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Topic ClosedPsquare's 78 Mercuy Cougar XR7

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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Psquare's 78 Mercuy Cougar XR7
    Posted: 03-December-2010 at 6:01AM
THIS POST IS A MESS AND ALL OVER THE PLACE.. I know!

It's a loose collection of my internet ramblings.. so I apologize if it's all over the place. 

I realized I never started a progress thread here, and I always love feedback good and bad (ideas are great!) so here goes.... Very Happy

I picked up this 78 Cougar XR7 on ebay for $1500 in August of 2005. One owner car> It was owned by a gentleman who owned a machine shop company and used it as his personal company car. His daughters both used it for college so I assume it sat in dorm parking lots most of it's life. The last time it saw the road was 1993, I have an oil change decal stating thats the last change,, and the mileage was 300 miles past that sticker. This Cougar was a poorly optioned car. 351W/C4. 2.47 open rear. Car had power windows, tilt wheel with a column shift, A/C, rear window defroster, sport style buckets with a console. . This car also did NOT have power locks, nor did it have a full gauge cluster. 







Edited by Psquare75 - 06-December-2010 at 5:04AM
Paul
77 XR7 460/C6/3.00:1 *SOLD*
78 XR7 523/C6/3.5:1
79 F100 460/TKO500/3.25:1
'I also have some left over potatoes-I understand you can generate electricity from them'- Foote500
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-December-2010 at 7:33AM
This car really should be named "Phoenix" and not "Cougar" as it really rose from the ashes of a dead project I had. In the late 90s I cobbled together a Starsky and Hutch Ford Elite. Was a fun car. Most people at my university had no idea what the heck it was, (I was a few years too soon for the movie), but that was ok. This car was a GREAT 20 footer, but every panel got some major rust repair. 


Being a college kid at the time with mid level skill and no cash, I took a Junkyard car (literally) and made this.. 460/c6/3.5. Fun street car, nothing crazy. 



The problem was.. it was a rot box. When I tore it down for a proper resto in 2001, I started fixing and changing major panels. After buying doors, that were NOT rust free, changing floor pans, fixing a hole in the frame, repairing both fenders with pieces from 'less rotted' fenders (I live in Massachusetts, you guys down south can laugh), acquiring some quarter panels that were marginally better than what I had, and realizing how much work was needed to change the filler panel behind the rear windshield.. I quit. 

I decided to keep all my drivetrain parts, and sell all the "Elite" parts. 


The car went from this.
To this, with the help of some friends, as shown, lol.
">

In a few years. I needed another car. I looked for Elites, but they were getting too much cash for what I wanted to spend. I branched out to other cars, and found this Cougar. So begins the real story. 





Edited by Psquare75 - 03-December-2010 at 7:36AM
Paul
77 XR7 460/C6/3.00:1 *SOLD*
78 XR7 523/C6/3.5:1
79 F100 460/TKO500/3.25:1
'I also have some left over potatoes-I understand you can generate electricity from them'- Foote500
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-December-2010 at 7:37AM
My initial plans were to swap over all my drivetrain components, interior parts that I had created, wheels, exhaust, paint the Cougar, and just DRIVE it. 

Of course, it became more than that.

I had to start some place, so I started with my suspension.

In the Elite, I had the rear control arms with Energy Suspension polyurethane bushings, POR15 coated. I swapped these over, along with the 9" rear housing (also POR15 coated), that contained a rebuilt 9" center chunk with a 4 pinion 28 spline 3.5:1 rear gear. 

While I was at it, I swapped over a rear disc kit I cobbled together using Crown Vic parts (more on this later).

I needed shocks, and I had read that Crown Vic cop cars would fit this car, so I went with some Bilstein cop spec shocks in the back.

I also cleaned up everything while I was under there. I didnt find any real surprises. 





Paul
77 XR7 460/C6/3.00:1 *SOLD*
78 XR7 523/C6/3.5:1
79 F100 460/TKO500/3.25:1
'I also have some left over potatoes-I understand you can generate electricity from them'- Foote500
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-December-2010 at 7:38AM
About time you put it all over here in it's own thread!!
Glad to see it from the start.
 
