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Topics - Dan Case

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CSX2001-CSX2589 Cobras and potential clutch system parts compatibility issues.

If you are working on an original CSX2001-CSX2589 Cobra and the car has problems with getting a clutch system back together or it has operational problems, you might want to be aware of some technical topics. All manual transmission CSX2 prefix Cobras, which was all but sixteen each late cars (one prototype and fifteen production cars) and one prototype car used with a FE engine, were equipped with some variant of some model year five bolt bell housing design 260 or 289 c.i.d. engine. The vast majority of these cars came with 1963 or 1964 model year 289 High Performance engines.

In no particular order:

1)   Engine cylinder block assemblies of the five bolt design bell housing type must use the clutch release lever made for 260/289 five bolt design original engines. If somebody installs the design of lever introduced for 1965 model year 289 six bolt engines, the clutch system will not work properly as the functional lengths of features are different. I have been contacted a few times over several years where this was a problem when the installer was not aware that not all levers were the same functionally.

2)   Pilot tips of factory original equipment Borg-Warner T-10 transmissions for 260/289 engines and any Ford FE engine are different with the big block model gears having shorter pilot tips. If a input from a FE engine transmission is used with a 260/289 engine, a special pilot bearing is required to capture the tip of the input shaft.

3)   Some Cobras, street and race, used a gear set with an input adopted from a General Motors version of T-10 transmission. The spline count is the same as the Ford part but the diameter is different. A clutch disc assembly designed for a Ford 260/289 engine of any version alone will not fit!

K (high nickel) set = installed into aluminum cased Cobra transmissions, street and race, introduced sometime in the CSX22xx range it is believed, example CSX2246 had a K set originally, our black car CSX2310 was fitted with a K set. (The K gear ratios originated in some high performance GM cars.) Listed as the alternate gear set in the February 1964 Cobra reconfirmation of registration for roadsters and coupes with the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (F.I.A.) race sanctioning organization. Application Notes:  1) The Ford 289 High Performance clutch disc will not work with the K set input. A disc that will work with the GM input is required because the outer diameters of the Ford and GM splines are different. I used a McLeod® part number 260240 disc in CSX2310 and it has served very well for decades. 2) The pilot tip of the GM design input shaft is smaller in diameter than the O.E. Ford T-10 transmissions and that requires the use of a suitable pilot bearing in the rear end of the engine crankshaft.

4) Not a parts compatibility issue but something to consider, a COBRA lettered cast steel safety bell housing (a.k.a. scatter shield).  After seeing pictures of what happens when there is a flywheel or clutch failure in a Cobra using a stock die cast aluminum bell housing, I have zero interest in sitting in a Cobra with the engine running without a safety bell housing in use. The COBRA lettered models, there were several slight variations over time, are wonderful THE FIRST TIME they have to contain a problem. I have seen the aftermath of a flywheel / clutch failure in a friend’s race car with a tachometer tell tale indicating the engine was running over 9,000 rpm when the failure occurred. The driver was not injured. The car chassis was not damaged. The engine and transmission were both seriously damaged, but all the major projectiles were contained. The COBRA housing did not fracture anywhere but it was deformed seriously and deemed not useable anymore.

Safety Housing Side Bar: The manufacturer also sold the same design with “WEDGE” (one of their trade names) or “TIGER” lettering. Other companies made their own versions of safety housings in cast steel for five bolt bell housing engines that work fine in original Cobras.

How about COB/COX60 prefix leaf spring car chassis? Based on records available, most of the cars used five bolt bell housing design engines. Some late cars used six bolt bell housing design engines. It would be important stock parts wise to use the correct lever for the type of cylinder block design used.

For your information…

The 2023 edition of the International Mustang Meet (the 44th year) is to be held in Fairmont Hot Springs (Anaconda Montana) hosted by the Bridger Mountain Ford Club based in Bozeman Montana.

For more information the website is:

Wanted: Unrestored Ford 4100-A 4V carburetor marked C3OF-AJ. If that is not tough enough I am looking for a great core with its assembly tag still attached and dated 3LB.

Thanks for looking.

Wanted: I am looking for a good to excellent condition Ford cast iron 289 4V intake manifold marked C4OE-9425-B and a B machining pattern stamp that was cast during the second half of January 1964.

Thanks for looking.

Wanted To Buy: Excellent used, Ford authorized remanufactured, or new old stock 1963 design 289 High Performance Clutch Pressure Plate(s)

Also of interest would be the 1967 model year design.

Thanks for looking.

Wanted to Buy / WTB: Cast Aluminum Sheave and Fan for early Cobras
« on: February 27, 2022, 10:01:13 AM »
Wanted To Buy: I am searching for a cast aluminum generator sheave with integral fan for an early Cobra restoration. An original part preferred but an authentic copy would do.

The original for CSX2034 is shown below.

Thanks for looking.

CSX 2000 Series / O.E.M. Iron Intake Components
« on: November 10, 2021, 03:43:09 PM »
If you have what you believe is the original Ford cast iron 4V intake manifold that left Shelby American in a new Cobra from about CSX2160 through the end of production, I would like to see what you have. I would like clear close up pictures of some of the ancillary components used. I am working on my list of parts that changed over time. Please send me a message through this forum.


