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The Merkur Club of America Forums • If you could start over...
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If you could start over...

Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 6:38 am
by smoke3006
would you still get involved with XR4Ti's?
Just a simple question from someone who's seriously thinking of buying one. :wink:

Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 7:18 am
by Varthlokkur
Well, I'm still new to the Merkur seen (less than a year) and the previous owner was a mechanic, so I feel lucky. Even so, I can offer these comments.

Will the Merkur be primary transportation? If so, is public transportation available where you live? This is a very important. A car of this age and quirkiness will make you insane if you have to depend upon it for day to day transportation. Now, that is not true for all of them, but I would say for a majority.

Do you like working on cars? Are you willing to mess around with the car's electronics Unless you have a boatload of money, you are going to have to do your own repairs. Having a Merkur is going to cost you money. Its not a new vehicle, so mechanical failure is inevetable and they are known to have electrical problems. If you are willing to get dirty, you can fix any problem with the resources available on the 'net and the help of the good folks on this board.

What is your goal for this car? If you are looking for a fun car to drive; something you can work on or fix up, an XR4Ti is worth it. For the 9+ months I've owned mine, it has been undrivable for two. This is mainly due to time constraints (and not knowing how to fix the problem) to do the repairs. However, everytime I get in it and drive I am happy. Is it the fastest car on the road? No. Most nimble? No. But, it feels good and is fun to drive.

HTH

Varthlokkur

Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 7:39 am
by smoke3006
I'm looking at something for mainly auto-x usage.
I'd like a turbocharged RWD vehicle to drive/race.
I can do many of my own repairs and as its not my daily drive I'm not too worried about down time (as long as the problems can be fixed eventually).
I've had some experience working on an XR4Ti from helping Demonfire with his car.

Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 7:52 am
by Ray
yeah sam (smoke) and i can swap a head on one of these cars in a couple hours now :)

i agree with what's been said. there are many other cars that you can autoX that are just as fun, well maybe not as fun, because there is something about a merkur that makes you fanatical about them.

:)

Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 8:44 am
by Freejack
Yes, I would for sure, but the one thing I would have done is waited for a 5spd rather than an auto...

Jake

Re: If you could start over...

Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 9:15 am
by Mike McCreight
smoke3006 wrote:would you still get involved with XR4Ti's?
Just a simple question from someone who's seriously thinking of buying one. :wink:
I hadn't a clue what I was getting into, but emphatically, yes.
I have one I drive in winter, which I just maintain, and then thrash through snowstorms, and the occasional rally stage, the other I probably spend more time (and $$$) working on than I do driving it. Both have been VERY reliable, and rewarding. NO I didn't do any research before getting my first one, but the whole experience has been great. The comeraderie, the events, and the on-line fun is a big part of it, and I've met the greatest people as a result.
In short, go for it!

Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 9:52 am
by flylear45
I am very happy. I do drive mine all year as a daily driver, and it never lets me down. I had a TFI/PIP fail in the driveway, and the rest has been routine maintenance (which is considerable for ANY car this old) or upgrades.

If you expect to run 20+ psi on pump gas and thrash it, expect it to break. That's called hotrodding, and you get what you ask for. If you drive it with a little reserve, it'll last. My good luck may be due to the fact that I have a late (1988 model) car. I dunno. It was well cared for by the PO, and not thrashed. If you get one that's all kid-f*(&ed, you'll be replacing everything.

The interiors are great, My cloth looks almost new after 180,000 miles. I have had no real electrical probs except a broken 4-way switch and some sloppy rear sockets on the taillamps.

I wish for easier upgrade options, though. It seems many things for us are custom bodges rather than an off the shelf bolt on, ie brakes and suspension stuff. In particular I'd like to be able to buy a set of caster/camber plates. Instead I'll be modding some from a Mustang or something. The engine stuff is easier, the same as any TurboFord. There's little room for a decent exhaust or fat tires without modification. The rear end is a bit tough to find a cheap LSD for. It's easy to get a lot of cash tied up in a cheap car if you go for 'all' the mods, but you can have a lot of fun for cheap if you are patient and lucky sourcing your bits.

If I was to look for a 'new' Merkur, I'd be starting with a well maintained and modded one. The PO will certainly have to sell it for a considerable loss in order to move it, IMHO. I say this with the certainty that I'll be in that boat once I'm done playing with mine.

All in all, for a mechanically inclined person who likes to be different, it's a winner!

Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:03 am
by turboxr
Yes

Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:07 am
by Turbopit
The biggest thing I don't like about the XR isn't really the XR's fault. My XR doesn't fit into most of the classes at sanctioned import drag events. Most classes required a factory head and rear end. My car has neither. most of the classes it would fit in, I would likely need 1000+ hp to be competitive.

Now, there are plenty of other events to race at. One of my favorite being Ford events put on by the NMRA, FFW, etc... The problem is, they don't come to Colorado. There are also lots of import events that are not sanctioned, but those are general small events, all over the country. One of my local tracks has an NHRA Sport Compact event which I don't really fit into except for the really big budget classes and then they have anotehr event late int he year that they put on by themselves without the NHRA. For the most part though, they follow the NHRA Sport Compact classes. :( I either need a slower car or a faster car. LOL

There is also plenty of local weekly bracket racing. So, there is plenty of drag racing to do, just not as much of the type I want in my area. :)

Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 12:02 pm
by fastmaul
Yep loved my XR when I first got it, Love Taryn's (Ztee24) XR love Ian's, gosh so many XR's that are so nice good spec's, fast. Yeah, I would get another one I don't have mine anymore.

Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 12:04 pm
by wilky
Absolutely - no other car has given me so much pleasure.

Wilky

Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 12:17 pm
by Shigma
Without a doubt, these cars are so easy to work on, they're a very cheap speed compared to other cars of its like such as dsm's. And there's a boatload of aftermarket, if you're into the 'wtf is that' then have it blow you away kind of car too, this car fits the bill perfectly.

Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 5:19 pm
by vcallaway
Fortunately I knew what I was getting into when I bought one.

I'm a rather large guy, this car is one of the few cars that classifies as compact that I am comfortable in.

I've restored several cars in my life and have been around race cars since I could walk. These cars are not unique in having quirks or hard to find parts.

Think of these cars as a woman. If you treat it with respect and pay attention to its needs you will be happy. If you beat it and ignore it you will find yourself on the side of the road walking :)

Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 7:39 pm
by KingpinCEO
im looking for another one now. :D

Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 7:48 pm
by Shigma
AlexD wrote:
Shigma wrote:Without a doubt, these cars are so easy to work on, they're a very cheap speed compared to other cars of its like such as dsm's. And there's a boatload of aftermarket, if you're into the 'wtf is that' then have it blow you away kind of car too, this car fits the bill perfectly.
You just had to say that about DSMS did you, why could you have not said HONDA :lol:
Becuase (some) dsm's are already turbocharged and awd is closer to rwd than fwd is? They're usually cheaper for waht they are considering that a mid 80's POS crx si which should go for 200 bucks goes for over 3000 around me. It takes 2500, 3000 to get into a decent dsm. For 3000 I've collected two xr's and made one much nicer than that decent starting dsm.