96 vs 97 Cougar - TCCoA Forums
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-26-2016, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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96 vs 97 Cougar

Did some search and found a thread on differences in engine, but not whole car.
My question is: what's the differences in the whole car between 96 & 97?
My situation: Northern cancer has destroyed my 97 cougar, I'm now in the south. I found a 96 in Chesapeake, VA that is very clean underneath, not much to look at elsewhere. I'm thinking of possibly using my 97 as a parts car for the 96. Can ya'll offer some guidance? Thanks.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-26-2016, 12:52 PM
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I believe the difference between 96 & 97 are primarily cosmetic (i.e. difference gauge cluster, center console (hvac tube)). I believe some if not all 97's came with aluminum crossover on intake. My 96 has the aluminum crossover, but I don't know if that's because previous owner had it corrected.

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Originally Posted by Kidd-7 View Post
Did some search and found a thread on differences in engine, but not whole car.
My question is: what's the differences in the whole car between 96 & 97?
My situation: Northern cancer has destroyed my 97 cougar, I'm now in the south. I found a 96 in Chesapeake, VA that is very clean underneath, not much to look at elsewhere. I'm thinking of possibly using my 97 as a parts car for the 96. Can ya'll offer some guidance? Thanks.

It runs 100% of the time 80% of the time.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-26-2016, 01:24 PM
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The EEC and Dash wiring harnesses are specific to year due to a different connector design coupling the two together. Also the premium sound wiring and amplifier harness is all contained within the dash on 97s, while the 96 ran a large harness to the rear deck, which housed the amplifier in a plastic tray.

If the car(s) are a sport the 97 will have the larger Mark VIII brakes, 16" wheels, and rear wing in addition to the JJJJ/JJEE springs and sport shocks, period. 96s are only guaranteed the springs and shocks, the sport exterior dressup was changed mid year in 96 from having a luggage rack and faux 15" BBS wheels to the 7 spokes and spoiler, and the brake upgrade only made it on towards the end of the model year (none with the 15" wheels obviously)

Interiors were basically identical except for the aeformentioned instrument cluster(and gauge surround), cup holder center console assembly and the ash tray, with no cubby or VMM option(since the cup holders do the job of the former and the new cluster the latter). If the car(s) have traction assist the button is under the console lid on the 97 rather than on the no longer available VMM. If the interiors are tan the shades are completely different, all other colors (grey, green, blue) are basically unchanged between years.

Lastly the 97s only use 1 key for the doors, trunk and ignition, rather than the separate one used in all years prior. 97s also deleted the interior trunk lock for a plain button, and did away with the glove box lock, as well as the shock.

-Matt

Last edited by XR7-4.6; 10-26-2016 at 01:33 PM.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-26-2016, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thorough information there. Thank you Matt.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-27-2016, 07:34 AM
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The interior trunk lock on the 96 was pretty rare, wasn't it? I have only seen it on the 94-95's.

Kidd-7: is the car a green one? Looks pretty nice, good luck with it. You are right up the road from me!

Al

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-27-2016, 08:05 AM
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My 96 Cougar has the locking trunk button in the center console.

The 97 was more likely to have the manual drivers seat than any other MN12 (in my experience). The door marker went from lighted (red/clear) in 96 to non-lighted (solid red) in 97.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-27-2016, 08:27 AM Thread Starter
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It is the green one, I was Chesapeake last weekend visiting family. The owner was out of town so I was only able to look it over. The clear coat is peeling and paint is faded, the interior is a work car. My interior is good, though. So if it works out I have to part mine out anyway, I'll transfer my seats, door panels, etc. over. If the owner is back home this weekend I plan to drive up and test drive and hopefully bring her home.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-27-2016, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jco1385 View Post
My 96 Cougar has the locking trunk button in the center console.

The 97 was more likely to have the manual drivers seat than any other MN12 (in my experience). The door marker went from lighted (red/clear) in 96 to non-lighted (solid red) in 97.
Yeah, they sure cheaped it out on the '97's as far as options go. Per the post above, I had to check my car at lunch - I have had it a year and did not realize it didn't have a glove box lock!

95's rule for options! I can count at least 8 things that my 95 had that my 97 doesn't have. But I am about to put trak-lok in, (which my 95 didn't have) so that will help even it out a little.

Al

97 T-Bird LX 4.6 - 80k miles
94 Supra TT Auto - street/strip car
04 CVPI- Brenda's car - 76k miles
Previous Fords:
95 T-Bird LX 4.6 - fully optioned, owned 15 years, 220k miles
96 Cougar XR-7 4.6- Brenda's car, owned 11 years, 187k miles
88 T-Bird 3.8 - first T-Bird, owned 5 years, 206k miles
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-27-2016, 04:37 PM
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My Cougars have killer stock options; Lazarus has the handling package and moonroof, but it's not a sport. Way better handling than the others, and a TL rear.

The Tbird is pretty sparse, lol. It Does have the spoiler and third light delete from the factory.

But that's about it.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-28-2016, 08:58 AM
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With these cars 1997, to me, was the use up the excess inventory year. run out of something, make do without it. T-Bird lost the little feet in the logo midway through 1997 when they ran out of the plastic inserts.

To be fair, both are the final evolution of the MN12 platform, you get some nice tweaks to the chassis, for example the nose on the 1996/1997 allows for a better intake to be swapped on compared to the 1995 and earlier. You also get the clear lens headlights. Either year is a good choice to go with, the differences are superficial other than the gauge cluster. Just don't get a 1997 sunroof car. The seal is no longer made, and the car uses a different design than the 1996.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-07-2016, 05:46 PM
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I guess I oughtta keep an eye out for an nos moonroof seal for my 97 then... It leaks a little bit just enough to dampen the headliner around the edges of the opening.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-20-2016, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by moonshiner180 View Post
I guess I oughtta keep an eye out for an nos moonroof seal for my 97 then... It leaks a little bit just enough to dampen the headliner around the edges of the opening.
moonshiner180: I'm going to part out my 97; I can save the seal for you if you like. My sunroof has never leaked.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-24-2016, 12:00 PM
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Do 97 Cougar anniversary editions all come with the sport package or is it just an option?
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-24-2016, 12:13 PM
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Yes all 97 30ths technically have the sport package, the spoiler was optional though.

-Matt
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