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Look up new edge cougar owners on facebook, but be warned, that guys car is a modern tragedy, as are many of the posts on that group.
Its a good place to find parts sometimes, but for accurate information, this forum is where you want to turn.
 

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Yes, PLEASE take those Facebook groups for what they are - mostly people too lazy or ignorant to bother consulting an authoritative source like this website, and instead consult the peanut gallery of like-minded lazy or ignorant Facebook drones to search for useful answers. Of which there are very few. When someone DOES offer solid advice on Facebook, it's normally buried in a sea of inane comments from people who have no idea what they are talking about. We have no tolerance for people like that around here, so your information here is generally several tiers better and more accurate, born of experience.

We're here to help! Lots of original owners here, and people who have owned the car for 10, 15, 20 years. We know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #43 (Edited)
I joined. Which guy is it? The guy who wants to splice the ignition coil connector?

No real update today. Headed out of town tomorrow. The remaining parts should be here in time for installation this weekend. I do SO hope this solves everything. 🤞

Oh, my key fob arrived. I'm saving programming until it's running right...or at least much better.
 

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Discussion Starter #44
Not much to update. All parts arrived but busy with work and helping a friend move.

Managed to start cleaning the UIM. Used a bottle bush and Seafoam for inside and tried scrubbing the outside with a brush and Dawn. Not much luck on the latter.

Will try MMO with a brass brush and/or scotch bright pad. The intake is such a large visual part of the bay it’s a shame for it to look bad.

Shooting for tomorrow for the install.
 

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I've often thought sandblasting then immediately clear-coating might be a good option for the UIM.
A few people went to the trouble of polishing them but that would be an awful lot of work.
 

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Discussion Starter #47
Powdercoating the UIM is the best in my opinion but it comes with a pricetag.
I considered painting it with engine paint, either black or silver, but I'm sure powder coating is the way to go. Or sandblasting/clearcoat. I'll likely wait for another time and just try MMO since I dunno how she'll run. :/
 

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If you stick around here, it wont be long before you're looking for looking for an SVT UIM anyway, those are already powdercoated.
 

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Discussion Starter #49
If you stick around here, it wont be long before you're looking for looking for an SVT UIM anyway, those are already powdercoated.
You nailed it. One of the first things I read about was the "SVT Lite" upgrade. The SVT intake looks awesome.
 

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Discussion Starter #50
Not much down time this weekend, but did manage to use MMO on the UIM. I'm pretty impressed but I may still end up painting it.

Pretty simple process. I brushed on with a toothbrush and let soak a bit. Agitated the trouble spots with the toothbrush and a parts brush. Then wiped/dabbed down with a microfiber towel, then a paper towel.

Before

After
 

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Discussion Starter #51 (Edited)
Finally had time today to put everything back together. Installed a new IACV and intake gasket. Already installed the plugs, wires, and coil and adjusted the IMRC to keep the butterflies slightly open.

For the PITA PCV, I simply used a short piece of 3/8 fuel line with an inline connector. I kept the original "PCV" and basically just made a patch for the section of disintegrated plastic hose. Even though the plastic clips on the PCV also disintegrated at first touch, the PCV fits snugly on the plastic tree. I'll keep an eye on it, but ran the car pretty hard for 45 minutes or so, plus driving around town, and it stayed put.

As for the PCV, I'm tempted to say "don't touch it." However, since the original plastic tubing was so brittle and weak, I wonder if there wasn't a vacuum leak already. Perhaps it worked out well and the patch either solved, or preempted a problem.

I was very anxious when I turned the key. To my surprise, it fired right up and idled smoothly! I let it warm to normal range and took her for a spin.

Gone are all the running issues. She pulls smooth and strong in every gear to near red line. I put a few ounces of MMO in the fuel tank and filled up with premium. I saw the owner's manual recommends it for Sport models. Then, took her for a fluid change, mainly because I didn't feel like laying on the ground.

The Valvoline shop put in conventional 5w-20 (short filled) since I added a quart of MMO. Again, I saw the manual recommends a synthetic blend. I'll short change the oil at 170k to get her back on schedule. This will give MMO about 1500 miles to do it's thing.

They also changed the MTX with the Valvoline synthetic equivalent to Ford's spec.

I planned to have them flush the coolant but they didn't have the orange coolant.

From there, I took her out on a controlled access highway to stretch her legs and clear her throat. I kept her revs up around 4k. Not a single miss, pulled strong and smooth.

I'm taking her early tomorrow to have the front end shimmy and occasional scrubbing noise from the RR looked at. If they have the proper coolant, I'll have them flush it. If not, looks like I'll be ordering coolant and flushing sometime next week.

It runs!

So, new plugs, wires, coil, IACV, patched PCV, cleaned the EGR port, replaced the valve cover breather lines...and I think that's it. Oh, and no CEL.

Besides having the suspension looked at, and the coolant flush, next projects will be a brake flush and probably try to figure out how to flush (or extract) the PS fluid. I'll be returning the fuel pump.
 

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Great news! These cars respond well to a good tune-up. One can only wonder at how many perfectly good cars get labeled as finished or lemons when they just need a little tune-up.
PS flush should be pretty easy to manage, the reservoir just has a little plastic clip attaching it to the strut tower. You can lift it up for better access then flush through the reservoir lines.
Highly recommended to take a look at suspension yourself first. Most of the software in the suspension is easily replaced but always overcharged by shops, especially in the front end. Front struts can get hairy but pretty much anything else is almost never worth paying a shop to do.
You can assume your rear swaybar endlinks are garbage, probably your swaybar bushings on both ends. Maybe the front endlinks. All of those things are easily done at home, and there isnt much more to the suspension unless you get into the struts or ball joints. There are upgrades to be made to the rear toe arms and the trailing arm bushings if you want to stiffen things up back there.
 

