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This post is on FB where some dude is going to be selling a 2000 COBRA R. The thing that caught everyone's eye though is that the owner has 4 of this rare car (and that 93 COBRA too)!! That's crazy considering how low numbers these were. I know @Goose17 has 1 which is awesome.

Think you have to join the FB group to see the link, so here's the post pic:

View attachment 227762
First question for ANY 1995 or 2000 Cobra R purchase.......When was the Fuel Safe Fuel Cell Bladder last serviced (replaced)? When I had the "dreaded drip" fuel leak with my 1995 Cobra R the "bladder only" from Fuel Safe was $1600, that was approx. 2005/06 when the car was 10 years old, I am sure the bladder cost (not including installation) has gone up since that time 15+ years ago? <<Last I heard a few years ago the bladder was $2000. The 2000 Cobra R is in the same boat, a fuel bladder that has a planned expiration of about 5 years, although some last longer and when the leak does happen, the garage smells like raw fuel, you walk in and think "that must be the lawn mower?".............only to find "The Dreaded Drip" of fuel spreading across the floor under the rear of your 1995/2000 R-Model. I never had a problem with my 2000 Cobra R, but it was only 8 years old when I sold it............The 1993 Cobra R has a regular production fuel tank, no leaking bladder issues there......

The amount of miles (or lack of) on the car has nothing to do with the bladder failure, it is all about time.......

R
 

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First question for ANY 1995 or 2000 Cobra R purchase.......When was the Fuel Safe Fuel Cell Bladder last serviced (replaced)? When I had the "dreaded drip" fuel leak with my 1995 Cobra R the "bladder only" from Fuel Safe was $1600, that was approx. 2005/06 when the car was 10 years old, I am sure the bladder cost (not including installation) has gone up since that time 15+ years ago? <<Last I heard a few years ago the bladder was $2000. The 2000 Cobra R is in the same boat, a fuel bladder that has a planned expiration of about 5 years, although some last longer and when the leak does happen, the garage smells like raw fuel, you walk in and think "that must be the lawn mower?".............only to find "The Dreaded Drip" of fuel spreading across the floor under the rear of your 1995/2000 R-Model. I never had a problem with my 2000 Cobra R, but it was only 8 years old when I sold it............The 1993 Cobra R has a regular production fuel tank, no leaking bladder issues there......

R
I have concluded the fuel cell leaks are caused by storing the car with a full tank. My car has sat with little fuel since day-1 and now 22+ years later, the original cell shows no signs of issues.
 

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I have concluded the fuel cell leaks are caused by storing the car with a full tank. My car has sat with little fuel since day-1 and now 22+ years later, the original cell shows no signs of issues.
Could be a fuel thing, I never filled my 95R or my 00R but I had no idea of previous owner habits when fueling. When I removed my 95R fuel cell bladder it was basically powder, all of it, top to bottom. What once was a sealing film around the flexible bladder had turned into powder allowing fuel to get out of the bladder and into the metal tank and then the dreaded drip out of the weep hole on the bottom passenger side front corner......

When buying these cars used, there is no set way an owner previously filled or didn't fill the car, and in reality, if you get one that has not been serviced or has been serviced since new but has a "well past date" certificate from Fuel Safe, you can be in for an unexpected expense that is not chump change. A garage full of raw fuel fumes can go way beyond a $2000+ Fuel Cell repair.........

It should just be noted that this $2000+ Fuel Safe fuel cell repair can be a recurring expense during ownership and many buyers know nothing about this...........There have been many discussions related to this on the SVTPerf.com Cobra R Forum.......even building a tank to "appear" like the Fuel Safe fuel cell but with no bladder........

My question is........How long will Fuel Safe continue to offer the 1995 and 2000 Cobra R bladders which are unique to each MY car? The bladders have all fuel system emissions and safety related features for a street legal car, those are not features included in a race car fuel safe tank, so what happens when Fuel Safe discontinues replacement bladders?

