Engine compartment "Refresh"

Hi Community!
Guess what, I finally found time to work on my sweet Cat Yeah! But I am starting so late that I probably won’t do half of my wish list… so the first (and may be only) thing that I am going to do this winter is to refresh the engine compartment. I will not call this a restoration since engine will stay in, however I intend to improve quite a bit the way it looks.
I started with the underside of the hood: it was pretty dirty, contaminated with black oversparays (I guess from the mat first resto) and started to rust a little near the nose and locking pin.

  1. I removed the mat (was able to save the fasteners that I could successfully remove using a pair of long nose plier as recommended earlier by BossElim69 thks), dedusted with vaccum cleaner, repaired the sections where it had started to tear (with black felt) and repainted with flat black engine paint.
  2. I disassembled the nose, grill and lock bar; then I sanded each part, ground rust spots down to white metal, degreased, primed with anti-rust paint, smoothened with 400 grit, repainted (2 coats) and applied 2 layers of carbo wax.
  3. I feel like I was very lucky that a very good color match paint was available from the shelf (CBFM0382 Medium Blue Met).
  4. I obtained this way a finish that is kind of “similar” the underside of the trunk (that is original).


Nice work. Amazing how much better you can make things look with just a bit of effort.

Looks good!

Looks really nice a very big! improvement :thumbup:

Grill & Eyelids before:
Became this:

Little further view:
I am pretty pleased with them, my wife feels my patience has incraesed thousands times!

Very nice work!

That’s funny, wives notice that stuff don’t they.

Great job!!

Wow, looks great! What a difference. Looks like I might have the twin of your Cougar. Mine is original paint, but faded. What paint code is yours? Mine is Q.

Nice job… some time & attention to detail really go a long way. I’m looking forward to the grille detailing stage, since that’s such an iconic part of the Cougar. Keep it up!

Sevenliter66, I guess not since my color code was either 6 or J (not sure - not have Marty Report) that I think are both darker. I beleive your color is far more rare.

Today I removed headbeams/supports/springs etc, hood lock & handle, horns, windshield washer container, battery and battery supporting plate… It looks more complicated than actually is, but it is time consuming so I guess I will be detailing for a quite a while before I can actually reach the firewall! I am taking tons of pics just to make sure I can re-assemble. Some will follow while progressing.

Headbeams were repainted… could not remove all the corrosion, especially in the back, but they still look much better

I am happy with that.

I cleaned up the windshield washer reserveoir to a satisfatory level but a bed of dirt remains in the pump housing, under the pump. This will not be visible when the unit will be put back in place, but it bugs me. I can not figure how to remove the pump without damaging the seal, shop manual says the reservoir and the pump can not be seperated and must be serviced as one unit… well well anyone who would have done it sucessfully would be welcome to share the trick.

Headlight stuff looks great! I have mine all disassembled and waiting for stripping / painting. Now I just need some nice weather and enough time in the garage to make it happen.

Still on my way, now with front turn signals:
I am now facing plenty of rusted & stripped bolts and I broke a few (even while using a penetratig solvent to free them up) with the actual result that I can not remove the front bumper nor the reinforcing bars attahcing bottom of front fenders to the frame. I am not comfortable using a torch to heat them up.

This is a very motivating thread! Nice work!

Hello all,
While removing the vacuum reservoir, I noticed that there are 2 spacers in each of both front suspension springs. I am not a mechanic and I never saw anything like this before… so a quick 101 lesson would be greatly apreciated here!!

Those are known as “twist-locks” and used as a crutch to stiffen up the spring. You’re probably at the point where a new set of springs are in order.

To get those out you use a 1/2" extension on either a 1/2" ratchet or breaker bar. Insert the square end into the square hole and rotate counterclockwise.

I actually use those on my winter beater when I race it in the “Spectator Races” at my local circle track in the summer. I put 4 of them in the right front spring to keep that corner from rolling over in the turns. Quick, easy and cheap. :thumbup:

To get the pump out, you can remove the toothed retainer ring; it takes some finesse. I think I used a radiator hose removal tool (a pointed handled tool with a right angle in the shaft before the point). You get something like the tool I described under the teeth of the ring and gently pry outward, work your way around to slowly work the ring upward and eventually out. Also, there are replacement pumps available which supply the pump and retainer.

Hope this helps.