Questions: Merkur XR4TI

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Han-Yang Foo

Jan 27, 1995, 12:08:53 AM1/27/95
Does anyone out there knows anything about Ford made Merkur XR4TI ?
I own a 85 XR4TI with a 2.3L EFI TURBO engine. It got 85K on the original
engine and turbo, and still runs great.
Any openions on anything about this car?
Any recommandations of modifications?
Please tell me anything you know about this car.

Henri R Helanto

Jan 29, 1995, 8:03:12 PM1/29/95
to (Han-Yang Foo) writes:

>Does anyone out there knows anything about Ford made Merkur XR4TI ?
>I own a 85 XR4TI with a 2.3L EFI TURBO engine. It got 85K on the original
>engine and turbo, and still runs great.
>Any openions on anything about this car?

Yep, it's a very nice car, european Ford Sierra chassis (and
suspension) mated to american Ford turbo engine. It's the
second best version of the Sierra, IMHO.

>Any recommandations of modifications?

Call Rapido Group (I can't remember their phone number, they've
had ads in Turbo Magazine), they'll sell you Sierra Cosworth
suspension (Eibach springs / Bistein shocks are better than the
stock Cossie suspension, though) and modify your engine to
even 400bhp+ if you want. There's a SuperChip available too but
I would have it professionally installed to avoid problems in
the future, a complete package or a custom engine job is a much
better choice.

###### Henri Helanto ### /
##### Architecture Major #### Nissan Skyline GT-R 'Janspeed Special'
#### Net Admin ##### '71 LS-6 454 Corvette Coupe
### Sports Car Enthusiast ###### Fiat Uno Turbo - 'AARGH! Front wheel drive!'

Steve Beck

Jan 31, 1995, 11:12:51 AM1/31/95

I used to own a 1986 Merkur, 5 spd, leather, sunroof, heated seats, red
with gray leather. The best *options* IMHO. I bought it 1 year old, sold
it with 72K. For the money, even when bought new off the lot (usually
at a huge discount since dealers couldn't move these things), these cars
are a great buy. Good performance, handling, options, and looks.

I prefer the double rear spoiler; it makes the car stand out in this day
and age when manufacturers build Civics with spoilers. Plus it is functional.
The single wing ('88 on) made the car look too much like the European Ford
Sierra, which it was! Hopefully you have the 5 spd. The auto version is
de-tuned but still very quick.

Trouble spots: The leather interior tended to tear at the seams. There was
a recall on certain model years, '85 was included. The front rotors tended
to warp usually due to improper lug nut tightening and improper braking
techniques (hard braking then parking the car overnight). This also effected
the alloy wheels. IMO, the cooling system was suspect (noisy fans and very
strange hose routings).

Mods: Try an intercooler if you have the money. This can bring HP up to about
190-200. Also, Borla makes a free flow exhaust which can add another 5-10%.


Feb 16, 1995, 11:36:02 PM2/16/95
would you buy an '85 with new turbo/clutch/radiator/battery; 50k miles for
$3300? i too am interested in the car, mostly b/c of the german

Henri R Helanto

Feb 17, 1995, 9:27:05 PM2/17/95
to (OakBill) writes:

I would. They're nice cars and quite potent, especially for the
price. Actually, I'm planning to buy one for the trip across
the US continent next summer, and sell it afterwards. (Much cheaper
than a car rental :)

Matthew David Kase

Feb 17, 1995, 4:26:05 PM2/17/95

Aside from the German Engineering crock o' shit, if the car is
in good cosmetic shape (it sounds like it IS in good mechanical
shape), this is an absolute STEAL!!! Buy it as soon as
possible!! FYI, that new turbo, supposing it was factory, cost
@ $2000 by itself! Snap that car up NOW! Only 50k etc., etc.,
etc., !!!!!!! JUST DO IT!!!!!

