Sunday, August 30, 2009

We're going apple picking with the Cougar!

My wife and I took our daughter and the 1967 Cougar followed by our friends and their kids to Eckert's yesterday to pick apples and eat at the restaurant.

The weather was beautiful! We could not have randomly chosen a better day: Sunny and in the 70's with some slight winds. We packed our daughter's diaper bag, cooler bag, a small stroller (because that's all that fits in the trunk), sunglasses, and ourselves in the the Cougar and headed out!

We headed out about 4 p.m. to meet our friends at their house. We headed South to the farm with our friends following behind. When we arrived it was not too busy, but I still made sure to park away from all the other cars. We made a beeline for the pick up point for the wagons because they stopped taking people to the orchards at 6 p.m. The kids enjoyed the wagon ride pulled by the tractor.
After picking apples in the orchard we went to the country store and then the restaurant. We found some yummy treats at the store and filled up on food at the restaurant. My daughter acted out by throwing part of her grilled cheese sandwich on the floor, but overall she was good most of the trip. We were going home with a bag of honey crisp apples, some pictures, full bellies, and plenty of smiles!

As we headed home about sunset, I had to lift the eyelids on the headlights by hand so we could see on the way home. The Cougar performed perfectly and drove great the whole trip. The ride home was very nice with the windows down and the vent windows open. Without air conditioning, I think we will be enjoying the Fall weather, but the fact that there is no heater will be a problem at some point. We plan to go back in a few weeks to find some pumpkins!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

On The Road Again!

I took the day off from work today to get my 1967 Mercury Cougar back on the road for the end of the summer and the last couple of months of the car show season.

Yesterday, I scheduled an appointment at Patterson Tire and Service Center for 9:00 a.m. where I had two new tires installed last month (see previous post). With the odometer reading 52,882, I arrived at Patterson Tire and Service Center just before 9 a.m. and they got the Cougar in about 9:30 a.m. As I waited, they worked on the alignment and eventually took the car for a test drive when completed. Brian advised after the test drive that the car still pulled slightly to the left - likely due to a brake caliper sticking, but also advised that the numbers on the alignment looked very good. That made me happy since last weekend I had a done the necessary work myself.

I decided to drive the Cougar the rest of the day and eventually put nearly 100 miles "testing" it out. I drove out near Lambert Airport to Grand America Jukebox and see the proprietor, Jeff Statler, to check on the progress of the work on our 1962 AMi Continental II jukebox that we bought back in February. As an aside, that project is going well except for a problem with some amplifier issues. Hopefully it's done soon because we're ready to start rocking!

Then, I drove into the city to have lunch with my wife at Pappy's Smokehouse. Mmmmm! We spoke to the owner a couple of times and he was very nice! The staff was very friendly and I am already ready for a return visit! I wish this place was closer to where I worked so I could eat there more often. Thanks for a fun lunch sweetie!

After we got back to my wife's work we showed off the Cougar to a couple of her co-workers, Paul and Nathan. Paul advised that it would be cool if I could get the lids on the headlights to wink at girls. Funny... but, somehow I don't think I'll be working on that project anytime soon. I drove back home and finally, I drove to pick up my daughter at the babysitters' house and returned home.

The Cougar drove admirably without issue and I was very happy. I am starting to think that the Cougar is almost ready for a road trip.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Saturday Morning in the Garage

I was up early yesterday to work on the Cougar. I woke up about 6:45 a.m. excited to get to work and got myself and Elsie ready to go to my parents house for the morning. I took the Cougar to my dad's house since he has a lift in his garage and we can get the car completely in the air!

When I arrived my dad already had the garage open and ready to go and so I got Elsie in the house. My dad guided me into the garage so I was lined up to put the Cougar on the lift. The hydraulics started to lift the Cougar into the air and we were ready to start.

We started by assessing what tools we would need for this project. I got the new idler arm out of the package and held it up to the existing one on the car. The new idler arm by Scott Drake Enterprises is an enclosed system and contains two zerk fittings for grease whereas the old one is two separate pieces and has no zerk fittings. We installed the zerk fittings to the new idler arm and it was ready to install.

