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tberger06
04-26-2015, 12:48 PM
Hey everyone, Iím the happy new owner of a white 1989 Mercury Cougar XR7. It is a 5-speed manual with 151k miles on the odometer. I picked it up for $900 in Fort Collins, CO. It wasnít exactly in good running condition because there was some internal bearing squeal and a little smoke coming from under the hood while running (head gasket?). Currently the car is at a shop in Denver (Seyfer Auto) and they are pulling the motor to get rebuilt by Jasper.

Iíd like to get some feedback and suggestions on what I should do while the car is in the shop.

Here is the list of parts & mods I got from the previous owner:
-ignition module
-crank + cam sensor
-headlights and front turn signal lenses
-timing chain gasket
-harmonic balancer +bolt
-front struts
-sway arm bushings
-lower control arms
-magnum powers raised supercharger top
-rebuilt supercharger snout
-5% supercharger pulley
-accessory tensioner
-heavy duty jackshaft and sc tensioner springs
-catback exhaust
-jet performance chip (does this actually do anything??)
-rebuilt clutch
-70 mm throttle body (I think he meant 75mm?)
-70 mm maf housing
-cold air intake
-aluminum radiator (from ebay)

Extra parts not installed:
-mustang headers (from spinningwheels-sc.com)
-iac valve
-255 lph performance fuel pump
-adjustable billet fuel pressure regulator
-Teflon supercharger gasket set
-door handle (exterior driver side is broken)

My current plan is to have the shop install the extra parts mentioned above along with these parts that Iíve ordered:
-SCP front subframe support brace (fssb)
-SCP lower engine cradle brace (lecb)
-SCP poly rear diff mount
-SCP rear torsional load brace
-SCP solid rubber transmission & motor mounts
-SCP differential & transmission crossmember bushings

They are also going to inspect the rest of the car for anything else that might need replacing such as ball joints, brakes, wheel bearings, suspension, steering, battery, alternator, drive belts, spark plugs, etc.

What stuff am I overlooking?? Iíve been trying to figure out what type of motor oil to use in this rebuilt motor (synthetic 5w30?) and I plan to put some GM Synchromesh in the transmission. This is my first performance car and I want to do everything right.

Any and all comments/feedback/suggestions are appreciated.

PS Ė I forgot to take some pictures before dropping it off at the shop. I will get some when I take the new parts up to Denver.

SCarSC
04-26-2015, 03:49 PM
smoke while running may just have been some leaking valve covers.

dump the chip, get one from dave dalke(xr7dave) or another reputable tuner on here.

if they have the engine out and all that, may just want to do the steering rack while you can.

chances are, most of your bushings in the rear are probably shot, as well as strut rod bushings, may want to look into those.

performance cam while its all apart? again talk to dave

MadMikeyL
04-26-2015, 09:15 PM
My first advice would be don't bother with a Jasper motor in that car. Jasper is fine for most cars that will remain stock, but they are a large remanufacturing company, which means they save "good" parts from old blown up motors, and when they have enough of them, they throw them all together and sell it to you as a remanufactured engine. That is exactly what they would do with your car too, they won't rebuild your current engine, just sell you one already done and take your engine back as a core, to be disassembled and have the usable stuff thrown into their parts bin. A better solution would be to either find a good local machine shop to rebuild your engine, or better, once the shop pulls it, send it to XR7Dave and have him rebuild it for you, possibly with some performance upgrades like better rods and pistons, and an upgraded cam and ported heads if the budget allows.

As for your additional parts, it sounds like you are on the right track, except don't bother with the adjustable FPR. The stock one works just fine, and messing with the fuel pressure is going to cause drivability issues without a tune, and with a tune there would be no need to mess with the fuel pressure. Also, since you are looking to get more performance out of the car, you will absolutely need to upgrade your fuel injectors, and that also means you need a tune. Again, contact XR7Dave for a good base tune. Also, since you are in there doing the tune, now would be a good opportunity to ditch the aftermarket 70mm MAF. A factory 99-04 Mustang GT MAF is 80mm, will support around 400hp, and will have good resoluton at idle so you won't have any drivability issues with your car.

tberger06
04-26-2015, 09:50 PM
My first advice would be don't bother with a Jasper motor in that car. Jasper is fine for most cars that will remain stock, but they are a large remanufacturing company, which means they save "good" parts from old blown up motors, and when they have enough of them, they throw them all together and sell it to you as a remanufactured engine. That is exactly what they would do with your car too, they won't rebuild your current engine, just sell you one already done and take your engine back as a core, to be disassembled and have the usable stuff thrown into their parts bin. A better solution would be to either find a good local machine shop to rebuild your engine, or better, once the shop pulls it, send it to XR7Dave and have him rebuild it for you, possibly with some performance upgrades like better rods and pistons, and an upgraded cam and ported heads if the budget allows.

