88 XR Build Thread - Rose

Documenting your big project with photos/videos? Have photos/videos to share of anything Merkur related? Place your links to photos and videos here. Please - Merkurs and Merkur-related pictures only. Cosworths welcome!!
Carlisle and event related pictures are to be placed in the relevant section under 'Events'.
cmouta
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Re: 88 XR Build Thread - Rose

Post by cmouta » Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:48 am

Upgraded my fuel pump to a walbro and thought I'd post a few things I found helpful. I drove my car down to the point that the gas light came on(tricky if you don't have your anti slosh circuit) and that was lightweight enough for me to handle the tank myself. After screwing around quite a bit to both lower and raise the fuel tank, I think the most flexibility came from using some lashing straps hooked into the rear tow hook spot and across to the frame opening where the oem tank strap bolts in. This allows you some wiggle room to work the fill pipe in/out without worrying about it falling off a stationary object like a jackstand or a floor jack with a long board duct taped to the saddle. once the pipe is free you can then use the floorjack/board/duct tape combo to support and lower the tank. I the used the lashing straps to tighten the tank to the board for stability.

When I finally saw the pump cover/locking I thought there was absolutely no way it was coming out. It looked rusted solid. soaked it with quite a bit of pb blaster and ended up using a small screw driver and hammer to scrape away between the locking tabs and the ring. I also used an O-ring pick to pry up any rocks and shmutz. finally, I used my cheapo air compressor to blow everything off clean and dry and was able to tap it open using a large bolt as a punch and a small deadblow hammer.

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pump assembled on new bracket, sans sock filter. The sock filter does not go on easy in my experience so If you want to get it right, I'd scribe a mark on the pump assembly cover before initial removal, pointing to the rear of the tank, maybe also on the tank so you'll have a perfect alignment on reinstallation:
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I had the perfect size grommet for two wires from a harbor freight kit but and my largest drill bit was 1/4" which was enough for the smallest grommet in the kit so I ended up drilling two holes. I used Seal All for both the ID and OD of the grommet and alternating QD connectors for the power wiring. I followed mc2's instructions on rerouting/extending the oem external tank's wiring and cut the internal pump oem +12V wire in the hatch area as I thought that'd be cleaner if I ever need to reconnect, which I absolutely will not.
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reinstalled the tank, key'd on and off a few times to prime the lines, car fired right up. :cheers
Chris
2013 Nero Fiat 500C Abarth
1988 Mono Rosso Red Merkur XR4Ti
1974 VW Thing
2006 Bajaj Chetak 4T w/ sidecar

cmouta
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Re: 88 XR Build Thread - Rose

Post by cmouta » Fri May 18, 2018 9:16 am

Here's a novel!

Finally some light at the end of an annoying tunnel for me. After 3 years of what I thought was "trouble boosting over 10psi in 1st and 2nd gear", I now realize was "misfire/hestitation above ~3500RPM that is greatly exaggerated by boost over 10psi and I just wasn't revving that high in 3rd"

I don't mind doing things in the name of preventative maintenance, but after professionally cleaned injectors, Walbro Fuel pump(USE NEW FUEL LINE CLIPS OR YOU'll BLOW THE LINE ON A MAIN ROAD AND BE COVERED IN FUEL TRYING TO FIX IT AND THE FIRE DEPARTMENT HAS TO COME AND POLICE WILL TELL YOU 'HEY YOU CAN'T BE STOPPED HERE' WHILE YOU'RE ON THE PHONE WITH TRIPLE A, AS IF IT WERE A CHOICE, THEN HE SAYS 'TELL THEM TO HURRY UP' AS IF THAT MATTERS TO THEM),new (motorcraft everything) FPR, Fuel Filter, ECT, Ignition Coil, Wires, cap, rotor, autolite Plugs gapped down to .028, timing triple checked, cam timing checked, TPS triple checked, Idle triple checked I got nowhere which was a total bummer.

Resolderered my Tach for the 3rd time(Pro tip, don't use your crappy radioshack low heat soldering iron like I initially did, get a good hot one like I eventually had to do that melts the solder on the slightest contact.) I was finally able to see that I could hold boost under 3500RPM and see it transition to a little stumble closer to 4k, which to me eliminated any ideas of vacuum/boost leaks. With pretty much all ignition and fuel related items replaced,I went back to the idea that the ECU is freaking out, during both open and closed loop. Primarily it looks at ECT, TPS, and VAF and VAT. One of those changes with RPM/air flow demand!

