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Discussion Starter #1
I don't know if I should be worried about this, but I have enclosed some pictures of what my front end looks like. If you see the driver's side wheel, the top looks more "in" than the passenger side. When the weight of the car is down on the ground, then the tires look OK, but when driving the car, going over dips in the road, it does tend to "wallow" quite a bit. Now, I don't know if that's due to the air shocks being up so full, because of the obscenely huge tires that were on the rear, or not. But, now I have the same size tires on all the way around, so I'm sure I can let some air out of the shocks. But, I've been doing a brake job, and just got done replacing the side marker light cable, so I haven't taken the car down off the jack stands yet! Plus, with it having no heater, and it's colder than a witches t*tty here, I'm not planning on driving it anytime soon!

I've checked the front end out, when I had the tires off, and everything looks OK. In fact, it looks like the passenger side upper ball joint was replaced, and whoever did it, conveniently left off the grease zerk.

With all the receipts that came with the car, one was from an alignment shop, where one of the previous owners got 'raped' for over 2 grand worth of parts/labor. Most all of the front end parts were replaced, including: lower control arm assy, upper shaft kit, idler arm, sway bar links, and bushings, shackle kit, rebuilt power valve, new shocks, and even grease seals, with wheel bearing repacking (which looked pretty thin, when I just repacked them).

Anyway, should I be worried about the way this looks? Pardon the crappy pictures, but I took them in the lowest setting, so I could download them on the website.

One more thing, when I put the tires on, I wanted to make sure the thicker rubber wasn't going to hit anything in a full turn. So, I turned the wheels lock, to lock, and they are fine. But, that is with the car up in the air. I'm sure this is going to be a stupid question, but I don't have anything to worry about, once the car is on the ground, right?

Thanks,
John DSCF0150.jpg DSCF0151.jpg DSCF0152.jpg DSCF0150.jpg DSCF0151.jpg DSCF0152.jpg
 

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You can't tell ANYTHING with the car up in the air other than to inspect whether all those new front end parts actually went ON the car. The stock design of the front suspension automatically causes the situation your seeing with no weight on the front end. In addition to replacing the rear air shocks, which sound like you don't need anymore, finish whatever projects you're working on, and when the time comes to get it out on the road, take it to a front end shop you trust for an alignment. Expect to pay in the neighborhood of $50 for an alignment. Don't get "raped" yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
You can't tell ANYTHING with the car up in the air other than to inspect whether all those new front end parts actually went ON the car. The stock design of the front suspension automatically causes the situation your seeing with no weight on the front end. In addition to replacing the rear air shocks, which sound like you don't need anymore, finish whatever projects you're working on, and when the time comes to get it out on the road, take it to a front end shop you trust for an alignment. Expect to pay in the neighborhood of $50 for an alignment. Don't get "raped" yourself.
So, what you're saying is, that the driver's side tire will be 'in' more than the passenger side, from the factory? If that's the case, then I guess I'm alright.

I don't know if all the parts were replaced, as the work was done in '03. According to the receipt, there has only been 6,000 miles on the car since all the work was done. But, since it was so long ago, the parts look 'weathered', with the exception of the shock bolts, that are still shiny.

By the way, the reason why I said 'raped', was because after looking at some of the prices they charged this poor guy, I hope they offered vaseline! $60.00 to repack the wheel bearings, and after only 6000 miles, the grease looked like tar, and there wasn't a lot of it in there. When I repack bearings, I end up using quite a lot of grease, as I even put it in the middle of the hub, hoping some will get 'sucked' into the bearings. I'd rather clean out excess grease the next time, instead of having bearing failure. Consequently, I've NEVER had a bearing fail! (I'm sure I just jinxed myself now!)

The shock towers look OK, there's no rust on anything, as I throughly checked the car out, before I bought it. I honestly believe the car only has 55,000 miles on it, as even when I shut the door, it shuts like new.

John
 

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John, Does your cat have the original two piece brace (firewall to shock towers) or the one piece export brace?
67merc44093-3.jpg

!BYP+INQ!Wk~$(KGrHgoOKkYEjlLmY4pPBKggeb2r+!~~_12.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Mike,

Here's a picture of under the hood. I'm guessing you mean the chromed pieces going from the shock towers, to the firewall?

As you can also see, there is another brace going the other way, from side, to side.