AND YES!!! The 2000 Cobra R is one of the Coolest cars I have ever owned, Very Unique! But any of the R-Models are not so fun in Florida with no-A/C.......In the summer (actually most of the year) they end up being morning and/or evening cars.......

R
 

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Could be a fuel thing, I never filled my 95R or my 00R but I had no idea of previous owner habits when fueling. When I removed my 95R fuel cell bladder it was basically powder, all of it, top to bottom. What once was a sealing film around the flexible bladder had turned into powder allowing fuel to get out of the bladder and into the metal tank and then the dreaded drip out of the weep hole on the bottom passenger side front corner......

When buying these cars used, there is no set way an owner previously filled or didn't fill the car, and in reality, if you get one that has not been serviced or has been serviced since new but has a "well past date" certificate from Fuel Safe, you can be in for an unexpected expense that is not chump change. A garage full of raw fuel fumes can go way beyond a $2000+ Fuel Cell repair.........

It should just be noted that this $2000+ Fuel Safe fuel cell repair can be a recurring expense during ownership and many buyers know nothing about this...........There have been many discussions related to this on the SVTPerf.com Cobra R Forum.......even building a tank to "appear" like the Fuel Safe fuel cell but with no bladder........

My question is........How long will Fuel Safe continue to offer the 1995 and 2000 Cobra R bladders which are unique to each MY car? The bladders have all fuel system emissions and safety related features for a street legal car, those are not features included in a race car fuel safe tank, so what happens when Fuel Safe discontinues replacement bladders?

AND YES!!! The 2000 Cobra R is one of the Coolest cars I have ever owned, Very Unique! But any of the R-Models are not so fun in Florida with no-A/C.......In the summer (actually most of the year) they end up being morning and/or evening cars.......

R
Never owning an R model, I never realized it was one of their inherent problems.
I can't help wondering if the introduction of ethanol in gasoline back in 2007, may have exacerbated this issue. I have seen what the E10 does to small engine fuel systems.
Perhaps it be wise, once the bladder has been replaced, to swap it out for an aftermarket fuel cell and squirrel the original one away.
 

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Not to get too far off-track but here is what the 1995 Cobra R Fuel Safe cell looks like...........This was after the old/leaking bladder had been removed and replaced and the cell was ready for reinstall.........



Note the multiple connections to both fit in the oem fill and vent locations and other connections to keep the oem street fuel system happy......Definitely not a universal Fuel Safe fuel cell for a race car application.......




^^^That label (and its date) is what the track inspector would be looking for to allow the car on the track in a sanctioned SCCA, IMSA, NHRA or IHRA event. If the date is past due, the track inspector would want to see a current up to date certificate that comes with the new Fuel Safe bladder.....

___

................and then the "Ugly"............the original bladder outer liner was in pieces.........




................and of course raw fuel damages everything it comes in contact with, the rubber/foam insulator pads that hold the cell in place........Those straps are Fuel Safe items, not Ford......



.............and the anti-slosh foam that form fits inside the bladder so that the weight of the fuel does not sway the car side-to-side in hard turns......



And it all started with "The Dreaded Drip"...............




If I remember correctly, the 1995 Cobra R is a 20 gallon cell and the 2000R is 21 gallon?

R
 

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Not to get too far off-track but here is what the 1995 Cobra R Fuel Safe cell looks like...........This was after the old/leaking bladder had been removed and replaced and the cell was ready for reinstall.........



Note the multiple connections to both fit in the oem fill and vent locations and other connections to keep the oem street fuel system happy......Definitely not a universal Fuel Safe fuel cell for a race car application.......




^^^That label (and its date) is what the track inspector would be looking for to allow the car on the track in a sanctioned SCCA, IMSA, NHRA or IHRA event. If the date is past due, the track inspector would want to see a current up to date certificate that comes with the new Fuel Safe bladder.....

