Well, the long search is over. I've been on the look out for a Cougar convertible for 2+ years and have finally purchased one. There were several other opportunities along the way that just never panned out for one reason or another ... but "Blanche" (80's Golden Girls inspired) is finally a member of the family. She was an Arizona car for most/all of her "productive" life and was then purchased by a Texas family who collects Cougars (all generations and rare ones at that) in 2001. Since that time, she has only had about 1,000 miles put on her and has spent most of her time stored on a lift collecting dust. She's not much to look at right now, but we'll get her cleaned up and back in action in time. This is a shot of her as delivered in our driveway this past Thursday.
I haven't had working A/C since swapping in the 5.0 a decade plus ago ... a lot of the parts have just remained as place holders. I decided I was going to try to clean some stuff up and overhaul all of my front accessory drive components. So, in no particular order:
-3G alternator upgrade -Smog pump and associated values/plumbing deleted -A/C delete and relocation of power steering pump -Underdrive pullies -Polish belt tensioner and swap idler pulley -Electric fan -Powder coat brackets
I went to a small local car show this past Saturday and then started the tear down when I got home. I got just about everything removed from the car. Modified the alternator bracket and test fit the 3G.
Found a Craigslist ad the other day for a guy parting out an '85 Turbo Coupe, somewhat close by, and decided to check it out. I just missed out on getting a spare turbo front bumper, but I was able to pull almost all of the charcoal interior. The front seats were already gone, but I took just about everything else that wasn't Tbird specific (since I have a Cougar). I'm sure others have similar "color" problems, but '85 Charcoal is getting to be a tough interior to find (at least for me). The color was used in '83 and '84, but those are a different overall interior from '85 up ... in '86 the color switched to the darker "Smoke" color ... close to charcoal, but definitely darker when you put two panels up against one another. I usually run into the lighter gray for the '85 up interiors. Anyways ... made my day to find this ... even more so at $60 for everything (ignore the exhaust in the photo and the dog's pink ape ... lol). The dash was a bear to get out with all the wiring in a pretty optioned out car, but amazingly enough, it was un-cracked ... I'm afraid to even look at it the wrong way because I can tell it's brittle in the usual spots.
Located in Pennsylvania and willing to make a small day trip for two items if someone has them. Looking for an 87/88 gas tank shield/cover and then the small crossbar that runs under the rear seats and the exhaust passes through. I have some salvage cars around here, but most are sitting on the ground and inaccessible underneath.
Well ... the car has been out of commission for over a year now. It wouldn't start one day and I eventually diagnosed a fuel pressure issue. Pulled the tank to find the fuel hose inside of the tank had split and thus not allowing the system to build much/any pressure. In classic "while I'm at it" fashion, I decided to take it further ...
Once I pulled the tank, I figured it was a good time to address some corrosion on the underside of the car. A little history ... my parents bought the car brand new around Christmas of '84 and pretty much gave it to me when I graduated from high school in '97. It needed some minor stuff at the time, but they gifted it to me versus trading it in on their next vehicle, and I worked on addressing the minor stuff it needed. The "bad" thing in all of this was that we lived in northern lower Michigan at the time ... a place where winter can last months (from October to May one year while we lived there). The car got driven in plenty of foul weather and was exposed to a lot of salty roads. I tried to keep it clean and wash it, but there's only so much you can do when it's below freezing. I undercoated it at least twice, but I knew I was just covering up some of the issue.
So ... with the tank out, I decided I would scrape and chisel off all of the undercoating (from the rear seats back) and wire wheel any rusty areas I came across to clean them up. I then used the POR-15 three part process to address the rust and re-coat the underside of the car. After all of the wire wheeling, I degreased the underside, rinsed it, then treated it with a metal prep solution that etches the metal and leaves a white residue in the diseased areas. When that's all done, you rinse it all off again and let it dry. These areas aren't horrible, but here's a little of what it looked like before I started the painting process:
Selling the factory front seat upholstery out of an 87-88 Turbo Coupe. Dark blue, but has the usual fading. Includes headrest cover, seat back cover, seat base cover, pull out knee bolster, and dark blue plastic seat belt bracket and seat back release surround and lever. Asking $50 + shipping. Make me an offer, I have no plans to use these and don't want to just throw them away if someone can use them. Can provide better pics if needed, sorry, poor lighting.
Passenger side manual seat track. Basically new, bought, installed in car, didn't care for the position/feel of the seats so pulled them back out. I only bought the passenger side to test the fit before buying the drivers side, so this is the only one I have. Fits Fox Tbird/Cougar and some LTD's. I don't have any plans for it so hoping someone here might want it instead of it collecting dust in my basement.
Ok, so after my quasi failed attempt at installing Corbeau GTS II seats in my Cougar ... it was back to the drawing board. I was able to physically install the Corbeau seats, but just wasn't happy with my driving position. Instead of deciding to just live with it, I pulled the seats back out, sold them, and reinstalled the '87 Mustang GT buckets I've had in the car for several years. They're great seats, but they have always irritated me a little because they are a lighter gray than my charcoal interior and the driver's side seat suffers from the usual worn out lower leg bolster and it also has a bit of the gangster lean to it ... not my doing, it was like that when I pulled them in the junkyard. I decided staying with a factory setup was going to ultimately get me what I wanted ... something that maintained my current driving position while keeping the seats powered vs. manual, while being able to upgrade the bolstering and materials to better match my charcoal interior.
Here are Mustang seats that have since been removed from the car and sold:
Car would need picked up and towed, but would probably be a worthwhile project. It's been sitting for 12+ years but ran when it was parked. I received some additional pictures from the seller and will post them as well. Dual power seats, two-tone Raven leather interior. The seller told me that he bought it as a project and just never got around to working on it. It has a few spots of paint bubbling/surface rust that he cleaned up and primed, but he said that there were no holes or severe pitting. He said the worst spots are the trunk lid and drivers door bottom. Will need some TLC for sure but looks like a decent project for the price ...
Just wanted to post this in the event someone would be interested. I have a contact who is selling a 1986 5.0 Cougar. I have asked him to provide me some pictures and will post them once he sends them to me. I saw the car in person several months ago in the dark. It is white with a light gray interior. It has the standard base cloth interior and base electronic cluster ... no real bells and whistles outside of being a 5.0 car ... which by the way, the engine is probably no good. The car will start, but the seller said that the engine is blown because his son forgot to put oil in it. I also noticed that most (if not all) of the front of the car had been replaced ... fender, hood, header panel ... they were all rattle canned white. The hood is actually a turbo coupe hood. The car is located in the Allentown, Pennsylvania area if anyone is interested and the seller is looking to get $500 for it. The car has some rust starting in the usual spots, but nothing that I thought was too crazy, no holes to speak of anyway. Worst spot that I remember off hand was a spot on the rear passenger quarter panel behind the wheel at the bottom of the body. I think the wheel wells were all relatively good and the lower door seems were not horrible either ... they were not rusted through anyway. It would be a decent parts car if you were thinking of doing a 5.0 conversion and needed all of the associated wiring and accessories. Let me know if you are interested and I can put you in touch with the guy.