A New Member

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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guytford
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A New Member

Post by guytford » Mon Mar 30, 2020 6:41 pm

Hello to all you crazy folks who actually know what a Merkur is.

Bought my XR4Ti new in 1985. Fell in love the first time I saw an ad and had to have one. Enjoyed the love of driving it for about 10 years and has 50k. Had some turbo and other issues, so I put it away as family and business were the priorities and parts were scarce. Sounds like the part thing has gotten better, at least for what I need. All Original and Very clean (considering some of the ones I have seen for sale and in junk yards over the years). Starting to go through it and put her "On the Road Again" Deciding on keeping it original or upgrades. Any thoughts?

Upgrades I am considering:
Rear disc brakes conversion
Intercooler
Exhaust upgrade
What upgrades have you done that were worth it?

Appreciate a place to go for info, chat, resources, and stories about XR4Ti experiences - I have a few amazing memories.

It is a great felling to start work on my amazing lady that has been with me all these years silently waiting to do what she was built to do again.

GTFORD

MarkM
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Re: A New Member

Post by MarkM » Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:45 pm

Welcome!

Thanks for stopping in. I agree about the parts situation, it appears to have gotten better over the last 10-15 years.
Mark

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merkurdriver
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Re: A New Member

Post by merkurdriver » Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:11 am

MarkM wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:45 pm
I agree about the parts situation, it appears to have gotten better over the last 10-15 years.
Its a Merkur co-op in 2020. The handful of Merkur specific vendors still here work more with each other, less as competing vendors.
Happily here to be part of it. :cheers

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eaton53
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Re: A New Member

Post by eaton53 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 4:23 am

Very clean originals are rare.
Mark Copeland - I'm 50 miles west of Kewanee, IL

'89 XR4Ti
Car was the 2014 MCA Merkur Preservation Award Winner
'89 Scorpio
This one has a very bright and shiny future.
Proud member of the Iowa-Illinois Merkur Owner's Association since 2015. :cheers

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John Brennan
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Re: A New Member

Post by John Brennan » Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:48 am

Welcome back! We'd love to see some pix when you get a chance. If you're thinking mods, and the car is in good, original shape, just don't do anything that can't be undone and put back to stock, which IMHO is the best way to mod an XR anyway-- you get huge improvements with inexpensive, bolt-on parts; after that, you start paying a lot to get relatively little in return. :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

guytford
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Re: A New Member

Post by guytford » Tue Mar 31, 2020 11:07 am

Thanks John, maybe I will fix the necessary and go from there. Just unloaded from the trailer a few days ago and it needs a bath. Have the interior out for some deep cleaning and repair. Have some seams opening in the original seats that need repair and orig carpet needs deep cleaning. Body is solid with some small rust at the seams, orig paint. But will try to get some photos. What are some of the better "bolt-ons" you would recommend?

Mark, Eaton and Driver, thanks for the response.

I am new to forums, would it be appropriate to go fishing in the XR4Ti Forum for suggestions on needed parts?
Wheel wells - mine have become fragile
parking brake indicator light switch connector
back in the day I could not find rebuild kits or replacement turbo (thought it is a Garrett T-3). Does anyone know what the best, available current approach is on Turbos?
I would imagine dash is as rare as hen's teeth. Mine has a crack with a plastic cover to cover it.
Thanks for any help in getting a jump start, once I start searches on the internet, post to fellow members and getting to know the suppliers on the list I should get up to speed pretty quick.

Thanks again for response and any thoughts, tips or ticks since you guys have current approaches/ideas.

GT Ford

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R Code
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Re: A New Member

Post by R Code » Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:45 pm

Cool story, thx for sharing. Neat that you held onto your car all these years. Personally, I'd leave it stock, but I'm a curmudgeon (been there, done that on the mods).

As a 20-something, I modded my dad's XR to his wishes (he wanted to retain a stock appearance at 1st glance). It ran/handled great, was reliable and retained a good ride quality. Intercooler, T5, custom exhaust, Jacobs ignition, SVO head, Rapido suspension kit (bars, springs/shocks), 15" wheels from an LX Mustang w/50 series rubber. After all that, I think it ran the 1/4 in 14.5-14.7 (open rear).

Now in my 2nd go-'round w/these cars, I have a pristine, 38k mi '89 from the last month of production that I'm preserving & enjoying every now & again. It's a nostalgia trip, and a fine vehicle that holds it's own in terms of ride, handling, comfort, economy & power with modern cars. In my old age, it doesn't matter if I can spend $__K and make it go 1/2 second faster in the 1/4 mile, because I would destroy the originality that makes it so special.
- Chris

'89 XR4Ti (5 speed) - sold

my8950
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Re: A New Member

Post by my8950 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 4:22 pm

Rear disc brakes conversion
Intercooler
Exhaust upgrade
What upgrades have you done that were worth it?

All of the above are worth doing. There are minimally invasive intercooler setups, and anything is better than the current, nothing.
Other than that, just make it reliable and a good driver before going all nuts with mods. Especially if you haven't driven it a bit in a long time.

