Cat Bites Man! A Novice and His SCJ Eliminator

From dusty barn find to daily driver, it seems our cars are never really done. This is the place to share your progress on your project car. We will celebrate your victories and commiserate over your tragedies. But most of all this is a great place to learn!
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Mike_B_SVT
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Re: Cat Bites Man! A Novice and His SCJ Eliminator

Post by Mike_B_SVT » 09 Feb 2013, 00:00

Thanks Sal!
Mike B.
CCOA # 9553

1970 Cougar Eliminator (Competition Gold / Black Decor Interior)
1 of 70 with 428SCJ, Ram Air, 4-speed.
Cat Bites Man!

Looking for an Eliminator? Then be sure to check out the "Eliminators on the Market" thread in the Classic Cougars For Sale section of the forum!

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Mike_B_SVT
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Cat Bites Man! Jan 17th

Post by Mike_B_SVT » 09 Feb 2013, 00:17

Jan 17th – Drove the cougar to work this morning. This car made me appreciate cup holders, since it has none. First thing I managed to do was slop coffee all over my self. Yeah, mug between the legs is fine until you need to push that tall @ss clutch pedal, then the cup shifts and you can’t grab it because you have one hand on the wheel and one on the stick. Good times!

Now add in that it died on me twice while decelerating and turning right (not left, only right - maybe a sticky float or something? Or maybe it was still a bit cold). It was a juggling exercise: braking, pushing clutch, grabbing mug, turning wheel, downshifting… crap, lost all power…must complete the turn without taking out the guy in the turn lane! …ok, now pop the clutch…crap, wtf gear am I in / is it even in gear? Damn! That coffee is HOT! Yeah buddy, I know I’m blocking traffic, but I missed all the other cars, thanks for showing me I’m #1… Give it a crank while muttering “please, God, let it start”… Yes! Off we go again! Damn coffee cup, I knew I should have left it at home...

Stopped at Napa on the way to work and picked up some 2000grit sandpaper and polishing compound.

I started the car and let it run several times during the day, showing it off to various coworkers. Opened the radiator while it was cool and watched for flow while the car was warming up. It started to flow after warming up a bit, so confirmation that it does have a thermostat. Not sure of temperature though. Noted that the exhaust had quite a bit of water vapor in it initially, but it dried out after a while. The driver’s side took much longer than the passenger side though.

Confirmed that oil is leaking (slowly) from where the oil cooler connection is rubbing against the front frame. *Later check of oil level showed it still reads full, so very slow oil loss.

One coworker told me that fixing the power steering leak will be easy though; if it is only a drip then it is on the return side (low pressure) and is held on with a hose clamp. I should be able to remove and re-clamp it. He gave me a tip that when pulling the hose off, have a small section of crimped hose ready to slip on so all the fluid doesn’t drain out (some will though).

Another coworker brought his fancy Nikon camera in after lunch and snapped some pictures for me at the end of the day. He says the color is saturated ~ some of the pics look a bit more orange than they should, but it was also getting on toward sunset.

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Holy cow, who is that corn-ball with the cool car? Oh wait, thats me!
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Used head light assembly arrived from eBay! Haven’t opened it to check it out yet though.
Last edited by Mike_B_SVT on 15 Mar 2016, 18:55, edited 4 times in total.
Mike B.
CCOA # 9553

1970 Cougar Eliminator (Competition Gold / Black Decor Interior)
1 of 70 with 428SCJ, Ram Air, 4-speed.
Cat Bites Man!

Looking for an Eliminator? Then be sure to check out the "Eliminators on the Market" thread in the Classic Cougars For Sale section of the forum!

Prorallye
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Re: Cat Bites Man! A Novice and His SCJ Eliminator

Post by Prorallye » 09 Feb 2013, 08:01

Mike,

Cool pics! It looks like your car sits just a tad lower than stock? Is it maybe those are 60 series tires on those wheels? Nevertheless, it has what they call a nice "stance" to it! I like it.

