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I currently have two Cougars, one is my "baby" a 1970 restored standard convertible and the other is a "basketcase" 70 XR7 with houndstooth vinyl top. The question is whether or not to part the XR7 out. After lots of thought I am leaning towards parting it out due to TOO much rust. Nothing I cannot fix but I am not sure I am up for the project. Many really good parts which are worth more than the car but I just don't know. What are everyone's thoughts on this?:confused:
 

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I don't know though. I am struggling with the fact that if I part it out that will be one less Cougar on the road. The car runs fine and is registered, licensed and insured. Just rusty..... good thing I didn't pay too much for it.
 

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dj, how about posting some photos...

so we can get an idea what "TOO much rust" means. and how's the interior? if you can save it, you should. you're right, there are too few cougars still around to scrap one!
 

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I say that if it's streetable it should be saved.
If not by you, then by someone else.
I know what I went through to find a restorable, affordable 69/70 XR7 recently. :rolleyes:
Chances are if its the rust that's putting you oof then it's the high demand parts that are no good. There are a lot of Cougar parts - repro, used, even NOS - but few body panels that are in decent shape.
I say sell it, and put the money into your good cougar. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The interior and electrical are in very good shape. All gauges and switches work. Glass is clear and scratch-free. The only useable body parts are the hood and the doors. The engine runs strong. The front springs have a little sag in them and give the car an odd stance. Grill, tail lights and chrome are in good "restorable" shape. The reason I bought the car in the first place is it has a black/white houndstooth top which is not replaceable (unless in the last year someone started making them). I think if I could find the houndstooth top I would be more than happy to restore this one. Kind of rare to see them anymore.
 

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to part or not to part that is the question

Hey Jeff,
I live alot further north than you (very northern tip of wv)and I say fix it if you can. Why?, because up in my area you just can't find any cougars. I know where there is one in a junkyard that is stripped but I only know of three other cougars in my area. What you think is a rust bucket the people in my area would probably restore. I tend to agree with rk but you haven't shown us a picture of how bad it is either. Of course if you part it there may be something I'd buy off of you, my car is a 70 xr7 too.
John
 

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SELL AS A PROJECT ! if t runs dont let it go to the great crusher. I felt bad about picking the fender extensions and grill of of a junked 69 the other day. the body was pretty clean and it had only a little rust. LITTLE as in California terms, im sure some parts of the country would call it "almost rust free". the trunk was clean, the rear had a small, half of a dollar bill size in the lower 1/4s. thats it though. NONE around the windows. no sign of a collision on it. all of the glass was there and in good shape. the 351 was in it, but without the heads and intake. rear end was gone as was most of the interior. i guess i just dont understand why people wold junk a car like that. i also saw what looked like a VERY clean 88 T bird next to it. ( i know, not a classis, but too clean tobe in the junk ) it had a MINT tan interior. 120K miles, V8, nice paint. and an arrow straight body. it still confuses me as why it was there. I do feel bad about takin cars parts though. it makes me sad sometimes. BTW, i will put that 69 grill on ebay tis week. and i have the rear fender extensions off of the 69 too. they are very nice, with the chrome ( some pits, but no dents ) but the wires on them were already broken off when i got to them.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
This spring I will make my final decision. I will have to take it apart anyway so I will either sell it or part it. Depends on how bad the rust actually is when I take it down.

Thanks for all the input and opinions. Helped me out a bunch. I am now leaning towards selling it to someone who has time to deal with the rust.
 

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Classics and rust

Around here, the Cleveland OH area, is also known as the 'rustbelt'. Some of you guys have no idea what rust really is. Heck, by the time my first Cougar was just five years old (a 72 Standard back in fall '76) the bottoms of both doors were gone, by that I mean nothing was there! I had to patch the rear quarters from the body line on down, and even a small patch in front of the rear wheels. The fenders weren't too bad, maybe just the bottom six inches needing to be replaced. The battery tray was non-existant, the inner fenders had holes, the shock towers were starting to collapse due to losing structural integrity, and the radiator support had rusted away to the point where I had the radiator held up by wedging a block of wood under it from the engine cross member. Now, how's that for rusty, eh?

Later I'll tell you about my 'good' cars and their rust!
 