Above: The new idler arm installed

To start the idler arm replacement I took off the passenger side front tire to get better access to the bolts that attach the idler arm to the sub-frame. My dad used the impact wrench while I held pressure with a box end wrench on the nuts on the inside of the frame. The nuts came off rather easily even though it seems as if the old idler arm had been on the car for quite some time. My dad pried the cotter key from the castle nut and we took off the castle nut and removed the old idler arm. We reversed this process to install the new idler arm and I greased the zerk fittings on the idler arm and the fittings on the ball joints. After we were done with this replacement, I advised that I thought this was one of the easiest projects I had ever performed on a car!

My dad was less sure of replacing the export brace as he was about the idler arm. My dad is a longtime Chevrolet enthusiast and these Ford, Lincoln, Mercury cars are a bit different than what he is used to seeing. I advised that the export brace is the other crucial piece to get on the car before I get an alignment because it keeps the shock towers from moving and will keep the front end tight and the car will have a truer alignment.

Above: Middle of the export brace at the firewall

If I was just replacing the existing two piece braces this project would be a snap. Four bolts on each one - two bolts at the firewall and two bolts on the shock towers - on and off and you're done. However, the one piece export brace requires that the bolts for the shocks be removed and the shock caps be removed so you can get the export brace over the bolts and then replace the shock caps and tighten all the nuts back down. As these older Fords age the shock towers can sag inward toward the middle of the car.

I called and spoke to Shawn Harville at Mustang Corral again. He has been very nice about giving advice on working on this project when I was researching what I needed and prices. They also work on vehicles at Mustang Corral and he doesn't have to be as forthcoming about giving out free advice and information on projects, but I'm glad that he is this helpful. Shawn reminded me about getting the car up in the air and then putting jack stand under the control arms to help spread the shock towers apart to get the export brace on the nuts. He also said that loosening the fender bolts would help get the brace on if I was having trouble getting it over the bolts.

Above: The shock cap on top of the new export brace

I recounted this conversation with Shawn to my dad and he asked me what I wanted to do next. I advised that if we got into the replacement and something was not going right then we could put it back the way it was before. He agreed and we went to work. Again this installation was no problem. The jack stands did their job by spreading the shock towers. We had to use some screwdrivers and a pry bar to get the brace into place, but after some pushing and pulling it was no big issue. We put all the nuts and bolts back on and the export brace project was finished too!

Above: the engine compartment with the new export brace

After we were done, my dad and I put all of the tools away. We spent a little while bench racing about some of the things I want to do to the car and he tested a spot with wax on the rear fender. Finally, I was ready to head back home with Elsie so we could have a late lunch with Mary.

Now the Cougar is ready to get an alignment!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Letter to Georgia and reply

Here was the e-mail that I sent to the Georgia Department of Driver Services on 8/20/09:

To Whom It May Concern:

I am the current owner of a 1967 Mercury Cougar that was originally purchased and titled in the State of Georgia. I have copies of registration paperwork from 1968 to 1994, but some years are missing. I am wondering if it is possible to obtain copies of other years of this paperwork as I have noted that the forms from 1993 and 1994 have the mileage listed on the registration. I am also wondering if I could obtain any information from when the vehicle was retitled after being sold from one owner to the other.

Please let me know if any of this information would be available and what information you would need from me to do a search. On the registration copies I have the VIN number, GA title numbers, license plate numbers, etc.

Thank you in advance for your time,

S. C. A.

Here is the reply I received on 8/21/09:

Dear S:

Georgia has 5 year retention on vehicle records, so those documents are unavailable.

Vicki / Help Desk Admin Unit / Motor Vehicle Division

Oh was worth a try.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Are you kidding me?!? Look what I found!

