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Thread: Project: Too Dumb To Quit

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  1. #1 Talking Project: Too Dumb To Quit 
    The project: Swap out the stock 2.5l V6 making 150whp to a 3.0l that hopefully puts down considerably more (aiming for 230whp)



    The why: While the stock motor made for a peppy car at the time, the 3.0l was what it should've been offered with. The extra 40hp and torque it makes stock really wakes up the whole driving experience. Running your A/C while still being able to merge at highway speeds helps too, but in this case my factory motor blew a head gasket and killed itself.



    About the car: I'll let Jezza give you the history, but I bought mine new in November of 99 and it was my first new car replacing the '84 Nova I got from my grandmother. The car was as base as you could get at the time what with no ABS, rear drums, no spoiler, manual cloth seats, single-disc CD (a standard feature!), no driving lights, automatic. All for $16,800 out the door (fully optioned out went up to $21k I think).

    I had wanted a few cars at the time. A 94 Impala SS, any old American muscle, or something with a V8. I almost bought a '68 Gran Prix for $4k but it didn't pan out. So I started looking at newer cars since Ford offered an X-plan through my work and my bank had a good rate going. Hated the look of the Mustang at the time, Mazda's were eh, Lincolns were too much (loved the LS tho), and then there was Mercury. Here stood this slippery looking coupe in a sea of generic old people cars. Looking at most cars from that era this car looked like an outright space ship. I think I test drove it one day and bought one in the same week. Didn't even look at the other cars I planned to compare to. I went to the dealer to settle on a metallic red but saw the light sapphire blue that just showed up sitting next to it at night. The paint flipped from deep blue to silver to purple, done. Compromised on less features for the color.

    The years that followed had ups and downs for both the life of the car and my own. What little mods I didn't always came out rushed or caused more headaches. Employment came and went. Relationships came and went. Savings came and went....and stayed gone. There was a period of years where I could never get my head above water. I had to borrow money for groceries or make a car payment. Some years I had a little extra cash to drive out to the national meets we'd have for the platform. But soon as I felt like I caught a break something would just take everything away even after the car was long paid off (medical, mechanical, economy at the time). I sold a lot of my stuff to make ends meet and even put the car up a couple times (to where I had people come look at it). My family and now wife even offered to "buy" it from me so I could buy it back when I was on my feet because they knew how much of a gut shot it was to do that. But somehow I always clawed my way back out.

    This car represented a high point in my life and driving it always lifted me up even when it was rattling or not running right. When people ask or question why dump money into it I say "It's a fun car and I like an underdog." but it really goes further than that. In the bad times it was always that little space ship I could escape in and in the good it was a rocket to go on many adventures. So, here we are almost 17 years later and I have the means (and the monstrous generosity of friends) to finally give her the attention she's long deserved and needed.

    You bow to no one: First off, huge thanks to Jason Spero and Alberto at Motive Auto Works in Woburn. I've been friends with Jason for years and he took it upon himself to make sure this engine was fully done right and by the book so it would literally outlast the car. In all the time I've had the car the motor has never once given me a problem. Everything connected to it, including the transmission? Yes. But for 136k and 17 years of being driven hard and put away wet it ran like a top. What ultimately killed it was head gasket failure that I'm sure happened a few years ago when the temp gauge spiked out of nowhere and never did it again. But the damage was done.

    We're finally at the point where donor parts off the 2.5l are needed to finish the 3.0l so time to pull it apart.

    Motor out and it's been bleeding all over itself for quite some time:


    This will be cleaned and resprayed with some paint matched rattle cans. Motor really fills the whole bay so you don't see far down:


    That. Yea. That's done:


    The rewards of regular oil changes and synthetics:


    The new motor is out of an '05 Mercury Sable with maybe 35k on it. I only paid $300 for it with blackjack winnings from my bachelor party. Day I brought it to the shop they did a compression test and 2 cylinders had zero compression. When we cracked the heads off the inside was almost as bad as my old engines outside. So it was stripped down to the block and the heads were sent out to be reworked and while they had it they did some work on the valves to squeeze some more HP out of it:


    While at Motive Jason and Alberto cleaned up the pistons, fixed the cylinder walls, checked the internals and gave it a bath since the new motor had been sitting under something dripping oil. While they were doing that I was tracking down replacement gaskets and parts for a rebuild while keeping it as OEM as possible (or ARP equivalent). I also ordered upgrades where I could:


    New and old:



    That's just about as clean as my old one:


    While it's in the air it's getting all new rotors and pads, a new rear subframe that's been boxed for durability, new bushings and a proper CAI. Finding parts for a car that was only built for 4 years, 17 years ago, and sold in small quantities has been hard. When the motor came out we discovered mounts, bearings and seals that were just past their time. Tracking down a new jackshaft bearing is hard and Jason may have to pour a new poly mount for it since it's just no longer available. I'd really like to put a Quaife LSD in it while it's out but they're hard to come by and are a lot of money new.

