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Old 08-22-2000, 07:42 AM   #1
SubieFL
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Question Merkur XR4TI: Good car?

I am now looking for a decent beater car and found a 1985 black turbo'd Merkur XR4TI fo $500 in decent running condition w/another parts car available. I know I can't ask too much for the price, but are these cars decent at all? Anyone know anything about this car?
Good price?
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Old 08-22-2000, 07:48 AM   #2
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It's a pretty quick beat car. Not too hard to make faster. Very easy to find parts for, if you know what you're doing. The XR4TI is pretty much the euro model of a turbo Ford Thunderbird. Which means interchangable parts. So don't let the parts guy give you the, "hey... we've got to import that part" runaround. Personally, I wouldn't go for it though. I'd rather just find myself a nice GLH or GLH-S to kick around with. Much lighter, much faster.
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Old 08-22-2000, 08:25 AM   #3
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SubieFL,

I sent you a PM with some contact info for a buddy of mine who is really into XR4TIs. He should be able to answer any questions you have. Hope this helps!

CDB
cbalazs@res.kent.edu
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Old 08-22-2000, 11:41 AM   #4
SubieFL
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Thanks, AWDrivin! Do you know if they are pretty quick?
Anyone else had any experience with these cars?
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Old 08-22-2000, 11:43 AM   #5
SubieFL
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Thanks, AWDrivin! Do you know if they are pretty quick?
Anyone else had any experience with these cars?
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Old 08-22-2000, 02:13 PM   #6
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I thought the XR4TI was the US version of the Ford Cossie?? They can rip with some mods....
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Old 08-22-2000, 02:48 PM   #7
ian/555
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Do they not have this car in South Africa?
I am sure that it was a standard production car in S.A.
( am i right in thinking it is an XR4i with turbo 2.8 v6 engine?)
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Old 08-22-2000, 02:55 PM   #8
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Stock they are pretty fast. Over stock they can be very fast. There are a lot of pages out there about them, do a search and you'll find a lot about mods and such.

CDB
cbalazs@res.kent.edu
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Old 08-22-2000, 03:05 PM   #9
SubieFL
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I think that is right ian/555. Hopefully, I will find out more soon.

Thanks again, AWDrivin
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Old 08-22-2000, 03:06 PM   #10
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I bought the first XR4Ti on the East Coast. It was a great car - when it ran. Expect a lot of maintenance.
For those of you guessing, the XR4Ti was the US version of the German Ford Sierra (I lived in Germany when they came out).
I would stay away from it. There are a lot of cars that are better suited to fixing up, even as a beater. This car would cost you a lot of money in repairs.
Run. Run as fast as you can.
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Old 08-22-2000, 03:07 PM   #11
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It just so happens, there is an article in the current GRM (Grassroots Motorsports) magazine about this very car. It gives tips on how to tell them apart, problem areas and how to modify them. Seemed like a good article to me. I'm not a big fan of these cars, but to each his own.

See if you can pick up a copy at the local bookstore.

Dave
'00 2.5RS Sedan
'72 Datsun 240Z
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Old 08-22-2000, 03:23 PM   #12
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Hey Subie FL.

The Merkur XR4TI is the European RWD Escort body. The engine is the turbo 2.3L that's found in the Thunderbird turbo coupe. It has an awesome allwheel independent suspension setup, and if you're not careful, it can suck you into a RWD project car.

