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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88 XR Build Thread - Rose

Post by cmouta » Fri May 09, 2014 10:13 am

Decided to centralize my car progress with photos that might be of interest to someone somewhere. I got my XR maybe 4 years and I'm just now starting to get into engine mods. I'm easily distracted between my 4 ladies:

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Bought the car as a C3 automatic with ill fitting rims and tires:
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XR Ownership started off as expected:
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Failed emissions several times, dipstick from the C3 broke off and working out of a storage unit sucked so it was time for a T5 and some help:
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I found that I had a gutted cat in my Modern Performance exhaust so a custom 3" went in with this magnaflow cat and an autozone special Thrush exhaust:
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Jeff Labonte basically did my 4cyl T5 install(and alot of other work) for me.
Galaxie1 Trans Mount
PyroPete 4puck clutch
DG clutch quadrant
rick thompson clevis adapter
early style narrow pedals
T9 Driveshaft with T5 yoke
Pro 5.0 shifter with Steeda Lever to set the knob back a bit

I don't think I like the early style pedals. The brake pedal goes deep passed the gas pedal and my foot gets a little jammed up sometimes transitioning over. I think eventually I'll switch to a hydraulic setup. The clutch pedal sits really high and I have to lift my knee up towards my body(which hits the steering wheel) to press it where I'd rather be able to just pivot on my heel. When I get in my Contour I almost put my foot through the floor from my body getting used to the heavy T5.
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Had some clearance issues with the clutch clevis:
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Installed the larger front Scorpio bar that points the other way as a solution:
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Finally passed emissions, installed mc2racing koni coilovers with 350inlb springs up front to compliment the full poly bushing set that the car came with. Picked up a set of Borbet Type C 16x7.5" et35 from Jeff and mounted a set of 225/45's in the rear and went to autox asap. Bone stock rear suspension made for a very squirrelly car.

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Maybe a little over a year ago I finally installed koni rear shocks,650inlb rear springs, a 16mmm cossie bar with poly bushings, mc2racing nylon steering rack bushings(on my second reman'd steering rack from autozone within a year). Car sits nice and feels so much more solid now, obviously.
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Still finding little Easter Eggs in my car:
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I also still find the clutch to not be very easily slippable which I'm getting used to/better at. Car shakes violently If I try and one time I did this, oops:
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Finally getting to more recent times, test fitting 225/45/16 up front on my Borbets but I ended up buying 215/45/16 Kumho Ecsta XS's:
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Installed my LA2/Large VAM and K&N RE-0930 6" filter a month ago, fit was fine although a little too close to the headlight connector:
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Car runs fine although it seems to hang up between 3-4k RPM. Some searching suggests I should intercool it and pull the Knock Sensor so I started my Audi 5000 radiator install to make room for the cossie IC:
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Got the stock auto Radiator removed although it is a pain with the C3 tranny cooler lines. As mentioned on here somewhere, the line feeds into the top of the side of the radiator, out the bottom, to the bumper mounted cooler, and back to the trans. I'm planning on retaining it as a steering cooler.
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The unit has brackets that sit over some speed nuts:
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other bracket mounted:
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PRESENT DAY, like...photos I took this morning:

"Bring your trans cooler to work" day:
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Just cut the hose! I cracked/pulled the port right off, hoping my welder at work can help fix it:
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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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nathankershaw
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Re: 88 XR Build Thread - Rose

Post by nathankershaw » Fri May 09, 2014 11:11 am

Nice methodical strategic non impulsive progress.

It's a rare thing! lol.

Car looks great. It is nice when they start to handle well.
The stable is empty...

