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Kirkham Motorsports

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  • 2 Post By mrmustang
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Old 07-12-2020, 12:18 PM
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Default FF chassis/body distinctions if any

I started looking at FF's an an option for buying a first cobra and wanted to know what if any differences there are between the chassis's and bodys from the mark I to the present model. I know they dropped the foot box at one point and thought they did a body mod too? I understand the newest models have impact crumple zones built into the frame. did they change the body contours in any way etc, a lot of people talk about being able to see the difference in a FF body vs a superformance or backdraft, whats the differance?
personally I think the FF's look flat across the hood/windshield area where as the superformance and ERA's have a rounded crown (which I like). just asking as I have not seen 3 different types of cobras all parked next to each other locally its all FF's.
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Old 07-12-2020, 01:08 PM
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perky butt...
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Old 07-12-2020, 01:14 PM
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The MKIV body received quite a few revisions which resolved some of the earlier “originality” issues. They are pretty nice IMO. There was some issue with the trunk lid handle and mounting the license plate that people were having to do some work around. I would think that has surely been resolved by now.
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Old 07-12-2020, 02:31 PM
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There are marked changes and when you are looking at a specific car, you'll want to know the FFR chassis number:

MK I
Mk I.5 (affectionately known as a tweener, could have backbone in the transmission tunnel, or curved bar for upper trunk, but not both)
MK II (adjustable doorhinges, curved bar in the upper trunk, backbone framing in the transmission tunnel, better mounting for front control arms, more adjustment)
Mk II.5 (some received removable transmission mounts and tweak to rear frame)
MK III (removable transmission mount, wider body flares in rear, slight tweak to rear frame to allow larger wheels and tires, change to front "X" member, tweaks to engine compartment to allow the use of the 4.6L drivetrain)
Mk 3.1 (minor tweak, 1st time offering of the "complete kit"
MK IV (current design, completely revamped chassis, suspension tweak, complete new body)


Do not take the sellers word as to what he/she is selling, which is why the chassis numbers are important to know.

Hope you find this helpful

Bill S.
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Old 07-13-2020, 07:45 AM
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The “perky butt” is no longer an issue with the MKIV from FFR. Below is a summary from someone who has a FF MKIV and a colleagues BDR. He has a few pics and I see if I can post them.


- The driver side door doesn't align as well as the passenger. Maybe just an issue with this BDR but interesting as I thought this was just a FFR issue.
- The gap around the rear wheels looks about the same to me. This never really bothered me but some have pointed it out as an area they wish were different.
- The BDR has more "rake" on the nose. Not a bad look, just different.
- The radiator opening on the FFR is larger. I would not have noticed this if they were side by side. I like the larger opening better but that is just my opinion. Oh, I might be a little biased.
- The rear on the BDR sits a little higher. At least that is what it looks like to me. In all fairness, our ride heights might be the majority of this difference.

Last edited by KDubU; 07-13-2020 at 07:47 AM..
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Old 07-13-2020, 05:14 PM
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thanks for the responses, I have been a cobra adnorer for over 30 years and have vowed to make this year the year I get one and ditch the C3 corvette (which was also a bucket list car) that I have a love hate relationship with due to its inherent design flaws for servicing parts. In a perfect world and time I was hoping to score a used Superformance after selling a few toys (race cars) but due to the covid and the economy no less then 6 buyers have bailed due to funding. so I decided to try to score a much more affordable used FF cobra. I do like them I just seem to be finding a lot of Mrk I and II's and want to know if they are updatable or whats "bad" about them if I end up with one. Like I stated before the one thing I think the FF's dont have is that nice hood/cowl bow in the middle, they seem flat and the roll bar is too narrow and too tall for my taste. I appreciate the input from the forum.
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Old 07-13-2020, 05:20 PM
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This was posted on here some time ago. It shows comparisons of most if not all of the Cobra models. Compare car profiles
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Old 07-13-2020, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the shadow View Post
thanks for the responses, I have been a cobra adnorer for over 30 years and have vowed to make this year the year I get one and ditch the C3 corvette (which was also a bucket list car) that I have a love hate relationship with due to its inherent design flaws for servicing parts. In a perfect world and time I was hoping to score a used Superformance after selling a few toys (race cars) but due to the covid and the economy no less then 6 buyers have bailed due to funding. so I decided to try to score a much more affordable used FF cobra. I do like them I just seem to be finding a lot of Mrk I and II's and want to know if they are updatable or whats "bad" about them if I end up with one. Like I stated before the one thing I think the FF's dont have is that nice hood/cowl bow in the middle, they seem flat and the roll bar is too narrow and too tall for my taste. I appreciate the input from the forum.
I've owned quite a few FFR's from very early (white gelcoat body) to 3.1's, have not owned a MK IV, but have seen a number of them both in raw kit form as well as finished products. I believe if you start with a MK II and up chassis (FFR 2300 and up for the earlier cars) you can find a nicely done, wonderfully driving car. Personally, I suggest finding a car with a 3 link rear, or IRS, stay away from the straight axle with quad shocks. Once you drive it, you'll understand where I am going with this mindset. Depending on your location, wipers and a heater is suggested as well. Top is optional, and I can honestly say, after 20+ years of Cobra ownership (various makes and models), I've only used a convertible top 9 times that I can remember. 7 of them with SWMBO insisting due to the cold weather., the other 2 times, because of the heavy rain storm I was driving through on a 400 mile trip. Expect the top to keep you as dry as any vintage British convertible. In other words, expect to get slightly wet in places.

