Another XR racer build

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'.
Chris_12
Level 2
Level 2
Posts: 106
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2016 2:21 pm
Location: Manhattan, KS

Another XR racer build

Post by Chris_12 » Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:00 pm

Well, I finally am able to drive my 88 XR after a clutch and a head gasket replacement. Now I am finding more issues as I drive. It seems the biggest one is with the T5. It seems to be some bearing issues since there is a scratching noise when coasting. Anyways, the original plan was to make it a AutoX car (drive to and from), but since I recently bought my 87, I decided to pursue a full blown race car build for track days, maybe regional racing, and of course AutoX. Now, this is my first build. I plan on dealing with the trans issue first then brakes, suspension, computer/electrical, custom wiring (getting rid of unnecessary items), and then cosmetics (whale tail, cossie bumpers, etc). Over the past few months, I have been suggested the following:
-Sierra rear brakes
-PBR front brakes
-Stainless Steel brake lines
-Megasquirt (not really sure which one)
-Merkur Depot Intercooler/Radiator (already installed)
-Stage 3 clutch (already installed)
-Forward facing intake
-Alternator moved (AC removed)
-3" CAT back exhaust
-Sierra Hood and doors (for weight)
-racing seats (not sure what to get)
-Coilovers Front and Rear (QA1?)
-Front sway bar (28.5mm)
-Rear sway bar (12-14mm)
-Correct rear diff ratio (not really sure what that is)
-Wheels (not sure what or should I swap out hubs?)
-Bushing (probably need to replace them all)

I don't really have a timeline. Anyone have any suggestions or recommendations? I would appreciate it.
Last edited by Chris_12 on Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
'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

User avatar
merkurdriver
Level 8
Posts: 5792
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2003 4:29 pm
Location: Northeast Ohio
Contact:

Re: Another XR racer build

Post by merkurdriver » Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:45 pm

How important is Megasquirt on your list? How much power do you want? There are a lot of bolt - on modifications that a PE or LA3 code factory Ford computer will gladly support and make good power...that being said if you want more than 300HP you may want to consider a Megasquirt computer.

3" downpipe and 3" exhaust should be the at the top of anyone's XR mod list

:wink:

http://merkur.50megs.com/photo2_4.html

Image

Also, the T5 making a scratching noise while coasting - if it has the (large diameter) 1 pc driveshaft check to make sure its not scrubbing the parking brake cable brackets.

kiwimanz
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2016 11:50 am

Re: Another XR racer build

Post by kiwimanz » Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:53 am

Chris_12 wrote:Well, I finally am able to drive my 88 XR after a clutch and a head gasket replacement. Now I am finding more issues as I drive. It seems the biggest one is with the T5. It seems to be some bearing issues since there is a scratching noise when coasting. Anyways, the original plan was to make it a AutoX car (drive to and from), but since I recently bought my 87, I decided to pursue a full blown race car build for track days, maybe regional racing, and of course AutoX. Now, this is my first build. I plan on dealing with the trans issue first then brakes, suspension, computer/electrical, custom wiring (getting rid of unnecessary items), and then cosmetics (whale tail, cossie bumpers, etc). Over the past few months, I have been suggested the following:
-Sierra rear brakes
-PBR front brakes
-Stainless Steel brake lines
-Megasquirt (not really sure which one)
-Merkur Depot Intercooler/Radiator (already installed)
-Stage 3 clutch (already installed)
-Forward facing intake
-Alternator moved (AC removed)
-3" CAT back exhaust
-Sierra Hood and doors (for weight)
-racing seats (not sure what to get)
-Coilovers Front and Rear (QA1?)
-Front sway bar (28.5mm)
-Rear sway bar (12-14mm)
-Correct rear diff ratio (not really sure what that is)
-Wheels (not sure what or should I swap out hubs?)

I don't really have a timeline. Anyone have any suggestions or recommendations? I would appreciate it.
Chris,
If you are interested, I have an Omex ECU, wiring harness, terminated with Bosch style plugs and Wideband I'd sell for $550.00 Software download is free.
It's a crank fire ignition so you can dump your distributor.
http://www.omextechnology.co.uk/
I run this system on my Formula Atlantic car
Cheers
Linz

Chris_12
Level 2
Level 2
Posts: 106
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2016 2:21 pm
Location: Manhattan, KS

Re: Another XR racer build

Post by Chris_12 » Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:46 am

merkurdriver wrote:How important is Megasquirt on your list? How much power do you want? There are a lot of bolt - on modifications that a PE or LA3 code factory Ford computer will gladly support and make good power...that being said if you want more than 300HP you may want to consider a Megasquirt computer.