___

................and then the "Ugly"............the original bladder outer liner was in pieces.........




................and of course raw fuel damages everything it comes in contact with, the rubber/foam insulator pads that hold the cell in place........Those straps are Fuel Safe items, not Ford......



.............and the anti-slosh foam that form fits inside the bladder so that the weight of the fuel does not sway the car side-to-side in hard turns......



And it all started with "The Dreaded Drip"...............




If I remember correctly, the 1995 Cobra R is a 20 gallon cell and the 2000R is 21 gallon?

R
Thanks Robert. Thats the first one I've ever seen out of an R model.
Fuel cell, I'm thinking something like whats in the CobraJet drag cars but on a larger scale.
Ya learn something new every day.
 

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Thanks Robert. Thats the first one I've ever seen out of an R model.
Fuel cell, I'm thinking something like whats in the CobraJet drag cars but on a larger scale.
Ya learn something new every day.
I still have two Very Large magazine collections from the 1994-1998 and 1999-2003 Cobra R era's, approx. 50-60 different magazine features on each car and very few, if any owner cars but instead magazine tests and features from Ford on-lone R-Models. One Road and Track I came across had this picture in it.............I have no idea if it was fuel cell related, but the fire is clearly at the rear under the car........



.............and the acrobatic maneuver...........



R
 

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I had the bladder fail on my '95 R-model around 10 years ago. I had to ship it to Fuel Safe to rebuild the assembly, and I have that fresh assembly in a box in storage in my shop, with a steel tank holding its place in the car. I never kept more than 5 gallons of fuel in that cell, usually less. It's not a matter of "if", it's "when", IMHO.

I need to get around to proactively getting another assembly on the shelf queued-up for the 2000 R.
 

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We did mine, it was pretty straight forward..............



Remove new anti-slosh foam......



This new bladder/cell will clearly not fit into that oval top hole........and it is a stiff material.....



So some heat is applied........



It is pulled down to a size that does fit into the oval hole in the top of the tank.......Also a small amount of Baby Powder is sprinkled in the metal tank to assist with the bladder/cell install..........per Fuel safe recommendations.......




Then locate and align all openings..........



Reinstall all items and torque to spec.........




THE WHOLE TIME KEEPING IN MIND-----------IF YOU NICK or DAMAGE THAT NEW BLADDER WHILE INSTALLING.........IT IS YOURS!!!!..............and you will most likely not find out if it is damaged until after the tank is reinstalled and fueled.......

Thank you Cobra R forum member Dean in Fort Myers for his help and the previous knowledge from his 1995 Cobra R bladder replacement.......

R
 

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And one final mention as it relates to these 1995 and 2000 Cobra R fuel cell leaks.............When you walk into your garage and smell an overwhelming raw fuel odor and then identify that is it your R-Model and not the lawn mower, the problem needs to be resolved immediately............Like put the car in a well ventilated area, outside, etc. Slipping a pan under the fuel cell to catch the drips does not mitigate the danger and if you prefer for your R-Model to stay indoors, the cell needs to be removed from the car, the old bladder removed from the tank and all old fuel cleaned out.

As long as it leaks/drips, there is danger......

R
 

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We did mine, it was pretty straight forward..............



Remove new anti-slosh foam......



This new bladder/cell will clearly not fit into that oval top hole........and it is a stiff material.....



So some heat is applied........



It is pulled down to a size that does fit into the oval hole in the top of the tank.......Also a small amount of Baby Powder is sprinkled in the metal tank to assist with the bladder/cell install..........per Fuel safe recommendations.......




Then locate and align all openings..........



Reinstall all items and torque to spec.........




THE WHOLE TIME KEEPING IN MIND-----------IF YOU NICK or DAMAGE THAT NEW BLADDER WHILE INSTALLING.........IT IS YOURS!!!!..............and you will most likely not find out if it is damaged until after the tank is reinstalled and fueled.......

