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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 06-19-2003, 09:14 PM
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Default John Speed cobra manufacturer...anyone heard of them????

I have never owned a Cobra. I am looking at purchasing a pre owned component. It is a John Speed car out of South Africa.

Does anyone know anything about this Cobra manufacturer John Speed? Any John Speed owners out there? What is the reputation, quality? Is there any problems associated with owning an overseas built car?

This car has 351-C with a Jaguar suspension and Jag trans and rear end, i am worried the trans and rear end wont hold up to the abuse that the 351-C will give it. How strong are the Jaguar parts?

I have owned alot of different types of performance cars Ferrari, Porsche, Corvette and various muscle cars, none of which have the brute feel of this Cobra. Its almost frightening to drive...I love it. I am in the Dallas area if that matters.

One more thing. The engine apears to be off center. It sits about 1-2 inches closer to the drivers side. Is this normal?

If anyone can help me I would much appreciate it.

Last edited by 2manycarz; 06-19-2003 at 09:16 PM..
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Old 06-19-2003, 09:21 PM
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2 many,

never heard of ..........Jag rearends are pretty common in these cars (including mine) and im putting around 500 bhp to it with no problems..........never heard of any one running a Jag gearbox....but things I never heard of is a pretty long list.

unless you are stealing this car , i would look at a couple others.

gooluck KK
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Old 06-19-2003, 09:31 PM
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KobraKarl

Thanks for your quick reply. 500 bhp to the Jag rear end, what model Jag do they get these rear ends from?
Do they make aftermarket half shafts and gears? What kind of tires do you run and what ET does your car run? I am considering a NOS cheater system, is that too much?
Thanks
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Old 06-19-2003, 10:12 PM
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2many,

A lot of Jag rearends are from 60's e-type, but also from 70's sedans, the most popular being the full locker. A lot of us run the original e-type half shafts, but many also use tube type aftermarket half shafts from CWI or Accurate Machine ...and some custom others. Do watch out for shortened sedan forged shafts, the welds are known to fail with catastrphic results.

I run 15" compomotives with 10" BFG's ....I dont drag race so I dont have a known et...

nos .....Too much???? too much is just right..I got my hands full without it .

KK
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Old 06-20-2003, 06:19 AM
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2many, Johnspeed I believe is the old name for what is now known as Backdraft Racing. It is indeed built in South Africa but the rear suspension is actually a BMW irs unit, not Jaguar. The cockpit and wheelbaseis are a few inches longer than original specs but unlike most "stretched" Cobras, it does not have such an obvious effect on the lines and proportioning of the car. Look up Backdraft Racing or do a search on this site using the keywords "johnspeed" or "backdraft" . There's lots of info available.
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Old 06-20-2003, 07:21 AM
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BUZZ is correct.
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Old 06-20-2003, 09:11 AM
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2Many,

Here is the Johnspeed web site:

http://www.johnspeedcobra.co.za/pg1.htm

I have a friend here in Denver, Ray Blitstein, who has owned two Johnspeeds and has a couple more due to arrive in late July. The Johnspeed does use BMW suspension and they are not associated with Backdraft, as I understand. Please email me and I can get you more information.

Keith Hall
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Old 06-20-2003, 11:42 AM
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2many

I KNOW ONE GUY PERSONALLY WHO OWN ONE. HE LIKES IT. THE ONLY PROBLEM HE HAS MENTIONED WAS REAR TRANS MOUNT BOLT THAT SHEARED SOMEHOW AND WAS EASILY REPLACED.

JOHN USED TO LIVE IN S. FLA AND I'VE SPOKEN TO HIM MANY TIMES BUT NOT FOR OVER A YEAR. HE SEEMED KNOWLEDGEABLE AND I'VE HEARD, VERY ACCOMODATING.

B. SMITH

THE CARS WERE SHIPPED WITH A FABULOUS S. AFRICAN PAINT JOB AND YES THEY ARE SIMILAR TO THE BACKDRAFT COBRA.
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Old 06-22-2003, 04:11 AM
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2 manycarz First names are nice. CWI out of Cali does alot of jag rears and improved parts. This rear is good for 450hp to 500 hp AS LONG AS YOU DON"T USE SLICKS. This rear was not designed for this abuse. CWI will send you a center section with better gears chrome moly stub shafts and rear cover support for the rear caps in the rear. You would have to asked on the price. If you buy a Jag rear you are looking for the old style from sedan or XKE The axle housing have 5 bolts holding them in and the calipers come with the parking park mounted to them. The older rears have better metal. Old Kit car mags have this info in them. Gear ratio or on a tag on the back cover with a posi tube tag if not removed. Gear ratios are 2.88,3.07,3.31,3.54,3.73,4.09,4.27,and 4.56. If you are running 1 5 speed with overdrive, 3.07 or 3.31 is my favorite. You can buy heavy duty posi carriers with 30 spline stub shafts. Bullet proof. If you are like most cobra owners this car will become a work in progress. You will change things to the car if you get the racing BUG I like autocross and roadcourse, it does less pounding to the drive train than drag racing. If you use BFG tires you will not be as fast, but the grip on these tire will help save the repair bills and brakeage. I have 15 inch tires for the road and 17 inch tires for the track. The differents between night and day. Hope this helps Rick Lake
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Old 06-22-2003, 12:16 PM
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Thanks Rick

When you say 450-500hp is that a standard jag rear end or the modified version you discussed?