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oh yeah?? my 69 had some in both 1/4s in behind the wheel weel. one was about 4 iches long and 2 inches wide. the other was L shaped and was about 6inches by 4 inches by 2 inches. OOOOOOOOOOHHH!!! so take that!!! LOL and to top all of that, my trunk had a funky smell in it. yeah, i tought so. i win LOL..
 

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to part...

I got one for you, my first car was a 69 Torino. Heres the good part, it broke in half.........lol Right where the frame rails mount to the body up front. Looked like it had a tilt front end that tilted the wrong way. I pulled the 351w out of it and put it into a 71 torino about a year later. then I put it in a maverick........I couldn'tkill the motor no mater how much I abused it.
John
 

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Classics and rust - Part II

[rant]

I have had it with rusty cars. I'm tired of trying to find rust-free parts. For one thing, rust-free parts cannot be found around here. I'd have to get them from some other non-Rustbelt part of the country. Sure, Beta Cat could use a quarter panel, but when I did find one, used, out in Las Vegas, the shipping cost more than the part! ($200 part, $400 shipping). That's nuts!

I went on a vacation to Phoenix back in February of '91. I ended up buying a 'new' tow vehicle while I was out there. My old 78 Country Squire had rusted to nothing and I found a 77 CS, with a 460, factory trailer tow pkg, posi rear, hydraboost brakes and -- get this -- four wheel disc brakes, for only $650. Sure it was sun baked and the vinyl applique woodgrain was turned into potato chips, but there was no rust anywhere on it. I had crawled under it at the little mom-and-pop car lot after hours since the dash was carpeted and I couldn't see the VIN to see what engine it had. OK. [shimmy-shimmy] (hmmm, I'm not fitting under cars like I used to... gotta lay off the pasta....) [shimmy-shimmy] 429/460 oil pan, check. C-6 tranny, check. 9" rear, check. Read the rear end tag to determine ratio- 3L00, check. And that's when I noticed the funny backing plates for the rear discs. What amazed me was the lack of rust underneath. Heck, the rear end housing was bare metal -- not even orange colored from rust. How many miles on the car? who knows. The odometer said 85,000. Was it really a low-mileage car, or did it have 185,000 or 285,000 miles. With the other minor problems the car had, I'd say one of the latter. I did a little preventative maintenance on it for good measure and piece of mind and happily drove it home, 2,200 miles by myself over three days. I hadn't planned to buy a car out there, but I couldn't pass it up!

I couldn't believe the lack of rust on the cars out there. Even scratches in the paint that went down to the sheetmetal had no rust.

I also couldn't believe the cars that were being driven around as daily drivers. Cougars and Mustangs galore. Some were for sale, too. How 'bout a 70-71 Torino/Ranchero GT for $300, complete with working hideaways! OK, so it was a little abused and beat up, but at least it wasn't rusty! 'Beat up' I can deal with, rusty I can't!

My next project car will definitely come from a non-rusting part of the country!

[/rant]
 

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Classics and rust - Part III

I had the pleasure of making the aquaintence of Dave and Diane Lawson many years ago, quite by accident. For those who don't know them, they ran an auto salvage yard in Elyria OH, and were also the hosts of the Cougar Club Nationals one time back in the 80s. Dave and Diane had a couple of Classic Cats, both were big blocks of some sort, and at least one was a 428CJ.

Anyway, the story goes: Years ago I was junkyard scrounging in Dave's lot, and came upon this 71/2 standard hardtop Cougar. Body is perfect -- no rust anywhere. I want it. I ask Dave about it. Some hilljacks from down south (sorry, his term) brought it in a week or so ago because the motor started burning oil badly. I ask if I can get the whole car. Nope. Once the car is behind the fence and the title is sent to the state, it cannot be sold whole. Damn. I can take any parts I want off it though. (He's not 'in' to my generation of Cougars, just the early ones *sigh* ) I go running for my toolbox. That first day I grabbed the front clip and doors. My intent was to come back the following week and get the 'body shell' so I could make a complete car out of it. Well, I didn't get back there for a couple of weeks. I grabbed the toolbox and went to the Cougar. Gone. Where'd the green Cougar go, Dave? Oh, sorry. I thought you were done with it so I crushed it. :cry: The look on my face said it all.

What I wouldn't give for a rust free car!
 