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Re: 88 XR Build Thread - Rose

Post by merkurdriver » Fri May 09, 2014 3:20 pm

So far so good! :cheers

cmouta
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Re: 88 XR Build Thread - Rose

Post by cmouta » Wed May 21, 2014 9:07 am

Lots of progress yesterday,

Pulled the cluster to redo my tach, saw this and it was one of those "how is my car still running" moments. I'm pretty sure that red wire connected to the BK/Y is running straight to my starter relay but then how is everything that would normally run off the disconnected BK/Y still working?? Something to look into I guess.
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Checked my tach with some work equipment and it wouldn't even go past 4k rpm(unrelated to my LA2/non intercooled troubles in another post.) This was the output on a 6500RPM signal injection:
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Resoldered everything and it worked as it should have. I was nervous about this as you can see the right part of that solder pad "X" is bridged to the component above it, almost unintentional looking. I left it intact and seems to be working fine but I'm still a bit leery of it. If anyone pulls their tach and notices the same thing I'd love to hear about it.
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I would say the calibration on my eyes are +-50rpm. I adjusted the pot around an exact 4kRPM then took readings. I've read fox mustang tachs have 2 adjustment pots!
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knockoff hurst shift knob installed, needs jam nut! Wish the guy reminded me before I popped it off the knurled insert.
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cosworth 2wd intercooler installed with early 80s audi 5000 radiator and dual 12" silicone intakes fans. I'm still a little worried about the 12amps these things are gonna pull :shock: They also don't feel all that secure with those pull through zip ties and I pulled the crap out of them:
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Just need to make some brackets to attach the radiator to the intercooler rubber isolaters:
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Last edited by cmouta on Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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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Re: 88 XR Build Thread - Rose

Post by hEaT » Fri May 23, 2014 1:54 pm

Looks good Chris! Hope to see you at autox this year.
Joe
1985 Nimbus Grey XR
2017 Ford Focus RS

cmouta
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Re: 88 XR Build Thread - Rose

Post by cmouta » Tue May 27, 2014 9:24 am

Thanks Joe! Every time I miss an autocross at Thompson...a little bit of me dies inside.
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 Jun 06, 2014 9:39 am

As much as I love listening to my Thrush muffler droning away on the highway(its actually not that bad) I decided to replace my blown speakers while I had the downtime. This driver side one produces no sound at all. go figure.
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Redrilled the mounting plate and replaced with some 6x8's I had kicking around. Still have to do passenger side.
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Success! Early 80s audi 5000 radiator is in and working. No leaks so far. Fans turn on fine with the AC switch but didn't let it idle long enough for them to kick on themselves. Stock upper hose, cut and rotated stock lower hose. Spring loaded constant torque worm gear clamps from Napa. Tried to use the "plyers requiring" constant torque clamps from a contour 2.5L water pump hose but they were just a tad too small.

I had an 89 hose to use but it was too long and buckled a bit in the middle. I didn't want to try and modify it being they're so rare.
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I feel like I'm forgetting something....Doh!
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Need to find a home for that. space is tight with both hoses on the passenger side now.

Still need to sort IC plumbing so I might just repin back to stock ECU and small vam so I can autox sunday...
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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Re: 88 XR Build Thread - Rose

Post by blugg » Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:39 pm

could you email that Tach calibration to blugg@msn.com
Jeff

cmouta
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Re: 88 XR Build Thread - Rose

Post by cmouta » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:35 am

Installed the small vam and stock manual ECU(although it still wont hit over 10psi), zip tied my overflow bottle to the small VAM and made it out to autocross a few days ago. Car felt great with rear suspension done and new 215/45/16 kumho Ecsta XS's. I'm still a terrible driver. Also, I always forget which way "Z" points.

http://youtu.be/74Q5Xuws7dY?t=22s

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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 » Mon Aug 11, 2014 9:23 am

Finally got my IC plumbing for my cossie 2wd unit installed with some pipes Jeff Labonte gave me and couplers from siliconeintakes.com

Decided to try and roll my own beads using the vice grips/ 2.5" exhaust clamp/giant washer method. It was a little difficult at first until i duct taped the washer to the pliers.

