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    Thread: My 1968 Cougar XR7 Build (Pic heavy)

    1. Member crazexr7's Avatar
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      03-18-2012 10:15 PM #1
      Hello everyone, thought I'd make a build thread of the project I've been working on for a while. The car is a 68' cougar that's been passed down in my family ever since my Grandpa first bought it in 68'. Originally bought in New Jersey, the car has traveled from New Jersey to New York, to California and back all the way to CT.

      It was passed down to my Dad as soon as the carburetor caught fire and caused a bit of damage, by my Grandpa working on it. Dad rebuilt the motor and much of the interior and had it repainted looking in prime condition. By 1996, Dad couldn't afford driving it around much anymore so it was stored at my Grandpa's garage for a bit until he got sick of it and pushed it outside, where it was exposed to the elements. From there on, rust, decay and any other words you can think of or imagine have gotten to the car, and prevented it from running.

      So the car is now mine and has been a great project for me. I've done a ton of work over the summer and plan on having it running as soon as I start my summer job again. So here's some pics of the car and what I've done.





      Here's me sanding the hood when I was 14. (I'm 18 now)



      Filthy engine:


      The engine is a 302 with holley 4 barrel carb. The motor wasn't turning over so I dismantled it to see what was wrong. Ended up being completely hydrolocked with rust over the cylinders




      So I honed the cylinders, painted the heads, intake manifold, and exhaust manifold and my Dad helped me polish my valve covers and Assembled it back together.




      oh and my friend sand blasted some parts for me



      almost together:


      and then where it was at


      Used vinyl paint on my dash from green to black:



      In the last couple of weeks I've been trying to start it up, but found out the floats are bad in the carb so I'm going to have to rebuild the carb before I light the car on fire trying to start it up again . Really can't wait to get this thing running and back to great condition. Also plan on lowering it a bit to about this:


      So let me know what you think and I'll update this thread every now and again with some progress on my way

      Album can be found here

    2. Member FujiTekniques's Avatar
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      03-18-2012 10:18 PM #2
      Wow, awesome story! I've always loved that generation of the Cougar as well. Definitely keep us posted.

    3. Member 200HP4dr's Avatar
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      03-18-2012 10:22 PM #3
      Excellent job. Neat car too. I'm guessing it has the FMX transmission?

      I've got a buddy who drag races a car like this, only in crappier shape, with rotted quarters and all. He sprays nearly a 350HP shot on basically a stock engine with an FMX transmission (cast iron gears!) and it runs reliably in the 1/8 mile just a shade above 7 seconds! He has a 302 as well.

      See if you can find some nice Magnum 500 wheels to throw on there, as it currently has a mid 80's mod look to it with those centerlines. Still vintage, I suppose.

      Keep up the good work, and keep us posted.

      Chris
      | 2012 Nissan Leaf | 2006 Charger R/T |

    4. Member Boogety Boogety's Avatar
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      03-18-2012 10:23 PM #4
      One of my favorite cars, looks-wise, from the era. Loved the horn that blew when you squeezed the steering wheel... and the headlight covers that had to be adjusted, Just. So. so they were perfectly aligned instead of slightly off. Good luck with your project...

    5. Member crazexr7's Avatar
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      03-18-2012 10:35 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by FujiTekniques View Post
      Wow, awesome story! I've always loved that generation of the Cougar as well. Definitely keep us posted.
      Thank you sir, I will definitely keep everyone posted.

      Quote Originally Posted by 200HP4dr View Post
      Excellent job. Neat car too. I'm guessing it has the FMX transmission?

      I've got a buddy who drag races a car like this, only in crappier shape, with rotted quarters and all. He sprays nearly a 350HP shot on basically a stock engine with an FMX transmission (cast iron gears!) and it runs reliably in the 1/8 mile just a shade above 7 seconds! He has a 302 as well.

      See if you can find some nice Magnum 500 wheels to throw on there, as it currently has a mid 80's mod look to it with those centerlines. Still vintage, I suppose.

      Keep up the good work, and keep us posted.

      Chris
      Not entirely sure about what the transmission is called, it is an automatic though, like most xr7's were. And as for the wheels, I like them but they're in pretty rough shape now. I am planning on getting new wheels for the car at some point though.

