Cougar Support Group - Modifications

bonnie_rickbonnie_rick Member Posts: 115
edited July 2014 in Mercury
is where members can post their feelings on, and
suggest modifications of our cars

Enjoy those mods!

Bonnie Rick
Town Hall Community Manager,


  • stageleftstageleft Member Posts: 391
    Well, there has been talk of all kinds of modifications we have available for the Cougar out there, this is the place for CSGer's to discuss them.

    1) Exhaust
    2) Intake
    3) Chip
    4) Brakes
    5) Superchargers
    6) Katskin Leather (recently mentioned)
    7) White-faced gauges
    8) Headers
    9) Body Kits
    10) Tires & Wheels

    That's all I can think of that the aftermarket offers right now, but certainly that's not the end of the list. If anyone has any particular feelings towards these modifications, by all means - kick it up!
  • dgeminidgemini Member Posts: 161
    So far there are three mods to the Cougar that are the most popular. They are....

    1. Intake:

    *KKM true rev induction intake kit.

    2. Exhaust:

    *Borla dual exhaust

    *Resonator removal and aftermarket muffler

    *Custom dual exhaust.

    3. Engine:


    I have the KKM True Rev Induction intake, resonator removal, and aftermarket muffler.

    I am happy with the results. I installed the aftermarket muffler first. I was happy with the way the engine revved. It seemed to rev freer and more easily.

    Then I added the KKM. The engine really seemed to pull a little better, but their was a loud sucking sound that came from the engine that overpowered the sound of the engine itself. It was a little annoying to me.

    Lastly I removed the resonator and Purrrrfect! All the engine noise that was under the hood moved to the exhaust. My engine now has a race car sound that I love. AND it sounds almost exactly like the Borla dual exhaust!

    Once I completed all three mods I noticed that my engine revs more freely and appears to hit the rev limiter effortlessy. All three of these mods combined for a grand total of around 250.00 bucks!

    Gotta love it.

    I am thinking about a custom dual exhaust because I don't want to have to pay the 500-600 bucks for the Borla.

    Good luck!
  • fredlyfredly Member Posts: 201
    Just for change I put my Stock intake back on,
    in place of the KKM, I also have the Borla dual, Aside from the sound difference, there is a noticable performance difference, especially top-end, I normally down shift 5-4 for passing I tried it today, and boy I felt slugglish.
    KKM will go back on after my dealer visit.
  • bobschmbobschm Member Posts: 42
    Since I don't have the funds for a Borla, I'm considering getting the resonator removed.

    How do I go about finding someone to do this? Am I better off going to an exhaust specialist, a chain (Meinike, Midas, etc.), or a local gas station mechanic?
  • badulahbadulah Member Posts: 961
    Any muffler shop should be able to do this for you. The removal is a simple chore and should not be a problem for anyone with exhaust installation experience.
  • krnchkrnch Member Posts: 127
    I'm thinking about getting the drop-in K&N filter. Would I need to reset the computer (by disconnecting the positive battery terminal) so that it can adjust to any changes in air intake? I know that the KKM true rev kit is more efficient at getting air into the engine, but I'm not sure I want the increased sound level.
  • badulahbadulah Member Posts: 961
    I don't believe you will have to reset the computer. The drop in filter is used in the stock air box, so the intake conditions will not be changed. The drop in filter will not improve your performance, but will save you money in the long run on filters. If your looking for performance, the KKM intake system is your answer.
  • krnchkrnch Member Posts: 127
    On the drop-in K&N filter packaging, all kinds of performance gain claims are made. They call it a "filter charger" and claim that gas mileage and hp will increase due to less restricted air flow throught the filter media compared to conventional air filters. Is this a bunch of BS?
  • badulahbadulah Member Posts: 961
    What gain could a drop in filter possibly provide? If this were the case, don't you think the manufacturers of these cars would use them stock? It's a bunch of crapola. If I were you I would check out the "Bolt on mods, more horses or more bull topic". We have discussed these filters and their claims a few months back. If you read over the posts, i'm sure you will be convinced.
    Sorry to burst your bubble.
  • krnchkrnch Member Posts: 127
    No bubble burst here. As I haven't bought one yet, I could care less. The claims on the packaging make some sense to me, however. In my line of work we have used several different types of water filters. The filter media material can significantly change flow rates and effectiveness in filtering out particulate matter. As far as "don't you think the manufacturers of these cars would use them stock?" Good point, but perhaps they have chosen not to due to the extra cost. I'm also told that even the drop-in filters increase noise level somewhat. Perhaps this is another example of a hp compromise that manufacturers are willing to make to add to creature comfort levels. I imagine we're only talking 2-3 hp, if any, anyways. When you're producing thousands of cars, I doubt manufacturer's would invest the extra cost for the sake of a couple of horses. Please don't be affended by my opinions, Badulah. I'm not necessarliy disagreeing with you, but I think it's an interesting topic for debate. I'll check out the topic you suggested.
  • badulahbadulah Member Posts: 961
    Yes these filters would cost the manufacturers a few extra bucks, but in the long run they would improve gas mileage and save millions (if you actually believe K&Ns claims). Since the stock air box is still being used, there is little to no sound increase. The thought of dropping in a replacement filter in the stock air box and gaining 2-3 horses is kind of outrageous. The complete KKM system only adds about 3-5 hp at different points in the power band. This is a completely different system with a free air filter, and yet it only produces a very little increase. There is only so much you can do with an intake (short of changing the manafold and the throttle body). In order to really optimize the intake, the exhaust must be modified as well. You can shove in all the air you want, but if it can't get out fast enough, it does you no good.