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SalD
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Re: Cat Bites Man! A Novice and His SCJ Eliminator

Post by SalD » 09 Feb 2013, 09:55

Mike, cool cat! The suspension might be a bit lower because it is 42 years old.
Now add in that it died on me twice while decelerating and turning right (not left, only right - maybe a sticky float or something? Or maybe it was still a bit cold).
At least if it is stolen out of the parking lot, you can tell the cops, " I know he turned left because if he turned right out of the parking lot, the car would still be on the corner". LOL

The 66 Monterey that I purchased would kill when I took my foot off the gas coasting to a red light or stop. With power drum brakes it was a white knuckle stop until I had a buddy rebuild the carburetor. SalD
SalD COUGAR GEEK
1970 convertible

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Mike_B_SVT
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Cat Bites Man! Jan 18th & 19th

Post by Mike_B_SVT » 11 Feb 2013, 18:14

Jan 18th – opened used headlight assembly… main mounting frame was damaged in shipping. It is bent and cracked. Luckily the eyelid door appears unharmed, as well as the headlights. Both bumpers are also on there, so I’ll use those to replace my 2 missing bumpers on the Cougar. Removed the headlights and noticed the high beam has “Ford” ink stamp on the center (factory?). Ohmed out the high beam and got continuity – a good sign! It has something inside it that rattles around when you give it a little shake though – a bad sign :-/

Wet sanded the rest of the stains out of the hood with 2000grit. Driver’s side took some work, it was deep. I also experimented with 2k paper on a large area. It smoothed it out, but my paper was pretty shot, so it didn’t brighten up the paint much. Still a lot of orange peel in it ~ makes it look “dirty” and dull.

*Since then I've finished sanding the hood and tops of the fenders. Also pulled the scoop so I could do the whole hood. Although they still show some orange peel, they are better than they were!

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Jan 19th – Picked up a cheap meat thermometer and some buffing pads today from Harbor Freight. Backed the Cougar out and opened the radiator (yes, it was still cold) and stuck in the thermometer to see what temp the thermostat is opening at… 160degrees, which is probably why it is running cold. It should be a 195degree thermostat.

Hooked up the timing light and disconnected and plugged the vacuum lines to the distributor. I removed the air cleaner so I could adjust idle as needed, and plugged the ram air vac connection. I also loosened up the distributor clamp bolt. I found the timing was set at about 12 degrees BTDC at 600rpm (spec is 6 degrees at 600rmp idle). I noted that there are red marks on the damper that are 2degrees off from factory marks, possibly put there by the last builder. I adjusted the timing, which changed the idle, so I had to also adjust the idle to keep it at 600rpm. I set the timing to 6 degrees BTDC, which is 2 degrees further than the red mark (red mark is at 4 degrees BTDC), but it should be close enough – certainly closer than 12degrees (but not necessarily “better”).

Damn, I also found that my fuel leak is still there, slowly dripping :-/ Time to pull the carb and send the secondary bowl off to get fixed, and order a rebuild kit!

*I should also mention that a few days prior, when I first started having my carb leak, a coworker brought in an old Holley carb that he had sitting on his shelf. He offered it to me to scavenge parts off of, and to pull it apart so I could learn a thing or two before I tried to rebuild my CJ carb. Thanks Dave!

Driver’s side exhaust is steaming quite a bit. It continues steaming long after the passenger side stops, due to warming up. Driver’s side also condensing a good sized puddle under the exhaust while warming up. Puddle has a bit of gasoline sheen to it. Noted that anti-freeze is a bit cloudy once the thermostat opens up and looks like it has small bits of “gunk” floating on the surface (looks like cigarette ashes and some sort of residue). Anti-freeze was nice and clear when I first checked it off the truck (*seems to clear after sitting, so maybe gunk getting stirred up). I could see down to the fins and noticed they had some buildup on them. Should flush it.