Last night, I decided to look through the paperwork that I received from the previous owner of the Cougar. I had briefly looked at some of this in the past, but I decided to give it a little closer look. I found receipts from an engine rebuild in the Fall of 2003, but the motor listed is a 1979 Ford 302 cubic inch V8. The original motor that came with the Cougar was a 289 cubic inch V8. I believe that motor to be the one that came with the sale and is currently located in my dad's garage. I also found a receipt from John's Classic Cougars for upholstery for the front bucket seats from Spring 2004. The other paperwork is mostly instructions for things that have been added to the vehicle: Lakewood Traction Bars, carburetor, coil, intake manifold, aftermarket stereo, and instructions from The Classic Cougar Network on sequential taillights and the vacuum system for the headlights.

Then, I went back to the owners manual and Georgia registration paperwork that I received. The Cougar was originally bought by L. B. Humphries of Dunwoody, GA on April 7, 1967. According to the paperwork it was later titled on September 9, 1974 and registered to Mrs. Bessie M. Humphries, likely the widow of the original owner since the address was the same. There is a receipt from August 6, 1974 for an oil change and suspension work done to the Cougar with the mileage listed as 33,548.

On April 27, 1978, the vehicle was sold by Mrs. Bessie M. Humphries to Lawson E. Brown of Atlanta, GA. There is registration paperwork dating from each year from 1979-1986 and then 1992-1994. A couple of years in the early 1980's the birth date of the owner is listed on the registration paperwork and Mr. Brown was born April 26, 1914. He would have been 64 years old when he bought the Cougar in 1978. Then I found a really great piece of information. In 1993 and 1994 the mileage was listed on the registration! In 1993, the Cougar's mileage was listed as 50,563.8 and in 1994 the mileage was listed as 50,590.4. Mr. Brown only drove the vehicle 27 miles in one year! What a find!

On December 4, 1994, James R. Greene, Jr. bought the vehicle from Mr. Brown. I found this purchase date on a copy of the Illinois title when Mr. Greene sold the car to the Dustin Coleman, the gentleman I purchased the vehicle from this year. Mr. Greene must have pulled the original engine for the later model 302 in 2003 because I have the receipts for the engine rebuild from that year. Mr. Greene must have moved from Georgia to Illinois sometime between 2003 and 2008 because the invoice is from a machine shop in Georgia and lists a discount for employees of Delta Airlines, Hartsfield Airport, Atlanta, GA.

When I bought the vehicle from Mr. Coleman in April 2009, the mileage was 52,053! He told me that he only owned the vehicle for 15 months and admitted that it was in storage much of that time due to building a new house. So, now I am starting to believe that this is the original mileage on the vehicle and the odometer has not turned over and hit 100,000 miles. I really need to talk to Mr. James Green to have him fill in some of the missing history that I need.

List of owners of this 1967 Mercury Cougar:

  1. L. B. Humphries & Mrs. Bessie M. Humphries - April 7, 1967- April 27, 1978

  2. Lawson E. Brown - April 27, 1978- December 4, 1994

  3. James R. Greene, Jr. - December 4, 1994 - January, 14, 2008

  4. Dustin Coleman - January 14, 2008- April 18, 2009

  5. myself - April 18, 2009-present

I am sending an e-mail to the Georgia Department of Driver Services to see if they have any registration history that could be helpful. I think that I will also try to do some genealogy on the first two owners of the car.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

1960's Advertising Still Works

This advertisement from the Ford Motor Company makes me want to buy a Mercury Cougar XR7 to go with my 1967 Mercury Cougar standard hardtop. Very sophisticated!

Jump to You Tube here or watch video below

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Getting the Cat back on the road

Today, I had an unexpected day off.

Mary came home sick from work yesterday and stayed home from work today too. Elsie had a fever last night and sort of had a rough night, but seems better today besides a runny nose. However, I'm sure that not many people are reading this wondering about the health of my family so back to my point.

With the sale of the 1968 Cougar over the weekend I had some money burning a hole in my pocket and the 1967 Cougar was begging for some attention and repairs to get her on the road again. If I wanted to hit any car shows this Fall I had better start working. So, last night and this morning I was refining my to-do list and doing some parts price comparing on-line.