BTW on the tranny cooler...
I would run it the other way!!
 
Posted why in the how to forum to keep your thread clean


Edited by cowboyupdjcarl - 03-December-2010 at 7:47AM
Carl Corey (Moderator/Event Coordinator) Contact ANYTIME!
1976 Ford Elite "Lola Mae"
97 Suzuki Intruder 1400
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-December-2010 at 7:38AM
As for the front, I did the same thing. My Elite had Energy Suspension bushings at every location, so I swapped over my control arms that had EXTREMELY low mileage bushings and ball joints, along with new tie rod ends, inner and outer. 

I also had learned that a 71-73 Saginaw steering box, from say, a Mustang, would bolt into this frame, directly. A simple hose change was all that was required to make it work (as the Ford box uses a different end). This is important, because the box from a Boss 351 Mustang, or any Mustang with the handling package, had a box with a 3 turn left-to-right, as opposed to the stock 4 turn left-to-right. This swap ALONE will do a GREAT DEAL to remove the boaty feeling this chassis has!

I also changed my front sway bar, which was nicely detailed, and a 1 1/8" bar. The Cougar had this bar, but, mine was prettier. Very Happy

Old crap!



Paul
77 XR7 460/C6/3.00:1 *SOLD*
78 XR7 523/C6/3.5:1
79 F100 460/TKO500/3.25:1
'I also have some left over potatoes-I understand you can generate electricity from them'- Foote500
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-December-2010 at 7:39AM
Before I buttoned up the front end, I had read (here on Ford Muscle) about the 12" brake upgrade using the 72 Tbird Rotors and 'big car' caliper brackets. The thing that makes it a project on the 73 and up cars, is that the 72 Tbird rotors, while larger, require the 1972 Torino/mid sized car spindle ONLY!. The bearings were changed in 1973 to save some money (I assume) to use the big car bearings, but in 72, the mid size and full size cars used their own spindles. 

After procuring some 72 Torino spindles, full size caliper brackets from a 74 LTD and some new bearings, i assembled what I had. My Elite already had remanned brake calipers and Brute Stop pads, and new hoses, so I simply swapped over the components for that as well. The 1" difference does fill out the wheel a tiny bit better.


For anyone contemplating this upgrade, the 72 Tbird rotor is EXPENSIVE. $100+ at the time I did this in 2006.
Paul
77 XR7 460/C6/3.00:1 *SOLD*
78 XR7 523/C6/3.5:1
79 F100 460/TKO500/3.25:1
'I also have some left over potatoes-I understand you can generate electricity from them'- Foote500
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-December-2010 at 7:40AM
This finished up the suspension aspect. What I dont have pictured is a Lincoln Mark V master cylinder and dual diaphragm brake booster from a later Ranchero that I installed. I also had a gutted brake proportioning valve and an inline adjustable valve. 

For some reason the car never stopped right. It nose dived CONSTANTLY even with the rear discs. More on that later. 

To get the car finally road ready, I swapped on my 17" Cragars that I was going to use on Elite 2.0.



As you can see, the car cleaned up fairly well. The top was sun damaged, the hood and trunk had some small pinholes, the bottom edge of both doors were 'starting' and there was a quarter sized hole at the actual wheel lip on the right quarter panel. But, it cleaned up nicely 
Paul
77 XR7 460/C6/3.00:1 *SOLD*
78 XR7 523/C6/3.5:1
79 F100 460/TKO500/3.25:1
'I also have some left over potatoes-I understand you can generate electricity from them'- Foote500
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-December-2010 at 7:53AM
One of the things I loved about my Elite was I made a panel to hold Auto Meter Phantom gauges. I had a 3 3/8 speedometer and tach as well as 2 5/8" fuel, vacuum, oil pressure water temp and volt. I went with mechanical gauges, as I felt they were overall, more reliable. In the Cougar, a friend cut out a piece of plexiglass to fit a gauge bezel. I then drilled holes, mounted it to the panel, and added the gauges. 

