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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so I don't know if this was a mistake yet or not but here is my current situation. I have been looking around for a cougar or a contour but needed a long shot to ever pull the trigger on one. I have done one cougar rebuild in the past a few years ago when I did an 02XR.
Photobucket link to XR here: https://hosting.photobucket.com/albums/u517/rarichard/.highres/IMG_0386.jpg

I bought that particular car for 1200 and put new brakes all around, redid the intake gaskets and cleaned the hell out of it. I redid the driver seat lower with a piece I had from SEATMAN on this site like 15 years ago. It was a 5 speed car. It came out looking ok, I repainted the hood in the driveway, and in the end probably had about 1800 into it all said. I sold it the first day I put it out on the street for 2900. I had probably 20 or 30 hours into it and it was a fun little project. I didn't lose money and actually made a little and was probably the 4th or 5th car like this I had done and turned a small profit. The funny thing is I was doing this Wheeler Dealer thing 20 years ago before any of the tv shows ever came out. I think my first car to flip was a 2 door 1989 escort pony edition that I bought when I was substitute teaching in college in 1998. It was a student's car and the purchase and sale price were something like 600 and 1250.

Well fast forward to today, and into my life walks this fast and furious cougar circa 2000.

Photobucket Link here: https://hosting.photobucket.com/images/u517/rarichard/0/5719f06f-262f-4719-9c0a-24b228411683-original.jpg?width=1920&height=1080&fit=bounds

Album: https://beta.photobucket.com/u/rarichard/a/92de9909-dbcd-4373-b52a-076fd331ebb1

This car I saw on Craigslist last month and it caught my attention because it was listed for 900. I figured most people would take 700 for it but that still wouldn't have worked for me. I get an email from the guy last night and he says he contacted the junkyard and they offered $100 and guaranteed it to be crushed. He contacted me and said I could have it for $300 and it would be delivered to my house. So being a gambler I said why not. So in rolls in this 2000 V6 car.
The Good: 5 Speed, 5 Speed, 5 Speed
No major rust on body, one small area near wheel, and one mark on roof, and a few spots from rock chips on the hood,
but nothing too scary
Has lowering springs already (maybe good)
car was started for the 3 years it has sat, but didn't start 6 months ago ( hopefully due to battery)
4 decent Yokohama tires and wheels are all in pretty good to good shape
Has a real Borla exhaust with carbon fiber tips, and there is no rust on this stuff at all, looks like it was an expensive kit.
good exterior color
good cup holder and not the spiller

The Bad: Has mice in it. One jumped out onto the tow truck when he was dropping it. I'm running the vibrating air pump off and on with everything open to
scare them out, then will clean the hell out of the interior
The gas tank straps both broke and the tank is hanging by the neck only I suppose
The rotors even though they are drilled are clearly not protected and rusted over pretty good
Hasn't started quite yet for me, even with a fresh battery.
Broken passenger headlight
missing foglights
missing two wheel caps
Fast and Furious sticker that will take a day to remove I'm sure and break off in a million bits

The guy I bought this from was an I.T. guy and not a car guy whatsoever. His son got a hold of the car for a few years, hence the lowering, graphics, broken headlight and few dings, and a few speeding tickets. When he took it back is when he probably had to get the clutch done, and transmission rebuilt, so those are pretty much new. The car sat in the driveway for a few years but he said he started it every now and again which I do believe. He said it didn't start about 6 months ago, so I figure it's been about a year since it ran. I'm not quite sure yet how to check for fuel / spark but will clearly have to check this. Also looking into if the fuel pump is activating or not. When I asked if he had ever been on this site he said no, as for the son, I'm not sure.

As of 10 PM tonight, I have no idea if this will be a successful flip for a profit, a cheap keeper, or if I can't get it started at least, a quick part out to recoup my $300 and lesson learned. your help will be appreciated as I dive into this more this week and month, and any leads on the stuff I might need, like a cheap passenger headlight ( I plan to refinish, so just can't be broken) and other little bits. Maybe this will be my contribution to helping the cause in maintaining popularity on the site. As you can see I'm not the best ambassador being a long time member with very little post count. I just never have too much to add that many of the long timers here have, but have learned so much just by lurking year after year.

