Tire Choices for '03 Cobra?/!


New Member
Jun 23, 2004
Hey all,

I'm new to the forum so let me say (write) that you guy's and gal's are nuts! :nice:

So, being a bit of a nut myself, I thought I'd ask my 1st stangnet forum question.

What is the best tire for an '03 cobra.

I recently got back into the Mustang/Cobra Craze after selling my Y2K GT Rag Top last year I heard the sound of rampaging hooves again.

I make a decent deal on a very low mileage little '03 Gray Cobra Hard Top. I had been searching high and low for an unmolested low mileage Gray Cobra. After riding in this one I consider myself a lucky man! My only problem is the need for speed is sort of addictive with this thing.

Here is my what kind of Tires should I get question?

My little horse needs new shoes. These 275 x 17ZR's are none to cheap.
Current shoes are the original (17,000 rough and very loud miles) Goodyear GS-Cs. Never again! :bang:

Order of need's/want's.
1. A respectable amount of adhesion, Ultra High or High Perf Summer tread, All season is not a necessity as I am moving to Central Texas next month.
2. At least above average tread wear (What is acceptable?) I don't really plan to use these for the track. Mostly eating Vette's/F-Body's and M3's on the local hardball.
3. A good looking tread pattern that will work in water if needed.

I surfed the Tire Rack online and talked with several local tire stores but since this is a 2-3 months from now thing I am in no rush.

BF Goodrich KDW ($180 a piece)
Kumho Ecsta MX ($165 ish)
Perelli P Zero Nero (190 ish)

Are these the best bang for the buck out there? :shrug:
What do you guy's use/recommed? :hail2:
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I'm currently running 315 Nitto's, but my car is not a daily driver and wet weather is spent in the garage. The Nitto's are about wore out and I'm looking at the Goodyear GS-D3's. I hear a lot of good things about this tire. Problem is they are well over $200 each.


I've had:
sumitomo HTR-Z2's; look good and are cheap ($125) but don't have good wear stick Ok but not great

Michelin: Pilot all weather tire cant remember the name; expensive ($200+), average wear, good grip very predictiable

Cheap NTB brand vipers: avoid at all costs

Dunlop sp 5000: cheap ($140), look pretty good, good mileage (I beat on them for 20K and finally just burned them up so I could get new tires). Tires got hard after about 10K and I could bark 1-3 easy. My roomate says he heard me catch fourth one time but I think that he was hearing things.

Bridgestone Potenza RE730: not too expensive ($170) looked good, stuck really well for 15K, held up to my abuse for 2 years, weird tire that wouldn't smoke when you lit'em up. These are my favorite tires so far.

Just put a set of BFG G-force kdw's on last sat. ($800 for the set mounted w/ roadhazard and all that crap) I don't know how I like them yet, I have'nt been driving hard on them.

BTW these are all 275/40/17
Try www.tirerack.com.

They compare many brands/models and are very helpful over the phone. They are mail order and ship right to your house or shop. They are very competitive on price.

I run the Bridgestone RE730's on the street and think they are very good. Not a race tire, however. Yeah, they don't smoke. Weird.
Still looking

I Spent a few hours on http://www.tirerack.com/ looking further and further...until way to late last night into their massive website. IMHO they can turn a person into a late-night-shadow-geek of themselves with all that information.

In all of it they make you aware that there are no true perfect tire for every situation (duh) and that you make the choice according to how you expect to use the car. Mine will be spent as a daily driver, with only a little legally sanctioned go-fast in there.

Something that I read from...I seem to remember Mr. "Meat" himslef, was that ordering tires over the web is a double edged sword so to speak. You get great prices and the delivery is fast but there are still times when you must return the product, and finding service facility to put the tires on can be a hassle. I spoke with one local place (GoodY**r) :bang: and they absolutley will not mount tires sold anywhere else! Finding a quality shop is very important for those of us who don't have the tools to mount and balanace tires.

One caveat, I saw that the Kuhmo has a 'legal' post on their website about the 712's. And I heard those are sweet road racing/autocross tires for the $$

Keep those recommendations coming if you please!

