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Discussion Starter #1
Chalk this one up on the list of things I didn't know about Cougars. My new car has an area blacked out (or not "chromed", at least) on the passenger side Dash Face Surround.

What the heck was the deal? Did all Cats come with the knee protection pad, or was this an option? Or was it an option to delete it in '68? I've read that. I am embarrassed to say that I know nothing about this area. I assume it was only a '67-'68 thing, but..??

Can anybody post a quick rundown on this feature or option please? :bloated:



Thanks!
 

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From what I understand it was installed in cars built early in the year then deleted for the rest of the production run. Mustangs had a similar pad that disappeared similarly. Kind of like the Mustang quarter reflectors that were originally rectangular then changed to the elliptical ones at some point.
 

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Brian I think yelo is right, it was a part year deal. I believe it was a required safety feature or something like that. My '67 never had one to my knowledge.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So it didn't ever exist on a '67, was mandated for '68, then discontinued shortly thereafter?


Interesting..I wonder how they managed to get past the safety mandate (if that was how it went down)
 

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I believe it was put in place because of the "perception" of new federal mandates and later when it was deemed not necessary to comply, it was deleted at the same time as this list of changes outlined in the supplement. Someone will have to refresh my memory of when these changes took place, right after the first of the year IIRC.

 

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I also think it was a early/late thing. Our early 68 mustang has one and our late 68 XR 7 does not. Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I believe it was put in place because of the "perception" of new federal mandates and later when it was deemed not necessary to comply, it was deleted at the same time as this list of changes outlined in the supplement. Someone will have to refresh my memory of when these changes took place, right after the first of the year IIRC.


OK I'm guilty of not studying this sheet very much over the years..wow, that opens up a LOT of cans o' worms..


1. So I'm anxious to see what is under this steering wheel wrap of mine

2. Rocker Panel mouldings were only put on Decor and XR-7 Cars? REALLY? (or could they be ordered as an option?)

3. Metal Windsheild Pillar covers instead of Pads? I've never seen this.

4. The whole 302/289 thing smells like a mess..were they trying to phase out the 289 by putting it into the Base Cougars? Hmm..my new standard '68 has a 302. Ordered this way, perhaps? San Jose vs. Dearborn?




Sorry, I know this has been discussed here at some point..just so many holes in so many theories and in so many publications ;)
 

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What they really mean is instead of putting padded vinyl pads on the "A" pillars they will now paint them, no actual trim other than the tiny little trim that mates the headliner to the pillar.
 

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My 68 XR7 was built Feb 12, 1968 without the kneepads. Regarding the 289/302 issue, I recall something about a strike at Ford resulting in delay in 302 production. It makes sense that the 302's on hand would be given to more upscale cars.
 

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Actually... Cougar reintroduced the 289 mid-year and scaled down the trimmings on the 68 standard so as to compete with comparable GM and Mopar offerings. If you look at the date codes on a 68 289 you will see that just like most, the date of the engine is grouped just as close as any other, no 67 date codes on 68 289's.
 

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All:

I hope I can shed some more light on the issue, but first, thanks to Don for posting the list of midyear changes. I have the factory Dealer Album and a subsequent lists the same changes, with a January 1, 1968 effective date. There are references elsewhere which list a February 15, 1968 date.

According to a list of 1968 production numbers that I have a copy of, rocker panel moldings were a separate option. I also have a list of options/prices dated April 1, 1968, which lists rocker panel moldings as an option. This would be consistent with the information previously mentioned. Interestingly, the April 1st list does not provide a price for the 302 (2V) engine over the 289 (2V). My late '68 (July 17th) does not have the decor interior and it does have a 289 (2V), as well as one rocker panel molding, a freebie error, I guess. This car also has the painted A pillars, and regular windlace (not the padded version) around the side windows. It also does not have rear armrests or a woodgrain steering wheel. I have seen a number of later cars without decor interiors equipped just like this. Also, like Brian's car, I have another '68, an early build car (December 30th) without the kneed pad, but with the chrome trim edge blacked out.

What have other folks seen on there cars? Inquiring minds want to know! ;-)
 

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The 302 price up-tick over the 289 would not be called out specifically as it was built into the decor or xr7 interior package.
 

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The date was around January 1st but the law actually says "motor vehicles manufactured for sale" after January 1st, so some cars were being built before January 1st 1968 that did not have the Knee Bolster.

The most lasting effect of the 1967 strike was that the manufacturers were not able to raise prices to cover the increased costs. They began a process called "value engineering" where the engineers were tasked at taking cost out with out effecting the "value to the consumer" One result of this was the increased body size in '69. It was very cheap to add a bigger body relative to the increase in apparent value. We are all familiar with glued in windows the disappearance of the vent window and many other cost cutting moves in '69, but the biggest change was the dramatic reduction in the number of parts used to build the cars. More and more sub assemblies were being consolidated to reduce assembly time.
 

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The general trend in the auto industry after a new model is introduced or a major model change. First year fixed the known problems, make it durable and no cost cutting. Mid second year start cost cutting measures to increase profits now that you have a history on the vehicle and what can be cut or change where the custom won't see reduced value. Generally the begining of the second year of production is the best time to buy a vehicle. The start up problems are fixed and the cost cutting measures haven't started yet. You can apply this to the Cougar and current vehicle models today as well.
A good example is my 2004 F250 Diesel which went through a slight body change in 2003. The 2003 was the first year for the 6.0L diesel. They made 24 changes to improved the motor from 2003 to 2004. Mid year 2004 they deleted the hood blanket and glove box light. Not a big cost cutting, but a $60 blanket and $20 light equals $80 per truck times how many trucks adds up to a big savings. My truck was built on Febuary 2 2004 and came with the glove box light and no blanket. The dealer added the blanket before I took delivery.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
DOH! February 3 2004 they put the better head bolts on the 6L.
Hmm..I have to look up my truck's birthdate. It was dangerously close to Early 2004! (Bought May '04) Schnikeys..EDIT 3/17/04 build..no problem ;)
 

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DOH! February 3 2004 they put the better head bolts on the 6L.
That's a new one. I thought all the head bolts on the 6.0L were on the weak side. Where did you get that information Don?
I can't find where the head bolts were changed.
http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/848915-6-0l-difference-between-model-years.html
If you do have head gasket problems the fix is to install the ARP stud kit. Most of the problems happen when the motor gets chipped and combustion pressure is increased. Only issue I've had with mine is having to clean the turbo a couple of times which is an easy process. I don't put very many miles on mine so sitting a lot doesn't help the turbo at all. 2004 with 50,000 miles.
The problem is, if the engine is over boosted (too high combustion chamber pressure) the bolts are torque to yield and will stretch and not return to the same clamping force. The loss in clamping force will start leaking combustion pressure into the coolant system and puke coolant out the over flow tank.
 

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i believe the knee pads are part of the national transportation act of 1968 that also brought us bigger brake peddles ,large , soft window cranks,an ugly steering wheel and more
doctordesoto
 

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Ummm sorry, that was supposed to be humorous. Sorry if anyone traded in their truck last night!
So......what you're saying is I really didn't need to tear the truck apart last night and remove the cylinder heads to update to the new bolts...It was cold in the garage to about 20 F :1poke:

I should have known by the date. Guess I wasn't awake yet this morning.
 
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