Harry Unruh's 1969 Mercury Cougar Eliminator

First purchased August 1, 1969 ... 
Re-purchased 40 years later, August 15, 2009 ... 
Restoration completed July 15, 2011.

II.  Mechanical Rebuild

1. Front End Mechanical Components

All front mechanicals were either rebuilt or replaced, as follows.



  • Lower Control Arms with Ball Joints
  • Upper Ball Joints (Upper control arms were good)
  • Coil Spring perches
  • Inner Tie Rod Ends
  • Outer Tie Rod Ends
  • Power Steering Hoses
  • Shock Absorbers


  • Brake Pads (frt)
  • Brake Calipers (frt)
  • Brake Lines
  • Power Booster
  • Master Cylinder  

Old steering gear unit


  • Front Wheel Spindles (new bearings)
  • PS Gear Box - readjusted and repacked
  • PS Ram Cylinder
  • PB Proportioning Valve


Rebuilt steering gear unit

Rebuilt spindles

We were able to keep the coil springs; the car seemed to ride at the correct front height before we started, so they were cleaned and refinished and reinstalled. 












 Rebuilt Steering Components


   Rebuilt RH Front Suspension  


2. Rear End Mechanicals

The mechanical components on the rear end were also either rebuilt or replaced as follows.  


  • Leaf Springs including shackles, bushings, insulators, U-bolts and eye bolts
  • Brake Cylinders
  • Rear Shoes
  • Brake Lines
  • Shock Absorbers

  • Rear Differential
  • Rear Wheel bearings
  • Drive Shaft "U" Joints




 Rebuilt Rear Suspension


Rebuilt Differential


3. Engine Components

Since the engine ran strong before the restoration, I decided all it would need at this time would be a general inspection and repair or replacement of obvious items that appeared suspect. I did all the engine work myself, other than the unit rebuilds. The following was then done.

Autolite 4300 Carburetor is not the original but a 600CFM unit replaced by the previous owner. It was sent to The Carburetor Doctor in Stony Plain, AB  for a complete rebuild. This included it also being re-anodized.

Water Pump was rebuilt by a professional rebuilder. Rather than purchase a new reproduction, I wanted to keep as much original as possible.  

Rebuilt & Re-anodized Carburetor 



Rebuilt Water Pump





Oil Pump was replaced with a new Melling Hi Volume unit, including shaft and screen. I replaced it because when I removed the oil pan, I found all kinds of small pieces of "crap" in the oil pickup screen. This was determined to be plastic pieces of timing gear teeth as well as pieces of valve guide seals.  The timing gear and chain had been earlier replaced by the previous owner so it was left as is since the teeth bits were obviously from the old gear.

Valve Train
I had already planned to replace the valve guide seals since I had the engine out and on a stand. I was not planning on rebuilding the heads at this time.

On removing the valve covers, I discovered one valve appeared to be out of adjustment in that the rocker arm was resting on the spring retainer and not on the top of the valve stem (see #2 Intake below).



Bad valve
#2 Intake

Good valve
#3 Intake






After removing the rocker arm, I found the spring retainer was completely worn out to the point where the valve soon could have dropped down into the cylinder.


On replacing all the valve guide seals, I found that no other valve had this problem so felt I wouldn't need to remove the heads to do any more work than what was initially planned. The entire "top end" of the engine also looked exceptionally clean so was comfortable with this decision.




        Bad & Good Retainers 

Rear Main Bearing Seal had been leaking so was also replaced with a new neoprene 2-piece unit. This was done with the crank shaft left in place, only loosened and the rear main cap removed. 

Freeze (frost) Plugs were replaced; found one plug/hole was so badly corroded that the new plug would not fit tightly so I installed a block heater in that hole. We'll see when we finally get the engine running if there really is no leak there.

Flex Plate was replaced since the old one had at one time been replaced (could tell by the part number on the plate not being a Fomoco number), and I wasn't sure it was correct.


4. FMX Transmission

The transmission had been removed with the engine, and on closer inspection, was determined to not be a 1969 unit. Also, it's condition was not known, so a good used 1969 FMX was purchased. To ensure it would be working properly, I took it to a transmission shop to have inspected and if needed, rebuilt. The shop opened the unit and found that it had very likely been rebuilt fairly recently and appeared to be in excellent condition.

They installed a new rear seal (precautionary), filter and modulator valve, and new pan gaskets.

I also replaced the old Torque Convertor for the same reason I replaced the flex plate; I wasn't sure it was good and correct for the car.




 5. Heater Box

The complete heater unit was removed from under the dash to be either rebuilt or replaced. We decided it was in good enough condition to be repaired. So we replaced the blower motor, heater core, all foam seals and gaskets, cleaned and sanded it down and reinstalled it complete with new "concours" hoses.


Before                                                                                                    After


Page III. Trim & Chrome Restoration