    Mechanically it should practically be new and I hope to do body work in the next year or so. I'll update more as we go. Oh, and they have a tradition of naming the motors they build but I can't think of anything. So if anyone has a suggestion feel free.
    '00 Mercury Cougar V6 5spd | '13 Ford Fusion SE 2.0l Ecoboost | My site: Skolenimation
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  2. #2 Default  
    Looking good!!
    I am not a 14 year old girl, but I play one on the internet.

    Who was the first person to look at a cow and say 'I don't know what these dangly things are, but I am going to yank on them and drink whatever comes out.'
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  3. #3 Default  
    You know for a minute I thought someone remained my build thread.

    Good luck getting this inenrunning again. I understand your determination tonthis project . Should be a ton of fun once it's all back together
    Bath salts and dick pills
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  4. #4 Default  
    Thanks. I can't wait. Undoing all the wrongs I did when working on it in my youth was a huge deal. I've already stripped the interior and updated and rerouted audio equipment and wiring but still need to put the finishing touches on some things there.

    The goal is to have a well balanced car that makes good, reliable, power throughout the power band. Usable HP I'll be able to enjoy w/out having to wind out the motor or hit triple digits.
    '00 Mercury Cougar V6 5spd | '13 Ford Fusion SE 2.0l Ecoboost | My site: Skolenimation
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  5. #5 Default  
    Have to plug this company because it came out far better than I thought.

    ww.automotivetouchup.com

    With the motor out the engine bay needed a respray badly. Ordered 2 cans of paint and one clear coat and only ended up needing one can. Gave everything a good soak with a heavy duty cleaner and scrubbed and hosed it out. Discovered that something had sat under the fuse box that completely ate away the paint down to the primer. I don't know how the engine bay looked worse than the exterior but it did.




    So I masked everything off and gave it a few coats. It's not the cleanest prep job and who knows how long it'll last, but it's far better than it was. Especially with how the motor is coming out. My friend Jay is putting his heart and soul into it with redoing wire loom and repining harnesses so everything looks OEM and cleaner than it would normally.



    The color matches very well. A lot closer than I thought it would for such old paint. My only complaint about the company was they are slow to respond to emails and it takes a while to get to you (about 2wks).
    Last edited by LastMercury; 11-06-2016 at 05:55 PM.
    '00 Mercury Cougar V6 5spd | '13 Ford Fusion SE 2.0l Ecoboost | My site: Skolenimation
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  6. #6 Default  
    looks good
    I am not a 14 year old girl, but I play one on the internet.

    Who was the first person to look at a cow and say 'I don't know what these dangly things are, but I am going to yank on them and drink whatever comes out.'
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  7. #7 Default  
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    Looking good ! Also, love the story, and the fact through all that, you've kept it
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  8. #8 Default  
    Did I see you in front of the Woburn mall this evening?
    Quote Originally Posted by bigben View Post
    You.... have problems.
    Quote Originally Posted by Big Pete View Post
    you have issues.
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  9. #9 Default  
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    This is all very nice, but where is the picture of you in the engine bay? I know you took one.

    -Justin
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  10. #10 Default  
    Quote Originally Posted by Justin.b View Post
    This is all very nice, but where is the picture of you in the engine bay? I know you took one.

    -Justin
    lol. I didn't because I stay behind the camera for a reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by Intheflesh View Post
    Did I see you in front of the Woburn mall this evening?
    Nah, I wasn't out last night. There's another blue Fusion w/black wheels? Cause that's kinda my thing.
    '00 Mercury Cougar V6 5spd | '13 Ford Fusion SE 2.0l Ecoboost | My site: Skolenimation
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  11. #11 Default  
    It's in (minus the UIM).



    Hoping to have it buttoned up Saturday.
    '00 Mercury Cougar V6 5spd | '13 Ford Fusion SE 2.0l Ecoboost | My site: Skolenimation
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  12. #12 Default  
    So this past Thursday we put fluids in it and fired it up. Or, tried to. After some testing the crank position sensor was bad so $25 later and...somethings not right.

    We had primed it a few times so that oil could be sucked up into all the channels and added an extra 1/2 quart but it still wasn't pulling oil up into the lifters. We did manage to run it for a few seconds by holding the throttle open (and it sounded normal). But to not risk damaging it and not lose whatever assembly oil was left of them from the rebuild we called it quits. My friend tested the oil pressure the next day and it points to the oil pump not working. Which sucks because that's in the motor. Luckily it can be replaced w/out pulling the it, but it's a huge pain in the ass.

    On the bright side the computer system check returned all good readings so everything is functioning and talking to the ECU fine. The only code being thrown is for the secondaries not being seen because those are gone and will be fixed w/a tune. Oh and the oil pressure light did come on after the last attempt to start.
    '00 Mercury Cougar V6 5spd | '13 Ford Fusion SE 2.0l Ecoboost | My site: Skolenimation
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