This afternoon, I headed to Mustang Corral and purchased the Idler Arm, Export Brace, a set of four KYB Gas-A-Just Shocks and two Ford key blanks. In an earlier post I mentioned that I had priced these two pieces at Mustang Corral in Edwardsville and they quoted me $69.99 for an idler arm replacement (PN C7ZZ-3350-BR) from Scott Drake Enterprises and the export brace (PN C5ZZ-16A052-E is $49.99 for a one piece replacement painted black. I had also noted that Mustang Corral was selling the set of four KYB shocks were $169.99. However, while price comparing I had found that Mustangs Unlimited was selling the same shocks for $129.99. While I was buying the other items I casually asked if they matched prices from other vendors. The co-owner, Tim, asked me the details of what I needed and the vendor. I told him and he checked the book and advised that they could match the Mustangs Unlimited price. This quick exchange saved me $40.00 and shipping and handling charges! I had him throw in the key blankss so I can get a second set cut just in case.

This weekend I plan to take the Cougar to my dad's house and put her on the lift to install the parts. Then I can get an alignment done so I can get her out of the garage again. I plan to take document the process with pictures and words here when I am done.

Four (4) items checked off the parts list - many more to go.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

National Car Show Events - 2010

My goal for 2010 is to attend at least one National Car show event so that means start planning now! Here's a few events that I have penciled in for reference -

Hot Rod Power Tour
Dates - TBA
Route - TBA
Stops - TBA

For those of you that don't know, the Hot Rod Power Tour is an organized event where car enthusiasts from the hobby drive a pre-planned route or "tour" through parts of the United States. The Power Tour began in 1994 when Hot Rod Magazine staff members decided to take some of their project cars on a cross-country drive from Los Angeles, CA to Norwalk, OH. Thousands of people participated along the route, but only seven participants (other than staff members) made the entire journey and were inducted into the original "Long Hauler Gang". Since its inception, the event has continued to gain in popularity and is now one of the most anticipated automotive events each year. The Power Tour is usually scheduled for six to eight consecutive days and is typically held during late May or early June. During the last few years, the Power Tour has evolved to become a Dylanesque "never ending tour" around the United States. Organizers have started the event in or near the location where the tour ended the previous year. Each stop along the Power Tour route is organized around other events or activities that vary as much as the participants themselves. See the Hot Rod Power Tour page for the magazine's 2009 coverage of the event or the main Power Tour page for coverage from previous years. The estimated starting date for 2010 should be approximately June 5, 2010 at Bristo
l Motor Speedway.

Carlisle All-Ford Nationals 16th Annual Event
June 4-6, 2010
Carlisle Faigrounds
Carlisle, PA
The Carlisle All-Ford Nationals is a three day event featuring the largest gathering of Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury vehicles in the United States. Everything from rare to common vehicles are featured as well as a marketplace full of parts and accessories. See this link for a recap of the 2007 event.

Car Craft Summer Nationals
July 2010
Minnesota State Fairgrounds
1880 Como Ave.
St. Paul, MN
The Car Craft Summer Nationals is a three day event featuring over 4,000 cars of all makes and models and attracts over 45,000 people. Ten years ago this event was only drawing 1,200 cars so they're certainly doing something right to triple or quadruple the particpants. Those in attendance can stuff themselves with a basket cheese curds while gawking at the shiny cars and watching the activities along the way. The Summer Nationals features a Miss Car Craft Contest displaying the best bodies, a dyno contest (a meausrement to see which car makes the most horsepower) and a burnout contest featuring smoking tires and the smell of burning rubber. There is a car corral, family fun zone, and performance marketplace to look at all things car related. See the Car Craft site for coverage of the 2009 event by clicking here.

Another option would be to attend one of the various Good Guys events that are held throughout the year. There are a few that are held in the Midwest that are only a few hours from home.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Car Shows - Fall 2009

Here are some car shows that you might see me at this fall. I will not be able to attend all of these shows. If I make it to half of them that would be a lot, but just some that caught my eye. Click on the date to see a flyer for the show. Thanks to the Laker's Car Club for the listing of area shows.