Maybe signs of a bad head gasket. Car does not seem to be using coolant though, or not much, and the oil definitely has no water in it (*been keeping an eye on that).

I noticed when I was showing the Cougar to coworkers that the vacuum connection at the brake booster was loose. I pulled off the connection and verified that the check valve (a black connector) was working properly, and then reconnected the check valve and vac line. Seems like a good connection now.
Last edited by Mike_B_SVT on 15 Mar 2016, 19:01, edited 1 time in total.
Mike B.
CCOA # 9553

1970 Cougar Eliminator (Competition Gold / Black Decor Interior)
1 of 70 with 428SCJ, Ram Air, 4-speed.
Cat Bites Man!

Looking for an Eliminator? Then be sure to check out the "Eliminators on the Market" thread in the Classic Cougars For Sale section of the forum!

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Mike_B_SVT
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Location: Hillsboro, OR

Cat Bites Man! Jan 21st & 23rd

Post by Mike_B_SVT » 11 Feb 2013, 18:44

Jan 21st – found a repro turn signal wand on eBay for $9 with free shipping. I ordered it, since most of them are $15 or more. Mine is missing the knob at the end that appears to press on. Maybe I can use the knob from the repro on my original wand.
*turns out the repro wand knob screws on, but I may be able to mod it and epoxy it on the original wand.

I saw some black anodized nuts with captive washers at Lowes the other day and I’m wondering if they might be “correct” replacements. Need to confirm size / shape. WCCC has them but none in stock right now. My scoop nuts are the same type used to mount the tail lights, so not correct. I’m also missing one, otherwise I probably wouldn’t even worry about it.
*Scoop Nuts Discussed here: http://www.mercurycougar.net/forums/sho ... scoop-NUTS
*Stopped by Lowe’s; they don’t have the right black phosphate nuts – wrong size. I’ve also checked Napa, O’Reilly and Baxter. I could buy a set with the bolts for $20, but I just need nuts. AMK has them, and I also spotted them on another fasterner website. For now I'll wait for WCCC to get them in.


Jan 23rd – Got some time out in the garage tonight and worked on my power steering leak. Found the return line hose clamp wasn’t very tight. Also found a lock nut on the high pressure side at the pump was not tight either. Loosened hose clamp and repositioned it and tightened it down. Wasn’t able to get the hose very loose, so I couldn’t push it on further. It’s on there about 1~2” though, so should be ok. Cleaned underneath fairly well with 409. Will monitor for further leaks.
(*Haven’t seen any more drips since then).

Cleaned the inside of the back window, as well as the back seat area a bit. Package tray has moisture stains at the corners by the back window and is faded. Wonder if I can remove it and re-color it. Also tightened a few loose screws here and there (door sill plates, seat latch bumpers).

Removed the power brake pedal pad. The bezel and disc are pretty bent up. I cleaned them up a bit and will get the trim straightened out next time.

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Last edited by Mike_B_SVT on 15 Mar 2016, 19:04, edited 1 time in total.
Mike B.
CCOA # 9553

1970 Cougar Eliminator (Competition Gold / Black Decor Interior)
1 of 70 with 428SCJ, Ram Air, 4-speed.
Cat Bites Man!

Looking for an Eliminator? Then be sure to check out the "Eliminators on the Market" thread in the Classic Cougars For Sale section of the forum!

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Mike_B_SVT
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Joined: 27 Oct 2011, 00:36
Location: Hillsboro, OR

Cat Bites Man! Jan 24th & 26th

Post by Mike_B_SVT » 11 Feb 2013, 18:59

Jan 24th – Straightened out the brake pedal trim and reinstalled the pad on the pedal, then installed the trim around the pad/pedal – seemed easier that way. Looks decent, or at least better than it was.

