My ‘new’ ‘70 Cougar! Where to begin??

Well… I did It. This Cougar is mine. I found it in Austin and had it professionally inspected by a shop that specializes in classics. It spent three hours on a lift with the wheels off…literally inspecting every inch of it. The best we could tell, it’s never taken a serious hit and is rust-free. Transport dropped it off yesterday morning.

I am planning on having a local shop that specializes in Cougars do alot of the work to correct many of its “issues”. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do some of the less-complicated and non-safety-related things myself, over time. Either way, WCCC will probably run out of ink printing my shipping labels in the weeks ahead. :laughing:

Anyway…I’m thinking there’s some economy and advantage to doing multiple jobs at once. What are the pros and cons of factory vs ClassicAutoAir (for reliability and comfort in the insane AZ heat)? I’d appreciate any thoughts and experiences you all may have on how to best approach this list, provided by Great Hills Automotive:

*Valve covers leaking oil
*Choke is over-aggressive
*Distributor has manifold vacuum
*Fuel system is over-complicated with a regulator and fuel filter placed resting on the intake manifold
*Engine has noise in lifter/valvetrain (possibly flat cam?)
*Exhaust headers are making contact with the clutch linkage/pitman arm
*Tailpipes need to be extended to clear body

*Upgrade transmission to T-5 (3-speed toploader)
*Rebuild clutch linkage to correct angle of Z-Bar
*Rebuild floor pedals to safe factory spec distances

*Install air-conditioning
*Install 24” 3-core radiator with 7-blade fan and shroud

*Upgrade brakes to 4-wheel disc
*Replace hydraulic hoses
*Repair parking brake

*Complete suspension overhaul
*Modify stance to nose-down a bit

*Reduce steering box play
*Consider upgrading to power steering
*Replace front-end braces with single export brace

*Repair turn signal indicators in dash
*Replace vacuum headlight system with electrical
*Replace mechanical rear turn signals with solid-state LED
*Repair passenger side hi-beam

*Update to modern seatbelts
*Add concealed stereo system and upgrade speakers

*Reseal rear window with new gasket
*Repair small cowl leak that directs water to passenger side
*Rebuild driver-side door hinges
*Replace hood hinges
*Rebuild loose driver-side door handle
*Replace all weatherstripping
*Add passenger side mirror

Information provided by previous owner:
*3-Speed Toploader/9" Rear
*351 Cleveland: rebuilt July 19’
*Edelbrock Performer intake (original provided)
*Edelbrock AVS2 carburetor (original provided)
*Heads cleaned up
*Stainless steel valves
*Hardened one-piece pushrods
*Scorpion rockers
*Howards Rattler cam and full roller (Full Roller)
*Performance springs
*Shot -peened connecting rods
*Wesico forged pistons
*Pypes Race Pro full exhaust
*Hooker Comp headers

Thanks in advance for the help! I cant Wait to get this car fixed up and on the road!!


Congratulations! I knew somebody would snap that car up, you got something with good bones there. I hope you are signed up for our newsletter because if you are you’ll be getting a special year end coupon code for our inventory reduction sale in the next day or so.

On the A/C, if you have the opportunity to use factory parts I would do that, I installed Classic A/C in my car when I restored it 6 years ago, it blows nice and cold (38-40 degree air), but the amount of air discharged from the outlets has a hard time keeping the inside of the car cool when the outside temperature is 100 plus (I’m also in the greater Phoenix area)

Congrats! I remember the list I made my first month or so…about half got done and the list tripled over the first six months. HA!
Enjoy it!

Nice looking cat you have there. Glad too see another local
Cougar owner

I’ll definitely be looking for some deals moving forward. Big props to you, Don, for your vids. They were absolutely invaluable in knowing how to look for the right car, and what to look for when I found one. Thank you so much for all of those videos.

This is exactly the kind of feedback I was looking for. Obviously, we have plenty of 100°+ days, and I don’t have as many days left as I used to! :laughing:

Very good project, and a Special paint car.

Investigate either cable clutch or hydraulic for the T5 conversion. You will also want to change axle gears too, 3.25-3.70 range. Trac Lock?

134A and Modern Sanden A/C compressor under the hood. Get a reputable A/C shop to charge and to make the needed hoses. 1969-70 factory Cougar / Mustang A/C under dash parts are fairly plentiful and reasonable to buy.

7 inch fan, is that a typo?

I would suggest the first thing to do would be the brake system is 100% no matter which brakes you will have.You can have all the power in the world which won’t mean anything if you can’t stop the car.All else will fall into place.

Wow - that sure is a nice one! Congrats and long may you run!

Congrats looks great

Yup…7-blade. :blush:

Agreed. I’d maybe even extend that to the steering. Seems that there would be some natural things to do at the same time…once things are all taken apart.

Where in AZ are you? I am in north Cave Creek

South Gilbert!

Great car! Looking forward to watching your progress.

Hi Jeff! I was actually interested in a light blue XR7 that you were selling three or four years ago, for a friend in Montana. I wasn’t quite ready at the time and the rust scared me a bit. I’m really looking forward to working with this green machine.

I just reread our email conversation about it, and you were very patient and kind. Some pretty good advice about finding, buying and owning these cars. Thank you!


That’s me! Took a little time, but I’m with you guys now!

Nice looking Cougar.
What color is that.

Interesting question. I’m trying to figure that out myself. I’ve heard Inverness Green, Dark Green Poly, Augusta Green. The Marti says it’s a special paint color, but I’m not sure what it’s called. I’d love to know.

Glad you finally found yourself a Cougar. I’ll be in AZ for B-J in a couple weeks. If you plan on going, maybe we can meet there.