68 standard, just a classy driver!

So I posted in the show us your cougar thread but I would also like to start a build thread if I may. I know I enjoy looking at other cougar projects so I fiqured I could share mine.

My plans are not a restoration but rather a solid driver with reasonable upgrades. Not sure if there is an accepted term for this sort of build but I wouldn’t title it restoration by any stretch of the word. To me a restoration is a full nut and bolt top to bottom rework better then new. As cool as these are I would be fearful to actually drive and enjoy it as much as I want to. Not to mention my wallet can’t handle a full restoration. I guess you could call it a restromod but then again I am not planning on using some big buck suspension and drivetrain, so maybe hotrod? I do however want to go through the entire car and rebuild,refinish, upgrade and not be afraid of not being “concourse correct”. I want to make changes and upgrades that make sense, personalize the car and make it a better driver. I would love to take a cross country trip like those that recently drove out to Dearborn for the 50th!

Anyway from what I’m working with.
68 standard, 302, 2v, 3speed, decor interior, sea foam green exterior, ivy gold interior

Previous owner had swapped over a intake, msd distributor, ignition box, all the front and rear suspension has been gone through and replaced, front Granada disc swap, 3speed rebuilt, diff rebuilt and regeared to 3.55 and a few other small things.

Bringing it home, front fenders, bumpers and grill where installed just to haul it home

Getting 20years of parked fuel out of the carb

I needed to know if the motor ran since it was parked and not started for an estimated 15years or so. Got all the fluids replaced, cleaned the carb, stuck the pedals back in and put the correct master cylinder and booster in it, Tossed the seat in with one bolt and took it around the block! Found out later the rear wheels where finger tight, but it was a great drive! The motor will eventually come out for a rebuild, maybe build a stroker? T5 swap? But for now I will work on getting it mechanically sound and start what I can on body work. Hopefully there will be some life left in the original motor to get some drive time before having to yank the motor out of it.

Got the front clip back off to clean and paint everything under the fenders, start reworking the headlights etc. lots of free cheap labor stuff to get done before spending any real cash on big things like paint. Im surprised how everything fit together for just being set on the car and not lined up one bit

You have the best of both worlds: A cool project car and a way to relieve your stress parked right next to it.

Cool project! I am looking forward to more. Are you going to do a 5 speed?

Thats the plan, I do want to keep it a manual and not convert to an auto. Thinking T5 will be a good fit for the end use of the car, but then again depends a little on what I ultimately decide to run for an engine.

Keep in mind, even the T5z spec are fairly limited on torque you can run through them. If you have any thoughts at all of upping the grunt, you may want to consider the TKO instead.

All you ever didn’t know you wanted to know about the T5: http://www.moderndriveline.com/Technical_Bits/t5_history.htm

I am using the T5Z 5 speed transmission too. The 1987-92 5.0 Mustang engines advertised 300 ft-lb of torque. Higher than what the net specs would be for my 1968 J code engine. I do not anticipate any issues, and not planning on spinning the rear tires, … too much.

I was aware of the limitations of the T5 which is something I am considering. I believe they are rated around the 330fts mark which I think a mild build 302 could be under that but yeah the motor build will decide the transmission requirement. If going bigger numbers I need to consider a stouter option like the TKO as long as there is no cutting of the tunnel needed. According to MDL they will fit in the 68s so that could be a good option down the road. I also think driving habits play a big part in getting a T5 to live as well, however I have seen plenty of fox body guys flog the dog out of those cars ad somehow the t5 lives :nerd:

So for now hopefully I can make the old girl run well enough on the stocker to get some enjoyment before tossing hundred dollar bills at a power train.

I think that t5 oughtta hold up if you’re not too hard in it with a mild small block. We used to brutalize the one in my buds 83 GT and it held up. The rear end on the other hand, didn’t come close to holding up to the abuse.