Everyone would love photos when you have the opportunity.

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Bob Weir
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Re: A New Member

Post by Bob Weir » Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:54 pm

Welcome to the club.

Suggestions & a little info…

Provide some info in your "profile". Upper right corner, user name is a drop down menu with link to "Profile". The city & state will display under your user name in your posts. This makes it easier to connect with local MCA members.

PAID members can post images directly in their posts, if not you have to use an external server like photobucket. Here's the link
http://www.merkurclub.net/join/joinHow.htm

As a new member with a road worthy Merkur, you're entitled to a free 1 year membership. Here's the link
viewtopic.php?f=19&t=30034

Register and I'll email you some more info and periodically info pertaining to the club.

The annual gathering is in Carlisle PA at the Ford Nationals usually [still scheduled] in early June.

Comments & suggestions are welcomed!

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R Code
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Re: A New Member

Post by R Code » Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:11 pm

My responses in italics below:

Wheel wells - mine have become fragile
Common. No solution that I'm aware of.

back in the day I could not find rebuild kits or replacement turbo (thought it is a Garrett T-3). Does anyone know what the best, available current approach is on Turbos?
In general, turbos cost about $250-300 to rebuild. Google "turbo rebuild service" & find a reputable place near you, or post your location in your profile & someone might have a local reference to offer.

I would imagine dash is as rare as hen's teeth. Mine has a crack with a plastic cover to cover it.
Confirmed.

Upgrades I am considering:
Rear disc brakes conversion
Good for style points, but probably not a significant upgrade, unless you have aspirations of using the car on the track, even then, dubious benefit over a track specific pad/shoe combo. With limited room for big rubber, that is the limiting factor.

Intercooler
Probably can't hurt, unless you have an aversion to cutting up the car. It may shorten the T9's life if you like hard 1-2 shifts (not recommended with the T9 anyway). These cars pull so hard from about 73-115 mph, and the intercooler makes it even better.

Exhaust upgrade
Mine has Rapido duals from the PO, and I think it gives a (slightly) noticeable low rpm torque bump. Looks about 20x cooler than the stock piece. I have the original exhaust, and (this is far down on the "to do" list) may do some minor muffler surgery, restore it & swap it back in.

What upgrades have you done that were worth it?
"Worth it" is a tough one, because it calls for a value judgement. All the mods in my earlier post (to my dad's '85) were pretty minor, and improved the car, w/no downside (except for cost/installation hassles). They were worth it to him, because he was able to keep up with/pull a few car lengths on your basic, unmodified muscle/pony car. That brought him an immense amount of pleasure.
Totally worth it: dead pedal, Rapido (?) console lid modified for proper height & plushness, anything to make the tunes better (especially if you are OK cutting it up).
- Chris

'89 XR4Ti (5 speed) - sold

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John Brennan
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Re: A New Member

Post by John Brennan » Thu Apr 02, 2020 1:51 pm

Wow-- OK. A couple of responses in bold below. Mind you, everyone has an opinion, and no disrespect to anyone else's is implied or intended... but I do take issue with a couple of things:
R Code wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:11 pm
My responses in italics below:

Wheel wells - mine have become fragile
Common. No solution that I'm aware of.

If a good, used or NOS set cannot be found, which is almost certainly the case, some people are using Mustang liners, with minor modification. I forget the year/spec, if someone can chime in.

back in the day I could not find rebuild kits or replacement turbo (thought it is a Garrett T-3). Does anyone know what the best, available current approach is on Turbos?
In general, turbos cost about $250-300 to rebuild. Google "turbo rebuild service" & find a reputable place near you, or post your location in your profile & someone might have a local reference to offer.

A good, used unit can likely be had for a reasonable price, contact Jeff Herson at Merkur Parts Midwest (referenced on this site as one of our Vendors), and/or put a WTB ad here and on our FB page. The stock turbo is well suited to the engine, and extensive modification is in order if you're going to "outgrow" it.

I would imagine dash is as rare as hen's teeth. Mine has a crack with a plastic cover to cover it.
Confirmed.

Again, check with Jeff Herson. He has them from time to time.

Upgrades I am considering:
Rear disc brakes conversion
Good for style points, but probably not a significant upgrade, unless you have aspirations of using the car on the track, even then, dubious benefit over a track specific pad/shoe combo. With limited room for big rubber, that is the limiting factor.

:BS The front brakes are more important, and I would definitely start there; but if you drive at high speeds and want to be able to stop quickly (and who doesn't?), the rear drums are a limiting factor-- they tend to lock up under hard braking, which is why there's a proportioning valve in the stock system which SHUTS OFF THE REAR BRAKES under high braking forces, which means that only the fronts are there for you to lock up and slide nice and straight into whatever it was you were trying to avoid. Discs are also much better at modulation. Yes, it depends on what kind of driving you do, but in the days of 80 mph traffic, it's the kind we all do. Tim Spencer sells a nice conversion kit for front and rear which uses inexpensive, easy-to-source parts for VASTLY IMPROVED BRAKING; look for him on the MCA FB page as well.

