Engine Work & Modifications

1989 Mercury Cougar XR7

This update isn't going to be too exciting, although I did get a decent bit accomplished. My coolant leak ended up being the front timing cover gasket, rather than just the oil cooler So that was my project for the weekend.

The timing cover is fairly buried on this motor, so it took a little while before I could even get it removed. Once removed, it took a while to get the gasket surfaces properly cleaned. While it wasn't an overly difficult job, it was extremely messy and fairly labor intensive. Everything below the heads on the front of this motor is covered in a thick layer of grease from previously leaky valve cover gaskets. I was able to get everything pulled and cleaned, and install the timing cover with new gaskets and a new water pump on Saturday evening. I only broke 1 water pump bolt, and had an extra in my parts bin, so that part went well.

Most of Sunday was spent installing the new billet steel harmonic balancer, installing a replacement AC compressor, and putting the other parts back on that I took off yesterday, followed by a through cleaning of my work bench and surrounding area. I am waiting on a set of UD pulleys and a new IC, and I will be ready to finish reassembly.

April 4-5, 2009

It took most of the day to get next to nothing done. Pretty typical for me. I started off the morning by installing the March UD Pulleys. Right away I had issues with the crank pulley. The new HB is not tapped far enough in the holes, so I had to run to town and get some shorter bolts. The rest of the pulleys went on without any issues. They are extremely close in a few areas, but everything clears.

Next up was to install my new IC. Other than needing to trim the radiator support bracket, it was a direct install. Once the bracket was trimmed and painted, I moved my fan over from the old core, and dropped it right into place. The fan is extremely close to the PS pulley, but it clears without any issues. With all the belts reinstalled, oil and coolant filled, I was ready to start it back up.

The car had a few issues starting a first, but fired up and idled fairly well. However, when I attempted to give it any gas at all, it would stumble and die. After some troubleshooting, I discovered I got the cam sensor slightly out of position. It was fairly close, so I was able to rotate the body of the cam synchronizer a little bit and it fixed the issue. I took the car for a quick drive, and it runs out pretty well. I didn't see or smell any coolant, so hopefully that leak is fixed for good.

April 14, 2009

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