It has been almost 10 years since the “Terminator” Cobras came out in ’03, and they only lasted two years until a newly designed Mustang was released, yet the cars are so damn good that the performance aftermarket still embraces them. As soon as the ’03/’04 Cobras hit the streets, road courses, and drag strips around the country, they were an immediate force to be reckoned with in the hot street and strip scene. Other than a few minor flaws, they were pretty close to perfect. The aftermarket performance companies saw those flaws and seized the opportunity to embrace them, offering fixes for the supercharged 4-valve engine to make it both more reliable in a performance environment and also create even more power from the already potent powerplant.
Creating more power, however, often requires additional equipment to properly make use of it. More power means more heat, and that’s especially true of a supercharged engine, so in addition to the speed parts, the aftermarket came up with some parts to aid cooling. One of the weak spots on these cars is the factory supercharger surge tank, which carries the water that is circulated through the intercooler mounted underneath the supercharger. The factory tank is made of plastic and doesn’t get along well with the intense heat generated in the engine compartment. Eventually, the plastic will rot or crack, leaving the driver sitting on the side of the freeway, frustrated.
Part Numbers For The Installation:
- Accel Lightning Cable Red #1846
- Accel Lightning Cable Black #1851
- Accel Lightning Screw-On Cable Ends
- Canton Battery Box/Supercharger Surge Tank #80-235ND
- Optima Red Top Battery #8002-002
- Steeda Battery Box #555-3801
- ** If You Want The Complete Kit (Including Hardware) From Steeda, Order #555-3800
Canton’s Battery Box And Supercharger Surge Tank
One of their most popular items for the ’99-’04 Mustangs is the Supercharger Surge Tank. These kits are available for drag racing applications and street-driven or road course applications as well. In the case of the ’04 Cobra, this car has certainly seen plenty of passes at the local drag strip, but it mostly serves as a weekend toy (and in southern California, weekends are still subject to awful traffic). With the car’s clear purpose defined, the Canton Supercharger Surge Tank (non-drag) was the ideal choice for providing a little relief for the factory cooling system while providing better cooling during test and tune days at the track.
This particular tank provides a larger volume container and can be packed with ice when at the dragstrip to really drop engine intake temperatures. The Canton tank goes in place of the small factory unit on the passenger side of the engine compartment, and takes up more space, necessitating the battery relocation to the trunk.
Canton believes in making a high-quality and durable product, which is why every product is TIG welded. TIG welding is a more time consuming process that requires a certain degree of skill, but the results speak for themselves. With improved penetration into each weld and by providing uniform heat throughout the process the likelihood of leaks or cracks is greatly diminished. “Regardless which product it is, (oil pan, tank, or valve cover) everything goes through a series of tests to ensure that it is in-fact leak-free,” said Zeranksi.
Another functional design component is the .100-inch aluminum construction that increases strength and durability, while still being lightweight. Despite the industrial strength construction, the overall unit is aesthetically beautiful thanks to the polished finish and striking attention to detail on the welds that results in a functional and beautiful addition under the hood.
Relocating the Battery to the Trunk With Optima, Accel and Steeda
In order to install the Canton tank, the battery had to be relocated to the trunk of the Cobra, which would require a few additional items to make the switch possible. At this point Dean severed the battery cables in preparation for relocating the battery.
There are numerous options when it comes to securely mounting a battery in a non-factory location, but few are as good looking as those produced by Steeda. The aluminum box offers sturdy construction while adding a little flash at the same time. Depending on the demands of the racer, Steeda offers a variety of options when it comes to relocating the battery—a complete kit that includes the box, cables, and all of the necessary hardware, or a standard box-only option.
Many racers elect to assemble their own mounting kits, cables and tray, but the option of a complete kit makes it easier for those without spare parts laying around. As if there were not enough options, Steeda offers the battery box with their “Hardcore” logo or the iconic Ford logo.
Like all of their products, Steeda put considerable time and effort into designing their battery relocation kit. “During testing, we used a four-wheel digital scale to prove that relocating the battery does in fact help balance the weight distribution during braking and acceleration,” said Glen Vitale of Steeda. “According to our research, by repositioning the battery to the right side of the trunk added 60 pounds over the right rear tire” Translation: better weight distribution resulting reduced nose dive under hard braking.
Thanks to limited the miles this car is driven, the owner has had to replace the battery a few times (due to the battery going dead from lack of use) with cheap batteries from the local parts store. This where Optima Batteries stepped in to give the Cobra a little love with brand new Red Top battery. The Optima Red Top battery is a perfect choice for this particular car because it requires no maintenance and will outlast other batteries thanks to its outstanding shelf life. According to Optima, the Red Top can sit without being used for almost a year and still be able to start the car; making this yet another outstanding reason for selecting the Red Top for this particular application.
Adding a further element of durability and performance, while also reducing weight, was the ACCEL Lightning Cable kit. These cables provide the same amount of starting power as stock battery cables but at half the weight, a reduction of 2.4 pounds for a 20-foot run of cable. The ACCEL cable is easier to route, too, since it’s 37 percent more flexible than an equivalent copper cable. That flexibility also gives the cable superior fatigue resistance for a longer lifespan. You can get it in a variety of gauges and with red and black heat shrink tubing kits.
Better Weight Distribution and Cooling in One Job
Overall, the ’04 Cobra greatly benefited from the well-selected variety of modifications installed at the powerTV’s shop. This heavy car is now enjoying the weight savings and improved weight transfer thanks to the Steeda Battery Relocation Kit. The issues with running warm during the hot summer months are now eliminated thanks to the enhanced cooling capabilities offered by the Canton Supercharger Surge Tank that make the car a lot more traffic friendly. Accel assisted with all of the fine details by providing the lightweight Lightning Cables, connectors, heat shrink, and wrapping materials. And without a doubt, the car will benefit from the long-lasting Optima Red Top battery as it sits underneath a car cover in the garage.