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Old 04-04-2020, 03:39 PM   #1
WildRacer
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Talking Cougar - 3.0L Engine Swap Info

Hi all,

I know this part of the forum isn't really active much now but I thought I'd breath a life of fresh air with anyone that owns a Cougar here.

I have recently completed my first engine swap, which involved swapping a 2003 Ford Escape engine into a 2000 Ford Cougar. The whole process is pretty simple and is detailed over on the US Forum NECO in the 3L Performance section. It is pretty much a bolt in swap, as the external dimensions are identical. This means that all the accessories from the 2.5 will bolt straight onto the 3.0 including the Manual gearbox from the Cougars. Wiring harness comes straight off the 2.5 along with all the sensors too.

The only modifications which stood out to me are:

-Cutting or pulling the pilot bearing off of the crankshaft.
-Cutting two of the Alternator tabs off as they are unused for the Cougar alternator
-If your going with the 3.0 Upper and Lower intake the vacuum lines may need to be slightly modified to fit.
-Again if your going with the 3.0 Upper and lower intakes, the 3.0 Fuel Rail will need to be used too. Although this is a returnless rail and our Cougars use a return style system, so a modification will need to be made to convert the Cougar lines to work with this. I used an adapter made up from Nautilus Performance Group, they don't seem to be listed anymore but you can send them an email and ask for a 3.0 Duratec Return to Returnless Fuel Adapter. Which works like a charm.

These really were the only necessary modifications needed to be made to get the engine to work. But WOW, I've got to say it's a night and day difference compared to the 2.5L and with the Torsen Limited Slip Differential, it handles the corners like it's on rails. I was driving in the rain yesterday and it lit up both tires at just under half throttle and jinked the car to the right . I've also noticed it revs a lot faster and the revs drop instantly when you take your foot off the pedal. I know my old 2.5l had some terrible rev hang.

I've still yet to get a remap for the Cougar ECU but am hoping it can be done at my local Ford tuner to open her up even more.

Any questions regarding this swap please let me know!

If anyone is curious or would like some ideas for mods here is my modification list they are as follows:

-2003 Ford Escape 3.0 V6
-Port and Polish
-2003 Mondeo ST220 Upper Intake Manifold and 2005 Mazda MPV Lower Intake Manifold (As they are made of Aluminium unlike the Escape Manifolds)
-NPG Fuel Rail Return to Returnless Adapter (As above)
-California Clutch Stage 2 Disk and Pressure Plate
-Mondeo ST200 Flywheel (Slightly Lighter than stock)
-MTX-75 Torsen LSD
-2002 Ford Focus MTX-75 Updated Shift Forks
-ToyoSport Exhaust Headers and Y-Pipe
-Custom 2.5" Exhaust with Muffler leading into dual piper with resonators. (She pops and backfires)
-BAT 21mm Rear Sway Bar (Had the rear subframe welded and braced to cope with the extra stress)
-PRT Heavy Duty rear drop links with Poly bushes
-Energy Suspension Polybushes all around (Front sway bar, rear sway bar, roll resistors, rear control arms)
-Eibach Struts and Springs (Came standard with the Eibach version)
-Eibach body kit (Came standard with the Eibach version)
-2001 Cougar Gauges
-2001 Cougar Steering Wheel
-Aluminium Sports Pedals (Off of the US Version)
-Sony Double Din Headunit (w/ Reverse Camera)


Thanks,
WildRacer
__________________
00 Eibach Cougar

Mods:
Escape 3.0 V6
ST220 UIM and LIM
NPG Fuel Adapter
California Clutch Stage 2 Disk and PP
ST200 Flywheel
Torsen LSD
Updated Shift Forks
ToyoSport Exhaust Headers
Custom 2.5" Exhaust dual
BAT 21mm RSB
PRT Heavy Duty rear drop links
Energy Suspension Polybushes all around
Eibach Suspension
Eibach body kit
01 Gauges
01 Steering Wheel
Aluminium Sports Pedals
Sony Double Din HU
ST200 Airbox
ST200 TB
Direnza ST200 Aluminium Radiator
Goodridge Brake Hoses

Last edited by WildRacer; 04-04-2020 at 04:06 PM.
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Old 04-04-2020, 09:43 PM   #2
WildRacer
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Posts: 16
Default Re: Cougar - 3.0L Engine Swap Info

I've forgotten to point out a couple of things which I've missed for this swap.