Installed the used high beam headlight bulb (mine on the car is burned out). Tried it out…"Sweet! It lit up!" ...and it worked for about 10 seconds before the filament totally fizzled. I knew it was dodgy due to the crud rattling around in the bulb. "Ah well..."

Did some more color / wet sanding on the hood. With a bit more effort it should sand out nice and bright. I also rubbed out and polished a sanded spot. Didn’t spend much time on it, but it sure shows potential.

Jan 26th – Removed the hood scoop to make it easier to polish up the hood, and so there won’t be “dirty edges” where the scoop sits.
*Pics were after I wiped all the built up dirt and crud off the hood. The black marks around the scoop post holes are from someone spraying flat black on the underside of the ram-air cut out area - you can see the black on the bottom of the scoop too.

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Last edited by Mike_B_SVT on 15 Mar 2016, 19:05, edited 1 time in total.
Mike B.
CCOA # 9553

1970 Cougar Eliminator (Competition Gold / Black Decor Interior)
1 of 70 with 428SCJ, Ram Air, 4-speed.
Cat Bites Man!

Looking for an Eliminator? Then be sure to check out the "Eliminators on the Market" thread in the Classic Cougars For Sale section of the forum!

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cougar2
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Re: Cat Bites Man! A Novice and His SCJ Eliminator

Post by cougar2 » 11 Feb 2013, 20:12

Really sweet car and in time, you will have it in the condition you will be pleased with, just stick with it.
In regards to the timing, personally I would have left the timing where it was. At least 10 degrees BTDC, is a good place and you will find it will run better and it will be quicker.

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Mike_B_SVT
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Re: Cat Bites Man! A Novice and His SCJ Eliminator

Post by Mike_B_SVT » 12 Feb 2013, 00:57

cougar2 wrote:Really sweet car and in time, you will have it in the condition you will be pleased with, just stick with it.
In regards to the timing, personally I would have left the timing where it was. At least 10 degrees BTDC, is a good place and you will find it will run better and it will be quicker.
Thanks! I thought about leaving the timing, but it was acting like a pig when I'd give it any gas, so I figured "lets put it all back to spec and go from there". I can always fiddle with it more later, right? :-)

Was out in the garage again tonite for just a bit. Fiddled with my door hinges some ~ bushings are shot, but hopefully the holes aren't oblong yet. Also put the rubbing compound to the hood to start buffing out the wet sanding. Mmm... shiney! Made a shiney spot, now I'll have to do the whole car! LOL!
Mike B.
CCOA # 9553

1970 Cougar Eliminator (Competition Gold / Black Decor Interior)
1 of 70 with 428SCJ, Ram Air, 4-speed.
Cat Bites Man!

Looking for an Eliminator? Then be sure to check out the "Eliminators on the Market" thread in the Classic Cougars For Sale section of the forum!

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cougar2
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Re: Cat Bites Man! A Novice and His SCJ Eliminator

Post by cougar2 » 12 Feb 2013, 06:17

Mike_B_SVT wrote:
cougar2 wrote:Really sweet car and in time, you will have it in the condition you will be pleased with, just stick with it.
In regards to the timing, personally I would have left the timing where it was. At least 10 degrees BTDC, is a good place and you will find it will run better and it will be quicker.
Thanks! I thought about leaving the timing, but it was acting like a pig when I'd give it any gas, so I figured "lets put it all back to spec and go from there". I can always fiddle with it more later, right? :-)

Was out in the garage again tonite for just a bit. Fiddled with my door hinges some ~ bushings are shot, but hopefully the holes aren't oblong yet. Also put the rubbing compound to the hood to start buffing out the wet sanding. Mmm... shiney! Made a shiney spot, now I'll have to do the whole car! LOL!
One thing to remember, It runs hotter and uses more fuel when the timing is lower. Being a pig when giving it the gas, is not the timing, this is a carb thing. You really should have it properly rebuilt and have the ignition gone over as well (points, condenser, spark plugs, wires, cap and rotor).

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