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Discussion Starter #1
I thought I would start a build thread so I will try and make my best attempt at it:

First off I believe that cars are in my blood. My grandfather collected cars throughout his life. Some he sold, some he kept which are tucked away in a storage unit that my family owns. We bought it specifically for the cars and parts that had been accumulated by my grandpa. I remember taking a day with grandpa to go out and dig through the goodies he had. There were flathead motors (even a v-12 flathead), 40' ford that he and my grandma had taken on their honeymoon, 56' fairlane w/ retractable hardtop...the list goes on. I will try and get some pictures up of the things he had it was quite the stockpile of ford products. He is the reason I have come to love these automobiles. One of the people I have looked up to in my life and wanted to be like.
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Here is my grandpa with a 1914 model t that he has had for 50+ years and driven around for parades and car shows.

I love working on older cars, going to car shows of any kind, reading car magazines, etc... I got involved more deeply in high school after taking auto mechanics with my friend chris (also one of those guys I really look up to). Chris drove a 1965 comet throughout high school and we had a lot of good times with that car. Chris' dad had an all original 1969 R code with the 428CJ (ram air) that he had driven in high school. It was orange in case anyone was wondering. He still had it and it was a interesting car. I didn't know much about the cougars at the time but I grew a liking to the 67/68 years. So in high school I decided to build a motor and buy a car when I had the funds. I started on the motor and looked for a car. Originally I had a hold of a 1965 mustang that my mom drove in high school. I thought it would have been kinda neat to carry down a tradition and drive the stang in high school just like my mother. But after much deliberation I thought I would try and find a more unique approach and go with a 67' or 68' cougar.
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here is the motor I put together. I found a 302 from a bronco. I got it machined with speedpro pistons, roller rockers, windsor heads, and some other goodies. I ended up changing the blue cover to black. I don't really care for the ford blue!


I looked on ebay for cougars and found a couple but I had a budget. The bidding always went above what I had. I kept looking and started bidding on one. It was a 67 xr7 w/ 289. Nothing special but I didn't care. I was going to rebuild it someday anyways... Body had some rust but didn't know much history on the car. It was drivable just needed a little tlc. I ended up getting the car and was stoked! Car was actually located in oregon, and guess who was selling it?....Yeah don rush had put it up there to sell. My parents flew into oregon, picked it up from WCCC, and drove it all the way back to Idaho. It ran and drove great never had any problems on the way back.
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Here is my dad with the car before they headed back home.

I drove the car for about a year. The car was great and I had a lot of fun with it. But every time I looked at it there would be more and more problems with the body. Rust was starting to bubble through, and it had been hit on the passenger side behind the door because there was a huge chunk of body filler starting to crack and break away. I hate rust more than anything and learned that the whole passenger side had been hit at one point in time and new paint was done. Little did I know this, the body work was horrible and I started looking for a new shell...I didn't want to put my new motor in a turd so the search was on.
 

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I was driving one day and saw this cougar body sitting off the side of the road. It looked all rusted and nothing was on it, it was a "shell". I came across a kid in my auto class and his dad was the one that owned it. They had used it as a parts car for their other cougar. I can't remember the code but it was a Dan Gurney special. I went and looked at both cars and was interested in the shell they had. There was very little rust actually, just surface rust. It had a few dents and dings but it was 1000 times better than the one I had. I asked if I could buy it.
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Now a lot of people thought I was crazy. Which I was to buy something off ebay from a wet environment. But this purchase was the best one I've made. $500 later with the title and bill of sale and I had that thing up on a trailer and headed towards the sandblaster. For another $200 the car was all sandblasted and ready to go.
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I got the car sandblasted and within 2 days it was primed with PPG epoxy
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Re: Built by my hand (my project)

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Car came out great I thought.
Problem was this thing sat for quite some time while I pulled everything out of the other car. Years passed before I would be able to get to it again.