AUG 22 SAT ~ Benefit Car & Motorcycle Show GENE'S AUTO BODY - register 10am until Noon ~ $15 Show, $5 Display ~ Dash Plaques 1st 50 Participants ~ CASH PRIZES! ~ Food ~ Music ~ 50/50 Drawing ~ Benefit for Richie Dooley ~ held at Gene’s Auto Body, 4055 Pontoon Rd ~ PONTOON BEACH, IL

AUG 23 SUN ~ 18th Anniversary Edwardsville Police Benefit D.A.R.E. Car, Truck & Motorcycle Show ~ register 8:30am until 1pm (gates close) ~ Fee $15 Show, $10 Display Dash Plaques ~ Free Professional Photo of your vehicle taken by Photographer, Lt. Scott Evers ~ Food & Refreshments ~ 50/50 Drawing ~ Vendor Booths ~ Silent Auction ~ T-Shirts to match your Dash Plaque & Award Plaques ~ Car Clubs win $100 for Club with most member paid entries ~ held at the Edwardsville High School Sports Complex, 6161 Center Grove Rd ~ EDWARDSVILLE, IL

SEPTEMBER 5th, SATURDAY~ DR. JAZZ SODA FOUNTAIN & GRILLE presents the LEBANON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE CAR CRUISE hosted by The LAKER'S CAR CLUB ~ 6pm till 9pm ~Dash Plaques 1st 100 participants ~Invite your Friends and Family ~ 50's 60's D.J. Music ~50/50 Drawing ~Attendance Prizes ~ info: (618) 537-6101 ~ Downtown City "old-time brick roads" blocked off ~Lebanon Exit off I-64 onto Route 4 ~~No Alcohol/No Vehicle burnouts ~LEBANON, IL

SEP 6 SUN ~ Collinsville VFW Post 5691 Car Show ~ register 8:30am till Noon ~ Dash Plaques 1st 125 Entries ~ Judging begins Noon ~ Attendance Prizes all day long ~ 50/50 Drawing ~ Music by D.J. ~ info: (618) 344-7195 or EMAIL ~ located 1234 Vandalia St. ~ COLLINSVILLE, IL

SEP 12 SAT ~ Fat Daddy's Car Cruise ~ hosted by Party Tyme Kruzers ~ 3pm till 9pm ~ Dash Plaque 1st 50 Drivers ~ Washer Tournament ~ $20 entry, 2 man team, Cash Prizes ~ Music ~ Full Menu including Fish, Fried Chicken, Tacos, Burgers, Pizza, BBQ and more! ~ held inside Smithton American Legion, located at 104 N. Main Street ~ SMITHTON, IL

SEP 13 SUN ~ Belleville Gear Jammers Car Show & Cruise Main Street ~ Start 9am and Cruise at 4pm ~ Dash Plaques~ Strictly Fun, No Judging ~ Driver Prizes ~ 50/50 Drawing ~ Valve Cover Races ~ Raffles Cake Walk AND Pig Races! ~ info: (618) 779-4406 or (618) 779-4407 ~ held at Crehan's Irish Pub, 5500 N. Belt West ~ BELLEVILLE, IL

SEPTEMBER 19th ~ SATURDAY ~ CULVER'S BUTTERBURGERS & FROZEN CUSTARD RESTAURANT CAR CRUISE ~ 6pm till 9pm, on the 3rd SATURDAY of each month, MAY thru OCTOBER ~ hosted by The LAKER'S CAR CLUB ~ Dash Plaques 1st 100 participants ~ Invite your Friends and Family ~ 50's 60's D.J Music ~ 50/50 Drawing ~ Attendance Prizes ~ info: (618) 344-8780 ~ Exit #11 from I-55/70 and then North on Hwy 157 (North Bluff Rd) to 100 United Drive, 3 blocks on left ~ Our next Cruise will be our Halloween Party Cruise! ~ COLLINSVILLE, IL

