UKCougar FAQ

Here you can find answers to questions about how the board works. Use the links or search box below to find your way around.

I am looking at buying a Cougar, what should I look out for?

As the Cougar is now a few years old, the big expense items that need looking at are the front wishbones. If you are buying from a trader check them out before parting with your cash as the wishbones from Ford come in at around ?150 each just for the parts.

The V6 has a well known design 'feature' which if the oil level is left to go too low can cause two of the cylinders to be starved of oil, resulting in some costly engine damage. This can be heard on start up and can sound like a loud tappety sound.

Also on the V6, you may experience a slow acceleration. Normally the V6 will pull quite hard at around 3500rpm, if this doesn't happen you could have a problem with the IMRC (Inlet Manifold Runner Control). This controls the butterfly valves in the Lower Inlet Manifold. More info on this can be found in the Subscribers Areas of the forum.

What variants does the Cougar come in?

The Cougar comes with either a 2.0 litre 4 cylinder Zetec engine or the 2.5 litre V6 Duratec.

The 2.0 litre was only available with a manual gearbox in the UK. The Duratec came as either manual or automatic.

The V6 also had different interior options which are mentioned later in this FAQ.

I have seen a Cougar2 advertised, what is it and what is the difference between a mkI and a mkII?

The main differences between the two are cosmetic. The mkII has different wheels, headlights, front bumper, interior.

There was only 440 mkII's brought into this country as opposed to 11900 mkI's.

I have seen some people mention an X-pack, what is it?

This is the interior options for the V6.

The X-pack has leather interior, top end (for the time) Ford stereo with 6 disc changer mounted in the boot, and metallic paint at no extra cost.

Why can't I find a white Cougar?

Colour options in the UK were limited, we could only choose from:-

  • Ebony Black
  • Medium Melina Blue
  • Dark Tourmaline Green
  • Silver Frost
  • Amazon Green

The US and Europe had a wider coice of colours including Laser Tint Red and French Blue Pearl.

The Club has seen some interesting colour changes over the years from TVR Yellow to a slightly pinkish cat!

My last car had cruise control on it, can I add this to my Cougar?

As a factory fit, it was only available on automatics. It has been fitted to a manual gearbox by at least one member on here, but you need to understand that you will need to get the parts from a Mondeo to do it and it will only work after you've selected your gear. Other members have reported it as 'a bit jerky' and an option that even if fitted from the outset, doesn't get used much.

CC on a manual car is risky, because most people who'll buy them have no idea how it's works. With an auto the CC can have full control of the speed from zero to maximum speed. On a manual it must work within speed range for that gear ratio.

Too many people would either stall or red line a manual with CC unless the CC is designed with electronic limits reading off the gearbox, which is a LOT of work to get working properly. Don't forget if you encounter a steep gradient with CC it can down change with an auto. On a manual it would just labour and wreck your engine.

I've got two small kids, can I get child seats in the Cougar?

Yes. Many of us have without a problem at all.

If you only need to do one, then (if you have electric driver's seat) put it behind the passenger seat as it is easier to get in & out.

The tyres on the Cougar are a funny size, where can I get them and what pressure should they be at?

The tyres can be hard to get hold of as they are an American size. A lot of members have changed their wheels to after market alloys, going up a rim size to 17 or 18 inch. Some member have even gone up to a 19 inch rim. Changing to an after market set up gives you a wider range of tyre options.

If you would prefer to keep the original wheels, then going for a slightly different size can mean that you have a greater choice. For instance going from the original 215/50/16R to a 205/55/16R or even 225/45/16R.

Below are the tyre pressures for a standard set up:

all pressures in psi

Standard use: ---------------------------- 34 front, 30 rear

Speed / Loaded with passengers:---- 36 front, 40 rear

What type of oil should I use in the Cougar?

Stick to the recommended 5w-30

The Ford Formula E doesn't cost that much more than other brands and is made to match the engine (or vice-versa).

Why can't I use something else that's cheaper, like 10w-40 ?

In essence ... Cold weather and/or good engine - you want thinner oil

Hot weather (ie US southern state type climate) and/or worn engine (eg one that uses oil) - you want thicker oil

Oil thins considerably when it reaches operating temperature (and by implication it thickens considerably when it cools). The engine (oil pump, oil galleries, all the bearings, bores etc etc etc) is intended to be effectively lubricated by oil at a particular viscosity. In this climate, that viscosity is afforded by 5W-30 for our engines. Once up and running and full temperature, the engine is pretty well lubricated by either oil named here. The difference is the viscosity of each oil when stone cold in the morning.

The 10w-40 is a lot thicker than the 5w-30 when you first start the engine. This means that the 10w-40 takes longer to reach a safe viscosity as the engine warms up (little to do with thermal mass or heat transfer - it's because the 10w-40 has more "thinning" to do compared to the 5w-30).

The real problem is when people start the car up cold and start using throttle and/or revs. This is essentially an partly-lubricated engine under load. Naturally it's life will be drastically shorter than an engine gently warmed up before heavy use.

When do I need to get the cambelt changed?

2.0 Litre - 60k if not before.

2.5 Litre - Not necessary as it has a chain rather than a belt.

What is the IMRC?

Opens the secondary ports in your LIM (lower intake manifold) at around 3,500rpm to allow more air flow:

The butterfly valves in the LIM are kept closed at lower rpm's to keep the torque higher. But then its more beneficial power wise to have them open at higher speeds/rpm.

Also if you dont feel a kick at around this rpm and you feel like your high end power is poor then theres a good chance your IMRC is faulty.

Isn't the Cougar basically just a two door Mondeo?

Not really no. Whilst the engine was shared across the 2 marques, much of the other stuff wasn't. Suspension / lighting / trim etc. are all pretty Cougar-specific and the boot on the Cougar is huge.

The door trim has got spots all over it, what's the matter with it?

The trim corrosion is very common. The trim is aluminium with a rubber coating and its is widely believed that it's the aluminium underneath that's corroding. People on this forum have tried many things; polishing, painting etc. with varying degrees of success. Removal & replacement is not too difficult other than actually sourcing the replacements.

Can I up the BHP easily?

To start with, you have to remember that despite its looks, the Cougar was never meant to be a platform for stupid engine tuning mods and that it is better thought of as a cruising / touring car than a 'lets race a Saxo boy' from the traffic lights.

So you can carry out some tuning on the 2.0 litre (basic things such as induction kit, 4-2-1 exhaust manifold, sports cat, cat back exhaust, bluefin and maybe some fast road cams but see the specific sections on the forum), but both will respond well to a change of air filter, and it has been known for a V6 to have had a supercharger fitted for one of our members and apparently in the US there are turbocharged examples too.

A custom made exhaust (see the forum for recommendations) can also free up a little more oomph. The V6 can also benefit from being converted to run on parts designed for the Mondeo ST200 with changes to the inlet manifiolds etc. and it has been known for a 3.0 litre engine to have been dropped in.

Cougar performance facts.

According to the official figures:-

2.0 Manual - top speed 130mph____0-60 in 9.6s____30-50mph in 4th 7.8s____combined economy 34.0mpg

2.5 Manual - top speed 140mph____0-60 in 8.1s____30-50mph in 4th 6.7s____combined economy 29.4mpg

2.5 Auto --- top speed 129mph____0-60 in 9.8s____30-50mph in 4th 8.3s____combined economy 29.1mpg

Cougar dimensions.

Overall length 4699mm

Overall width 1769mm

Overall height 1325mm

Full Cougar Technical Specifications.

For the full list of Tech Specs on the Cougar click here

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