New cougar restoration member

I am just starting a restoration project on my 1970 cougar xr7 convertible. I am starting with shocks, coil springs and upper/lower control arms. Does anyone have any recommendations on those products (good quality but will not break the bank)? Also, does any one recommend reinforcing the shock/engine bay walls to avoid cracking/twisting? If so, what would you recommend. I saw some ideas at west coast and they seemed very helpful. Thanks for any thoughts.

Welcome to the forum! I also have a 70 XR7 convertible. What is your goal for the car? Are you wanting to keep it original, or looking for more of a restomod restoration? Either way, there are lots of good knowledgeable people here to help!

Thank your Calicat for the quick response. The goal for the car is to restore it to the original as much as possible. However, safety is very important to me when driving without saying. So making sure everything is in good condition is a must and some of these old parts on the suspension are older and may need to be replaced. Does that make sense? Any help is much appreciated. I am new to this type of project and will take any help and suggestion.

I also try to keep mine as original as I can. It already had new upper ball joints installed, and rubber bushings are new. Everything else is still pretty tight at 64k miles. It holds alignments and handles well. I replaced shocks with KYB Excel-G’s from WCCC. You can get better, but not bad for the money. Upper A-frame bushings were squeaking a bit, but were fixed with 90 degree grease zerks and lube. Why do you want to replace the coil springs?

Brakes are critical and that’s where I’ve had to spend alot. New master cylinder and rebuilt booster from WCCC. New hoses, rebuilt calipers, and rear brake job.

Make sure the fuel tank isn’t rusty inside. I fought fuel sediment problems for years before finally replacing the tank and fuel lines.

Yes, that vert chassis really does flex alot. I’ve got the solid export brace I’m going to install on the shock towers. Others can speak to the welded-in reinforcements.

I would also recommend cleaning it up underneath and around shock towers and closely inspect for damage/cracks. Especially if there is rust on the car.

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The engine bay and shock towers on the 70 are much stronger than some of the earlier models and should not have any cracking issues. The export brace works well for front end flexing.

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While you have the front end apart you should consider the “Shelby drop” for improved handling. It lowers the upper control arm at the chassis, lowering the car about 5/8" but mostly changes the wheel camber changes as the spring compresses/extends for better road grip. There are templates available for locating the new holes.

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Brakes, steering components, suspension, alignment, tires and wheels, all contribute to a safe driving car. How much you want to spend and what you wish to achieve define your path.

There is not much stock left on my car-1969 base convertible-which is exactly what I wanted.

Have fun with your project!

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Hi Cougar xr70
I have a 1970 XR7 convert…I just did this he’s my 2 cents Monte Carlo brace, roller spring perches
roller idler arm KYB Excel or less shocks as gas makes the ride too harsh.I also upgraded the front sway bar to one inch. It rides well and doesn’t roll in the corners …happy with the results. I didn’t do the Shelby drop didn’t think it was necessary for a cruising car. Good luck with the project

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No specific reason for changing the coil springs. Since I was going to replace the shocks and the springs are almost 50 years old so I figured newer ones would be better. Not a good idea?

Thanks Tom, I appreciate the response

Thanks TKRman70, where did you get the 1” sway bar? It was recommended to increase the size of that bar to add stability. I appreciate you

I did all of that on my 69 convertible.

The export brace matters- go thicker steel/ deeper “grooves”. Spend the extra bucks.

Coils, shocks & control arms all from NPD as well.

Frame patches from Lowes. :joy:

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No reason you shouldn’t replace springs, just not likely needed unless you are doing a complete suspension upgrade.

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I ordered the roller spring perches and sway bar from Open Tracker I California
ironically they got shipped from Summit…but they actually convinced me not to add adjust roller strut rods as it was too much for my car …and they make and sell them so I’m sure it was better for their pocket book
call them and ask they seem to be very genuine people ,and Don at West Coast has had a few 70 converts and will give good info… good luck LMK how you make out

Ty Sir I truly appreciate any tips or advise, this is a new project and something I have never done before

Good luck on your project, it’s a long (sometimes bumpy) road. Lots of helpful people on here with good advice.

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remember it’s mostly a cruiser and research research research


I suggest that you focus on the safety related items first. Particularly the brakes. I had my power brake booster rebuilt using Rock Auto and they did a good job. I do not recommend buying a new brake proportioning valve. The one that I got from WCCC was absolute junk. I should have rebuilt the original one myself. I also replaced all of the brake lines because the car had been sitting for ten years before I bought it and I wanted to make sure that there was no sediment build up. I used KYB shocks all around and they work well. A good quality, heavy metal export brace is a good idea. Based upon my experiences I think that rebuilding the original components, if possible, is better than buying new. A lot of what is available does not really fit that well or is poorly made. I enjoyed working on my 69 XR7 and wish you well.

I just did this recently on my 70 xr7 convertible, I went with Moog upper (get and install 90 degree grease fittings before installing these as it’s very tight inside those shock towers) and lower control arms, Belltech 1" lowering springs, Prothane coil spring isolators, Scott Drake spring perches (I didn’t want to fork out for the roller spring perches right now). I also went all Moog for new tie rods, adjusting sleeves, idler arm and strut rod bushings. I haven’t replaced the front sway bar yet, just bushings and end links but will likely go bigger eventually, but I did put a Scott Drake export brace on and also have an Acco rear sway bar I haven’t installed yet because I plan to do the rear springs soon. I went with KYB Gas Adjust shocks for now but may change those out eventually. When you get it aligned make sure to look up specs recommended for these cars to improve highway stability, with radial tires you want a lot more caster than originally called for with the old bias plys, especially if you’re going with larger than original wheels and tires as most do.

I bought most of these parts through Summit Racing btw.

Ty E for the advice. Why did you replace the spring perches? Worn out? Rusty?