    If you really want to test the drop in filter theory, simply remove your current paper filter and then close up the air box and run the car up and down the block (although I really don't recommend this. You really risk sucking in dirt). This will be as good as it gets while still using the stock air box. At this point anything you add will decrease the intake slightly.
  • krnchkrnch Member Posts: 127
    Has anyone else in this group actually tried the K&N drop in filter? Any comments?
  • bobschmbobschm Member Posts: 42
    Just searched Amazon for a shop manual for the Cougar. It says

    People who bought this book also bought:

    Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution; Robert C. Atkins(Preface)
    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Book 1); J. K. Rowling

    What does that say about Mystique/Contour/Cougar owners?
  • jimbo_gjimbo_g Member Posts: 53
    That's strange......
  • bobschmbobschm Member Posts: 42
    We're fat and immature. Doh!
  • jadejade Member Posts: 10
    I guess this is the best location for this question: I know absolutely nothing about window tinting. Can someone tell me what I need to know so I don't get ripped off? I called my local shop that a coworker recommended, but the next nearest one is another 30 miles away from this one (which is 15-20).
    They said they had one legal tint shade, and the price on the Cougar would be $100, and it would be done in about 1.5-2 hours. They said they have other tints available (I'm assuming darker, therefore, illegal). I'm going to stick with the legal side as the small town I live in has cops with nothing better to do than to pull you over for stupid violations. (I'm in western MA)

    The tint also has a lifetime warranty. Is this a good deal?
  • fredlyfredly Member Posts: 201
    I paid 119 for mine so yes, seems like a good deal, I also got a "brow" top of the windshield done.

    What brand are they using
  • stageleftstageleft Member Posts: 391
    I paid $219 for a metal-based tint with lifetime warrantee. The back window was done with one piece of window film, so there's no line across the middle. The benefit of a metal-based film is that it will never, ever fade (I know we've all seen purple windows on some older vehicles). I know I paid more than others, but IMO, it's worth it. Check out to see what I'm talking about. I bought the highest grade available. My local shop is LA Tint in Alexandria, VA.
  • jadejade Member Posts: 10
    So I should make sure it's metal-based tint? What other types are there?
  • stageleftstageleft Member Posts: 391
    I only know about two types: Plastic film, and Metal-based film. The plastic based film has I'm sure hundreds of varieties, in different durabilities, and different applications, as does the metal-based film, but the biggest difference (and this is how it was explained to me) was that the metal-based film will never fade. The plastic films have a tendancy to discolor over time (like I mentioned about purple windows), what that length of time is, I'm not sure, it could be years. Check with your local installer, and ask the question -- it can't hurt.

    Good luck!
  • fastback2fastback2 Member Posts: 55
    I went over to the KKM site and took a look at a pic which showed the installed filter. While it looks cool, it looks like it draws in air directly from the engine bay instead of from outside. Does this affect engine performance on hot summer days? I know one of the major claims to fame of cold air induction is that these systems increase HP by drawing cooler outside air(actually, most OEM air intakes do this as well). However, I have yet to see a cold air induction kit for the cougar.
  • stageleftstageleft Member Posts: 391

    Actually, a place called Squire's made a cool air induction kit that drew air from under the engine bay. Unfortunately, their designs had problems in the rain (for obvious reasons). You're right though, the current KKM draws the air from the engine bay, so we have to deal with a little lag on really hot days (95+ degrees, from personal experience).

    You can get a battery relocation kit to free up some space around the filter, but IMO, moving your battery to the trunk is a bad idea unless you're planning on racing.
  • stageleftstageleft Member Posts: 391
    Oh yeah, Squires is out of business now, so there's no point in trying to get ahold of them. I guess they went back to the drawing board.
  • badulahbadulah Member Posts: 961
    I guess the best way to describe the KKM would be to call it a "Free Air System" The stock air box is very restrictive even though it has a "cold air tube".