3" downpipe and 3" exhaust should be the at the top of anyone's XR mod list

:wink:

http://merkur.50megs.com/photo2_4.html

Image

Also, the T5 making a scratching noise while coasting - if it has the (large diameter) 1 pc driveshaft check to make sure its not scrubbing the parking brake cable brackets.
I'm not really sure how power I want. Part of me wants to race it with the factory power, but I know I will get annoyed when everyone passes me. I guess I need to look at what class I probably should in.

As for the exhaust, that's the one I'm eyeing. Just a matter of priorities first.

My kur does have a single piece driveshaft. I will take a look at the cables to make sure.

Linz, I never heard of omex but it does interest me. I will have to do my homework on that first.
The megasquirt isn't a must have. I just read on here that it's quite popular.
'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

Chris_12
Level 2
Level 2
Posts: 106
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2016 2:21 pm
Location: Manhattan, KS

Re: Another XR racer build

Post by Chris_12 » Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:18 pm

did a quick search, but I didnt find anything. Has anyone ever used a digital dash?

Image
'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

kiwimanz
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2016 11:50 am

Re: Another XR racer build

Post by kiwimanz » Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:07 pm

I have an Aim Pista Dash in my Atlantic car.
Love it and the customer service from the guys in So Cal is awesome.
The cool thing with the Omex, it will communicate with the Aim dash so it will hold all the data coming off the engine sensors.
If you want to data log, make sure you get a dash that is not a display type as they have no memory.
Linz

User avatar
Esteban
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1955
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:07 am
Location: San Diego

Re: Another XR racer build

Post by Esteban » Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:10 pm

What class will you be running in autox?

I have the Sierra rear disc conversion available here. Included everything but the parking cable that you can get from Merkur Depot. Just took them off my autox car 2 months ago.

I also have a new set of aluminum steering rack bushings that I highly recommend for an autox car. Gets rid of steering slop and properly maintains to settings.

PM me for more details.

Chris_12
Level 2
Level 2
Posts: 106
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2016 2:21 pm
Location: Manhattan, KS

Re: Another XR racer build

Post by Chris_12 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:34 pm

Originally, I was thinking STX or something; but I will most likely end up some type of modified class.
'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

timxr8
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 585
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 11:39 am
Location: Milton, FL

Re: Another XR racer build

Post by timxr8 » Mon May 01, 2017 10:05 am

All of the answers you will get are very subjective, but I'll add my 2 cents based off of your post

-Sierra rear brakes
No; good pads are impossible to find in the US and the kit in the US is for the small standard Sierra rear rotors (253mm/10"). If you are ok with Solid rear discs (if you were going with the sierra, then I'm guessing so) I have brackets to fit the newer (12+) Focus calipers with Focus SVT rear rotors (280mm/11").

-PBR front brakes
If you are actually racing and want actual race brakes, let me know. I built Jeff Esteban's 11.75" (standard circle track) Wilwood 4 piston. Bias will be much better matched to any rear caliper available and also the master cylinder. You can also opt for the 6 piston if needed.

-Stainless Steel brake lines
All depends on caliper choices

-Megasquirt (not really sure which one)
http://www.stinger-performance.com/universalparts.html

-Sierra Hood and doors (for weight)
Look into the Deft Racing carbon fiber or fiberglass hood.

-Coilovers Front and Rear (QA1?)
John Vanlandingham (JVAB) makes bilstein suspension specifically for these cars. Rears take some fabrication to fit on the lower shock mount.

-Correct rear diff ratio (not really sure what that is)
IF John V makes more kits, or if you can find a Supra Diff kit, those are available in 3.73, 3.9, and 4.3 stock. Many aftermarket (stock truck) ratios are available. Posi comes standard in many of them and are easily found in the US.

-Wheels (not sure what or should I swap out hubs?)
What are you looking for? I have a full 5 lug swap (Scorpio, requires larger dia strut tubes) with 5x114.3/4.5 bolt circle if interested.

-Bushing (probably need to replace them all)
Agreed, you should. MC2 has a full kit if interested. I'm making some rear arms with spherical bearings in them for mine and might do a couple extra sets. Once I set up my lathe.