Hopefully, this helps.

By the way, I posted a video on youtube, but I'm going to take another tomorrow, with the garage lights on, and the side marker light covers off, to show the film. You can go to my homepage (propilotc182), and look at it. I took it with my phone, because I thought it was better than my camcorder, but I'm thinking not! I don't think the HD works that well in low light! Check it out, and PM me!

John
 

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Mike,

Here's a picture of under the hood. I'm guessing you mean the chromed pieces going from the shock towers, to the firewall?

As you can also see, there is another brace going the other way, from side, to side.

Hopefully, this helps.

By the way, I posted a video on youtube, but I'm going to take another tomorrow, with the garage lights on, and the side marker light covers off, to show the film. You can go to my homepage (propilotc182), and look at it. I took it with my phone, because I thought it was better than my camcorder, but I'm thinking not! I don't think the HD works that well in low light! Check it out, and PM me!

John

You have the original two piece brace. (cowl to shock towers) If you look at yours it's two seperate braces. Get rid of those and buy a single brace like this
(EXPORT BRACE) before you get your alignment. There are cheap ones out there (THIN MEDAL) The newer ones are made with a heavy guage medal like the Shelby Export braces Ford made back in the sixties. You will notice a big difference how your Cat handles.

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<TABLE border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=600><TBODY><TR vAlign=top><TD width=600>Reproduction Export Brace for the 1967, 1968, 1969 & 1970 Mercury Cougar or Ford Mustang


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Replaces Ford Part #: C5ZZ-16A052. Trivia! These are called "Export Braces" because all Mustangs and Cougars exported to Europe were required to have them. They were standard issue on all Shelby's and an over the counter item for Cougars and Mustangs not equipped from the factory with them.


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So, what you're saying is, that the driver's side tire will be 'in' more than the passenger side, from the factory? If that's the case, then I guess I'm alright.

No, I meant that the front wheels will both stand up straighter with the weight on the parts.

But what a lot of people don't realize is that the height of the rear also affects front end alignment. That's why I posted that if you don't need the air shocks in the rear anymore, it's best to replace those first. THEN go and get another alignment for peace of mind and they'll dial in the front end to where it needs to be.
 

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1. Just because someone was billed for and payed for work doesn't mean it was done or done the way they said it was. Those parts may not be new, or may be and are lower quality than what is itemized on the receipt.
So, you don't know until you know, you know?
2. You looked at the shock towers and responded that you didn't see any rust and what not. You're looking for cracks and broken welds. Cracks can be very hard to see. Make sure you look very very closely.

3. What Mark (Local Hero) said. Get it aligned again by a competent shop.
I took mine to a place years and years ago and watched an ASE certified cupcake get frustrated with a sticky adjuster sleeve and take his anger out on my newly rebuilt front end with a BFH before I could get his boss out there to witness it. Had to force them to replace parts after his temper tantrum and found another alignment shop that double checked their work. Find a competent shop.
 

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what you are seeing is one of the design flaws in the suspension--listen to local hero--get the car fixed and take it to a "real allignment shop"--not someone who looks up the spec in the book---there have been many new advances in allignment---a shelby drop will fix some of what you are seeing up in the air---do not go to the allignment shop until you have the car sitting the way you want it and with the wheels & tires you plan to run
doctordesoto
 

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Discussion Starter #12
No, I meant that the front wheels will both stand up straighter with the weight on the parts.

But what a lot of people don't realize is that the height of the rear also affects front end alignment. That's why I posted that if you don't need the air shocks in the rear anymore, it's best to replace those first. THEN go and get another alignment for peace of mind and they'll dial in the front end to where it needs to be.
Even though I probably won't need them anymore (I still have to get the car off the jacks to see!), but I will probably keep the air shocks, just in case. But, just for reference, what is a 'good' ride height? I'm sure there are too many variables for that, so I guess I'll just have to experiment with different air pressures in the shocks, to get a decent, level ride height.

But, if I were to change out the shocks, what would you recommend? I don't want anything too stiff. The previous owner of my Hurst/Olds took off the factory air shocks, and put Koni's on. Man, those things make it ride like a brick! I don't want anything like that! I put a set of the coil/over helper shocks on my LTD, and it does ride decent, plus if I ever have passengers, I don't have to worry about the back end sagging.

Is there a particular shock you guys use, that is good for ride, and performance?

