68 that's 7 years in the making.

First off hello everyone, my name is Alec! I’ve been browsing these forums for a while and have been helped along a good ways. Thank you for that. I have a standard 68 Cougar that I got in California (2008) before I joined the Army and shipped it to Savannah GA. Original owner gave it as payment to the guy I got it from, was considered totaled due to suspension. It sat in his field for about 30 years. I then stripped her down to bare metal and have built her back up from there. I’ll be linking to photo albums and videos at the end. Also the end product is a very nice Sunday/ date-night driver.

I’ve kept nearly everything original or how I got her. I believe the previous owner was converting her to an XR7 since the emblems are in, the burled wood-grain dash was in as well as the seats. There was a 351W block and a C4, I’ve dropped in a 302 with a FMX (more on that oddity later). Other not standard parts or deviations are:
Sound deadener - used material from SDS (Sound Deadener Showdown) and it is phenomenal. It’s more work that just peal and stick and does a far better job. It is also easy to remove to do repairs or modifications since it is velcroed in. Sounds weird but it’s all custom engineered and vinyl material. In all it was $700 for front to rear coverage. That’s top on the firewall to inside the rear quarters as well as up inside the doors and windows. It’s a 3 stage application and I can do a separate bit on it just it if anyone is interested.
Sequential blinker - Went solid state.
Exhaust - Headman headers with 2.5" flow-master with an X pipe.
And put in the flex plate behind the rear seats from WCCC.

You’ll see in the pictures that the roof was replaced and she’s had her share of dings before I got her. Only spot that hasn’t been able to be smoothed over the the rear driver’s side just behind the bumper.

The only major rust was the passenger floor pan which was cut out and replaced. The sum of other spots is maybe the size of a dime. 2 little spots on the rear passenger side floor pan and one inside the edge of the wheel well. Everything has been treated the the best of my ability otherwise. I’m talking rust reformer and a mirror to get up inside the rear deck, the dash, cowl, everywhere I can including the underside in all of the drain holes. Each piece that I’ve taken off has been sand blasted, primed and painted.

At the moment I’m in Atlanta for school and finishing her up. The remaining items (besides finishing the interior install) are:

  • Headlights, waiting on a new dimmer switch.
  • Power steering, came with but haven’t installed it yet.
  • Vacuum system, one good actuator and one needs replaced. Also having an issue getting the lines through the firewall, an insanely tight fit. Anyone have any tips? Going through just above where the wiring harness goes through.
  • AC, I have the original system but I’m debating on rebuilding or just buying a new kit. They work out to within $100 of each other from what I have figured. Or I could go aftermarket for $500-600. I like the idea and sense of accomplishment from rebuilding and keeping original but again, I’m now a college student using my GI Bill and have a much tighter budget. Opinions?
  • Rear bucket seat backrest, needs reupholstered. The rest of the seats are in great condition and I’ve been wiping them down weekly to moisturize them again. 2 rips less than an inch between the two front seats to be repaired.

The FMX bit. I had a C4 originally and I thought the replacement 351W that I got had a C4 as well, turned out to be a FMX which explained why the motor was sitting crooked. Picked it up from a little old lady who’s husband tore it out to get better mileage on his truck, had 34,000 miles on it at the time. Thought it was motor mounts for a while but finally figured it out. Got a 69 FMX trans mount and all was well. C4 lines work nearly perfectly for it, just a slight addition needed made and it was good. But the shifting is where it was interesting. I put on a Lokar kick-down kit since the original system didn’t look like it would fit and I didn’t want to mess with what was already in and working so far. Then the shifter was off. Since it’s a 68 and the 69 has a different shift boot it made sense. Basically I had no park since I couldn’t get her to go a hair farther. Took out the shift rod and ground down the slot to make room and problem solved. Additionally, the shift rod for the 69 and shifter for the 68 didn’t seem to like each other and after about 50 miles I’d go to shift and it would slip and there would be no more shifting. So I’ve added bolts and washers to the rest of the slot to keep in locked in place at the very end. Lastly the drive-shaft for the C4 had to have an inch cut from it to make it fit properly and a new slip yoke. Currently have it all working just fine. I’m sure some are wondering why I didn’t keep the C4, my buddy was helping with the tear down wanted it for it 66 Fastback and by the time I figured out I had an FMX instead it was too late.

