First Xr4ti

XR4Ti / Sierra / Sierra Cosworth Discussions - Questions, problem resolution, general talk, technical tips and modifications.
Stussy
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First Xr4ti

Post by Stussy » Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:23 pm

Hello All,
I just picked up my first xr4ti the other day. Pretty crazy car, it sat for 16 or so years last registered in 2002. Fresh battery and gas and it runs and drives pretty good if you ask me. With that being said the car is over due on much maintenance. I’m replacing the timing belt and tensioner on Saturday, oil has been changed with a higher zinc content oil and I will replace the water pump and thermostat as well as flushing the system. Other than that and chasing electrical demons is there something else I’m missing I should take care of? I fear the motor consumes oil and hoping to find where I can focus my attention before I narrow it down to bad rings... Any help is much appreciated!

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andyofcolumbusmerkur
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Re: First Xr4ti

Post by andyofcolumbusmerkur » Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:36 pm

Seems like the the dipstick mark is off sometimes, and/or you push out some oil under boost. Especially running higher boost and holding it there. Maybe hitting the rev limiter some. Cool it fires up and wants to go. Tired of sitting in a barn probably. Put the 5 quart jug in it and don't worry to much if you are a quart low. Do the timing belt, but if it breaks before you get to it no damage. Get all the part numbered items people here say to, not what parts place tells you, and drive it. You will always remember your first. Even if she was not quite what you wanted.
You're only as good as the last car you build.

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LITTELHAWK
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Re: First Xr4ti

Post by LITTELHAWK » Fri Oct 26, 2018 2:34 am

Welcome!

Are you noticing blue smoke or are you just losing oil? The valve cover and sometimes the filter adapter are common oil leaks. If you're burning, I would suspect valves before rings.

If you notice any vibrations, rough or odd steering, or a LOT of noise, then your bushings (especially outer control arm) likely need to be replaced. Poly bushings are available through some of our friendly vendors.

Don't know if you've already seen this page, but it is very helpful in finding parts and information that may not be on the forums here. Browse these when you're bored and you'll learn a lot that may help you save a lot of time and money in the future.

http://merkurclub.com/linksB.htm

Start an emergency savings fund dedicated to the car.
'85 Mineral Blue & '87 White Barn Find parked in '92

Stussy
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Re: First Xr4ti

Post by Stussy » Fri Oct 26, 2018 2:51 am

First start up there was quite a bit of smoke as well as the couple times afterwards. I finally got around to changing oil this morning and it seems to have died down a bit. I’m definitely monitoring it, checked for blow by earlier and it looks pretty good. Gonna run a compression test this weekend as well. Suspension for sure needs attention. I’ve taken it pretty easy on the car.. well except for after it fired right up. Me and my buddy’s got our moneys worth.
Also Is rock auto a pretty reliable parts source for these?

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R Code
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Re: First Xr4ti

Post by R Code » Fri Oct 26, 2018 8:58 am

Welcome, good luck, have fun & thanks for saving another one.
- Chris

'89 XR4Ti (5 speed)
'86 Chevrolet C20
'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)
'04 GMC Yukon (son #2)

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LITTELHAWK
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Re: First Xr4ti

Post by LITTELHAWK » Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:29 pm

Rock Auto is great but there are discrepancies depending on what you're looking for. Bushings, bearings, pcv, and some gaskets (especially valve cover) is best to order through our vendors.

A lot of stuff can be upgraded for the same price as stock replacements if you do a little research before beginning your projects. I've had to redo a lot of stuff because the stock or parts store replacements didn't fix the problem.
'85 Mineral Blue & '87 White Barn Find parked in '92

Stussy
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Re: First Xr4ti

Post by Stussy » Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:53 pm

I’ll stick to the vendors then, I’ve been told about running a little atf in the oil for a short time should clean up a lot of garbage and cause seals to swell. I’m thinking on giving that a try and rebuilding the turbo and doing valve stem seals in the near future. There is a mild oil leaked around the valve cover but definitely burning it.
I appreciate the warm welcomes and support!

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andyofcolumbusmerkur
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Re: First Xr4ti

Post by andyofcolumbusmerkur » Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:55 pm

Ya check with the vendors and do your homework before buying stuff. I know rockauto can have some good deals, but some items like wheel studs and previously mentioned wheel bearings may not fit. You may be able to upgrade stuff like brakes for what original stuff would cost. Get the motorcraft pcv and the basic autolite plugs.
You're only as good as the last car you build.

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Re: First Xr4ti

Post by hbar » Sat Oct 27, 2018 1:04 am

If you're burning oil, one of the common culprits in this car is a clogged oil return line from the turbo. This is located underneath the turbo and runs to the bottom of the block. The stock hose is flexible metal and is often damaged or kinked. When it gets blocked it restricts oil flow and this somehow causes it to burn inside the turbo and blow black smoke out the exhaust.

This happened to me last year. I noticed it starting to use oil and the occasional smoke in the exhaust. It became progressively worse and I was using oil at a rate of about a quart every 200 miles. Someone told be about the turbo line and when I checked it it was obviously damaged and causing a restriction.

I replaced the hose with a really nice braided steel line from one of the vendors here and it fixed the problem immediately.

https://www.stinger-performance.com/ReturnLine.pdf

Another vendor here sells the stock part in good, used condition.

http://www.merkurmidwest.com/catalog/i600.html

Of course, it might be the engine burning oil for whatever reason, but it's definitely worth it to check the turbo oil lines first (check the feed line as well, it's the steel line located on top of the turbo) because it's a much cheaper and easier fix than rebuilding the engine.
Dan from Illinois
87 Merkur Xr4, 5 spd, White, Summer driver
74 Mercedes Benz 450 SEL, Daily driver
78 Mercedes Benz 450 SEL, MegaSquirted, alcohol, project car
88 Chevy Van G20 Conversion

Stussy
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Re: First Xr4ti

Post by Stussy » Sat Oct 27, 2018 1:44 am

Haven’t thought about that, definitely gonna check it out.

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merkurdriver
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Re: First Xr4ti

Post by merkurdriver » Sat Oct 27, 2018 2:56 am

Welcome and congrats on your first! :headbang :cheers

Stussy
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Re: First Xr4ti

Post by Stussy » Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:17 am

merkurdriver wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 2:56 am
Welcome and congrats on your first! :headbang :cheers
Appreciate it! Loving the car so far

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R Code
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Re: First Xr4ti

Post by R Code » Sat Oct 27, 2018 12:36 pm

You guys are more helpful than you know, as I make a list of things to check on my newly acquired '89. 8)
- Chris

'89 XR4Ti (5 speed)
'86 Chevrolet C20
'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)
'04 GMC Yukon (son #2)

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LITTELHAWK
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Re: First Xr4ti

Post by LITTELHAWK » Sat Oct 27, 2018 7:16 pm

R Code wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 12:36 pm
You guys are more helpful than you know, as I make a list of things to check on my newly acquired '89. 8)
And a Welcome to you as well!
'85 Mineral Blue & '87 White Barn Find parked in '92

zxr250cc
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Re: First Xr4ti

Post by zxr250cc » Sun Oct 28, 2018 2:59 pm

Hi all,

Is it the merkurtech site that has the what to do to buy a used Merk page? It has great advice about what to do to an old car to update it for fluids and checks on what to look for as problems, I seem to recall. Anyone?

As a side note on my own '86 car, I am now ready to do the underside suspension parts and only need to get the poly differential mount to take the car apart and have new struts, shocks and the rear end stabilized.

Cheers
1986 XR4Ti Mineral Blue Metallic

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