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The results aren't pretty but they get the job done!
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Still working out some issues with what I suspect is either a bad VAM or bad ecu. Whenever I swap in this combo the engine tends to hang up around 3-4k. Go back to stock units, and the engine runs fine. Same problem before installing the IC. Also the engine makes boost fine but wants to die a little bit coasting to a stop in neutral.
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 » Mon Aug 11, 2014 9:28 am

Also painted my cossie grill. I think I had a can malfunction. The color was great(rosso red from paintscratch.com) but it was spraying so thin there is no way I could have painted it at the 10-12" recommended distance. Couldn't even get a wet coat at a slow 4". Needs a sanding but I ran out of paint. So i said screw it and cleared it. I'll repaint it some other time. It's still in better shape than my stock grill.

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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 Aug 14, 2014 8:50 am

Pulled apart the large VAM, thought it was bad because it went from 80% open ~1000ohms, to 100%open, 520ohms. Went home and apparently my known working small VAM does the same thing so still tracking down why my LA2 runs like crap.
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Installed a Derale 13200 power steering cooler with a Magnefine inline 3/8" filter.
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Also installed a cossie grill from Phil@OPMD with argentinian plastic insert. I think it gives it that distinct 80s touch. The black slats grill is attached to those two metal grill brackets behind it with double sided moulding tape.
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made my own grill gasket out of this from pep boys. It came out OK except for the sides which need a little work. It's too thick for the sides so you have to trim it. I cut it in half, removing the part that had sticky tape. The package photo is misleading because the bottom is only half covered by tape. Then my own "trim moulding tape" wouldn't stick to the rubber so I twisted it at the corner and lined the edge with the "C" that was left over. Need a solution to make it stay in place as wind blows it right out. Good enough for 30 bucks and a midnight attempt.
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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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Re: 88 XR Build Thread - Rose

Post by Esteban » Fri Aug 15, 2014 3:22 am

Did you figure out your boost issue? 10psi is the stock wastegate spring. So you must have the turbo hooked up directly to the WGA right? You should easily be able to get 15psi just from bypassing the BCS. Have one side of the brass tee on the compressor housing run to the WGA, and have the other side of the tee run to the turbo inlet elbow. and BAM, 15psi without a boost controller.

As for the hangup around 3-4k, Have you tried sweeping the VAMs for any flatspots? Also sweep the TPS as well. Who repinned your LA2?

cmouta
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Re: 88 XR Build Thread - Rose

Post by cmouta » Fri Aug 15, 2014 8:46 am

You're referring to not seeing the stock 15psi with the manual computer? I did not figure that out. I suppose I could have tested the solenoid but I installed a gillis valve mbc instead. boosts to 15psi just fine now!

No, still can't figure out why car runs great with PF3/small vam and horrible with LA2/big vam. LA2 is unmodified/not repinned internally. Tested the big vam for flat spots, none to speak of. Outputs exactly like small vam. If the TPS was bad, I'd expect the PF3 to run equally poorly based on that. It was actually replaced a couple of years/few thousand miles ago when I did a very comprehensive tune up to get this thing to pass emissions.

Rechecked all my wiring. BOO is correct and functioning, VAF, VAT, EGR, and BCS(which doesn't matter) are all getting moved to the right spot. Premium mode is grounded properly. ACT is wired in, although not plumbed in yet. I am currently not tying pin 30 to SIG RTN which appears to be neutral Input for starting. No one really even mentions that one except for that PEtoLA.pdf document.

Things I haven't done are change my timing to 10BTDC from what I think is currently 13BTDC. It could already be 10 since it started life as an auto, I don't remember if it was changed when the PF3 was put in. I'll double check that and redo my idle I guess. I also haven't tried pulling codes. I should install the LA2, drive around and see what it reports.

Right now it's just nice to drive a working car that boosts to 15psi. I don't really want to buy another ecu or vam to make this work. I'd sooner start saving up for a PiMP system.
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 Sep 19, 2014 8:38 am

Update: Jeff Labonte unplugged my knock sensor. That fixed the WOT hanging issue. The engine dying issue...my TPS was a bit out and I think I just needed to give the LA2 more time to learn. It was making me nervous enough that I was using my right foot as an IAC, which I don't think was helping the learning process. All is well in LA2 swap land! Holy hell 18psi hits violently! Going to dial it down just outside of boost buzzer range and hopefully autocross this sunday!
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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