SEP 19 SAT ~ 22nd Show-Me Mustang Club: Mustang & All Ford Show ~ register 8am until 4pm ~ Dash Plaques 1st 150 participants ~ $20 entry fee ~ info: (636) 561-8976 or (636) 916-3696 ~ held at new location... Crestwood Court, 109 Crestwood Plaza ~ ST. LOUIS, MO

SEP 25 FRI ~ 5th Annual Southern Illinois Rt. 66 Road Tour ~ Registration 8am till 9:30am ~ Leaving at 10:00am ~ Dash Plaques to the 1st 150 cars ~ Starting at the Chain of Rocks ~ GRANITE CITY, IL

SEP 25-27 FRI-SUN ~ International Route 66 Mother Road Festival ~ All years, makes, models accepted ~ 40 car classes w/ judging ~ Register at before September 21st for $35 + $3 fee ~ Fri 6pm-11pm, Sat 11am-11pm, Sun 11 am-2pm ~ Music, Cruise (Friday), Poker Run (Saturday), Family Fun Zone, Swap Meet (Saturday), Admission is Free for spectators ~ SPRINGFIELD, IL

SEP 26 SAT ~ ADVANCE AUTO PARTS CRUISE NITE hosted by the PISTON PUSHER'S CLASSIC CAR CLUB ~ 6pm till 9pm ~ Dash Plaques 1st 75 participants ~ Manager Choice Award Attendance Prizes Drawings from 50/50 Tickets ~ 50's and 60's Music provided ~ info: EMAIL or (618) 931-0035 ~ held at Bellemore Village Shopping Center, 3216 Nameoki Rd. ~ GRANITE CITY, IL

SEP 27 SUN ~ "Gateway Chapter of the Falcon Club of America's 16th Annual All Ford*Mercury*Lincoln Fall Car Show & Swap" ~ (rain date October 4, 2009) ~ register 9am until Noon, $17 registration ~ Voting 12:30 – 1:30 ~ Awards 4 p.m. ~ 3 Trophies per class, 25 Classes, Best of Show ~ Free Swap Space ~ Dash Plaques for the 1st 100 participants ~ Attendance Prizes ~ 50/50 Drawings ~ Music DJ ~ Food & Drink ~ info: (636) 677-4670 or ~ EMAIL~ or visit ~ Location: 1st Capital 4WD, 3725 Harry S. Truman Blvd (I-70 to the Cave Springs exit 225) at the corner of Harry S. Truman & Franks Dr.(30min NW of Downtown St. Louis) ~ ST. CHARLES, MO

OCT 3 SAT ~ 'CELEBRATING THE MOTHER ROAD! ~ Route 66 Car, Truck & Motorcycle Show on the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge ~ register 9am until 11am ~ $15 includes a Dash Plaque & Goody bag ~ Pre-register and save $5 ~ visit for pre-registration form ~ All vehicles must enter on the Illinois side of the bridge (270 East, to Route 3 South, To Chain of Rocks Bridge ~ GRANITE CITY, IL

OCTOBER 10th, SATURDAY~HEMANN GUTHRIE CHEVROLET of NEW BADEN, IL (618) 588-3448 presents the LEBANON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE CAR CRUISE ~6pm till 9pm, ~Dash Plaques 1st 100 participants~Invite your Friends and Family ~ Last Car Cruise of the Season at Lebanon, IL ~ 50's 60's D.J. Music~50/50 Drawing~Attendance Prizes ~ Cruises are hosted by The LAKER'S CAR CLUB~ Downtown City "old-time brick roads" blocked off. ~Lebanon Exit off I-64 onto Route 4 ~ No Alcohol or vehicle burn outs ~LEBANON, IL

OCTOBER 17th, SATURDAY~CULVER'S BUTTERBURGERS & FROZEN CUSTARD RESTAURANT~6pm till 9pm ~HALLOWEEN CAR CRUISE, hosted by The LAKER'S CAR CLUB~200+ VEHICLES! ~WIN! WIN! WIN! Costume Contest & Vehicle Decorating Contest ~Dash Plaques 1st 100 participants ~Invite your Friends and Family ~ 50's 60's D.J. Music ~50/50 Drawing~Attendance Prizes ~Last Car Cruise of the Season at Collinsville, IL ~ info: (618) 344-8780 ~Exit #11 from I-55/70 and then North on Hwy. 157 (North Bluff Rd) to 100 United Drive, 3 blocks on left ~COLLINSVILLE, IL

Sunday, August 16, 2009


I am back down to three cars again.

