Sprucing up a '68 Cougar

From dusty barn find to daily driver, it seems our cars are never really done. This is the place to share your progress on your project car. We will celebrate your victories and commiserate over your tragedies. But most of all this is a great place to learn!
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mfc133
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Location: Perkasie, PA

Re: Sprucing up a '68 Cougar

#11

Post by mfc133 » 11 Jul 2017, 10:14

So after driving around for a while the temperature would creep up fairly high on the gauge. The car does have the 24" 3 row radiator with the 7-blade fan, so it really shouldn't be overheating if everything is working correctly. Decided to start with a new fan clutch, if I still had issues I'd move onto thermostat, water pump, etc. The resistance readings on the old sender didn't look right, so I decided to replace that as well. I also put new battery cables on. The previous owner had the battery flipped so that (+) was right under the radiator support. I learned the hard way when I clamped my timing light on that this isn't a very good arrangement :lol: . The old neg cable didn't reach, so I put a new set on and flipped the battery to the correct orientation.

I shot the fan with some semi-gloss black engine paint while it was off:
Image

The top of the radiator was looking kind of ugly, so I figured I'd hit that with some paint to pretty it up for now:
Image

Even though it wasn't OEM equipment, I really wanted to have an overflow tank on the car. I found this universal one that really hides away pretty well since it's black. I had to bend a couple brackets up, but the mounting tabs on the tank do line up with the screws for the radiator shroud. I mounted mine on the passenger side because the A/C hardware interfered on the driver side. For non-A/C cars the driver side is probably the better choice. It's barely noticeable which is exactly what I was going for.

Image

Once I got everything buttoned up and topped off the coolant, the temperature stayed low (never went past the T in TEMP). I checked it with an infrared thermometer and got 190 going into the radiator, so I think I'm good now.
-Mike

1968 Cougar Standard, 302 4V, auto, Madras Blue

Caleb
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Re: Sprucing up a '68 Cougar

#12

Post by Caleb » 11 Jul 2017, 19:50

I like the overflow. Nice and subtle

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anthem75
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Re: Sprucing up a '68 Cougar

#13

Post by anthem75 » 08 Sep 2017, 12:47

Nice work, and very well done. I admire your patience and ingenuity. I did much the same as you and picked up a '67 GT last fall which had the body work and interior nearly complete. Been working on the engine and tranny all summer. Almost ready to go now...


Classic Canadian Cougar
Standard '67 GT

"If you're the smartest person in the room, you're working with the wrong people".

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mfc133
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Location: Perkasie, PA

Re: Sprucing up a '68 Cougar

#14

Post by mfc133 » 08 Sep 2017, 13:10

anthem75 wrote:
08 Sep 2017, 12:47
Nice work, and very well done. I admire your patience and ingenuity. I did much the same as you and picked up a '67 GT last fall which had the body work and interior nearly complete. Been working on the engine and tranny all summer. Almost ready to go now...

Wow that engine bay is pristine! I hope to have mine looking that good eventually, but I've got to tackle some other items first.
-Mike

1968 Cougar Standard, 302 4V, auto, Madras Blue

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anthem75
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Re: Sprucing up a '68 Cougar

#15

Post by anthem75 » 08 Sep 2017, 13:13

Happy to help anyway I can...I have had to be a bit innovative on a few occasions myself. Best of luck !

Classic Canadian Cougar
Standard '67 GT

"If you're the smartest person in the room, you're working with the wrong people".

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mfc133
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Location: Perkasie, PA

Re: Sprucing up a '68 Cougar

#16

Post by mfc133 » 08 Sep 2017, 14:34

Just realized it's been awhile since I posted an update so here's what I've been up to:

Replaced the coil and wires with new Pertronix Flamethrower "stock look" 7mm wires and black coil. Looks much better than those ugly yellow wires!



Once I put the new coil on I decided to bypass the resistor to run 12V to the coil and Pertronix. In the process I found the ignition switch pigtail had been replaced. Unfortunately none of the connections were crimped properly, wires just pulled out with almost no effort! I'm lucky I found this, could have left me stranded somewhere.



Rewired the electric choke to the STA post on the alternator with an inline 10A fuse. Because of the limited space around that post on the alternator, I used one of these 90 degree pigtails so I didn't have to mess with threading and tightening a nut:
https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.ph ... 285&jsn=16
This made the choke open much slower (STA only delivers 6-8V), so I had to adjust the choke housing lean a couple notches to make up for that.

I had to finally disconnect the headlight vacuum setup. It technically worked (slowly) but the vacuum leaks were so bad it really made the car idle poorly. I think an electric conversion is in my future. I'm getting ready to start my winter project of redoing the front suspension/steering/brakes. Weather has been nice so I didn't want to take the car off the road just yet, but the steering gets more floaty by the day so I think it's time.

Finally I'll leave you with a couple shots of the Cougar at the Perkasie, PA car show:

-Mike

1968 Cougar Standard, 302 4V, auto, Madras Blue

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anthem75
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Re: Sprucing up a '68 Cougar

#17

Post by anthem75 » 08 Sep 2017, 14:58

You may wish to monitor your coil temperature if you are going to run a full 12v to it. I did that on my old XR7 and it was too much for the unit. It never blew, but it almost glowed sometimes it got so hot. Bought a Pedapter unit for it from RCCI and ran a full 12v to the module and 9V to the coil. Car ran like a dream and i could even (briefly) hold the coil in my hand after a long ride on a hot day. Just ordered another unit for my GT.

Classic Canadian Cougar
Standard '67 GT

"If you're the smartest person in the room, you're working with the wrong people".

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mfc133
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Re: Sprucing up a '68 Cougar

#18

Post by mfc133 » 08 Sep 2017, 15:05

anthem75 wrote:
08 Sep 2017, 14:58
You may wish to monitor your coil temperature if you are going to run a full 12v to it. I did that on my old XR7 and it was too much for the unit. It never blew, but it almost glowed sometimes it got so hot. Bought a Pedapter unit for it from RCCI and ran a full 12v to the module and 9V to the coil. Car ran like a dream and i could even (briefly) hold the coil in my hand after a long ride on a hot day. Just ordered another unit for my GT.
Yes the old coil I believe had a marking saying it was only meant for 6V, but the instructions for the Pertronix coil I installed specifically say that it wants to see 12V.
-Mike

1968 Cougar Standard, 302 4V, auto, Madras Blue

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anthem75
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Re: Sprucing up a '68 Cougar

#19

Post by anthem75 » 08 Sep 2017, 15:14

Many people on this forum would advise you otherwise...but I wont. I opted out of the Pertronix debate sometime ago. I do what works for me and my car, and so should you. I would however, strongly suggest that you do monitor the coil temperature on a regular basis until you are satisfied that the unit won't boil over. That is the best thing about the Pedapter unit...you get two separate voltage sources. One is constant 12v and the other can be manually switched between 9v and 12v. Run this lead to the coil and you can determine your best scenario at the flick of a switch.

Classic Canadian Cougar
Standard '67 GT

"If you're the smartest person in the room, you're working with the wrong people".

JcodeG
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Re: Sprucing up a '68 Cougar

#20

Post by JcodeG » 08 Sep 2017, 16:12

Nice cat! I have a 68 myself. Fell in love at 10 when they first came out. Is that the original color? I like it! Would look great with 15" styled steel repro wheels from WCCC.
Ray.

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