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Discussion Starter #1
Brainstorming session...over the years there have been a lot of bad ideas presented here, and a few good ones. :rofl:

As I get close to dropping a motor in what will turn out to be a very nice but ultimately "done before" Cougar, I cant help but start thinking about the next one, and I cant help feeling like the next (il)logical step would be to attempt to build a RWD cougar thats fast enough to go toe to toe with modern sports cars.

Assumptions:
1. No major body mods. I'm okay with a hood bubble and maybe a modest transmission cutout but no structural lengthening or widening.
2. RWD (or AWD if the right drivetrain exists and would fit)
3. A whole donor car could be used to obtain everything in one package, but they should be available for a reasonable price considering the inherent financial stupidity of the project to begin with...
4. No hang ups on number of cylinders...
5. NA would be preferred but not required.
6. Manual preferred but see #2

What do you think our most likely to work donors might be?
Lincoln LS/Jaguar S with FI?
WRX?
Nissan/Infinity 3.5/3.7?
V6 Mustang or Camaro with FI?
Audi 4.2l V8?
Put one of the high powered FWD car engines in the back seat? (Continental, Northstar, or any of the LS4 cars?)
Put some other engine in the back seat with FI? (Maybe even a Duratec or a VAG TDI?)
Just rotate a duratec and mate it to a real transmission and rear end and add FI? (I have a T5 available to me, and maybe a rear end as well)
Others I havent listed?

I'm looking for options least likely to fail due to difficulty, but still ending up with a very fast but very driveable car.
Thoughts?
 

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I've thought of the same thing. I'd like to give it a 3.7 Cyclone N/A, a Jaguar X-type 5-speed and transfer case, and some sort of independent rear end, maybe an 8.8, but most likely an escape rear end if the gearing is the same as the transfer case's. it'd give us a 300ishHP, AWD cougar, with original suspension geometry but slightly modified weight distribution. A cougar S with an engine swap, I suppose.

the 3.7's bellhousing is different, but you can machine adapter plates for that.. it's a little wider than the Duratec, but I'm not too worried. the connector styles seem the same as well, so I'm running the fool's gambit that maybe they pickup the same way, and that a quarterhorse on a standard cougar ECU would be able to talk to the thing. with I/H/E, we might be able to keep the 300 HP despite what we'd lose from not having functional Ti-VCT anymore. Oh, and the 3.7's water pump is internal to the engine, so we'd need to do some re-routing. the X-type used an AWD version of our 5-speed in some trim, and it uses a transfer case that bolts on to the exterior; very similar to the escape AWD. I'd like to crack one open and take a look at it, because apparently they're a weak link, but I'm quite sure there's a way to make it work.

you'd need to modify the front subframe, upper motor mounts and exhaust, build new rear knuckles to allow FWD hubs and bearings, move the fuel tank to the spare tire area to let the driveshaft go through, and make a new rear subframe to allow the pumpkin a place to sit. but otherwise... these platforms are similar. if that 3.7 isn't enough power, they do come factory twin-turbocharged, too. 300-350 HP is probably enough for me; after that, I'll just be breaking transfer cases anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
The more cars you mix and match parts from, the higher your likelyhood of ending up with a garage full of paperweights...
It looks like were starting to get cars with that motor in the reasonable price range though, we might not be that far away from those cars becoming viable project donors, although I'm not sure how much space they take up compared to our cars...
 

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More power...we always want more power...

Easiest should be a Lincoln LS V6 with a few borrowed parts from the Jaguar flavor so as to get the 240hp. Longitudinal front engine, rear drive, 5-speed. I understand their V8 is nice too but too powerful for any 'easy swap' manual so you'd have to settle for an automagic. You could research that a bit I guess.

Danny's 4WD plan is still great though a shipload of work, and rumors abound that the transfer case or thereabouts of the 4WD is not exactly reliable. Bummer.

Mid-engine, RWD would be imho the ultimate, but faak, that's lots and lots of hard work, and I'd wager you're getting knee-deep in to reworking suspension on all corners. Cha-ching! $$

There's some incredible engineering happening these days going beyond N/A engines, and matter of fact, I just read this article... that's amazing.

https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-shows/new-york-auto-show/a27148237// Honda has of course done similar with some hot-rod Civic, but the odds of finding that powerplant without donating a body part...tough.

