69 Custom Grille Replacement Project
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  1. #1
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    69 Custom Grille Replacement Project

    I started this thread on the other forum but I figured I'd post it here too.

    Started my grille replacement project this weekend. Fun to get back to working on the car. To give a little background I bought this car back in 2013 to get back into cars with my sons. We worked on the car for a few years until they went off to college and I was left with a decision to make. Either buy a new brand new muscle car or invest the money in the cougar and take it to the next level. I think you know the choice I made. Anyway the car had a custom billet aluminum grille installed when I bought it. I actually liked the look of it but the old style bulbs did not shine through the grille very well. When I sent the car to Schwartz Performance to be redone I left the grille as part of the project but added black-out LED headlights behind it to improve the look and hopefully the brightness. However, after driving the car for the last year I'm still not happy with the amount of light that gets through. I decided to reach out to Don at WCCC to see if he could put together a complete grille package including all the brackets and hardware so I could return it to the stock configuration. My intention is to paint the grille matte black to match the rest of the trim on the car so I was looking for a solid grille but the chrome didn't need to be good. Low and behold Don came through like a champ as he always does. I have bought enough parts from him I think he credits me with putting one of his kids through college!!

    Custom grille
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    Table of grille parts from WCCC
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    69 Cougar
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  2. #2
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    Re: 69 Custom Grille Replacement Project

    So I have removed the custom grille and headlights and started to trial fit the factory grille. All was good until I got to the passenger side and found the AC drier was in conflict with part of the assembly. I need to move it about an inch toward the center and redo the line from the condenser to the drier. I'm going to bend a hard line to keep it tight and out of the way. Once I get the ac system evacuated I can temporarily remove the drier and continue the trial fit work. These are some pictures of the problem.

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    69 Cougar
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  3. #3
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    Re: 69 Custom Grille Replacement Project

    Vintage Air parts came today from Summit Racing. Will get the AC evacuated on Friday and back to work on the grille on Saturday.

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    69 Cougar
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  4. #4
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    Re: 69 Custom Grille Replacement Project

    one step at a time ..

  5. #5
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    Re: 69 Custom Grille Replacement Project

    Finished the AC evacuation and ready to get back to work.

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    69 Cougar
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  6. #6
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    Re: 69 Custom Grille Replacement Project

    Had a productive weekend trial fitting the grille. I removed the AC drier line and mocked up a new bracket. Only had to move it about an inch toward the center.

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    69 Cougar
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  7. #7
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    Re: 69 Custom Grille Replacement Project

    Got the rest of the grille installed and rough aligned.

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    69 Cougar
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  8. #8
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    Re: 69 Custom Grille Replacement Project

    Sunday I was able to get a better alignment and get the Cat Headlights electric motor conversion installed. I temporarily wired it using my battery tender connection. I used the hot side to make a jumper for the trigger wire and used a bullet connector as a temporary switch. It worked great for testing.

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  9. #9
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    Re: 69 Custom Grille Replacement Project

    Glad to see the electric conversion that is going to be so nice...

  10. #10
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    Re: 69 Custom Grille Replacement Project

    Quote Originally Posted by ndtorque View Post
    Glad to see the electric conversion that is going to be so nice...
    They work very well. They are a little noisy but I think once I get some rubber bump stops in place and make some final adjustments it will quiet down. Doing the headlight install this weekend (LED conversion) which I will cover with a more in depth post when its all mocked up.
    69 Cougar
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  11. #11
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    Re: 69 Custom Grille Replacement Project

    Had another fun weekend working on the car. Im waiting on a pair of headlight door shaft assemblies from WCCC in hopes of getting a better alignment on the headlight doors. Apparently if the shafts arent a matched set the doors may open and close unevenly. Only off by a but its visible to me.

    So, while Im waiting, I went to the headlight assemblies. I had Dapper Lighting LED headlights behind the custom grille, but they are WAY too deep to fit in the stock housings. Ive attached a few pics of the Dapper lights with a comparison to a stock bulb.

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    69 Cougar
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    T-56 Magnum 6-Speed

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  12. #12
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    Re: 69 Custom Grille Replacement Project

    So, I have been searching for a while to find a 5.75 DOT approved LED headlight that will fit the stock buckets. This proved to be more of a problem then I thought it would be. Apparently very few people in the Cougar community are doing this and if they are, they arent posting about it. I thought I was in luck when I saw a new thread a few months ago about a contest for free LED headlights from NPD for Delta Tech lights but that thread kind of died no matter how hard I pushed it. Heres a link.

    https://classiccougarcommunity.com/f...led+headlights

    Anyway, I couldnt get much in the way of specs/dimensions for the Delta Lights on the web. Not sure if they are DOT approved etc. but I did find a lot of positive info on Vision X VX series XIL-575RDB lights. They are DOT approved and appeared to be of a size that would fit a stock Cougar bucket AND they are stupid expensive. However, I was able to source a very gently used set from a local builder for a more reasonable but still stupid amount. They are an H5001/H5006 replacement size which means they fit the outer low beam bucket without modification. The inner high beam bucket needed to be modified for the tabs to fit so I ordered 2 extra outer buckets from WCCC rather than cut the inners I have.

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    69 Cougar
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  13. #13
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    Re: 69 Custom Grille Replacement Project

    These lights are a sealed beam with LED high, low and halo DRLs all in one with a low power draw. They can be wired to light in several different ways such as lighting the high, low and halo all at once. After installing them and testing them Ive decided to run them in a standard setup with one extravagance. Ive wired it so the headlight doors open and the halos come on when I turn on the parking lights (nice perk with having electric headlight door conversion). When I pull the switch all the way out for headlights the halos stay lit and outer low beams come on as designed. When I hit the high beam switch the inner high beams light. Far from concourse correct but I love it!

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    69 Cougar
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  14. #14
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    Re: 69 Custom Grille Replacement Project

    Im close to finished with the test assembly. After I receive my parts from WCCC I can final the door alignment on opening and close. I also need to fit the second pair of lights and test them as well. Once that is done, I will be ready to break it all down and send it out for blasting and painting.

    I still need to build the final wiring harnesses, make-up the new AC line for the relocated drier, etc. but I will do all that while everything is at the painter.

    That's all for now.
    69 Cougar
    Schwartz G-Machine Chassis
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    T-56 Magnum 6-Speed

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  15. #15
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    Re: 69 Custom Grille Replacement Project

    Great information .. and it is looking nice... looking forward to seeing it all done as I am sure you are too ..

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