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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have waited a long time to get this project moving, and it is time to get it documented.

I bought this car back in 2010 and it has been waiting for my personal touch ever since. The car has a neat history and I am anxious to get my first "Ford" under way. I bought the car from the step-father of my ex-girlfriend. Funny how life presents you with certain opportunities, right?

This is a car that was originally customized in the early 70s. The story is that Phil (my ex-GF's step-father) customized this car with the help of his father (Phil Sr.) around 1972. Phil Sr. was somehow affiliated with the local Ford dealership and thus they had access to a host of Ford parts. The Ford aficionados among you will spot various, high performance, highly sought after Ford parts in the original car. I won't give away all the secrets, but hopefully people will chime in as they spot the parts.

The theme (or the philosophy of use) of this car is that it that of an Old Skool street/strip car. Think of it as a throw back to the late 1980s to early 1990s "street machine."

As Tony Soprano would say "enough with the preambles..." Here are some pictures of the car as it was when I first got it and as it sits today....














This is the state of the car as it is now. The engine that came with the car is gone and will be replaced by something that I am much more familiar with.











continued...
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Some of you will recognize this particular engine...Please don't hate me...







I absolutely love the patina on this car and I will do all I can to preserve it...



Stay tuned for more updates as this Cougar gets custom engine mounts with the help of Schwarts Performance and Holley exhaust manifolds...

Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I wanted to use as many OEM style parts as possible. This makes getting replacement parts easier and I like how the newer parts are designed.

When I built my RX7 the swap kit for that was designed around 4th gen F-body motor mounts. I really liked the clamshell design that allowed for good vibration control and at the same time are almost indestructible. So for this build I decided to use the same motor mounts.



The oil pan is a front sump pan from a 04-06 Pontiac GTO. These pans are almost identical in dimension to the stock early small block Ford pans.

Customer headers are not in the budget and from doing some research it didn't look like any stock manifolds were going to work very well. The issue is the width, not only between the shock towers, but also down at the frame rails. The Cougars (and Mustangs) had a rear steer arrangement and the steering box sits right along the frame and creates problems for exhaust routing.

I decided to try the Holley cast exhaust manifolds because they are narrow, tuck really close to the engine and are designed to dump the exhaust towards the rear of the engine. The engine had to be offset a little towards the passenger side in order for the exhaust to clear the stock steering box.



As you can see, the clearance is a little tighter on the passenger side:




Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I would have kept the Boss 302, but it is your car and that engine you are putting in is a good one. Have fun with it and keep posting.

P.S. I hope the Boss brought a few bucks.
The engine went to a good home. I am embarrassed to say how much I got for the engine, but I guess people want what they want...LOL

This car will be cool, have stuff sticking out of the hood, be fast, reliable, and super fun to drive.

The rear end is a 9" with 4.33 gears and a detroit locker. It also has some old style, under the leaf springs traction bars that look like Cal-Tracs. There is a bracket under the axle and a bar that extends forward and ties into the front spring mount.

Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just so everyone knows, I am not trying to start any flame wars or hurt anyone's feelings. I have been a car enthusiast all my life and have been around many car related forums for over 10 years. I have a 1970 GTO that I have owned since I was 15 and I have built a few other cars as well. This project isn't just about installing a LS engine in a Cougar. Other aspects of the build will hopefully give the members of this forum ideas that they can incorporate in their own cars. For instance, this car will be fuel injected, so I will be installing a high pressure fuel system in this car. If any of you want to do the same thing, you will have a reference point. This car will also get a TKO 600 transmission and a hydraulic clutch release system. I am sure that many of you might be curious about that as well. Since this car will be destined for the street and drag strip, I also plan on upgrading the drum brakes in the front and installing various components to enhance drag strip performance. All of these things can give this community some ideas and maybe some inspiration.

I thought I would post a few more pictures.

The new GTO pan fits these cars like a glove. There is plenty of clearance all around the crossmember. Also in this picture you can see the custom mounts that were made by the Schwartz crew. The U-shaped brackets are welded directly to the bolt on plates that used to hold the SBF mounts. It's a simple design but one that will work very well.



