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The Merkur Club of America Forums • New to the site, didnt know where to put this....
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New to the site, didnt know where to put this....

Posted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 3:38 pm
by projekt-h
Hey all, My name is Harrison and I live in the Detroit area of michigan. Currently I drive a 2004 Saturn Ion Redline, but some time before the end of summer I would like to pick up a Good condition 5spd XR4Ti.

I was joining before I got the car to get some advice from those who know them best about what to look out for with these cars, and what all can be done with them? I plan on making the Merkur my Fun/Toy so Id really like to make it fast as you can make these cars and would like to know what I can do with the original 2.3l t maybe with a bigger snail on it, and what good pricing for a good car would be?

Thank you very much and I hope to be accepted as part of your community before I have the car.... Love these things... even when all my friends say theyre crap.

Posted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 3:55 pm
by SvoSierra
Welcome from Kalamazoo. I'm presently building up a VERY nice rust free red 1985 solid roof that hopefully will be finished by late summer. It won't be cheap, but it should not need any real "work" and it will be REALLY nice. Just sticking that out there to think about. If you get something else, I got a bunch of parts and have become quite knowledgeable over the years owning these things. 8)

Posted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:01 pm
by gangaskan
it all depends on what the condition of the car is, there are buying guides all over here .. i'm trying to find one for you :)


http://www.merkurencyclopedia.com/Merku ... %20XR.html


check that out, it may prove some help!


if your looking at a good condition XR you may be looking in the 2-4 grand range.

i loved this thing since the day i sat in it. i love my mustang, but this one has a certian feel that a v8 cant.

Posted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:22 pm
by projekt-h
SvoSierra wrote:Welcome from Kalamazoo. I'm presently building up a VERY nice rust free red 1985 solid roof that hopefully will be finished by late summer. It won't be cheap, but it should not need any real "work" and it will be REALLY nice. Just sticking that out there to think about. If you get something else, I got a bunch of parts and have become quite knowledgeable over the years owning these things. 8)

How much is not cheap? end of summer is when Im lookin to buy hopefully. With enough time to enjoy it, put it away for winter and build it up more.


and thanks for the link to the merkurencyclopedia, very helpful.

Posted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:06 pm
by SvoSierra
It'll be hovering right around the 4k mark. And I will have Jim or Jeff from Merkur Midwest verify that it is. :wink:

Posted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:12 pm
by projekt-h
SvoSierra wrote:It'll be hovering right around the 4k mark. And I will have Jim or Jeff from Merkur Midwest verify that it is. :wink:
Ill have to keep that in mind, can you email me some pics of it?

What all is done/going to be done on it?

Posted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:17 pm
by turboplz
I'm in the Battle Creek area also, not to steal away from Brian, but I've got an 88 with an excellent, near mint interior, body is good and straight, t5 swap, MGW short shift, 3" exhaust...I had it built up but tore it all down once I got this 302 swapped Xr.

Just throwing it out there, don't get mad Brian! It definitely is not going to be as nice as Brian's car, but I'm also hoping to sell it in the next month since I need to buy parts for the 302 XR before Carlisle!

Posted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:05 am
by projekt-h
turboplz wrote:I'm in the Battle Creek area also, not to steal away from Brian, but I've got an 88 with an excellent, near mint interior, body is good and straight, t5 swap, MGW short shift, 3" exhaust...I had it built up but tore it all down once I got this 302 swapped Xr.

Just throwing it out there, don't get mad Brian! It definitely is not going to be as nice as Brian's car, but I'm also hoping to sell it in the next month since I need to buy parts for the 302 XR before Carlisle!


Got some pics and more info on yours too? mileage? any motor work? t5 swap is a plus.

Posted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:16 am
by SvoSierra
No hard feelings here.

