New Cougar Forum banner

1 - 20 of 298 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,353 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Welp, I've had enough of sulking in my corner, wishing upon a star. so y'all get to watch me squirm under financial considerations until this gets done.

Current situation : Daily driving a '99 Toyota Corolla, 5-speed, 329,000 kms, terminal rust everywhere. new slave and hard lines on the way, new brakes, decent heater. it gets me from point A to B, for now. I do have CAA Plus, though, just in case. I got my hands on the thing and fixed it up literally 48 hours after I got rid of my first Cougar. it's only supposed to be an in-between for up to a year.

after plenty of prodding from friends, I decided it made more financial sense to borrow, find something decent, and fix it / keep it maintained, instead of going from one beater to the next, losing any money or labor I put into them every year or so when I have to swap cars. quite a few friends have borrowed for their own vehicles, and didn't seem to have too much trouble doing it. with hopeful heart I called up my branch, set an appointment, and showed up with a cute plan, all my pay stubs, and anything else they had asked for. I got given a flat no, with little explanation, and little courtesy. this isn't the first time this sort of things happens with my bank. I'm 6'4'', so maybe it's just that I'm not used to being looked down upon?.. but I'm taking my business elsewhere.

I consulted friends and fellows I could trust, set a few appointments, and took my pick from the lot. the current guys run with Visa, not Mastercard, so I got SNAFU'd there. I'll have to pay one off before being approved for the other, they won't allow just a fund transfer. oh well.

Current plan : pay off that stupid thing and try again, close off the old bank account, tough the current car out as long as it's safe to do so, and eventually get this idea financed. after that, I need a 2 door V6, with as little rust as possible, and if it's an A/T, I want that fluid clean. I'll opt for an M/T over an A/T, most definitely. hopefully I get my hands on keys before May; I'm at the mercy of the credit guys and what they want for now, unfortunately.

the idea would be to grab one for about 1500$, run through it and replace any parts I need to, and keep a small amount for spare in case of larger parts that need replacement. that's mighty cheap for a Cougar, but I'm banking on my wrenching experience and inexpensive shop time getting me a better car at the end of the day for my money than, say , a 2500-3000$ car.

I'll be using this thread as a 'Questions that don't deserve their own thread' thread, and hopefully keep the good news coming as they come to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,353 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Re: Project Faint Hope

So, with the introduction made and the stage set, does anyone know how to adapt a '99-00 alternator to an 01-02 car? I kept the old lifetime-warranty one off the last car, and with my budget, 250$ saved over another new alternator sounds like a good idea. is it just a question of bracketry? I recall the connection was a little different?

Also, err, the front end on an 01-02 isn't my fancy; I much prefer the early style. how much work is involved in swapping the fascia (headlights, bumper) ? do I need to fiddle with the rad support? do the fenders need to swap over?

third, does Gates stock a water pump housing only? would Carter stock a fuel sending unit only , without the fuel pump? I couldn't find part numbers for either.

any advice is always appreciated from you guys! thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
221 Posts
Re: Project Faint Hope

I've got a 2000 and a 2002 down to the frame in the yard right now and they look the same to me -once you get the headlights and the front bumper off... I think as long as you have the hardware for the "under the bumper stuff" you should be okay. Radiator support looks the same. The Cougars I have worked on have come in with different variations of lower front end skirt. Most have had them damaged or completely ripped off or removed by a service man and then not put back on. For my 35th that my daughter drives, I rebuild the front end (bought it after someone hit a deer) and I used parts from a salvage yard from both the models.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,353 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Re: Project Faint Hope

Hi Joey!
Hope you're ready for a 'snow day' tomorrow. :facepalm: It's horrid (capital H) out here at the moment.
snowshoes and swear words at the ready. thanks for the heads up... Sherbrooke is literally the WORST town I've ever seen for snow removal. noon tomorrow, main street won't be open :facepalm: it's unbelievable. I might actually have to walk to school tomorrow!

