Had fixed the same problem yesterday. My cobra worked when it wanted to, when it didn't it looked like you explained. I found out that on my cobra the blue wire on the mike connector was broken. When it disconnects, no sound. after soldering, everything works fine.
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make sure you have your radio set on CAL and then adjust the knob that says adjust .Turn it all the to the right then bring it back to the set point on the dial then un key the mic,move the switch to SWR , key the mic and that is your reading. Do this on channels 40 - 1 then 19. Make sure you write down the readings for each channel. The adjust your antenna from there.
Check TR22 which is a 2sc1957 transistor mounted on side of case near heatsink for driver and final, left rear with speaker cover removed. Make sure the legs are not contacting case. Then check resistors R115, R116, R117 for open circuit and C133 for continuity.
I figure that 2sc1957 transistor is shorting to case or failed. A 2sc2314 is a sub for this transistor.
either he over tuned it and burned the radio out this can happen just cause a radio transmits 50 watts dosent mean the circuity can handle it and it will burn the radio because of overload. another factor is if you are running high swrs with that kinda out put you will fry it sounds like its getting hot and radios dont work well when they get hot take it to a tech tell him what was done to the radio and what it is doing. you can test the radio by buying a watt modulation meter it will tell you excacley what the radio is putting out I doubt its transmitting 50 watts that is a single final radio unless he modified the final.good luck.
Normally the swr should be set on the centre channel so if you have 40 channels you should set it on channel 20. This is because as you move away from channel 20 the swr rises slightly more for each channel away from the 20. If you set it on channel 40 you'll have twice as much swr on channel 1 more than if you set it on channel 20. If the swr metre shows 1:1 (i.e. doesn't move up at all) on channel 20 the rest should be ok since the antenna was designed for CB. You should however check that the needle showing reflected power doesn't go above 2.5
For the money,the Cobra 29 nw/st is just as good if not better than a Galaxy. Cobra is more durable by far. I have had 3 of these cobra's in the last 30 years. Only had to replace the last one because the tractor got hit by lightning.
Sure would not pay big money for a name.