P.S. Meat those are some cool vids on your site! :nice:

So, the search goes for the best tires for my GrayBaby '03 Cobra. :spot:
Check out the Firestone SZ50. All of the reviews at TireRack are excellent, even better than the new F1. If bucks aren't really an issue, look into the Bridgestone S03 Pole Position.

At this time, I have Cooper Zeon 2XS on my '03. They are very good tires and priced under $150.00, the price can't be beaten.

I put Bridgestone RE010s on my '99. I believe that they became what is now called the S03, or were the equivalent of them at the time. They are a very soft compound and virtually eliminated the wheel hop issue as well as being excellent in wet or dry conditions. Not a tire you want to get if you want long tire wear.

:flag: :nice:
CobraCruiser - The Firestones seem like great tires...but

I checked with a Tirerack customer rep and they are on clearance as they won't be selling them much longer. He didn't know if Firestone planned to cease production, but it looks that way. I would like to keep the same exact tire's on all 4 wheels for all the usual reasons. As for their ratings, the Firestones were very well thought of, as were the Bridgestone S03 Pole Position's.

Do you find the S03s to be a very loud when driven hard. I read that quite often in their customer comments section. Because the GoodY**r GS-C's make lots of noise. A minor problem but one that might make me think of these new Perelli's or BF Goodrich KDWS's instead.
GrayCobra said:
I Spent a few hours on
One caveat, I saw that the Kuhmo has a 'legal' post on their website about the 712's. And I heard those are sweet road racing/autocross tires for the $$

You mean the V710 which was a DOT-R tire. Now the supra 712 is something you ought to consider.

I have BFG g-force t/a KDWs on my '01 cobra. My only complaint is the price. I've done a little auto cross with them and was pretty happy. Rain isn't a problem, but I do drive with some respect for the weather.

My next set of tires will probably come from Kumho and will depend a lot on whether I get a second set of rims for racing. If I don't get new rims, I'll probably get the Ecsta MXs. If I do, my daily driver tires will probably be supra 712s.

Tread ratings arent everything, but here's something you might care about:

BFG g-Force TA KD: 200 , $200+
BFG g-Force TA KDW: 300, $175
Kumho Ecsta MX: 220, $150
Kumho Ecsta Supra 712: 280, $110

Dunlop also sells a sticky cheap tire that sounded interesting. FM901, I think.

The stickier they are the sooner they die. Don't expect to get more than 15-18k miles out of those tires unlss you're driving that cobra like Ms. Daisy. ;)
Originally posted by BluesXMan

Their size selection is pretty weak. IIRC the '03 has 17" rims, and they dont have anything wide in 17s, it looks like.

They had 275/40/17s 2 day's ago :bang:

You mean the V710 which was a DOT-R tire. Now the supra 712 is something you ought to consider.

Yes, those interested me as Autocross and maybe strip tires. But the Nitto 555DR's sound sweat too!

The main focus for this is daily driving tires. That is why I'm looking at the Zero Nero's for less than 179 each on the car, that's not bad. It is much more than eiter of the Kuhmo's... more to think about.
Try www.onlinetires.com , the Toyos TS1's are 153.00 a tire,(275/40/17) Good reviews in dry and wet weather. Any other site I've checked out are selling them for about 230.00 or more.

FYI, I have the Kumo 712's, Great in the rain, and good in dry conditions. Good for Daily use. I have just over 10,000 miles on the and they have a lot more miles to go. Relacements are going to be toyo's, but the Nitto DR's look good. Hope this helps.
GrayCobra, I bought the predecessor to the S03, which was the RE010, for my '99. They were in the process of bringing out the S03 and had phased out the RE010. If I heard the man at the Bridgestone booth at the Nashville event correctly, the S03 was the replacement for the RE010.

I like the RE010s. Road noise didn't increase too much, if at all, from the BFGs. The softer compound made them follow the imperfections of the road a bit more, though. The overall ride is very good and the handling is way better than with the BFGs, both wet and dry. Wheel hop is reduced to the point where it isn't too much of an issue. I am sure that the S03s will perform as well, maybe better, as they are of a newer design.

As I mentioned, check out the Cooper Zeon 2XS. They are what I have on my '03 and I really like them. They use that newer tread pattern that everybody seems to be going to these days, although they have a dual center groove rather than the single groove. They are very good tires, with a treadwear rating of 280, a tad lower than the F1s that came on my '03, which I believe were 300. Without looking, I think the RE010s are 220, so I would think that the S03s are the same.