Currently working with Don Rush and an engineering buddy to make some parts for all of us available again. So far so good, stress tests and fit are being worked on. Temperature is the biggest issue. If anyone has parts they can’t find or want made let me know and I’ll see what can be done. I will also start a thread if there is interest to facilitate sharing of parts and plans. We are 3D printing them and doing our best to keep it all original.

I hope you all enjoy what you see, I’m off to do some more work on her. Still working on a name, leaning towards GG for Green Greg (Color and the mechanic who made this all possible for me).

Links to photos from start to current with updates to be added as they happen:

Sound Deadener in doors:
None installed - https://www.facebook.com/alec.herbert.1/videos/970507162994251/?l=4234325822880897719
Just stage 1 - https://www.facebook.com/alec.herbert.1/videos/970508906327410/?l=4591917626180181889
Full layer - https://www.facebook.com/alec.herbert.1/videos/970510402993927/?l=4997703282986834050

First Idle with exhaust:

Welcome to the forum, Herbert! Looks like a good car with which to start the restoration journey.

Or Alec even! :poke:

What? You think I actually read past the first three words? Don’t confuse me with handles that contain real names that aren’t your own! I think it’s time for me to shut down for the night. Clearly the brain is already in neutral!

Thank you Cat and Isabel (calling you 1969XR7Vert seems to pale in comparison to her).

Welcome to the forum and a big Thank You for serving our country!

Welcome to the Classic Cougar Community. It seems like you’ve done well by fixing your Cougar. I know that you’re well along your way with this project but I sent a welcome email to you with Cougar resources just in case you need them.

Your car is what every guy dreams of starting with. First gen., solid and all the right options. Nice work!

Thank you for that Steven.

Don, she’s been far nicer to me than I could’ve hoped for.

I just got a new dimmer switch and have working headlights and speedometer for the first time!

However I heard a pop (metal and under the hood) when I took her for a test drive and my once tight steering is now loose and pulls hard once I turn about 1/4 either way from center. Additionally she wants to pull left normally now. I’m thinking it is the steering box because i can’t see anything else out of place. Taking it to a shop to get on a lift and see if there is anything that I missed. Has anyone heard or felt the same thing before??

WCCC’s has a good video on sloppy steering. It can be so many little things that can cause poor steering. Their video is must see TV for the Cougar owner.


Thank you Steven, I’ve poured over the video and took her to a shop. The rag joint is very loose, more so than any of the cats in the video were from what I could see. Also have the tires canting in, already had an alignment and I’m guessing the pop that I mentioned before was something coming unaligned again. So going to be safe and replace all of the old parts and have a completely rebuilt cat when I’m done with this. I was hoping she would last until I was done with school. Oh well.
So now I’m trying to get everything that I need together to get it done. Currently hunting 4 bolt ball joints. WCCC has the kit but with the 3 bolt. What’s the difference? Should I try to find upper control arms with 4 bolts instead of 3? I’m not finding anything saying that one is better than the other. I’m planning to go with the rebuild kit from WCCC unless there is a reason I find before Monday saying otherwise.
I’m hoping that this will also fix my slightly tight hood fit, possibly have some warping now that I’m thinking about it. Doing all of the reinforcements that I can at the same time. Already have the rear flex plate so it shouldn’t translate to a rear suspension issue.
Again, any input on 3 vs 4 bolt ball joints would be appreciated.

OEM was 3 bolt after market was 4 bolt. I used PST parts for my front end rebuild. Here is a link for the products.
I purchased mine off of eBay for much less than their site list their kits.

Thanks Steven, I have been looking for (and think I found) a shop to do the work in Atlanta. One of the managers is a prior service guy and is giving me a deal on labor as well.

I also found the pictures of the sand blasting job I did and added them to the photo album, they’re at the end.

If all goes well I will have GG (name is growing on me) up and running mid August.

I am restoring my 68 XR-7 doors. Do you have those links for your aftermarket door additions? Any advice on installing them?


