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2000 cougar 2.5l v6
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just received a slightly dented 2000 cougar with the 2.5 v6. Yes sadly with the auto but I'm not worried about that at the moment, no point in driving fast when I cant see where I'm going. I'm here for two reasons, to maybe find parts that I cant find anywhere else apparently and to hopefully get some helpful advice. I haven't done a single thing to the car besides put some subs in the back and I'm just curious as to what people think is the best way to mod this car is. Do I go with the cold air intake or rock with the stock intake and just focus on exhaust and engine components? Hoping to get the best advice from the wisest people out there!! Even if you aren't wise and just know a thing of two about cougars that's fine too. Like I said in the beginning it is a little dented up, the previous owner was t-boned so there's a nice big dent in the passenger door going all the way into the quarter panel. If you have any tips or tricks on pulling dents that would be awesome.

As for Parts I know I need, I'm looking for a pair of headlights and taillights. I can't see anything at night I'm sure you all know but sanding them doesn't even work anymore. I haven't seen any aftermarket headlights for this thing so I'm hoping someone has a pair of the flat style, not a fan of the bug bubble look I have right now. Both headlights and taillights are cracked so no point in trying to revive them.
 

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Welcome. Post a pic just to give us an idea of the t-bone severity. With these cars being a unibody that's usually a death sentence, but if it wasn't totaled out or the doors close fine I guess you're OK.

With an auto the best thing to start with is suspension and braking mods as these cars respond very well to upgrades in that area. Energy Suspension has a kit to replace a lot of the rear bushings with poly ones if you're not afraid of taking a day to burn out the old ones, really clean everything and give them a coat of paint while you're in there. There's coilover kits out there, but performance strut options are basically nonexistent unless you go with inserts. Moog and Whiteline may have upgraded parts as well as Massive, but Rockauto has most of what you'd need and usually on clearance. The rear subframe is known to rot so check the condition of that before going to deep down the rabbit hole.

Depending on what your car has for brakes you can upgrade them up to 300mm, and the rears to 278mm with a kit from Nautilus Performance Group and change out the lines to braided steel.

As for headlights, w/out modification you're not gonna get the 01 style in, but there are usually tails aplenty on eBay. I've restored an older set with those kits but it took a few hours of sanding to get them clearer (used a buffer). I have a set of tinted tail lights if you were interested.

How many miles on the auto? They're known to be on borrowed time after 100k.
 

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1999 3.0 SilFro
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Agree on handling and brakes. Both are pretty good right out of the box, so it's easy to make it really excellent without a ton of cash or labor.

The 2.5 V6 - ESPECIALLY with the 4-speed automatic - is never going to impress anyone with power levels until you've thrown thousands of dollars into it. So leave it be unless you're just going for nice noises, or have huge amounts of disposable income. I had done just about everything I could possibly do to my 2.5 without opening it up for cams/pistons/head porting/valves/valve springs or adding boost - and it still made a miserable 157 hp on a dyno.

The things I did that made it more fun were the Roush springs, stainless braided soft lines on the brakes, a bigger rear sway bar, and a rear strut tower brace. But it takes to all handling mods very well.

Also - good tires! A completely stock car can be a weapon on the proper rubber. I always enjoyed having 2 sets of wheels, one for summer and one for winter, so I could have capable tires year-round (because there is nothing more disappointing for enthusiast driving than "all-season" tires; we call them "no-season" tires for good reason).
 
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To me, the best thing to do with an automatic short of major modifications is to make it beautiful.
Start with basic tune up stuff to make sure the car runs and everything works as it should, but then focus on restoring the appearance. The styling on these cars hasn't aged a day in the last 20 years so when they are clean and in great condition, nobody even knows how old they are.
 

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2000 cougar 2.5l v6
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Welcome. Post a pic just to give us an idea of the t-bone severity. With these cars being a unibody that's usually a death sentence, but if it wasn't totaled out or the doors close fine I guess you're OK.