As for your additional parts, it sounds like you are on the right track, except don't bother with the adjustable FPR. The stock one works just fine, and messing with the fuel pressure is going to cause drivability issues without a tune, and with a tune there would be no need to mess with the fuel pressure. Also, since you are looking to get more performance out of the car, you will absolutely need to upgrade your fuel injectors, and that also means you need a tune. Again, contact XR7Dave for a good base tune. Also, since you are in there doing the tune, now would be a good opportunity to ditch the aftermarket 70mm MAF. A factory 99-04 Mustang GT MAF is 80mm, will support around 400hp, and will have good resoluton at idle so you won't have any drivability issues with your car.

Regarding Jasper, I was told they do not have any off-the-shelf units for this motor, so they will be rebuilding my block (and I've already pre-paid).

Thanks for the tip on fuel pressure regulator.

I think I'll hold off on any more performance-based mods (cam, injectors, MAF, tune, etc.) until all other areas are squared away and I feel like investing more time and money :D

Any recommendations for fluids (engine, trans, coolant, etc.)?

KMT
04-27-2015, 12:32 AM
Any recommendations for fluids (engine, trans, coolant, etc.)?

Engine: Mobile 1 5w30

Search here for loads of opinions on 5-speed fluid

Coolant: 50/50 your choice brand with a bottle of Water Wetter.

Top off the diff w/Ford's limited slip fluid.

See this post [ http://www.sccoa.com/forums/showthread.php?103121-Supercharger-oil-change-question&highlight=supercharger+oil ] for info on refreshing the supercharger oil.

tberger06
05-20-2015, 12:22 PM
quick update

The engine rebuild should be done around June 1st (slight delay sourcing parts), so I'm expecting to have a fully drivable car by mid-June :)

I'm going to drop off some things at the shop here in a week or two and plan on finally getting some pictures posted!

stay tuned...