Intercooler
Probably can't hurt, unless you have an aversion to cutting up the car. It may shorten the T9's life if you like hard 1-2 shifts (not recommended with the T9 anyway). These cars pull so hard from about 73-115 mph, and the intercooler makes it even better.

"...cutting up the car?" Huh? There are many solutions which will allow a nice, front-mount IC setup with no body modifications whatsoever; the best right now is from Mike Oyler at Merkur Depot (another one of our Vendors listed on this site). You can even keep your A/C, if you like.

Exhaust upgrade
Mine has Rapido duals from the PO, and I think it gives a (slightly) noticeable low rpm torque bump. Looks about 20x cooler than the stock piece. I have the original exhaust, and (this is far down on the "to do" list) may do some minor muffler surgery, restore it & swap it back in.

Why on Earth would you do that, unless you're doing some kind of concours restoration? The Rapido Duals are a respected, period-correct, historically valid upgrade, and a very high-quality part from Borla… to this day, a vaunted maker of custom exhausts. Of course, the biggest gains are to be had if one also improves the downpipe (critical; stock is a highly restrictive pea-shooter) and adds a high-flow cat-- to which the crowning touch, the piece de la resistance, is a Cossie turbine housing for your turbo. Look again to Merkur Depot for a lovely, 3" system... most of us would say, "if you only do one thing, do the exhaust." If your stock exhaust is in good shape, sure, take it off and store it somewhere... most likely, it's not, 30+ years down the pike...

What upgrades have you done that were worth it?
"Worth it" is a tough one, because it calls for a value judgement. All the mods in my earlier post (to my dad's '85) were pretty minor, and improved the car, w/no downside (except for cost/installation hassles). They were worth it to him, because he was able to keep up with/pull a few car lengths on your basic, unmodified muscle/pony car. That brought him an immense amount of pleasure.
Totally worth it: dead pedal, Rapido (?) console lid modified for proper height & plushness, anything to make the tunes better (especially if you are OK cutting it up).
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

guytford
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Re: A New Member

Post by guytford » Thu Apr 02, 2020 2:40 pm

Thanks to Mr. Weir I think I am ready to post some photos.

85" XR - All orig except for radiator cap, coil, and plug wires. Has some minor rust spots and some chips


Hatch Open.JPG
Hatch Open.JPG (215.55 KiB) Viewed 2201 times


Sample of Interior - have most of it out for deep clean but with the exception of a seam rip in the Driver's seat this is pretty representative of the rest


Door Panel View.JPG
Door Panel View.JPG (216.75 KiB) Viewed 2201 times


And finally the part of the car that will need the most work - engine - what is left of undercoat on the shock towers - not rust!


Engine 2.JPG
Engine 2.JPG (275.6 KiB) Viewed 2201 times

Thanks to all for your responses.
Thanks John, great info - I have a lot of reading to do in the forums to even be able to talk smart with all you experts! SO IMPRESSED and INTIMIDATED!

Rcode - where can I seem some pics? bet if I search in the Photo Phorem
This momohead has a lot to do.

Thanks again to all.

Guy T (New Mexico thru Colorado thru IL - where I bought it new)

Thanks again to this great club.

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R Code
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Re: A New Member

Post by R Code » Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:48 pm

My point with the brakes was that (given the small tires) if the rear brakes lock up with the stock drums, what do you gain with more powerful rear brakes? Of course disks have better modulation/heat dissipation, but most folks don't use the car that way.

Intercooler: glad to hear better options exist since the last one I put in 33 years ago.

Re the exhaust: BINGO, but it's not a restoration, since my car is original & mint. More like keeping my options open to putting it back to "as delivered" someday. I'm thankful the PO kept every part he ever took off the car, and yes, the original exhaust is in great shape.

I've worked on a lot of restorations over the years, taken several through concours judging. Researching & searching for specific dates codes, part #s, original finishes, original paperwork & documentation. It's a colossal PITA, and can get really expensive, so maybe I have a different perspective on originality vs. the next guy.

Not running down modified cars at all: people should do what makes them happy. I offered those comments as a different perspective for the OP, who is the 1st owner of a 50k mi car.
- Chris

'89 XR4Ti (5 speed) - sold

my8950
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Re: A New Member

Post by my8950 » Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:56 pm

Nice looking car!

Wheel well liners can be had from a 95 Cobra Mustang, but this is front only as far as I know.

Check out Evergreen turbo for a rebuild, the guy who runs it has been doing turbo rebuilds for years and is also a 2.3T guy.
Or as mentioned, check with Jeff (blugg) as he also does turbo rebuilds and/or has 8 billion turbos to choose from off other junked cars.

Brakes, I'd do them, just to be more current, but if they work and your just driving it, run em...I actually have a few new in box rotors, pads, shoes, and all that which I won't be using if you need...

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Bob Weir
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Re: A New Member

Post by Bob Weir » Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:35 pm

Guy

Good to see you are able to post your pics. Nice ride :cheers

When you need parts, please consider our sponsors. They're long time supporters of the MCA and are very knowledgeable and helpful.

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