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I painted the engine bay and dash though!
I actually did a poor job and later ended up re-doing it. I took off more parts, fixed a couple rust spots, and welding in some holes before shooting it again....
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Discussion Starter #4
Re: Built by my hand (my project)

Time and money prevented me from working on it. It was frustrating but there wasn't really anything I could do about it. I started college and took welding and metal fabrication. I loved it and learned many things that i would use in life. I got a job at a diesel shop building compound turbo kits for the duramax and cummins motors. It's great and I'm still employed there as of now. It pays the bills and I'm happy.
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Here is a triple turbo kit I built for a race truck. It's estimated to have 120 lbs of boost and 1400 HP on fuel only. Hope to have the truck run in the low 9's for 1/4 mile times. Not bad for a 6,000 lb truck!

Looking back on it I've been super busy though! After 3 years of dating I married the love of my life and best friend Renae. We bought a house about 5 months ago and have a new dog. Crazy how fast time goes by! 100_0404.jpg

Renae's dad is in the process of building a 55' chevy truck. He has a 55' bel-air as well so yes, he loves old cars and we get along really well. He actually is letting me use his shop which is great! I get so much more done there now than I ever have. We have a tradition, that is to go out every sunday and work on our projects together. He is in the same stages as mine so it works out. We throw ideas back and forth. When he needs help I help, and vise versa.
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I will post more later when I have time. Thanks for looking!
 

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Re: Built by my hand (my project)

Great story. Keep up the good work and post often.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Re: Built by my hand (my project)

I will periodically post until i'm up to date on my build sorry for any inconveniences.


Where was I?
Oh yes, so after getting the new body primed it stat for a while until I could get it into my father-in-laws shop to work on. But before I had it in his (name is Rod) shop I had taken apart the old car. Everything I could think of i took off until it was basically stripped down to the bare bones. I rolled it off and sold it to a guy for about $100. I sold the c4 trans as well because I wanted a 4 or 5 speed. I had found a 4 speed toploader and bought it to eventually put into the car when the time came.

My goal with the car and the build was to do as much as I could myself. Luckily I had a metal fabrication shop and I knew how to weld just about anything. I took into account that I would use my skills and build a unique car like no one had ever seen. I wanted to keep it simple but the modifications would show custom work. My grandfather always did custom work to his automobiles so I guess I will do the same.
So I have always wanted a 9" rear end but didn't have the funds to buy one from currie or whatever. I found by getting a hold of a 9" out of a lincoln versailles with the disc brake set up for $150. This rear end was too wide so I cleaned it up and narrowed it with the help of a jig from Kenny's Hot Rods. A local shop around here in Boise.
It wasn't in that great of shape you can see from the pictures. I had it sandblasted and started going to work.
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Somebody had tried to do something with it but they didn't know what they were doing so I'm glad I got a hold of it. I cleaned it up and re-welded the joints to make it stronger making sure not to warp or throw the tubes out of alignment.
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I welded ports for draining and adding the fluids and got it narrowed about 1" narrower than a stock 8" that came with the cars in the beginning.
I didn't want a 28 spline center section or axles so I bought a 31 spline center section with 3.50 gears out of a mid 70's bronco. I rebuilt the center section with new seals and bearings myself which was interesting to figure out since I didn't know much about them. I had some help from another car builder in the area so thank to him I was able to get it done correctly. I took everything down to Jim's Driveline in Boise and he set me up with some custom 31 spline axles from Moser. i bought new ones instead of shortening the old ones from the bronco because it would have actually cost more the re-spline the old axles.
I got everything powdercoated together in a semi-gloss black
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I kept the versailles disc brake brackets because they are 11" rotors. I really like to stop as quickly as I can if need be.
 

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Re: Built by my hand (my project)

Good build thread so far, keep it coming.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
After many years I was finally able to start on a couple of body work projects. I first started on the engine bay. The battery tray area was completely rusted out so I cut it out and welded a new piece in. I'm trying to keep the engine bay clean and less cluttered so I will be relocating the battery somewhere else. I've been throwing around some ideas on whether i should route an intake pipe to the spot where the battery is usually located or I might possibly be building a turbo set-up. We'll see.
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When I said earlier in the thread that I re-painted the engine bay and fixed some things these are it. The battery tray area was done and I moved on to the firewall. I didn't want to completely block it off because honestly I can't remember where everything routed and bolted. I kept the bigger holes and welding in the smaller ones. If I need to I will carefully drill holes where it needs them. I fixed the rust the was up along the fender skirts. There were 4 spots, 2 on each side. I cut out the old metal and replaced with new metal. Easy, I think it only took me a day from start to finish.
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Before I painted i made sure these were smoothed out. Now you can't even tell there was a fix needed here.

