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Hello All,

Cool site, this is my first post here. I'm writing because interested in restoring a 1968 mercury cougar to biodiesel. The car is just a shell at the moment with no engine, transmission, or interior. The body of the car is in great shape but the powertrain will need to be added from scratch.

With an eye looking towards the future and rising gas prices I'm interested in making the car biodiesel. I'm writing to find out if there Is there anyone else who has converted a cougar or other classic or muscle car to biodiesel and what issues or problems came up in the process.

Does anyone know of another powerful ford-Lincoln-mercury diesel engine that will fit correctly into this car without needing custom engine mounts? I read about some other guy who used a Mercedes Turbodiesel Engine but I'd rather stick with Ford / Mercury parts to keep some of the cars integrity in tact. I've been trying to figure out if the F series truck engines would fits since they used a 6.0 liter turbo diesel engine.



2 important elements is that I'm looking for are that:


1. The car retains or adds more power over the original factory settings

&


2. That the car has air conditioning

I have no interest in re-sale value as I plan on keeping the car for a long time and no intention of restoring it back to the factory settings. All I want is to eat Camaro's for lunch and leave them in my dust...which smells like french fries...in a Hippy Hot Rod.:evil:



If you know of anyone else who has restored a classic or muscle car to biodiesel please reply. I'd like to find out how it went and if you have any tips, advice, feedback. All would be appreciated.
 

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Let's start with an assumption that, as it is not coming up to 1 April, that you are serious

I have been working with mt son-in-law on a bio-diesel project for his early model Landcruiser. Fortunately there are diesel engines already available to suit that car and the conversion has been done many time. The only diesel conversion in a Cougar that we know of is the Mercedes diesel out in California somewhere (I think)

You will be lucky to find a diesel that makes the power you are after without going to the new high pressure injection system and multiple turbos. To figure them out you need to be a diesel mechanic, have a good engineering degree and highly developed fabrication skills or deep pockets. I'm not sure if the new diesels will run on a bio mix without a lot of filtration. If you really want to make power in a diesel then you should also look at LPG injection.

I doubt you will find a truck diesel that bolts in or is lighter than a 428CJ. The light weight, efficient and powerful diesels are usually turbo V6 engines found in European vehicles. You might try a Jag diesel as the S-Type and a Lincoln shared a common platform a while back when Jaguar was owned by Ford. I doubt a V6/V8 turboed truck engine would fit under the hood of Cougar without serious modifications.

Good luck with your project. I think you need to do a lot more research to determine if it is feasible, if you have the skills and the time and the money and if you goals of power and hippiness are not mutually exclusive. Just don't destroy another Cougar in the process
 

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Well said Leon!
 

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I love these what if type threads. They can bring out some ideas we have not explored.
If I missed it I am sorry. But why?? Why biodiesel? If you want power this is not the place to look. It is also expensive and a retrofit nightmare. AnE85 conversion would be a more likely and much easier undertaking. Thst is if we are talking about green type projects. Ultimatly I would love to see an electric conversion. There are many detailed projects available on the net for many make, model and body style. Parts are becoming more available and afordable. Another 5 to 10 years and they should be off the shelf like solar technology.

All that aside there is still the why. Personaly I want a Cougar in my group that can partake in energy eficency and be drivable when the enevitable government crackdowns come. There will never be anything that replaces the low rumble of a high octane engine. The smell, feel and punch in the chest of a top fuel burnout can not be duplicated with electric mods. But for the fun of the adventure I will continue to learn about the process. Who knows. Some day it might be a weekend project??????
 

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We have been playing around with similar ideas for the 69 parts car behind the shed - as we have a bunch of leftover Landcruiser bits

Came to the conclusion that the easiest way to get the job done and make power is with a 2.2l 4 cylinder turbo diesel from the new Ranger (or similar). it has a 6 speed manual box (which is a drawback with a bad knee), is obtainable and will fit without modifying the shock towers. Probably need to change the sump

While it only makes 147hp it has 275 Lb/ft or torque - about the same as a C-code Windsor (although the Ford numbers are using earlier measurement standards). With the better power to weight ratio it should be as quick as a 302 Windsor and return around 40mpg

If i had the time, energy and inclination I would probably play with hybrid electric - with an efficient LPG gas powered 800cc engine driving an alternator that tops up batteries that drives the electric motors that power the vehicle. Problem is a Cougar is a heavy lump of iron and really doesn't provide a good base for efficient use of electric power. LPG is a very cost effective and clean way to power an internal combustion engine and it delivers around the same fuel consumption as E10.

I figure I will be mulch in someone's veggie patch before I will have to worry too much about real alternate power, although I do have the 69 convertible running straight LPG already
 

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Geez, whatever floats ya boat, but I gotta admit, the idea don't float mine. It's why I bought a V8, 60's car, damn the fuel economy, it's only a Sunday driver. A fine weather Sunday at that!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Fellas, thanks for your feedback. I'm still learning so please pardon my naïveté on the subject.

My ideas for the car are looking long term. I don't think that gasoline will be 4 bucks a gallon 20 years from now and I plan on keeping the car for that long as a daily driver. I'm figuring since there is no engine currently in it why not look at alternative clean / green options to make it run that ought to be cheaper over the long haul. Here in PA we are having a natural gas boom so that maybe one option. The other options I've come across so far are:

Electric - doesn't seem like it has enough torque to haul around the weight of the car

Propane LPG / Natural Gas CNG - probably not too pretty in a car accident where someone hits the tank..

Ethanol E85... According to Wikipedia "E85 has 33% less energy content than "pure" gasoline. Depending on the vehicle, this can result in a notable reduction in fuel economy and means that while E85 is cheaper than gasoline per gallon, but per mile it may be more expensive."

Algae?

Hydrogen? Technology is not here yet.

I'm going to email around to some shops that specialize in green conversions to get their feedback. If anyone has any other ideas please let me know. Thanks again!
 

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Leon basically said the right things "To figure them out you need to be a diesel mechanic, have a good engineering degree and highly developed fabrication skills or deep pockets."
I wouldn't necessarily say you need an engineering degree but you definitely need to know what you are getting in to. I work on diesels every day, specifically fabrication of turbo and compound turbo kits, and if theres one thing you need to be careful of is the torque of diesels will destroy anything the is setup for gas motors. trans and rear-end to be more precise....Overbuild of any of those would be smart. I'm sure you've seen the duramax powered nova or chevelle so it's not too much out of reach but will be exhausting and expensive.
The mercedes diesel's aren't too bad if you want something reliable but for the power you won't see much. I've thrown around some ideas on the 4BT cummins motors for hotrods but I don't think I transplant one in a cougar. Firewall would need to be cut into which would lead to more problems than good.
I'm not trying to steer you away from accomplishing this project but just trying to give you a mindset of what you will be getting in to. Plus, I always admire people's drive to try something different. Keep asking questions i'll for sure help with what I can.
 

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Unless a diesel engine is the only engine you can get where ever you are located, you should stick with a Ford V8 engine. Even with a just a factory 289 CID 4V engine, you can easily turn quarter mile times in the 14 second range, and beat just about any Camaro. My 1st Cougar ran 14.2 in the quarter, and I had around $6000 total invested in it, and that included new paint, interior and a rebuilt engine!
 
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