      Quote Originally Posted by Boogety Boogety View Post
      One of my favorite cars, looks-wise, from the era. Loved the horn that blew when you squeezed the steering wheel... and the headlight covers that had to be adjusted, Just. So. so they were perfectly aligned instead of slightly off. Good luck with your project...
      Gotta love pop up headlights and thanks!

    6. 03-18-2012 10:43 PM #6


      Calypso Coral (Vermilion) or Cardinal Red? Nice job on the project - keep us posted - great work!

    7. Senior Member Air and water do mix's Avatar
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      03-18-2012 10:50 PM #7
      Great project! Those are handsome cars. Have you had to rebuild the sequential taillight motor? My buddy had to do his '66 T-Bird to get them functional. It's pretty basic and they're quite robust, so it's not a tough job, just a very unusual one!

      It's one of those cars I hope I don't run across in good shape on the cheap, as I don't need to spend the money!
      Quote Originally Posted by Boyz in da Park
      Proletariat, Bourgeoise - Everybody smellin' my potpourri...

    8. Member lip's Avatar
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      03-18-2012 10:57 PM #8

    9. Member MotownSVT's Avatar
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      03-18-2012 11:01 PM #9
      LOVE the first-gen Cougars... keep us updated.
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    10. Member crazexr7's Avatar
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      03-18-2012 11:37 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by sullie View Post


      Calypso Coral (Vermilion) or Cardinal Red? Nice job on the project - keep us posted - great work!
      not quite sure, but I plan on painting it guards red either this summer or next. And thanks!

      Quote Originally Posted by Air and water do mix View Post
      Great project! Those are handsome cars. Have you had to rebuild the sequential taillight motor? My buddy had to do his '66 T-Bird to get them functional. It's pretty basic and they're quite robust, so it's not a tough job, just a very unusual one!

      It's one of those cars I hope I don't run across in good shape on the cheap, as I don't need to spend the money!
      Funny you ask that, I thought I'd have to get a new one. My dad had to buy one a while back but that one stopped working. Any way of knowing how he rebuilt his and got it to work? That would definitely help me out! And thanks I have seen some in great condition on ebay go for low prices.

      Quote Originally Posted by lip View Post


      Quote Originally Posted by MotownSVT View Post
      LOVE the first-gen Cougars... keep us updated.
      Me too man what were they thinking after the second generation . And I plan on it!

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      03-19-2012 12:03 AM #11
      Looking great, thanks for the cool project thread. Keep us updated!
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      03-19-2012 12:13 AM #12
      awesome thread and an awesome car, keep up the good work.
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    13. Member crushed20th's Avatar
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      03-19-2012 12:52 AM #13
      I'm jealous! That's amazing, my first two cars were 1989 cougar Xr7's. Loved them to death.. Literally. Will be following.
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    14. 03-19-2012 08:45 AM #14
      1967/68 Cougar's were a great looking car. I owned a 68 with a
      race 302. The interior WAY outclassed the Rustank.

      I believe the tranny is a C4. The 351s got a C6.

    15. Member Roketdriver's Avatar
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      03-19-2012 08:48 AM #15
      I'm jealous, I wish I had an awesome project car when I was 14.
      GOOGLE IS YOUR FRIEND.
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    16. Senior Member Air and water do mix's Avatar
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      03-19-2012 08:53 AM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by crazexr7 View Post
      Funny you ask that, I thought I'd have to get a new one. My dad had to buy one a while back but that one stopped working. Any way of knowing how he rebuilt his and got it to work? That would definitely help me out! And thanks I have seen some in great condition on ebay go for low prices.
      I'll have to ask him, but if memory serves, it was simply dismantle, rebuild the thing, grease moving components, clean contacts and re-install.

      I'll see if I can get in touch with him and let you know.
      Quote Originally Posted by Boyz in da Park
      Proletariat, Bourgeoise - Everybody smellin' my potpourri...

    17. Member Orion ZyGarian's Avatar
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      03-19-2012 08:58 AM #17
      Awesome thread, keep posting pics and keep it up to date! Been jumping around on something like 10-20 car forums for 8 years now, and I think TCL is the best right now.

    18. Member crazexr7's Avatar
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      03-19-2012 09:28 AM #18
      Thanks for all the compliments!

      Quote Originally Posted by Roketdriver View Post
      I'm jealous, I wish I had an awesome project car when I was 14.
      It was very cool none the less but the only thing I did really was sand the hood lol. I couldn't really afford to do anything to the car until last summer.

