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Cougar Support Group - Bigger & Better



  • burnsmr4burnsmr4 Posts: 318
    The dealership told me that the plug size was 15mm. Oddly enough, that's the ONLY size that I couldn't find in tool sets at Pep Boys. From the $6 set to the $169 set -- no 15mm. I'll try the 16mm from the set that I did buy. Thanks.

    Where can I get the Chilton's manual you mentioned? None of the local parts stores carry the one for the 1999 Cougar/Mystique/Contour. Thanks...again!
  • stageleftstageleft Posts: 391
    Good question, Burnsmr. Fastback2 donated this book to the CSG when we met at LP. He purchased it somewhere online, I believe. It covers 97-99 Mystique/Contours and the 99 Cougar (so even though most of the components were similar, there might be some minor differences between the 99's and the 00's).

    Check Amazon, or Barnes and Noble online and see if you can find it, or FASTBACK2: Where did you get the Chilton's manuals?


    Take care everyone, and have a great weekend!
  • malibumalibu Posts: 155
    Well my 15 min. of fame came and went. They did the filming in the showroom and used a red Escape (smaller version of the Explorer) because of the rain they didn't let anyone use there own cars. They asked questions regarding how you chose that dealership, that particular car, the inventory and the treatment by the sales staff. I did mention that I researched my car for over a year online and kept abreast of what was happening with that particular model through the CSG (just for you Badulah!) It won't be aired for a few months, but it was fun, I got a free oil change, lube, detail and tire rotation out of it so what the heck. Happy Friday!!!
  • Stageleft & Burnsmr,

    I got the manual from for around $20. It's pretty useful, as it goes into detail about such items as the engine management system(controls the fuel injection and ignition). A nice reference to have when a repair shop comes back with a questionable estimate.


    Sorry about the weather raining in on your day of fame. Good ol' mother nature always seems to have a way of making life interesting when it comes to planned outdoor activities (especially in the Northeast)

    Have a good weekend!
  • Well . . . I've had my Citrus Gold 2000 Cougar for 7 months now and I am STILL thrilled to drive her every day ... a truly amazing vehicle around corners and ever so comfortable. Incredible amount of attention by fellow drivers and everyone loves the color because it is so different. I see Cats several times a week here in Knoxville, mostly silver and red driven by women. People roll down their windows to look, lower their sunglasses, Thumbs Up out their windows, Praise Her in the Drive Thru. And the best part is . . . NO PROBLEMS AT ALL . . . and ... no scratches, no dings. Very careful to park away from everyone else. My Car Is A God.

  • camelardcamelard Posts: 171

    Welcome Back!


    Congrats on the 15 mins of fame. Do you get to review the tape before it goes to air?


    If you could see my office, desk, floor, cabinets, you would know that I can sympathize with you having to part with what was. Thank God the computer revolution has reduced our dependence on paper. NOT!


    When I started up Nimue this morning the Air Bag light started flashing at me. don't know what it means but it stopped when I turned off the engine and re-started. Has this happened to anyone else?
  • burnsmr4burnsmr4 Posts: 318
    Well, dang it all to heck!

    (Is that appropriate enough for Town Hall guidelines?)

    The plug is 15mm. I tried the 16mm and the 14mm, and it's in between. 2 weeks I've spent trying to change my oil. This is ridiculous.

    Can anyone suggest how to get an oil filter wrench to the oil filter? I'm confronted by suspension piece and HOT (if the car has been moved) exhaust something or other.

    Bottom line -- am I out of my league here? Be honest. Be ruthless. Be brutal. My girlfriend seems to think I need some sense knocked back into me :-)

  • fredlyfredly Posts: 201
    With colder weather, moisture on the airbag sensor, will temporarily disable it,
    and the flashing is telling you that its disabled(so don't hit anything, hehe) I wouldn't worry unless the light stays on.
  • fredlyfredly Posts: 201
    Burns, depends what kind of oil wrench you bought, I usually use the kind sorta looks like a strap of metal with a hinged handle that cinches and gets tight, the handle is hinged so I can
    point it straight down from the filter, it takes a little leverage, but it really shouldn't be so tight, they should be on hand tight.

