91 Cougar LS 5.0 Teardown and Build

Zep5.0

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1991 Mercury Cougar LS 5.0
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Well, so it was finally time to get to the project I've been waiting on. Complete restoration of my first car. Bought the day after Thanksgiving in 1997 as a junior in high school. The car had 37k miles and was overall very clean besides some tiny cracks in the clear on the hood and passenger side. The only thing I didn't care for was the luggage rack.

The car got me through high school and college and many fun times had a few years after that. Last tags say August of 2008. I believe in the fall of 2007 I felt a little slipping in overdrive. Decided to try a fluid and filter change. Parked the car for winter as I did most years since I'm in Iowa. Took it out the next spring... Overdrive was gone. Decided at the time money was tight, and the rust under the quarter windows was bad enough. Car only came out a few times that summer to do a couple short drives. It's been sitting since fall 2008. This is what 12 years in a damp and dusty building looks like.

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Seth
'91 Cougar LS 5.0, in progress. (Most would say in pieces)

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Zep5.0

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Discussion starter · #2 · Jun 7, 2020

And here are some interior pics. A couple mouse nests and some mold on the leather and vinyl.
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Forgot to take a pic of the back seat before pulling the bottom out.
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Mostly small trim around the seat frames and door panels removed today. Trunk is bare after a little work there. Here are the pics of the notorious shock mounts

Right with a bit of a bubble above the support:
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Left fairly clean:
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I'm afraid of what I find under the carpet... Maybe next weekend I'll see. Here's to hoping it's better than I expected.










Seth
'91 Cougar LS 5.0, in progress. (Most would say in pieces)
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#3 · Jun 7, 2020

That headrest 🤢

For some reason I had always pictured your car an XR7, and not that that’s a bad thing. I used to be dismissive of LS models but now I’m now preferring the “regular” models with the 5.0, to the “enthusiast models” same with early model base/LX Birds, same even on old musclecars. So many of these were ordered with HG popping 3.8s, it defies expectation more when you pop the hood and see a 5.0, way more so than later models where the 4.6 sold better. The original moldings look so much more natural on these cars than the smoothed over monochrome 94+

The tower rust is a little concerning, but I’m more used to the 93+ towers without that reenforcement plate. Is is rust poking through the outside?

-Matt


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Discussion starter · #4 · Jun 7, 2020

The tower rust is a little concerning, but I’m more used to the 93+ towers without that reenforcement plate. Is is rust poking through the outside?
I don't see it on the outside, but there is undercoating there that could be concealing it. It's not a complete rust through, but I'd have that cut out and patched.

I did find some surface rust in the trunk on the bottom of the fender, where the rear bumper would cover the outside. Afraid of what I'll see when I pull the bumper. There is a bit of light surface rust in the spare tire well, also... Assuming the mouse nest was the perfect place for moisture to sit. I'm debating a fuel cell, which would get rid of that anyway.

I guess I found a bit more rust than I hoped for. I'm not giving up yet and will tear the car down completely before taking it to the body shop so I can get a real estimate. I'm willing to put much more into this car than any sane person, but there is a point where I have to cut my losses. Let's hope we don't find that point.

Seth
'91 Cougar LS 5.0, in progress. (Most would say in pieces)
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Wile E. Coyote Jr.

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#5 · Jun 7, 2020

That plate is gonna have to come off. Both sides.


Excited to see how this turns out. My 96 (my first car) is sitting in the drive way under a cover. When my 89 is done, and my 90s rust is fully killed off, Im gonna start working on it again.

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Discussion starter · #6 · Jun 28, 2020

Well some more pieces out of the car, and more rust found. Passenger side floor pan is toast. Forgot to take a picture of that because in order to take the padding from under the carpet out, you have to remove the dash. ( Vent ducts are still nicely attached to the pad). That's next.

Headliner, side 1/4 panels, knee bolster and glove box are out. The automatic seat belts have been removed too. Driver side had been unplugged for years because it hung up all the time but the passenger side was fine and still operable. If I could get my hands on the proper burgundy panels and belts I'd convert. Figure that's unlikely so I may try to fine the tape on the driver side.

Seth
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Discussion starter · #7 · Jun 28, 2020

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Seth
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Discussion starter · #8 · Jun 28, 2020 (Edited)

Last 2 pictures show a little rusty in the spare tire well and then some that'll need repair on the bottom of the passenger side fender. Driver side is worse and goes up to the visible part of the wheel opening. Can't see it from the outside, but I think that fender needs to be replaced.

It's looking more expensive every time, but I'm not convinced I can't get it fixed. Really wish I could weld body panels. I can do a bit of the rest and wouldn't mind painting the car if I had use of a nice booth.

It would be nice to have someone else helping just to get the different sockets, bits, etc. I feel Ford just used what they had laying around. Spend half of my time finding tools

Seth
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#9 · Jun 28, 2020

If it’s all under the bumper cover just cut it out and replace it with a doner section IMO, replacing the whole quarter is a big job. That’s a very common spot rust develops in old cars, it baffles me why Ford didn’t just tie that area flat to the floorpan since the bumper cover covers the sides

-Matt


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#10 · Jun 28, 2020

Floor pans seem daunting but they arent that bad. Ive done both on my 89. Im guessing its mainly around that stupid channel for the wire loom to go? I made my own panels the first time around but Id recommend finding a donor car in a junkyard.

Im gonna say this: if its rusty like that, cut the skin off the rockers. Even if they look ok we all know it doesnt show until its really bad. New skins are on RA for $60 so Id do it. Or at the minimum drill a hole in the bottom of it and stick a bore camera up to see how the inners look.

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Discussion starter · #11 · Jun 28, 2020

I had bought rockers 10 years ago or so thinking they would be hard to come by. They are rotten in the usual spot under the 1/4 windows.

And yes the worst part of the floor is near the wire channel.

Seth
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Discussion starter · #12 · Jul 28, 2020

Some more progress. Finding some of it to be better than I thought as far as rust goes. Some worse, but overall I think savable.
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Seth
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Discussion starter · #13 · Jul 28, 2020 (Edited)

This fender looks really good. I was concerned of what I might find behind the bumper
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This side not so good, but I knew it wouldn't be based on a touch-up I did 18-ish years ago.
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Trunk floor is solid.
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13 year old gas smells horrible!

Dash, wiring and insulation are basically all that's left in the interior.

A bit of work to get the exhaust, gas tank and driveshaft out, then motor and trans come out. Then off to a couple reputable shops to see what they can do.





Seth
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Discussion starter · #14 · Aug 30, 2020

A little more progress over the last month. Life has been busy, so not as much as I'd like. Rusted floor pan on the passenger side. I'll get better pictures once I get the dash out. I have all of the wiring lose to that point and started pulling it today.


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Seth
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Discussion starter · #15 · Aug 30, 2020

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Discussion starter · #16 · Aug 30, 2020

Also got the radiator out and the wiring off all of the engine and front end. It's basically waiting for the dash to come out, then engine and trans to come out.
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Anyone think a tunnel ram would look cool. Well maybe not a 4*4 next time.











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Basically just windows to come out back here, and of course the Cougar Emblems on the outside
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One wire to the fuel pump, is all that's left on the back half of the car.

This dash is not much fun. Pulled the steering column and the throttle and brake pedals. Also the instrument cluster. And now I need a new cluster cover as I scratched mine taking it out.
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Seth
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Zep5.0

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Discussion starter · #18 · Aug 30, 2020

Prying the trim off the passenger side dash, I heard some bad noises... The upper dash is cracking with the user of a plastic or tool. I didn't know how brittle it was. Assuming I need a 91-93 dash to get the correct red. I'll reuse my trim, so any level trim package should work.

Has anyone wrapped their dash in leather or vinyl?

Seth
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MadMikeyL

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#19 · Aug 30, 2020

I leave everything attached to the dash when I pull it; the column, instrument cluster, trim, radio, etc. Not only does it make it go much faster, but there is less chance of breaking trim pieces.


Only pieces of the dash that NEED to come off to remove it is the knee panel to access the nut secured to the e-brake(or dead pedal) and the top cowl piece to get the bolts along the cowl. Every other nut/bolt and harness attachment point is accessible around it.

-Matt


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Discussion starter · #22 · Aug 31, 2020

The cluster had something spilled on it years ago that left little dots clouding the guages, so it needed to come out. And not knowing how heavy the column was, I figured it was best to get it out of the way and it's just a few bolts.

I'm hoping to get some help Saturday to pull the dash, fuel tank and maybe motor and trans. That might be a bit too ambitious, we'll see.

Seth
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#23 · Aug 31, 2020

Maybe I missed it, but why are things like the dash and glass coming out? Seems excessive just to re-finish a car, especially the glass. I can't imagine re-installing glass, especially when it wasn't really necessary to remove.

