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And now for something completely different: Merkur XR4Ti "Shea"


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#1
dunhamr1

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While the majority of my focus starting out will be to get my driving up to snuff and gain experience, one outing in the car showed a number of deficiencies in the car as well.

 

Last session from mine, and the car's, first track outing: https://www.youtube....bed/3Xlf-gOchlc

 

Here's a few notes about the feeling of the car at this event, recent work, as well as some future plans. Feel free to ask questions or suggest changes!

 

Cooling:

-Lots of full throttle, and though the turbo is plumbed directly to the wastegate actuator (most conservative), I was still seeing 13-14 PSI. The car does not yet have an intercooler, and this will be remedied soon.

-Coolant temps climbed up around 230-235. Hot, but not overly concerning. I plan to get some better ducting to the radiator, as well as adding hoot louvers to let it all out. It's worth noting that the turbo does not have water cooling.

-The air filter is a cone on a stick in the engine bay, I hope to add some heat shielding and duct air front somewhere (perhaps remove one of the parking lights?), I could feel the car heat soak.

 

Brakes:

-Master Cylinder was freshly replaced to fix the old leaky MC, and new fluid. All 4 corners freshly bled.

-New pads (Aftermarket OE replacement)were installed in the front on the old rotors, I did a bedding procedure similar to what hawk recommends, 5-6 stops 40-(almost) stopped, and 5-6 stops from 50-60 to almost 0 and then let it cool, did some street driving before making it out to the track. These worked ok, but I could feel them fade but also knew I could be much more aggressive with the braking (speed/ lap time wise). Didn't trust these brakes.

-I plan on installing 2012+ Ford Focus calipers on all 4 corners, along with 4 lug focus (from the earlier model). Rear will be converted from drum to disk.

This opens up a lot of pad options, what do folks suggest for a mostly track/autox car that is sometimes street driven?

 

Ergonomics:

-I have a tall torso, my head does not fit even with the seat adjusted all the way down. Moving to a smaller (less thick) helmet, and doing some adjustment to the seat, I was able to get an ok position. I hope to get a new seat eventually.

-Because of torso height/ leg length, the position that gets my arms to have good reach, with head height compromised, as well as being a bit too close to the pedals. Hoping to get a dished steering wheel to help space that out a bit and get a better combination of arm/head/leg fit.

-3 point belts suck. Perhaps they would work marginally better in a fixed seat, but seeking solutions to eventually move to at least a 5 point belt at some point

 

Suspension:

-This time around was stockish springs (~100lb/in) and brand new stock replacement KYB struts and shocks. They worked well, though the stock springs are super soft and I experienced a lot of body roll. There was only corner where I had a wheel spin up (open diff) when the body rolled over onto the bump stop.

-I plan on installing a set of Koni-sport (yellow) coilovers that I'm purchasing from a fellow XR owner, and experimenting with spring and anti-roll bar rates.

-Next outing I hope to have 300lb/in in the front, stockish rear springs but w/19mm anti-roll bar (stock is 10mm). I expect to back down to a smaller rear bar and higher spring rates (MR is ~0.6), closer to 500-600lb/in. What thoughts do folks have for a ~2800 lb IRS RWD car in terms of spring rates?

-Before this event, all of the suspension bushings in the front were replaced with polyurethane: inner and outer control arms, anti-roll bar body connections, upper strut mounts, as well as the steering rag joint.

-The steering rack was solid mounted with aluminum bushings, and brand new tie rods inner and outer. Steering feels great but I can feel the delay between the wheel and the tire in terms of turn in.

-Rear suspension has not been touched, likely has a lot of play. Planning on solid sub-frame mounts, poly track arm bushings, solid diff mount.

 

Wheels and Tires:

-Current setup: 205/50r15 Federal 595 RS-RR tires on 15x5.5" (stock) wheel. They poke, a lot. They'll work for now, but I'd like to go +1, maybe +2 and definitely wider, though its hard to find wheels for 4x108 in the right offset (Fiesta/Focus wheels would require large spacers, not ideal). 

-Tires felt good in this first outing, I ran the pressure fairly high to prevent the tire moving around too much on the wheel because of the lack of width, 45psi cold. It kept the tire upright but I could definitely see where more grip could be gained by dropping the pressure a bit, heated section of the tire extended upto, but did not roll over, the corner of the tire.