      Quote Originally Posted by Air and water do mix View Post
      I'll have to ask him, but if memory serves, it was simply dismantle, rebuild the thing, grease moving components, clean contacts and re-install.

      I'll see if I can get in touch with him and let you know.
      That'd be great thanks! I'm sure I can find a DIY thread somewhere, I'm also on a cougar forum so that'll probably be of great help also.

    19. 03-19-2012 09:35 AM #19
      Sequentials are simple - you have to replace the relay, if memory serves.
      Mine were bad, the lights were fine. A simple drive to the local Ford dealership
      (they still carried them back in the late 80s) was all I needed.

    20. Member Yo Teach's Avatar
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      03-19-2012 09:56 AM #20
      Good work
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    21. Member zeewhiz's Avatar
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      03-19-2012 10:37 AM #21
      AUTOMATICALLY, SYSTEMATICALLY, my new favorite thread on TCL...


      67-68 Cougars are my absolute favorite 60s-70s FoMoCo product.

      Will be watching with great interest, and expect a bunch of leg-humping from me.
      I'm just your local purveyor of Miata and Nissan Z-car fanboyism.

      Quote Originally Posted by Chmeeee View Post
      Because then you'd be shopping at Kmart, where it always smells like 1976.

    22. 03-19-2012 10:37 AM #22
      Nice! Great project, post updates!


    23. Senior Member Air and water do mix's Avatar
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      03-19-2012 11:56 AM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by crazexr7 View Post
      Thanks for all the compliments!
      You're welcome. It's a great project and looks to be loads of fun.

      Quote Originally Posted by crazexr7 View Post
      It was very cool none the less but the only thing I did really was sand the hood lol. I couldn't really afford to do anything to the car until last summer.

      I have a standing offer with my kids that when they turn 15, I'll help them build a car. I'm not sure if my 8 year old will (it's "iffy") but I'm quite confident my 5 year old will want to!

      Quote Originally Posted by crazexr7 View Post
      That'd be great thanks! I'm sure I can find a DIY thread somewhere, I'm also on a cougar forum so that'll probably be of great help also.
      I would imagine you could find it, at least I hope so. I've already tried to call him once and his cell mailbox is full (as per usual) and he doesn't have e-mail, believe it or not!
      Quote Originally Posted by Boyz in da Park
      Proletariat, Bourgeoise - Everybody smellin' my potpourri...

    24. Senior Member Air and water do mix's Avatar
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      03-19-2012 11:58 AM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by adoniram7 View Post
      Sequentials are simple - you have to replace the relay, if memory serves.
      Mine were bad, the lights were fine. A simple drive to the local Ford dealership
      (they still carried them back in the late 80s) was all I needed.
      That would mean that it's completely different than the T-Bird from a couple of years previously. It was literally a motor, stepped down through a small gearset and a rotating set of brushes that made contact on circular pieces of brass.

      I'm sure the new Mustang does it with a chip!
      Quote Originally Posted by Boyz in da Park
      Proletariat, Bourgeoise - Everybody smellin' my potpourri...

    25. Member rpmk4's Avatar
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      03-19-2012 11:59 AM #25

    26. Member crazexr7's Avatar
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      03-19-2012 12:14 PM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by Yo Teach View Post
      Good work
      Thank you

      Quote Originally Posted by zeewhiz View Post
      AUTOMATICALLY, SYSTEMATICALLY, my new favorite thread on TCL...


      67-68 Cougars are my absolute favorite 60s-70s FoMoCo product.

      Will be watching with great interest, and expect a bunch of leg-humping from me.
      hahah thanks man!

      Quote Originally Posted by PJtree23 View Post
      Nice! Great project, post updates!

      Thanks will do!

      Quote Originally Posted by Air and water do mix View Post
      That would mean that it's completely different than the T-Bird from a couple of years previously. It was literally a motor, stepped down through a small gearset and a rotating set of brushes that made contact on circular pieces of brass.

      I'm sure the new Mustang does it with a chip!
      Ah, I thought the t-bird had a relay as well, I'm sure I can probably disassemble it and re-solder the joints and see if that gets it to work again (If it works like that). That's how I fixed my cruise control relay in my a4.

