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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
cougar fire.jpg I was at, of all places, the Portland Auto Swap, this morning when I got a call from my wife. Our daughter just called to say the 73 XR-7 was on fire in the High School Parking lot. I got over there to find the distributor in complete melt down. The rim with the metal connector tabs was all that was left. The fuel line was burned the air cleaner, the coil and it's wires were all cooked. Upper radiator hose- cooked. The plug wires all ended in either a goopy globule connected to a healthy wire by only the core wire. It all looked like one of those photos of people in those Spontaneous Human Combustion programs. The paint on the hood was bubbled up about the size of a Road Map of Rhode Island.

I have called my State Farm agent. He advised me that my full coverage and no deductible means they will cover the loss. I told him that after the car is towed to my house and the fire extinguisher powder is all cleaned up that I will determine the extent of the damage and get back to him. He was, of course, fairly ebullient when I mentioned that I felt I would be able to repair the damages- except the painting on the hood. I told him I would get back with an parts list. The carb is dark in front where it burned; but I won't know if the seals or vacuum plunger is in need of replacement.

I assembled a list of apparent damage so I can assemble the following parts:

Carb Stock 2 BBL: Should I send it to a place that rebuilds them, buy a rebuilt or attempt to rebuild?
Distributor. I am not sure if there was a Moptorcraft dizzy in. I do know that I replaced the hard to adjust points with a Pertronix Ignitor. When I buy a new distributor should I get one from FORD? Which one? Keep in mind I did not like removing the distributor cap a hundred times to adjust the points.
When I went with the pertronix ignitor I bought good plug wires. What are good ones to get without looking like I am gouging for parts upgrades?
Coil. I bought a 50,000 volt RED one last time to keep up with the ignitor. Recommendations?

Misc. Temp switch near thermostat
thermostat
Radiator hose
wiring, connectors, vacuum lines.

If you have an opinion as to whether I should do the work myself, so the shop does not skimp on finding ALL the parts- I get the feeling they would just jerry rig anything they could not find or undertstand. OR let a shop do it? I want it back the way it was. Good paint and decals were burned off the air cleaner. The carb and choke may not operate right. I was thinking about replacing all parts, keeping receipts, of course and taking it in for paint repair on the hood. And taking it to the engine bay detailer as well.

What do you think?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
More pictures. Please respond. I could use input on which distributor, coil and plug wires to get. That's if the consensus is that I do the work instead of taking it to the shop.
 

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If you have access to a resto shop (or similar) that will fix the car in a way you'll approve of (or mostly approve of), then go that route. That's why you have insurance. You should still visit a shop or two, have them inspect the car, provide an estimate (using the parts you specify). The estimate should include cleaning up the dry Chem (even if you've already cleaned that up). Share the estimate with the insurance Co. so they can pay your claim. If you decide to do it yourself, then at least you got paid at the shop rate for your time.

I feel for ya man, it's a bummer...but it could have been a LOT worse. You'll get that kitty purrin' again in no time.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
:eek2: What do you mean I get paid for shop rate. Really can i ask the insurance to cover my time?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
BTW, does anyone know where the vacuum line I am pointing to in the final picture is routed to? I have 4 burnt ends; but I can't figure which goes with which. There is also a vac line from the Dist. Vac. canister and a switch on the intake manifold at the seven o'clock position from the carb.
 

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Let's say you were not a car guy & this happened to you. After the fire was out, you'd call a tow truck & have them take your car to a repair facility to get fixed. The insurance Co. would pay for that, plus the tow truck, maybe even a rental car to use while your car is being fixed. This is the same thing, except that classic car insurance usually doesn't cover a rental car, since this is not your daily driver anyway.

So get your estimates from competant restoration shops to get your car back into the shape it was pre fire. Then present that to your insurance Co. for payemnt. At this point, if you want to fix it yourself, get a shop manual (which will show you where the vacuum lines should go) & have at it.
 

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I'd just take it to a shop that can do a proper clean and repair job. No sense in smashing your knuckles to do a job that you already paid for.
 

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Try looking at a pic of a stock 351C-2V for hose routing. You're about six months too late for me to get pics of both of my original -2V PartsCats' engines. I'm sure that WCCC can help you out w/ sourcing the proper parts, and they're relatively local to you.

FWIW, your engine fire was pretty well contained. Probably started with a fuel leak at the short rubber hose by the carb. Trust me on this one - it happened to me (sort of)... When my sister and her hubby had borrowed my old '78 Country Squire, they had an engine fire that was evidently a bit bigger since every wire under the hood burned. Oh well, it made me get off my butt and replace the wimpy (and worn out) 351M/FMX with a 429/C-6...

Anyway - here's a bit of advice to all of our Classic Cat brethren. The gasoline blend we have today is much more aggressive to rubber fuel line and will rot it from the inside! Spend a few bucks and replace any and all rubber fuel line every five years, minimum! Your Cats are worth it! I suppose it isn't quite as critical on the suction side of the fuel pump, but absolutely necessary on the pressurized side! Even braided steel line is susceptible since it is just rubber on the inside!
 

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Nothing looks that major. You can do all that in a weekend, probably.
If you're daunted by the task, take it to a shop. Shouldn't really be a big deal. It's mostly just scrubbing and replacing easily replaced components with fresh stuff, repainting some things, and maybe just running new vacuum lines.

I'd want to be sure I got the culprit for the fire though. If it was a carb leak or something like that, I'd be all over that.
 

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I know I am johnny come lately to this thread, but insurance wise. If you own the car out right, by all means get a couple of good estimates with the proper replacement parts you need(to include your upgraded parts) MAKE sure your insurance company Writes the Check to YOU and not you and/or one of the shops. If they want to write it to a shop, they WILL get a discount from the shop, and you are left with what is done. This I say from several experiances. Once you have check in hand , then shop till you drop for best price on what you need/want. If you are not going to put it on then shop the install around for best price. You should come out in good shape with car you will be happy with. You pay the insurance for just this thing, to cover accidents and to get it put back to as good/better than was.
Just my 1/5 of a dime. Lloyd
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The insurance guy is supposed to comeover for an estimate on Monday 4/11.

Theywere ok on the phone; but already making noise about how they could possibly TOTAL the car and give me what "comps" are selling for.

I asked where they get their figures and the lady said we look at other cars in similar shape and what they sell for.

Any ideas here? I just finished a new interior install from the bare floor up. New stereo, cleaned and polished dash and lenses. New sound proofing, speakers, carpet. Only things I had left to do (this spring) was new front seat upholstery, new rag top, and I am enrolled in a auto collision and paint class now to shoot the paint this summer. Otherwise it l;ooked great and rand very well. I just don't want some lame check and the adjuster to say TOTALLED! How can I get fair treatment here?
 
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