 

Engine:

-Exhaust rattled loose a bit, new mechanical lock nuts on the turbo will fix this issue.

-It smokes a bit after it's warm and on the overrun. Suspect valve-stem seals. It burns a little oil but not an excessive amount.

-Oil leak from rear of block, new to this car (before the event). Hoping it's not a rear main seal.

Attached Thumbnails

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1989 Merkur XR4Ti, yes it's weird.


#2
kfennell

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Good on you for tracking an unusual car. 

 

Nothing wrong with large spacers, use high quality studs and keep them torqued. never drive with them loose. Ez. 

Your heat soak issues are real, but they are caused by no IC, not the air intake positioning. It will help a tiny bit, but the real win will be intercooling. 

 

Nothing else will give as big of an improvement in how the car feels and maybe even your lap times as a proper seat and harnass. Get something with a real fixed back racing seat style. 

 

Get some RE-71R or Rival-S or something when you get the correct sized wheels and that will be a big improvement too. 

 

Good luck. 



#3
Code Monkey

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What are the boost air temps (BATs)?  I suspect way too high with no intercooler.  Get one asap, I speak from experience.



#4
dunhamr1

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Thanks, it sure turns heads. Either their mother/brother/sister/cousin had one back in the day, or they've never heard of it.

 

I know the heat is because of no IC, still working on acquiring parts to be able to move the alternator (it's in the way right now), and then piping. That's A#1 change, coupled with hood louvers and possibly an oil cooler to manage the heat. Boost is as low as possible right now until the IC gets plumbed.

 

No idea what the intake temps are, still on the 80s ECU (not standalone, yet), hot, to say the least.

 

I knew it was going to get a bit warm and fully plan on making changes to get it in line.

 

Would try to avoid spacers if possible, but not completely against them. RIP wheel bearing life.

 

No complaints on tires, I know the RE-71R is a better tire but I can't argue about less than $400 for a whole set of Federals shipped to my door. Grip was great, never felt greasy, better than the alternative of old all seasons that it had before. One day, maybe.

 

 

Good on you for tracking an unusual car. 

 

Nothing wrong with large spacers, use high quality studs and keep them torqued. never drive with them loose. Ez. 

Your heat soak issues are real, but they are caused by no IC, not the air intake positioning. It will help a tiny bit, but the real win will be intercooling. 

 

Nothing else will give as big of an improvement in how the car feels and maybe even your lap times as a proper seat and harnass. Get something with a real fixed back racing seat style. 

 

Get some RE-71R or Rival-S or something when you get the correct sized wheels and that will be a big improvement too. 

 

Good luck. 

 


1989 Merkur XR4Ti, yes it's weird.


#5
KevinDB

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Man.  The way you approach things...I like it.  I need to be more like that.

 

If I had a Golf R sitting around, I'd be pretty much ruining that thing, modding it, being an idiot with it and tracking it instead  :laugh:



#6
edison_GTI

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I'm jealous, I would love to have a XR4TI as a project car.
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#7
kfennell

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Would try to avoid spacers if possible, but not completely against them. RIP wheel bearing life.

 

 

 

If you run wheels with high offsets and then use spacers to make them work your wheel bearings dont know the difference between this and a wheel with the correct offset. 



#8
Hollywood

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Hey welcome to TJ!
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#9
dunhamr1

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Ha thanks. Fundamentally it'll be cheaper if I put the Merkur into a wall instead of the R. Plus upgraded parts are cheeap in comparison. It does take a bit of self control though, APR stage 1 would take me to almost 400ft-lbs...

Man. The way you approach things...I like it. I need to be more like that.

If I had a Golf R sitting around, I'd be pretty much ruining that thing, modding it, being an idiot with it and tracking it instead :laugh:


1989 Merkur XR4Ti, yes it's weird.


#10
dunhamr1

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Look around! The pop up all the time, usually cheap. I got the whole car plus an extra motor and a ton of parts for a grand.

I'm jealous, I would love to have a XR4TI as a project car.


1989 Merkur XR4Ti, yes it's weird.


#11
dunhamr1

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Mmm, now that I think about it, assuming it's a similar width or you're getting the center of the wheel in about the same spot, you're right. The offset from hub to load application point work let be about the same.

If you run wheels with high offsets and then use spacers to make them work your wheel bearings dont know the difference between this and a wheel with the correct offset.


1989 Merkur XR4Ti, yes it's weird.


#12
dunhamr1

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Thanks!

