Project Cobra Jet Challenge made have already made its grand debut at SEMA back in November, but we have still got plenty of details about the build to share. This time around we’ll be chronicling the set of Moroso fluid tanks we installed on the car, which includes an oil accumulator, oil pan, coolant tank, and power steering fluid reservoir.
If you think the FFR Cobra Challenge cuts quite a figure at rest, wait until we get it out on the road course. With a curb weight that’s expected to be under 2,500 pounds (with driver), this thing sports one hell of a power-to-weight ratio.
For those who might not be familiar, our Factory Five Cobra is powered by a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter Coyote motor, featuring a 312ci Livernois block, Mahle pistons and host of other go-fast bits and pieces, all of which resulted in 624.9 hp, 462.3 lb-ft of torque, and peak power coming in at just under 8,000 rpm. That power gets sent out to the Moser rearend by way of a Tremec six-speed gearbox, and it meets the pavement via a set of grippy rubber from Toyo Tires.
The Cobra is undoubtedly going to see some competition in the near future. With the expected level of performance that all this high-grade hardware can provide, making this setup equally as durable as it is capable is one of our primary concerns. And making it look even more awesome in the process certainly is a nice little bonus as well, so bolting on these tanks from Moroso has us covered on both fronts.
We had to double-time it to get the Cobra ready for its unveiling at SEMA in November. While we initially planned to do all the work in a home garage, the decision was made a few weeks before the show to bring it into the Power Automedia shop to get the finishing touches squared away.
Useful both in drag racing and road racing applications, oil accumulators offer a number of benefits to engine longevity. Accumulators store oil under pressure, providing an instantaneous supply and releasing it to oil system when the oil pressure drops below a safe level. They can also be used to pre-lube the engine before start up – the moment when most engine wear occurs in the majority of applications. By pre-oiling the engine before start up, cold start scuffing can be prevented, which in turn can dramatically increase cylinder wall, piston ring, and bearing longevity.
Accumulators are tapped to the pressure side of the engine’s oiling system, either by “T” ing into the return line of an oil cooler, through a sandwich adapter like this one that mounts between the oil filter and the engine, or running directly into an oil galley in the engine block that is on the pressure side of the engine’s oiling system. When the engine is running, oil pressure forces reserve oil into the accumulator and compresses the air ahead.
Oil accumulators are oil storage tanks connected into the engine’s oiling system that have pressurized air on one side, and engine oil on the other side of a movable piston. When engine pressure fluctuates due to oil surging away from the pickup during hard acceleration, high G cornering or hard braking, they provide an instantaneous supply of oil to the engine in order to prevent oil starvation during moments that are often particularly stressful on the motor.
If the engine’s oil pressure should suddenly drop because of hard acceleration, severe cornering or hard braking, the air pressure immediately sends oil to the main galleries, and when the oil pump is once again primed with oil, the oil pressure forces oil back into the accumulator where it is ready for the next pressure drop.
These Moroso engine oil accumulator mounting brackets (PN 23921) will allow you to mount your accumulator anywhere you need to. They are designed to be bolted to any flat surface and include the required T-bolts for use in NHRA competition.
However, the valve has to be manually opened by hand before starting the car to pre-lube the engine, and manually closed before turning the engine off. But Moroso also offers solenoid pressure valve kits in different oil pressure ranges of 15-24 psi discharge and refill, and 35-40 psi discharge and refill. We used Moroso PN 23905 with our Coyote 5.0-liter, which can also be ordered from JEGS (PN 710-23905).
There are several benefits to solenoid pressure valve kits: they tend to function better than a regular electric valve, they allow only the needed volume of oil to be released – which results in quicker filling and discharging, and the internal sensor electronically activates when engine oil pressure drops below normal.
Moroso’s 12V solenoid valves allow you to control fluid flow from the driver’s seat. Wire one of them to an ignition hot power source, and you can control any non-flammable fluid with the flick of a switch rather than having to access a manual valve in the engine bay, which may not be feasible depending on where the accumulator is mounted in your vehicle.
That means when the engine returns to normal pressure the accumulator refills automatically, completely automating its functionality and making it ready for the next potential pressure drop. These solenoid pressure valve kits are particularly useful in situations where access to a manual valve is difficult or simply not a viable option, as is often the case in the racing environment.
“Independent tests have shown that on street cars over 85 percent of engine wear is caused by starting an engine. These dry starts cause premature engine wear,” says Thor Schroeder of Moroso Performance.
During hard acceleration an accumulator would be beneficial in guarding against oil pressure fluctuations, and they’re also a benefit during shut down or sudden deceleration. “Drag racers have also used accumulators to free up horsepower by running less oil in the oil pan or using accumulators in classes that have oil pan limitations,“ Schroeder added.
We fabricated a bracket to mount the accumulator to the firewall, it was a perfect fit in the tight engine compartment.
Adding Form And Function
Like most gearheads, some of our favorite components are the ones that serve a specific purpose capably and look great while doing so. So while we were installing the accumulator in the FFR Cobra, we also decided to add a few of Moroso’s fluid tanks. These pieces not only dress up the engine while maintaining the Cobra’s purposeful look, they’re also built from high-quality materials and are extremely durable.
First up we added a Moroso wet sump oil pan (Moroso PN 20570; Jegs PN 710-20570). These road race baffled oil pans ensure that your oil is controlled inside of the oil pan, and all of their pans are fully fabricated from either aluminum or steel, depending on application. They also feature five trap door baffles for oil control in road racing, a built-in crank scraper, and a removable louvered windage tray, making it an ideal piece for our Cobra.
This Moroso oil pan is designed specifically for use with a Coyote 5.0-liter installed in a Cobra replica chassis. It's made out of steel, holds 7.5 quarts of oil, is designed to use the stock dipstick, and has a clear zinc finish for added protection.
Moroso also offers a number of other fluid tanks including coolant and power steering reservoirs, both of which we installed on the Cobra, not only for their excellent build quality and durability, but to also bolster aesthetics in the engine bay by using a matching set of tanks.
The Moroso coolant overflow tank (Moroso PN 63768; Jegs PN 710-63768) is a great choice for cars with low-mount radiators to provide a convenient filling location and to bleed off unwanted air.
Moroso’s coolant overflow tank uses a natural aluminum finish, giving it a clean, all-business demeanor under the hood (er, if there was a hood).
Built from aluminum, Moroso’s coolant overflow tanks can be had with 6061-T6 billet aluminum filler necks welded to the tank for added durability in situations where continuous removal and installation of the standard-sized cap is required. Not only do these one gallon tanks look great under the hood, they use the factory hose barb locations, making installation as simple as possible.
Like the overflow tank, Moroso's aluminum power steering reservoirs have a natural aluminum finish that compliments the Cobra's dual personality as both a looker and a performer.
We also matched up the coolant overflow tank with one of Moroso’s power steering reservoirs (Moroso PN 63490; Jegs PN 710-63490). Like the overflow tanks, these reservoirs are manufactured from high-grade aluminum so they look great and complement the coolant tank perfectly.
All buttoned up, the Moroso components look right at home alongside the sharp, purpose-driven overall look of the engine bay.