Proud member of International Merkur Owners Network
Photo courtesy Fritz Costley
Res Ipsa Loquitor (it speaks for itself):
This is my second XR4Ti, and it only took me 3 months to name it *laugh*. It is a 1989 5-speed, mono black exterior with "Raven" cloth interior. It was purchased on January 29, 2000 from Fritz Costley (Destiny? My old XR was named Fritz), a fellow IMON member, following the tragic crash of my first XR4Ti. This car was named by a friend of mine who is in law school: Res Ipsa Loquitor. It is pronounced Rez Ipsa Low-quiter, and it means "it speaks for itself". I just call the car Rez for short.
This XR was in excellent condition when I "found" it: the interior is showroom new and the body/paint is in great condition. Only the rear bumper seems to be pushed in as if the car was rear ended at some point, but that is not noticable unless you are obessive about it like I am :P. It was delivered to its first owner on 12/13/88 in Highland Park, IL for $20,885. It was sold to its second owner in 1998, and 3rd owner in 1999 before finally becoming mine.
For those not familiar with the car: The Merkur XR4Ti was produced by Ford Europe in Germany from 1985-1989 and imported to the US. The car was designed to compete with the BMW 3 series of cars, but it was poorly marketed by Ford USA so production stopped in 1989. XR's came equiped with a turbocharged 2.3L 4-cylinder engine that put out 175 hp in the 5-spd version (less as an auto), 4 wheel independant suspension, heated seats, heated mirrors, moon roof, and lots of other fun options standard.
The great thing about this car is that it was so well taken care of by previous owners... It even had the original window tag still in the glove box along with the original "Owner Identification" card.
Gutted Upper Intake
65mm Throttle Body
Eibach -40mm Springs
New shocks/struts BAT competition short throw shifter
Tint the rear windows DARK
Subwoofer setup of some sort
Intercooler (never did get one for the old XR)
Replace coolant lines with Purosil Silicone hoses - Blue is better?
Matching blue silicone turbo to throttle body hose
Problems and their Solutions
Here are a few problems I have run into with my latest XR since purchasing it:
["Bold"=the problem "Italics"=the symptoms "Plain"=the solution]
BLACK SMOKE!!! Lots of it!!! - On the way to the showfield at the Carlisle show my car started blowing large clouds of black smoke whenever I hit the gas hard enough to bring boost on. Running exteremely rich was the basic diagnosis. The problem progressed to the point where it was blowing black smoke at idle by the time we got to the field. After a lot of playing under the hood, I bought a Fuel Pressure Guage and mounted it on the fuel rail (with some help from Steve Radosevich). The gauge revealed that the fuel pressure was WAAAAY to high. - The fuel pressure regulator was blown! Purchased a used one from Steve DuChene and installed it. No more running rich problem.
High RPM bogging - Hitting the gas at over 4000 RPM doesn't make the car accelerate like it should. After 4000 RPM the car loses its pull even with full boost. - There are a few things that were discovered that were fixed: Bad TPS was one of them and was likely a large part of the cause. Later it was also found that having the VAM mounted on its side in my custom airbox setup caused the bogging problem after the TPS was changed. Mounting the VAM flat and in the correct position has cured the problem and increased fuel economy.
Too much boost!! - Driving down Woodward, floor it to pass someone, hear a horrible squealing-buzzing sound followed by what sounds like someone setting off firecrackers in my intake manifold. The next time I hit the gas, I watch the boost guage shoot all the way up past 25. Test the wastegate acutator and discover that it doesn't hold a vacuum. - Removed a known good wastegate actuator from my parts car (TIP: Removing the turbo oil return line makes this easier, but its hard to get the line back on). Stuck the new WGA on my car... good as new (except for the part about not being able to put the oil line back on yet.
Speedo cable fixed, leaking gear oil - After driving 200 miles the day my speedo cable was replaced, there was a nice burning smell coming from under the car. When I went to look there was gear oil dripping out all over the driveway and my exhaust system was coated in it from being sprayed while driving. - They forgot to seal it up after having to remove the speedo gear to put in the new cable. I took the car in to have it fixed, they fixed it once and it still leaked. Took the car back a second time and had to leave it for a day... It no longer leaks. DO NOT GO TO COTTMAN TRANSMISSION IN HOWELL, MI.
No boost - While driving home from work I went to pass someone and noticed that the turbo did not get past 0 psi at high RPM - The clip holding the waste gate actuator arm in place fell off of the wastegate allowing the arm to slip off its post. Easy fix - cost $0.15 for a new clip and 5 minutes to get the arm back in place and the clip on.
No speedometer - After getting the clutch replaced the speedometer stopped working on the drive home, it was later discovered that the gear end of the cable had snapped off in the transmission - The speedometer cable was broken off in the speedometer gear. I bought a new cable from Rapido and had it installed and for free by the trans shop that did my clutch. Took them 2 hours, but they got it in and working. Of course now the transmission is leaking all over the place...
RPMs race, but car doesn't move - Clutch was burned up along with the pressure plate and flywheel - Replaced clutch and pressure plate, remachined flywheel at Cottman Transmission for ~$750. Done 2/12/00 - got to drive the car almost 50 miles before it needed it :P
Building a lighted, XR4Ti logo amplifier hole cover is a fairly simple project. Above are some pictures of the finished project and here is a link to directions on how to do it yourself. Anyone interested in purchasing the set up from me (this includes the engraved faceplate and the red bulb) can email me. I'm thinking $10 is a fair price to ask, this includes shipping. Amplifier faceplate Amplifier faceplate at night Materials for cover