My 1979 Mercury Cougar XR-7
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Repair Journel

Here's what I've done so far (as of the creation of this site, 11/23/00):

1. Rebuilt rear drums and replaced brake shoes.

2. Replaced rear shocks.

3. Cleaned driveshaft and replaced U-joints.

4. Replaced power steering hoses. (Both high and low pressure)

5. Replaced wiper switch.

6. Replaced distributer cap, in the process accidently breaking spacer.

7. Replaced spacer.

8. Removed burned, jelly-like, transmission fluid. Most likely the same fluid that was in the car when it was purchased in 1979. Scary.

Current Project


Well, I don't really plan on going to many shows, since the Dalton Street Machines club sponsors these cool cruise-ins downtown, and they aren't far away at all. The Cougar still need to be re-painted, and I'm looking for a place to get it done. I'm also looking into getting a second car.I want an old police package Crown Victoria and I figure $800- $1500 isn't bad for a car like that.

I'll keep the Cougar as a Sunday car, beacuse I love driving it.

Should I?

By the way, a friend saw some neat wheels like these on an XR-7 like mine the other day. He was kind enough to take a picture for me, and I'll put it up as soon as I can find the darn thing. Should I get some wheels like these?


Maybe if I  Fix Or Repair it Daily, it will not be Found On Road Dead.

Here is the old valve, pretty nasty. It's really clean inside though, that means the engine is in good shape. I bet it's ready for the commute to school tomorrow.

Don't you know that silver colored hoses were a rare factory original?

Here you can see the bad hose on the right, and the new hose on the left. It was hard to connect the new hose because of the odd way Ford attached the original one, some strange metal contraption that had to bent a certain way, oh well.


I might not be First On Race Day, but the other acnonym may be correct.

This picture shows the new radiator cap (still in package)sitting with the paper arrow pointing at the old one.

Future Work/Repairs:

Some Work That is Needed:

1) Put metal protectant on the undercarriage

2) Touchups on the paint

3) Resew the damaged headliner

4) Pull out the dent on trunk

5) Replace the gaskets, bushings, etc

6) Repair non-functional clock and radio.

7) Replace the gaskets, bushings, etc.

8) Replate the bumpers.

9) Wash and detail engine, including pulling and repainting the valve covers.

Work and Repairs Since 11/23/00:

On the last day of school, a few persons, and I use the term loosely, broke into several cars in the parking lot and turned on the headlights. Of course the batteries of these cars died. My car was one of the many victims, and my brother and a friend had to call around to get a ride home. I replaced the battery and let the old one sit on the charger for a while. All is well. I also need to install a vacuum modulator someday, but my floor jack broke and I need a new one to do the job.

Updates, ugh. I have finished pulling the carpet of my car and I'll be installing it later today (It's 1:00 AM as I'm writing this). I had to replace the plug that fits in the floor panel since it was warped. I also patched, primed and painted a few rusty spots in the floor of the car. I've been either working at Kroger, at school or sleeping latly, so updates have been few and far between. Oh, well.

I was driving to get my drug test (which I did pass, of course)) at Kroger when I stopped to talk to some friends at a local pizza place. Whe I got out of the car, I saw a larde ammount of anitfreeze seeping out of what appeared to be the bottomof the radiator. Upset, I opened the hood. Upon closer inspection, I discovered that the hose clap connecting the upper radiator hose to the radiator was loose. The antifreeze was dripping down the radiator, creating the illusion of a hole in the radiator. The clamp was tightened, and the car drives to work fine.

I've been working to pull out all of the carpet, but it is getting very hard to pull out the seats, etc. I also got my 8-track player yesterday, after quite a bit of work. The fellow at Flood's Auto Salvage was kind enough to throw in a cigarette lighter for free. I have an interesting accout of the perils of the aqisition of the 8-track player on the "Stories and Articles" page. I hope to install it when I am sure that it works.

Today I put some cool chrome hose covers on the upper radiator hose and on a portion of the vacuum hose. Speaking of the vacuum hose, I replace several feet of that as well. I'm still looking for the cause of all that tranny fluid though. I also replaced the fuel filter, after driving all over the city to find a store that carried the correct one.

Well, I replaced the alternator today. I also bought some new vacuum hose, tranny fluid came out of the old stuff, bad sign. That will be investigated further, but for now, I have some chrome hose covers and shiny blue clamp covers to put under the hood. I just dread disconnecting the upper radiator hose, well, at least I park on the street now.

So much to write about. I have been working on the electrical lately. I replaced the negative battery cable, the connections that go to the voltage regulator, and other things. I have also aquired a working clock for my car from an old '78 Thunderbird. The radio still doesn't work, but I have taken it out to have one of my dad's coworkers look at it. Oh, I also had to replace the taillight blinker relay. I don't like the new sound, and it sure does blink too fast, but that's life. This weekend, I hope to get a new mount for my horn. I don't know how it got broken, but it sure makes a bad sound when the horn rubs on the serpentine belt.

Well, I decided not to get the new wheels. I have been to a junkyard recently and aquired a clock, radio, and front bumper from a '79 Thunderbird. It's all in good shape, and the clock runs nicely. I also degreased the engine since we had a warm day not too long ago, plus I vacumed the inside and shampooed carpet inside. My car seems to have problems with the heating, since the radiator has a hole in it, and two of the hoses involved with the system are leaking fast. I keep a jug of ASPCA approved antifreeze mixed with water in the trunk now, just in case. Oddly enough, the level in the radiator is always low, yet the overflow is always more that halfway full. Hmmm...

12/25/00 and 12/26/00
I recieved a metal polishing kit for Christmas, and I am using it to polish the Cougar's chrome, a monumental task. I am also buying some steel wheels from an elderly Crown Victoria, I really like those wheels better. Merry Christmas!

While hunting for a job, I stopped at a gas station, and noticed alot of smoke eminating from the under the hood. It was that stupid heating valve again! Odd the one Ford made lasted almost 22 years, and the one Stant made lasted almost a few weeks.

Well, I was in the Kroger parking lot and the battery ended up dead. I got to stand in the freezing rain polishing the cable ends while a new battery arrived. When the positive cable accidently touched the car frame, an interesting light show was the effect. How fun.

I'm usually a stickler for home repairs, but the brake problem turned out to be a big one. First of all, the right front caliper was frozen, also, the rear right brake cylinder was leaking. The car also needed new front disc fans. The balence, as I suspected, was messed up and that had to be handled as well. The total cost at Maxi-Brake was a whopping $435.

Well, I finally got around to changing the spark plugs, the engine is running really smoothly right now. Sadly, I discovered that the back right tire was squealing on the ground when I braked. I'm pretty sure that it is a problem with the balence, so the Cat is going to spend a day or two at Maxi-Brake.

I discovered yesterday that large ammounds of steam were coming out of the car. Upon further inspection, I found that the heater valvue had broken. It was replaced, and I had a fun-filled evening of flushing out the antifreeze.

While cleaning the air filter casing, I discovered that the preheating hose had deteriorated into about three inches of hose, and about seven inches of aluminium ribbon. It, of course, had to be replaced. Again sorry about the picture quality, the digital camera came free with my ISP subscription, so I can't complain.

I replaced the radiator cap today. It was hard to get it off, but I managed. Sorry for the poor quality of the picture. The light was bad.

I took the car to an automated carwash at a Chevron station. Big mistake. Not only did it not get the car clean, the jets ruined the work I've done on the vinyl top and dented the rear fender. Don't buy Chevron gas!