Thanks,
John
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Just a follow up note on this. I finally took the Cat off the jack stands (I needed them for my Olds), and it's sitting nice now! I'll have to take some pics. The front end is rather high (it always has been), but at least the rear now has plenty of room with the new smaller tires. I don't know how much air is in the shocks now, but the car is sitting pretty level the way it is. And, the tires straightened right out, when the weight was put back on! I even 'bounced' each side of the front end a little, to help 'settle' it down. And the tires now look straight up and down, better that when the old tires were on there.

But, I will get the stiffer, one piece export brace, before I get it aligned. I took a video of the car sitting there, but I still have to upload it. When I do, I'll post it on here. I even took some footage of my other 'old' cars in the garage, and my poor H/O, still sitting there with no engine/trans!

Thanks,
John
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Not to 'show off' or anything, but I did take a video of the Cat finally sitting on the new rubber. I also showed my other 'old cars' in the garage at the end.

But, I do have a question. Once you see how high up the front end is, is that normal? Did someone put stiffer shocks, or different springs on it, to raise it up? Like I said in my last post, I didn't check the pressure on my air shocks, but now it seems to be pretty level. But, let me know if this high front end is normal.

Actually, after watching this, I guess I need to stipulate that the rear tires are NOT smaller than the fronts, but rather smaller than the tires that were previously on the rear. I never said I was a narrator! I also have a video of the exhaust on my '87 Cutlass that's pretty funny. I took it while I was putting that car on the jack stands, and notice the 'custom' exhaust work! Make sure you look at it on my 'channel'!

Thanks,
John


 

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As usual, John, great documentation.

I'm trying to find the original promo video clips, where you see the rear was lower than the front.

Jean
 

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Yeah, I've always heard that was the style in those days, lower rear.

I did my own alignment for the first time last year and discovered that all the alignment shops I had taken the cat to since the 80s discovered the rusted sleeve so aligned to the passenger side tie rod rusted sleeve! It was a pain to break it free and re-center my steering.

Doing your own is not all that hard.......it's one of the very few things I allowed a shop to do and sure enough, they screwed it up!

Good luck!
 

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But, I do have a question. Once you see how high up the front end is, is that normal? Did someone put stiffer shocks, or different springs on it, to raise it up? Like I said in my last post, I didn't check the pressure on my air shocks, but now it seems to be pretty level. But, let me know if this high front end is normal.

Thanks,
John
Did you put in new springs in the front ??
Have you driven the car after you took it off the jackstands ?? if not, then it will settle some when driving a little, so it´s normal for the front end to stand up a bit after you have had it jacked up, take t for a drive, then see how it sits afterwards :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
As usual, John, great documentation.

I'm trying to find the original promo video clips, where you see the rear was lower than the front.

Jean
Jean,

So, what you're saying is, that the front end was supposed to be that high? And, like I said, I misspoke on the video, saying the 'smaller' tires on the rear, when I meant to say that they are smaller than what was on there before. All 4 tires are the same size.

I wish I could move it out, to take better pictures, but now I have my '87 Olds in front of it, on the jack stands, doing the brakes. So, for now, it's 'trapped'!

John
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Did you put in new springs in the front ??
Have you driven the car after you took it off the jackstands ?? if not, then it will settle some when driving a little, so it´s normal for the front end to stand up a bit after you have had it jacked up, take t for a drive, then see how it sits afterwards :)


I figured that would also be the case, that I would have to drive it, then see if it settles down any. But, like I just told Jean, the car is 'trapped' behind my Olds, so I won't be moving it for a while.

But, to answer your question, no I haven't replaced the springs in front. I did notice the shocks were newer, as the hardware is still 'shiny'. So, I don't know if they're stiffer than stock. And, at least the control arms have gobs of grease on them, so I think they're OK. Re-doing the brakes is really the only 'major' thing I've done to it since I bought it. The only things I've done otherwise, is redo the rear taillight assemblies, and put LED's in there, and for the engine, put new plug wires on, and adjusted the timing, and carb.

John
 

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Like Jan Ove said, let it settle next time out.

i'm still looking for old promo clips. One was on a beach. I think it was one or the first promo for cougar.

I'm not commenting on your's stance, but the wedge definitely was opposite of what we are used to.

you'd have to see it.

Jean
 
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