Just got an 86 XR4Ti

XR4Ti / Sierra / Sierra Cosworth Discussions - Questions, problem resolution, general talk, technical tips and modifications.
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Esteban
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Re: Just got an 86 XR4Ti

Post by Esteban » Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:49 pm

Belts you can get from autozone. Under $10 each. Better to replace than use belt spray. It could also just need tightening if the belts are uncracked and you do that by loosening the alternator at its pivot. When tightening back up, you could put some slight tension on the alt with a pry bar.

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Re: Just got an 86 XR4Ti

Post by Shaglol » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:22 pm

So normal operating temp is like 190-210? There is this leak I saw on the side of the engine, is that bad? Like is a little black moisture on the engine ok? I did run it one time a few blocks with the radiator fan off and it started blowing coolant out of the reservoir, could I have damaged my engine from doing that the one time? Sorry for all the stupid questions and thanks for all your help guys.
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Esteban
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Re: Just got an 86 XR4Ti

Post by Esteban » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:43 pm

You wont blow the motor from a light drive like that. The fans normally come on at 220 and stop at 210F. With any car purchase, it would be good to change out several items to start a tune up history. This includes oil and filter, spark plugs, wires, cap/rotor, thermostat and coolant, fuel filter, and go thru and check all rubber hoses and replace as necessary. Most of these things can be found easily at a local parts store or Rockauto or our forum vendors.
Where in SoCal are you?

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Re: Just got an 86 XR4Ti

Post by Shaglol » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:07 pm

San Diego. Yeah the fan is on a toggle switch inside the car. I forgot to turn on the fan and the car was driven without the fan on. I didn't see how hot it got but coolant was spraying out of the top of the reservoir.

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Re: Just got an 86 XR4Ti

Post by Shaglol » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:08 pm

It's starting to squeek and it didn't make that noise when I first got it lol. Did I break it already?

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Re: Just got an 86 XR4Ti

Post by my8950 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:49 pm

Toggle switch fan is never good unless its going to be a race car...
Certain peoples opinion of this may differ.
Do a search on here for cooling fans on switches.

If you plan to keep the car and want to do the work to maintain it, purchase the EVTM and shop manual, they pay for themselves very quick when trying to work on the car.

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Re: Just got an 86 XR4Ti

Post by Esteban » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:32 pm

BTW, i just noticed that the previous owner is running a square tooth timing belt with a round tooth cam gear. Definitely get that fixed. I have a square tooth gear you can have and I can help you swap it out.

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Re: Just got an 86 XR4Ti

Post by Shaglol » Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:26 am

Maybe thats why the belt is squeeking??

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Re: Just got an 86 XR4Ti

Post by my8950 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:29 am

I'll take that round tooth cam gear though.
I've been looking for one...

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Re: Just got an 86 XR4Ti

Post by my8950 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:30 am

Esteban wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:32 pm
BTW, i just noticed that the previous owner is running a square tooth timing belt with a round tooth cam gear. Definitely get that fixed. I have a square tooth gear you can have and I can help you swap it out.
Wow....Interesting though that it would even work enough to run...

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Re: Just got an 86 XR4Ti

Post by DPDISXR4Ti » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:20 am

my8950 wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:49 pm
Toggle switch fan is never good unless its going to be a race car...
Agree 100%. There's no way you should be relying on a manual switch to turn on the coolant fan. I don't even like that idea for a race car.

As others have indicated, this car has an assortment of modifications. I wonder if it's someone I sold silicone hoses to years ago. I see it's also got the Saab hose clamps that I recommend.

But the fact that it's got a square tooth belt on round tooth sprockets is a big red flag; not just because that alone is stupid-wrong, but it also profiles the previous owner as being clue-less. I'd be scared of what else is done wrong on this car.

Sorry if I'm scaring you, but to be fair, you don't sound terribly knowledgeable about cars. Indeed you may find yourself over your head in a hurry, or worse yet, stranded on the side of the road. If Jeff or someone can lend you a hand, that would be great. If you can flip the car to someone like him and get out even, that might not be a terrible idea. Not wanting to be negative, just trying to be realistic.
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Re: Just got an 86 XR4Ti

Post by merkurdriver » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:45 am

DPDISXR4Ti wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:20 am
If Jeff or someone can lend you a hand, that would be great.
( x 2 ) You will be thankful you have him nearby

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Re: Just got an 86 XR4Ti

Post by thesameguy » Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:07 pm

If you can lure someone local out to go over the car with you, that would be a great first step. All I saw was the starter solenoid wedged up against the false firewall and that was my red flag - the timing belt and cooling fan switch are more of 'em. You'd be well served having someone knowledgeable go over the car and help you come up with a list of things you'll want to address.

The crap thing about hobby cars like this one are that little oddball things (like the cooling fan switch) cost only a few bucks to fix but introduce the potential for unexpected and catastrophic damage. While there is definitely a lot going on there, I think the good news is that most mechanical parts for these cars are pretty cheap and readily available. I strongly agree with the idea of a full "Stage 0" reference tuneup so you know where you stand. You kinda don't wanna find out the hard way.

In a way, it'd probably suck spending a grand on a $700 car, but OTOH a $1700 XR4Ti in good running shape is not a bad deal, so don't sweat it. :)

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Re: Just got an 86 XR4Ti

Post by Esteban » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:05 pm

I wouldnt be too worried about the things wrong with the car. It's prob why the previous owner sold it so cheap. $700 Merkur is something you see further east but not on the west coast. In my opinion, it's worth more than what you paid and fortunately you have some local Merkur owners willing to help! I PM'd you my number. Hit me up when you're ready to work on this thing.

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Re: Just got an 86 XR4Ti

Post by john keefe » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:36 pm

I've found that a lot of electrical gremlins are the effect of a badly corroded EEC grounding wire under the battery tray, and damaged wiring in the loom directly above the battery. The ground wire gets corroded from the rain water runoff/gutter behind the battery (and any battery leaks). The wires in the loom get corroded from wicking up fumes when the batteries bake from the heat of the turbo. Almost every one I've had had some issue with that loom, so its one of the first things I check. I've kept a couple wires for keepsakes which had the sheath swelled up to almost 3-4 times diameter.

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