tberger06
06-01-2015, 04:27 PM
finally some pics! Let me know if you notice anything in the pictures that I should replace or pay attention to (definitely thinking rotors, axle shaft seals, and front sway bar joints?).
<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/45220798@N03/17734890094" title="2015-06-01 001 by tberger06, on Flickr"><img src="https://c4.staticflickr.com/8/7731/17734890094_382234ddda_z.jpg" width="320" height="240" alt="2015-06-01 001"></a><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/45220798@N03/18331080316" title="2015-06-01 002 by tberger06, on Flickr"><img src="https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8809/18331080316_2562de9630_n.jpg" width="320" height="240" alt="2015-06-01 002"></a><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/45220798@N03/17734917704" title="2015-06-01 009 by tberger06, on Flickr"><img src="https://c4.staticflickr.com/8/7765/17734917704_800615a15e_n.jpg" width="320" height="240" alt="2015-06-01 009"></a><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/45220798@N03/18357559185" title="2015-06-01 016 by tberger06, on Flickr"><img src="https://c4.staticflickr.com/8/7795/18357559185_8eb3306b92_n.jpg" width="320" height="240" alt="2015-06-01 016"></a><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/45220798@N03/18169737528" title="2015-06-01 019 by tberger06, on Flickr"><img src="https://c4.staticflickr.com/8/7756/18169737528_84c60307fb_n.jpg" width="320" height="240" alt="2015-06-01 019"></a><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/45220798@N03/18171396749" title="2015-06-01 021 by tberger06, on Flickr"><img src="https://c4.staticflickr.com/8/7733/18171396749_3164dc9f52_n.jpg" width="320" height="240" alt="2015-06-01 021"></a><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/45220798@N03/18359095311" title="2015-06-01 020 by tberger06, on Flickr"><img src="https://c4.staticflickr.com/8/7798/18359095311_aea48ee713_n.jpg" width="320" height="240" alt="2015-06-01 020"></a><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/45220798@N03/18171406829" title="2015-06-01 025 by tberger06, on Flickr"><img src="https://c4.staticflickr.com/8/7741/18171406829_4c7f49f7de_n.jpg" width="320" height="240" alt="2015-06-01 025"></a><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/45220798@N03/18169751150" title="2015-06-01 059 by tberger06, on Flickr"><img src="https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8785/18169751150_2fc5401cf4_n.jpg" width="320" height="240" alt="2015-06-01 059"></a><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/45220798@N03/18171320159" title="2015-06-01 061 by tberger06, on Flickr"><img src="https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/426/18171320159_87a7cdbc3a_n.jpg" width="240" height="320" alt="2015-06-01 061"></a><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/45220798@N03/18353558342" title="2015-06-01 032 by tberger06, on Flickr"><img src="https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7750/18353558342_706b00d298_n.jpg" width="320" height="240" alt="2015-06-01 032"></a><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/45220798@N03/18171436299" title="2015-06-01 037 by tberger06, on Flickr"><img src="https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8774/18171436299_c0610e00f9_n.jpg" width="320" height="240" alt="2015-06-01 037"></a><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/45220798@N03/18357620575" title="2015-06-01 041 by tberger06, on Flickr"><img src="https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7769/18357620575_30eb3ee3be_n.jpg" width="320" height="240" alt="2015-06-01 041"></a><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/45220798@N03/18331186506" title="2015-06-01 044 by tberger06, on Flickr"><img src="https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8857/18331186506_2642abf844_n.jpg" width="320" height="240" alt="2015-06-01 044"></a><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/45220798@N03/18359156741" title="2015-06-01 049 by tberger06, on Flickr"><img src="https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/538/18359156741_3aa434534b_n.jpg" width="320" height="240" alt="2015-06-01 049"></a><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/45220798@N03/18169802848" title="2015-06-01 050 by tberger06, on Flickr"><img src="https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8860/18169802848_afa673019a_n.jpg" width="320" height="240" alt="2015-06-01 050"></a><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/45220798@N03/18331196746" title="2015-06-01 051 by tberger06, on Flickr"><img src="https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7794/18331196746_18ce9001c2_n.jpg" width="320" height="240" alt="2015-06-01 051"></a><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/45220798@N03/18169805778" title="2015-06-01 052 by tberger06, on Flickr"><img src="https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/476/18169805778_a1365cb3a4_n.jpg" width="320" height="240" alt="2015-06-01 052"></a><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/45220798@N03/18353597292" title="2015-06-01 054 by tberger06, on Flickr"><img src="https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/328/18353597292_5ce4f5381b_n.jpg" width="320" height="240" alt="2015-06-01 054"></a><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/45220798@N03/18169757290" title="2015-06-01 057 by tberger06, on Flickr"><img src="https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8802/18169757290_fb9f8289dd_n.jpg" width="320" height="240" alt="2015-06-01 057"></a>

full album: https://www.flickr.com/gp/45220798@N03/tWsgc9

The motor should be back by the end of this week, and it will hopefully be running by the end of next week.

SCarSC
06-01-2015, 07:10 PM
Sway bar bushing and steering rack using while you can get to them.

Tim Groth
06-01-2015, 07:39 PM
For 900$ you stole that car. Congrats on the purchase and that's awesome you're taking the time to restore it also!

-Tim

tberger06
06-01-2015, 08:21 PM
What size are the rear sway bar mid-section bushings (23mm, 25mm, 28mm, ??)? Also, does everyone recommend using polyurethane bushings from somewhere like supercoupeperformance.com or do MOOG/MEVOTECH/ACDELCO bushings from RockAuto.com work just as well?

EDIT:
found this after some digging https://web.archive.org/web/20080221154149/http://www.mn12performance.com/mn12-techinfo/swaybar/swaybar.htm
If I'm reading it correctly, the 89 rear sway bar is 26.50mm (1.10")...so I would need a 27mm bushing?