You didn't mention a transmission. If you are planning to do any sort of actual racing, then the 2.95 T5 is your best bet with a good rear ratio (I'm planning 4.3 with 25" tall tires). 5th will need to be changed out. I'm doing a relatively similar build, so if you would like to PM me we can actually talk. I've done a $#!* load of research into a lot of this stuff. I'll be modifying mine for over a decade. Mine won't be running for another couple years though (Duratec build).
Tim Spencer
1988 XR4Ti Duratec project car
2011 Taurus SHO daily driver...not stock.

Chris_12
Level 2
Level 2
Posts: 106
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2016 2:21 pm
Location: Manhattan, KS

Re: Another XR racer build

Post by Chris_12 » Mon May 01, 2017 3:16 pm

Thanks for the info! It is defiantly tightening my shot group on parts. I just need to figure the exact process to accomplish it. I am thinking transmission (depending on where the Army puts me in a few months), brakes, suspension, diff, exhaust, clean up the engine bay/wiring and upgrade the ecu, interior upgrades/stripping, roll cage, and then the cosmetics. Of course, I am debating if I should buy the main components now or as I go.

With the brakes, too late on the rears... just bought Esteban's with 278mm rotors. For the fronts, I do plan on road racing/trackdays and autoX. I haven't really looked at the differences and advantages for the other brakes. The list I wrote is very flexible and just to get me going.

In reference to the ECU, is there a recommended package? I am looking at the website going uh....

I am not picky on wheels at all. I guess it will depend on what kind of rubber I get. Again, I am not really picky on this.

As for the T5, I am in the same boat as is with the diff; however, from what I have learned from replacing the head gasket (new gasket, old fasteners, etc), I probably should take the transmission out and give it a good look. It will be a great opportunity to put in proper gearing and get a piece of mind about 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

User avatar
Esteban
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1955
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:07 am
Location: San Diego

Re: Another XR racer build

Post by Esteban » Mon May 01, 2017 4:29 pm

You can buy the PiMPx from Stinger but there is no real reason to go that high up with an older PiMP will do the job. Keep on the lookout for those, usually in the $550-650 range. I hope to be selling a PiMP that is setup for sequential fueling and wasted spark soon.

Chris_12
Level 2
Level 2
Posts: 106
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2016 2:21 pm
Location: Manhattan, KS

Re: Another XR racer build

Post by Chris_12 » Thu May 18, 2017 6:37 pm

Starting to strip the interior down, but first the before pictures.
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

As for upgrades, I am replacing my master cylinder because the booster has gone bad with a Scorpio swap. For front brakes, I think I want to go for the Wilwood Dynalite calipers, 16x7 wheels, and Falken Azenis in 215/45 16. Now, I still dont know where to get the needed adapters or what rotor will work. I found on here these: https://www.1aauto.com/2002-04-ford-foc ... oCAfbw_wcB

Anyone tried theses?
'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

Chris_12
Level 2
Level 2
Posts: 106
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2016 2:21 pm
Location: Manhattan, KS

Re: Another XR racer build

Post by Chris_12 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:22 pm

Well, it's been awhile but I made some progress. Currently stripping the car in prep for a roll cage (a long way to go). I got some wheels and brakes that need to be installed. Also, I bought a spur of the moment whale tail. I just need to figure out how to mount it. Do I really need an early model hatch? I realize that the current 88 spoiler will have holes left behind and I will have to drill for the whale tail, but does a rs lower spoiler (or any other spoiler) fill in the holes of the current one? Just curious. I am debating if I will get a new hatch or drill on the one I have.

Sadly, an issue that has come up is the car does not want to idle. I have to keep the foot on the throttle. I found the plug for the IAC wasnt connected when my dad took to storage. I hope that is the issue, but I have to deal with a dead battery because the cold zapped it. urgh

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1YN_s0 ... 68tkAKt5ax

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1u1YTb ... 7sa17i1mZX

Video of the new (merkurdeopt) 3" exhaust:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MY7tqshm0UQ
'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

User avatar
merkurdriver
Level 8
Posts: 5792
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2003 4:29 pm
Location: Northeast Ohio
Contact:

Re: Another XR racer build

Post by merkurdriver » Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:37 am

I've seen some of the fiberglass repro Cosworth wale tails go onto the 88-89 hatch without too much trouble.
If its a genuine Ford Cosworth whale tail that has the (seperate) metal mounting brackets I don't think there will be enough room to mount the brackets between the side of the glass and the edge of the hatch.

Chris_12
Level 2
Level 2
Posts: 106
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2016 2:21 pm
Location: Manhattan, KS

Re: Another XR racer build

Post by Chris_12 » Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:20 am

It's not genuine. I just remember someone saying I would need a early hatch a while back. Thanks
'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