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Cougar Support Group - Modifications



  • richgoochrichgooch Posts: 1
    Hi Everyone!

    This is the first time I've posted, but I've been lurking for awhile. Just bought a 2001 white v6 about 2 weeks ago, and I can't say enough good things about the car. The first thing that has to go though is the stock exhaust. I'm trying to figure out what the best route is, but I'm getting different information from the exhaust shops I've visited as opposed to what I've read in msg boards such as this.

    I did my intitial research online, and at first was convinced that the borla cat back was the way to go. However, after reading more about it, I came to the realization that I could probably have an equivilant system built custom for less money.

    Well the local shops I talked to all agreed that unless I was going for looks (which is nice, but not the main goal) it was pretty much a waste to go dual exhuast. All agreed that I would be better served by removing the resonator and the factory muffler, and installing a high performance flowmaster muffler. They all seemed to be of the opinion that the performance difference between that setup and a dual cat back would be negligable.

    SO, I would really appreciate some advice on this, because I've seen nothing but the contrary online. Again the goal here is better sound, and better performance. Im on a budget so if it looks good - great, but I'm not fanatical about have two exhaust tips. If thats all the borla offers then I think I'll pass.

    Also, I've seen dynomax mentioned over and over online as the way to go muffler-wise, but EVERYONE I talked to locally seemed to think the flowmaster is way better. Again, any advice is appreciated. If you've run both high performance muffler and a cat back dual, I'd love to hear from you...

  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961
    I just had the Borla installed about two weeks ago. I investigated exhaust systems for at least 6 months prior to having anything installed. The advantages to the Borla are as follows:

    - Stainless Steel Construction
    - Borla Quality and product research
    - 1,000,000 mile warranty
    - Increased pipe diameter
    - Increased performance
    - Better sounding exhaust note
    - Top notch looks

    Drawbacks to the Borla:
    - Price

    After doing a lot of research I decided to go with the Borla because of all the engineering they have invested in to this system. I could have gone to an exhaust shop and had them build something, but the fact of the matter is that unless you plan to have your car dyno tested after installing a custom made system, you really do not know if it is improving performance. It may sound a lot better, but that does not mean it runs better. To little back pressure and the overall performance will go down.

    There are other systems on the market, such as the Pacesetter and the kit made by Yodude, but neither one impressed me enough to spend the money and have it installed. Yes, Borla does charge more because you paying for their name, but your also paying for their level of quality.

    There are two rules when shopping for performance parts:
    1. Research research research
    2. You get what you pay for

    Just my $0.02
  • j9xerj9xer Posts: 1
    I have a 1992 cougar ls and I want to know what I can do to mod it. I realize that I can proabably do little to improve performance, but theres got to be something I can do. Thanks.
  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961
    I'm sorry to say this, but I don't think we can help you with your question. The CSG caters to owners of 1999 and newer Cougars.


    -Rob AKA "Badulah"
  • moon81780moon81780 Posts: 1
    ok, here goes, first does anyone know if 18's will fit on the cougar... also pacesetter makes a dual cat-back exhauast - is it any good?... has anyone had any experience with the weapon-r dragon intake for the cougar?... does anyone make a suspension kit for the cougar-besides lowering springs.. i've looked and havn't found anything yet, i don't want just coilovers i want dampners, springs, etc.. and last JET makes a chip for the cougar but they say 2000+ does anyone know if it will work on the '99.. thanks
  • gustafscgustafsc Posts: 361
    Check the New Edge Cougar site @, or the CSG site

    Lots of reviews and links to manufacturer's pages.

    Skip G.
  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961
    The pacesetter is not a bad system, but remember: You get what you pay for. If you have the cash, I would recommend the Borla over the Pacesetter.
  • blackcoug1blackcoug1 Posts: 15
    Hey everyone, it's been quite a while since I posted, but have been very busy. I'm wondering a couple of things about modifying my 2000 V6. How can I get more pull on the bottom end? When I take off it bogs until about 3500 and then it comes to life. I'm thinking about maybe the KKM system. How much HP and Torque does that add? Any suggestions on how I can get more bottom end torque?
  • stageleftstageleft Posts: 391
    Actually, mine does the same thing and I have the KKM intake. What I tend to do is rev the car up to about 3000 before taking off, and the "bogged-downed" feeling is subverted, slightly. I think it's because 3500 RPM is the magic number that tells the computer to open the secondary intakes. This tends to cause a slight pause in acceleration, but I've found that if you lift off the gas pedal slightly during that brief moment, then reapply when the car pulls again, it does better in the brackets.

    The KKM adds about 5 pounds foot of torque, but the increase in horsepower is negligable. But it makes the engine sound really good. :-)

    Good luck, and Happy Cougaring!
  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961
    You can install a superchip. This will open up the secondaries at a lower RPM. Currently they opens up at 3300RPMs, but with the chip they will open around 2800RPMs. An under-drive pulley will also help the bottom end, but the engineers at FMC are dead set against pulleys. According to them, they throw off the harmonic balance of the engine and will cause MAJOR problems down the line.