Al

97 T-Bird LX 4.6 - 80k miles
94 Supra TT Auto - street/strip car
04 CVPI- Brenda's car - 76k miles
Previous Fords:
95 T-Bird LX 4.6 - fully optioned, owned 15 years, 220k miles
96 Cougar XR-7 4.6- Brenda's car, owned 11 years, 187k miles
88 T-Bird 3.8 - first T-Bird, owned 5 years, 206k miles


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#24 · Aug 31, 2020

Maybe I missed it, but why are things like the dash and glass coming out? Seems excessive just to re-finish a car, especially the glass. I can't imagine re-installing glass, especially when it wasn't really necessary to remove.

Al
on Cougars the trim around the window overlaps the sheetmetal and the only way to remove and install it is to take the window out. Same for the quarter windows, the sections with the chrome trim overlap the sheetmetal. Masking these off is a half assed way to do it and will lead to peeling down the road.

As for the dash I’m guessing with the rust repair he’s painting the interior, and gutting it bare avoids getting overspray on the plastics.

-Matt


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Zep5.0

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Discussion starter · #25 · Sep 1, 2020

Maybe I missed it, but why are things like the dash and glass coming out? Seems excessive just to re-finish a car, especially the glass. I can't imagine re-installing glass, especially when it wasn't really necessary to remove.
Matt is correct. This is a complete restoration. The k member and rear subframe are coming off as well. Even if there was a decent way to leave windows in, I would not be. I'm making this as easy as I can for the shop to save some cash, and my estimate is this will be $12-15k to fix the rust and paint the car.

I'm actually going to pick up the donor car Saturday, assuming it's as clean as it looks in pictures. I'll be taking the driver side quarter, passenger side floors and any structure under the rockers that's needed. I'll likely use the trunk lid as mine has holes from a luggage rack that I never liked. And various other bits here and there. The rest will end up for sale and it sounds like lots of good parts on it. I almost hate to tear into it as it seems like a very fixable car... But it's not my first car...

Seth
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#26 · Sep 1, 2020

I'm hoping to get some help Saturday to pull the dash, fuel tank and maybe motor and trans. That might be a bit too ambitious, we'll see.
It's a long weekend, go for it! (y)

Joe

It's not a 97 Sport, it just looks like one!
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Discussion starter · #27 · Sep 22, 2020

So finally had some time to get back at the car. Dash is out and thankfully not broken any more, although I might still try to find a better one.

I had one nut that spun the carrier bolt out in the heater box. That sucks, let me tell you. All pedals out, save for the parking brake. Wiring is ready to come out once I get it out of the doors. I must say that is the most difficult part of the wiring. Illuminated key holes are great until you have to get the wiring out.

Question; what is the best way to remove the windows from the doors? They are in the up position and of course I have no power...I could hook some up if it's needed.

Seth
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Discussion starter · #28 · Sep 22, 2020

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Discussion starter · #29 · Sep 22, 2020

As you can see the heavy rust is in the wiring channel and on the cross support. I'll have to get those off the donor car. And here is the reason I'm going to this in depth restoration. Where the rust is visible from the outside 😭

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The driver side is worse, but I didn't take a shot of that.
Here is the engine bay with nearly everything but the engine and trans removed. The one wrench I am missing from both sets is the 12mm needed for the brake line on the block.
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And a parting shot before I mowed Mom's yard. Figured I could do that since I'm using her electricity when I work on the car. I'd get a lot done if she lived closer. Driving an hour each way chews up a bit of time.

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Hopefully removing the power train this coming weekend!




Seth
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MadMikeyL

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#30 · Sep 22, 2020

Easiest way to get the windows out at this point would be to just remove the motor and slide the window down in the channel to access the nuts for the glass.

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Discussion starter · #31 · Sep 22, 2020

Thanks, I assumed as much. Hoping to have some help to hold the glass up as I drill the rivets out. That or duct tape will have to do.

Seth
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MadMikeyL

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#32 · Sep 22, 2020

No need to drill the rivets out. There are 3 8mm bolts that hold the motor into the regulator, and then the motor pops out. Once the motor is out, slide the window down until you see the 2 bolts that hold the glass to the regulator, tilt the window forward, and lift straight up and out.

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Discussion starter · #33 · Oct 17, 2020

Well, much progress made. I'm to the point I've been scared of. Time to call the body shop to have a look. It's salvageable, no doubt. Just not sure I have the funds, or am willing to pay the funds needed to fix it.

Seth
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Discussion starter · #34 · Oct 17, 2020

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Light surface rust in the joints that aren't fully welded, or seam sealed. Some of it's thicker than I'd like to see. Not sure if it's bad enough to need to cut the pieces it and replace from my donor car. The shop will determine that. It's nice to see room for future activities though 😁






Seth
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Discussion starter · #35 · Oct 17, 2020

And here is the bottom of the car where the major issues are...
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Had to use a 4*4 to extend the range of my Jack. It stuck to the bolt on the sub. This is by far the worst part. It does stop at the floor.
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Some guys into the lower floor seam in front of the gas tank
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Seems to be mostly surface

Passenger side is is better, thinking just the rockers here.

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Then the other floor pan, front passenger side.
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Then the notorious rear shock mount on the passenger side. It looked the rust on the inside, but nothing slowing on the outside.
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Overall a successful day getting tank, driveshaft, motor and trans out. Then started the brakes lines and fuel lines and got most of that out.

Also, check out my Race ramps. Best 220 bucks I've ever spent on auto work. Think these are the 10" version. Maybe weight is 3# each. Super easy to move and great for access to anything underbody.

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Seth
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#36 · Oct 18, 2020

Imo, with the rust being in so many places that are hard to get to, id look at the price of acid dipping and re electro coating.

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#37 · Oct 18, 2020

That drivers rocker is pretty bad, I don’t think I’ve seen one where you have access to the IRS captured nut before, that’s convenient in a really annoying way

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#38 · Oct 18, 2020

That driver's rocker scares me! Everything else is minor and easy to deal with. I don't see any way of fixing that so it doesn't come back without cutting the quarter panel off the car.

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Discussion starter · #39 · Oct 18, 2020

That Quarter needs replaced anyway, so that will help access. Plus my parts car is basically rust free in that area from what I can see since it's a southern car. So I have the pieces, just finding someone who wants to go that deep and not charge 20k will be the challenge.

If I could get it dipped, I would. Not sure there's anywhere around me that does that. I have a guy that I haven't talked to for a few years that I'm going to ask to look at it first. If he doesn't want the project, I'm hoping he can lead me in the right direction. I just knew as bad as that particular area was that I needed to tear the car down so thatb it could be looked at completely and save money doing tear down myself.

I really wish I could do sheet metal repair. I really enjoy the car resto shows that have quality technicians. Kindig is fun to watch sure to the detail. I have that mindset, but lack the tools and welding knowledge.

Maybe when I retire...

Seth
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#40 · Oct 18, 2020

About Us | Metal Dipping

About Us | Classic Car Acid Dipping to remove paint & rust
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This place is in Oregon. Idk where you are located. Im looking at a place in NC for my 96, when I get around to the full build on it.
Get it take down first. Cut out the obvious areas. Brace it. Then trailer it to where you choose. Thats my plan for the 96 at least.

If I had more time, space, and a better welder, Id offer to help with welding it back together.
 
I'm in Iowa. I would guess there are a couple places within a few hours of me. Just not something I've ever looked for before. I'll look to the body guy I know to help with a solution for that.

My thought/hope was rotisserie and dustless blasting.

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Discussion starter · #42 · Nov 13, 2020

So I go and do something crazy cool (order a mint center console for a manual) and the paint/body guy finally answered. He's not even wanting to look at my car. He's getting older and only doing small accident repair.



I've known him for a while, so we talked about the shape of the car, what I want done, etc. He immediately said I was ready to spend some coin. So I asked if he thought $15k would do it. He didn't think so. So now I'm super bummed.

He gave me a name of someone he would trust to do his car, so I'll obviously let them take a look. I have another guy that someone knows that I'll have take a look as well.

Sentimental value with more than a new Camaro SS/Mustang GT??????? Ugh. Bummed!

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#43 · Nov 13, 2020

I know you don’t want to hear it, but IMO use the other body to swap everything into. Hardest thing to do would be swapping the dash header to use the 91 dash in it but it’s not too bad, @racecougar made an article on doing it the other way around, might even be easier

I get sentimental value, but the body is no more important to the cars soul than the engine block or glass. Use as much as you can off your 91 and it’ll be the same car in essence.

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Discussion starter · #44 · Nov 14, 2020

I get that to some degree, but I'll likely have $7-8k in paint on a car that wasn't mine. Then the $5k I've nearly didn't on chassis and suspension bits and another $12k or so in motor trans and the stuff to make them work. A couple grand in wheels, some interior work and then the "little stuff" that comes up. I'll have close to 30k in it. Just not sure if worth it...

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#45 · Nov 14, 2020

It won’t be “worth it” from a resale perspective, but if you never plan to sell it, then it is just the price you have to pay to get your car back. If you think about it though, for what you will have in the end, 30k isn’t that much. It is about the cost of your average new car. So would you rather have your Cougar, with all the rust fixed, fresh paint, built motor, upgraded suspension, and a 5-speed, or a new Honda Accord? Also keep in mind all the fully built cars here probably have that much in them.