-The drivers side engine mount which bolts between the heads is recommended to be grinded down a bit, in case you'd like to take the mount out without taking off the heads (Using the 3.0 Heads).

-The Pulse Wheel needs to be flipped over (Not rotated) for some of the 3.0s, I was totally confused with this but I found out my Escape engine already had it the right way around. The best way to sort this is to take a picture of it when you take the timing cover off of the 2.5l

-The timing cover from the 2.5 needs to be used on the 3.0 as the 3.0 cover has a different layout and wouldn't work with our Cougar accessories.

-I used the PCV system from the 2.5 (In the middle of the heads) as it was identical to the 3.0. This is a regular service item (I've been told), so make sure to replace the PCV valve as if this gets blocked up it will cause some issues.

-Timing the cams is just as you'd set it up for a 3.0 Escape.

-Valve covers you can either use the Plastic Escape ones or the original 2.5 covers. I opted for the Escape cover on the rear and the 2.5 on the front.

-Escape Injectors should plug straight into the Cougar wiring harness, no modifications needed.

-It also should be noted that the coil pack will need to be relocated if you decide to use the 3.0 Upper and Lower manifolds as the upper 3.0 manifold literally sits on top of the whole rear valve cover.

-As mentioned before all accessories bolt straight on, as do all the 2.5 sensors. It's basically an identical engine to the 2.5 with a little more capacity, better cams, better heads, valves, oil pan, intakes etc.

-3.0 Escape gasket kit will work.

- You can use the 2.5 oil dipstick with the 3.0 Oil Pan. Make sure to use the 3.0 oil pickup tube though.

-All the coolant pipes match up and the bolt holes for everything are the same as the 2.5l

-Make sure you choose a 3.0 which was used from 2001 - 2005 only, the ones from 2006 above use VVT which would complicate things greatly.

They should really have put this engine in from Factory, there are a lot more parts available for the 3.0 over the 2.5 as they were used in the Escape, Mazda Tribute, Mazda MPV (04-05) and Jaguar X-Type (I think they use the VVT version) in Australia. Feels like a completely different car now.

I hope I covered most of everything. Any questions I'd be happy to answer.
__________________
00 Eibach Cougar

Mods:
Escape 3.0 V6
ST220 UIM and LIM
NPG Fuel Adapter
California Clutch Stage 2 Disk and PP
ST200 Flywheel
Torsen LSD
Updated Shift Forks
ToyoSport Exhaust Headers
Custom 2.5" Exhaust dual
BAT 21mm RSB
PRT Heavy Duty rear drop links
Energy Suspension Polybushes all around
Eibach Suspension
Eibach body kit
01 Gauges
01 Steering Wheel
Aluminium Sports Pedals
Sony Double Din HU
ST200 Airbox
ST200 TB
Direnza ST200 Aluminium Radiator
Goodridge Brake Hoses
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Old 05-04-2020, 06:11 AM   #3
REDDYZ
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Location: Canberra
Posts: 478
Default Re: Cougar - 3.0L Engine Swap Info

Wow. Great work. I wanted to do the swap with Jaguar X-Type engine and drive line as well to make it an AWD. If you look at the X-Type from underneath it's same as Cougar including the subframe except Cougar is front wheel drive and a bit shorter in length.

Though the engine is an easy fit the swap it's not simple but compared to others it is relatively simple.

Interesting to see how the Cougar is handling all the additional power. I think that credit goes to Eibach suspension. I always doubted 3L swap with be way too much power for the Cougar to control.

