Comprehensive Upgrade List for XR?

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Ohioguy
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Comprehensive Upgrade List for XR?

Post by Ohioguy » Sun May 05, 2019 7:59 pm

Hey all,

New to this forum, but not to Merkur. My very first car was an '87 XR, basically stock, ~14 years ago. Paid $500 and had to get quite a few things taken care of but it was an excellent introduction into the world of cars. Little did I know, it would create the foundation for my love of turbocharged 4 bangers. Unfortunately, I didn't take care of the car as it deserved and I eventually ended up turning it in to a parts car.

Recently, I've been keeping an eye out for a 'decent' condition XR as a project car, as I'm getting to a point where that might be a viable option in my life. My end goal isn't necessarily a 'show car', but something I can lovingly (and sometimes begrudgingly) spend a good amount of time working on and upgrading.

So, my goal with this post is to use the knowledge of those with a lot more experience and know-how to compile a fairly comprehensive list of potential upgrades for the XR. From bumper to bumper. Mechanical, electrical, performance, interior, the works. Not a 'how-to', plenty of those are out there. But starting from stock, basically any upgrade that's been tested and known to work, how much customization is needed or is it bolt-on, what cars have those parts or are they custom machined, etc. Preferably with a general idea of how hard those parts are to come by and how much customization is needed (if any) to get those parts in and functional.

Forgive me if something like this already exists in one place, but I have yet to be able to find it. I'm aiming this to be the "End All, Be All" for my project car, and think this would be a great thing to have compiled in one place, under one post, for the sake of reference.

Any help is appreciated, and once I think we have it pretty much sussed out, I will compile all the information into the most organized format I can.

Thanks in advance for all your help/time/efforts! I look forward to putting this together with everyone!

-Scott

(Edited to correct grammar)

Ed Lijewski
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Re: Comprehensive Upgrade List for XR?

Post by Ed Lijewski » Mon May 06, 2019 1:02 pm

Have you digested the info here against your objectives?

https://www.merkurencyclopedia.com/

Also see MerkurTech, MC2Racing.

YMMV
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my8950
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Re: Comprehensive Upgrade List for XR?

Post by my8950 » Mon May 06, 2019 2:10 pm

See here:
www.merkurxr4ti.com/ref/merkur.pdf

Copy & paste the link...

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merkurdriver
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Re: Comprehensive Upgrade List for XR?

Post by merkurdriver » Tue May 07, 2019 2:23 pm

Its tough to nail down as there are so many options in 2019. Most of the info on the encyclopedia, merkurxr4ti.com, mc2, merkurtech is a little dated, but still pretty good. 75% is still sound advice today. The other 25% is simply outdated as "better ways" have come along long since the [insert website] last entry.

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John Brennan
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Re: Comprehensive Upgrade List for XR?

Post by John Brennan » Tue May 07, 2019 3:50 pm

merkurdriver wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 2:23 pm
Its tough to nail down as there are so many options in 2019. Most of the info on the encyclopedia, merkurxr4ti.com, mc2, merkurtech is a little dated, but still pretty good. 75% is still sound advice today. The other 25% is simply outdated as "better ways" have come along long since the [insert website] last entry.
This is very true-- in fact, I'm not sure if anyone stills monitors or contributes to this, nor the Merkur Desktop in general, which is woefully out of date and rife with long-gone websites and references.
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

my8950
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Re: Comprehensive Upgrade List for XR?

Post by my8950 » Tue May 07, 2019 3:52 pm

Is there any way/how that these can be updated?

timxr8
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Re: Comprehensive Upgrade List for XR?

Post by timxr8 » Tue May 07, 2019 6:22 pm

Ditto on everything above. There's such a wide range of price options on a lot of the upgrades that these should be included with the "list". Also, with many of the upgrades, there's wide range of cost due to availability and your willingness to scrounge around (either in the JY or on eBay/FB Marketplace). Example, the rear brake upgrade brackets I have can make a rear brake conversion that ranges from about $300 to close to $600 depending on what you are buying and whether it's new or used.

I can start with some brake stuff without any commentary (you all know I have my opinions):

Rear:
MerkurDepot 10" "Sierra" disc conversion. Scorpio Calipers (same as Sierra) and Focus 253mm (same as Standard Sierra) rotors
timxr8 11" "Focus" disc conversion. 2012+ Focus calipers and 02-04 Focus 280mm rotors (hubcentric)
T-Bird disc conversion (Merkur Midwest I think has these brackets). 87-88 Turbocoupe (and others) calipers and matching rotors

Front:
timxr8 11" "Focus" upgrade. 05-07 Focus 278mm rotors and 12+ Calipers
Mustang PBR. 99-04 Mustang calipers and Contour SVT 278mm rotors or a 300mm Focus SVT version as well.

Other options include some Wilwood options from JVAB and Myself. If I missed anything, let me know.

Cost varies as stated above. There are also opinions on which are the "best". Some may not work with certain wheels.
Tim Spencer
1988 XR4Ti Duratec project car
2011 Taurus SHO daily driver...not stock.

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reddy2300
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Re: Comprehensive Upgrade List for XR?

Post by reddy2300 » Fri May 17, 2019 2:00 pm

From "bone stock" and all required maintenance items (coolant/hoses, timing belt, brakes, etc) addressed, I would start with a 3" exhaust system. Bang for the buck, this does more to wake these cars up more than any other mod. (You'll spend $200-$300 or so on a decent used one. As much as $500, new) Then, I'd buy a $50 "Gillis Valve" boost controller and set it at about 17psi. Still very safe and will really increase throttle response. After that, a new fuel pump would be good. A Walbro 255lph is the more popular choice. Make sure to get the "high pressure" Mustang application one as the low pressure one doesn't increase pressure enough with 15-20psi of boost. Somewhere in there, an intercooler needs to be added. Plenty of options for that. I went with the Merkur Depot shorty rad/ic combo. Excellent value for the money. A little more boost can be added with an IC present. Another good upgrade is also an LA3 or PE computer and Big VAM. At this point the car is quite a bit of fun and you may be happy with it. After this, a slow progression to all polyurethane suspension bushings would come in handy. Brake upgrades will follow. As will (in my humble opinion) a shifter upgrade for the T9, if so equipped.

Etc, etc.
1987 5-speed XR4ti-70K mile "barn find", Rosso Red, Grant wheel, short throw shifter, PE/big VAM, 255lph pump, 3" Stinger/Magnaflow exhaust, MD "shorty" radiator/IC, fake BBS wheels, Koni Yellows, Rapido sway bars, poly/aluminum bushes, Gillis valve,

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