What can a std jag rear end take with street tires?

Brian
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Old 06-22-2003, 11:47 PM
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2manycarz Brain thats a standard rear. The abuse is what will tell you how long it will live. If the rearend is set up correctly, backlash, pinion depth, all new bearings, seals, fluid and a carrier with good clutch pack, you could go 80-100 thousand miles. Wear and tear tells life span. I did my rear myself and it lasted 4 1/2 miles and a new stub shaft bearing broke. I know guys with 20 thousand hard racing miles and never had a problem. Luck of the draw. Hope this helps. Rick Lake
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Old 06-28-2021, 06:25 AM
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Hello, I just purchased a John Speed in the USA. Any other owners in the USA? Thanks
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Old 06-28-2021, 10:28 AM
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A couple of thoughts,


Torque vs Horsepower

Torque not horsepower is what breaks transmissions (and rear ends). If I have 800 hp but it comes at 10,000 rpm that only requires 420 ft/bs of torque. If I have another 800 HP engine but it comes at 3000 rpm that requires 1400 ft/lbs of torque. Guess which one is most demanding on the drive train?

Worthy of mention, but not a fix, is the fact that if you can't hook up (usually the case) it may not matter until you actually get to a better road surface and then it will — big time.


Fidelity to the Original Cobra's Appearance

The longer you own your car the more self critical you will become. Things like fit and finish that perhaps did not bother you initially become more of an issue the longer you own the car and the more often you park near high fidelity examples. This frequently accounts for the resale and repurchasing activity that some owners find themselves all too frequently engaged in.

When you look at his website the first car on the first page has a fit and finish problem with how the door and body fit together. This is uncool and the longer you own it the less cool it will become.

Some of the other pictures of his cars on his site show cars with a body that appears to 'droop' in the front and the back. Park your car near another car that does not 'droop' and you will begin your own journey down that replacement path where you sell the current Cobra and buy that 'next' Cobra.

Take your time, be critical of obvious visual departures from accepted visual and construction norms (whatever that means) and don't be shy about spending a bit more to get what you are looking for because you will spend a lot more later if you begin the sell and re-purchase syndrome.


Ed
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Old 06-28-2021, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaider View Post
A couple of thoughts,

Torque vs Horsepower

Torque not horsepower is what breaks transmissions (and rear ends). If I have 800 hp but it comes at 10,000 rpm that only requires 420 ft/bs of torque. If I have another 800 HP engine but it comes at 3000 rpm that requires 1400 ft/lbs of torque. Guess which one is most demanding on the drive train?
Ed
Not quite accurate. You have to figure in the transmission and differential ratios in the torque that's delivered to the axles.

Torque to the axle= engine torque x transmission ratio x differential ratio.
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Old 06-28-2021, 12:37 PM
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Ed & Bob, are you guys on the right thread?
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Old 06-28-2021, 01:35 PM
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And then if I'm being more daring, I'll add a touch of cinnamon before a speckling of brown sugar.
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Old 06-28-2021, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strictlypersonl View Post
Not quite accurate. You have to figure in the transmission and differential ratios in the torque that's delivered to the axles.

Torque to the axle= engine torque x transmission ratio x differential ratio.

You are right about the trans and differential ratios and their effect on the load the transmission and rear axle internals see, Bob. I was just trying to dumb it down.

For the readers who are trying to understand what we are talking about, it goes (simplistically) like this;

If the transmission has to pull against a tall ring an pinion the internal loading the transmission gears will see is greater than if the transmission has to pull against a short ring and pinion. Tall means a ratio like 3.08 and short means a ratio like 5.12 to sort of put markers on the fairway.

When you have a 5.12 ring and pinion you take load away from the transmission and the ring and pinion sees the increased loading with a corresponding reduction in load on the transmission internals.

Similarly when you have a 3.08 ring and pinion the load on the transmission internals to produce the same torque at the tire patch on the ground goes up in proportion to the reduction in rear end gear ratio.

That said it takes substantially more strength to process a 1400 ft/lb torque load at the flywheel than it does to process a 400 ft/lb torque load at the flywheel. In the end, increased torque loading will be what precipitates the component failure for the weakest component in the drivetrain.

There is also an impact effect that is more significant to pay attention to in drag cars than other types of performance cars. When you are at the starting line and the engine is at 6,000 rpm or higher when the light goes yellow and you drop the clutch there is a sudden and frightful impact that all components in the drive train need to be able to absorb without failure. The stickier the tires and the more aggressive the clutch friction materials the more significant this phenomena is.

The moment you get away from big sticky tires and high rpm launches this phenomena basically disappears.


Ed
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Last edited by eschaider; 06-30-2021 at 07:43 AM.. Reason: Spelling & Grammar
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Old 06-28-2021, 08:13 PM
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So yes get the John Speed
From what I read with good tires and 4:88 gears it will pop a wheelie
Better get 5 point belts

Wyatt
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Old 06-29-2021, 04:47 AM
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These cars are light, neither takes much to move them
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Old 03-24-2023, 06:01 AM
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Quote:
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Hello, I just purchased a John Speed in the USA. Any other owners in the USA? Thanks
i just bought one as well, florida
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