Thank you Cobra R forum member Dean in Fort Myers for his help and the previous knowledge from his 1995 Cobra R bladder replacement.......

R
That's incredible. I would've never guessed.
Excellent step by step photos Robert.
 

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That's incredible. I would've never guessed.
Excellent step by step photos Robert.
You're welcome........It is the part (or can be a part) of 1995 and 2000 Cobra R ownership that is not usually mentioned, they are both cool cars and the Fuel Cell hanging below the rear bumper cover is REAL COOL, but in the end, the bladder that contains the fuel is not a lifetime item and "can" be a recurring expense during the time of ownership.

R
 

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Awesome pictures Robert! Thanks for sharing.
 
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Well, I was gonna drop $100k on that '00R, but seeing the details of the fuel cell, I think I'll pass. :D
The fuel cell thing should not be a deal breaker, BUT, it should be something known about ahead of time before purchase since it is a Very Unique issue that can be encountered during ownership.......

R
 

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Well, I was gonna drop $100k on that '00R, but seeing the details of the fuel cell, I think I'll pass. :D
yeah, I'm saving my 20 bucks and not getting one.
 

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yeah, I'm saving my 20 bucks and not getting one.
You can鈥檛 even get the 1:18 for that!

For me, a bigger issue with R ownership are the R specific parts that simply aren鈥檛 available. If you break a part that is specifically made for the car, good luck finding another. 300 of said parts were made with a few spares and they are all long gone. The fuel cell and pieces parts are still available from Fuel Safe. Most of the other stuff is not.
 

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You can鈥檛 even get the 1:18 for that!

For me, a bigger issue with R ownership are the R specific parts that simply aren鈥檛 available. If you break a part that is specifically made for the car, good luck finding another. 300 of said parts were made with a few spares and they are all long gone. The fuel cell and pieces parts are still available from Fuel Safe. Most of the other stuff is not.
There's a part of me that worries about that with my glass roof. Granted, there are more than 300 around, but they're not going to be plentiful down the road if mine gets damaged. :(
 

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00R vs. Terminator鈥 both great cars鈥 I have one of each. However, the 00R wins hands-down IMO. The Terminators have a cult-like following. They have much larger production numbers, so way more are in the game, plus you can mod a Terminator to make silly power. Stock for stock though, the R gets the nod. Also, when driving the R vs. a Terminator, the 03/04 feels soft/cushy/refined almost like a family sedan when compared to the R, which is 100% a race car and never lets you forget it was designed for the track. In pilot-speak, the R is a 鈥渟tick and rudder airplane,鈥 meaning it鈥檚 all manual and up to the pilot to manage. It gives great feedback and you feel connected to the machine.

For 93 & 95, a prospective buyer needed an active racing license to procure one. This requirement was dropped for the 00R.
For 93 & 95, a prospective buyer needed an active racing license to procure one. This requirement was dropped for the 00R.

^^^^^^^^That is because the 1993 and 1995 had specific racing classes they were designed for and Ford hoped that most owners would use those cars to race in those classes, plus there was racing support, even if it was though secondary teams..........The 2000 Cobra R on the other hand was a Race Car without a class. It was not a SCCA car, it was not an IMSA car and there was no racing effort put behind it to support it. The 2000 Cobra R ended up being a Street Brute (that could also Race), usually in the American Iron Series.

On the street it was designed to take on the "then 385hp" Z06 and V10 Viper, but even at that, it's 3590lbs was somewhat heavy. There were multiple main stream magazines "from the day" that put the 385hp Cobra R against the 385hp 2000/01 Z06 and the Viper.....

I have a cool magazine picture, let me find it.......

This has always been one of my favorites...........



But in the end, the 2000 Cobra R lost this race with a 3rd gear miss.......Lots of SMOKE!! Is that Fuel Cell on fire?? LOL!!

I have side-by-side magazine tests with the Viper also, along with the Z06.......Cool stuff!!

R
 
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