The engine bay was ready to go so I started on the front suspension areas. I removed all the old hardware, springs, shocks, control arms, etc...
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Since the engine bay was done and ready I went ahead and cleaned up the inner fender skirts and re-primed and sprayed a single stage high gloss black. I sprayed a bedliner coating on the inner fender skirts to finish it up before installing my new suspension parts!
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I went ahead and ordered new shocks. I actually copied an idea on roller spring perches and built my own. I bought new bushings and ball joints for the upper control arms. The control arms were still in good condition still so I decided to re-use them. If it was a perfect world I would be fabricating my own upper and lower control arms, but I thought I could always do that a little later down the road, maybe as a winter project or something..... :) Actually I was also thinking of buying the adjustable coil overs that bolt right in to your stock suspension parts. That would be nice but I am a poor college student for right now. A $600+ item would hit the bank account hard.
 

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Great story and nice work. One thing, I believe your grandpa's Model T is a 1913.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So my build might be a little disorganized. I built a few braces before paint and other little things but I'm just trying to catch up I got a lot of posting to do and only so much time.

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So here is my suspension all installed. I went with 1" lowered springs to start with. I kept the original spindles. If I was to do it again I would buy fatman fabricators dropped spindles. But again, that could be for a later date someday.


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The engine bay is painted and ready for a motor. The old brace the runs under the engine was completely rusted out. I took some 1" x 2" square tubing and cut and welded my own making sure to clear everything. I used the old brace as a reference.
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With the front of the car done, from the firewall forward, I started on the floor pans. The pans weren't as bad as most I've seen with these cars. Actually, the whole car wasn't that bad. It was a great body to start with I'd say. I cut out the front passenger side and replaced it with a new one.
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I found some interesting things in the frame rails...behive nests, huge dirt clogs, and spider webs galore! I cleaned it all out and painted the inside the best I could before replacing the floor pan.
Driver's side rear pan cut out and replaced

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After the floor pans were all replaced I cleaned off the old body seem goo. It never came off with sandblasting so I had to scrap it out by hand.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I wanted to make the car more rigid so I built some custom subframe connectors. I cut pie slices out and bent them accordingly to fit around the floor pans. It was kind of hard to tig weld under the car but was able to do an ok job. Plenty strong enough to hold so that's all that matter.
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Subframe connectors are done now to clean up the underneath side of the car. Paint and spray undercoating.
 

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Beautiful work Josh! :beer:
 

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Nice job on the floor pans, looks like a great fit. I found that my frame was off about 1/2" compared to the floor pans due to previous accident and bottoming out, so a big hammer made mine fit. A straight car with a good subframe is a very good thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Nice job on the floor pans, looks like a great fit. I found that my frame was off about 1/2" compared to the floor pans due to previous accident and bottoming out, so a big hammer made mine fit. A straight car with a good subframe is a very good thing.

Brian, I'm sorry but looking at your project I am not surprised! A good ol hammer can do wonders, sometimes these cars need a little coaxing to do what you want them to do....Yes the floorpans weren't as bad to install as I thought so that made life a lot easier for me.
Are you going to put subframe connectors in your project?...
 

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theres a lot of flex in these unibodies, so stiffening that old girl up is time/effort well spent. Awesome work!
 

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I had originally anticipated puting subframe connectors in it and still may, but this is going to be a low powered car so I opted not to when in the planning stage. Hindsight is... well, ya know. I have depleted all funds available at this point and am scraping here and there for additional pennies.
 

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My buddy Terry fabbed up and installed my subframe connectors in an afternoon and used about $15 worth of 2" square tubing. Very little expenditure there!

Mine were probably a little more involved since they're semi-inletted through the rear floor pan to keep them tucked up higher and out of sight. They only stick through the floor about 1/2", and to make that invisible I cut the floor sound deadener and pad from that area so you can't even see a bump in the carpet!
 
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