Running out of things to replace, I compared resistance sweep to another Large VAM and both reacted pretty crappy IMO but that made me think it was normal. Decided to mess with my Vam anyway and cleaned the track with rubbing alcohol and a few q tips, cleaned all the contact areas I could, and with the pinch bolt loosened and the front connector/giant copper arm out of the way, carefully bent the wiper arm down and reseated the assembly so that the two contact nubs were off the worn track. Popped it in the car and "wa-la", no more bucking! In hindsight, I could have done alot more testing before replacing parts but its a 30 year old car that originally cost me 1500 bucks so why not. At least there is that much less to worry about.

The Blue electronics safe Gasket Maker was something I used last time I opened it up. I did such a good job that I basically destroyed a corner of the cap removing it this time.
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I was also finally able to install my rotated intake this winter. I didn't want to try and remove my EGR pipe and finding a cap for the correct thread on the tube was difficult(I think it was some unusual thread size) so I just made a plate for the valve temporarily and deleted all the vacuum tubing.

The currently available motorcraft ECT sensor is a DY-1145 which uses a different connector that needs to be spliced into the harness.

Has anyone ever shortened the throttle cable somehow when doing a rotated intake? I don't love the hard "U" it has to make.

Also, after many attempts to jam a handheld photo-tach down into the engine bay to read a piece of reflective tape on the crank pulley which totally blows, I measured the the waterpump and crank pulley circumferences to calculate the ratio between the two and find out what RPM the waterpump pulley is at a 1000RPM crank.Now I can use the WP as my reference for setting idle. Much easier that way 8)

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Also overhauled my rear end this winter. the rear beam and control arms were painted in POR15(read the part about doing this in a well ventilated area BEFORE painting in your basement :oops: .

NEW CV Halfshafts from rockauto, trakmotive PN's VW8045 and VW8063. Looks like they are made for a VW Bus, hopefully they hold up to more than 40HP. They came "pregreased" on the inside but that was not enough IMO. They just tossed a dollop in there. Pulled the ends and greased them properly. They come with their own Allen Head hardware which is a nice touch.
New control arm and beam mount bushings, wheel bearings from MC2Racing.
2012 Focus Calipers, EBC Redstuff pads, SVT Focus rear rotors, adapters and stainless hoses from timxr8
Earplugs made a good diff breather hole plug
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Added some rubber hosing to prevent any rubbing on suspension parts. The hoses are routed in a way that won't go into the springs. Being able to use factory brake hose retaining clips at the body fittings is awesome!
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New oem style braided stainless front hoses also from timxr8 that fit my SVT Focus calipers nicely:
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Back to driving this POS!
Last edited by cmouta on Fri May 18, 2018 1:26 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Chris
2013 Nero Fiat 500C Abarth
1988 Mono Rosso Red Merkur XR4Ti
1974 VW Thing
2006 Bajaj Chetak 4T w/ sidecar

cmouta
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Re: 88 XR Build Thread - Rose

Post by cmouta » Fri May 18, 2018 1:23 pm

Bummer, seems like I'm getting uneven pressure on my new rear pads/rotors, I sure am sick of bleeding brakes!

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Chris
2013 Nero Fiat 500C Abarth
1988 Mono Rosso Red Merkur XR4Ti
1974 VW Thing
2006 Bajaj Chetak 4T w/ sidecar

morlynon
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Re: 88 XR Build Thread - Rose

Post by morlynon » Tue May 29, 2018 5:33 am

Nice project. I'm curious about the performance of your brake system.

cmouta
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Re: 88 XR Build Thread - Rose

Post by cmouta » Tue May 29, 2018 8:24 am

The performance has been good but I think I still have a little more bedding to do with my rear brakes. It's difficult to gauge because the system is so vastly different in actuation than my Abarth. You really have to stomp on the XR's brakes to get it to stop where as the Abarth will start to bite early on with less effort. I'm sure that's the case with most new cars having EBD and all that other jazz. I just did a Track Night in America at Limerock Park and I think I could have asked way more of my brakes but I was afraid to lock them up going 100->40mph at turn 1. Also, I realized mid event that although my car is running great, I'm spewing oil out of my dipstick tube at 18psi, and now that I think about it, i'm pretty sure it was doing that a few years ago too before I turned it down to 10psi. Picked up a new motorcraft EV127A PCV valve and it allows a small amount of air through if I try hard enough, just like the one on the car. VC Breather was sprayed with tons of carb cleaner before the event so time for a catch can/pcv delete!


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Chris
2013 Nero Fiat 500C Abarth
1988 Mono Rosso Red Merkur XR4Ti
1974 VW Thing
2006 Bajaj Chetak 4T w/ sidecar

cmouta
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Re: 88 XR Build Thread - Rose

Post by cmouta » Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:24 am

Had a chance to swap over my front hubs to extended ARP studs yesterday. Man I hate removing the old studs. I used a harbor freight ball joint separator and its like a Jack in the box gunshot when the old stud decides to fire out. Used a few blocks of wood behind it to catch.