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#46 · Nov 14, 2020 (Edited)

Never add up costs!🤣


Here’s the thing, I’ve had my car for 15 years, but the bodyshell is really the only guaranteed original “part” to when I had it back then at this point, even in the interior the only original pieces are the sail panels and the steering column, might be others but in the various doubles I’ve acquired over the years I don’t even remember what’s original and what’s not, but it’s the same car to me. With rust as extensive as it is on yours the amount of sheetmetal getting replaced is basically only going to leave the roof the only untouched area left from ‘your’ car. Is it really so different having some of your car with a substantial patchwork from another car holding it together, or having some of your car attached to more of that other car? I mean at the end of the day it boils down to the VIN plate (and wink wink, nudge nudge there is a technically illegal unethical but otherwise harmless and easy solution for that), but that doesn’t make the car for me, both shells are inanimate mass produced objects, they don’t remember your experiences together, but because of their production compatibility it won’t feel any different for you once completed to your vision, it’s still your car, it’s just one more “part” changed.

As for value for dollar, I’ve most certainly had the same thoughts, these cars are terrible “investments”, and no matter what you do won’t be equals to performance cars 20-30 years newer. You just need to evaluate your desires in what you truly want vs what you think you want in a hobby car.

And at least your $12k in engine is transferable to a wide variety of other cars. Throwing money into Modulars is the real black hole!

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Discussion starter · #47 · Nov 14, 2020 (Edited)

I completely get what you guys are saying and I may come to that conclusion. Was just a kick in the nuts that I was afraid might happen, but kind of pushed in the back of my mind.

I realize you all have way more money than logical in your cars as well. That didn't bother me when it was going to be a lot of my first car. If I were to buy a new sports car, I'd do so with the intention of keeping it forever too, so $40-50k now would end up being a $5k car 20 years from now anyway.

The only good thing about it being a different shell is maybe I'll be more likely to do something more crazy down the road.

Will have the car looked at and get real numbers, then make a decision.

Thanks for the input, gents!

Seth
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Discussion starter · #48 · Jan 2, 2021 (Edited)

For those of you that gagged a bit after seeing the mold in the interior. There is a light over the back seat and not the fronts, so the color looks different...

41312


41313


41314


I didn't get a pic of the carpet, but it looks nearly new. Since there aren't good options for replacing that, I'm glad I kept the car clean all of those years.

The leather still needs to get redone, but at least it's clean.

On the body repair front, I've talked to 3 shops and shown pictures to two of them so far. Without actually seeing the car, they both seemed to think it's salvageable. One guy said 5-10k and that scares me a bit. The other guy thought 10-15 was in range and he seems to be doing some nice projects. If course both thought I'd be much smarter to use the parts car as the car to fix.

I'm not smart... At least I have hope




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Discussion starter · #49 · Feb 27, 2021

A little update on the car and a question.

So, it's been cold and miserable here and I knew the shops in interested in having do the bodywork and paint on my car were busy until spring, so I haven't done much on the past few months. Well the shop I'm leaning towards said they can probably fit me in here in 4-5 weeks😲. Sh!t, wasn't ready for that.

So, it's time to get to work pulling the parts car apart and the few items on my car. In talking to them they can bend new brake lines for me using the lines on the car as a template, so I'll leave those on the rears as the fronts are off. I'll bring the car in on my subframes, then decide if we want to swap them from the parts car to send mine out for powder coat, or if there's time to do that without swapping.

That leads to my question. If I pull the diff and axle shafts, I can bolt the knuckles back on as a roller, correct? The axle nut just hold the shaft into the diff?

Also, the front sway bar doesn't come out without unbolting the k member, so I need to figure out what type of head is on those bolts and where do I get a socket for those? Who's idea was out to put those damn things on there?

Seth
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#50 · Feb 27, 2021

Yeah as a roller it'll be fine to leave the nut/axles off, dont worry about it. A standard 9/16" socket will get the K member torx bolts off without buying the correct socket. I've done it a bunch of times.

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#51 · Feb 27, 2021

Its ok to push around a shop. Not ok to tow or dolly it.

I did that when I stripped the white SC the first time. Wheel came off. Wasnt a good time.


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Discussion starter · #52 · Feb 27, 2021 (Edited)

Wheel came off.
Hub came free?

The car will be pushed 80 feet to the trailer, then take a ride for 40 miles, and be pushed around a 40*80 shop during work. Safety of it up on a roll on lift would be my concern. They have both roll on and usual swing arm lifts. Not sure which they'll use.

I wouldn't think an axle that pops out of the diff would hold it on. Or is it more the squeeze of the nut holding the bearing in?

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#53 · Feb 27, 2021

Yeah. The bearing came apart. Nothing keeping it set I guess.
Then again it was being dolly'd for about 5 miles when it happened.


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#54 · Feb 27, 2021

I wouldn't think an axle that pops out of the diff would hold it on. Or is it more the squeeze of the nut holding the bearing in?
The latter, the diff side is irrelevant to IRS axle retention, the circlips don't serve the same purpose solid axle C clips do as even without them the halfshaft wont come out of the diff(they just keep it so the splines stay fully engaged and don't telescope), retention is all in the spindle. The hub and bearing is a press fit into the spindle, its good for rolling around a garage but its not safe to take it up to any kind of speed without the halfshaft and nut sandwiching it to keep it from coming apart.

If you need to dolly it and put side load on it you could probably jerry rig a large grade 8 bolt and washers on each side to ensure it stays together

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Discussion starter · #55 · Feb 28, 2021

The car is out of the shop, and won't be back in until it's painted. I left the diff and shafts in. All of the brake lines and parking cables are out, so it'll be super easy for them to pull those.

Question: Can I get a new windshield anymore? Got the tool from HF to remove it and first pull, chipped the corner. Parts car has a cracked windshield so no go there.

Forgot to take a picture, but the parts car was in a 2 foot drift. Pulled it out with my brothers classic tractor. Tear down starts in 2 weekends.

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#56 · Feb 28, 2021

Glass is easy enough to make, that you will certainly be able to get a new one, but it may cost more since they may have to make it as opposed to having it already made.

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#57 · Feb 28, 2021

Check nearby glass shops and see what they have.

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#58 · Feb 28, 2021

They still make them. Ive gone though three windshields with the gold one and will be getting one for the red one.

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Discussion starter · #59 · Apr 19, 2021

Quick update. Getting very close to being ready to take both cars to the body shop. Motor and trans pulled from the parts car and it's nearly stripped. Basically fuel lines, brake lines and then some of the pesky sound deadening that needs to come off that car.
 

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For the most part it is a rusty free car, but man, some things were sketchy. Front bumper should have been replaced from the accident. The front fender didn't even have the rear mounting surface on it. Heroes in the bottom by the one bolt that goes in from the door hinge area. Middle area of the pinch weld is pushed up so that you can see it from under the carpet and wire loom area. Then there were all of the mechanical issues. Scariest of which was the top 2 bell housing bolts are missing. I don't feel bad about coming this thing up if it saves mine at this point. Someone would have had to spend a lot of time and money fixing everything.






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#60 · Apr 19, 2021

So whats essentially going to happen? Is the body shop going to just cut the bottom half of both cars out and weld them together? Are they going to drill out every spot weld and swap panels? Or are they going to create their own panels using the rust free car as a template?
 
I'll let them decide, but I'm sure they'll use my new rockers that I've had for 15 years, so then it's the passenger front floor pan, rear Quarter on the driver side, and the area where the subframe support piece connects to the body on the driver side. That underbody section is the scariest to me but after being under the parts car, it's more of a modular piece than I thought. The small area above the shock on the passenger side, I would assume they will cut their own.

That's how I'd do it, if I was able. We'll see.

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#62 · Apr 19, 2021

I think they should use the 91 to repair the faults of that chassis lol

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Discussion starter · #63 · Apr 19, 2021

I think they should use the 91 to repair the faults of that chassis lol
Maybe they "should". I'm willing to pay so they don't😅

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Discussion starter · #64 · Apr 19, 2021

You just like White Cougars....

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#65 · Apr 19, 2021

I think all cougars are great. The cars are fun too.

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Discussion starter · #66 · Jul 11, 2021

So after waiting on the body shop for a couple months, I reached out again. He had a guy quit on him and is way behind. Looks like it will be a while. I didn't get him nailed down on a timeline, but I assume I have at least a couple months. Getting tired of waiting, but I want it done right and he's reasonable, so I'll wait.

In the meantime, I decided to get the parts car moved out of the shop and into storage and have my Coug back in the shop. Planning on ordering headers and oil pan for test fit and any fab that may be needed. I'm assuming I may need to lower the K, then shim the mounts up. I wish there was a good way to mount the steering wheel in the car without the dash. Wouldn't mind doing the steering mod while I'm in there, too. Any ideas?

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#67 · Jul 11, 2021

if you’re not worried about preserving the doner dash you could take it apart and cut up the frame to only mount to a few of the mounting points to get the column in place

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Discussion starter · #68 · Jul 11, 2021

Crap, literally just tossed that today as it was garbage...cracks and broken mounting bolts everywhere.

