All About the 1998 Mustang

All About the 1998 Mustang

Last Updated July 29, 2020 | Meghan Drummond

The 1998 Mustang was the last year of the SN95 generation before the New Edge facelift in 1999. Because of this, there were very few external changes made to the Mustang. The interior was also very similar, though the clock was integrated into the stereo system, which is an easy way to tell the difference between the 1997 and 1998 Mustang.

1998 Ford Mustang Specs
Performance
Engine HP Torque
3.8L V6 150 hp 215 lb-ft
4.6L V8 225 hp 290 lb-ft
4.6L V8 (Cobra) 305 hp 300 lb-ft
Retail Prices
Model Price Adj. 2019 Inflation
Base Coupe $16,150 $24,971
Base Convertible $20,650 $31,929
GT Coupe $20,150 $31,156
GT Convertible $24,150 $37,341
Cobra Coupe $25,710 $39,753
Cobra Convertible $28,510 $44,083
Production Numbers and Curb Weights
Model Quantity Curb Weight
Base Coupe 99,801 3,065 pounds
Base Convertible 21,254 3,210 pounds
GT Coupe 28,789 3,227 pounds
GT Convertible 17,024 3,400 pounds
Cobra Coupe 5,174 3,364 pounds
Cobra Convertible 3,480 3,506 pounds
Color Codes
Color Code Number Produced
Chrome Yellow BZ 6,811
Rio Red E8 16,971
Laser Red E9 28,174
Dark Green Satin FU 17,060
Atlantic Blue K6 12,151
Bright Atlantic Blue K7 7,074
Pacific Green PS 9,929
Black UA 32,326
Silver YN 14,560
Crystal White ZR 26,114
Interior Trim Colors
Color/Material Base Code GT Code
Medium Graphite Cloth N/A 42
Saddle Cloth ZS 7S
Black Cloth ZJ 7J
Medium Graphite Leather 12 72
Saddle Leather N/A 4S
Black Leather N/A 4J
Dimensions
Wheelbase 101.3 inches
Length 181.5 inches
Height 53.2 inches
Width 71.8 inches
Front Headroom 38.1 inches
Front Legroom 42.6 inches
Rear Headroom 35.9 inches
Rear Legroom 30.3 inches

1998 Mustang Performance

The engine options for 1998 Mustangs are the same as for the 1997 Mustang. The V6 Mustang continued to use a pushrod, or overhead valve style, engine while the GT and Cobra both used an overhead cam engine style.

Though the engine displacement of the GT and the Cobra is identical, their actual layout is very different. The GT is a single overhead cam engine while the Cobra is a dual overhead cam configuration. This accounts for a large percentage of the difference in power between the two, although the Cobra also has other performance improvements.

A metallic blue 1998 Cobra parked in the driveway
Bright Atlantic Blue Cobra

Though the 1998 Mustang's engine is the same as the 1997 Mustang, there was a slight increase in horsepower. This improvement was achieved through PCM calibration and modifications to the fuel system.

The 1998 Mustang uses a returnless fuel style, which is why despite their very similar appearance, you will not be able to use a ’96-’97 fuel pump on a ’98.

The Cobra didn’t move to a returnless style fuel system until the following year.

Transmission

The 1998 Mustang’s transmission is also shared with the 1997 year. Once again the V6 Mustang is equipped with the time-honored T-5 transmission while the GT and Cobra are equipped with a T-45, a transmission with a better torque capacity.

The T-45 transmission is somewhat controversial. It was one of Ford’s shortest-lived transmissions, and many argue that’s due to its lack of reliability. Truthfully, it doesn’t have as much aftermarket support as the T-5 or TR-3650. The T-45 was only manufactured for a grand total of five years, less than half of the time of the preceding T-5 or the succeeding TR-3650.

The 4R70W was the automatic transmission that was available for either the V6 Mustang or the GT. The Cobra, of course, was only available with a manual transmission. Though the 4R70W was an equally “new” transmission, it was heavily based on the AODE transmission, an evolution of the AOD automatic transmission. It was the same automatic transmission used in many of Ford’s truck and SUV applications, which accounts for its ridiculous torque capacity.

1998 Mustang Transmission Specs
TransmissionFirst GearSecond GearThird GearFourth GearFifth GearReverseTorque Capacity
4R70W 2.84 1.55 1.00 .70 N/A 2.23 700 lb-ft
T-5 3.35 1.93 1.29 1.00 .68 3.15 260 lb-ft
T-45 3.37 1.99 1.33 1.00 .67 3.22 375 lb-ft

Appearance

Despite many claims to the contrary, there really was no Autumn Orange available this year. What we got instead was an impressive spread of new colors that were perhaps a little more muted, but that still represented a wide variety of color.

Atlantic Blue, Bright Atlantic Blue, Chrome Yellow, and Dark Satin Green were all new for 1998 Mustangs. Chrome Yellow’s availability was very restricted and only available for Cobras or Spring Edition GTs.

This year, the SVT Cobra could be ordered in Chrome Yellow, Laser Red, Bright Atlantic Blue, Black, or Crystal White. Up until this point, Cobras were more limited in terms of the colors they were available in, so this was an exciting change.

