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Hello, I joined Mercury Cougar.net in January of this year. Three years ago I bought a 68 cougar XR7 with 302. I will post pictures as soon as my wife gets home with our camera. It started life as a 302 2 barrel, but has since had a 4 barrel carburetor installed. This car has been sitting for approximately seven years now. My Major question is, where should I start before trying to get this cat back on the highways of Arizona again. (Read the wife is tired of having it in the garage). I have done some reading on the forums and it seems from what I read I should be replacing basically the whole fuel system so nothing gets messed up with the varnish from the REALLY old gas that is in the tank. I drove the car home from the previous owners house, but I have not run the car aside from starting it a few times since. One thing is it smokes really badly, what should I be looking at as the cause of this?
 

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Here are the pictures I promised earlier. I feel like I got a good one to start with. I forgot to mention the only options on the optioons tag on the radiator support was AC. Someone has ripped out the AC, but being in Southern AZ, I want to get some kind of AC going. But the AC is definitely not the first priority. I feel I need to 1) get engine running well, with no smoke. 2) Brakes, check and ensure all is good. 3.) Dash Pad 4.) Ensure water tight.
 

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You're definitely right on replacing the entire fuel system. I replaced the fuel pump and filer on mine and still had problems. The car never seemed to run strong and always lagged on take off. The fuel filter was constantly clogging so there was only 1 thing left and that was the gas tank. I yanked the old one out and replaced it with a new 1 and a new fuel sending unit (the old 1 never worked). My filters quit clogging and the car ran great. If your car is an Arizona car rust may not be a factor as it was for mine (I live in a river city valley aka a death warrant for any muscle car). But I'd definitely check your tank and at least drain it. Drain the old fuel out of your lines and carb as well. Basically start with all new fuel with maybe some seafoam. Then put in fresh oil and filter and crank it up. More than likely the smoke is from the old fuel or so we'll hope.
 

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Thanks 351CJ HellCAT! This will get me going in a direction. I have a tendency to tear everything apart and then it is years before I get it together. I'll start on that and I'll post again when I attempt to start and run it again. It will probably be a month or so at least. I'll keep you posted.
 

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No problem osbourne99. Be sure you know how things go back together because i know from experience that a nights sleep can erase what you thought you would remember. The cougar shop manuals have saved me multiple times. lol Lets both be grateful for this awesome website as well, best one out there!
 

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What color is smoke? Black is fuel issue, white, smoke that disappears quickly is steam, and light blue, that hangs in the air is oil or trans fluid. If the fuel smells ok and filters are not clogging, leave the fuel system alone. Pull the vacuum line from the transmission modulator and look for fluid, If any fluid is there, replace the modulator. If dry, try changing the oil, and put some marvel mystery oil in. Then run the car for a while and see.
 

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The smoke could be the bad gas. I would pull the tank and dump out the bad gas and while it is out you should check the fuel sending unit and at least replace the rubber fuel lines. You might have to go back in later and replace all the fuel lines like I did.
The only original part of my fuel system is the tank and rebuilt carb (which I will probably have to replace but that's another story). Once I did all that it ran like a top until I did a petronix install (another story). Good luck with your project.
 

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Thanks Zen Dog and Cougar_is_grr8 for additional thoughts as all are appreciated. I had rebuilt the carb a couple of years ago and due to the varnish and sticky crap I cleaned from that I decided to r/r the fuel system. The parts should get here this week, so hopefully within a couple of weeks I will know something. As far as the color of the smoke I seem to remember it being black. My garage is attached to the house and my wife got smiled out as it REALLY stunk bad. Also while running the car it would run for a few minutes (5 or 10) and then suddenly die. It still has the points, and I'm interested in the Pertronix, but will get the car running first before I go modifying anything. This leads me to another question: The distributor vacuum advance has two vacuum lines, one is plugged with a screw the other goes to the base of the carburetor. Which should go to the base of the carburetor? And also what should the other line be connected to? I have thought about replacing the distributor with a single advance. Again in the future. When I get this running I will be asking some questions about interior etc. Again thanks guys for any input. Zen Dog and Cougar_is_grr8 I apologize for not seeing your posts sooner as I was VERY wrapped up in the 94 pages of Bob's outstanding rebuild of a cougar.
 

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Your car should have one advance port. I have a Pertronix distributor in one car and the Ignitor II with a Flame Thrower II coil in another. Both work GREAT. I would change out plugs and wires too. Replace the fuel pump and filter, its cheap, easy and insures good pressure and clean fuel. If you swap out your fuel tank, consider a 1970 22 gallon tank and sending unit for more range, if you intend to drive it a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Greg; Thanks for the info. When I do the Pertronix, should I go for the Flame Thrower coil also? Does it make a noticeable difference? By the way I'm changing the complete fuel system except for the filler tube. I have not decided if I will try to clean the carburetor again and put another kit in it or replace that also. We'll get there soon. My parts should be there this week sometime for the fuel system. Thanks again for the help.

Steve
 
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