Exterior Enhancements

I spent a good deal of time this weekend working on the car, although it feels like very little was accomplished. A lot of what I did ended up being much more time consuming that I had planned. I started off by attempting to fix the rear quarter windows. The trim has a rubberized coating that breaks down from age and sunlight, and become rough and pitted. I thought I would be able to use a little glaze putty to fill in the imperfections, and make it look half way decent.

September 26-27, 2009

1989 Mercury Cougar XR7

It turns out, I should of just left them alone. It was a good idea, executed poorly on my behalf. My first error was trying to save time by not removing the windows from the car. This made things much more difficult, and left the edges where I had masked looking pretty bad. I started out with 100 grit sand paper to knock the worst of it off, and ended up using two coats of filler, sanding between, 2 coats of primer, wet sand, 2 coats of primer, wet sand, and 2 coats of paint. They look fairly decent until I removed the masking tape and discovered just how bad the edges turned out.

I think it would have turned out better if I had taken the proper amount of time to prep and finish them off of the car, and if I had any sort of body work skills. While I was waiting for the filler to dry, I buffed the rear tail panel. I started by wet sanding it, and a good deal of white oxidation came off.

I finished with a 3 step polish application, and it turned out pretty nice! This one was the one that I originally pulled off of the parts car that had been sitting outside for quite a while.

On Sunday, I picked up a new front bumper cover from my friend's shop in Council Bluffs. I had originally found this cover at a parts warehouse in Omaha, and was able to purchase it pretty cheaply. It is an aftermarket cover, so it does not have the "MERCURY" imprinted in the front like the original. My friend's painter shot it for me, and it turned out pretty nice.

Installation turned out to be a real pain, and took way longer than it should have. I had the original cover pulled off in just a few minutes, and began to remove the corning lights to transfer to the new cover. One of the bolts was seized, so I ended up wasting a bunch of time cutting that loose. Once removed, I repainted the exterior marker trim, and polished the light housings. Installing them onto the new cover turned out to be a real pain, as I had to do a lot of trimming, and they still didn't fit quite right.

It took several attempts to actually get the cover on the car. It kept getting hung up on the impact bar. I tried 2 different ones from varying model years, and both were not working, so I just pulled it off and installed it without. The fit was rather poor, as it felt like I had to almost "stretch" it over the bottom of the radiator support. It certainly is not as nice of a piece as the original. If I ever get the whole car fixed/painted correctly, I will have the factory piece refinished for sure. It was dark by the time I finished, so I wasn't able to take any photos.

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