ThunderCougar - making one good car out of two


Sep 24, 2023
Eastern Oklahoma
Vehicle Details
1994 Ford Thunderbird LX 4.6L V8
Country flag
Wrecked my 94 T-bird and can't find parts so I started looking for a donor car to do the repair. Turns out they are hard to find in decent shape. After a long search, I found a V6 1994 Cougar in a bordering state. So I am in the process of combining the two cars to make one good one. Bonus is that the Cougar has red leather interior to replace the red cloth in the T-bird. Both are in fair shape, but I like how the leather seats have taller backs on them. Many other interior parts will be salvaged from the Cougar as well. The gauge surrounds will color match like a Cougar except for the steering wheel. The red steering wheel outer part is in worse shape than the black T-bird one.

The rear is T-bird, but the front clip will be a Cougar.

Rear-ended a trailer. Mostly hit the spare tire.


Pushed the core support almost into the engine.


Passenger side not too bad.


Driver's side got more damage.


LOL, sorry for the "old man fingers" in some of the pics.

Donor car fresh from Arkansas. My 1972 Chevy truck in the background is my daily driver while the car gets repaired.

Had to drill the spot-welds out of the core support. Core support is just set in there. The Fender and hood are bolted down enough for transport to the body shop for welding and paint.


Just hung the bumper cover on it for a quick picture. Body shop is going to fix the cracks and fill in the MERCURY on the bumper cover.


07/26/2023 dropped it off for welding and paint.

I wanted to get the whole car painted but it doesn't look like that will happen. Body shop doesn't want to mask around the rear windows and stuff. They want to pull them to "Do it right" or I will have pealing paint in a couple of years. Since we can't get parts for these things, I told him no and to just do the red parts for now. Maybe I can find someone to paint the rest some other time!?

The passenger front wheel was bent on the inside lip. Tire shop hammered it out enough to seal and balance but I do not like that. It is still bent a little. I have the stock bolt pattern and American Racing no longer makes the wheels you see, so I need help finding a replacement or a new set. Would like to stick to 16" rims as the tires are new, but would entertain other options. Guess I could use the Cougar wheels if I had too, but they are 15" of course. If I have to change wheel size, would rather go to 18".

Any recommendations on 16" wheels? I can find a lot of 16"x7" wheels with the 5x108mm bolt pattern but I am not sure about the offset on them.

Thanks for your help,
Got her put together this weekend.



Still some work to do, but it runs and the AC is charged up and working.

Clear corner is not here yet. Found a hole in the power steering reservoir. I have a spare, just didn't get to it yet.

The bent wheel has to much vibration to drive on the highway, but is fine for in town. Ordered new ones from Summit.
I wanted chrome wheels, but didn't want to spend that much, so I settled for these. Probably next week before they show up.

Enjoy till I update with new wheels.
Clear corners and wheels came in. I think it looks pretty damn good.

Whatever bent the rim apparently took out the lower ball joint on that side. Got to change that out and get a front end alignment then it's back up and running baby!!

I prefer that configuration, thats cool to see. Good work
Thank you. I'm very happy with the results.
I now have a cougar color matched interior except for the steering wheel.

With all the changes, it's kinda like I bought a different car.

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