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Discussion starter · #69 · Jul 13, 2021

Well, I did a thing...
44450


Fingers crossed they fit with lowering the K and shimming the motor mounts, and not much else. I know it's risky going that big of tubes, but I don't want to choke the engine of I don't have to.

Holley owns Hooker and their return policy is basically I pay return shipping of returned in 90 days undamaged. Needless to say, I'll be very careful say that price. I wanted the ceramic coating, but if I need to cut and weld them, I didn't want to ruin$300 worth of coating. I did find a place close to me that did cerakote, so I'll take them and the rest of the exhaust there if they fit.


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#70 · Jul 14, 2021

I managed to fit 1-3/4 longtubes in my 91 with the 351W. I don’t know what brand they were that I used, and it took some persuasion, and beating in a few tubes in a few spots, but with the steering shaft mod, they were able to fit.

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Discussion starter · #71 · Jul 14, 2021

I managed to fit 1-3/4 longtubes in my 91 with the 351W. I don’t know what brand they were that I used, and it took some persuasion, and beating in a few tubes in a few spots, but with the steering shaft mod, they were able to fit.
Thanks for letting me know, I sure hope so. I tried to look at the overall sweep of the tubes compared to others that were known to "fit" and these looked similar. I'll do the steering mod with another joint and mount on the frame for more room if needed.

Now just to decide on oil pan or adding a cooler or accusing and leaving the stock pan. Lots of theories on those out there. I think I want a short and wide pan and the car will be lowered and K lowered(likely), too.

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#72 · Jul 14, 2021

One other thing on the headers, I actually lowered my engine to where the oil pan just barely clears the steering rack, and I moved the engine back an inch by switching the upper motor mount plates left to right. The K member had to be pretty heavily modified to clear the oil pan and headers, but doing that made a little more clearance at the passenger shock tower, which was where it was actually tightest. A couple of the primary tubes by that had to be flattened with a hammer, but that was preferable to cutting and welding on the shock tower.

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Discussion starter · #73 · Aug 1, 2021

44672


44673


44674


44675


Didn't have much time yesterday, but I got the pan and headers on the motor. Had to lower the driver side motor mount about a1/4". Not sure how I'm going to do that when it really goes together. I'll use washers to space it for test fit. I'm tempted to have some 3/8" plate welded to the top on both sides. Wish there were still solid mount options. The other items that scare a bit is the 1/2" gap between the header and oil pan. Enough distance for heat? I do plan to do cerakote on the full exhaust once done.

As far as fitment goes from just looking at it the driver side will be the tricky part. Looks like enough room to put the steering through the header. I'm fine with that, but think the tube on #8 might go out too far and hit the frame rail. If the frame rail needed to go in, say 1/2 to clear, could it be reinforced to be safe again? Would be much easier to do on a full frame car.
 
If the frame rail needed to go in, say 1/2 to clear, could it be reinforced to be safe again?
This is where most people break out the BFH. 😂

Depends how much you need to clear and where. You should be fine with any "frame" alterations as long as you weld a patch back in ( or dont remove it .. 😉 )

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Discussion starter · #75 · Aug 2, 2021

Anyone happen to know the k-member bolt size? I know it's an E18 torx, but need the size, thread pitch, length, so that I can get some longer ones. Assuming I'll need to lower it at least a 1/2" I know I need longer. The way it looks, I think I can go an inch longer, that way I can lower more if needed.

Once I figure appropriate dimensions, should I get aluminum bar stock, or flat steal tubing as support? Thinking long term corrosion resistance.

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#76 · Aug 2, 2021

12mm x 1.75. I used T6061 aluminum for the spacers

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Discussion starter · #77 · Aug 2, 2021

12mm x 1.75. I used T6061 aluminum for the spacers
Are they about an inch long?

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#78 · Aug 2, 2021

Are they about an inch long?
I used 3/4”, I didn’t really want to go higher than that

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#79 · Aug 2, 2021

Isn't using spacers like that mess up the geometry of the suspension especially if you lower your car?


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#80 · Aug 2, 2021

Anything that pushes the wheel out will affect geometry in some way. Whether is spacers or a lower offset wheel.

Thats actually why ford made our bolt pattern 5x4.25 instead of 4.5 iirc. So we couldnt put mustang wheels on and alter it.

#81 · Aug 2, 2021

I was more so talking about lowering the k member with spacers. Not wheel offsets. That is pretty cool ford made the MN12 wheels that way.

If these guys are doing it I guess it doesn't matter. It seems the best case scenario is to lift the k member to restore the orginal geometry but that is just stupid on these cars. It is all about clearance. I am just wondering what the trade off is as far as performance and how much it matters.


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Discussion starter · #82 · Aug 2, 2021

Isn't using spacers like that mess up the geometry of the suspension especially if you lower your car?
I'm spacing the entire K member down. So, yes anything that attached to the K will be lower, but a half inch to an inch won't be a huge difference in geometry. I'll verify the sway bar is somewhere near level for instance. And since nearly all suspension will be new, it will need a full alignment.

I'll try my best to get wheels that I don't need to run spacers on.

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#83 · Aug 2, 2021

Thats actually why ford made our bolt pattern 5x4.25 instead of 4.5 iirc. So we couldnt put mustang wheels on and alter it.
Actually it’s really because MN12 rear hubs are derived from the 1986 Taurus front hubs, which came from the time Ford and many other American manufacturers were converting to the metric system with new metric patterns. Mustang wheels already didn’t fit MN12s because from 1989-1993 Mustangs only came in 4x108. The only Ford passenger cars that used 5x114.3 in 89 were Crown Vic’s, and those were dinosaurs.

As for the K spacers, that’s why I wouldn’t go further than I went with 3/4”, any more than that I’d be tempted to drill lower holes for the UCAs

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Discussion starter · #84 · Aug 2, 2021

I'm not trying to keep my engine under the stock hood (don't think I can lower it that far), just lowering enough to compensate for fox body headers and the lift on the motor mounts to clear them and oil pan to K clearance. If I can do that with less, I certainly will.

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Discussion starter · #85 · Aug 14, 2021 (Edited)

44824


44825


A bit of cutting on the K and driver side frame rails, but it fits really nice. Had to raise the motor 3/4" above the motor mounts. Will have the mounts adjusted by adding a box that high on top of the mounting holes. The K didn't need to come down for clearance, but I will space it down that 3/4" for more hood clearance and better center of gravity.



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Discussion starter · #86 · Aug 15, 2021

44837


Passenger side, if you look choose you can set the washers to move the mounts lower from the motor.
44838


A closer look and hard to set but there's about a 1/4" from K to the Canton pan.
44839

And the driver side looking down from the shock tower. I had to notch the frame about 3/8" on the top down to 1/8" on the bottom. This will clear once the motor is lower with the K. Will just need to weld in a correctly curved piece of 1/8" thick sheet metal.

Overall very pleased with how the headers fit. I'm still riding around the idea of solid motor mounts if I can get someone to make them for me. I have a design in my head that would work but I lack the tools to make that happen. Now that the motor is pulled back out I'll try to take pics of the K and frame where I cut.




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#87 · Aug 15, 2021

You can make solid motor mounts pretty easy on these cars, all you need is some aluminum bar stock cut to the length you want and drill a hole in the center. Just don’t make the trans mount solid
 
For those interested in the butchery needed to fit the headers and Canton pan...
44843


You can see the hole in the frame rail just behind where the K member sis on the driver's side. This is looking from the passenger side. Then looking at the K member, I had to cut out two sections. One on each side, as the front of the pan is square. I do think a drag style pan would work with less cutting.
44844


44845


And yes, it will all be patched very nicely before anything else is done with the car. Overall very happy it fits!




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Discussion starter · #89 · Sep 5, 2021

45068


45069


Got a 91 M5R2 and pedal set. Driveshaft, clutch, flywheel and a few other bits and pieces I likely won't use. Brake switch, reservoir and the rest of the stuff needed for the swap in there too.



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Discussion starter · #90 · Sep 14, 2021

So, I talked with Rob at Fiber concepts about a hood. He doesn't have a jig to make the "Cobra" hood anymore. I'll get the regular Cowl of I have to and try to soften the edgesa but to match our body lines, but I'm wanting to see if my body guy will cut the lip off a Tbird hood.

Question: after some research, I saw it mentioned that the hood latch is not in the same location for Tbird vs Cougar. Anyone happen to know on a 89-93 T vs a 91 Coug?

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#91 · Sep 14, 2021

The hood latch location is exactly the same for both T-birds and Cougars.

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#92 · Sep 15, 2021

So, I talked with Rob at Fiber concepts about a hood. He doesn't have a jig to make the "Cobra" hood anymore. I'll get the regular Cowl of I have to and try to soften the edgesa but to match our body lines, but I'm wanting to see if my body guy will cut the lip off a Tbird hood.

Question: after some research, I saw it mentioned that the hood latch is not in the same location for Tbird vs Cougar. Anyone happen to know on a 89-93 T vs a 91 Coug?
It's the same sheet metal in the front tub.