I will be asking a lot of questions related to trying to get this thing started. With a fresh battery tonight it turns over fantastic, but isn't trying to run at all. I am not hearing the fuel pump prime at all like in my other cougar, so not sure where to start to try to get this running. Any suggestions? If I can't get it running, I won't really move forward with anything else, so help me save this cougar. Hey Scullin and MMC, I have lots of whatever beer you drink or food you eat if you're up for helping me get this started if I can't figure it out. LOL. Maybe we can troubleshoot ideas on Sunday. So guys, is this a terrible idea? or should I have left it and kept my $300?
 

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It was worth it for the parts alone. Nice find.

If you suspect fuel pump, i would yank the rear seat, disconnect the fuel pump connector, and probe those with a multimeter for 12 volts when you cycle the key. When you give it 'on' in the ignition , the pump turns on for about a second to build Pressure. I would just ground one probe and test for each pin.

If you find your 12v one, yahoo, it's the pump that doesn't work. If nothing gives you 12v and you are sure the other probe is well grounded, yahoo, you have saved the cost of a new pump because that's not the problem, and can look at the fuel pump disconnect switch (by your left foot in the driver's seat i believe), the fuse, the relay, the wiring, or the PCM loom, or the PCM.

Finding oit if it has spark is as simple as yanking a spark plug Wire out, undoing the plug, sticking the plug back im the boot ans hold it up to some metal (it grounds via the threads), and trying to start it for a second.

Best of luck. Looking forward to assisting you from afar.

Sent from my SM-A530W using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I"ll probably take out the interior tomorrow (seats and rear seat lower) for a good cleaning anyway, so can maybe test the pump tomorrow. Will have to try and squeeze this in during the two year old's nap time, or maybe wednesday when they go to grammy's. The 12V should be there once the key is in the on position continuous right? Or do I need to view readout as it's cranking?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So I pulled the rear seat today and found even more mouse nest and foam pilings. Even found a grocery receipt from 2004. Interestingly enough there was also a Circuit City receipt and I worked there back in the day. The info had long faded away though so no idea what was purchased for it. Found a receipt for the spring and strut install in 2011. And also an alternator replacement with new harness the same year.

But the fuel pump is definitely not activating. i checked the fuel pump shutoff switch and it wasn't that. When I pulled the plug for the fuel pump location, it looked like it hadn't been touched or hacked and looks to me to be the original pump. There are 4 wires I believe and I will check for voltage on those wires tomorrow. I also unfortunately found out upon closer inspection that the graphics plastered on the side of the car are actually painted on and cleared over!!! So those cannot come off which I will not be able to drive around with, so if this thing gets running, I will most definitely be needing to plastidip the entire car with cans. I know it could be done somewhat well for about $100, but I was kind of hoping to freshen up the silver frost and make the paint come back a little with a cut and buff, but unfortunately looks like that's out the window.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
check the links in the first post for the pics of the car as it sits now. legit fast and furious inspired graphics. :bangin:
I might just run out there and check tonight for curiosity sake. I'll be back................
 

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Discussion Starter #9
ok, that was pretty easy. There are five wires going to the pump. black is 0 volts, blue same, then 2 of the wires are 12.1-- and the third is 11.2-- so it seems that would mean power is going to the pump correct?

Also, confirmed it's the original pump, unless they dropped the tank because the metal has never been cut for access to the pump.

would it make sense to get the whole unit new or chance just doing the pump itself?

while I'm thinking of it, I think the car was empty on gas so I put in a gallon or so, thinking that might be enough to at least get fresh gas in, but if the car were to run out of gas theoretically, would you still hear the fuel pump priming at all even though there was no fuel at all?
 

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I would expect some sort of noise. It's just an electric motor, fundamentally. If you've git voltage at the pump, then that pretty much seals the deal i suppose. Nice diagnostic work.

I would humbly suggest a new sending unit. There was a safety recall in early 04 on the sending unit and pump. If it's the OG design, yeah, definitely replace it.

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Discussion Starter #11
I might go ahead and call the dealership with the vin for the hell of it tomorrow and see if the car ever had it done. I wonder if it's covered for life since it's a safety defect. I doubt I'd get that lucky.

I've been seeing a few things about the Fuel pump drive module, but never heard of that being an issue in all the years on this forum? what does that gadget do anyway? and what's the way to diagnose if that was at fault?
 