Hey welcome to TJ!


1989 Merkur XR4Ti, yes it's weird.


#13
dunhamr1

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I'm jealous, I would love to have a XR4TI as a project car.

Take a look around, they actually pop up relatively often, and they're usually projects haha. Besides the rear suspension and the headliner, I've probably touched every other part on the car.


1989 Merkur XR4Ti, yes it's weird.


#14
jared

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While the majority of my focus starting out will be to get my driving up to snuff and gain experience, one outing in the car showed a number of deficiencies in the car as well.

 

Last session from mine, and the car's, first track outing: https://www.youtube....bed/3Xlf-gOchlc

 

Here's a few notes about the feeling of the car at this event, recent work, as well as some future plans. Feel free to ask questions or suggest changes!

 

Brakes:

-Master Cylinder was freshly replaced to fix the old leaky MC, and new fluid. All 4 corners freshly bled.

-New pads (Aftermarket OE replacement)were installed in the front on the old rotors, I did a bedding procedure similar to what hawk recommends, 5-6 stops 40-(almost) stopped, and 5-6 stops from 50-60 to almost 0 and then let it cool, did some street driving before making it out to the track. These worked ok, but I could feel them fade but also knew I could be much more aggressive with the braking (speed/ lap time wise). Didn't trust these brakes.

-I plan on installing 2012+ Ford Focus calipers on all 4 corners, along with 4 lug focus (from the earlier model). Rear will be converted from drum to disk.

This opens up a lot of pad options, what do folks suggest for a mostly track/autox car that is sometimes street driven?

 

Wheels and Tires:

-Current setup: 205/50r15 Federal 595 RS-RR tires on 15x5.5" (stock) wheel. They poke, a lot. They'll work for now, but I'd like to go +1, maybe +2 and definitely wider, though its hard to find wheels for 4x108 in the right offset (Fiesta/Focus wheels would require large spacers, not ideal). 

-Tires felt good in this first outing, I ran the pressure fairly high to prevent the tire moving around too much on the wheel because of the lack of width, 45psi cold. It kept the tire upright but I could definitely see where more grip could be gained by dropping the pressure a bit, heated section of the tire extended upto, but did not roll over, the corner of the tire.

 

Very cool, I love seeing "different" cars out on the track. Sometimes I think about selling the Corvette and looking for something unique.

 

If you can fit 2012 Focus brakes on the car can you also fit the hubs?? 5x108 is still a little odd but it may open up a lot of wheel options. Would also allow for the Focus brake rotors.

 

I had Federal 595RS-R's on my old Veloster, I loved those tires. They were grippy and very predictable at the limit.

 

As far as pads go, you may be getting into the realm of needed two compounds. I am about the try the Stop Tech SPORT pads on Monday. I know a few others have these pads as well. Not sure how noisy they may be but may be a good option for you. If anything, they are cheap to try.



#15
robertcope

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As far as pads go, you may be getting into the realm of needed two compounds. I am about the try the Stop Tech SPORT pads on Monday. I know a few others have these pads as well. Not sure how noisy they may be but may be a good option for you. If anything, they are cheap to try.

 

I love the StopTech Sport pads. Run them on the Lexus and S2K, and would run them on the NSX if they were available. They're pretty dusty, but otherwise they work great as a street/track pad for me.


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#16
dunhamr1

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I love the StopTech Sport pads. Run them on the Lexus and S2K, and would run them on the NSX if they were available. They're pretty dusty, but otherwise they work great as a street/track pad for me.

Dusty is no problem for this car, and I'm definitely looking for something that's a bit more OEM+, and may go straight to a track only type pad like a Hawk Blue, or Carbotech XP10, etc. Don't know if I want to spend that $$ right now though. I'll look into those Stoptechs.

 

Very cool, I love seeing "different" cars out on the track. Sometimes I think about selling the Corvette and looking for something unique.

 

If you can fit 2012 Focus brakes on the car can you also fit the hubs?? 5x108 is still a little odd but it may open up a lot of wheel options. Would also allow for the Focus brake rotors.

 

I had Federal 595RS-R's on my old Veloster, I loved those tires. They were grippy and very predictable at the limit.

 

As far as pads go, you may be getting into the realm of needed two compounds. I am about the try the Stop Tech SPORT pads on Monday. I know a few others have these pads as well. Not sure how noisy they may be but may be a good option for you. If anything, they are cheap to try.

