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Discussion Starter #1
First, let me give a little background. I'm an offroad/motorcycle 20 year old enthusiast...I have a pretty built Jeep Cherokee (I've been wheeling XJ's pretty seriously for 4 years) and I'm slowly getting more and more into motorcycles after commuting/rebuilding one for the last year and 7k miles. The Mercury Cougar I have was my grandpas originally, he bought it brand new and we've (my dad and I) had it since. He was an auto part store owner for the better part of his life and this car was his baby. It was stored in his garage since he passed for about 15 years, and has spent the last 3-4 years outside (Washington State, so sun for a few months and rain most of the time). It is all original to my knowledge minus the exhaust (grandpa put a custom single outlet exhaust on) beyond that I don't know if anything has changed.

I've always been a forum guy, so I found this forum in hopes that some real enthusiast can tell me a little more about this car. My mom wants it gone, and we don't have any room for it in the garage right now...but I want to make sure this car gets the proper restoration it deserves but I need to know what I'm getting into first - as well as a little ammo to keep it. My long term plan is to fully restore this car to be a weekend driver, and be as close to show quality as possible once I finish my ME bachelors and MST associates. But I would love to have the ability to drive it ASAP.

My knowledge is limited on these vehicles. I want to know what I should look for with problem areas, especially trouble-sum restoration items, or anything that could cause problems/slow down a restoration. Also things about value, what is or isn't more valuable with this car? Is it worth going all the way to pulling the engine/suspension/axles and freshening everything up, or should we just get it running and clean it up a bit and call it good?

Is this car worth the time? Or should I get it running well enough to drive once in awhile and drag race and be happy?


Vehicles_0003 by schmitz516, on Flickr


Vehicles_0001 by schmitz516, on Flickr


Vehicles_0002 by schmitz516, on Flickr
I pulled these pictures off my flickr, I took them awhile ago...but it should give an idea of what kind of car we're talking about.


Details:

1967 Mercury Cougar GT
-Under 70k original miles
-Auto transmission, Ford 9" rear (it looks?), obviously the bigger 390 engine
-Brown/Bronze paint, original but fading on the hood
-Chrome is in decent shape, interior chrome began pitting after sitting outside (inside gets condensation build up on the glass in the mornings, I've noticed)
-Outside chrome/trim appears in good shape, bumper has a fender dents
-Panels/body is all straight minus a couple small dents/shopping cart dings
-Engine hasn't run in 20+ years, looks dirty but by no means a rust bucket
-Engine bay has bubbling paint and such, but doesn't seem to be rusted

So lets hear some feedback. Any tips on what to do is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Some of my random mechanical questions:
1. What should I do to get the motor running?
2. How much value is it losing by sitting outside, allowing condensation to build up inside and the paint to fade?
3. Any notorious problems with these that need to be checked?
4. What NEEDS to be replaced for sure after sitting for this long to have it running/driving?
5. What SHOULD be pulled a part or rebuilt to have it running driving?

I'd love to have this as a toy to show ricers how it's done, but I don't know where to begin - or if I can even afford just getting it running to drive around on a college budget.

Mods: If this is in the wrong area, please move it to the appropriate one.
 

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What a wonderful opportunity you have, your grandpa would be proud. The beauty of your cat is the history and originality, as is the value. You'll find plenty of help here, so keep asking questions.

It's always better if you can get it out of the elements, rust is your biggest enemy

Check all fluids (don't forget the brakes)

Change the oil (use high zinc content oil) and antifreeze, pull the plugs and put a teaspoon of ATF in each cylinder, then rotate the engine by hand a full revolution or two before attempting to start it

Drain the gas tank, use some air and blow out the gas lines (if you have a compressor available). Put in Premium

You'll probably have to replace alot of the rubber lines (gas, PS, Heater, Radiator), once you have it running the leaks will reveil themselves

Good luck and post more pics please!
 

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+ 1 to everything Rarecat said.

I am no mechanic, so I'll let all the experts here advise you on that stuff. MY advice would be to keep it as original as possible. You have a unique opportunity. Try and get out the dents as best you can and buff and polish but original is where it's at IMHO. Especially since this is essentially a one owner car.

Spend your time on the mechanicals and then get out there and enjoy it!!
 

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buy a factory manual and some osborne assy manuals---remember that a 67 has a bunc of diffrent parts than a 68---some of the 67 parts are hard to come by---and by all means use the forum--hope you enjoy you 67 gt as much as we do ours
doctordesoto
 

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The biggest problem I can see with your car is that it's not in my garage. Cool car and a cool story. Keep it as original as possible and take care of potential problems sooner rather than later. Don't let a small patch of bubbling paint turn into a replacement quarter panel.
 

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You should add your location to your profile, there may be somebody near by that can help get it going. And yes, please post some more pictures, we are always glad to see another cat get put back on the road here!

Also, a few things to keep in mind are some easy modern upgrades, that will help with drive ability. Electronic for one, and maybe an over drive transmission down the road. Look into a re manufactured one for a 1976 Ford truck.. The electronic ignition is one of the best things you can do to help with daily driver performance.
 