With an auto the best thing to start with is suspension and braking mods as these cars respond very well to upgrades in that area. Energy Suspension has a kit to replace a lot of the rear bushings with poly ones if you're not afraid of taking a day to burn out the old ones, really clean everything and give them a coat of paint while you're in there. There's coilover kits out there, but performance strut options are basically nonexistent unless you go with inserts. Moog and Whiteline may have upgraded parts as well as Massive, but Rockauto has most of what you'd need and usually on clearance. The rear subframe is known to rot so check the condition of that before going to deep down the rabbit hole.

Depending on what your car has for brakes you can upgrade them up to 300mm, and the rears to 278mm with a kit from Nautilus Performance Group and change out the lines to braided steel.

As for headlights, w/out modification you're not gonna get the 01 style in, but there are usually tails aplenty on eBay. I've restored an older set with those kits but it took a few hours of sanding to get them clearer (used a buffer). I have a set of tinted tail lights if you were interested.

How many miles on the auto? They're known to be on borrowed time after 100k.
Thank you for replying!
That makes me wanna cry, these are some ugly headlights. As for those tail lights I am interested my lens in cracked on one side and chipped on the other.
I'll post pics asap but the door shuts and seals fine. I'm hoping a body kit will cover the bottom of the door frame, it almost looks like the person drifted into a pillar.
 

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2000 cougar 2.5l v6
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Agree on handling and brakes. Both are pretty good right out of the box, so it's easy to make it really excellent without a ton of cash or labor.

The 2.5 V6 - ESPECIALLY with the 4-speed automatic - is never going to impress anyone with power levels until you've thrown thousands of dollars into it. So leave it be unless you're just going for nice noises, or have huge amounts of disposable income. I had done just about everything I could possibly do to my 2.5 without opening it up for cams/pistons/head porting/valves/valve springs or adding boost - and it still made a miserable 157 hp on a dyno.

The things I did that made it more fun were the Roush springs, stainless braided soft lines on the brakes, a bigger rear sway bar, and a rear strut tower brace. But it takes to all handling mods very well.

Also - good tires! A completely stock car can be a weapon on the proper rubber. I always enjoyed having 2 sets of wheels, one for summer and one for winter, so I could have capable tires year-round (because there is nothing more disappointing for enthusiast driving than "all-season" tires; we call them "no-season" tires for good reason).
I totally understand this car isn't going to be breaking any records, but I definitely want it to have a little purr.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
To me, the best thing to do with an automatic short of major modifications is to make it beautiful.
Start with basic tune up stuff to make sure the car runs and everything works as it should, but then focus on restoring the appearance. The styling on these cars hasn't aged a day in the last 20 years so when they are clean and in great condition, nobody even knows how old they are.
Since the car runs so well right now I'm not really looking to try to push a bunch of power, I could care less
 

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IMO the 99-00 black headlights look best. The 01-02 looks too surprised.

You can toss a pod filter on and get a 2.5" cat back exhaust. The engine does sound great when allowed to breath more (and properly muffled, no straight pipes). Just don't expect to feel any real gains.
 

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Honestly the best looking lights are the 01-02 lights with the chrome surround inside painted black or a dark color. Theyre also easier to polish, and honestly any light thats clean and clear looks better regardless what its in.
 

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Everyones got opinions about headlights. Bottom line is you have the 99/00 lights with boobs or the 01/02 lights without. They can be modified a couple of different ways but those are your choices.
Since you have a 00 car, you would need to do some minor trimming to make the 01/02 units fit IIRC but its not a big deal. You will also need to either delete the upper grill or use a 01/02 grill.
Darkcat00 has a pile of them

There are some European tail lights here and there that have amber lenses built into them, and Aussie headlights that have clear turn signal lenses but those are pretty hard to come by.
 

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1999 3.0 SilFro
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THEY SAY you can install 01-02 headlights in a 99-00 car if you pop the access panel cap off the back of the assembly and just run it open.