I've got a 2000 and a 2002 down to the frame in the yard right now and they look the same to me -once you get the headlights and the front bumper off... I think as long as you have the hardware for the "under the bumper stuff" you should be okay. Radiator support looks the same. The Cougars I have worked on have come in with different variations of lower front end skirt. Most have had them damaged or completely ripped off or removed by a service man and then not put back on. For my 35th that my daughter drives, I rebuild the front end (bought it after someone hit a deer) and I used parts from a salvage yard from both the models.
Okie doke, fingers crossed. Yeah, that undertray never seems to be there, does it? It's rarely on the junkyard cars here. thanks for the information!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
431 Posts
Re: Project Faint Hope

The bumper covers and headlights are interchangeable. No modification needed. You should be good to go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,301 Posts
Re: Project Faint Hope

I'm assuming your goal is to get an 01/02 based on you questions. There is no need to swap fenders, they are identical. The 99/00 and 01/02 bumpers themselves are interchangeable with no other parts or mods. Although, if I recall correctly if you decide to use the 99/00 bumper with 01/02 headlights there will be a bit of a gap between the bumper and headlight. Its not crazy obvious, but its also not consistent with the rest of the cars panel gaps. If you swap headlights, I know if you put 01 headlights in a 99 you have to modify the core support to clearance the headlight housing. I don't think there is an issue if you are going the other way.

On a side note, can I strongly recommend that you do not buy a cougar for a next car. It sounds like your finances are really tight, and spending money on a project car is not going to help that situation. I can totally appreciate wanting a car that you enjoy driving or at least not a eco **** box, but the cougar is not the most reliable car and its parts are not particularly robust. At least it's not when you are taking into consideration how abused that car will likely be for your budget. I would strongly recommend that you buy a truck or SUV, and to help keep gas expense in check get something smaller like a Ranger, Explorer Sport, S10, Blazer, Tacoma, or 4Runner. The parts on pretty much all body on frame truck or SUV are built much strong, are generally more easily serviceable, and inexpensive. Plus if you get something with 4WD it can help you through those Canadian winters. I bought my 02 Explorer Sport for only $1500 with 195k on it, I have put about another 20k on it over the past 5 years, and all I have done to is change the oil and replace the brake pads. Oh, and lifted it and put 32" tires on it, but that was for fun(I also broke an front axle, but that was also while out in the woods having fun with it). Although, its not the same as zipping around in something sporty, there is a certain amount of fun in driving around with zero F's, and just running over things or being able to hit a pothole without worrying about damaging a tire/wheel/suspension. A cheap truck or SUV could give you reliable transportation while you get your finances in order to buy a project car that you can really enjoy.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,105 Posts
Re: Project Faint Hope

I do believe for the alternator you'd only need to swap the mounting bracket. Hopefully someone else can confirm or deny. 99-00 use cross-wise bolts, 01-02 use length-wise (back to front).
There's also the voltage sense wire for the alternator, I forget which one it is on the harness, probably middle. If putting an 01+ alternator in a 99-00 you need the connector pigtail, and the bracket. I'm not sure you can put a 99-00 alternator on an 01+, the 01+ lacks the external voltage regulator and relies exclusively on internal regulation.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
15,431 Posts
Re: Project Faint Hope

Although, if I recall correctly if you decide to use the 99/00 bumper with 01/02 headlights there will be a bit of a gap between the bumper and headlight. Its not crazy obvious, but its also not consistent with the rest of the cars panel gaps.
Close, but it's the other way around because the 01/02 headlights are slightly larger than the 99/00 headlights.

99/00 headlights with 01/02 bumper = gap between headlight and bumper
01/02 headlights with 99/00 bumper = no gap, but headlights will probably touch the bumper a little. Either one will be fine.



I kind of second Dan's comments on not getting into a Cougar if you're that strapped financially. They just simply aren't the most reliable cars and the newest ones were made 16 years ago. I wouldn't even consider a high mileage automatic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,353 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Re: Project Faint Hope

unreliable? what? let's see...

headlights that like to accumulate water,
power steering hoses that like to leak pressure,
intake gaskets that tend to grow old and crack,
DPFE hoses that rot out or blow off,
Alternators and alternator wiring that like to eat themselves,
IAC valves that like to howl,
water pump housings that tend to fail,
some water pump impellers that have broken apart,
plastic coolant crossover pipes that like to crack on the C2s,
subframe nuts that like to break loose and spin,
suspension bushings that are prone to excessive wear,
caliper bracket bolts that like to back themselves out,
headlights that like to pulse,
rear subframes prone to rust,
rear toe arms that have an uncanny tendency to bend,
fuel sending units recalled,
fuel filler necks that are prone to corrosion and require rear subframe removal to be R&Red,
For the A/T :heat issues, lack of proper filters, valve body casting issues, forward / direct drum breakages, shift solenoid issues, line pressure spikes, problems with crossovers on mechanical / electric VSSs,
sunroofs that like to leak,
door locks that seem to attract poltergeists,
seat foam that DIES,
unavailable fuel tank straps (although that seems to have changed)...
Sway bar brackets that rip off..

what did I miss? :rofl: other than the power steering thing, I've experienced every single one! :rofl: [digging my own grave]
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
24,224 Posts
Re: Project Faint Hope

We just need to get you into my Laser Red 99. I just bought a new Moog front LCA to get rid of the *clunk*.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,353 Posts
Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Re: Project Faint Hope

Lost, I've bad luck. not.. bad luck. :rofl:

thanks for the advice on the finances. I appreciate it, it helps bring the point across. I'll get to work on that.

does anyone out there build 4x108 to 5x114.3 spacers, other than that E-bay machinist guy, making 2inch thick spacers?