    The "Cold air intake" Squires sold required the battery to be relocated, but on a dry day I bet it would have worked GREAT! But on rainy days the "Cold air intake" would turn in to a "Hydro Intake" and kill the engine. Good concept, bad design.
  • dgeminidgemini Member Posts: 161
    I only paid about 20.00 bucks at Meineke for my resonator removal.

    If you already have the KKM you will really notice a difference.

    I have almost convinced myself not to make any more mods to my Cougar. I don't wan't to be too obsessed by something that can be destroyed by any careless idiot driving next to me on a rainy day.
  • blaneblane Member Posts: 2,017

    In posts 16 through 20 you discuss window tinting, with an emphasis on metal-based film. You should be aware that if you are using a radar detector, the metal-based film will severely degrade your ability to pick up radar and laser the point where Smokey can spot you long before you can spot him. Check out these reports from the Valentine 1 site:
  • fredlyfredly Member Posts: 201
    Understood, If I did get a radar detector I would probably get a Remote unit with the pick ups on the outside of the car.. I think Valentine makes one like that, but they are too expensive for my taste..
    Right now I have a BEL wideband but the dang thing has never worked correctly inside the cougar...(pre-tint and Post tint) strange but true.
  • blaneblane Member Posts: 2,017

    Don't forget, the only radar detectors with exterior antennas are those that are installed behind a vehicle's grille (Valentine can't be). The problem with that location, is that its too low to quickly receive the incoming police radar signal when you are driving upwards towards the crest of a hill. The higher the detector is installed (inside top of windshield) the farther away you can spot the radar gun. Every millisecond counts.
  • stageleftstageleft Member Posts: 391
    VA outlaws detectors, so I never bought one. I guess the metal-base doesn't interfere with something you don't have (or need for that matter). I keep an eye on the traffic around me, and really try to keep the needle under 20 over the posted limit. (20 over is reckless endangerment in VA, BTW)
  • badulahbadulah Member Posts: 961
    We have updated the CSG home page! We have added a new section to our main menu. When you get a chance check it out!

    The CSG Needs Your Input!
    We are currently developing a new section for the page that features small owner praises. We would like to continuely update this section on a weekly basis by adding new ones. We need all of you to send us your praises via email. They need to be short and to the point, only a few lines. Please send us your words of praise ASAP! We would like to start this section sometime next week.

    Rob Joe
    AKA "Badulah" & AKA "StageLeft"
    CSG Caretakers
  • blaneblane Member Posts: 2,017
    Some random thoughts for all of you KKM fans. Since I've got some years on you, I remember when all cars used oil bath air filters. What a messy pain in the butt. It was a pleasure when all of the manufacturers changed to accordian pleated paper filters about 30 years ago. The major advantage, other than not having to wash, re-oil, clean up the mess on your hands and other surfaces, etc., was that the paper filters out much smaller dust particles, therefore protecting moving engine parts much more effectively. Why would I want to go back to the mess, cost, greater time consumption, higher engine wear and shorter engine life for a barely perceptible power gain?
  • jadejade Member Posts: 10
    I already have a radar detector. Since I never seem to notice how fast my kitty is going (it's always faster than I think), I use the detector quite often. Plus I just like to know when the cops are out clocking people, even when I'm NOT speeding. So does this mean I shouldn't tint my windows at all? Does it mean the darker the window the worse the detector will perform?
  • stageleftstageleft Member Posts: 391

    I'm not so sure it's the darkness of the tint that interferes with the radar detectors, as was mentioned, as much as it is what the tint is made out of. The metal-base apparently may interfere with the strength of signal received to the unit, therefore wouldn't provide much help, and would render the use of the detector moot. The plastic tint doesn't interfere at all, and I don't believe it matters what darkness it is.

    Can anyone else firm up my theories here?
  • gustafscgustafsc Member Posts: 361
    You are correct Lefty. Metallic coatings will interfere with the passage of radar signals.. Even a thin coating will have some effect, as radar waves are very high frequency (short wavelength), and are easily attenuated or reflected. As a matter of fact, the metallic tinting would increase your radar cross-sectional area and make you a bigger target.

    Plastic would have no effect, as it's transparent to RF waves.

    Skip G. (Electronic Eng.)
  • badulahbadulah Member Posts: 961
    I have a radar detector and I hardly ever use it. I personally don't have much faith in them since I know what it is like to be on the other end of the radar.
  • bobschmbobschm Member Posts: 42
    I remember a study that showed people who used radar detectors got more tickets more often than when the detectors were taken away.