It's the same latch part number.

It's the same cable part number.

It's the same core support cross brace.

It's the same exact location.

RwP

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Discussion starter · #93 · Sep 15, 2021

Thanks, I thought it likely was, but an old post said it wasn't and with my luck making that assumption would be a loss of $700.

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Discussion starter · #94 · Sep 15, 2021

Hood is ordered. Rob @ Fiber concepts actually found the template for converting the Tbird hood to Cougar, so he's doing that for $165. $1057.50 shipped for the Cobra style. I sure hope it's nice.

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Discussion starter · #95 · Sep 19, 2021

The car came out from hiding today for a power wash and scrub. 15 years of dust on the exterior and 30 years of crud from the engine bay. I even got done of the dreaded foam in the rockers and dash area chewed out with the pressure.

img_20210918_144557803_hdr-jpg.45226


img_20210918_144613265_hdr-jpg.45227


img_20210918_144714230_hdr-jpg.45228


img_20210918_144620993_hdr-jpg.45229


There is a little piece of me that wants to have the original wheels redone and new BFGs back on. Not going to happen though. I need better brakes than I can fit behind those.

Getting close...2 weeks until body shop!





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Discussion starter · #96 · Sep 29, 2021

Bummer news today. Car was to go in on Friday, my birthday. Shop called and they need a few more weeks to finish some collision work they have. I was looking forward to seeing this build get a jump start. Hopefully I have good news in a few weeks.

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#97 · Sep 29, 2021

That sucks. I guess its good they didnt tell you wait another couple months

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#98 · Sep 30, 2021

These cars look oddly cool stripped to the unibody, like giant sandrails

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Discussion starter · #99 · Dec 14, 2021

So, I'm wondering if I should go the route of the M5R2, or if I need to go T-56/6060. I was doing some reading on SCCOA and around here, and some were saying much over 6000RPM shifting would be a problem. I am anticipating my best shift point will be 6700-6800 RPM with the cam I plan to run. Am I asking too much of this trans?

There is a carbon Fiber blocker rebuild kit for sale that I want if it's worth it.

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#100 · Dec 14, 2021

With carbon fiber blockers it should be fine

-Matt
 
Talked to the body guy today. He is still way behind. The car he thought he'd be finishing about a month ago is not quite done yet. He's been doing a ton of deer accidents repairs, including a truck that had $21k in damage.
It's looking like a couple more months before my car gets in.

I did ask him about dipping the car in a chemical cleanse and then e-coat primer via submersion. He has had varying degrees of success and failures with other types of blasting from various companies over the years. He'd do media such as plastic, as glass needs to be primed super quick. Seems he's not opposed to me having the car dipped to speed up the process.

Anyone have any experience with it? What I've seen is the biggest thing is making sure the soda bath is neutralized so that it stops working before the primer is added. I have an email out to a place in Milwaukee that does this to see how far it they are and what the cost is. If it speeds up the process and makes the best lasting car possible, I'd be willing to pay above and beyond what normal blasting would cost. Thoughts or recommendations?

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#102 · Dec 29, 2021

This vaguely reminds me of this team with a blue Camaro that dipped the car in an acid bath to reduce weight. Just leaning on the car would cause it to crack or deform.

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Discussion starter · #103 · Dec 29, 2021

I've heard of that too. I guess NASCAR trans used to do that to reduce weight. I would not do acid dipping. Most of what I've read up on is a soda solution of some sort along with electrolysis.

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#104 · Dec 29, 2021

This vaguely reminds me of this team with a blue Camaro that dipped the car in an acid bath to reduce weight. Just leaning on the car would cause it to crack or deform.
Penske Trans Am team, that's why their Camaros had vinyl covered tops. Dodge did it too when they raced Trans Am for 1970, only they neglected to neutralize it and needed to weld the cars together after races hey were so thin

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Discussion starter · #105 · Jan 26, 2022

So, in my waiting for the car to go to body, I'm getting antsy. Has anyone ever created a wooden subframe to set there car on while worrying on the subframes?

My thought here is I could be working on my subframes and have them ready to set in the car when done. I'd swap the subframes of my parts car onto mine for it to go to body, so there is no over-spray on my aluminum pieces.

How crazy is this?

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#106 · Jan 26, 2022

Not crazy at all. People have done it. I wouldnt use wood though, use to some tube steel and trailer axles.


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#107 · Jan 26, 2022

If it’s put together sturdy enough and the body is a bare shell wood would work fine

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Discussion starter · #108 · Jan 26, 2022

Ya, I don't have the ability to weld and with both being bare shells, it will be strong enough. It's not like I plan on moving them much.

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Discussion starter · #109 · Jan 28, 2022 (Edited)

Great news...my hood should be shipping tomorrow from Fiber Concepts. It's been 17-18 weeks since I paid for it and they have had major issues related to Covid like everyone else. Rob is nice to deal with, so that helps..

Can't wait to see it.

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Discussion starter · #110 · Apr 30, 2022 (Edited)

Talked to body guy today. He's going to get the Cougar in soon. He's finishing up a 49 Ford convertible that he's having a rough time finding parts for. Once I get the all clear that he can do it, and it not cost tens of thousands, I'll be working on getting all of the rest of the pieces needed.

Still need:
1. Engine built - anyone know a great shop in the Midwest?
2. Trans- still debating the manual. I have everything for the swap minus flywheel and clutch, as I'll need 0 balance..
3. Front brakes - caddy brembos or S550 Ford units.
4: Upholstery shop. Afraid of where this might take me to match the leather as just that portion of the front seats need done - anyone know one in the Midwest?

Getting excited!

Seth
'91 Cougar LS 5.0, in progress. (Most would say in pieces)
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Discussion starter · #111 · May 31, 2022

So, I have to call the body shop to set up a time to bring it in this week. I'm hoping to take the day off Friday and bring it in.

Also ordered a Wings West spoiler today. It's a 3 post spoiler similar to the stock ones found on these cars, but a touch shorter. I couldn't find a duckbill spoiler that I thought would fit and still look good. I may still go without putting it on, but think it will look bare without due to the cobra style hood.

I'ma nervous wreck. Hope he still thinks he can fix it within my budget.

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Discussion starter · #112 · Jun 3, 2022

img_20220603_142642154-jpg.49048


img_20220603_142649863_hdr-jpg.49049


img_20220603_142658912_hdr-jpg.49050


img_20220603_142651934_hdr-jpg.49051


They made it to the shop. Body guy was actually happy it wasn't worse than it is. I guess my descriptions made him think it was complete garbage. He actually didn't think he'll use much of the white car. Just a bit of the floor behind the rockers where they rusted through. Maybe one quarter panel. And he will use those doors.

Sounds like my budget is a bit on the light side but close. He has done a couple Thunderbirds, so he's very familiar, as the repairs he did on the last one was much like mine, except they didn't need/ want paint. Just fix it as is been a daily driver since new. So that made me feel better.

Anyone ever massage the front of the rear wheel well to allow more tire? He was thinking based on what I want to do there may be some benefit to doing a small tub. Possibly move the shock inward an inch or so, too. Not sure what that would do to the geometry of the suspension? Thoughts?
 
I don’t think you can do much about tire width with tubs, the width limiter in the front is the spindle, the rear is the sway bar and shock

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Discussion starter · #114 · Jun 4, 2022

Ya, since my sway bar is removed, I completely forgot about that. I did tell him about my hesitation to move the shock/ tower. So I'll likely leave it as is. He will roll the fender, tho for a little more room there.

Seth
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#115 · Jun 4, 2022

You can still fit quite a bit of tire in back, a 10” wheel fits with some room to spare

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Discussion starter · #116 · Jun 8, 2022

img_20220607_165236346_hdr-jpg.49165


img_20220607_165242789_hdr-jpg.49166


img_20220607_165252593_hdr-jpg.49167


img_20220607_165303193_hdr-jpg.49168


Well it's been sacrificed. They cut everything they needed and more. I was hoping they could save the quarters, but they wanted to make sure to have enough metal above the rear rocker area. Anyway what was needed was in good and very rust free condition. The front accident area was not needed and had a touch of rust. Good progress for just a couple days.





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#117 · Jun 8, 2022

I think I’m going to hurl 😆

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Discussion starter · #118 · Jun 8, 2022

I think I’m going to hurl 😆
Sorry should have added the graphic image warning. Especially for the white cougar crowd 😜

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#119 · Jun 8, 2022

Sorry should have added the graphic image warning. Especially for the white cougar crowd 😜
Actually gave me flashbacks of the very first time I went to a junkyard, seeing a pearl white 94 Cougar getting crushed as my friend and I were walking back to the counter.

“OH MY GOD WHERE DID I PARK?!!?” 😱

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#120 · Jun 8, 2022

Zep, would you see if something will dissolve that foam you can see in the frame section cut? That's the thing most of us would like to lose. :) Try acetone, brake parts cleaner, etc.
I'd heard Matt mention it; but that's a perfect photo of it.

