I wasn't even sure if I would use these. I figure if I didn't, they'll end up as a cheap upgrade on the 91 bronco I recently acquired.

But I was pleasantly surprised to find that they weren't exactly stock. They've been upgraded to screw-in rocker studs, upgraded springs with new keepers, new pushrod guide plates, and came with ARP bolts and a set of bushings for 7/16" bolts (to work with 302 bolt size). They literally need cleaned up and bolted on. Oh, and they were shaved down, as well. I'm running similar heads on my 88gt and they make pretty good power.

I'm going to try and do a little work to the car in the next few weeks, so I may be updating this soon.