    Suggestions, wait for the car to cool somewhat before changing the oil
    uf you think the exhaust is hot, wait till you get oil streaming down your forearm.

    BTW I change all my own oil... its not a difficult process. Of course I do use a Lift...
  • jimbo_gjimbo_g Posts: 53
    FINALLY after alost 2 weeks in the shop, my car is back in my driveway everything seems to be working! They even fixed my wheel bearings!! I'm Happy again :-) Lets hope it stays working for a while... LOL ok let me go drive now, i've got to make up for 2 weeks of driving a Dodge Spirit! (badulah, at least your purple KIA was new, i was stuck in an 89 Spirit)

  • stageleftstageleft Posts: 391
    Hey everyone!


    I know exactly what you're talking about with the filter being near the manifold. It's HOT!!! As Fredly mentioned, I'd wait until the car has cooled enough for you to not burn flesh if you accidentally touch the manifold, and play around with angles. Worse comes to worse, jam a screwdriver into the side of the old filter and give it a good twist that way. Since it's being replaced, and the new one should be hand tight, I don't believe there's any harm in this method. Good luck!

    Well everyone, I definately tested the limitations of grip in my Cat this weekend. Going too fast on an exit ramp, and I experienced oversteer for the first time ever in this car. I'm as shocked as everyone else, I know. But this was particularly interesting because I felt the rear steering kick in and that's when it overcompensated for the speed. It was almost like the rear wanted to fish out, but instead the whole car just "found" a new line. The tires never squealed or lost traction. The good news is that as soon as I realized what was happening I just put my foot into the gas a little harder and *gently* corrected my line to avoid a curb and probably flipping over. It was a neat excersize, and I think I'd like to try it again -- on a track! (at least to see what would have, or could have happened if it went totally nuts on me.)

    I would have to say to anyone in this situation not to panic and don't hit the brakes or try to countersteer too much or too hard. It was very gentle and even though it could have been very dangerous to me and others, the car gave me great feedback, all the way up to the point when the rear gained it's own intertia, and allowed me to keep control. I truly love this car (in case you couldn't tell by now).

    Take care all, I hope you had a great weekend. Happy Cougaring!
  • gustafscgustafsc Posts: 361

    Yeah, the computer revolution only allows you to create hardcopy for file faster than a typewriter, and to deliver it to others by wire so that they can make hardcopy.


    Aint life fun on the edge!!! ;-)

    Saw in the auto section of the Chicago Tribune, a picture of what is purported to be a 2002 Mercury "Coupe". (photo credit was Popular Mechanics) Said to be a 4-door version (ala Saturn half doors). Didn't know if it would be called a Cougar or something else, but it sure looked like a Cougar. And I don't think that the picture was the one that has been running around the net for the last 2 years but was artificially created.

    Any comments MWS???

    Skip G.
  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961
    As a few others have pointed out, let the car cool before trying to change the oil. The first time I changed my oil I went out and bought one of those filter remover wrenches, but I only used it once. I find that hand tightening the filter is sufficient. I use the Fram "Sure Grip" filters for maximum grip. These filters have a grainy surface that allow you to really grip it in tight places. Since the filter on your Cat is not a "Sure Grip", you should try using one of those kitchen jar opener pads. You know, one of those little rubber pads you use to open a jar. I have one I keep in the garage for jobs like the one your facing.