As far as the SZ50, they are still in the book at the place where I get my tires. We had thought that they had gone only to the run-flats and had stopped making the regular ones. The regular SZ50s were in another part of the book for some reason. They were my first choice, but when we couldn't find them, I went with the Coopers. Maybe they are phasing them out, who knows? I don't regret my choice.

:flag: :nice:
Switched from S03's to Michelin Pilot Sport - GREAT!

There are a lot of 'right' answers to your question - from my personal experience, I had Potenza S03's for about 11K miles, then I switched to Pilot Sport A/S's and I could not be happier! While I had the Potenza's I could break loose without trying to hard, I just figured is was all that rear-wheel torque we love!

I wasn't until I had the Pilot Sports installed that I know what a GREAT tire could feel like. It is a lot harder to break loose now, and if I am sliding around corner I can predict when I am going to grab a lot better. They are expensive! But this is your baby, right?!

I really liked using TireRack to buy the tires, Custom Alignment in Mountain View installed them for me, those guys are fantastic. TireRack.com will have a list of dealers that they work with in your area, plus lots of reviews of the tires and installers. Also, most tire shops will pricematch to TireRack, so make sure you ask!

As a side note, I had a Smartire system installed by Custom Alignment at the same time as they put the newest set of tires on, totally sweet! (I bought the Samrtire from Tirerack.)

Let me know if you have any questions, I'm happy to help.

BluesXman said:
Tread ratings arent everything, but here's something you might care about:

BFG g-Force TA KD: 200 , $200+
BFG g-Force TA KDW: 300, $175
Kumho Ecsta MX: 220, $150
Kumho Ecsta Supra 712: 280, $110

Dunlop also sells a sticky cheap tire that sounded interesting. FM901, I think.

The stickier they are the sooner they die. Don't expect to get more than 15-18k miles out of those tires unlss you're driving that cobra like Ms. Daisy. ;)

I'm lookin into these fm901s, I work at sams club and we don't really get a discount on anything but our prices are basically better than most normal places you could get them. Only problem is the fm901 is they don't have a 275/40r17 size, granted the 245/45r17s are only 116 a piece. I'll probably end up trying them, I had these tires on a previous car and they held up pretty well as well as look awesome, for a cheap tire you can't go wrong with these. Hopefully I'll be ordering some soon and I'll have an idea whether or not they are a good tire.
Bought Pirelli's

Wow, you guy's gave me lots of feedback. I read each one of them and it sounds like most of you have had good results from what you put on your 'Stang's and Cobra's. Using http://www.tirerack.com to research results from drivers and professionals alike backed up what you guys have been saying. Thanks for the help.

I almost went for the S03s. :D Very nice summer Ultra High Perf' tire. I would have picked them up but they really don't do snow and rain can throw them a little! Since I wanted a 'do everything' tire just incase.

The BFG KDW's were back ordered for how long?/! :mad:

The Firestone SZ50's were closing out or they would have gotten the nod, but getting a single replacement after they dry up kills the deal. :shrug:

That left me down to two choices. BFGoodrich KDWS and Pirelli PZero Nero M&S.
I had to pick one and here is what I went for...

Pirelli PZero Nero M&S. 275/40/17's
Cost $148 each plus shipping, so it was easy on the wallet too! Only the Kuhmo's were cheaper. :nice:
According to the posts on tirerack.com they covered everything I needed for wet, dry and even light snow. While still providing top notch dry performance in a All Season tire. I drive a lot (25 - 55k a year) and needed something that would handle pretty much anything without giving up to much in any one area while giving higher treadwear, these have gotten very positive f/b there too. The PZeroNero M&S got the highest overall rating amoung all of tireracks ratings feedback from customers in the Ultra High Performace All Season Tires Comparison charts. Don't confuse these with the non M&S types those aren't All-season tires.

My grandfather used to say, " a little paint is a dangerous thing." Well a little information from you guy's has given me lots of painting...or rather, lots of work to do. Anyway, thanks for your comments.

Oh yeah, I also ordered a K & N FIPK2 for the Cobra today, so she can breathe!

Again, thanks guy's. Let you know how they work out!