It wasn't perfect, but it worked. I also added Painless Wiring indicator lights for everything. 

The silver shimmery stuff was just contact vinyl paper. I liked how mid 70s T/As looked, and I wanted to replicate the look of the 77-79 GT package. I failed miserably at that.



http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a72/psquare75/460/000_0195.jpg">

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a72/psquare75/460/000_0197.jpg">

The steering wheel is the Ford rally wheel that XLT trucks got in the late 70s. I just made a button insert in photoshop using a Cougar emblem.
Paul
77 XR7 460/C6/3.00:1 *SOLD*
78 XR7 523/C6/3.5:1
79 F100 460/TKO500/3.25:1
'I also have some left over potatoes-I understand you can generate electricity from them'- Foote500
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-December-2010 at 7:54AM
As you can see, the car ran great with the 351W/C4..

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4161105945085313481&ei=7_0nS56HG9m5lQf7vN2EDQ&q=78+cougar&hl=en&client=firefox-a

But it also couldn't get out of it's own way! Mad Even with the 3.5:1 rear.
Paul
77 XR7 460/C6/3.00:1 *SOLD*
78 XR7 523/C6/3.5:1
79 F100 460/TKO500/3.25:1
'I also have some left over potatoes-I understand you can generate electricity from them'- Foote500
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-December-2010 at 7:55AM
While I worked up ambition to complete the 460 swap, I still had some other Elite goodies to swap over.. 

One was the B&M Hammer shifter that I bought, but never installed. 

I was disappointed with this shifter, but I will explain why later. It felt 'sloppy'.

I made a custom plate to fill the console, cut the B&M plate to match, and painted everyth
ing to match the car. I had painted the text orange, to match the OEM seats. 

Paul
77 XR7 460/C6/3.00:1 *SOLD*
78 XR7 523/C6/3.5:1
79 F100 460/TKO500/3.25:1
'I also have some left over potatoes-I understand you can generate electricity from them'- Foote500
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-December-2010 at 3:21AM
Soon after this stuff came together, a friend got too excited when blowing my horn, and shattered the button of my sport wheel. Sad

The best I came up with at the time was to take my OEM wheel and paint the wood to match the car. 
Paul
77 XR7 460/C6/3.00:1 *SOLD*
78 XR7 523/C6/3.5:1
79 F100 460/TKO500/3.25:1
'I also have some left over potatoes-I understand you can generate electricity from them'- Foote500
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-December-2010 at 3:22AM
When I decided I wanted this car to be daily driveable, I originally tried to get the AM FM 8 track working... The radio worked, but the CB did not :(.

I picked up an AM FM cassette deck, and figured with cassette adapter I could use an ipod. 
 
The cassette adapter got stuck. :mad:
 
I then said F- it and got a Kenwood CD/MP3 player and cut the dash (I HAVE AN EXTRA DASH RELAX! :cool:)
 
I modded the dash to hold the radio, and used more of that vinyl to cover the woodgrain. 
 
 
 

Damn Ford with their oversized radio opening! :mad:
 
 
Fiberglass and bondo with a piece of sheet ABS as filler!
 
 
Done!
 
I added a small 4 channel amplifier as well and some speakers in the OEM locations (this car had speakers in each door already, I just upgraded). No grills, they all look stock. I personally hate using aftermarket speaker grills.

Paul
77 XR7 460/C6/3.00:1 *SOLD*
78 XR7 523/C6/3.5:1
79 F100 460/TKO500/3.25:1
'I also have some left over potatoes-I understand you can generate electricity from them'- Foote500
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-December-2010 at 3:22AM
One of the stranger quirks of this car was that it had power windows, but not door locks. It turned out, that when I added the speakers, I found the car was WIRED for the locks. 
 