All in all, I'd take it over a FWD car any day of the week. That's not a bad price, if a decent parts car is included, assuming you have storage space and work space for them.
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Old 08-22-2000, 03:35 PM   #13
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My brother has an old XR4ti. He bought it new and drove the living daylights out of it. After about 125,000 miles, the engine finally gave up the ghost. It is now sitting in our friend's backyard waiting for someone to do the engine rebuild. I had the pleasure of driving that car when it worked. 175 hp in a fairly light, VERY roomy, RWD package with a compliant suspension. It's a nice car when it works. I am debating taking it off of my brother's hands and making it into an autocross only car.
YMMV,
Dan Z.
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Old 08-22-2000, 03:38 PM   #14
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Yeah, it's a pretty sweet car for the price... but then again, I'm not sure how the build quality is.... and how much work you'll have to put into it, since you'll probably have to do quite a bit for maintence.
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Old 08-22-2000, 04:47 PM   #15
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Ford in Europe called it's sports versions XR.i as opposed to VW calling them GTI.
The Fiesta was the XR2i
The Escort was the XR3i
The Sierra was the XR4i
Both the Escort and the Sierra were later available as Cosworths. I am not sure what the difference is between the european XR4i and our XR4Ti, however I am quite sure it is not the Cosworth.
The Sierra is certainly not the best car Ford ever built. Is it woth $500? Depends on what you want to do with it.
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Old 08-22-2000, 06:03 PM   #16
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The Merkur XR4Ti is most assuredly not the same as the turbocharged Cosworth 2-litre (it would be worth a fortune if it was, especially if it was in original nick). It is a car very similar to the Ford Sierra of Europe and other places, as has already been pointed out. It came with a 3-door body, which is the same bodyshell used for the original Sierra Cosworth in 1985/6 (and, I think, a Europe-only XR4i). If I remember right, it had a pushrod 2.8 V6 motor, which wasn't turbocharged (but did have plenty of grunt).

Later in the Sierra/Merkur's life, Ford Europe came up with something called an XR4x4 (a 5-door) which was the only other time they used the "XR" designation on a Sierra body, I believe. 2.9 V6 this time, and 4WD. I'm not a fan of Fords, but for the pin money they cost, they did go pretty quickly.

As a guide to how tough these things are, a car mag in the UK a few years ago did a test of cheap, old cars to see which one was the most fun. They had a shagged-out, 12-year-old, 2.8 litre V6 Capri (same motor as the aforementioned Merkur) and even with a million miles on the clock and blowing oil everywhere, they bolted in a new set of plugs and it got to sixty in eight seconds (16 to the quarter?) and over 120 mph.

Andy T
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Old 08-22-2000, 06:25 PM   #17
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I am not certain of the following information, we would need the likes of Mike Rainbird from the UK to confirm.

However, the original XR4's I remember in England were all 4 wheel drive, 2 door cars. I was surprized when I came here and found the Merkur was a watered down 2 wheel drive derivitive. Also with a smaller engine. The UK version was a 2.8 (Turbo I believe). It was THE car to own at one time. The later XR4's came with a smaller 2.0 turbo and with 5 doors. They also did a XR4x4 5 door 2.8 , which I owned.

I had a turbo teknics conversion done on it, and I can't remember anything going past me. Extremely quick vehicle.

The cosworth was the new style sierra, and came as a four door saloon, 2.0 turbo. I think with just over 210bhp as standard. Ford made them this way, as the bean counters were worried about the power that could be extracted from the power plant. Some units in the UK are over 500bhp. Many allegedly, as it is a big debating point.

Hope this somewhat helps

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Old 08-23-2000, 06:25 AM   #18
SubieFL
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Cool

Thanks, everyone.
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Old 08-23-2000, 07:41 AM   #19
MikeYOX
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I like. A very good way to upgrade the turbo without getting turbo lag is to go with a T3/T4 hybrid turbo(Alot of Subaru turbo kits utilize this turbo). It has a stock size turbine and housing, but a gigantic impeller and housing. Giant cfm increases and no increase in turbo lag!

For Merkur info and aftermarket, check these pages:
http://www.batinc.net
http://www.merkurclub.com
http://www.modernperformanceinc.com
(for MAF conversion) http://www.opmd.com

Mike

[This message has been edited by MikeYOX (edited August 23, 2000).]
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Old 08-23-2000, 05:45 PM   #20
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The Cosworths were 2.0 litre turbo, three-door (RS Cosworth and RS 500 Cosworth), then four-door, with and without four-wheel-drive. There were no other 2.0 turbos, high or low output, in the Sierra range (well maybe in Italy, where the tax laws necessitated it).

I remember the original European XR4 also as having a 2.8 V6, but not turbocharged (I don't think Ford evern had a turbo V6 from the factory, although Tickford may have done a conversion).

Andy T
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