Decided to test fit my beater E0 SVT Contour rims(16x6.5 et49.5) on the front with new firestone firehawk indy 500 in 205/45/16 as my track day rain tire:

without spacers:
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with 10mm spacers:
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Chris
2013 Nero Fiat 500C Abarth
1988 Mono Rosso Red Merkur XR4Ti
1974 VW Thing
2006 Bajaj Chetak 4T w/ sidecar

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John Brennan
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Re: 88 XR Build Thread - Rose

Post by John Brennan » Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:36 am

Looks like you could run without 'em. 205/45 16 worked very well with my old '85.

Really enjoying the pix and this thread, BTW. :cheers
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1989 XR4Ti 5-Speed
2015 Fiesta ST
2015 Edge

cmouta
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Re: 88 XR Build Thread - Rose

Post by cmouta » Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:46 am

John Brennan wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:36 am
Looks like you could run without 'em. 205/45 16 worked very well with my old '85.

Really enjoying the pix and this thread, BTW. :cheers
thanks! It's actually helpful to myself as a referenceable diary. I keep a separate text based maintenance/mod log but its helpful to look back at things I've tried with visual documentation that may have not made it into my log. Even though these forums seem to be a bit less active than the facebook group, I prefer to do all my posting and questions here unless I'm in a pinch. Everyone else's builds have been so helpful to me, I feel obligated to share my efforts, even if they seem mundane, just incase it might help someone else out down the line.
Chris
2013 Nero Fiat 500C Abarth
1988 Mono Rosso Red Merkur XR4Ti
1974 VW Thing
2006 Bajaj Chetak 4T w/ sidecar

cmouta
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Re: 88 XR Build Thread - Rose

Post by cmouta » Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:00 am

Made it out to another Track Night In America. Blew a radiator port cap on the way. Definitely had a 3/4" cap on a 5/8" port so the clamp eventually cracked the cap and it spewed coolant everywhere. Not sure how long it had been leaking but reservoir was empty when I stopped, temp needle never moved but I turned the radiator fans on just incase when I saw the coolant level light. Tried to patch it with self fusing silicone tape, no dice. Napa delivered me a new cap and I was on my way to the track! Thought it was going to rain so I ran brand new firestone firehawk indy 500's in 205/45/16 on 16x6.5 contour wheels with 10mm spacers. It never rained and they of course did not handle like my Kumho Ecsta XS 215/45/16's on 16x7.5 wheels. It certainly made me more cautious and aware of what I was doing which maybe is good for improving driving. The kumhos always held it together no matter how bad of a turn I took where as the firestones would let the tail slide out. Maybe they need to be worn in a little more(only had 100 miles on them before hitting the track).

Desperately need to improve my heel toe to manage the 100mph->30mph transition into a turn. Any time i left the brake pedal to updshift/rev match I'd find I hadn't slowed down enough and blow the turn. If I didn't rev match, I'd chirp the tires and upset the balance of the car and blow the turn. Brakes are bled pretty good but I'm wondering if the smaller SVT focus caliper piston is what is causing me to have to stomp on the pedal. I think I'm gonna switch to the jaguar X-Type calipers when my current pads wear out.

I think I should stop buying parts and take an instructional track day course.

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Chris
2013 Nero Fiat 500C Abarth
1988 Mono Rosso Red Merkur XR4Ti
1974 VW Thing
2006 Bajaj Chetak 4T w/ sidecar

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andyofcolumbusmerkur
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Re: 88 XR Build Thread - Rose

Post by andyofcolumbusmerkur » Thu Jul 26, 2018 5:52 pm

I hope you were able to blow past that RSX easily and make that Vette work a little to get past you.
You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. There's shrimp kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo, pan fried, deep fried, stir fried, pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp in potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich....

cmouta
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Re: 88 XR Build Thread - Rose

Post by cmouta » Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:45 am

andyofcolumbusmerkur wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 5:52 pm
I hope you were able to blow past that RSX easily and make that Vette work a little to get past you.
I did pass that RSX(I don't think it was an rsx-s) but I did not make that vette work to pass me. If someone pops up behind me out of nowhere, they are getting through so I don't have to feel like I'm holding anyone up. Being one of the older cars at the track gives me great appreciation of just how good new cars really are, even the boring ones!
Chris
2013 Nero Fiat 500C Abarth
1988 Mono Rosso Red Merkur XR4Ti
1974 VW Thing
2006 Bajaj Chetak 4T w/ sidecar

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