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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, I'm new to this whole car restoring thing. I don't really know much about fixing old cars up. I'm really handy in all sense of the term. I love doing stuff with my hands, and I really want an old cougar to fix up. Is it going to be a big problem if I have a lack of knowledge? I plan to teach myself to weld and all that good stuff. I just don't want to waste my money on an older car if I would not be able to do most of the work myself, as I would like to do. I want it to be a little difficult so I can have that sense of accomplishment when it's all done and finished. I want to get a 67 or 68, my mom had a 66 1/2 so i want the same body styling.
Any opinions are greatly appreciated.
-Zach
 

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If you have tools, time and money, you can do it. Having a decent set of tools to get started with is a huge help. Also, thefactory manuals are a great reference. A lot of questions that come up fall under "general mechanical" stuff. Sometimes you need make/model specific information.
It is an expensive hobby. It can be VERY expensive. Cougars weren't released until 1967 for a model year, I've never heard of a 66 1/2 Cougar before.
Welcome!
 

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Cougar for a beginner is a tough way to go. One reason is a lack of aftermarket or reproduction parts. next it is a very heavily sculpted car in that there is very little flat on them making it really rough on a beginning body person. The value after restoration lags behind some other models of the day. BUT the pluses are, the Cougar is so nice to look at. You are not too likely to park next to a slew of them at the cruise in and car shows like with a Mustang or Camaro. And since the prices have not that drastic for nice ones or restored ones, getting a complete project car is not too expensive a proposition.
 

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Since you said you are handy and willing to learn and invest the time I believe you can do it... As letsroll stated above bodywork is something that is going to be a huge challenge... All I can say is if you love Cougars and plan on keeping the car go for it. I've met a lot of people that just love rebuilding cars and after they are done with them they sell them and start another project. Cougars value and demand is going to kill you if you try and sell it after you finish a huge project on one. So, think about it if you are good with money in the bank go for the project and have fun. If you live check to check I would really think hard about it.
 

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Get the best condition car you can afford - especially the body/frame. Mechanicals aren't as important if you plan to work on it - just make sure it isn't butchered up, cobbled, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Woodsnake, from what I understand the cougar wasn't release until 67, but models were sent out to mercury dealerships to entice orders for the upcoming release of the cougar. My mom used to work at a mercury dealership back in the day, so that's how she ended up with one of them. And I'll definitely buy a set of those factory manuals. As for everything else, the cougar I'm looking at has almost no body work, a little on the trunk lid, but I'm pretty sure it's rusted out enough to wear I may just replace it all together. And little dent over one of the front turn signals.
 

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Dents and dings are the easier things to remedy - it's rust/rot that eat your wallet/time.
 

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Speaking of fixing rust/rot, what would be the best kind of welder to buy? The cheaper the better of course. From what I've read, a MIG welder would be the best route for the cost and what I would be using it for. What do you guys think?
 

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MIG is definitely the way to go for light floorpan work. You almost need a tig if you want to attempt body panels. I've restored a few cars in the last 15 years and I will say that with time and money you can learn to do anything :) If this is your first car restoration though I would chime in with a +1 to what BadCat said.. Start with the best structurally sounds car you can afford. Engine work isn't a big deal and engines are cheap. Brake work, electrical... most of this stuff is easy to do with enough aftermarket availability to make it less than painful.

You start tossing in some floor pan work, fendor aprons, firewalls, frame straightening... This is my 5th? 6th? 7th? restoration and I'm trying to replace the floorpans in a 70 convertable.. What a nightmare. I think it would really be daunting if I was a first timer. Restoring cars should be about learning and having some fun doing it.

Do yourself a favour and get the best car you can afford. Less rust repairs the better.
 

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As you progress through the hobby, learn to not throw anything away. Old fan belts in the trunk for spares, old brackets to be bent for a project, on and on and on.It may be many years before you need some of that "junk", but believe me, you will.
 
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