Well, my blogging assistant has been very busy so it's up to me to make an update.
As many of you know our shop has a guardian. She is a stray calico that we took in shortly after moving to our new shop location (a little over 5 years ago) and my kids named her "Rusty." While she has many others, I'll refrain from the more colorful ones, and let you know that in her honor my new project - a1967 Mercury Cougar- has appropriately adopted her current pseudonym, "Bad Cat."
Well, Bad Cat has some "rusty" issues as many of these late 60's pony cars have. Over the last month and a half I've replaced the floor pans and seat risers; repaired the the driver's side frame rail; replaced the driver's side torque box; installed a passenger side torque box( Ford did not originally have a passenger side torque box on the 67 Cougar or it's sister car the Mustang); and added frame rail ties. These ties are an add-on which connect the front frame rails to the rear frame rails which increases rigidity and strength.
Another problem with the design of these cars was the cowls. The cowls were basically how you got fresh air to the heater and the vents. They were prone to holding dirt and leaf litter (check the pics below ~ nothing like 40 year old nastiness). Dirt and leaf litter hold moisture and moisture causes rust. Once the cowls rusted through, the rain water ran down the dash and onto the floor pans. There it would soak into the carpet until it finally rotted through the floor pans. There are plenty of replacement parts available for Mustangs, but very few for Cougars, so it's been a challenge for me. The new cowl sections were not available but fortunately the platform is the as the Mustang so I was able to get most of the parts I needed, although they required some modification because the Cougar is 3 inches longer than the Mustang. For the cowls, however, I decided to move into the 21st century: I cut out the rust and welded over the openings. The new fresh air inlet will come from under the hood where I can filter the air coming in. I'll replace the old heater plenum with one of my own designs using ceramic heaters for the core. It's on the agenda after the rust repair is complete.
Meanwhile, enjoy some pics.....