Here is a shot of the driver's side mount:



What I am really impressed with is how well the Hooker cast manifolds fit this chassis. I realize that these manifolds are note early meant for any specific application, but their compact design and rear exit makes them suited to a wide range of applications where room in limited. I also recall that long tube headers don't add a significant amount of power LS engines that are relatively mild. If I want to make more power, I guess I can always turn them around :smoke:

The manifolds take a 2.5" head pipe and use readily available flanges and gaskets. Here is the passenger side:



Space it tight on the driver's side due to the steering rack, but it all fits:



Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
How dare you put a Chevy motor in a Ford vehicle!!!

It's interesting how many vintage Ford pickup trucks are sporting GM powerplants with no repercussions, but once you apply the same concept to a car, all bets are off. For myself?, I'd love to hear how this project progresses. I'm a purist at heart, and prefer to adhere to factory correctness. For this particular car? Just sounds like there are no bonds or boundaries. Carry on dude! And keep us updated on your progress.
Thanks for that Dave. (How many 32 Fords have a Chevrolet small block? LOL)

I am actually quite used to catching flack from purists. Back in 2004 when my GTO was on the cover of Popular Hotrodding magazine, the Pontiac faithful were in a huge uproar because I had a big block Chevy 502 in the car. Then they were upset that I installed an LS engine. When I built my RX7, the rotary fan boys got all excited. Their favorite phrase was "you ripped the cars soul out..." The drama never stops...LOL

I have some boundaries with this build, but in terms of engine, I am going with what I know will give me the best bang for the buck. I love the story behind this car and I want to keep these theme very much as Phil intended it to be. The car is full of vintage speed parts, like the compete set of Stewart Warner gauges and the old traction bars.

With that said, how about a few more pictures...

Changing the oil filter will be a snap!




Driver's side engine mount...



Modified stock transmission crossmember. It remains to be seem if it will work with a TKO 600...



Passenger side motor mounts from the front. As you can see there is plenty of room between the manifolds and the shock towers.



Passenger side motor mount from the rear:



Another shot of the driver's side engine mount from the rear:



Overall shot from underneath the car. As you can see it is a pretty solid car and doesn't have any sort of rust issues...



Stay tuned for more...

Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
upper /lower arms sloppy power steering valve and linkage , or is it manual steering didnt see any power stuff in pics , might not be as bad with manual
The car has manual steering. The plan is to go through the front suspension and replace any worn components, but otherwise it will be of stock design.

Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
you might consider adding the boss 302 shock tower reinforcement kit 67 towers are very prone to cracking and caving in
Thanks for the suggestion. I was on YouTube and saw a video made by WCCC that featured both the Boss 302 shock tower reinforcement kit and the export brace. I will definitely look into doing both of those things. As of right now, there are no cracks anywhere in the shock towers. This car only has about 40K miles on the chassis and it has spent all of it's life in a garage. So despite being an Illinois car, it is relatively rust free.

Now if I could only find a low cost disk brake swap that uses late model components and will work with 15" wheels...anyone have any ideas? I am looking for something similar to the kit offered by Mustang Steve but that will work with 15" wheels.

Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Andrew - You're going to find that not everyone is against what you're doing. It's just that those who are choose to be the most vocal. They simply don't understand the time and talent and skill it requires to pull off what you're doing. And that's not even beginning to discuss the performance and drive-ability potential that is on tap with that package.

SPK
Mark,

Thank you for that. I am in marketing and every marketer knows that happy customers tell about 3 of their friends, whereas unhappy customers tell about 9 of their friends. A classic example of this is when Dear Abby asked her audience to write in with their thought regarding parenthood. The overwhelming majority of responses were negative and attempted to dissuade the people from having kids. In marketing research we call this self select bias...but I digress...LOL

So yes, I realize that the majority of the people that post, might have not the most favorable opinion as to what I am doing.

I am here not only to share this project, but hopefully I can also learn from you all regarding all the nuances that make Cougars unique and special. For instance, I am struggling with wheel size (width and offset) right now. I also want a front disk brake solution that doesn't seem to exist, which is frustrating. I hope that people will chime in a help me out!

Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Nice. Always wanted to know how one would fit. Great bang-for-buck horsepower swap without having to change the basic suspension layout (and pay big bucks for engineering and DOT approval)

BY GTO sump - do you mean the Holden that was sold in the US as a GTO?

