I thought I would give a quick update on what is happening with the Cougar and a little about what's going on in my life.
The insurance company has been slow to work with, but they have been responsive. We have come to a settlement and I am hoping to receive a check soon. What happens to the Cougar is still up in the air. The damage is very fixable, but I am eager to start another project. On the other hand, it is tempting to fix the Cougar and build it to version 2.0. In the middle of March, right before the COVID-19 thing blew everything up, my wife and I were in Kansas City looking at various areas and houses. We plan to move there sometime in the next 60-90 days. This pandemic is the ultimate test of being able to deal with uncertainty, but we are managing it well.
I enjoy doing little project on the Cougar. It's hard to believe that it is almost five years since she has been on the road. With any car there are always maintenance issues to address. Since I have DBW throttle bodies that live outside the engine back, exposed to the elements, the wiring for the TBs has taken quite a beating. The sun's UV rays beat up the wiring insulation and this ultimately leads to DBW errors that leads to going into "limp mode."
The Holley DBW cables are quite long, so it is just a matter of stripping back the cable insulation and get to some new, fresh wires.
The DBW connectors are Metripack GT150 series. I purchased new connectors and already had the proper terminals and cable seals in my wiring tool box.
This week I finally got a settlement check from the other driver's insurance company. Despite being a little slow to respond and no doubt Covid-19 having something to do with that, I am pleased with the settlement. Given that my wife and I are in the process of relocating, the repairs on the Cougar are put on hold. The car is running and driving and it doesn't make much sense to start any sort of repair process at the moment.
As a follow up to the last update, I had my buddy Blake design some really neat covers for the throttle body connectors. He drew these up in SolidWorks and 3D printed them out of ABS plastic.
I had to de-pin the terminals from the connector body and fish the wires through. The fit is spot on!!!
Here you can see the difference between the 3D printed covers and my old balloon solution. I think these look much better!
Since I have installed these, we have had several really heavy storms with a lot of rain. The next morning I was able to start it up and have had zero issues. I think the combination of the new connectors and these covers should make this a fairly long term solution to keeping the throttle body connectors dry and protected from UV.
These covers would actually also be a great addition to any engine that uses the DBW throttle bodies. If anyone is interested in them, send me a PM and I will see if Blake wants to make some more.
I probably mentioned this in prior posts, but I am now living in Kansas City, and the Cougar is finally here with me. One of the things that has been bothering me for a while is the change in the exhaust note. I think my old mufflers were getting blown out and the sound was just not pleasant and way too loud for my taste.
So a friend of a friend recommended a local place and I went to see them for a consultation. I knew that I wanted to keep the tailpipes and that I wanted an X-pipe. Recall that this exhaust had no crossover pipe of any kind. We discussed muffler type and brand. I wanted things quiet, but I also didn't want turbo mufflers. I personally think the tone of turbo mufflers is just no that appealing. We discussed Magnaflow, Flowmaster, DynoMax UltraFlow and a few others. I also knew that I wanted the biggest case muffler that can fit in the space. He didn't care because I was ordering the parts. I settled on the 20" case DynoMax UltraFlows.
I got home and started looking up the pricing and the UltraFlows were like $120 each. That got me thinking about Borla ProXS mufflers, so I checked their website. Turns out they have 19" case mufflers and they were $15 cheaper. I ordered the Borla mufflers, Magnaflow x-pipe and a pair of Jegs brand v-band clamps.
Here are some in process pictures of the installation.
These are the old pipes from the manifolds to the mufflers.
I am very pleased with the installation and the sound. It is super mellow at idle, but starts to get a little volume around 2000RPM. It has a nice deep tone and the exhaust note is greatly smoothed out, not doubt because of the x-pipe. I am also pretty sure that the x-pipe added a good bit of torque below 2500rpm.
I have video clips of the sound posted on my Instagram account.
Version 2.0 found here: https://www.pro-touring.com/threads/40904-1970-GTO-Version-2-0 The first shipment of parts, for my GTO update, have arrived today. I am pretty excited. I don't want to spoil things, but it is going to be a fairly extensive update...
It's been a while since I updated this thread, mostly because nothing exciting has been happening with the Cougar, until last week. I am going to post some pictures, without details. I wouldn't want to spoil the surprise...
I returned from LS Fest on Monday and am finally getting back to my regular schedule. What a trip!
I was gone for ten days and a lot of things happened, so bear with me as I get things posted in some cohesive order. The adventure started around the 30th of August with my friend BA, who has this beautiful 66 Fairlane that he built with his father and son a few years back.
On August the 30th he got a care package from Pace Performance. In case you don't recognize this engine, it is a LSx454 GM crate engine.
Out came his LS3...Does my picture of the intake start to make sense now?
This is a picture of the Fairlane after we drove it for the first time and did some tuning on it. Sadly, I do not have any more progress pictures, but this swap was done in a few days.
I drove my Cougar from the Kansas City area to the Chicago area on Saturday, September 4th. The next day we rolled the Cougar into the garage to begin the process of removing my 5.3L and installing the LS3.
With everything removed, transmission pulled, it was time to take out the old engine to make room for more horsetorques...
Once the 5.3L was pulled, we started moving everything over from the 5.3L to the LS3. This included the exhaust manifolds, valley cover, accessories, oilpan, etc...The plan was to reuse my old clutch, but when we pulled the old clutch apart, it was obvious that the disk was a little thin. We managed to track down a new disk and pressure plate locally.
Here is the LS3 with all of the parts bolted to it, ready to go in its new home. We used the new balancer from the LSx454.
Here is BA, doing his awesome best. Without his help, this would not have been possible. He is a beast with the wrenches.
LS3 in its new home, resting between the fenders of my Cougar. Its even Ford blue...BA has a sense of humor.
Everything installed, trans back in, ready for the new intake base with the old upper part.