Red '96 Cougar XR-7 240k mi. '02 4R70W, PST DS : '03 PI engine, 04 maf, 24lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, '02 4r70w + Jmod, DirtyD0g TC + cooler + 3/8" lines, 255 walbro fp. Alpine system.
Black '96 Cougar XR-7 (Lazarus) 210k mi PI Intake, '02 4R70W, Jmod, PST DS, GrogTune, Konis, Mark LCA+Poly, racecougar Custom Engine Chain, and JL and racecougar Bracing.
 
Discussion starter · #121 · Jun 8, 2022

Zep, would you see if something will dissolve that foam you can see in the frame section cut? That's the thing most of us would like to lose. :) Try acetone, brake parts cleaner, etc.
I'd heard Matt mention it; but that's a perfect photo of it.
I would have, but I picked the car up and took it directly to the scrap yard. A very powerful power washer does the trick with the car apart - at least where you can get to.

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#122 · Jun 12, 2022

Looks like good progress!

'97 Bird, "Pearl": L/R 2.5in Magnaflow Hi-Flow CATs | PI Intake & PI Cams | Suspension Rebuild

'13 Taurus, "The Bull": 3.5L Goodness

'00 2dr v6 Accord, "Dirty Girl": Magnaflow Hi-Flow CAT | Greddy SP2 CAT-Back | Eibach ProKit springs | Eibach F/R Sway Bars | KYB-GR2 struts

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Zep5.0

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Discussion starter · #123 · Aug 12, 2022

img_20220812_121418523_hdr-jpg.50207


img_20220812_123446159-jpg.50208


img_20220812_123508593-jpg.50209


img_20220812_123536250-jpg.50210


Well it finally arrived after 3 months. I don't out they didn't fill the order since it would take 4-6 weeks. Well they didn't respond to me for 2 months, so taking my $300+ and not doing anything was worse. It's here and just a small chip in one corner that can be fixed before paint.

It's this just a little shorter than factory spoilers? Looks to sit "1/2 above the deck lid





Seth
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#124 · Aug 12, 2022

Is it narrower? the ends dont stick out very far from the standoffs

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Discussion starter · #125 · Aug 12, 2022

I think it is a little narrower, and a touch shorter. If it wouldn't throw off the mounting, I'd like to shave the front of the stands down to put more rake in it. Overall I like it as it's not too overpowering

591123-jpg.50211



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#126 · Aug 14, 2022

Can you get a partial refund due to their negligence in packaging for shipping requiring you to fix it before installing? Or are you going to just let it slide?

'97 Bird, "Pearl": L/R 2.5in Magnaflow Hi-Flow CATs | PI Intake & PI Cams | Suspension Rebuild

'13 Taurus, "The Bull": 3.5L Goodness

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Discussion starter · #127 · Aug 14, 2022

Can you get a partial refund due to their negligence in packaging for shipping requiring you to fix it before installing? Or are you going to just let it slide?
I am not big on conflict, so I'll likely let it slide. Its really small and the packaging inside the ugly box was pretty decent. After looking again, I wonder if it wasn't still a bit uncured and it stuck to the bubble wrap.

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#128 · Aug 14, 2022

That's a fracture chip where the fiberglass mat wasn't completely embedded in the polyester resin and gel coat .. easy enough to fix and not worth the time and effort of getting a refund.

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Discussion starter · #129 · 10 mo ago

img_20221216_115339355-jpg.51897

img_20221216_115347026_hdr-jpg.51898


Seats are back from upholstery. They look nice from a distance. Unfortunately he didn't use similar color leather to fix them, so he dyed them. They will look nice in the car but I'm afraid of the longevity of the color. Overall a huge improvement from the torn leather I brought him.



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#130 · 10 mo ago

If it’s real leather and they were dyed properly(which I’d expect an upholsterer could do) they should hold up great. No such thing as natural burgundy leather, at least after the blood is washed off lol

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Discussion starter · #131 · 10 mo ago

Right, but I guess I assumed color soaked in more. And maybe this will cure the way I hope.

Seth
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#132 · 10 mo ago

I had the detailers at work that "dye" seats etc dye the Mark viii shifter handle I had black and it's held up great so far.

You can't fix stupid

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Discussion starter · #133 · 5 mo ago

Body shop sent me a text today they are working on the floors and fenders of my car this week. Hoping to have it repaired in the next couple weeks. He said they would send pics as they go, so hopefully we're finally making progress after sitting for a good part of the last year in his shop. I'll post as I get them.

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Discussion starter · #134 · 5 mo ago

36276-jpeg.53340


36277-jpeg.53341


36278-jpeg.53342


36279-jpeg.53343


Progress: Passenger side floor repairs.





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Discussion starter · #135 · 5 mo ago

36653-jpeg.53450

36655-jpeg.53449

36658-jpeg.53451

36656-jpeg.53448


Latest progress. Hopefully will see some body work next week now that the majority of the rust is repaired.





Seth
'91 Cougar LS 5.0, in progress. (Most would say in pieces)
 
36815-jpeg.53566


36814-jpeg.53567

36813-jpeg.53565

36812-jpeg.53569


A bit more done this week. Pinch weld has been cleaned up and a 1" square tube put inside of both sides for support. The body shop suggested that to restore some of the rigidity in the rocker area.

Then the frame boxed in where I clearanced for the headers. I'll admit it was one of the scariest things I've done, but it looks great.

It's so nice to see some progress on this thing after starting the teardown in 2020 while the COVID crap was going on. Looking time coming, but it's finally getting done. My hopes are to have a roller by winter and a complete car by next spring.






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#137 · 5 mo ago

I’m so glad the frame rail was boxed, I was getting j.miller 5.4 DOHC flashbacks for a split second 😆

Square tubing at the rocker seams is what I think was done to the ASC convertible Cougar, should be stout

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Discussion starter · #138 · 5 mo ago

I’m so glad the frame rail was boxed, I was getting j.miller 5.4 DOHC flashbacks for a split second 😆
I'll have to go looking for that. I had envisioned 3" round tubing going in there with gussets welded to the inside. I think this accomplished it better cosmetically and structurally. I do also plan to have the K member connected to the unibody frame to bring back more rigidity there as well.

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#139 · 5 mo ago

I'm not sure that thread still exists, lol.
ah,what the ****,Who's in for some nostalgia? 27+ pages,lol.
www.tccoa.com

USA BUILT 5.4L DOHC could rock some NA socks???

07-25-2005 Post removed due to off topic chest pounding! This thread was about a 5.4L DOHC installation that another member was planning to develop as a kit for the Thunderbird. Due to the overwhelming bashing by Jerry's crew the kit was canceled. Why do you ask this happened. The story...
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Red '96 Cougar XR-7 240k mi. '02 4R70W, PST DS : '03 PI engine, 04 maf, 24lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, '02 4r70w + Jmod, DirtyD0g TC + cooler + 3/8" lines, 255 walbro fp. Alpine system.
Black '96 Cougar XR-7 (Lazarus) 210k mi PI Intake, '02 4R70W, Jmod, PST DS, GrogTune, Konis, Mark LCA+Poly, racecougar Custom Engine Chain, and JL and racecougar Bracing.
Black '97 Tbird Limited Edition, '02 4R70W, 255 walbro, PST DS, PBR Brakes&SS lines, Toicko Blues & Springs, GrogTune.


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Truth Isn't Truth. - Rudy Giuliani, 2018 Award winner, “Most Outrageous Diversion” by MSNBC for this quote


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#140 · 5 mo ago

I'll probably get banned for that link; jeez, just reading the first page pissed me off.
I'm not sure that thread still exists, lol.
ah,what the ****,Who's in for some nostalgia? 27+ pages,lol.
www.tccoa.com

USA BUILT 5.4L DOHC could rock some NA socks???

07-25-2005 Post removed due to off topic chest pounding! This thread was about a 5.4L DOHC installation that another member was planning to develop as a kit for the Thunderbird. Due to the overwhelming bashing by Jerry's crew the kit was canceled. Why do you ask this happened. The story...
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Click to expand...
My favorite part of the kdanner that does not matter video is when it references that thread and the voice ai says “rock some nah socks” 🤭

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Discussion starter · #142 · 5 mo ago

Wow, that got a bit crazy. Then came back some time later for more fun. The pics remind me of Hemi Cudas, but uglier.

Seth
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#143 · 5 mo ago

That vid, and the one Oscar made, are priceless! All the old members are in that thread; Leland with the wart hood and all. :) Its way more entertaining to read as a mod; I can see all the deleted comments!

Red '96 Cougar XR-7 240k mi. '02 4R70W, PST DS : '03 PI engine, 04 maf, 24lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, '02 4r70w + Jmod, DirtyD0g TC + cooler + 3/8" lines, 255 walbro fp. Alpine system.
Black '96 Cougar XR-7 (Lazarus) 210k mi PI Intake, '02 4R70W, Jmod, PST DS, GrogTune, Konis, Mark LCA+Poly, racecougar Custom Engine Chain, and JL and racecougar Bracing.
Black '97 Tbird Limited Edition, '02 4R70W, 255 walbro, PST DS, PBR Brakes&SS lines, Toicko Blues & Springs, GrogTune.