Was it the LS1 or LS3 version

Keep up the good work

BTW - I have found that 17 x 8 is the best all round wheel size, although some have gone as large as 17 x 10. Minimum backspace should be 4.75" on an 8" wheel. I'm running 235/45 17" tyres
Leon,

You are correct, I am talking about the "new" GTO, which was a rebadged and uglier Holden. It was available in 2004 with a LS1 5.7L engine and in 2005-2006 with the LS2 6.0L engine. The Holden chassis uses a front sump pan that you see in the pictures.

Thank you for the wheel size suggestion, however I want to stay with an old school look for this car. Not that I am opposed to large diameter wheels. I have 18s on my 1970 GTO, but large wheels won't really fit the style of this build.

I have a line on some old "turbine" style wheels (think Dukes of Hazzard) that are 15x8 with 4 inches of backspacing. I suspect this isn't enough in order to fit the biggest tire that I can on the rear. I'd like to run a 275/60-15 in the rear if that is possible.

Anyone's input is welcome and very much appreciated.

Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
I have 15 x 8 with 4.75" backspacing on the 68 and they rub on full lock

We always wondered why GM US picked up the base level Monaro when it was at the end of its model cycle. It was only designed for 14,000 units total in our local market, so every US sale was profit. When it was exported to other markets it had the more aggressive body kit on it. We got it with a number of engine options as well as with all wheel drive
Thanks for the input Leon...I am more concerned about rear tire fitment. I saw in the database that there is someone running a 275/60-15 on a 15x8 4"BS wheel in the rear on a 68, but I don't know if 68s and 67s are the same as far as wheelwell space...Any thoughts?

The new Pontiac GTO was a total cluster f**k. It was never appreciated by classic Pontiac GTO fans and it certainly didn't bring in new customers. I think as you said, it was a car thought up by bean counters that wanted to make extra money off a dying platform. I personally don't hate it, but it never caught my imagination. I much prefer my 1970 GTO:



Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
67 and 68 would be the same size. However one thing that might have an effect on your build, if I am recalling correctly, is that you have a 9" rear. Most likely this rear was transplanted into your car as only the big block 67 and 68 Cougars left the factory with a 9". If it is a transplant then it may not be the exact same width as the original 67-8 rear axle which could have an effect on how the wheel fits.

Randy Goodling
CCOA #95
Good point Randy, thank you.

Sounds like I better hold off and measure carefully before jumping on any wheel deals, even if they sound good...LOL

Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
The shock towers dont have a chance with this set up. The passenger side especially is going to shatter. That engine is going to vibrate on and off the tower to no end. Plus I don't think the offset to the pax side is doing the car any favors.....
We all have our opinions...just like we all have certain anatomical features...There is plenty of room between the shock towers for the engine to move around. The only potential contact point is between the manifold and the steering box. If that makes contact, the manifold flange can be ground to gain some extra clearance.

As for engine offset, this was done on many cars (second gen f-bodies, first gen f-bodies with big blocks) without any ill effect.

Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
"The theme (or the philosophy of use) of this car is that it that of an Old Skool street/strip car. Think of it as a throw back to the late 1980s to early 1990s "street machine."


If that is what you are looking to achieve with the build. You should have kept the Boss 302 and related parts. If you are building a reliable daily driver to cruise in and keep the hood shut. Then your on the right track. The 5.3L is no power house, so what you are getting in the end is just a reliable cruiser with updated technology. Not a street/strip car. Heck, I have a new 2011 Chevy 6.2L L-94 create engine sitting in the garage I don't know what to do with. Would make for a nice power plant into an old Camaro.
Want to sell that L94?

Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
So I had a chance to have a little time with my Cougar today. I took a few pictures of the rear suspension and I would love to know what some of the Cougar experts see. I am not at all familiar with this chassis, so I don't know what is "stock" and what has been altered.

There are some older looking traction bars on the car. They look similar to CalTrak bars, but obviously they aren't. Does anyone have any idea as to their origins? I also see a booster spring on the driver's side...







Also, can anyone confirm that this is a 9" rear? LOL



Andrew
 
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