Yesterday, I sold the 1968 Mercury Cougar Dan Gurney Special project car that I bought 2 years ago to some nice people from Liberty, MO. I bought the car 2 days before Elsie was born in July 2007. I felt a connection to the car since I had bought it just before Elsie was born and I had been so excited about getting another old car. However, I had not had much time or resources to devote to the 1968 Cougar and with the addition of the 1967 Cougar I could use the money from the 1968 to fix and repair parts of the 1967. Besides, my dad wanted his garage space back if I wasn't going to work on the 1968. I just did not have the resources to put into two old cars at this time.

I wanted to find someone who would work on the car and bring it back to life rather than just cut it up for parts and discard. I received a call from Mark saying that his 16 year old son, Isaac, was saving up some money and wanted a project car to work on. I sent several pictures to them and Mark and I talked by phone a few times and finally agreed on a price and time to come look at the car. They came out yesterday evening and carefully looked over the car. Isaac decided that he wanted to take on this project and the money and title was exchanged.

I think that after meeting them that Mark and Isaac will give the 1968 Cougar a good home.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Ridin' Along In My Automobile

Rock 'N Roll legend and Chess Records artist Chuck Berry sang that line to start his classic 1964 hit "No Particular Place To Go." However, the gearheads of Detroit and the Upper Midwest have only one destination this weekend: Woodward Dream Cruise. One of these years I will make myself attend the event in Motor City, but not this year.

My dad attended a few years ago with his boss at the time and they cruised in a 1969 Dodge Charger. For my dad's sake not a General Lee clone, but just a brother to the Duke boys classic ride.

For those of you that can't be there check out this article from the New York Times for an eyewitness view of the crusing and sights and sounds from the driver's seat of a 1955 Chevrolet Bel-Air convertible. I just hope he wasn't texting his copy back to New York! There is also plenty of coverage at The Detroit News and The Detroit Free Press.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Caged Cougar

Currently, the Cougar is confined to it's cage - or the garage. No, it's not being cagey, in a cage match to the death, or even honing it's basketball skills; I should just say that it's parked. I'll explain -- When I had the tires replaced two weeks ago at Patterson Tire and Service the technician took me in the garage to show me why the tires were wearing in the first place. The technician showed me that there was a considerable amount of play in the idler arm causing the alignment to be off and thereby causing the inside edges of both front tires to wear badly. The rubber gasket on the idler arm was worn down to the size of a flat washer! He jerked the idler arm up and down and it had a 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch worth of movement up and down instead of being tight.

I did some research (if you know me you're probably really surprised here) and the plan is to replace the idler arm and the export brace on the Cougar to tighten up the front end and make sure the alignment true. The idler arm replacement is obviously a must, but you may be asking why the export brace. If you weren't asking I'm going to tell you anyway. Originally, Ford made braces in two pieces and they extend from the shock towers on both sides of the engine compartment diagonally to the firewall. However, on Shelby Mustangs and vehicles that Ford produced for export from the United States the braces were one piece instead of two. This kept the shock towers from flexing as much. See picture below for the one piece brace:

I priced these two pieces at Mustang Corral in Edwardsville and they quoted me $69.99 for an idler arm replacement (PN C7ZZ-3350-BR) from Scott Drake Enterprises and the export brace (PN C5ZZ-16A052-E) is $49.99 for a one piece replacement painted black. They also have a chromed version of the export brace, but I like the look of the black engine compartment with chrome on the engine only. I think that the engine pops more while surrounded by the all black engine compartment.

So, until I have time to buy these parts and replace them the Cougar sits so I don't wear out a new set of front tires too fast.