You'll risk getting water and dust inside, but it fits with no trimming that way. Many have done it; it's not uncommon.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Honestly the best looking lights are the 01-02 lights with the chrome surround inside painted black or a dark color. Theyre also easier to polish, and honestly any light thats clean and clear looks better regardless what its in.
Someone told me the 01-02 headlights don't fit in the 2000. They all look the same so I'm not sure if they have different bolt patterns
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
IMO the 99-00 black headlights look best. The 01-02 looks too surprised.

You can toss a pod filter on and get a 2.5" cat back exhaust. The engine does sound great when allowed to breath more (and properly muffled, no straight pipes). Just don't expect to feel any real gains.
We are in a cougar forum. None of us are looking for any real gains in power hahahaha I will definitely be putting on new headers and exhaust. I see everyone run a cold air intake but am hesitant to do so. I don't like how its ran right behind the battery I feel like it wont have good enough airflow to make it worth it. Thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Welcome. Post a pic just to give us an idea of the t-bone severity. With these cars being a unibody that's usually a death sentence, but if it wasn't totaled out or the doors close fine I guess you're OK.

With an auto the best thing to start with is suspension and braking mods as these cars respond very well to upgrades in that area. Energy Suspension has a kit to replace a lot of the rear bushings with poly ones if you're not afraid of taking a day to burn out the old ones, really clean everything and give them a coat of paint while you're in there. There's coilover kits out there, but performance strut options are basically nonexistent unless you go with inserts. Moog and Whiteline may have upgraded parts as well as Massive, but Rockauto has most of what you'd need and usually on clearance. The rear subframe is known to rot so check the condition of that before going to deep down the rabbit hole.

Depending on what your car has for brakes you can upgrade them up to 300mm, and the rears to 278mm with a kit from Nautilus Performance Group and change out the lines to braided steel.

As for headlights, w/out modification you're not gonna get the 01 style in, but there are usually tails aplenty on eBay. I've restored an older set with those kits but it took a few hours of sanding to get them clearer (used a buffer). I have a set of tinted tail lights if you were interested.

How many miles on the auto? They're known to be on borrowed time after 100k.
Just posted a new thread with pics of dent. I know its ugly don't judge I didn't do it. If you have any advice I would very much appreciate it :)
 

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The 01-02 does in fact fit a 99-00 without the access covers on. And they bolt in fine. Only reason I know is the ones I just put in the 99 gold car I just got are from a 01-02. I didnt have to trim it but mainly because the clips that hold the access panel on mine is broke off and the panels gone anyway so no trim needed.
 

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To me, the best thing to do with an automatic short of major modifications is to make it beautiful.
Start with basic tune up stuff to make sure the car runs and everything works as it should, but then focus on restoring the appearance. The styling on these cars hasn't aged a day in the last 20 years so when they are clean and in great condition, nobody even knows how old they are.
Now having seen your car, this comment is either totally off the mark or exactly right, depending on you're willingness to commit.
That car might still be saveable, but its not a small job, and nobody in their right mind would do it. The smart thing to do would be to limp it along, keeping it running safely until you can buy something in better shape.

Car guys don't always make smart decisions though, so if you choose to save this car, you would have a lot to be proud of in fixing the body and making it look good again.

Either way, I wouldn't spend a single dime on optional mods for this car until the body is fixed.
 

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Now having seen your car, this comment is either totally off the mark or exactly right, depending on you're willingness to commit.
That car might still be saveable, but its not a small job, and nobody in their right mind would do it. The smart thing to do would be to limp it along, keeping it running safely until you can buy something in better shape.

Car guys don't always make smart decisions though, so if you choose to save this car, you would have a lot to be proud of in fixing the body and making it look good again.

Either way, I wouldn't spend a single dime on optional mods for this car until the body is fixed.
I think I agree. Its saveable,,, I actually finally called it quits on my black car recently because the quarter has a big dent in it and the rocker is dead.
I paid 350 bucks for my gold car.