    Thanks for mentioning the CSG!!!! Also, sorry you couldn't use your Cat in the commercial.
  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961
    No one will do a state inspection on my Cat because of the tinted windows! Ford still owes me some cash to have them redone (because of the Ken Smith ordeal). So I will have to have it removed and then get the car inspected. I didn't think this would be a huge problem, but apparently the new inspection laws are very strict. In the past private stations would pass just about anything, but the new laws required private stations to purchase around $60,000 worth of equipment, and their licensing fees are very high. If the state finds them in violation, they will loose their license and will be fined a TON of cash. So the front tint comes off tomorrow at noon. O-Well, I guess I should be happy that I got away with it for this long.
  • gustafscgustafsc Posts: 361
    While I sympathize with you about the hassle you're going through, I, personally, don't think a strong windshield tint is a good idea in the first place. Sunglasses will do fine in the daytime, but I need to see all that I can see at night. Too many surprises out there.

    Skip G.
  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961
    The tint isn't on the windshield, its on the passenger and driver side windows. It's coming off today at noon, and new tires are going on, and then I head to state inspection in the morning.
  • gustafscgustafsc Posts: 361
    I was having a rough time this week without my daily CSG fix. Ruined my disposition, people were running away in fear of my temper, several dings in the walls from manually launched objects, children hiding thier faces in thier mothers mini skirts (now there's a mental picture for you) ;-)

    But, all is well now, my weekend will be peaceful.

    Skip G
  • pattepatte Posts: 35
    Oh hi. I, too, have missed the CSG for the past few (insane) weeks. There is a calming aura to be found here that doesn't seem to exist in the "real" world.

    This is NOT a cougar question but I hope one of you auto-aficienados will be able to answer. My 17 year old pulled a real typical teen "I didn't know where I was" blunder, ran a stop sign and got T-boned in the old '92 family Lumina sedan (replaced by the kitty which he will not be TOUCHING for another 15 years and if that sounds hard - I mean it that way). Of course we cancelled collision on Lumina since insurance for teenagers is aptly priced because never mind. Anyway, three body shops said it was a drive away total and they couldn't touch it for under $2000. I called a salvage yard with a back door and found a guy who restores old cars who replaced it and pulled out the frame about a half inch. He thought it would be fine to drive. The tires had 100,000 on them so were replaced when I got it aligned. But the brakes are going and will cost $400 shortly. My question is - for a town car (high school to university classes to part time job IN town only) is a car that may or may not be "square" safe? Both the tire company and the restorer thought it was fine. Will the tires wear unevenly if it isn't square or is there any other damage I might need to worry about. (He did even manage to get the door in so it opens and closes.)
    My goal is to make the car last at least through high school graduation (spring) and with luck another 3 years of university. So how long do I have before I invest $400 on brakes to see if the car is really okay? (We paid $5100 for the car 5 years ago as a state fleet vehicle with 80,000 miles on it and haven't had ANY trouble or maintenance on it until now. So I don't mind putting some money into it.)

    And no, my son and his passenger were not hurt, nor was the guy who hit them. (My four year stint as a health educator in traffic safety made me ask that questions and both kids and adult were buckled up and the adult's toddler was in a child safety seat. Thank goodness the seat belt nazicism worked. Now if I can only get him to be aware of his surroundings.)

    Sorry this isn't a cougar question - but you guys are the only experts I know.

    And yes, I still adore my cougar. One year old this month and still only 3,000 miles on her but complete with FOUR, count-them, FOUR dings on the driver's side. Arrggghh. I received my recall notice and will ask them to check my A/C as well since I haven't been in to ask them about the chirps.

    Thanks for any words of wisdom you can offer!
  • juanbjuanb Posts: 6
    Hi all!
    Well... Its been like 3 months... but I'm back. Lately I don't have much time to follow the board as I used to do. There are two main reasons to come back. The first one is to check for new information and stuff like that. The second one is to confirm some REALLY REALLY BAD NEWS I just got :(
    I could try to explain, but its better if you check this link:

    Any comments?
  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961
    I don't believe FMC ever said they would produce a 3.0L or a 3.8L Cat. I could be wrong though. Did anyone ever hear/read any announcements from FMC stating anything different? The only high performance Cat I ever heard about was the upcoming Cougar-S, which will be released to the public in 2001 (FINALLY!!!). Unfortunately the current Cougar has been rumored to go out of production in 2003, but FMC will not confirm or deny these rumors. Some rumors also state the new Cougar will be built on the Focus platform, but that would contradict the BON rumor about the Cougar going back to a rear wheel drive configuration.