    Currently I have the following mods:
    - KKM Intake
    - Borla Exhaust
    - Superchip (currently uninstalled due to high gas prices - you need to run 90+ octane)

    With these three mods, performance is noticeably increased at all points in the power band.
  • fredlyfredly Posts: 201
    Well its not exactly the engineers at FMC. Its the Engineers that make the Aftermarket Pulleys, apparently the stock pulley has dampeners built into it.. so that the pulleys stay balanced and don't vibrate, but most of the pulleys do not have these... so it causes excess stress on the shaft its attached to.
  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961
    Actually, I spoke with a plant engineer last year at Cougar Fest about this issue. He was the one who mentioned the harmonic balance being off on after-market pulleys.
  • ellusionzellusionz Posts: 5
    Out of the list of cars I have currently, I'm leaning towards getting a cougar and I was wondering about the I4 compared to the V6 engine. Insurance and price wise I4 would help save me some money, but the V6 is faster... And I'm definately getting a stick. If I got a I4 can I mod it up enough to make it fast enough to compete with a V6? or should I get a V6 and since it is fast anyways mod up other stuff and save engine mods for later, like when warrenty is up ;) I don't know much about cars, but am trying to learn, so please if you answer don't get too technical. I just want a nice looking car (which I totally think the cougar is) that I can race once in a while with some friends.

    Also, can I get all those options from the V6 sport & comfort group with a I4 if I pay enough or would it save me money sticking with the V6 on that? And the moonroof it comes with, is it good or should I get an aftermarket one installed that I could get a lifetime warrenty on?

    And ofcourse, if you could list any really good sites for different mods for a cougar, body and engine and interior wise... I was looking at the Razzi kit for the 2001, and I hope they make it the same for 2002 or atleast have it so it fits :)
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    Welcome to our Thread.....

    I think the V6 is only a $600 or so option over the I4. So you're not talking about a big amount of money. But, I have heard that the I4 is comparable in speed to the V6 ATX. The V6MTX is faster than both. Before committing to either, I would go to several dealers and check pricing. With all the incentives on the Cougar, you may be surprised on the price you will end up getting on a new Cougar. Good luck!!
  • ellusionzellusionz Posts: 5
    also.. I was just wondering what would be better, to get the factory moonroof or get an aftermarket one installed? W/ aftermarket i could prolly find one with lifetime warrenty. I'm afraid of it having problems like the 99 sunroof did.
  • stageleftstageleft Posts: 391

    I'm not too fond of having to cut a car after it's been manufactured, but if you're that concerned with the factory roof, then by all means, go with an aftermarket one. There are many companies that do offer good, quality installation and offer lifetime warranty. I do not have a sunroof myself, because I'm too tall, but an aftermarket roof might have been okay for me, head-room-wise.

    Also, you could probably get an I4 to compete or even beat a V6, but you'd spend over $3000 trying to get there. They do make a turbo-charger for the I4 that puts it up to just over the stock V6 number, but you'd be voiding your warranty right off the bat, and probably spending more than you would for a V6 - as Fish mentioned, it's only a $600 or so option from the factory, and you get the option of the sport and convenience groups.

    Let us know if you have any other questions, we're all willing to lend our experience! Have you gone out for a test drive in either the I4 or the V6 yet? If so, let us know what you thought, if not - go! - and let us know what you think.


    Happy Cougaring!
  • ellusionzellusionz Posts: 5
    I dunno if I should really start doing any test drives so soon since I won't be getting it til next year. Driving a 2001 model vs the 2002 model may only have a lil changes, but may be enough to keep me wanting or hating the car. :) I don't really want to have any umm comments? (I cant think of the word) on a model I'm not getting. Don't they change lil things between years or do they keep it all totally the same?
  • stageleftstageleft Posts: 391
    You're right, something will probably change - even a minor change - between now and the 2002's. Good luck and stick around if the Cougar is still on your list of cars you want to purchase. As we find out new information on the 2002's, we'll report the new info here, first. Several of us are going to the annual Cougar event in Flat Rock Michigan at the end of this month and will let you know what we find out about the changes between model years.

    Take care and Happy Cougaring!
  • advocatusadvocatus Posts: 45
    When I got my cat, I decided against the wing because I am a mountain biker and because I just wanted to keep the costs low. Now I realize that I will just add a hitch/bike rack system.

    After checking out the sites you guys mention in much earlier postings a few people makes wings for the cougar. Am I limited to those wings only? I understand that the width of the trunk/hatch will limit what I can do. I just don't like any of the ones they have listed, of course I haven't found a wing that I like yet at all. Any suggestions?
  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961
    Visteon manufacturers a wing that is actually installed on the C2 and Zn Cougars. Have you seen this wing? It is larger then the current or previous stock wing, but it is actually designed for the car. It follows the contours and lines of the car.
  • gustafscgustafsc Posts: 361
    If that wing had been stock when I got mine in '98', I'd have kept it instead of deleting the ugly little thing that was tacked on as an afterthought during the design process.