Since thats not an abnormal thing for these now it totally doesnt make sense to put all the time and money into saving one so far gone when you can get a good base to start with and transfer all the stuff over and have a really nice car, plus money for other upgrades that would have went on tools, body filler, and paint.
 

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Just received a slightly dented 2000 cougar with the 2.5 v6. Yes sadly with the auto but I'm not worried about that at the moment, no point in driving fast when I cant see where I'm going. I'm here for two reasons, to maybe find parts that I cant find anywhere else apparently and to hopefully get some helpful advice. I haven't done a single thing to the car besides put some subs in the back and I'm just curious as to what people think is the best way to mod this car is. Do I go with the cold air intake or rock with the stock intake and just focus on exhaust and engine components? Hoping to get the best advice from the wisest people out there!! Even if you aren't wise and just know a thing of two about cougars that's fine too. Like I said in the beginning it is a little dented up, the previous owner was t-boned so there's a nice big dent in the passenger door going all the way into the quarter panel. If you have any tips or tricks on pulling dents that would be awesome.

As for Parts I know I need, I'm looking for a pair of headlights and taillights. I can't see anything at night I'm sure you all know but sanding them doesn't even work anymore. I haven't seen any aftermarket headlights for this thing so I'm hoping someone has a pair of the flat style, not a fan of the bug bubble look I have right now. Both headlights and taillights are cracked so no point in trying to revive them.
Sorry no one makes aftermarket headlights or taillights for our cougars. It’s sad but there is only a few options available. The US style (Mercury Cougar) lights or the European style (Ford Cougar). The European taillights have an amber turn signal which is a unique feature over the US plain taillights. Headlights are either 99-00 or 01-02’s. Which the 01-02’s can fit on a 99-00 if the back cover is removed or you cut some of the metal away around the opening. Now the socket location for the turn signal bulb will need to be modified to accept the 99-00 one. The European headlights have a clear corner over the amber ones.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Sorry no one makes aftermarket headlights or taillights for our cougars. It’s sad but there is only a few options available. The US style (Mercury Cougar) lights or the European style (Ford Cougar). The European taillights have an amber turn signal which is a unique feature over the US plain taillights. Headlights are either 99-00 or 01-02’s. Which the 01-02’s can fit on a 99-00 if the back cover is removed or you cut some of the metal away around the opening. Now the socket location for the turn signal bulb will need to be modified to accept the 99-00 one. The European headlights have a clear corner over the amber ones.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Now the covers aren’t part of the taillights just to let you know


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Welcome. Post a pic just to give us an idea of the t-bone severity. With these cars being a unibody that's usually a death sentence, but if it wasn't totaled out or the doors close fine I guess you're OK.

With an auto the best thing to start with is suspension and braking mods as these cars respond very well to upgrades in that area. Energy Suspension has a kit to replace a lot of the rear bushings with poly ones if you're not afraid of taking a day to burn out the old ones, really clean everything and give them a coat of paint while you're in there. There's coilover kits out there, but performance strut options are basically nonexistent unless you go with inserts. Moog and Whiteline may have upgraded parts as well as Massive, but Rockauto has most of what you'd need and usually on clearance. The rear subframe is known to rot so check the condition of that before going to deep down the rabbit hole.

Depending on what your car has for brakes you can upgrade them up to 300mm, and the rears to 278mm with a kit from Nautilus Performance Group and change out the lines to braided steel.

As for headlights, w/out modification you're not gonna get the 01 style in, but there are usually tails aplenty on eBay. I've restored an older set with those kits but it took a few hours of sanding to get them clearer (used a buffer). I have a set of tinted tail lights if you were interested.

How many miles on the auto? They're known to be on borrowed time after 100k.
How much would you want for those taillights? I'd need them shipped obviously definitely willing to pay the shipping.
 
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