      Quote Originally Posted by rpmk4 View Post

    27. Senior Member Air and water do mix's Avatar
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      03-19-2012 12:53 PM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by crazexr7 View Post
      Ah, I thought the t-bird had a relay as well, I'm sure I can probably disassemble it and re-solder the joints and see if that gets it to work again (If it works like that). That's how I fixed my cruise control relay in my a4.
      I'll double-check with him, just in case I'm completely misremembering it!

      I sort-of assumed that they both used the motor-driven unit.
      Quote Originally Posted by Boyz in da Park
      Proletariat, Bourgeoise - Everybody smellin' my potpourri...

    28. Member crazexr7's Avatar
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      03-19-2012 01:34 PM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by Air and water do mix View Post
      I'll double-check with him, just in case I'm completely misremembering it!

      I sort-of assumed that they both used the motor-driven unit.
      Just ran out and took a picture of it

      That's the sequential relay I opened it up and there's seems to be a motherboard with chips on it.

    29. Senior Member Iroczgirl's Avatar
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      03-19-2012 01:45 PM #29
      Awesome! I love Cougars.

      I keep getting talked into working on a friends' '69. It's easy to do.
      Lots of VW stuff|Rare Scirocco parts!
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    30. Senior Member Air and water do mix's Avatar
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      03-19-2012 01:52 PM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by crazexr7 View Post
      Just ran out and took a picture of it

      That's the sequential relay I opened it up and there's seems to be a motherboard with chips on it.
      Those aren't chips, they're diodes, resistors and transistors. Edit: That's not a "motherboard", either. It's "Breadboard". Breadboard was similar, but it was simpler and didn't have daughterboards that plugged into it. It's different terminology for a different time. Yeah, the chip was invented before that time, but it sure wasn't in a car yet! Go back another decade or so and you're talking tubes!

      I don't know if that was in addition to or instead of the motor unit, though. I'll try him again and see if I can get something more firm for you. It looks as if it would be instead of.
      Last edited by Air and water do mix; 03-19-2012 at 02:03 PM.
      Quote Originally Posted by Boyz in da Park
      Proletariat, Bourgeoise - Everybody smellin' my potpourri...

    31. Member crazexr7's Avatar
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      03-19-2012 01:56 PM #31
      Quote Originally Posted by Iroczgirl View Post
      Awesome! I love Cougars.

      I keep getting talked into working on a friends' '69. It's easy to do.
      Thanks! They're really simple cars to work on

      Quote Originally Posted by Air and water do mix View Post
      Those aren't chips, they're diodes, resistors and transistors. Yeah, the chip was invented before that time, but it sure wasn't in a car yet! Go back another decade or so and you're talking tubes!

      I don't know if that was in addition to or instead of the motor unit, though. I'll try him again and see if I can get something more firm for you. It looks as if it would be instead of.
      Hmm good to know, and cool I'd appreciate the help!

    32. 03-19-2012 02:36 PM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by crazexr7 View Post
      Just ran out and took a picture of it

      That's the sequential relay I opened it up and there's seems to be a motherboard with chips on it.
      Mine didn't have that original part. It had already been converted
      to the simpler relay, like the below.

      http://www.mustangsunlimited.com/ite...&CatKey=Cougar

    33. Member crazexr7's Avatar
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      03-19-2012 11:08 PM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by adoniram7 View Post
      Mine didn't have that original part. It had already been converted
      to the simpler relay, like the below.

      http://www.mustangsunlimited.com/ite...&CatKey=Cougar
      Damn that's pretty expensive. I'm gonna try and rebuild it if I can, or source one out hopefully for cheaper.

    34. Senior Member Air and water do mix's Avatar
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      03-19-2012 11:16 PM #34
      I talked to my buddy a bit ago. Apparently the two have nothing in common as his was motor driven unlike yours. sorry, man.

      On the other hand, I don't feel too sorry for you, since you have a first generation Cougar with family ties/history!
      Quote Originally Posted by Boyz in da Park
      Proletariat, Bourgeoise - Everybody smellin' my potpourri...

    35. Member crazexr7's Avatar
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      03-19-2012 11:19 PM #35
      Quote Originally Posted by Air and water do mix View Post
      I talked to my buddy a bit ago. Apparently the two have nothing in common as his was motor driven unlike yours. sorry, man.

      On the other hand, I don't feel too sorry for you, since you have a first generation Cougar with family ties/history!
      haha thanks anyways though. I'll figure it out somehow. That's really low on my priorities for the car though, the lights still work just not the sequentials. Mainly focused on getting it running and then getting it prepped for paint

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