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I ran across a 1973 Cougar XR-7 convertible for sale near me. What are the common problems to look for in these models? Do they have the cowl leakage problems that the Mustangs have? Do they have the Torque box rust problems like the Mustangs? Are ther any problem rust areas to look for? It has a 351 Cleveland engine, any common problems to look for with this engine? Supposed to have 58,000 original miles, power top in good shape, excellent running with no mechanical problems, solid floors, trunk and rails, excellent interior, some surface rust in quarters. What would be a ballpark price for a cat in this condition if all the above is true? Thanks for any advice.
 

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Contributing Sr Motorhead
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73 Cats

First of all, welcome to the boards! Now that the welcome is out of the way, please take a moment and fill in the rest of your member profile. That will tell the rest of us where you're coming from. Thanks.

I guess I'm the resident 73 Cat person here so I'll give your questions a shot...

All 73 cougars had 351 Clevelands. They came in either the 2-barrel (engine code 'H') or 4-barrel (engine code 'Q') Those were the only two engines offered in the 73 Cougars.

Cougars of this vintage are the same as Mustangs under the skin. Everything (under the skin) from the radiator support all the way back to the front spring eye on the rear spring is the exact same as a Mustang. From the spring eye back, cougars are a different animal, having a slightly longer wheelbase and therefore different springs and frame rails. Anyway, everything you may know about for Mustangs applies to its Cougar sibling. The same rot in the inner rocker panels, front frame rails and torque boxes. If you are in a dry, rust-free climate you've got it made compared to those of us confined to the Rustbelt. The inner cowl area isn't that big of a problem in the 71-73 Mustangs and Cougars compared to the earlier years.

The biggest problem in having and restoring a 71-73 Cougar is the lack of parts out there. Almost nobody has reproduction parts for our Cougars, and any NOS parts you can find out there command big $$$. The more common Mustang crossover parts are the only blessing I see. Just remember, they made more Mach 1 Mustangs in 1973 than all 1973 Cougars combined. That's how rare our cars are! Anyone can have a Mustang, but our Cougars are rare breeds indeed! If you have a need for anything in particular, drop me an e-mail. I have quite a stockpile of 71-73 parts, acquired some 20 years ago when Cats roamed the streets here with more frequency.

Milo
AKA Cougrrcj
 
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