    I can visualize the design/marketing meeting 6mo before production start.

    Designer: "Well, here's the completed design, and all the focus groups and evaluators think that it's a true thing of beauty".

    Marketing type:"I don't know, something seems to be missing. We need that little design clue that means sporty car."

    D:"And what might that be?"

    M: "Lets see. Don't sports and racing cars have those flat thingys hanging on the back end? Makes 'em look really fast."

    D:"Yeah, but those are actually functional at speed, but don't really do anything for normal cars"

    M:"But they look cool, how fast can you whip one up for us?"

    D: "To do it right, make the tooling, order material, etc.., about 18mo,"

    M: "We need something right now!!!!"

    D: "OK, we can give you a simple little tack-on that won't look like part of the design, is cheap, and will act as an incentive for after-market replacement with something that actually looks good."

    M: "Go for it!!!! We really need that little styling clue, and we'll charge $250 for it as part of the SPORT PACKAGE. WOW, what a concept, glad I thought of it before we started production."

    D: Back to drawing board thinking,"I'm not allowed to hit him, I'm not alowed to hit him, I'm not...)

    Skip G
  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961
    At Cougarfest I asked Leo Capaldi and his head mechanic about the functionality of the visteon wing. They both agree that it is functional at high speeds, but only minimally. Since I have seen Leo he has replaced that wing with a professional racing wing. I'm looking forward to checking it out at Cougarfest next week.
  • gustafscgustafsc Posts: 361
    Seems to me we had this discussion a while back.

    The only wing that really does anything is located on a Porsche, and rises as speed increases. This wing provides rear downforce at speed to mach the downforce provided by the nose. Otherwise the car would get loose at Autobahn speeds. All others just create drag.

    Although, I believe that they had to make a change on one of the other German cars to eliminate lift at speed after a bunch of them went off the road backwards.

    Even M/B had a big problem on thier LeMans cars a couple of years back. Saw some spectacular pictures of them flipping like speedboats on the long straight.

    Skip G.
  • advocatusadvocatus Posts: 45
    I know that wings don't do anything till above 100 MPG and since I don't do 100 MPG for more then a couple seconds, it won't do me any good... but I've never, nor has my entire family owned a car that a wing would look good on, and I'd like to eventually get one. I don't know, I guess, since every single cougar I see on the road has the full package, (sports and convenience, sunroof etc) and I only have the convenience I feel left out. I just wish the ones that the websites have for the cougar would look better... I don't like the looks for any of them. I think a race inspired wing would get me involved with drag races that I have no interest in, or hopes of winning.
  • krnchkrnch Posts: 127
    You have one fuel efficient car!!
    (just kidding)
  • fredlyfredly Posts: 201
    Ahh... I like the look with out the wing, hence my wingless coug... (Spoiler Delete) best option I got go for the car...
  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961
    I have a question about a brake modification I am thinking about making in the spring. Currently I have 4-wheel discs from the factory. The Cougar comes with larger rotors on the front wheels. I am thinking about upgrading the front brakes with larger vented (possibly cross drilled / slotted) after-market rotors and calipers. I am wondering if it is possible to take the stock front rotor and caliper and relocate it to the back of the car rather than upgrade the rear brakes. In theory, this should be an upgrade to the rear brakes due to the fact that they are larger.

    Anyone have any ideas or theories on this?
  • harbachjharbachj Posts: 51
    I think the problem would be just that - the front discs are larger than the rears. The rear caliper supports are designed for the rear disc diameter, and therefore you would have to change that as well. I wouldn't be worth it. Easier to change the discs if you want to improve the rear brake performance. Note that the rear discs on the Cougar are ventilated - very unusual on a car of its price class. I think the 4 wheel disc brake system is one of the best features of the Cougar, especially if you get the optional ABS which is 4-channel (also unusual in this price class).
  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961
    I agree, the braking system is GREAT in stock form, but recently I have caught the Auto Crossing bug. The two modifications I want to make for Auto-Xing are tires & brakes.

    Thanks for the feedback Harbachj!!!
  • fredlyfredly Posts: 201

    Recommendation for Brakes, upgrade those pads.... Try Mintex they make a set for the coug.. lower dust, and better braking.. I have them on the fronts now, with my next pad change I'll do fronts and rears... looks like the rears last 2 times longer than the fronts.

    Recommendation for tires.. My Street Tires are Kumho Ecsta 712's, my AutoX tires are Kumho Victoracers V700(first month on them).

    I suggest staying on street rubber for a couple seasons.. learn the car... then get ready to learn a whole new car with R-Compound tires.

    I'll be down near Philly for a SCCA Autocross at the Boeing Plant on the 19th..
This discussion has been closed.