The ones that I used are from WCCC link: http://www2.cougarpartscatalog.com/2001117.html
I put them on to test fit and they fit fine but I didn’t like that they weren’t completely flush with the body. So I put a bead of sealer around them to keep them from cutting into the paint and potentially creating any rust spots from that. Also be careful with the doors because if you let it sit too high it’ll door the front corner when you open them. So I’d clamp them down where the lip is (closest to the outer edge) to avoid an issues as well as screwing in the scuff plates to make them fit right while they set. Then if need be the scuff plates can come back off without removing or worrying about the additions. Again, I used sealer because I’m covering up paint with stainless to prevent scratches and improve the look and don’t see it being useful if it rubs and such when installed.
I hope that answered your question, if not let me know and I can get some specific pictures for you as well.


I am so sorry, I did not specify what parts. I was talking about the door dampeners from your earlier videos. I also noticed some square plates inside as well.

Not an issue Brian, http://www.sounddeadenershowdown.com/ is the website. For the 68 specifically, with the metal flex plate addition behind the seat, I had $825 worth of material ($150 of it is shipping) and about 140 lbs of material. That includes 10% off for military and a 10% excess to allow for fitting. I measured it out to fit the entire interior, top of firewall to tailights, inside each rear fender, rear deck, wheel wells, etc. As for the doors, I did a layer against the outer skin and another one directly against the interior. You don’t need the vapor barrier pieces due to vinyl being nonabsorbent and designed to resist mildew as well.

My specific parts list from could be pulled with sale #3189 or:
CLD tiles x 96 These are the metal square that you see inside the doors, they are also places throughout the car and cut down vibrations.
Sqft of MLV x 147 This is the black layer in the pictures and videos, very heavy and blocks certain sound frequencies.
13.5sqft CCF x 12 This is the gray layer, light and soft, but blocks it’s own set of sound frequencies.
Velcro Strip 10 pk x 1 These are made to adhere to vinyl and aren’t just walmart strips.
HH-66 contact cement 32oz x1 Specific contact cement for vinyl again, extremely strong and connects the gray and black together.
Roller x 1 - was free
Extruded Butyl rope 15’ x 1 - was free

I think I would add one more CCF in order to do the dash in a single piece. I also added small squares just behind the rear licence plate screws to get rid of the vibrations.

For install, it’s best to work with everything out of the door, I used the gray material and a sharpie to get the fit. Laid it inside the door with 2 edges as flush as possible and then traced the others with the sharpie to know where to cut. I added about half an inch due to bending and not getting it laid in perfectly. Then test fit and laid it down on the black layer to cut, adding 1/8" around to allow for flex and to make it a tighter fit because of it being upright and not laying down it would be harder to keep in place. It took about 2 hours for the first door. The site really outlines the basics of it very well and as long as your patient it is easy to do. For the interior piece it’s much easier, laid it flat and used a screwdriver to poke holes where needed, don’t forget the spots for the door panels clips. They don’t need to be cut out but the clips will try to press through your panel if you don’t, almost had a bad day with that.

I’m a very particular person, so I spent about around 80 hours on just installing this throughout, I had a helper for about 60 of those. The firewall piece alone took me 8 hours or so. I made it a single piece across the front and ran it all the way up to the cowl. Fits amazingly well but was a pain due to the angle to install and all of the various holes and angles.

I hope that was more what you were looking for. I’ll be taking one of my doors apart this week to tweak the window alignment if you want to see anything particular, I’ll grab pictures either way but just let me know.


This was an amazing reply! I am definitely considering this. Is the noise reduction when driving significant or slight? Any future videos or pics would be awesome! Thank you again!

I think it is significant, however I only had some idling before I installed it and she never ran beforehand. So I’m going off of other muscle cars I’ve ridden in and the fact that I can have a conversation at a normal voice even with the windows down for AC. I have a hole to seal up for where I was planning to run vacuum lines through the firewall, some deadener to finish under the dash/cowl and the wheel wells in the trunk. The weather and available time here in Atlanta have been messing up my progress. I’ll get some photos and another door video with it all in place this week and then a running video once the front end is finished late next month. I’m very happy with it overall.
One thing to consider is to use two layers of the gray material instead of one and not use the carpet pad. I feel like I would’ve had a better fit with the carpet without the padding and another layer.