 
I got some generic solenoids, and an OEM switch and switchplate set on Ebay for each door (the power window  and door lock switches are on the same plate). Looks stock, took minimal work.
Paul
77 XR7 460/C6/3.00:1 *SOLD*
78 XR7 523/C6/3.5:1
79 F100 460/TKO500/3.25:1
'I also have some left over potatoes-I understand you can generate electricity from them'- Foote500
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-December-2010 at 3:26AM
When I decided to do the 460/c6 swap, I made a decision to swap the car over to non a/c using factory components. My Elite was non a/c, and up in MA, I never really even use it. As a result, the A/C left! I saved about 90 lbs out of the car by losing the compressor, condenser, and the under dash parts.. while using factory non a/c parts. 



Paul
77 XR7 460/C6/3.00:1 *SOLD*
78 XR7 523/C6/3.5:1
79 F100 460/TKO500/3.25:1
'I also have some left over potatoes-I understand you can generate electricity from them'- Foote500
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-December-2010 at 3:30AM
]The non a/c cars have a 1 piece firewall that's flat, as shown here on my old Elite. 


To create this, I had an, um, old washing machine that i used to create a block off plate, and I drilled two holes for the heater core and mounted the fan motor cover to. 

Paul
77 XR7 460/C6/3.00:1 *SOLD*
78 XR7 523/C6/3.5:1
79 F100 460/TKO500/3.25:1
'I also have some left over potatoes-I understand you can generate electricity from them'- Foote500
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-December-2010 at 3:30AM
One another of the big issues was I wanted the proper appearing 77-79 hvac controls. All I had was 72-76 controls. I hunted around at the local junkyard and found this.


Unfortunately, they were frozen solid.


I also found an NOS non a/c controller on ebay for a 72-76. I gutted it, and swapped the control units to my 77-79 unit.


I then sold the left overs, and my NOS 'face' on ebay. 

Installed.


I have 'NOS' controls now.
Paul
77 XR7 460/C6/3.00:1 *SOLD*
78 XR7 523/C6/3.5:1
79 F100 460/TKO500/3.25:1
'I also have some left over potatoes-I understand you can generate electricity from them'- Foote500
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-December-2010 at 3:31AM
Finally I got to the 460 swap. At the same time I decided to pull the nose completely from the car, both to make it easier to swap engines, but also because I had a VERY clean radiator support that i had POR15d from my Elite.



I sold the 351w/C4 for $450. It ran great. It's still in a friend's garage.[
Paul
77 XR7 460/C6/3.00:1 *SOLD*
78 XR7 523/C6/3.5:1
79 F100 460/TKO500/3.25:1
'I also have some left over potatoes-I understand you can generate electricity from them'- Foote500
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-December-2010 at 3:36AM
Undercoated the frame/etc. I sealed up the a/c box panel, and put back the heater motor cover. 

My reducer cones (3" to 2.5") also fit into my mufflers.. how exciting. (for lack of other pics, I showed that).   :lol: 
 


Paul
77 XR7 460/C6/3.00:1 *SOLD*
78 XR7 523/C6/3.5:1
79 F100 460/TKO500/3.25:1
'I also have some left over potatoes-I understand you can generate electricity from them'- Foote500
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-December-2010 at 3:37AM
This day was an ABORTION 
I spent all day, physically pulling the 460/c6 from my Elite (it was all unbolted/unwired, etc, I just had to physically hoist it). What a mess! the transmission fluid bug struck bigtime. 
Getting it IN the car was fun. I am white trash at it's best.. a combination of a 15# sledge and a craftsman tractor with a plow helped me shove it in. 
Spent an hour fighting with the transmission xmember. 
Spent 45 minutes with the passenger side header. 
An HOUR AND A HALF on the drivers side. Whoever designed these Super Comps needs to be hit off the head with one. 
So.. what were the casualties? 
1 pre bent tranny line.. kinked near the starter. 
My distributor cap.  the clear one that made timing a breeze  
a few scratches in my jet hotted headers.. I can deal. 
The fun never stops. 
Oh.. did I mention it rained off and on outside?  

Paul
77 XR7 460/C6/3.00:1 *SOLD*
78 XR7 523/C6/3.5:1
79 F100 460/TKO500/3.25:1
'I also have some left over potatoes-I understand you can generate electricity from them'- Foote500
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-December-2010 at 3:38AM
nice progress, especially about the firewall 
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