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The big wires are for power, the small wires are for your gage.
If you have voltage going to the pump but its not running, than its either the pump or the ground.
Assuming your ground is good, if you replace just the pump without the whole assembly, and it still doesnt work, than you will be SOL and need to replace the assembly anyway.
My vote is for the whole asembly. I know its a bummer but the piece of mind is worth the added expense.

If the dealer performed the TSB, (or any other pump replacement) they would have dropped the tank, so the intact sheet metal is not necessarily an indication that its original. Honestly, it doesnt make any difference on a 17 year old car if the pump has ever been touched or not, its a normal wear and tear item that has earned the right to crap out if it wants to.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well my 74 Dart decided to stop charging on me the other day while I rolled into the garage at Fenway, car wouldn't turn over so we went to the game and came out and it started, stopped a little bit out of the city to charge it at a garage and limped it home sputtering, so picked up the new regulator and alt today so I didn't get to work on the cougar at all.

with the fuel pump being original, I was thinking that it might actually be a good thing to know it's the original as it has very much earned the right to crap out at this point. You just hate to think it was a recent pump that leaves you wondering if it's a faulty pump dying early or other wiring type of issue.

I"m looking into getting the pump sourced, and would actually try a used one from a yard if it was cheap enough and tested prior. Other than a used local one, do you guys have a good cheap source other than the obvious rockauto, local store, amazon, ebay, etc...... would it be a major issue to try out the cheapest option if I have to buy new?

There are no name $90 versions, then it steps up to Delphi which should be the same delphi as has been around at least I would think at $160. Carter is $150

What are your thoughts on sourcing the actual pump? now keep in mind, I'm trying to keep it reasonably reliable, but with as little investment as possible. I'm time rich and cash poor. So I've got $300 invested so far in the car and want to see how absolutely cheap I can get it going and safe, and then will see how much more I would invest in things like nicer seats from the cougar I have in a local junk yard. Thanks always
 

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I feel like the cheaper ones just have shorter lifespan. Any of them will probably get you through for the immediate future, just make sure youre happy wiith the warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
tried searching but didn't find out anything definitively,

The two lines that go to the UIM, the little grommet that seats into the UIM and holds the vac lines in place is cracked and broken on my good cougar, of course the old chitty cougar has nice ones, so I'm going to swap one out, what is the procedure before I break anything? what kind of pressure needs to be applied where to remove the lines without breaking anything else. Thanks
 

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Hold the grommett down with a flat tip while prying up the vac line.
Doesnt take too much pressure as the lines are fairly brittle. A drop of some sort of lubricant down the hole probably wouldnt hurt, but not required.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Contacted the dealer and according to Vin there was never a recall issued for my particular car. So no luck on a free fuel pump. I'll be heading to the junkyard on Friday to hopefully snag a still working pump on the cougar there, if not, will have to bite the bullet and just buy a new one.

On a side note, thought my hood release cable was broken and I was trying to fight a long screwdriver and trip the latch, took a minute and searched through google and found a related post from this site where Scullin mentions just reset the white collar at the pull handle and sure enough that was it! At least that's one less thing to worry about.
 

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The fuel pump issue wasnt a recall, it was just a TSB that more or less said "some people have issues, if you do, we will fix it for you"
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Update, not great news.

So went to the junk yard and found a fuel pump, radio, and replacement headlight, as well as two missing center caps. Total was 140. Fuel pump got the car running. here's where the fun begins. Car is running now, but so rough and it sounds like an old hit and miss tractor. Totally not running on 6 cylinders, more like 3 or 4. Clearly there sounds like a huge hole in the exhaust, crawl under the car and WTF, there isn't a cat where there should be. There is nothing at all in fact. There is a 1 foot section of pipe that's been sawed out. LOL. So now with $440 invested, I have a car that now runs awful, is at least complete, needs new fuel tank straps for sure, still needs e brake fixing, and I haven't driven it down the road yet, so I'm assuming some suspension stuff also. Oh, and it's not charging either, so alt is probably shot.

I'm not sure I really want to get into this thing for much more and may abandon it at this point and recoup as much as possible. I was really hoping for it to purr like a kitten once it got running. That just didn't happen. So I'm gonna have to ponder on this for a few days.
 
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