Not sure how it happened, but I found a bit of “free time” during my days off to actually work on the Cougar. After attending the Classic Cougar Picnic last weekend and seeing all those great looking cars, I felt I had been slacking off on working on mine. Then again, with very little time and other responsibilities, working on the Cougar is not high on the priority list.
Tom from Delta Bay Mustang [finally!] called and told me my Edelbrock RPM intake manifold had arrived and I could pick it up. So after my BART interview, I dropped in on Tom, spoke to him for a bit. He inquired about the engine being rebuilt and a few other items regarding my Cougar. I had been toying with the idea of purchasing a new steering column, or getting the original rebuilt. I had spoke to Steve [aka fastmerc on MCN] about rebuilding the current one, but he could not guarantee the work on a non-tilt column. So yesterday, after paying the difference on the RPM manifold I put a deposit down on a new Flaming River Tilt Steering Column. My line of thinking, if I have everything else torn out of the engine compartment and am replacing with new parts, why not the steering column?
So the past few days, I was able to put a few hours in each day, continuing to work on cleaning the engine compartment, stripping out the old, worn paint before priming it and painting it prior to dropping the new 302-4V, 350HP motor in it. Prior to yesterday I had been using sandpaper, wire wheel and steel wool to clean things up. Not only time consuming, but tough work. I started using a stripper yesterday. Oh where, oh where has this stripper been in my life? I applied the stripper using a small paint brush, waited and then started to peel back the old paint.
Wow! What a difference! I was able to strip off much more paint and grime in about 3 hours than I did any time prior to what I had already completed. The work was much easier, although the temperature in the garage was probably 100 and I was sweating buckets, but that only made me feel like I actually accomplished something. I was able to do the right front corner [battery tray], the shock tower and back towards the firewall. With any luck, I could have half of the engine compartment stripped by the end of the weekend. That would be a huge accomplishment, with what little time I have had recently.
Still no word on the motor, again, that is really a moot point since it would just be another item in my already cluttered garage. I did tell Arron, the engine builder to add the price of an RPM manifold to my check, just because I did not want to hold up finishing the build and I was not sure when I would get a call from Delta Bay Mustang. So I guess the extra manifold I have will go on Ebay or Craigslist.
With the purchase of the steering column, this leaves me two parts short of what I need in order to start putting things back together. I still need to hit Summit Racing up for a B&M Holeshot 2400 and Classic Tube for a complete set of front brake lines, including the line that runs to the rear axle. I still have no target date for completion, maybe December?
On a related note, I contacted an East Coast seller who has a 1970 Boss Cougar Eliminator in Grabber Blue. This is the Cougar of my dreams. I have contacted the seller who provided me further information and will get some pictures in the coming days. Not sure if this will actually happen, but I may as well follow up on it, who knows what could happen.