Just got an 86 XR4Ti

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Shaglol
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Just got an 86 XR4Ti

Post by Shaglol » Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:04 pm

Hi, I just bought my second car ever and my first stick shift lol.... I managed to get a 1986 Merkur XR4Ti for 700 dollars. I'm still kind of learning to drive it, it's a little old and i'm a noob. Was wondering if you guys had any tips for taking care of this thing, I want it to last a while of course. The car was sold with a bad battery, I've read most places say to use one with at least 650 CCA. The person that got the battery for me picked one up that is 600 CCA, 700 warm? Is that not good? The car starts and everything seems fine I guess. The headlights are kind of dim, wonder if it's because the battery.... The gas guage seems kind of broken, its sometimes all the way on e, then other times its all the way up at full. I was told to use 20/50 synthetic oil, but I cant seem to find the diptick to measure.... Any tips for a noob would be cool. Just basic stuff, I'm not much of a car person. Thank you.
Last edited by Shaglol on Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

my8950
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Re: Just got an 86 XR4Ti

Post by my8950 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:36 pm

Most fuel gauges in the XR have some sort of issue.
Your battery will probably be fine at 600.
I'd also use 10w30 rather than what you stated, this information is available in the manual if its in the car, or by search on the internet.
The car is not for the faint of heart, they need to be maintained to continue to run properly.
Give it a whirl and see how it goes, if you don't like it sell it off.
Let me know...

Shaglol
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Re: Just got an 86 XR4Ti

Post by Shaglol » Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:42 pm

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I live in southern California and it was sitting at the beach for a while. It doesn't seem to rusted up. Was this a good deal at 700? The lights are pretty dim for some reason. The person told me to use 20/50 synthetic because the engine is older, but I should really use 10/30?

thesameguy
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Re: Just got an 86 XR4Ti

Post by thesameguy » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:11 pm

Lots of info on this board about repairing the fuel gauge - there are several common problems, most easily fixable.

I would not sweat the battery, at least not yet and probably never in SoCal. I would check the battery cables, though.

Dim headlights - check voltage at the plugs - there could be a problem there.

20w-50 is not appropriate unless there is something wrong with the engine. 10w in SoCal, maybe -40 but -30 should be fine.

Brace yourself.

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Re: Just got an 86 XR4Ti

Post by Shaglol » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:17 pm

Brace myself for what rofl, you guys are scaring me. lol jk. Just by eyeballing the photos does the engine look fine for how old it is? I was looking for just a daily driver, not a project car, hopefully I didn't get myself into something crazy. The car is pretty cool, I've been reading up on them a little bit, not much of a car guy though. Still learning how to drive it, only had it for 2 days.

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Re: Just got an 86 XR4Ti

Post by my8950 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:26 pm

Looks cool to me.
Seems to already have some mods, adjustable cam gear, wheels looks good as well.

Check your coolant level there also.

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Re: Just got an 86 XR4Ti

Post by Shaglol » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:28 pm

Yeah It has a switch on the inside to turn on the radiator fan kinda like the 92 Camaro i used to own. When i first took it for a drive i forgot to turn the fan on and drove it a few blocks... It got really hot and the coolant started shooting out of the resevoir... kinda stupid I know. Hopefully I didn't damage anything.

my8950
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Re: Just got an 86 XR4Ti

Post by my8950 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:45 pm

Once you're ready I'd also say to do new plugs and wires.
Motorcraft wires and Autolite 764 plugs.
Go with Motorcraft for as much as you can, stock stuff works the best.

The timing belt doesn't look bad from your photos, possibly it was replaced somewhat recent.

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Re: Just got an 86 XR4Ti

Post by thesameguy » Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:07 pm

Shaglol wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:17 pm
Brace myself for what rofl, you guys are scaring me.
For all the repairs. Though I agree that car looks solid at that price.

BUT, these cars are all old and they almost invariably need a bunch of attention... especially at $700. Rarely anything terrible, but lots of old car stuff. Especially rubber and plastic.

My personal concern on this particular car is that is HAS been modified, and there appears to be a bunch of stuff under that hood odd places, or haphazardly assembled. Maybe it's all stuff some XR nut did and he knew exactly what he was doing, but it's just as likely it was a guy who read something on the internet and then tried it at home. Always hard to tell...

Good news is that you have Magnecor spark plug wires on there - they will probably outlast the car. :D

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Re: Just got an 86 XR4Ti

Post by Esteban » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:25 pm

Where in SoCal are you at? There's many of us here and can help out if needed. If you need to smog the car, definitely want to remove that cam gear as it will fail before you even get there.

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Esteban
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Re: Just got an 86 XR4Ti

Post by Esteban » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:28 pm

BTW, you got a great deal at $700. The wheels, headlights, and grill is worth that much already!

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Re: Just got an 86 XR4Ti

Post by John Brennan » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:42 pm

Esteban wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:25 pm
Where in SoCal are you at? There's many of us here and can help out if needed. If you need to smog the car, definitely want to remove that cam gear as it will fail before you even get there.

If you need a front cam cam cover, I have a couple. I don't have the rear part, though.
This is my car, and these are my people!
1989 XR4Ti 5-Speed
2015 Fiesta ST
2015 Edge

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Esteban
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Re: Just got an 86 XR4Ti

Post by Esteban » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:55 pm

Yes you will need that cam cover too so they can check timing. That's another failure point.

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Re: Just got an 86 XR4Ti

Post by Shaglol » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:59 pm

I live in San Diego. The car sat in Mission Bay for a while. The registration is good until next year so it passed smog idk how many years ago.

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Re: Just got an 86 XR4Ti

Post by Shaglol » Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:37 pm

Yesterday the car started squeeking as I hit the gas. I guess thats a belt right. I'ts squeeking again today off and on. Would I have to replace the belts? or maybe I can use some of that belt spray?

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