Dan Case

Wanted to Buy / WTB: Weber carburetor parts
« on: July 09, 2021, 11:00:47 AM »
Wanted to buy. I am looking for good used to new old stock E. Weber carburetor pre-1970 parts as listed in the picture. No reproductions please, I am aware of reproductions of various pieces from sources here and abroad.

Some parts originated in the late 1950s for Jaguar XK 120C and 140D engines or some versions of Porsche engines. Some parts were widely used in the 1950s and into the early 1960s. Using 1950s E. Weber data sheets and some Shelby American information I built a cross reference of models using the same parts.

(None of these parts were used in 48 IDA, 48 IDA 1, 46 IDA 2, 46 IDA 3, or 48 IDA 4 assemblies.)

Thanks for looking.

A relatively small number of late Cobras were fitted with HP289 engines built for use with automatic transmission and C4 automatic transmissions. I have failed to find any new car road tests showing the engine compartment of one of these cars. I have seen a factory advertisement showing the gear lever in a cockpit.

Now I am seeking new car pictures that original owners might have taken of their new toys. Know of any? I sure would like to get copies as we have some questions on how the engine installations were completed.

Thanks for looking.

CSX 2000 Series / COBRA 'DROP IN ANY MAIL BOX" medallion and key chain
« on: November 07, 2020, 10:50:18 AM »
Here's a sample of a original key chain and factory key set for a CSX2201 and later Cobra 1963-64. Take notice of the Ford ignition key. Cars before CSX2201 used a British Lucas brand ignition switch and key. I have no idea when this was introduced but the medallion art is the same as the S1CS-C mascot emblem introduced with CSX2133 being the first known car to get them.

Its return address is in Venice. They are plated brass or maybe bronze. Lost key sets could be mailed back to Shelby American with the presumed idea they could get the keys to the owner. Automobile insurance companies and some clubs use to provide that key return service.

As far as I know they were included in new Cobra purchases mid 1963 and 1964 until the move to Imperial Highway 1965. After the move there was a new Imperial Highway return address version.

The current auction offering (early November 2020) is missing the chain and ring clasp. Intact original factory key return key fobs and chains are rare. Most I have seen had little plating left on the medallion. Some were severely worn down by years of riding in pockets with other metal. A really nice one has been, on my scale, very expensive since the 1980s.

There was a very different version made in pewter sold as an accessory concurrent to the brass one with new cars. The pewter accessory does not have a mailing address on them.

Appeals / Help Wanted on an Australian parts purchase.
« on: October 27, 2020, 11:53:04 AM »
Is there anyone in Australia on the form that would be a go between on an eBay® Australia purchase?

There is a listing for some parts at AU$14.50 each. I would like to buy two or four but the seller does not offer postage to the U.S.A.

Wanted to Buy / WTB: Weber 48 IDM air horns
« on: August 06, 2020, 05:15:00 PM »
Wanted To Buy: 2 each 48 IDM Weber carburetor air horns that are not bent up or dented. Slight rusting would not be a problem.  (My spares for 48 IDAs won't fit.)

Thanks for looking. Please send me a PM if you can help.


Wanted To Buy
I am looking for up to four (4) each of the Weber carburetor inlet banjo fitting assemblies shown below. They were used on various sizes of sand cast body and cover 45, 46, and 48 IDM carburetors between roughly 1955 and summer 1963.

Thanks for looking. Send me a PM if you have some available or a lead to check into.

Concours Talk / Some of the BF32 variants before about 1967
« on: February 15, 2020, 03:22:42 PM »
Just for fun, some of the early versions of BF32 spark plugs. THIS IS IN NO WAY A COMPLETE CIRCA 1956-1966 COVERAGE.  This is just a sampling of some of the versions I have collected to cover the three basic designs.  Two manufacturers made these plugs. The BF32 was just one of the cooler temperature range ‘racing’ spark plugs THE ELECTRIC AUTO-LITE COMPANY made in the mid 1950s for automobiles and believe it or not aircraft. Over decades of time this company sold multiple lines of automotive products under the AUTO-LITE® and AUTOLITE® brand names.

The Ford Motor Company purchased the Autolite brand and some parts designs in mid 1962 from The Electric Auto-Lite Company.  What Ford bought name and design wise became a division of Ford.

Sample packaging; this is not all of the versions before about 1967, just the ones I have collected.

Sample parts; this is not all the exact in small details versions made over a ten year span, just the three basic designs. 

Far Left: The Electric Auto-Lite Company original design.

Middle: The Electric Auto-Lite Company design in use when Cobras were created. Ford Motor Company made, sold, and used the same design. That means this version can be found in packages from both companies. This was the design installed by the Ford engine assembly plant building 1963½ and 1964 HP289 engines at least through August 25, 1964. I know about Cobras but Fairlanes and Mustangs after that I don’t. 

Far Right: Ford Motor Company redesign to solve field service issue. I lost my copy of the Ford T.S.B. on the subject but owners were experience significant insulator failures (cracks) and subsequent current leakage (misfiring).  I wish I could find that T.S.B. because it, from memory, stated that the engine plant was going to continue using the three rib insulator plugs until supplies were exhausted. Dealers were instructed to replace original equipment three rib plugs with new improved five rib plugs if customers had any problems.  Surprise, new cars used one part and the service part sold another.  (Ditto BF42 spark plugs.)

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