New Guy in MA

General discussion relating to club happenings and items related to Merkurs in general such as "Merkur sightings". If you just signed on, please feel to start a new thread and introduce yourself here. Posts specifically regarding either the XR4Ti or Scorpio should go in those specific forums. Feel free to make suggestions on improving this forum here as well.
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R Code
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New Guy in MA

Post by R Code » Thu Sep 27, 2018 3:38 pm

Greetings folks, my name is Chris & I'm just getting back into Merkurs after a long hiatus. I was 19 when the XR4Ti came to the U.S., and my dad was 61. The car hit us both the same way: we thought it was a great idea & both wanted one. We had been following the car since a year or two prior, when one of the car magazines (Car & Driver or Autoweek) gave one of those "sneak peek" - type reviews. My Pops was a WWII USAF vet, who raced 3/4 midgets on the dirt tracks of northern NJ, rebuilt/modified/maintained a string of hot rods & sports cars over the years, went to Seton Hall on the GI bill, pursued a career, took care of his aging parents & raised his own family along the way.

By 1985, he finally felt comfortable enough to buy himself a "fun car". He sold me his '69 Rebel wagon for $200, and went over to Clairidge Lincoln Mercury in Montclair, NJ & bought a new, '85 XR4Ti in grey w/a 5 sp. He was so proud of that car, and we were happy to see him charged up about a car again. I went with him to Lime Rock, CT for a press event, and drove the car on the track with a bunch of other XR4Ti's while he snapped 35MM shots from the open sunroof. Another time, he & my older brother took it cross country to see family in SoCal, north to visit Rapido & back home to NJ. Good times. After the warranty expired, pops asked me & my buddies to help him wrench on it some & make it a quick "sleeper". In went the requisite Rapido intercooler, springs/shocks/bars, '85 Mustang GT wheels w/50 series rubber, world class T5, SVO big valve head, MAF, Jacobs ignition, mandrel bent single exhaust in the stock location, etc. My buddies and I were/are heavily into muscle cars, but we had fun wrenching on the little German beastie & including my pops in our fledgling Mustang club's outings (the GSRMC). Pops surprised a LOT of "muscle" cars with the XR4Ti, and had a $hit-eating grin every time he drove it. He won the respect of the muscle car guys at the drag strip & on the show field.

Fast forward to '99(ish) & pops had to give up driving (Alzheimer's). I was not in a position to take on the car as a project (knee deep in aging parents, fatherhood, renovating our 1st house & restoring my '69 428 Cougar), so we sold the car to a family friend (Bruce the car killer), who enjoyed the hell of it, parked it in his driveway in Rutherford, NJ for many years & finally sold it as a non-running project (maybe on these forums). If anyone knows the whereabouts of pop's old car, I'd love to hear about it/buy it back.

Last week, an old friend of mine was finally ready to sell his baby: a pampered, '89 XR4Ti 5 sp in Magenta Red w/Raven leather. Showing just 38K mi. it's probably 96% original, & came with the original exhaust "on the side" (Rapido duals are on the car), original window sticker, a mountain of paperwork, etc. I'm thrilled to be the next caretaker of this fine ride, and plan to address a few issues (worn tires, bouncy idle, leaky PS, valve cover gasket) while keeping the car as "factory" as possible. If all goes well, I'll have the car @ Carlisle for the All Ford Nats next summer, and begin taking it through the AACA judging process, with the goal of (eventually) earning its Senior Grand National Award.

Thanks everyone for keeping the flame alive, I look forward to getting acquainted with all of you, re-acquainted with the cars, & learning how to best preserve and improve the current project.

Regards,

- Chris
- Chris

'89 XR4Ti (5 speed)
'69 Cougar XR-7 "R Code" Convertible (CJ428/Auto)
'67 Cougar Std (289/4 speed)
'66 Mustang Coupe (289/Auto) - my wife's 1st car
DD's:
'06 Silverado HD Crew
'04 Suburban
'04 Acura MDX (son # 1)

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John Brennan
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Re: New Guy in MA

Post by John Brennan » Thu Sep 27, 2018 6:51 pm

Welcome Aboard, great intro and story! Would love to see some pix, looking forward to more from you. :cheers
This is my car, and these are my people!
1989 XR4Ti 5-Speed
2001 BMW Z3 3.0 5-Speed
2015 Fiesta ST 6-Speed
2015 Edge 3.5 V6 Auto/Paddles

Ed Lijewski
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Re: New Guy in MA

Post by Ed Lijewski » Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:51 am

👏👏👏👏👏

YMMV
Descartes: "Cogito Ergo Sum"
Lijewski: "Sum Ergo Drive-O. Mucho!

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andyofcolumbusmerkur
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Re: New Guy in MA

Post by andyofcolumbusmerkur » Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:47 am

Cool. As far as "while keeping the car as "factory" as possible" goes, how about period correct? Like the Borla and Rapido mods from early 90's? I think those early car and driver and autoweek cars were suspected to be ringers. So a sierra limited slip rear diff and an extra 25hp or so is still stock and period correct I guess. I wonder if those sneak peak test cars are still out there.
You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. There's shrimp kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo, pan fried, deep fried, stir fried, pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp in potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich....

