Installation Time: Full Day
May 25, 2012
"Direct Fit" Does Not Apply.
First, I think for the price, performance, and build quality coupled with a lifetime warranty this can't be beat. Period.
However, "direct fit" does not apply. There are more than a few fit-ment issues a potential buyer should be aware of. Let me list the top five or so fit-ment issues for a 1999 Cobra:
1. Mounts: You can use them and actually the bottom mounts fit nicely. The top mounts 'fit', barely. Once bolted in they are stressed and putting a lot of stress on the rubber top mounts.
2. ABS module. For models with an ABS module you can either install it and live with the lines being in contact with the cooling fan mount, you can drill more holes in your frame and move the entire ABS unit back 2-3 inches, OR you can do what I did, simply (and carefully) bend the line inwards towards the module. Once done I have almost an inch of clearance and it took only 2-3 minutes.
3. A/C suction line specifically, both lines are affected. With the stock condenser and mounts in play, the radiator rests against the lines right as they leave the condenser. There's no bending these. You'll need to either re-mount the condenser, re-mount the radiator, or what I did.. I ordered a new condenser just to make sure I had max airflow and the way it mounts allows you plenty of side to side movement to adjust. BUT this still leaves the suction line. You've pushed out the radiator, hoses, fan, etc, about 2-3 inches with this new radiator and this hose no longer fits in the same place. CAREFULLY bend the switch and charge port into a better position WITHOUT putting stress on the welds. I did this by using two 3/4 inch wrenches, one to isolate and the other to gently bend.
4. Hoses: Yep, when you push the hose outlets out 2-3 inches then your top/bottom hoses become 2-3 inches too long. You'll need to cut these to fit and NOT just push them back with extra length which will kink or fold.
5. Fan connector loom which includes the AC switch that connects to the A/C suction line. You've pushed it out 2-3 inches and the loom is now too short. I was able to free up just enough extra length from inside the frame supports near the fender..
6. Cooling fan. It fits surprisingly well to the radiator. The bosses are welded in the right place and this part goes well. However, you've pushed the radiator out 2-3 inches and there's a lot of small hoses, connectors, etc.. to now create clearance issues. You'll need to spend some time with each individual line to move/bend/fit it so there are no more clearance issues.
7. Any piping, hoses, wiring looms.. be sure you have 2-3 inches of extra room so this radiator can fit properly.
Overall I think this is a great product, but if you want to do this right and not have issues later.. then you'll need to fit this properly and account for those 2-3 inches where it pushes the radiator outwards.
I also took this opportunity to run new hoses, thermostat, expansion tank, SC piping, etc, etc.. Overall I'm very pleased. But none of these parts were really "direct fit", they all required time and thought to effect the best fit.