The 4.6 V8 that's in the '96 Lincoln Mark 8 I have kicking around is a gem of an engine. I do understand they are quite adaptable to 6 speed manual transmissions too. Big engine though (as in wide, **not necessarily high at all**), a dime a dozen these days so it would be cheap N/A horsepower. If it could be shoe-horned in to a Cougar...well there's near 300 hp and as many torques too. It shouldn't really mess up the weight too much as you'd have a longitudinal transmission sitting back pretty far.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I dont hate the mid engine duratec idea. There would be plenty of room for forced induction, plus all the other inherent benefits that come with using a duratec. I am concerned about the drivetrain though...We know our engines are good for tons of power but how do we go about delivering it to the ground without taking transmission parts through the back of your skull?
Suspension should be pretty manageable. The front doesnt need to change much, presuming you keep the radiator and other externals in the front, and add a fuel cell with some steel supports and possibly collision protection, the weight change on the front suspension wont be that much. Rear would be a custom fab but you would start with the front end off the donor car so it should be more of an adaptation than a complete fabrication.

When I finally part my yellow car, I would like to figure out how to make a "frame module" for our drivetrain that I can basically keep the entire drivetrain whole in a single package that would just bolt in to the next car. This would involve welding up a frame that connects the strut mounts to the motor and transmission mounts and subframe, then cutting the whole thing out, then replacing the rough cut sheet metal with a nicely fabricated frame.
Then a mid engine installation would be a matter of cutting the right sized hole, reinforcing whats left, and installing mounting points for the module. If its done right, this module could even be enclosed to serve as a firewall and sound/noise barrier., and maintenance access could be a matter of dropping the entire drivetrain out with a handful of bolts and a couple of wire connectors.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
thats how i was going about it. had the subframe and the trans mounted in the back. i learned a lot, and ruined a car :(
Sometimes you have to crack some eggs:shrug:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I really like the idea of building a fast Duratec, so if all other things were equal, would an LS/S motor longitudinally mounted in the front or a normal transverse 3.0 mounted in the trunk be more appealing? Either one requires a lot of mods. I suspect the shifter issue would be easier to manage with the longitudinal arrangement, but those cars are also a lot harder to find than our normal donors.
I suppose with a transverse setup I would just roll the dice with the MTX-75 and hope for the best. It could be built up a little bit by the right shop, and it wouldnt be terribly hard to have a second one sitting on the bench on standby in case of emergency. I dont really know anything about the durability of the LS/S transmissions...

I'm not entirely sure which transaxle the Noble/Rossion is using, but If I were going to guess I'd say probably Porsche. I suppose it might be worth exploring a beefier transaxle but I would probably still start with the MTX-75 for ease of concept.
 

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Perhaps take a look at say, Copart. The quantity of LS / S-type cars available. I just checked some specs quickly on Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln_LS

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaguar_S-Type

...and they do use the same Getrag 5-speed. I have one from a 2002 LS you're welcome to (do speak up if you think you might want to go that way as I will be pitching that car within the next couple of months). The 5-speed is sort of rare, especially in the US it seems. Diff etc...whatever, it's all just in a heap at the moment though I didn't check similarities with the automagic flavors you could probably get locally.

The true Jaguar engine is more potent of course, but I believe that's all just head stuff with the variable valve timing, cams etc and some intake changes. That junk you can get anywhere (check eBay for fun - often for a pittance).

I'd honestly say I feel the realistic route is longitudinal, standard front engine, rear drive config. That's lots of work on its own. Mid-engined built properly is guaranteed more difficult, guaranteed more costly. Sure, anything is do-able given time and money so maybe a bit of math to sort out how long you want to tinker and how much you want it to cost?

HTH,

Gord
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
As appealing as that is, I dont expect to find any Aston Martin donor cars in my "reasonable" price range:rofl::rofl:
I suppose theres always the twin-engine route...
Why choose between front or mid engine when you could have both?

Powerful Duratec? It'd drop right in!

View attachment 76357
Or...It wouldnt be impossible to couple two together in line as a mickey mouse version of the V12, if there was anywhere to put them like that.
 
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