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merkurdriver
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Re: New Guy in MA

Post by merkurdriver » Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:51 am

Welcome (back) ! :cheers

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R Code
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Re: New Guy in MA

Post by R Code » Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:59 am

andyofcolumbusmerkur wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:47 am
Cool. As far as "while keeping the car as "factory" as possible" goes, how about period correct? Like the Borla and Rapido mods from early 90's? I think those early car and driver and autoweek cars were suspected to be ringers. So a sierra limited slip rear diff and an extra 25hp or so is still stock and period correct I guess. I wonder if those sneak peak test cars are still out there.
I'd guess most magazine cars were ringers, or at least QC'd to perfection. :wink:

For me, the '89 is mainly a preservation play. It drives SO nice, and with modern levels of braking, handling and comfort, it will get driven a fair bit, but (joyrides aside) mainly just to shows & such. I have an enclosed trailer for long hauls. I want to make the '89 work as well as it can, but I have no need to add HP or torque, mostly out of fear of surpassing the T9's limited ability to deal with either.

As I remember from pop's car, once we got the T9 out of the way & added a very modest amount of power (stock turbo, stock boost), the open diff became the limiting factor. Pops did not want to spring for the Rapido LSD, so we never tried to make more power. At the drags, I think I ran a best of 14.6, but had to pussyfoot off the line.

I always figured the lack of a factory inter-cooler & LSD was done to protect the wimpy T9. I imagine they used the T9 for ease of packaging, production-related, or supplier-related reasons (or all 3).

NOW, if I found pop's old car (or a similarly intriguing project), I'd be all about the mods. My two teenage sons would be really excited about that. :headbang
- Chris

'89 XR4Ti (5 speed)
'69 Cougar XR-7 "R Code" Convertible (CJ428/Auto)
'67 Cougar Std (289/4 speed)
'66 Mustang Coupe (289/Auto) - my wife's 1st car
DD's:
'06 Silverado HD Crew
'04 Suburban
'04 Acura MDX (son # 1)

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Bob Weir
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Re: New Guy in MA

Post by Bob Weir » Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:58 pm

Welcome back to the club. As a new member and owner of a Merkur you're entitled to a FREE 1 year membership and a few other perks.
For more info, “How to get a FREE MCA Membership for 1 year!” go to this post

viewtopic.php?f=19&t=30034

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R Code
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Re: New Guy in MA

Post by R Code » Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:30 pm

Pic of the "new" car. I need to give it a proper detailing, but I just waxed it, covered it & put it into storage for the winter.
resize89.jpg
resize89.jpg (547.18 KiB) Viewed 781 times
- Chris

'89 XR4Ti (5 speed)
'69 Cougar XR-7 "R Code" Convertible (CJ428/Auto)
'67 Cougar Std (289/4 speed)
'66 Mustang Coupe (289/Auto) - my wife's 1st car
DD's:
'06 Silverado HD Crew
'04 Suburban
'04 Acura MDX (son # 1)

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R Code
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Re: New Guy in MA

Post by R Code » Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:33 pm

DS view resize.jpg
DS view resize.jpg (746.82 KiB) Viewed 781 times
- Chris

'89 XR4Ti (5 speed)
'69 Cougar XR-7 "R Code" Convertible (CJ428/Auto)
'67 Cougar Std (289/4 speed)
'66 Mustang Coupe (289/Auto) - my wife's 1st car
DD's:
'06 Silverado HD Crew
'04 Suburban
'04 Acura MDX (son # 1)

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andyofcolumbusmerkur
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Re: New Guy in MA

Post by andyofcolumbusmerkur » Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:00 pm

Wow you still have the center caps on there, and the headlights even look good. Nice.
You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. There's shrimp kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo, pan fried, deep fried, stir fried, pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp in potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich....

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Bob Weir
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Re: New Guy in MA

Post by Bob Weir » Fri Oct 26, 2018 3:36 pm

Luv the color!!! Great to see something other than Silver, Black or Red

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R Code
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Re: New Guy in MA

Post by R Code » Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:14 pm

Thx guys, hopefully I can do some things to it over the winter to make it nicer. I'd love to remove the original owner's hand painted initials from the doors, and the passenger side door molding insert needs to be replaced, or maybe massaged with a heat gun to make it lay flat again. Or is that one of those things I should leave alone until I have another one in hand, for fear of messing up a hard to find part?
- Chris

'89 XR4Ti (5 speed)
'69 Cougar XR-7 "R Code" Convertible (CJ428/Auto)
'67 Cougar Std (289/4 speed)
'66 Mustang Coupe (289/Auto) - my wife's 1st car
DD's:
'06 Silverado HD Crew
'04 Suburban
'04 Acura MDX (son # 1)

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andyofcolumbusmerkur
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Re: New Guy in MA

Post by andyofcolumbusmerkur » Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:39 pm

I think you can take that door strip off pretty easy. When I replaced mine (old ones had shrunk over the years) I didn't get it down really flat the first time. It was because I had trouble getting that last little bit to go in tight. So someone else probably had it off and also had a hard time getting it in there right.
You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. There's shrimp kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo, pan fried, deep fried, stir fried, pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp in potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich....

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Re: New Guy in MA

Post by DAReese » Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:00 pm

Bob Weir wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 3:36 pm
Luv the color!!! Great to see something other than Silver, Black or Red
You forgot white.
David Reese

88 XR4Ti - mono white T5, someday to be bi wing
89 Scorpio - waiting on some parts before it hits the road again
88 XR4Ti - mono red C3, parts car
used to own 86 dark blue traded in on a min van, what was I thinking?

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Re: New Guy in MA

Post by eaton53 » Wed Oct 31, 2018 7:51 pm

andyofcolumbusmerkur wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:00 pm
Wow you still have the center caps on there, and the headlights even look good. Nice.
Is that unusual?
I have a set of those wheels with the caps... and two keys.
Mark Copeland - I'm 50 miles west of Kewanee, IL

'89 XR4Ti
Car was the 2014 MCA Merkur Preservation Award Winner
I'm just the latest caretaker and I'm keepin' it REAL shiny!! 8)

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