1992 Mercury Cougar LS 5.0 HO V8 from North America
I wish I'd had one long ago
Most of the problems this car had when I bought it were human-caused. I bought it, as I do a lot of cars, to improve or repair, then resell at a profit. Unfortunately, I went to look at this at night, and it wasn't until the light of day that I found I hadn't bought wisely, but would still bring the car up to my "Would I let my daughter drive this coast to coast" criteria, then sell it, this time for a loss.
Front seal gone. Determined later the car had hit something quite substantial like a curb, which gave me the "Why?" to the unsolicited seller comment that the harmonic balancer had been replaced. They messed up the seal, but fortunately the crank isn't bent.
Solenoid operates sporadically. Needs replaced.
Idle speed has been slowly rising, and is now into the ridiculous range. I hope it's a vacuum leak, as the set screw is turned in so much the linkage isn't hitting it.
Shifter handle not really mounted. Just sitting there. And needs pushed down before shifter will move.
Undercar rust is pretty surprising for the typical superior American steel. A large section of floor pan is gone on rear passenger area, and a few chassis mounting points have also torn through the weakened metal.
A persistent front right noise is currently evading all attempts to find and fix it. Replaced the strut at the upper control arm, which it obviously needed. Noise occurs under braking, but an observer could see no front/back movement of the wheel under braking. Will have to use a webcam on a laptop to observe it realtime.
AC compressor seized.
Window actuator motors turn, but nobody's home. Should be an easy fix. Hope Murphy/Sod doesn't read this.
Many others I'm not currently remembering.
I bought the car as a car in need of TLC before selling profitably, so I expected and knew about problems it had. The number and severity of its problems later surprised me, but I've grown fond of the car, and will simply fix it to make it a good car, despite the beating I'll take financially. To be such a good car at 230k miles, it's deserving of enough attention to do another 100k or so.
Depending on the amount of money thrown at the rest of the car, I may opt to freshen this motor. It's quite strong (though with the automatic and the high miles, it's no match for the same engine in my 91 Mustang GT), and I may be able to put some money and time into low-hanging fruit for power once I'm happy with the solidness of the rotating items.
I'm amazed that the car is still so serviceable, and that I've since noticed a LOT of these are still around.
A long-life American car? Didn't think they existed. Until now.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 18th August, 2010