"War Is Peace. Freedom Is Slavery. Ignorance Is Strength." - George Orwell.
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#144 · 5 mo ago

Wow, that got a bit crazy. Then came back some time later for more fun. The pics remind me of Hemi Cudas, but uglier.
Its actually wider than a Hemi, the standard low deck 4.6 DOHC really is legitimately within 1/2 inch of a 426 elephant motor!

Topics like that are why the forum format is glorious, you can’t catch up on a frenzy like that and jump into the fire on Facebook et al, it just passes you right by, meanwhile you had people throwing their hats in that topic who werent even registered to the forum when it first kicked off, and we all caught right up!

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#145 · 5 mo ago

Zep, sorry about your thread, but you should probaably know about the history. :)
Are the manifold pix still in there? I didn't read the whole thing. I lived it, lol.

Red '96 Cougar XR-7 240k mi. '02 4R70W, PST DS : '03 PI engine, 04 maf, 24lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, '02 4r70w + Jmod, DirtyD0g TC + cooler + 3/8" lines, 255 walbro fp. Alpine system.
Black '96 Cougar XR-7 (Lazarus) 210k mi PI Intake, '02 4R70W, Jmod, PST DS, GrogTune, Konis, Mark LCA+Poly, racecougar Custom Engine Chain, and JL and racecougar Bracing.
Black '97 Tbird Limited Edition, '02 4R70W, 255 walbro, PST DS, PBR Brakes&SS lines, Toicko Blues & Springs, GrogTune.


"War Is Peace. Freedom Is Slavery. Ignorance Is Strength." - George Orwell.
Truth Isn't Truth. - Rudy Giuliani, 2018 Award winner, “Most Outrageous Diversion” by MSNBC for this quote

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Discussion starter · #146 · 5 mo ago

Zep, sorry about your thread, but you should probaably know about the history. :)
Are the manifold pix still in there? I didn't read the whole thing. I lived it, lol.
I didn't read all 27 pages. The first 7 and last 2😆. And no worries. I'm sure this will be fun reading years down the road!

Seth
'91 Cougar LS 5.0, in progress. (Most would say in pieces)

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#147 · 5 mo ago

Alan (dirtyd0g) told me a whole bunch of juicy gossip about jmiller and freddy; all totally libelous, and sure to cause issues, lol. I'll save that for in-person meets, lol.

Red '96 Cougar XR-7 240k mi. '02 4R70W, PST DS : '03 PI engine, 04 maf, 24lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, '02 4r70w + Jmod, DirtyD0g TC + cooler + 3/8" lines, 255 walbro fp. Alpine system.
Black '96 Cougar XR-7 (Lazarus) 210k mi PI Intake, '02 4R70W, Jmod, PST DS, GrogTune, Konis, Mark LCA+Poly, racecougar Custom Engine Chain, and JL and racecougar Bracing.
Black '97 Tbird Limited Edition, '02 4R70W, 255 walbro, PST DS, PBR Brakes&SS lines, Toicko Blues & Springs, GrogTune.


"War Is Peace. Freedom Is Slavery. Ignorance Is Strength." - George Orwell.
Truth Isn't Truth. - Rudy Giuliani, 2018 Award winner, “Most Outrageous Diversion” by MSNBC for this quote

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Zep5.0

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Discussion starter · #148 · 2 mo ago

Latest update on the Cougar. Got the second book from the body shop. They hung the sheet metal, started on the rear subframe removal (had to cut access holes per usual). More rust repair and the fiberglass hood set on the car. Slow progress, but progress none the less.

I did discuss wheels and the possibility of widening some Saleen 18*9 to 18*10. Sounds like he's had some done, but was $500/wheel. I really want those, but not at $1000 extra. I'd I were to do that, is pick up the 19*8.5 and widen a pair to 19*10. We did look at the rear and he suggested cutting the outer portions of the K member inward a 1/2 to 3/4 inch. Then it's definitely sway bar that's the limiting factor. Has anyone done a custom sway bar? I know they make torsional bars with "arms" that pivot in the bar for hot rods. Any thought to that?

Like this:
www.speedwaymotors.com

Speedway Sway Bar Kits, 1970-1981 GM F-Body, Splined

1.25-inch 4130 chromoly steel front sway bar 38.6-inches long with .188-inch wall thickness 11.75-inch long splined sway bar arms made from A36 plate steel Sway bar arms create 375 lb/in effective rate, adjustable via two end link mounting holes 1/2-inch rod-end joints used as sway bar end links...
www.speedwaymotors.com
www.speedwaymotors.com

Seth
'91 Cougar LS 5.0, in progress. (Most would say in pieces)
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#149 · 2 mo ago

How wide do you plan on going in back? I have 18x10s and 295s and there’s still room for maybe a 305 before the sway bar truly becomes an issue

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Discussion starter · #150 · 2 mo ago

How wide do you plan on going in back? I have 18x10s and 295s and there’s still room for maybe a 305 before the sway bar truly becomes an issue
I'd like to run a 305. How would you feel about a 305 on your wheels? My thinking was that would be approaching 10.5" width on an 18". I'd love to run 19*10 and 19*11, but that doesn't seem doable with the front at all, and not likely in the back. That gets into GT 350 type wheel choices.

Is there more clearance between your tires and the sway bar, or the front subframe mount area?

Seth
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#151 · 2 mo ago
 

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#151 · 2 mo ago

I never thought to check it but clearance to the subframe seems fairly generous, and I have a taller than stock tire at that to really push the boundaries(295-45-18). Sway bar clearance would definitely be tight but I do think a 305 would just clear it with my wheels, I’d be more concerned about wheel lip clearance but I assume you’re rolling the fenders

-Matt


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Discussion starter · #152 · 2 mo ago

I never thought to check it but clearance to the subframe seems fairly generous, and I have a taller than stock tire at that to really push the boundaries(295-45-18). Sway bar clearance would definitely be tight but I do think a 305 would just clear it with my wheels, I’d be more concerned about wheel lip clearance but I assume you’re rolling the fenders
Yes, fenders will be rolled. I did find the FR500 in 18x10, in 40mm backspacing. That was another on my list of possibilities, but not sure. Standing underneath the car it looked like the front may be just as close. Really hard to tell with stock wheels and 245-60R15s.😂.

I do see +35 is also an option. Are yours 35, or 40mm?

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#153 · 2 mo ago (Edited)

Mine are +45

BTW FR500s would look great, I always liked them better than Saleens, I juggled around using them but my favorite finish is the plain argent silver with the polished lip and nobody makes them in that finish with the S197 offset. They were actually higher on my list than the bullitts when I bought them.

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#154 · 2 mo ago

I went and snapped pics, plenty more clearance between the subframe and tire, up to 315s would be fine in my estimation before that needs clearance. I couldn’t get a good pic but the shock absorber has almost the same amount of clearance maybe slightly more, so if the tire were to rub the subframe that would rub as well. Tl;dr nothing to worry about unless you want pro stock fatties back there lol

img_4487-jpeg.54832


Here’s the sway bar clearance, don’t mind the bare metal rub mark it’s not from these tires, it’s just from the E brake cable before I zip tied them out of the way, which is actually the only thing I had to do to get wheel clearance back there. It would be tight and they might rub the bar at full droop but I do think it’ll take an extra 5 mm on the inside from a 305.

This is a Addco 1-1/8” bar btw 1-1/4 or 3/8 will have less clearance

img_4488-jpeg.54833




-Matt


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Discussion starter · #155 · 2 mo ago

Thank you! I have the 1 1/8" addco, as well. I don't think I'll have them do any trimming. I mean some 345s would be killer, but not needed, and I don't want to shell out $700 per tire.

Seth
'91 Cougar LS 5.0, in progress. (Most would say in pieces)
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Zep5.0

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Discussion starter · #156 · 1 mo ago

Decided to bring my brake restoration pics here.

Broken bolt = lots of extra work:
download-jpeg.55101


Lots of cleaning and sanding later:
img_20230822_192702986-jpg.55106

img_20230822_195451856-jpg.55104

img_20230822_192659606-jpg.55105


Then masked and trimmed and waiting for paint. I'm letting them warm to outside temps 97° from being inside around 70° before spraying a coat of Caliper paint. Then goes the Red topcoat:
img_20230824_175650259-jpg.55109

img_20230824_175620522-jpg.55108

img_20230824_175632669_hdr-jpg.55107


I'm going to see what this red looks like over the black, then decide whether they all get it










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#157 · 1 mo ago

Out of curiosity, why paint and not powder coating?

'97 Bird, "Pearl": L/R 2.5in Magnaflow Hi-Flow CATs | PI Intake & PI Cams | Suspension Rebuild

'13 Taurus, "The Bull": 3.5L Goodness

'00 2dr v6 Accord, "Dirty Girl": Magnaflow Hi-Flow CAT | Greddy SP2 CAT-Back | Eibach ProKit springs | Eibach F/R Sway Bars | KYB-GR2 struts


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Discussion starter · #158 · 1 mo ago

Out of curiosity, why paint and not powder coating?
Cost and time. They would need to be completely taken down to the shell to powder coat. Then make sure they don't warp didn't coating. I'm not that patient and I don't want to spend another couple hundred bucks.

