Restomod on a budget.

I’ve had a few people take notice of mods I’ve been doing to my Cougar. I’ve been using Ebay/Amazon a lot and am quite happy with the outcomes. So in the spirit of sharing…Here is what Ice been up to. I’ll post pictures and DIY how to’s later.

Mods include
Back up camera.
Cost $25 on eBay. Took about an hour of my time. The viewfinder is built into rearview mirror so completely hidden until I’m backing up. You tie into your rear backup light power so that it is only powered up when you are in reverse. How to posted here

HUD display. Cost $30 on eBay. Get one that relies on Gps not OBDII. shows my speed /direction now in in the windshield. Just a few minutes to tie into the switch ignition live wire.

Center console… This one came from Vertical Driven products. Was originally intended for a jeep but fits perfectly in our Cougars.

I modified the center console with two extra cigarette plugs

Seat covers from EBay that have heat built in as well as a fan.

Replaced steering wheel with a nice leather aftermarket one with chrome. Bonus selling the trashed rimblow wheel and cover was for a lot more then this wheel and adapter had cost me.

A cigarette charger in the center dash where the brake light warming used to be along with a few dollar volt meter I got off EBay.

Two Chinese type racing seats that recline. Bonus they saved 52 lbs from the car.

Perteonix ignition big improvement from points
Powered by a relay also.

Also something known as the 6Liter tuneup has been done. Made popular on some other forums. This basically means after switching to electronic ignition, new cap/rotor, upgrading your coil to higher voltage, thicker spark plug wires to handle the increase, gapping your plugs bigger and then advancing your timing. =more hp and better gas mileage. You can read about it here

Upgrade to lights. $12 relay set from EBay. Was plug and play. Made a nice difference to lights.

Wired in an additional dome light.

Wired in an led light switch into the trunk with Led lights

Replaced all interior lights with Leds
Replaced about 70% of exterior lights with leds

Bought 17" aftermarket tires /wheels from a modern day Mustang off Craiglist and bonus sold my 14" tires/wheels for same price I paid. Needed $50 spacers from EBay to make work.

Upgraded my drums to front disc from a seller on eBay and with the help of a Craiglist mobile mechanic to install. My total cost was $700 including labor.

White gauge faces for the instrument cluster. $30 on a site.

More info posted soon.


You’ve done some interesting things. I’d like to hear more about the backup camera and HUD. Do you have pictures of how both of these turned out?

Some very cool modern touches. I would also like to hear more info on what products you used and how you did it. I am finishing up (never really finished) a 68 XR-7 that I plan to use as a fun driver and some tech upgrades would be very cool.

I’m stuck working some crazy overtime for the month so my posts will be limited till then. On the backup camera

this is basically the kit you are looking for. I won’t place links as they will expire in a few months with eBay. Search eBay backup rearview mirror kit. I’ll write up a how to later on tonight in another thread and link it here. Avoid the wireless versions, I’ve read reviews of the monitors picking up feedback/static while driving at random times. Something you won’t get with the wired versions and you want everything to only go on in reverse.

Here is how it looks during day or when driving.

Here it what I see when I back up (nighttime used a camera much more vivid but it is still very viewable during the day.)

One of the biggest benefits of this has been parking on the street late at night during the winter. Not having a rear view defroster my back window will be fogged up. I can drive fine as car headlights still show up fine through a fogged window. When I’m parking though, yikes! Except, I’ve discovered the camera isn’t affected so I just use my monitor to park.

White faced gauges with white LED lights.

The original dash lights were so dim, they drove me nuts. So this is what I have now with by upgrading the faces to white faces and white LED dash lights.

I tried green led dash lights first. The color hurt my eyes. The white looks much better to me.

The dash lights are 194 lights
They look like this.
The faces covers come from here For $20.00 They sell a brushed silver version that I’m curious what it looks like for $30 bucks more.

The dash lights were kinda finicky. They were on and later not from time to time. I replaced the light switch which fixed this issue.

Steering wheel I replaced mine with.
( I won’t give you on eBay but they are currently about $55)

I’ll post a picture of it in my car soon.

Ok so my crazy work schedule has slowed. Here are photos of the steering wheel installed. The HUD display and my voltmeter/ accessory modification.

That HUD is pretty cool. What can you tell me about it?

There were some questions on the HUD. I’ve tesed two from China/EBay so far. This one was crappy.

I found the above one wonky. It wants you to calibrate your time to a certain satellite and it wants you to calibrate your speed. It can be off twenty mph on The freeway. The buttons to adjust these are off. I couldn’t adjust it to get it calibrated. Avoid this one! It was a waste of money.

Much better below

The above one I’m still testing. It needs to be set from km/h to mph but with a little trial and error I got that set. It didn’t need any other calibration. The satellites readings are accurate. My only gripe is it came with a cigarette lighter charger and I’d rather hard wire it in. I’m probably just going to wire another cigarette lighter hidden behind the dash for it soon. It’s working good. Shows correct speed, shows compass and automatically adjusts brightness. To install it it’s basically put the sticker on your window and plug it into a cigarette lighter outlet, that’s it. I like to drive and just have it on while turning off my dashlights for long distances at night on the freeway. It’s quite useful as you can see your speed at all times without taking your eyes off the road, which you have to do to see your dash gauges for that brief second.

About $24 on EBay. Search “HUD display Gps”. And double check descriptions that what you are buying does not require OBDII as obviously that won’t work for a classic car.

I use this HUD

This plug unit is the same size as the 69/70 ash tray lid and only needs two wires - power and ground. You can power it from the yellow accessory plug

My interest in a HUD would be for my truck. I do love technology.

If your truck is slightly more modern it has OBDII. I would suggest one of the units that is powered off that port. There are a lot more features that those HUDS can display and they are the same price. For a classic what I got and Leonbray got work for us.

2015 F-150. I think there might be one for them (there is for the 2017 model), but I haven’t done any research yet.

You definitely have an OBDII port, look under dash. It’s the same port an engine code scanner is plugged into

So more fun gadgets If my car ever gets stolen… I’ll find where it is and find you. This gadget is hidden inside my car. I can call a phone number and this little gadget tells me It’s location with a text with Google map link. :slight_smile:

The previous owner had installed hood pins on the hood. He was worried about somebody messing with his engine so he had replaced one of the pins with a padlock. It looked horrible. I agree about the security aspect though so locking hood pins were put in instead.

Much better looking and nobody can just walk over and open your hood.

So two more photos. One how the car sits today and the other showing my front disc brake upgrade.

Some of the work so far done. Basically replace/renewed all the front suspension. The car had sloppy steering and most of the bushings were shot.

Upgraded to disc brakes. This fixed a few things at once and ended up costing me about $800 With installation using an eBay kit and getting help from a mobile brake mechanic off Craigslist.

Wishlist Overdrive
Paint /body (Will be doing next month)
Install export brace (already have)
Install windshield washer kit (already have)
Install additional fuse box that’s wired to ignition on with help of a relay to not kill the wiring (have parts already)
New radiator hoses (One of first projects was draining old fluid it wasn’t new)

I like it. Keep up the good work!

Nice start. I think it would look better if it sat down a bit.