 

Thanks Jared, I bet the Corvette is faster though!

 

There are options to go to 5 bolt hubs, (Merkur Scorpio, or just redrill) but I'm not at that point yet.

 

No problem on the rotors, the swap is designed to use 2002-2005 4 lug rotors on the front, and 2002-2004 SVT 4 lug rear rotors (which means the rear actually has a LARGER diameter than the front, though less pad face).


1989 Merkur XR4Ti, yes it's weird.


#17
dunhamr1

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As I look more and more, I start leaning towards a dedicated track pad, and a regular pad for the street. Something like a G-Loc R10/R8 (front/rear) or Carbotech XP10/XP8 (which are very similar to the G-loc if I understand correctly). Overkill perhaps? Not that much more $$ than the Stoptech pads.

 

I love the StopTech Sport pads. Run them on the Lexus and S2K, and would run them on the NSX if they were available. They're pretty dusty, but otherwise they work great as a street/track pad for me.


1989 Merkur XR4Ti, yes it's weird.


#18
KevinDB

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As I look more and more, I start leaning towards a dedicated track pad, and a regular pad for the street. Something like a G-Loc R10/R8 (front/rear) or Carbotech XP10/XP8 (which are very similar to the G-loc if I understand correctly). Overkill perhaps? Not that much more $$ than the Stoptech pads.

 

As I understand 2 instrumental family members from Carbotech went on their own to form G-Loc.  So yeah I imagine the formulas are very similar - I suspect we'll see more future innovation coming from G-Loc than Carbotech, but that's just speculation on my part.  I really like Carbotech pads in the past, and would often run my track pads on the street after a weekend...noisy and dusty but worked better than OEM even cold IMO.  School bus brake squeal from a little red car?  Bonus!  "Hey man I think you need new brakes!"  I've got a set of G-Loc pads waiting to be installed on the Camaro.

 

From Jim Drago at mazdaracers.com (https://mazdaracers....7-g-loc-brakes/) :

 

I would like to congratulate my friends Danny and Chris Puskar on the forming their own brake pad company. As many of you know, Danny and Chris were instrumental in Carbotech brakes especially in regard to Sm and road racing in general. They have decided to go out on their own and start G-Loc, their own company. If you liked what Carbotech has become over the last 5-6 years, I think you will be very happy with G-LOC. G-LOC is not a sponsor of this site or my personal racing program, but I will endorse them just the same as better people in racing or in life you will not find. I wish them all the success possible as they truly deserve it.

They are now open for business.



#19
dunhamr1

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KevinDB, that's what I've read as well. The pad types seem to parallel Carbotech pretty well, with a few exceptions.

 

As I understand 2 instrumental family members from Carbotech went on their own to form G-Loc.  So yeah I imagine the formulas are very similar - I suspect we'll see more future innovation coming from G-Loc than Carbotech, but that's just speculation on my part.  I really like Carbotech pads in the past, and would often run my track pads on the street after a weekend...noisy and dusty but worked better than OEM even cold IMO.  School bus brake squeal from a little red car?  Bonus!  "Hey man I think you need new brakes!"  I've got a set of G-Loc pads waiting to be installed on the Camaro.

 

From Jim Drago at mazdaracers.com (https://mazdaracers....7-g-loc-brakes/) :

 

I would like to congratulate my friends Danny and Chris Puskar on the forming their own brake pad company. As many of you know, Danny and Chris were instrumental in Carbotech brakes especially in regard to Sm and road racing in general. They have decided to go out on their own and start G-Loc, their own company. If you liked what Carbotech has become over the last 5-6 years, I think you will be very happy with G-LOC. G-LOC is not a sponsor of this site or my personal racing program, but I will endorse them just the same as better people in racing or in life you will not find. I wish them all the success possible as they truly deserve it.

They are now open for business.


1989 Merkur XR4Ti, yes it's weird.


#20
Hollywood

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As I understand 2 instrumental family members from Carbotech went on their own to form G-Loc.  So yeah I imagine the formulas are very similar - I suspect we'll see more future innovation coming from G-Loc than Carbotech, but that's just speculation on my part. 

 

In the beginning yes, but now they're quite different. Both are great brands though.

 

The OG thread on all of them: https://www.trackjun...hl= brake pads


I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"
99 SM | 94 WRL | 08 S2000 CR | 18 CIVIC TYPE-R