I agree Cougars should have come with 3L instead of 2.5 but they targeted this car for specific customer type and didn't want to make this car competitive to other performance models. However, Tickford should have done the 3L swap instead of just suspension tune and cosmetic changes.

Cheers.
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Ex Cougar - 00' MTX 2.5L (Limited edition Eibach Cougar); Dark Green Tourmaline; Lowered with Eibach tuned suspension from factory; SVT UIM, LIM & Throttle body; Supercat 2.5" dual exhaust with twin pipe quad outlets; Custom headers; Custom coloured instrument cluster; K&N Apollo CAI kit; Calibre oil catch can.

Now driving a Lexus RX 450h. Your guess is correct that I am a family man now.
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Old 05-04-2020, 02:08 PM   #4
WildRacer
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Thumbs up Re: Cougar - 3.0L Engine Swap Info

Quote:
Originally Posted by REDDYZ View Post
Wow. Great work. I wanted to do the swap with Jaguar X-Type engine and drive line as well to make it an AWD. If you look at the X-Type from underneath it's same as Cougar including the subframe except Cougar is front wheel drive and a bit shorter in length.

Though the engine is an easy fit the swap it's not simple but compared to others it is relatively simple.

Interesting to see how the Cougar is handling all the additional power. I think that credit goes to Eibach suspension. I always doubted 3L swap with be way too much power for the Cougar to control.

I agree Cougars should have come with 3L instead of 2.5 but they targeted this car for specific customer type and didn't want to make this car competitive to other performance models. However, Tickford should have done the 3L swap instead of just suspension tune and cosmetic changes.

Cheers.
Hi Reddyz,

Thank you, I appreciate the kind words

The Jaguar engine I believe is a slightly different setup to the standard Escape and Tribute engines, due to the VVT (Or so I've been told). There is actually a guy on the newcougar forum who is attempting the Jag X Type Engine and AWD swap but I'm not sure he updates very frequently.

You are right about it not being a straight swap, but other than the modification I listed, it is pretty much plug and play. The longest/most difficult part of the project is sourcing the parts as 95% will have to come in from the States or UK unfortunately.

I haven't fully opened her up as yet, as I'm still breaking in the engine (New piston rings, new valve springs, timing gear, gaskets, clean up, etc) so she's still on slightly heavier oil. But you can definitely tell she pulls massively more than the 2.5l, especially when she's above 3000rpm. Half throttle feels like full throttle on the 2.5l for me.

Speaking of Tickfords modifications, I was curious when I bought my Eibach back in 2017 the injectors on her I found to be from a Ford Crown Vic 4.6l V8 installed (Cross-referenced the numbers), they are orange ones not the standard white.

So I was wondering whether Tickford did intend to make more power with these injectors (If your old one had them too), as I find it hard to believe the previous owner put them on as the whole car was basically unmodified (Apart from the Tickford gear)

WildRacer
__________________
00 Eibach Cougar

Mods:
Escape 3.0 V6
ST220 UIM and LIM
NPG Fuel Adapter
California Clutch Stage 2 Disk and PP
ST200 Flywheel
Torsen LSD
Updated Shift Forks
ToyoSport Exhaust Headers
Custom 2.5" Exhaust dual
BAT 21mm RSB
PRT Heavy Duty rear drop links
Energy Suspension Polybushes all around
Eibach Suspension
Eibach body kit
01 Gauges
01 Steering Wheel
Aluminium Sports Pedals
Sony Double Din HU
ST200 Airbox
ST200 TB
Direnza ST200 Aluminium Radiator
Goodridge Brake Hoses
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Old 08-06-2020, 05:41 PM   #5
blue74
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Default Re: Cougar - 3.0L Engine Swap Info

WildRacer, great wright up on an unusual build (for Australia), I have an ST24 and would consider the swap if my engine died.
Is the engine running ok on the standard Cougar ecu with no mapping?
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Old 09-06-2020, 06:59 AM   #6
REDDYZ
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Posts: 478
Default Re: Cougar - 3.0L Engine Swap Info

Quote:
Originally Posted by WildRacer View Post
Hi Reddyz,

.....

