We’re (WCCC) planning on doing a couple videos on the best and worst new / reproduction parts that are available for Cougars. And yes, it’s all stuff that we sell. I’m starting this thread to get some ideas from everyone, and to hear stories of positive or negative experiences with specific parts.
We’ve already got a pretty good list going, but would like to brainstorm with the community. Here are a few examples:
Best 67-68 repro taillight lenses. These are perfect.
Desert Classics repro emblems. Better than the originals, gorgeous.
67-68 front bumper fillers. Much needed, nice quality.
67-68 electronic K-7/K-5 relay. Brand new, fixes a problem that almost every early Cougar has.
All our rechromed items. We have an “in” with a great company that does beautiful work.
…(there’s more, but that’s a start)
Worst “Concours” starter solenoid. Looks nice, but almost guaranteed to fail. I had one fail on me before even getting my car on the road. Hood pads. Generic fluff.
Reproduction glass. Hate to say it, but they are almost all the wrong size/shape/curvature.
Repro armrests. Kinda spongy, colors often wrong, sharp corners, unnatural looking.
Repro windshield trim (Mustang). You’re much better off with restored originals.
…(again, tip of the iceberg)
This is a real sore subject with me and Iam sure many others. Repo rear glass with date code etched in for my friends 68 CJ mustang was 1/4 shorter then the org glass was.
The voltage regulators seem to be an issue also, I ended up buying a elecrtonic one from a parts store and changing the cover
My biggest dissapointment was the dash bezel for my 66 Mustang with pony interior. Like many of us no matter what the make of car buy the parts a little at a time and put them on the side till we can complete the project. The Bezel sat inside the house for about a year, I installed the gauges in it and it sat in the back seat of the car inside a dry garage till spring. When I went to install it the vinier had lifted in 3 or 4 places. Since the part was from a company that states they make the highest quality parts I decided to contact them. I was basically told that I should have bought the one with metal backing like the factory and was given a part number, which I looked up in a few catalouges and did not find it to be stocked by anyone. On my way up to the NE Cougar show in the fall I stopped where I bought the part to bite the bullet and buy another one well the counterman brings out a new bezel takes it out of the box and I was like it is starting to do the same thing my old one did the vineer was cut short in a few spots and was just starting to lift in one corner. They did not have another Scott Drake bezel so I said ok give me the lesser quality part, he takes it out of the box and I gotta tell you the vinner was not short anywhere the quality of the plating of the part was as good. The Drake bezel is camera case finish which is not smooth then they install the wood grain, the cheap bezel is flat plastic under the wood grain so it sticks better.
I know this is not a Cougar part but many Cougar and Mustang parts interchange and the quality of many parts were not up to par on this project.
I’ll step on some toes here I’m sure (no, I’m positive) but the 69/70 1/4 emblems were not (in my experience) “better than originals, gorgeous”. I sent them back to you guys (and lost my original shipping and return shipping). Originals that I sanded off the anodizing and clear coated were/are far superior. The repros had a few pimples and I was not about to accept that.
Apologies in advance to those I’m sure I have/will yet again piss off.
Totally agree on the VR’s, probably even more notorious than the starter solenoids! (although I have a repro solenoid and it has been fine). And, SD and their BS guarantee on the back of the packaging is just that, BS. The real policy is if you have a problem, tough sh!t! They have some fine products but those that are not, we’re stuck with (and unfortunately, find out through first hand experience). From my experience, there is no channel whatsoever for feedback or assistance with problems with their parts.
I agree about Scott Drake. I have some parts that are great. And others like the IVR that just didn’t work. Right now I don’t know if my gauges are correct. I have the original IVR in and I know my gas gauge is wrong, My oil pressure seems to be right, but it’s anyone’s guess on my temp. I’ve tried 2 different electronic VRs. The first one (not a SD) showed and over full gas tank that I know was just about empty. And a SD that didn’t have any output voltage at all.
I think this could be a great thread. It can be so hit or miss with some of the things we buy that the cost of restoration can sky rocket. But we need some follow up on bad parts. After all there are always some defective parts in an otherwise perfect batch. I could be the one unlucky guy that got the bad ones.
BTW the other electronic VR was with the low fuel light convertion kit from WCCC. I never did get it to work, but I may have screwed it up myself. I ended up buying a new tank sending unit and added a thermistor to it. The light now come on when I’m down between 3 and 4 gallons. Right about the time my gauge reads gone dry.
Most of the reproduction parts I’ve used over the last 70,000 miles on my 68 looked and fit great, but failed miserably in daily driver conditions. The belt line and quarter window weatherstrip I installed on my 68 was cracking and ripping within a year. The mass backed carpet I bought has faded from chocolate brown to tan at the top of the transmission tunnel in just two or three years. Chrome hockey stick moldings showed pitting after just one winter. I realize that these parts are designed for a market that is 99.99% occasional use/show cars that rarely see rain, let alone snow or salt, so I don’t feel it’s fair for me to complain, but I have a profound respect for the designed-in durability of original parts.