Picture from a 1998 Mustang brochure showing all available colors
1998 Mustang Colors

Special Edition Mustangs

SVT Cobra

The only real change between the 1997 Cobra and the 1998 Cobra were the wheels, which were changed to a cast-aluminum style, much like the ones used on the 1995 Cobra R. Like the ‘96 and ‘97 models, the Cobra used a DOHC engine style. There were minor improvements made to the interior, like a standard CD player and cup holders, but these cosmetic improvements were largely for comfort and convenience.

Because of the number of options that were available for the SVT Cobra this year, some of the color options are exceedingly rare.

1998 SVT Cobra Coupe Quantities
ColorBlack ClothSaddle ClothBlack LeatherSaddle Leather
Crystal White 8 10 506 434
Black 6 2 1,334 356
Laser Red 5 5 675 551
Chrome Yellow 5 0 704 0
Bright Atlantic Blue 10 0 553 0
1998 SVT Cobra Convertible Quantities
Color/RoofBlack ClothSaddle ClothBlack LeatherSaddle Leather
Crystal White with Black Roof 0 0 218 6
Crystal White with White Roof 0 1 46 40
Crystal White with Saddle Roof 0 0 0 267
Black with Black Roof 0 0 967 61
Black with White Roof 1 0 1 0
Black with Saddle Roof 0 0 11 215
Laser Red with Black Roof 1 0 340 12
Laser Red with White Roof 0 0 3 0
Laser Red with Saddle Roof 0 2 0 484
Chrome Yellow with Black Roof 5 0 542 0
Chrome Yellow with White Roof 0 0 5 0
Bright Atlantic Blue with Black Roof 1 0 224 0
Bright Atlantic Blue with White Roof 1 0 23 0

Sport Group Package

The Sport Appearance Group was an option available for V6 1998 Mustangs. The Sport Appearance Group was primarily an aesthetic option that came with 16” wheels, a rear spoiler, and leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Spring Edition

Not to be confused with the Spring Feature edition of 2000, the Spring Edition was a package that could be added onto GTs, and it was the only way to get a Chrome Yellow Mustang that wasn’t a Cobra.

Introduced midway through the year, the Spring Edition package included a choice of color between Laser Red and Chrome Yellow and came with 17” polished aluminum wheels and the option for special hood stripes and fender stripes.

Saleen Mustangs

Ford may not have had anything special going on for the ‘98 year, but it was Saleen’s fifteenth anniversary. Saleen is a tuner shop that modifies Mustangs, so they went all out to celebrate. In addition to the S351 and S281, Saleen offered an SA15 Saleen Mustang.

There’s a lot to say about the Saleen SA15, even though only ten of them were produced. Because they were customizable, every one of those ten is truly one-of-a-kind. The features that they all have in common include a supercharger and a totally redone suspension.

Though almost all V8 Mustangs were overhead cam following the 1996 year, the Saleen Mustangs used a high-output overhead valve V8 with a 4.00” bore and a 3.5” stroke. The exhaust system featured ceramic coated headers and a stainless four-way catalytic high flow custom exhaust.

A heavily modified bright yellow Saleen Mustang
1998 Saleen Mustang

Popular Mods for 1998 Mustangs

Not surprisingly, a large number of the most popular mods for 1998 Mustangs focus on addressing some of the weaknesses of that particular year. Improving the 1998 Mustang's T-45 transmission or completely swapping it for a T-5 transmission are popular mods. There are new T-5 transmissions that offer significantly improved torque ratings over their vintage brethren and will accommodate the OHC style of the GT or Cobra.

Improving the breathing capacity of the ‘98s engine also is an easy way to increase horsepower, and can be done easily by improving the headers, the intake manifold, or even adding a cold air intake.

Those who are buying a “new” to them 1998 Mustang are usually very aware very quickly that it’s a car that’s over twenty years old now, and that means that its interior components, like the steering wheel, shifter, and seats, all could use an upgrade. Thankfully, there are a lot of options for interior upgrades for the 1998 Mustang. For the T-45 transmission, it’s important to either select a shifter for the T-45 or a T-5 shifter. The shifter for the TR-3650 won’t fit.

CJ Pony Parts has a large number of parts for 1998 Mustangs, whether you’re restoring, modifying, or personalizing your Mustang.

Waiting on the New Edge

The 1998 Mustang incorporates a lot of the features that represent the best of the pre-New Edge SN95 generation, but because so many of the improvements were still “new” it suffers from the curse of early-adopter syndrome, where the later Mustangs would have grown into their OHC engine styles and moved over to the TR-3650 transmission which offered improvements over the T-45.

The 1998 Mustang year was another year of smoothing out details, and though it doesn’t offer substantial improvements over the ‘97 or ‘96 year, small features like cupholders and CD players definitely matter for long-term driver satisfaction.

Want to compare these specs to another SN95 Mustang? Check out our pages for the 1995 Mustang Specs, 1996 Mustang Specs, 1997 Mustang Specs, 1999 Mustang Specs, 2000 Mustang Specs, 2001 Mustang Specs, 2002 Mustang Specs, and 2003 Mustang Specs.

Sources: Ford, Motorologist, Edmunds Image Credit: Mustang 6G, Ford, Hemmings

All About the 1998 Mustang

Though the last year of the SN95 generation before the New Edge facelift didn't change much about the appearance or performance of the Mustang, there were new colors, new special editions, and a few performance tweaks for 1998. Compare the specs for the 1998 Mustang, GT, and Cobra and see what else was new for '98.