Talk me down... Thinking full rewire and engine rebuild

XR4Ti / Sierra / Sierra Cosworth Discussions - Questions, problem resolution, general talk, technical tips and modifications.
Post Reply
Chris_12
Level 2
Level 2
Posts: 120
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2016 2:21 pm
Location: Manhattan, KS

Talk me down... Thinking full rewire and engine rebuild

Post by Chris_12 » Mon Dec 23, 2019 11:24 pm

So, I keep my 88 XR with my family while I work the majority of the year. This past weekend my XR lost coolant but nothing underneath. Start her up and white smoke. I replaced the head gasket about 3 years ago, but coolant is still getting in the engine. The head was magafluxed and was checked out as good. I am scratching my head on how the coolant and oil is mixing. A part of me is thinking that the coolant lines are not channeled correctly. I have a Merkur Depot IC/Alum radiator that has an extra little inlet (for overflow?). At the same time, I bought this car with a rat's nest of wiring. Things cut up all over the place and now none of the gauges work properly. Again, frustrating. With the idea of just pulling the engine, I am thinking, "Screw it. Rewire and rebuild the whole car." I am guessing it will be expensive, but I am not selling.

Anyone have a good source for a XR wire harness(es)? I also will be putting in a Pimp ECU and Jeff's digital dash. Any ideas on where else to check the coolant? Bigger question, any idea how much it would cost to rebuild the engine and rewire the engine?

https://drive.google.com/open?id=10SMhc ... whe9of5zJj
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1UhxYQ ... a8zh_w4uem
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1w36Ez ... 8avQMWJ0rh
'89 Merkur XR4Ti Racecar-The Beast
'88 Merkur XR4Ti-The Build
'87 Merkur XR4Ti-The Beauty
Always looking for a '85 Merkur XR4TI (blue preferably) for my dad

thesameguy
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 2149
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 5:06 pm
Location: Sacramento
Contact:

Re: Talk me down... Thinking full rewire and engine rebuild

Post by thesameguy » Tue Dec 24, 2019 10:35 am

I have built a few wiring harnesses, and I think it's fun but it's definitely not cheap. You need a lot of supplies, and if you cheap out on wiring (eg, use red & black primary wire) you will kill yourself the first time something goes wrong. There are hundreds of wire colors in a car... Dozens in an ECM harness alone. For a reason! If you're patient you can junkyard a lot of this, but really you're trading days at a junkyard for days side hustling Uber.... Same difference.

The XR is neat in that the ECM harness is almost totally separate from the rest of the car.... That's what makes them attractive to people doing 2.3 swaps compared to using Mustang or Thunderbird parts. You can often find them on eBay, but I will guarantee one of our vendors has one to sell.

If your problems are a cut up ECM harness and a screwy instrument cluster, I'd focus on fixing what's broken and not worry about rewiring a whole car. That seems like a lot of unnecessary work.

As far as coolant loss, maybe you're losing it from the turbo? You can do a quick and dirty bypass of those cooling lines with some 3/8" (IIRC) hose to test. You should also do a compression test and/or exhaust gas test to narrow it down.

Chris_12
Level 2
Level 2
Posts: 120
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2016 2:21 pm
Location: Manhattan, KS

Re: Talk me down... Thinking full rewire and engine rebuild

Post by Chris_12 » Thu Dec 26, 2019 10:00 pm

Thanks, I will take a look at the turbo. Hopefully someone will have some harnesses.
'89 Merkur XR4Ti Racecar-The Beast
'88 Merkur XR4Ti-The Build
'87 Merkur XR4Ti-The Beauty
Always looking for a '85 Merkur XR4TI (blue preferably) for my dad

MarkM
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 833
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 11:59 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: Talk me down... Thinking full rewire and engine rebuild

Post by MarkM » Sat Dec 28, 2019 3:29 pm

If you're looking for a new engine wiring harness, contact club sponsor Stinger Performance https://www.stinger-performance.com/sto ... ommon/home

I believe he is a Ron Francis Wiring reseller, but cheaper than buying from Ron Francis directly.
Mark

Chris_12
Level 2
Level 2
Posts: 120
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2016 2:21 pm
Location: Manhattan, KS

Re: Talk me down... Thinking full rewire and engine rebuild

Post by Chris_12 » Sat Dec 28, 2019 3:36 pm

Thanks. I appreciate it.
'89 Merkur XR4Ti Racecar-The Beast
'88 Merkur XR4Ti-The Build
'87 Merkur XR4Ti-The Beauty
Always looking for a '85 Merkur XR4TI (blue preferably) for my dad

Post Reply