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Start by Cleaning or replacing the Gas tank. Then repace all the rubber fuel hose and rebuild carb. Check underhood wiring for criter damage. Change oil,filters and prime engine. Then install battery and start. Am I'm missing something guys ?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the quick replies guys! I took some more pictures yesterday, I'll be sure to post them when I get home from school.

My dad pulled the thermostat cover off awhile ago it looks, as I took a peak and there's all sorts of surface rust inside the engine where the coolant sat for years (by the looks of it, as its clean above the fluid line). He also pulled the carbs and radiator, I can only assume the radiator needs replacing after having crud sit in it for 20 years...but I'll have to take a look and hose it out to see what happens.

Regarding exterior rust, I'm not terribly worried about that as in Washington our cars don't tend to rust much...but I will be trying to get it covered soon. My dad has two '39 ford pick-ups one of which (future project as well) has been sitting outside for the last 30 years to prove it (it hasn't run, or been built, in 50 years). For those wondering, unless my dad ends up working on them my plan is to restore one of the Ford's when I'm older and have $$$ and rat rod the left over one (after taking parts and such).

How should I go about cleaning up the inside of the engine? I'm worried that rust MAY have built up on the walls of the cylinders (condensation if it happened) and starting the motor without cleaning it up may scar the cylinder walls. Correct me if I'm wrong on that potential issue.

Cleaning the tank and replacing the lines isnt a problem. I have a pretty good selection of tools available to me (including my 175 MIG with gas for aluminum and steel, drill press, air compressor, pneumatic tools, ball-joint press, hub pullers, nearly all hand tools, etc.) so I'm not worried about my ability to change/repair/replace nearly everything on this car. However I don't have a big wallet, so I'd like to get it running cheaply so it's easier to justify keeping around.

My biggest concern is getting the motor running, and checking anything else that needs to be looked over before trying to drive the car. I DO NOT want to cause more damage just because I took a short route for a quick fix. That is where opinions here come in to play.
 

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Somebody may have already said this but if they have I'll say it again. Brakes First. Before you take it out make sure that you go through the whole braking system thoroughly. If it quits running you can always tow it home but if you can't stop it the results can be a lot worse than paying a tow truck.

I'm always glad to see the younger people take an interest in these old cars to keep the hobby alive. It looks like you have a very nice and desireable car to start with and is well worth restoring. You'll have to answer the restore now or drive now question yourself. If you have the available funds I'd restore now, if not spruce it up and have fun with it now. A car doesn't have to be perfect to have fun with.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Somebody may have already said this but if they have I'll say it again. Brakes First. Before you take it out make sure that you go through the whole braking system thoroughly. If it quits running you can always tow it home but if you can't stop it the results can be a lot worse than paying a tow truck.
Thanks for the heads up. For what it's worth, I already know to check over a vehicle before driving it. I know it's hard to judge a persons knowledge on vehicles though so I understand your post. I built my Cherokee from the ground up, including a totally modified brake set-up (more powerful booster, prop valve adjusted for rear disc, rear disc, cutting/flaring brake lines, etc.), so I've learned a lot about working on a vehicle and the basic steps to approach working on one safely.

Here's a link to some more pictures!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/scott_schmitz/sets/72157626736651127/


DSCF0009 by schmitz516, on Flickr


DSCF0016 by schmitz516, on Flickr


DSCF0018 by schmitz516, on Flickr

Any tips on how to clean this engine?

Still looking for advice on what to check/go-over. Is anything notorious for going bad after sitting for awhile?
 

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Engine looks normal inside. Nothing to worry about, surface rust is normal in there.

Have the original radiator cleaned or recored. It is a valuable hard to replace original part of your car. Install a new thermostat and hoses. You can get both here:
http://www.cougarpartscatalog.com/engine.html
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Engine looks normal inside. Nothing to worry about, surface rust is normal in there.

Have the original radiator cleaned or recored. It is a valuable hard to replace original part of your car. Install a new thermostat and hoses. You can get both here:
http://www.cougarpartscatalog.com/engine.html
My dad informed me he has the radiator rebuilt a few years back. Sounds like he also has a number of the hoses as well as a handful of other new parts. How should I go about cleaning the crud before throwing the new one in?

I'm kinda surprised this thread isn't getting more responses, I appreciate the help thus far...but it's far from what I need.
 

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My dad informed me he has the radiator rebuilt a few years back. Sounds like he also has a number of the hoses as well as a handful of other new parts. How should I go about cleaning the crud before throwing the new one in?

I'm kinda surprised this thread isn't getting more responses, I appreciate the help thus far...but it's far from what I need.
"throwing the new one in", new one what? For cooling system dirtiness, I usually loosen the lower hose at the radiator (and get it loose and able to be pulled off), fill the system up with water, run it up to temperature (with no radiator cap), shut it off and then carefully pull the lower hose and drain the water. Repeat until the water that comes out is relatively clean.

If you need help, specific help, ask specific questions and you will get specific answers. I'm kinda surprised too, surprised that your questions are not more direct and specific. :buck:

Regards,

Bob
 
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