Once again, hope you find this helpful.

Bill S.
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Old 07-13-2020, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanEC View Post
The MKIV body received quite a few revisions which resolved some of the earlier “originality” issues. They are pretty nice IMO. There was some issue with the trunk lid handle and mounting the license plate that people were having to do some work around. I would think that has surely been resolved by now.
Some people make brackets out of flat stock. I just drilled new holes in the plate at the appropriate location.
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Old 07-13-2020, 06:35 PM
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I have a MkIV, my first Cobra. Jumped in without ever sitting in one. The perky butt was mentioned previously. The only heads up about the new body, it looks great, the inside of the trunk is only about 8" tall. Considerably less room than any other. Not generally a problem unless I'm taking a trip with the wife. Then it gets cramped.
FFR puts the battery smack dab in the center of the biggest area in the trunk. It can be relocated into the trunk floor, I don't know where the shop got the kit from, or in front of the engine, from Breeze Automotive.
Good luck,
Mark
If it matters, SPF and ERA seem to have the roomiest trunk.
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Old 07-13-2020, 06:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the shadow View Post
I started looking at FF's an an option for buying a first cobra and wanted to know what if any differences there are between the chassis's and bodys from the mark I to the present model. I know they dropped the foot box at one point and thought they did a body mod too? I understand the newest models have impact crumple zones built into the frame. did they change the body contours in any way etc, a lot of people talk about being able to see the difference in a FF body vs a superformance or backdraft, whats the differance?
personally I think the FF's look flat across the hood/windshield area where as the superformance and ERA's have a rounded crown (which I like). just asking as I have not seen 3 different types of cobras all parked next to each other locally its all FF's.
I don't have the earlier generations, but this shows a Mk3 and Mk4. Please excuse the crappy Mk3 image.

https://www.amazon.ca/photos/share/2...KDzYDVFC0fHQAN
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Old 07-14-2020, 03:38 AM
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Personally I have had a FF MKIV and it was a really nice roadster. If I had unlimited funds I would consider a CSX, Kirkham or ERA. Next down from that level I would consider a BDR, Unique or FF, the latter two look more like the original to me, maybe not to others. BDR’s can look really sharp so don’t get me wrong, I would take one. Unique makes some really nice replicas, FF sells a lot more. A FF well built, with a good drivetrain and agree about the 3-link or IRS Bill stated (listen to him, he knows Cobra replicas), will do you very well. I have seen some built okay but a bit messy in the engine bay which to me I don’t like but that is personal preference.
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Old 07-14-2020, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MKS427 View Post
I have a MkIV, my first Cobra. Jumped in without ever sitting in one. The perky butt was mentioned previously. The only heads up about the new body, it looks great, the inside of the trunk is only about 8" tall. Considerably less room than any other. Not generally a problem unless I'm taking a trip with the wife. Then it gets cramped.
FFR puts the battery smack dab in the center of the biggest area in the trunk. It can be relocated into the trunk floor, I don't know where the shop got the kit from, or in front of the engine, from Breeze Automotive.
Good luck,
Mark
If it matters, SPF and ERA seem to have the roomiest trunk.
explain the "perky butt" please, is it the shape your talking about?
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Old 07-14-2020, 03:46 PM
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after seeing the comparison pictures i understand the "perky butt" remark. LOL lots of good info thanks guys.

I messed with and raced 5.0 fox bodies for years (got into the 9's with my street car) and ran a modified 8.8, just wondering why I could not strip the god awful quad shocks and stock suspension junk off an earlier FF rear and replace it all with aftermarket suspension and double adjustable tubular links, they are great rears once you get rid of the flaws. is there no room under those cars to
allow aftermarket modifications the rears?
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Old 07-14-2020, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the shadow View Post
after seeing the comparison pictures i understand the "perky butt" remark. LOL lots of good info thanks guys.

I messed with and raced 5.0 fox bodies for years (got into the 9's with my street car) and ran a modified 8.8, just wondering why I could not strip the god awful quad shocks and stock suspension junk off an earlier FF rear and replace it all with aftermarket suspension and double adjustable tubular links, they are great rears once you get rid of the flaws. is there no room under those cars to
allow aftermarket modifications the rears?
Probably best to ask that question in the FF forum on CC, or on Factory Five's own forums.
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Old 07-15-2020, 02:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the shadow View Post
after seeing the comparison pictures i understand the "perky butt" remark. LOL lots of good info thanks guys.

I messed with and raced 5.0 fox bodies for years (got into the 9's with my street car) and ran a modified 8.8, just wondering why I could not strip the god awful quad shocks and stock suspension junk off an earlier FF rear and replace it all with aftermarket suspension and double adjustable tubular links, they are great rears once you get rid of the flaws. is there no room under those cars to
allow aftermarket modifications the rears?
You can easily switch from quad shocks (factory Ford style) to rear coil overs, but you would still want to retrofit in a 3 link as it offers a more predictable handling both on the street, and on the track. That is not to say you could not track the car without it, my first two FFR's only had the coil overs in the rear, and after a quick learning curve, I could easily predict the rear ends limits, sliding around corners or chicane's with a smile on my face. The 3 link just made that better, and even added a bit of speed for me in those same exact situations at tracks on the east coast. Well worth the money to install in whatever car you decide to purchase, if it is an FFR.



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