Posted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:32 am
by xr4man
first off, welcome to the site.

second off, be careful, if you get a good condition xr, you may find yourself loving the ion less and less.

third, these cars aren't crap at all (that coming form someone who is NOT a ford fan at all) they get a bum rap because most shops never knew how to work on them, which is odd, since they are almost the same as any other ford with a 2.3, they're just turboed.

main thing to know is once you get one, you may have to go over the electrical and make sure it is all up to par and maybe some suspension. otherwise, they really are good cars. mine has only let me down once in the 12 years i've owned it. that's right on par with the toyotas that i've owned. as long as you make sure things are right up front, you won't have anything but minor problems for a long long time.

Posted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:39 am
by gangaskan
xr4man wrote:first off, welcome to the site.

second off, be careful, if you get a good condition xr, you may find yourself loving the ion less and less.

third, these cars aren't crap at all (that coming form someone who is NOT a ford fan at all) they get a bum rap because most shops never knew how to work on them, which is odd, since they are almost the same as any other ford with a 2.3, they're just turboed.

they pulled the whole "german" card on the cars.

my mom loved it, but hated it at the same time :? later on she told me that brakes were a common, and expensive item, and she had leaking end tanks in the radiator, thus led them to selling their XR.


we did have raven leather, i loved it! and whats awesome is i still do have raven!


my baby needs a little work motor is strong as bull as long as you dont cook the turbo and dont let it overheat the engine lasts forever.

Posted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 5:02 pm
by projekt-h
xr4man wrote:first off, welcome to the site.

second off, be careful, if you get a good condition xr, you may find yourself loving the ion less and less.

third, these cars aren't crap at all (that coming form someone who is NOT a ford fan at all) they get a bum rap because most shops never knew how to work on them, which is odd, since they are almost the same as any other ford with a 2.3, they're just turboed.

main thing to know is once you get one, you may have to go over the electrical and make sure it is all up to par and maybe some suspension. otherwise, they really are good cars. mine has only let me down once in the 12 years i've owned it. that's right on par with the toyotas that i've owned. as long as you make sure things are right up front, you won't have anything but minor problems for a long long time.
Thanks, and I know theyre not crap, Im actually an all-ford guy, my friends just think that cuz theyre not exactly pretty. Even still... itd be pretty hard to get me to stop loving the redline, makes for one hell of a daily driver.

But I hope to get one as a first light project kinda thing, take it and make it my own style, with performance work and have it as a summer/weekend car and still daily the redline.

Posted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:59 pm
by turboplz
projekt-h wrote:
turboplz wrote:I'm in the Battle Creek area also, not to steal away from Brian, but I've got an 88 with an excellent, near mint interior, body is good and straight, t5 swap, MGW short shift, 3" exhaust...I had it built up but tore it all down once I got this 302 swapped Xr.

Just throwing it out there, don't get mad Brian! It definitely is not going to be as nice as Brian's car, but I'm also hoping to sell it in the next month since I need to buy parts for the 302 XR before Carlisle!


Got some pics and more info on yours too? mileage? any motor work? t5 swap is a plus.
I'll give you the link to my photobucket account and you can check it out, it's the silver one, http://s54.photobucket.com/albums/g120/turboplz/ . Mileage is just shy of 107k. The t5 is very smooth shifting, I just need to replace the tailshaft seal as I fubared it when I pulled the driveshaft out the first time. The motor itself is in GREAT shape, still plenty of x-hatching on the cylinder walls, minimal ridge ream. The only motor work I'll have send out with it is the 3" exhaust as I'm wiped out on 2.3T performance stuff currently. The t5 swap alone cost me about $800 and I've only put 1k miles on the clutch and freshly turned flywheel. I'm asking $1800 and for another $200 I'll through in a good shortblock assembly and any 2.3T stuff I've got laying around, lots of random stuff like distributors, valve cover, etc..

Oh, I also forgot to mention, I've done a serpentine belt conversion and put a 3g alternator in as well. The windshield is BRAND NEW! I had it installed the day I put the car in storage this winter and tore it all down. The clear coat is starting to peel here and there, but it looks good from 15 feet away.

Posted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 1:19 am
by projekt-h
Sounds nice, but I doubt Id be able to buy it that soon. :(

Posted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 2:22 am
by deathbypsi
Welcome from down here on the stateline in Temperance!