Matt Kase
88 T-Bird Turbo Coupe (Same Motor)

Steve Gardner

Feb 18, 1995, 4:53:02 PM2/18/95
Hey, don't get too excited about the German engineering, the
XR4Ti is cosmetically the same car as a European Ford Sierra of
which the XR4i (Europe) was the 'sports sedan' of the line,
much like the SHO Taurus. I had a 1984 model when i lived in
London. Unlike the Ti it had the 2.8 "Cologne" engine which
had about 150BHP. However mate, it's just a Ford! There are
probably millions of Sierras in England and on the continent,
but I don't think one owner is reflecting on the 'German

Steve Gardner


Feb 21, 1995, 7:07:29 AM2/21/95
Another thing about the Merkur is that since we (Ford) no longer carry that
make, we also no longer carry the spare parts. Depending on what goes wrong,
your auto parts can be difficult to find (heaven forbid they need to be
ordered from Europe..takes a long time/expensive). The cars are cheap because
of the risks when they break down.

Kent Booker
Ford Motor Co
Powertrain Operations
Manufacturing Systems

Stephen Ferguson

Feb 22, 1995, 7:53:28 AM2/22/95

I've kept a variety of German Fords alive well after the plug was
pulled in the States (Fiesta, Capri) by relying on the local parts
department and cross-Atlantic shipping. Parts were never that
expensive, and the delay was minimal. Since the Merkur shared
engines with the T-Bird, that's one big headache out of the way.
Since there are about a zillion Sierras in Europe, I don't think
the parts supply will dry up, or get too expensive.

Just wanted to add a different, more positive perspective.


Mar 2, 1995, 4:07:54 PM3/2/95

I wouldn't buy ANY Merkur, of any age, no matter what's been done. This
was one of the least reliable cars to come from Germany in recorded
history, with a history of problems in almost every area.

Since the '85 was one of the earliest imported, it is probably among the
worst in reliability, too. Really a shame, cause when they worked they
were a blast to drive.

Mar 7, 1995, 11:54:05 PM3/7/95
I have an '85 XR4Ti, and I love it. The only problem I've had with it is when
a Fraternity brother wasn't paying attention and smashed into the back of me.
Anyway, the performance is excellent, it is supposedly one of the most
underrated sports cars (can't remember where I read it). I have not had any
reliability problems in the 1 1/2 years I've owned it, but each car is
different. I would say you have to look at the owner and decide what type of
driver he/she was, and look at the service records to see what's been done.
It's certainly a unique car, and you get a hell of a car for the price. Good
luck with the decision, feel free to e-mail me with any questions.

J. P. Flaharty

Mar 9, 1995, 4:04:58 PM3/9/95
In article <3jjd9d$2f...@ns2-1.CC.Lehigh.EDU>, rw...@Lehigh.EDU wrote:

> In article <3j5c3a$>, (RAGuest)
> >>would you buy an '85 with new turbo/clutch/radiator/battery; 50k miles
> >for
> >>$3300? i too am interested in the car, mostly b/c of the german
> >>engineering.

The car is a total mixed bag. I had an '87 for almost three years. I
loved the power and handling, excellent ergonomics and interior space,
etc., but it definitely required deep pockets to deal with such items as
new clutch, starter, wheel bearings, brakes, battery, trans rebuild,
etc... I am fortunate that the turbo never went.

I drove it from Indiana to Seattle in four days and was simply astounded
at its long-ditance cruising capabilities. The last two days were both
eleven hour stints with absolutely no discomfort in my back, legs, ass,
etc. It was amazing. The whole way, I set my speed just below the point
where the turbo would spool up, trying to preserve that costly thing.
This method allowed me some sweet triple-digit speeds on the down side of
mountains in Montana and Idaho. The car was so excellent in that
situation. Rapid travel on twisty two lanes was just as cool too.

One thing to be aware of is the severe horsepower penalty imposed by the
automatic. Published figures were 175 hp with 5 speed and only 145 with
slushbox. This was apparently due to required exhaust modifications, as I
recall. (mine had the manual, by the way)

Another consideration is engine noise. The engine (which was identical to
the T-bird Turbo Coupe's of that era) was powerful, but it made an awful
racket whenever I tached it out. I mean awful. So much so that I have
made engine refinement a top priority when I buy my post grad-school
reward car.

Good luck.... J.P.F

"Break out the bottle of asti-spumante
Pop off the top and rock with my posse" - Candyman

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