The '68 XR-7 upholstery in vinyl that WCCC sells is very nice. We put a set of that in B3Cat and it looks fantastic. It’s only been in a year so we’ll see how it holds up over time, but right now we’re very happy with it.
I’ve had the same problem with the starter solenoids as everyone else, but my current one took an interesting path. When I first put it in, it stuck on several times and had to be whacked to stop the starter from engaging. However, after 3 or 4 times of doing that it just started working normally, almost as if it had to wear in. The only reason it got that far was because I didn’t have time to swap it out so now I wonder if cycle testing on the bench would cure those bad ones.
I’ve had good luck with the hockey sticks and assorted emblems but both our Cougars are garaged, fair-weather cars for the most part.
I certainly did have a (my main) problem with the pimples. Maybe I had a problem with the shape of the “C” too but I don’t remember that (I’m old and my CRS is getting worse!). In any case, what I found was that among two sets (an initial order and then a replacement), I was not satisfied. Having said that, many know how difficult I am to satisfy!
Here’s a part I like a lot: The “remanufactured” cluster lenses. The value here is not to be underestimated (and is how I justified spending the money and replacing a perfectly good polished original set), that because what does the driver (who loves the car the most presumably!) look at/see the most on his/her car? The gauges!
Diverging a but but same thing with the windshield. I have a perfectly good original (from Isabel) and a used replacement - which is installed in Isabel (from dearly departed “Cleveland Rocks”, my '70 HT). However, I purchased (but have yet to install) a new, aftermarket replacement (which I will etch with correct Carlite markings). Why? Because what do I look at/out more than the gauges? The windshield! “Sandblasting” quickly becomes tiresome/less than satisfying to look through.
I am the designer and manufacturer of the ELFI kits and am always happy to help anyone who has problems with one of the kits (including testing and repairing units that have been damaged). WCCC has sent customers to me a number of times over the years. Looks like you have moved on with a thermistor (and you spelled it right!) solution but wanted you to know that the manufacturer of the ELFI’s stands behind and supports them 100%.
I totally agree on the Concours Starter Solenoid being absolutely worthless. It didn’t even get my Cougar started the first time without it failing miserably. The Premium NAPA part I replaced it with has worked flawlessly over the last three years.
I have the original ELFI kit (there is an updated version that I don’t have) on Mistress Jessica with Bob’s Solid state Instrument Voltage Regulator. Absolutely no problems with the IVR. I do have a small intermittent problem with the original ELFI, but it really might be because of the way I installed it or the fact that my gauge is not dialed in correctly yet. I will go back through the instructions/installation to make sure I didn’t screw something up. Either way, it is a very well engineered kit and I am still pleased with it. If I can’t figure it out, I will PM you Bob. (It might take me a few weeks to get around to diagnosing it)
I have no issues with the repro Cougar emblems and they look/fit great for me.
Repro Mustang wheel well trim looks great and functions the way I need it to. (Must be custom trimmed/fitted to install)
Vinyl seat upholstery kit fits great and looks good too. (Just wish it came with Headrest material too-- my painted originals just don’t match the vinyl color as well as I’d like)
ACC Carpet set seems a little thin, but installed very well and looks great. It is getting fray wear where I rest my left foot near the parking brake area though. (There is a new better pattern weave/material and backing material that they have switched to now that looks more original and thicker/sturdier)
Disc Brake and Cluitch Pedal pads / trim are holding up well and look/fit great.
Hurst type rubber shifter boot did not hold up well at all. It cracked around the shift rod within a few weeks of installation. The repro leather shift boot fits well and looks great too. It also seems to be holding up much better.
Repro Windshield bought and installed by Safelite fits very well and is excellent to look though. Well worth the money.
Repro export brace from WCCC (premium one) fits and looks great.
Repro Windshield wiper arms fit and look great. The only problem is I broke the spring or it’s mount when I tried to pull the arm back off the windshield and had to replace that one recently. Not sure if it was just a weak spring tab or I did something unusual to break it.
Got a link for the repro leather shift boot? I wasn’t aware of that one and sounds interesting to me. On the Hurst boot, yep, everyone has had that problem, including me. I took a piece of a DVD case and cut it to make a reinforcement, the idea of the reinforcement I got from Mike_SVT, not sure if he thought it up or got the idea on some other forum. Worked well on the second repro I installed. Musclecar Research makes and sells a reinforcement now. Incidentally, I have a Intertrochanteric Femur Nail that I made into a shifter and use a stock (non-Hurst boot). The leather sounds interesting/like a good possibility for the new shifter.
P.S. Your ELFI/SSIVR can be upgraded to the current design for a nominal fee if you are interested.