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Discussion Starter #1
So I am new to the cougar world, but I have general mechanical knowledge and capabilities. I am 25 years old, so I am new to tinkering with old engines. Since he passed, I am trying to get my Grandfathers '78 Cougar up and running again and I have a few questions on what to expect... here are some stats about the car



  • 1978 Cougar XR7
  • 351W V8
  • 33K Original Miles
  • Always garage kept and been sitting in a garage under blankets since '03
  • Before that there was Always regular maintenance done
  • Interior and Exterior are in Beautiful condition
  • Tires are still inflated but a little low
What all do I need to do to get it started and on the road again, and what precautions should I look out for?? I would imagine I need to drain all fluids out (gas, oil, steering, brake, etc.) and replace, charge the battery and see if it holds a charge. What else could I run into? it was a "Sunday Driver" type of vehicle, very well taken care of, if it sat for a while it was taken out for a drive to "blow it out" but has not been driven or started in 8 years or so




Thanks in advance, I appreciate all the help I can get
~Darrin
 

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Dump the gas out, unless its been treated with fuel stabilizer, dont start it with the fuel in the lines. Disconnect the fuel line to the carb, pour a little bit of fuel in the carb instead when starting. Charge the battery cause its more than likely dead or get another one.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the info, I am going to slowly work on everything here and there in my free time. I am going to do an oil change today, is there any certain oil or addative I should use since it hasnt been cranked in a LONG time?
 

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Pull the spark plugs out. Put some 'Marvel Mystery Oil' in a hand pump can and pump two or three squirts in each cylinder. Wait a day or two, then crank the engine over by hand with a wrench on the crankshaft. Turn the engine by hand until you feel comfortable with the rotation of the engine. You should feel a difference the more you crank it over. (two or three rotations should be enough)

Another good idea is to pull the distributor out and hook up a drill to the oil pump shaft and pump oil up to the top of the engine. (Before doing this I advise to get a friend with some automotive background to help you through the process. ) Describing every detail on this forum can some times lead to misrepresentations at times.

Before you remove the distributor be sure to take a picture of where the rotor is pointing, because you will need to place the distributor back in the same place so your timing is correct (with the rotor pointed in the wrong spot your timing will be off and your motor will probably not run or run well). Next take a socket and extension that will fit the oil pump shaft and slide it onto the oil pump shaft ( be sure to wrap some electrical tape around the socket and extension connection so you don't drop the socket into the engine, also be sure to use a long extension that is easily accessible at the top of the motor so you can hook up a drill to the extension). Use the drill to run the oil pump. It is a good idea to remove the valve covers so you can see when the oil reachs the top of the engine. If you do not want to remove the valve covers install an oil pressure guage to the engine and be sure you run the pump at about 40psi for a few minutes.

I would replace the spark plugs and plug wires while you are there, they are cheap and easy. Scratch off any corrosion on the points, distributor and rotor contacts(if there is any). Add some fresh fuel, stand back and fire it up. With help you should easily be able to get it running in a few days.

I hope this helps, but please have a friend with an automotive background help you. They will make a world of differenece when you come across any troubles.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you for all the knowledge and assistance, I really appreciate it!!!

I cant wait to have this thing up and running again
 

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also, be prepared to buy new brake calipers and wheel cylinders. It's very likely that the fluid has rotted all the brakes into nice rusted non moving parts. Mind the brake booster too.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
thanks everyone, I'm going to hop up underneath the ride tomorrow and do some lookin around


Any more advice is fully welcome. I want to get this thing back on the road. its in beautiful condition!!
 
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