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Discussion Starter #1
Ok Fellahs,

I'm planning on going to look over a '70 Cougar in a week or so, and while I think I'm prepared it is always good to get more info.

Does anyone have any tips for what I should look for / look out for when looking over a classic Cougar?

I know the basic stuff ~ engine, paint, body, interior. So i'm more looking for details or specific things to be aware of. Like "check if the hornswaggler is missing, those are impossible to find", or "look inside the woggle-vent, they can rust out."

Thanks all, I appreciate it!
 

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Mike, compare the VIN on the title to the VIN on the Vehicle Certification Label on the drivers door (I understand doors get replaced sometimes without the correct label being switched to the replaced door) and the VIN code plate attached to the windshield frame at the bottom on the drivers side to see if it all matches. John
 

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Take a plastic coated magnet along and test panels for bondo. If there is alot of bondo, the magnet will not stick. Look for the tags on the rear end, the steering gear box and other locations and make sure specific componants (like a heat riser) isn't totally rusted out.

In short, know that everything is seldom perfect. Know what you are willing to compromise on and what you are not.
 

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The front torque boxes & toe boards along with the frame rails can give a pretty good indication of the overall structure (unibody) soundness.
The rest of it is as already said. Myself growing up in the rustbelt USA have seen some pretty decent cosmetically looking cars but their frame rails and torque boxes are rotted, I wouldn't do one of those unless it's an R or Q code then yea it would be worth doing new torque boxes and frame rails IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Fellahs,

It is a desert car (no vinyl roof), so I don't expect alot of rust, and the pics of the torque boxes and floor pans, and frame rails look great - just a touch of what appears to be surface rust and that "rust speckle" that they get.

I don't have any good pics of the shock towers. Where do they start to crack? I believe it is down low, where they put the factory bracing / reinforcing, but I'm not exactly sure.
The tops of the shock towers look good ~ no bubble of rust at the top where they meet up with the firewall & fender, like you see on alot of older cars.

What is the easiest way to inspect for a rusty cowl area? I'm thinking I could just shine a flashlight into the kick panel vents, and down the cowl vent, but what do you guys think?

What about rust around the battery tray? I expect to find some and I know they make repro panels for that, but how difficult / expensive is this to repair?

I know the heater core has a problem too, and the dash is split, so kinda a "two-birds-with-one-stone" repair I'm thinkin'.
I've got my magnet, so I'll be sure to give it a once over.
 

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My approach is to inspect inspect inspect. I knew I was gonna hit rust issues with Jenny's Eliminator ... but is was a perfect match to her wish list of options. (Comp orange, white interior, 351W 4bbl, auto, AC, PDB, PS, Console, rear window defroster, etc.)

Another thing you can check is that the VIN is stamped on top of the shock tower and under the fender. If you buy the car ... it's a good verification point.
 
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