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Discussion Starter #55
Great news! These cars respond well to a good tune-up. One can only wonder at how many perfectly good cars get labeled as finished or lemons when they just need a little tune-up.
PS flush should be pretty easy to manage, the reservoir just has a little plastic clip attaching it to the strut tower. You can lift it up for better access then flush through the reservoir lines.
Highly recommended to take a look at suspension yourself first. Most of the software in the suspension is easily replaced but always overcharged by shops, especially in the front end. Front struts can get hairy but pretty much anything else is almost never worth paying a shop to do.
You can assume your rear swaybar endlinks are garbage, probably your swaybar bushings on both ends. Maybe the front endlinks. All of those things are easily done at home, and there isnt much more to the suspension unless you get into the struts or ball joints. There are upgrades to be made to the rear toe arms and the trailing arm bushings if you want to stiffen things up back there.
Thanks mmc757! Great info and will be looking at doing those very soon. A stiff rear definitely helps getting a FWD car to "rotate" in autox.

Thanks to all for the well wishes. Huge worry off my mind that's all it was.

Now, for the bad news. Took the car at 8:AM this morning to a very trusted tire shop to check the suspension by 8:20 the car was road tested, lifted, diagnosed, and I was on my way. Diagnosis: 4 bent wheels, the 2 worse were on the front. He showed be the pronounced wobble and the resulting flat spots on the pretty new Walmart tires. Only 1 was marginal. The other 3 were bent too badly to do anything with.

Fortunately, and unknown to me, there's a wheel repair shop nearby. I was there by 8:30. The tech said the industry standard for wheel repair is to within .020 but he's generally able to get most wheels within .010. And not cheap at $120/wheel plus remounting/balancing. The owner cut the price a bit. All day and $480 later, the wheels are fixed.

Sadly, the flat spots on the tires remain. The car definitely rides/drives better but the damage remains to the tires. It may lessen, but until I replace the tires (not soon), I'll have to live with it.

On a weird note, not sure what I could've done but the damned brake lights stay on now. They weren't before. I suspect the PO has chased this issue before.

He told me sometimes the brake warning light stays on and suspect the e-brake switch was bad. However, it was simply low of fluid.

So, after I started the car I was very puzzled. And a little pissed. I glanced under the dash but didn't see a brake light switch with an adjuster. I also noted the 3rd brake light wasn't on.

This evening, after trying to teach my older daughter to drive a manual, I thought I'd check the bulbs for the 3rd brake light until I can get the main ones looked at. The housing holding the bulbs had been removed and tucked under the fabric out of sight; when I switched on the car, all bulbs work fine.

Which is another odd thing: turning off the switch turns off the brake lights. Any thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter #56
BTW the only mod to the car was the installation of an XM radio and antenna. I see under the dash near the OBD port where they picked up power. Turning the receiver on does nothing to the lights but guessing they screwed something up.
 

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hey Todd, the E-brake switch is actually fairly simple and/or dumb. it's a small switch that sits on the E-brake lever base, that just checks to see if the lever is leaning up on it. the switch mount has been broken on mine for ages, so my brake light's always on too. I believe the guy at Ford who did the wiring on that was smart, and made it default to 'off' is there was no connection, but I'm not sure - I may be wrong on that since I'm not sure where I remember that from.

I think it was on the passenger side of the lever base - if you just pull up/ off the gaiter, you can probably get to it and disconnect it to test, or at least see if it's still mounted the way it needs to be.
 

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Discussion Starter #58
hey Todd, the E-brake switch is actually fairly simple and/or dumb. it's a small switch that sits on the E-brake lever base, that just checks to see if the lever is leaning up on it. the switch mount has been broken on mine for ages, so my brake light's always on too. I believe the guy at Ford who did the wiring on that was smart, and made it default to 'off' is there was no connection, but I'm not sure - I may be wrong on that since I'm not sure where I remember that from.

I think it was on the passenger side of the lever base - if you just pull up/ off the gaiter, you can probably get to it and disconnect it to test, or at least see if it's still mounted the way it needs to be.
My post was probably confusing. As for the panel light, apparently it also comes on as a warning for low fluid. When I topped off the reservoir, the light went out. My problem now is the actual brake lights (rear) stay on all the time. Further, I found someone apparently removed the 3rd brake light holder (complete with 3 working bulbs) from the mount and tucked it under the hatch fabric. It stays on as well.
 

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Oh! my bad. I read wrong indeed.

my 01's rear center light cluster used to fall out every few times I'd close the trunk. not the whole thing, lens and all - just the bulbs inside the hatch.the all-time classic duct tape fixed that right up. maybe your previous owner had the same issue, but no duct tape handy. Also, I can confirm the low fluid thing - it's a handy warning, most def.

I'm not sure if all Cougars came like this, but in my land of Daytime running lights, poutine and Maple Syrup, the brake lights on my car are also on all the time, regardless of the headlamp switch position. must be a quirk with the european road laws or something. they're not the ''I'm currently braking'' lights though;just the 'hey, it's nighttime, I exist' lights.

How do you like the car now that it's running tip top?
 

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Discussion Starter #60
Oh it runs great! Idles smooth and pulls strong. I really wish I had something to compare the IMRC adjustment to. I hope someone tries it and chimes in. It pulls strong all the way from 2k (maybe slightly below) to redline. I like to think the adjustment helped.

I'm guessing the brake light switch (under the dash on the pedal) is simply bad, especially since you said yours popped off routinely. I saw it and didn't realize what it was. There's no adjustment possible, unlike with older cars.
 
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