Fox bodies bend the rules a little with the t5’s torque rating because of how light they are. You can run a lot of power and get away with it in the t5 as long as you plan on spinning the tires. If you hook the power up to the ground that’s when you have issues. I would probably go the tko route unless you are prepared to swap trannies

I’ll cross the t5 bridge when I’m at that point in the build. One thing for sure I want to do a 5spd swap for drivability but for now the 3 speed will stay until its roadable.

Been working on a couple small things, had a beat up headlight door that came with the car. Perfect to practice on before tearing down mine. I didn’t spent a lot of time prepping but wanted to get an idea how it would look and in what order I need to do things. The silver and black on the bars can be tricky and I found out I will need to paint the bottom horizontal black first and tape that off before spraying the silver. If doing the black aftert he silver it’s too much of a pain. I painted the bars ford agrent and it looks good against the satin black which is not sem trim black however I will use that for the ones going on the car. Almost wondering if I should just leave the bars painted? Gives a unique look rather then the original chrome. I did clean the paint from the 4bars on right to compare which in the picture does not show well.

Your test headlight door looks good. If you plan on going with the silver argent bars vs. the chrome/argent factory bars I’d use self etching primer so the paint won’t peel off of the chrome. If you go the painted route what about the Cougar corral? Will you paint the walking Cougar and the surround argent?

So once getting everything torn down I found my chrome grill bars where pretty sand blasted so they really need to be re-chromed, I went back and forth a few times trying to decide what I wanted to do, decided just to paint the chrome and I can always change it later.

For the cat and corral I’m not sure if I’ll paint it or replace it. Thinking it might look good replaced with a new chrome one but might match better painted??

I am happy with the results and I think it came out looking good, I got the grille mostly straight with a heat gun, or at least as straight as I was comfortable bending it without breaking. Cleaned and painted everything else and tossed in new lights. Left the vacuum regulators in there for now but as I get closer to putting them back in the car I think I will just convert to electric but that will depend on funds. Now on to the driver side! Nice thing is this is pretty much a free project. Just the cost of paint and some time.

I think they look good painted. If I were you I’d probably paint the Cougar and corral so it would match.

Here is a little preview of the paint, doing a little horse trading to start on the body work. At this point only roughing it out and painting the jams, underside of the hood and truck etc. In a few weeks Ill bring him the car to do to jam and paint the interior, then bring it home to assemble myself before final body work and paint. Im no where near some of you guys on body work quality but I have used my guy a few times on other projects and he does good work. Its a perfect driver paint job and will not worry about getting road debris damage.

Apologize for the sideways photos, getting back into Supermotors since Photobucket went full retard. They where correct orientation when uploaded

For those that might be interested, here is the marti report. Nothing unexpected here or what I have seen from what the car is.
8R91F507724_dlxrpt.pdf (205 KB)

Dropped her off at the body shop today…Towed it to my work to unload then drove it a couple blocks to the body shop, got into a fun little burnout session on my way :laughing: can’t wait until it’s drive able to have some real drive time!

Got the car back today for my end of the labor. I will hang and align all the panels then send it back to the body shop for the final prep work before paint.

I think I might just yank the motor out to prep and paint the engine bay first while the front clip is off. However I do not need a snow ball effect of “while Im here” since I simply do not have the funds to throw at it currently.

The trick is finding the time to work on her after hours in the shop. As you guys know juggling family time and cougar time isnt the easiest ! :sunglasses:

All the jams are painted including the dash and floor. The floor is simply a rough coat and cleared since its going to be covered up anyway

Better shot of the color, however the shop lights do not do it justice. Out side under the sun is impressive.

Looks good…what color/brand is that?

I really like that color. You are making quick work of this thing. :thumbup:

Its Ford factory color. Its color code J7 Magnetic.

I cant wait to see it on the entire car. Just from whats already done I have zero regrets!

I have a feeling progress will slow greatly once paint is done, but we will see how time and money permits movement on it. The goal is to get it road worthy and drive able then I can add fun upgrades to it as I go.