    False confidence.
  • badulahbadulah Member Posts: 961
    This is very true. I personally have a heavy foot and sometimes drive a little to fast. If I were to use my radar detector (which has been in my glove box since I got it), i'm sure I would speed more often.
  • fredlyfredly Member Posts: 201
    Remember most Radar hits are coming from straight on, and the front windshield
    is not normally tinted.

    I will agree that driving the cougar is deceptive, its really hard to tell how fast your going
    I own a Astro too, and when I'm going 65 I know I'm going 65. In the cougar, I couldn't have a clue, other than the numbers on the dash.
  • jadejade Member Posts: 10
    Actually, I don't drive any faster with my radar detector than without. Since the cougar tends to go faster than I think I'm going, it keeps me more aware of my speed. I have it more for personal reasons I have about using radar detectors in general to catch speeders....In our area, speeders aren't the problem, it's the bad drivers that weave in and out, speed, and cut people off. A radar gun can't catch them. But that's my own personal beef.

    As for more tickets, well, believe what you will. Personally I think it depends on the driver. If someone is going to drive like a lunatic, they will with or without a detector.
  • fredlyfredly Member Posts: 201
    Hey Y'all Remember the Cougar eliminator Concept, well
    I found the company selling its body kit and wing.


    Apparently it won't be available until, mid summer and I couldn't find any pricing.
    I'm gonna do some research :)
  • fish8fish8 Member Posts: 2,282
    IMHO all the ground effects ruin the clean lines of the Cat. Also, it looks a little to(how can I say this) teenagerish. Was that politically correct!!!!?????? To each there own I guess!!!!
  • blaneblane Member Posts: 2,017

    Its interesting to note that whichever company is marketing the Cougar Eliminator Concept kit in post #41 also managed to move the fuel filler door from the passenger's side to the driver's side, judging by the lower lefthand photo.
  • jimbo_gjimbo_g Member Posts: 53
    They probably juist mirrored the pic.
  • fredlyfredly Member Posts: 201
    as Jimbo said probably just mirrored it for effect or whatever.
    The company is called Visteon, a part of FORD, actually just announced they are going to be independant of FORD now.
  • dasaint1dasaint1 Member Posts: 230
    Nice pictures. However, the only item I would like on my Cat would be the hood scoop and only if it's functional.

    The rear spoiler looks too Ri#@boyish. The front spoilers will be eaten up by speed bumps or dips on the road. The side skirt takes away from the lines of the Cougar.

    I wonder how much it'll cost just for the hood scoop.
  • fredlyfredly Member Posts: 201
    Ok total price(painted) was ~2000 they said on the website,
    so lets break it down some,
    spoiler $450-550
    front lip $250-350
    sides $350-450
    Scoop $150-200

    I think those would be unpainted prices, although I am tempted to get a FX package
    the downsides of these packages will keep me away, (added weight, possible extra drag, and Damage due to PP (Pennsylvania Potholes) and Damage from AutoX'ing Not worth it to me.
    I just have to keep reminding myself of these downsides and I'll be OK.
  • badulahbadulah Member Posts: 961
    I personally like the Eliminator kit, but I wouldn't get it because the looks do not match the performance. Maybe that sounds crazy, but that's how I feel. If I installed a supercharger, I would consider adding the effects kit.
  • stageleftstageleft Member Posts: 391
    That makes sense. I thought about getting that kit when it first came out, but I have to agree, I was blinded by the uniqueness early-on. Seeing it now (not in the original two-color gold/green they used at the autoshow) it doesn't look as good to me, but then again I love the stock look of the car very much. I agree about the scoop though, if it's functional I might consider it, although I'm not partial to cutting holes in my cars! :^)

    Take care all.
  • garyinvestgaryinvest Member Posts: 5
    Hi everyone. I'm new to this site. I am considering the purchase of the new 2000 Cougar and noticed that Edmund's indicates there is a $1,000 customer rebate in effect for the Cougar from 4/1 through 7/5/2000. Can anybody tell me if this is a national customer rebate incentive and specifically is it available in my area--Northern Virginia (Washington, DC metro area). Thanks for your help. I have learned quite a lot about the Cougar from the posts on this web site an really appreciate it's existence. It was a big factor that has had a major influence on my decision to go with the Cougar.
  • badulahbadulah Member Posts: 961
    You should repost your last post in the general CSG topic. This thread is for Cougar modifications. If you click on the "Return to Topics" button, it will take you out to the Clubs Conference area and you will be able to view all of the active CSG topics.

    AKA "Badulah"
    CSG Caretaker
This discussion has been closed.