    To many rumors!!!!
  • How much were your tires, and where did you get them from? I have a slow leak in my right front tire, and am going to use that as an excuse to get rid of my awful Firestones. Do they fit on the original 16" rims? Thanks for the info.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    I would make sure there was no frame damage. If there is a bent frame, the cars structural integrity might be jeopardized. Alos the tires will probably wear uneven. Just my thoughts!!
  • Cougar sighting on TV.

    On NBC's show "Ed" the love interest Carol drives what looks to be a Spruce Green kitty. The shots I saw of the car were at night so it was hard to tell the color, but it's definitely a Cougar.
  • Well, I am very excited for starting my new job tomorrow. I hope it means new beginnings and the end of my string of bad luck. Well, today, Bella lost her clutch I think. I have never had a clutch go on me before. Bella with her 3300 miles could not go over 30. Anyhow, I was 5 miles from home (at the train station for Badulah) and I puttered along the road doing 30 barely making it over the two little hills I had to encounter. There was just no power. so, I called Ford's roadside assistance and they sent a flat bed to take Ms. Bella away. Seeing my baby ride off my street made me cry. Anyhow, any ideas what I am facing here? Any recollection of previous clutch/transmission problems posted?
    Any feedback would be appreciated. I'll keep you posted.
  • Benisem:

    Sorry to hear about the car troubles, I really hope it's nothing really major. Geez, just when you think everything is going your way, eh?

    Hang in there, let us know what the service technician has to say about it.


    Just to let you know, we've made a small update to the site (, and we're now back on track for regular updates, as we said in the past - every week or so is what we'd like to adhere to. There are still some missing images and there's a lot more to add, content-wise, so keep checking back for more information!

    (really sorry we got off kilter there for a while with the site, everybody. Thank you for all your patience in these busy times.) :^)
  • malibumalibu Posts: 155
    Sorry to hear about your Bella's troubles, I had the same thing happen with my 4-runner after owning it only 1 month and it wasn't the clutch, but the clutch master cylinder, it cost about $110.00. I'm no mechanic but I would guess that any manual trans. would have one. Maybe someone else can help.

    Well good news...they are framing my house and will roll trusses on Thursday! we are looking at a completion date of late Feb. early March! It's a long way off but at least we are making progress. My poor kitty is tired of driving over a dirt and rocky road every day. I can't wait to have a paved driveway and garage again. Happy Monday everyone!
  • Well, two of the three catalytic converters in my car went. I am not sure if you all remember but, I had a catalytic converter replaced within a week of picking up the car. Anyhow, I should have the car back tomorrow. The bad news : I could not be given a loaner bec I was only 24. I am sorry, but regardless of how old I am, if I am paying for this car every month, and it is broken after only four months I should not have to be 25 to get a loaner car. Just venting! Anyhow, that is what was wrong with my car and why I had next to no power.

  • daexpertdaexpert Posts: 140
    Benisem, I'm also 24 years old and the dealer has always given me a rental when they keep my car longer than two days. I don't know if different States have different rules dealing with rentals but they should be able to give you one, at least I would think so.
  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961
    I got them at Precision Tire on Route 17 in Ridgewood, NJ. I paid $125 each (including mounting, balancing, chrome stems/caps, and tax). And yes, they fit just fine on the stock 16" wheels.

    Glad to hear there was nothing wrong with your clutch. Hopefully this catalytic converter will go the distance.

    I'm glad to hear things are coming along with your new house. Before you know it you will be all settled in!!
  • pattepatte Posts: 35
    Thanks! Will get a third opinion on the frame and keep an eye on the tires.
This discussion has been closed.