The remote was the absolute first thing I ever did with my Cougar, beside for changing the oil, and the only automotive wires I had ever messed with before were on my '57 Ford pickup, which were just plug and play-not fuse panel, etc. I thought I did pretty well on it too. Once you get under the dash you get to know the wires real fast and you feel real comfortable doing it.
The range on my remote starter is ~150 ft give or take. It works well for me since our parking lot for my apartment is just outside the window. You can get an extended range remote as a package that will reach up to about 400 ft.
Here's the link to the site http://www.bulldogsecurity.com/bdnew...tarterpage.htm
Mine is the Model RS1100, the 1100E is the extended range one.
Here is a link to the manual so you can see how to go about doing this
It is actually a lot easier than it looks. They also include an installation video with it. It's actually pretty good. All the required materials, ie tape, zip ties are included. You will only need a couple of wrenches and screwdrivers to do it all.
And here's the wiring chart for your 97, so you get an idea of where you would be digging in the car for all the wires
The place they have linked to buy these online is a rip, they're asking $90 for one. At the local Bomgaars they sell them for $45 I believe. Not sure if you have those in the south or not, maybe something to look into.
And again, just b/c this messed mine up, do NOT use the hood pin switch. It is a safety device but it's not worth the trouble.
If you got anymore questions don't be afraid to give out a holler