Seth
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#159 · 1 mo ago

Aluminum isn't tempered, so it really shouldn't warp.Voids in the casting will make it warp, so if it does, you wouldn't want it anyway. Soda blasting does a great job on bare aluminum, just wash it really well, and dry it. Soda will eat aluminum if you leave it in any of the cracks.

Red '96 Cougar XR-7 240k mi. '02 4R70W, PST DS : '03 PI engine, 04 maf, 24lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, '02 4r70w + Jmod, DirtyD0g TC + cooler + 3/8" lines, 255 walbro fp. Alpine system.
Black '96 Cougar XR-7 (Lazarus) 210k mi PI Intake, '02 4R70W, Jmod, PST DS, GrogTune, Konis, Mark LCA+Poly, racecougar Custom Engine Chain, and JL and racecougar Bracing.
Black '97 Tbird Limited Edition, '02 4R70W, 255 walbro, PST DS, PBR Brakes&SS lines, Toicko Blues & Springs, GrogTune.


"War Is Peace. Freedom Is Slavery. Ignorance Is Strength." - George Orwell.
Truth Isn't Truth. - Rudy Giuliani, 2018 Award winner, “Most Outrageous Diversion” by MSNBC for this quote


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#160 · 1 mo ago

Paint will look as good as the work you put into it, maybe not as shiny as powdercoating but they’re ******* brake calipers, if those are what your eye is drawn to you bought the wrong wheels 😆

Paint is cheap, prep isn’t as extensive as powdercoat(needs to be stripped totally bare) and after a few heat cycles the paint hardens into a durable finish in its own right. Only real drawback is it’s not chemical resistant like powdercoat, but all that means is mind your stream using brake clean on the rotors and use a clear tubing over the bleeder when bleeding them so brake fluid doesn’t drip on the paint. Even then it takes some time before it starts eating it.
 
I'm 3 days into the paint job as I had a malfunction with the clear coat. I think because it was in a cool store and I used it in 90* heat it caused a frosty look. Anyway, I sanded that down this morning and put another coat of black on. Then let it dry 2 hours and topcoat with a red candy. You can just barely see it, but in the right light behind polished wheels it should pop just a touch. I'm letting them cure until tomorrow for a couple coats of clear.

Any thoughts on the high heat stickers and putting them on before the clear? I probably won't for fear they may curve up. But would like it if they had a coat over them.

Seth
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#162 · 1 mo ago

Any thoughts on the high heat stickers and putting them on before the clear? I probably won't for fear they may curve up. But would like it if they had a coat over them.
They put them on powdercoated calipers before clear. I would suspect they should be fine.

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Zep5.0

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Discussion starter · #163 · 1 mo ago

I'll try it. I got 4 stickers and am not putting Brembo stickers on stock rear calipers😂

Seth
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#164 · 1 mo ago

I would, f- it, lol.

Red '96 Cougar XR-7 240k mi. '02 4R70W, PST DS : '03 PI engine, 04 maf, 24lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, '02 4r70w + Jmod, DirtyD0g TC + cooler + 3/8" lines, 255 walbro fp. Alpine system.
Black '96 Cougar XR-7 (Lazarus) 210k mi PI Intake, '02 4R70W, Jmod, PST DS, GrogTune, Konis, Mark LCA+Poly, racecougar Custom Engine Chain, and JL and racecougar Bracing.
Black '97 Tbird Limited Edition, '02 4R70W, 255 walbro, PST DS, PBR Brakes&SS lines, Toicko Blues & Springs, GrogTune.


"War Is Peace. Freedom Is Slavery. Ignorance Is Strength." - George Orwell.
Truth Isn't Truth. - Rudy Giuliani, 2018 Award winner, “Most Outrageous Diversion” by MSNBC for this quote

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Discussion starter · #165 · 1 mo ago (Edited)

img_20230827_143328140-jpg.55182

img_20230827_143338004-jpg.55181


Not sure if you can make out the red candy in the pictures or not. It's very faint and likely won't be noticed by many. Full disclosure; I thought it was more of a paint than candy, and was going for a dark cherry color. Decided this was pretty cool, so went with it. When un-bury the rears, they will get the same treatment.



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#166 · 1 mo ago

I think they look great like that, subtle! I was going to paint a strat style body I made with that paint over a gold base but I ended up selling it bare.

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#167 · 1 mo ago

You can't really see it over a dark color. I've seen people try that over the years. The worst one was the best effort; he really tried, and had a ton of labor in a paint job that only looked good in blinding sunlight; but it looked like a candy dipped apple. In bright sun, otherwise, it looked maroon. White underneath shows the color much better. I'd love to do the red cougar in ca red, but I don't have that kind of money. Basecoat, and tons of wet sanding and layers. I know where there's a 46 ford truck with a killer paintjob like that for 40k. IDK anyone that could do that paint, not even for 40k, lol.

Red '96 Cougar XR-7 240k mi. '02 4R70W, PST DS : '03 PI engine, 04 maf, 24lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, '02 4r70w + Jmod, DirtyD0g TC + cooler + 3/8" lines, 255 walbro fp. Alpine system.
Black '96 Cougar XR-7 (Lazarus) 210k mi PI Intake, '02 4R70W, Jmod, PST DS, GrogTune, Konis, Mark LCA+Poly, racecougar Custom Engine Chain, and JL and racecougar Bracing.
Black '97 Tbird Limited Edition, '02 4R70W, 255 walbro, PST DS, PBR Brakes&SS lines, Toicko Blues & Springs, GrogTune.


"War Is Peace. Freedom Is Slavery. Ignorance Is Strength." - George Orwell.
Truth Isn't Truth. - Rudy Giuliani, 2018 Award winner, “Most Outrageous Diversion” by MSNBC for this quote

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#168 · 1 mo ago (Edited)

Permission to display this post on this site has been revoked by the poster and content owner.

Forum.TCCoA.com
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Discussion starter · #169 · 1 mo ago

That was more along the lines of my plan, ha

Seth
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#170 · 1 mo ago

You can't really see it over a dark color. I've seen people try that over the years. The worst one was the best effort; he really tried, and had a ton of labor in a paint job that only looked good in blinding sunlight; but it looked like a candy dipped apple. In bright sun, otherwise, it looked maroon. White underneath shows the color much better. I'd love to do the red cougar in ca red, but I don't have that kind of money. Basecoat, and tons of wet sanding and layers. I know where there's a 46 ford truck with a killer paintjob like that for 40k. IDK anyone that could do that paint, not even for 40k, lol.
The classic CA red uses a gold metallic base, or silver. White base will make the red pinkish

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#171 · 1 mo ago

I'm guessing, but I guess dude used siver; the candy has some old-style flakes in it too.

Red '96 Cougar XR-7 240k mi. '02 4R70W, PST DS : '03 PI engine, 04 maf, 24lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, '02 4r70w + Jmod, DirtyD0g TC + cooler + 3/8" lines, 255 walbro fp. Alpine system.
Black '96 Cougar XR-7 (Lazarus) 210k mi PI Intake, '02 4R70W, Jmod, PST DS, GrogTune, Konis, Mark LCA+Poly, racecougar Custom Engine Chain, and JL and racecougar Bracing.
Black '97 Tbird Limited Edition, '02 4R70W, 255 walbro, PST DS, PBR Brakes&SS lines, Toicko Blues & Springs, GrogTune.


"War Is Peace. Freedom Is Slavery. Ignorance Is Strength." - George Orwell.
Truth Isn't Truth. - Rudy Giuliani, 2018 Award winner, “Most Outrageous Diversion” by MSNBC for this quote


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Discussion starter · #172 · 1 mo ago

This particular color caps for a silver base. I had a tri-coat Malibu that was just a touch darker than Mikey's car. It was a cherry red base with a dark red pearl candy coat. I'd love a sweet '32 Ford roadster in that color.

Seth
'91 Cougar LS 5.0, in progress. (Most would say in pieces)
 
While you have the rear seat out, look under that black padding for the build sheet.
 
While you have the rear seat out, look under that black padding for the build sheet.
Didn't find one. I think the mice got to it along with the fabric on the back of the rear seat.
 
My build sheet was under the trunk carpet near the passenger shock.
 
Hoping to look at sprayouts of car/period correct black versus a GM black that a lot of the shop's clients use this week. They were going to paint the body today, but I don't get back to town until late. Could be an exciting week!

Also sent the email to FordStrokers.com to get started on the 347. :znanner:
 
Welp, Looks like a 7-8 month wait of I want to use Ford Strokers. Was really hoping to get this thing together this summer and get some miles on it. If anyone has a reputable Ford engineer builder in the Midwest, let me know.
 
IMG_20240302_185439180.jpg
I'm going with the black on the left. The one on the right is a GM color a lot of people use, but it's got a touch of green I didn't care for. Ford had such a nice black that I wanted to keep it the same color.
 

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