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daily drivers?? you mean that you guys dont drive your cars all the time?? maybe its because i live in California, and because im still only 20, but my car is my only one. i drive it every day rain or shine. live betwen Lng Beach and Los Angeles, so maybe thats why. my car didnt have alot of rust, just a little in the 1/4s and a trace around the back windshield. thats it. not too bad for what was a beach car for its whole life? ( it was in Ventura) i see alot of old cars that are daily drivers around here. i know a guy with a 12 second 69 Nova, 12 second 69 Camaro, 13 Second 66 Stang, and a guy with a 68(?) Jaguar E type( a 66 GTO is his weekend car) and ALL of those cars are daily drivers. Granted im a student of the auto body type, and i see alot of car guys, but they really do drive these cars every day. in some cases these are the only cars they have. its not hard to find a nice daily driven rust freecar out here. not at all. Just try finding another person with a Cougar in decent shape. im one of the few out here. i did see a green 69 convt with a few punk kids in it a few months ago though.... lol it wasnt too bad.
 

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Oh yeah, try this out for rust. (or my endless stupidity of saving a car from the crusher). I bought my '68 when i lived in the northeast. In the twenty years i have owned it I have replaced both 1/4's, both doors, the trunk lid, should have replaced the left fender and hood since the rust is coming thru again. I have replaced the entire floor from the firewall to just before the rear seat. I have replaced 1.5ft of rear frame rails (both sides). Redone both front torque boxes, reboxed 1.5ft of front rails in front of torque boxes. Also replaced small sections of the front rails in the engine compartment, reinforced the shock towers, replaced the top of the aprons (where the fenders bolt on), inside part of lower core support and repaired part of the inner rockers. Now this is over a twenty year period. Stuff just keeps coming out over time. The body was done 12 yrs ago and now in the wonderful rainforest humidity of south florida there is rust appearing around the back glass and I can tell there is some under the vinyl top. Not sure if i'll put another vinyl top on it if and when I redo the car. I bought the car when I lived up north and being an 18 yr old punk kid, didn't know what to look for. If I knew then what i know now, I would probably looked at the car for 30 seconds and walked away.
Been in S. FL for over ten yrs and there are some pretty decent cars here. Just gotta be careful with the convertibles. The intense rain makes for leaky tops and next thing you know there's no more floor.:cry:
Hey sixty9coug.....I think i got ya beat on this one!
 

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ok ok ok, il give you that one..... but i as working on this car and there was 1/2 in of bondo on the decklid... no kidding, 1/2 in thick. HOW DO YOU DO THAT!!!! needless to say it was replaced before it was shot red.... like every other stang out there.
 

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daily drivers...

I think whether or not a classic is a daily driver depends a lot on the age and location of the owner. In the northeast, you'd have to be nuts to drive a car you cherish in the wintertime, even if you had the money to refinish the body every year. It's be just plain cruel to subject a classic to the roadsalt.

And it seems that younger owner drive their classics more than we older folks. Maybe it's because we have more cars to drive or maybe we just want to prolong the nostalgia factor.

Or maybe we have wives who just don't get it...
 

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he he he, i guess s. i still cant explain why insted of getting a car that is better on gas, more reliable, comfortable, and maybe even more chick friendly than the Cougar..... i am getting the 72 Mach 1 which will be worse on gas,comfort, probably thesame on reiability, but for a long time ( in the body work stage) not chick friendly. and a 4 spd in LA freeway traffic will be , errrrrrr, not to good to say the least. oh wel, thats why the Cougar is staying here i guess.
 

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sixt9coug

What do you mean your cars aren't 'chick friendly'? You must be hanging out with the wrong kind of chicks! My wife has a 70 Mach 1 (see signature line). I have my Cougars. In fact, we met because of the cars. At a cruise. (I joke that I met my wife in a dark parking lot) SMACK! Ooops, sorry dear, I didn't mean it like that. :p: Seriously, find someone that shares your enthusiasm for the hobby.

Now that it has started to snow here, we won't be driving our classics on the road up here until spring. That road salt is murder on old sheet metal. See my first response on this thread. Five years old and rusted out? That's what happens around here. Nowadays, with the better factory corrosion proofing, cars last a mite longer, like maybe ten years before they rot out.
 
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