Speaking of Tickfords modifications, I was curious when I bought my Eibach back in 2017 the injectors on her I found to be from a Ford Crown Vic 4.6l V8 installed (Cross-referenced the numbers), they are orange ones not the standard white.

So I was wondering whether Tickford did intend to make more power with these injectors (If your old one had them too), as I find it hard to believe the previous owner put them on as the whole car was basically unmodified (Apart from the Tickford gear)

WildRacer
Sorry I thought I replied to this.

Mine came with white injectors and I have seen some SVTs and ST24s with green injectors but haven't heard of orange ones.

Cheers
__________________
Ex Cougar - 00' MTX 2.5L (Limited edition Eibach Cougar); Dark Green Tourmaline; Lowered with Eibach tuned suspension from factory; SVT UIM, LIM & Throttle body; Supercat 2.5" dual exhaust with twin pipe quad outlets; Custom headers; Custom coloured instrument cluster; K&N Apollo CAI kit; Calibre oil catch can.

Now driving a Lexus RX 450h. Your guess is correct that I am a family man now.
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Old 23-06-2020, 06:40 PM   #7
WildRacer
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Posts: 16
Red face Re: Cougar - 3.0L Engine Swap Info

Quote:
Originally Posted by blue74 View Post
WildRacer, great wright up on an unusual build (for Australia), I have an ST24 and would consider the swap if my engine died.
Is the engine running ok on the standard Cougar ecu with no mapping?
Hi Blue74,

Sorry for not getting back to you, I don't get notifications for posts on this thread.

Thank you, yes it was a long process. Although I did all the extra bits on top. (Which probably don't need to be done if you find a low KM 3.0L Escape engine).

I think I may be the first one to complete this swap for the Mondeo/Cougar in Australia?

But yes, actually the engine runs a lot better than I first thought on the standard ECU. I have yet to get mine tuned yet (I plan to in future) But for now the engine is running great! The only downsides at the moment are sometimes it lags on low RPM, like the computer is trying to restrict the engine a bit. But above 3500-4000rpm she really flies. Of course on the standard 2.5 above this RPM is where the secondaries kick in, so it's unrestricted. The 3.0l doesn't have secondaries, so with a tune I'd expect it to perform really well under 3500RPMs too.

When I first got her on the road, I just drove her easily as initially there were a couple of minor problems idling, although that was due to a vacuum leak. When I initially started her, she wouldn't fire up I'm not sure why, but a bit of Start ya b@stard got her running and some throttle to keep her going.

It would be awesome to see another person in Australia take on this swap! It's really not all that bad once it's all out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by REDDYZ View Post
Sorry I thought I replied to this.

Mine came with white injectors and I have seen some SVTs and ST24s with green injectors but haven't heard of orange ones.

Cheers
Hi REDDYZ,

Ohh, I was thinking maybe Tickford added my Orange Injectors but perhaps not. Upon searching the part number, I found out they are from the US spec Crown Victoria's 4.6 V8 engine.

Cheers
__________________
00 Eibach Cougar

Mods:
Escape 3.0 V6
ST220 UIM and LIM
NPG Fuel Adapter
California Clutch Stage 2 Disk and PP
ST200 Flywheel
Torsen LSD
Updated Shift Forks
ToyoSport Exhaust Headers
Custom 2.5" Exhaust dual
BAT 21mm RSB
PRT Heavy Duty rear drop links
Energy Suspension Polybushes all around
Eibach Suspension
Eibach body kit
01 Gauges
01 Steering Wheel
Aluminium Sports Pedals
Sony Double Din HU
ST200 Airbox
ST200 TB
Direnza ST200 Aluminium Radiator
Goodridge Brake Hoses
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