I also found some crazy billet aluminum rack and pinion bushings (http://spinningwheels-sc.com/thunderbirdmarkviiicougarrackandpinionbushingsbill et.aspx)

tberger06
07-30-2015, 03:34 PM
I finally got the car back and immediately took it on a 2,500 mile multi-day road trip (good chance to break-in the rebuilt motor). I had zero issues with how the motor ran, but did find out I severely needed new tires. Slapped on some 245/50/R16 BFGoodrich G-Force Comp-2 A/S tires and it made a world of difference with vibrations at highway speed (more on that below). I also had the chance to install my FSSB, LECB, and RTLB. I can't really say how much they stiffened it up because I haven't taken it to the track or pushed it hard yet. I also changed the oil today and got some good pictures from underneath. Altitude definitely affects performance because I can certainly tell a difference in power now that I'm back in Colorado.

A couple pics:
https://farm1.staticflickr.com/498/19528405613_a673ac665d_n.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/vKEbCv)https://farm1.staticflickr.com/533/19962705819_82373cc96d_n.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/wq35X6)https://farm1.staticflickr.com/510/20149373335_2dcd69b526_n.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/wGwNGx)https://farm1.staticflickr.com/538/20149388955_b6ac94f690_n.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/wGwTkR)https://farm1.staticflickr.com/440/20141329772_a6cfcabf28_n.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/wFPzCq)

A couple issues I've discovered:
After getting new tires mounted and balanced I still experience an intermittent vibration at highway speeds (50-80mph). It will gradually start and then build up over about 3-5 seconds until it is shaking the wheel and then resides after 10 seconds or so. Once it stops the car is very smooth. Then 15-20 seconds later it will start up again and does this repeatedly. Is it the power steering? Warped rotor? Bent rim? I'm at a loss. Very similar to this thread: http://www.sccoa.com/forums/showthread.php?54386-Vibration-in-steering-wheel-at-high-speeds but I have yet to check my lug alignment or drive shaft. My brakes do pulsate/shake while braking.

When under the car today I discovered some severed wires coming out of the engine plug right above the oil drain hole on the right side. What connects here? Temp gauge? I didn't take it out in case it's a coolant plug. Can anyone point me to some engine diagrams?
https://farm1.staticflickr.com/371/20154993901_c19a3dae56_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/wH2BuR)

My rear diff also leaks (speed sensor plug?). Is that an easy fix?
https://farm1.staticflickr.com/279/19528418863_0283a35b6a_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/vKEfyX)

There are a few other minor issues but I'm going to see if I can search them before asking.

Full picture album: https://www.flickr.com/gp/45220798@N03/tWsgc9

EDIT: forgot to mention...this thing is a BLAST to drive! Now I know why you all love these cars.

MadMikeyL
07-30-2015, 06:02 PM
The sensor in the oil pan is an oil level sensor. It works with the VMM on the dash to let you know when your oil level is low, but it rarely actually works, and usually if it does work, the cause of the low oil level is that sensor itself leaking. As for the diff leak, that is coming from the axle seal, and yes it is a pretty easy fix. The ABS sensor doesn't actually go into the diff, it just bolts to the side of it and reads the teeth off the axle.

tberger06
08-07-2015, 05:04 AM
I had my front rotors turned and that seems to have solved my vibration and pulsating brakes issue. Still need to do the axle seals.

While checking out the front end I noticed this (looking from the front of the car under the bumper on the passenger side):
https://farm1.staticflickr.com/288/20331064445_fdafa196f2_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/wYA28T)https://farm1.staticflickr.com/405/20280169838_d4b3b9a51d_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/wU6aWE)
It looks like a broken hose/pipe. What does this go to?

SCarSC
08-07-2015, 09:01 AM
Is that the ac condenser?

MadMikeyL
08-07-2015, 11:32 AM
It is hard to tell from the picture, but I believe that is the EVAP charcoal canister.

tberger06
08-07-2015, 10:23 PM
Is that the ac condenser?


It is hard to tell from the picture, but I believe that is the EVAP charcoal canister.

I'll try and take a better picture of it tomorrow.

potshotscott
08-08-2015, 01:18 AM
I travel to Denver at least once a month on business travel. If you ever want to meet up for a beer let me know.

tberger06
08-10-2015, 05:24 PM
I travel to Denver at least once a month on business travel. If you ever want to meet up for a beer let me know.

I'm down in Colorado Springs and might be able to make a trip up there sometime.

I edited my post above with a better picture of the broken pipe. It is right down by the front passenger fender where the air intake it.