I'd need a CNC for this one, unless I can beg-borrow-steal an indexing / rotary table for a conventional mill for a few hours. still need to do force calculations, that kidney might / probably will become two smaller kidneys made of steel. but 17s and 18s might become easier to source.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,353 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Re: Project Faint Hope

Adaptable would be interesting, but no, the insert is there because 4x108 and 5x114.3 really don't mesh very well. Two holes overlap or are too close to comfort no matter how you set it up. VW guys have the same problem. the aftermarket solution there was an insert with the OEM pattern that bolts onto the hub, and the spacer bolts onto the hub where it can and the insert where there would be problems. Aluminum might be fine. I'm not sure yet.


Thanks for the plug!

Sent from my LG-D852G using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,353 Posts
Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Re: Project Faint Hope

Just redrilling the damn hubs would be waaaay simpler. But the rear hubs on this damn thing are like 1/8" thick everywhere except where the four studs bed themselves, eliminating any possibility to redrill. No, for the rear, you'd need to press out the bearing's... I guess you can call it a mounting stud?... Out of the rear knuckle. Then you'd turn down a fusion stud and use a fusion rear bearing and hub.

Personally, I figure the sketchy factor (technical term) is lower using these adapters vs adapting the very hubs. then there's also that slapping on spacers is an easier install for the less technical vs all this re-drilling and turning and pressing. and anyway, it's two birds with one stone : 18 x 8'' wheels with any kind of normal offset (+42 ish) will probably rub like crazy all around without spacers.

if I put half as much thought into this toyota vs this platform, the damn thing would be flying by now. :rofl:



Sent from my LG-D852G using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,353 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Re: Project Faint Hope

six of one, half dozen of the other :biggrin: I was happy to think any old wheel I wanted (Mazda 6 17x7s, RX-8 18x8s, 3rd gen escape steelies, etc) would bolt right up, permitting some changes left and right on the fly without having to re-drill every set of wheel I check out. it also offers a plethora of good / high quality OEM rims and wheels to choose from, for a lower price than comparable quality aftermarket wheels (in my head, anyway) and it's non-permanent, too. I could sell off my RX-8 wheels right back to an RX-8 guy on kijiji, and go back to stock 16s, or steelies, etc. without having to re-drill those or the hubs. this, instead of being stuck with re-drilled 18s no one wants, and without having to buy AND redrill one wheel to replace an eventual cracked one, and without having to swap hubs again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,141 Posts
Re: Project Faint Hope

I disagree with reliability complaints, especially for the age. I havent had anything fail at all that isnt a normal wear and tear item anyway. (Not counting rear sway bar endlinks, those were designed by a moron).
All of our common bugs are well documented and easy to deal with. That list you posted is not all common items, just random things that a few people have had. Every car would have a list like that.
The truth is, our cars are super easy to diagnose, our parts arent expensive, we dont have complicated electronics to contend with, and even though we like to ***** about alternator placement, theres very little on the car that cant be done in a driveway if necessary.
If your spending under $2k on any car, its going to be a crapshoot, might as well be one thats easy to deal with.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
24,224 Posts
Re: Project Faint Hope

I agree. Really, the only things that will flat-out LEAVE YOU STRANDED are the alternator and the automatic transaxle. You can actually buy one without an auto - unlike many cars of its era - so that's a non-issue. Slap a voltage gauge in it and drive. All that other stuff is minor annoyances.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
221 Posts
Re: Project Faint Hope

Let me take a second to "toot the horn" for all you you guys too. There is a lot to be said for having this forum and this group of experts. I have learned a lot here...and that adds value to these 20 year olds!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,419 Posts
Re: Project Faint Hope

I just realized that all the things needed to fix the cougars, we were able to do in the driveway...huh...not too bad.

Did like 4 engines ourselves, X amount of alternators, 1 P/S pump, 1 transmission mount, front sway bar bushings and everything else suspension related.

Its crazy thinking back to all the things we were able to do.

This car has taught me so much.
 
1 - 20 of 298 Posts
Top