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TXratti
TXratti New Reader
8/1/19 9:25 a.m.

Short introduction for the car, named Shea, is a 1989 Merkur XR4Ti that started out in my hands, with no head on the motor, no coolant lines, and a ton of extra parts. Prior to working on this car, I was comfortable with oil changes and brake jobs and that was about it! The beginning stages of the build can be found on the Merkur forum itself as well as the dying Rally Anarchy forum (I wasn't sure what it was going to be for a while), here:

http://forum.merkurclub.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=29944&sid=5cdf12ae063c98a7e4a1bb5656a23bd8

https://www.rallyanarchy.com/phorum/read.php?5,110290

There has been a lot of progress since the last posts on either of these threads, and my intent is to continue documenting the progress here and on TrackJunkies (mostly TX-based track driving forum). Work on the car as well as forum updates slow to a crawl when I'm out and about, competing as a rally co-driver all over the US and Canada (I just came off a double header with NEFR and Rally CO in back to back weekends), but hopefully I've got enough of a break coming up to make some progress.

The car now has a stout roll bar courtesy of mobile welder 9hio (who also did the cage in our Lemons Beetle), which is the beginning of a rally cage, minus everything forward of the main hoop. The intent is to add a race seat and harnesses, but still be able to street drive on occasion and I don't like my melon getting smashed against steel bars... In my mind there was no way to get to a race seat and harnesses without the roll bar, so that's where we went.

The car has recently been converted to an MS3-based standalone which plugs into the stock wiring harness, the Stinger Performance PIMP. The head gasket blew out in January and I had the head gone through, with a new valve job, valve stem seals, and exhaust valve guides.

Pictures coming soon, but I wanted to get the thread started and go from there.

Follow current work (and rally co-driving adventures) on instagram: @RallySideways

TXratti
TXratti New Reader
8/1/19 9:52 a.m.

Current modifications:

Passenger-side Alternator mount (custom, came from a friend's rally car)

3G alternator upgrade

Converted T-bird Motor mounts

1984 Mustang SVO block and head

2wd Cosworth Intercooler

90 degree rotated upper intake

Saab 900 Radiator with custom cradle and single Saab cooling fan (wiring extended to use integral Saab radiator fan switch)

Modified coolant routing (overflow bottle on opposite side from stock coolant line routing) with Saab overflow hose

Cosworth turbine housing on stock T3 turbo, coolant lines deleted, custom wastegate actuator bracket

Custom 3" exhaust (mostly from PO, but I modified it to fit the Cossie turbo housing, and added the hangers)

Manual Boost controller (bleed valve), set to 14psi currently

Koni yellows with ground control coilover conversion as front struts

Bilstein B8 shocks in the rear

350#/in front springs (will likely switch to 450#/in springs in the front soon)

700#/in rear sping (.6 motion ratio means ~250#/in at the wheel)

Powerflex bushings at all suspension locations

Solid (Aluminum) Rear beam bushings

Semi-solid rear diff mount (MC2 Racing)

Rebuilt and repainted CV's with new CV boots (same as VW Thing)

New rear wheel bearings

Shimmed rear hubs to correct extreme toe in

T-bird 10-hole 15x7 wheels with Federal 595 RS-RR tires

Dished aftermarket steering wheel with Momo hub 

AC removed (Previous owner)

 

Recent modifications include:

Custom welded Roll bar /back half cage

AEM wideband controller (and welding the exhaust bung in)

Stinger PIMP Standalone

Deka 80 injectors

I haven't fired it up on the Deka 80s yet, but hopefully it'll make it easier to tune.

 

Planned future modifications:

Sunroof Patch

Solidify the tuning (maybe get a dyno run)

17" wheels with Hankook RS4 Tyres

Raspberry Pi digital dash

Racing seat

5 point harnesses

T5 transmission (self-built 2.95:1 first gear T5z/ Cosworth T5 clone) 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UberDork
8/1/19 9:58 a.m.

Was waiting patiently for this thread to appear!

What do you plan to do for a driveshaft with the T5?  How about a diff?

TXratti
TXratti New Reader
8/1/19 11:03 a.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

Was waiting patiently for this thread to appear!

What do you plan to do for a driveshaft with the T5?  How about a diff?

Thanks! Yeah, it's been a whirlwind since NEFR with work and Rally Colorado, and i'm finally settling down a bit. I hope to get a bit more history and photos posted up this week/weekend.

 

For the T5, I was planning on shortening the stock 2 piece and getting a t5 yoke welded on (theres a driveshaft shop less than a mile from my house). 

As for a diff, I'd love to do the Supra diff, but am kinda tired of waiting on JVL. Toying  with the idea of the Eaton True track (ala MC2) but not fan of grinding on an already relatively weak Aluminum case, You were saying at NEFR that you had drawings for your own supra mount?

Here's some teaser photos of the exterior, I've been concentrating on the mechanicals so she may seem a bit ratty considering the amount of work I've done.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UberDork
8/1/19 11:55 a.m.
TXratti said:

For the T5, I was planning on shortening the stock 2 piece and getting a t5 yoke welded on (theres a driveshaft shop less than a mile from my house). 

As for a diff, I'd love to do the Supra diff, but am kinda tired of waiting on JVL. Toying  with the idea of the Eaton True track (ala MC2) but not fan of grinding on an already relatively weak Aluminum case, You were saying at NEFR that you had drawings for your own supra mount?

I do have drawings, although right now they're basically just DXF files- my mount requires welding and modifying the beam a bit, and requires solid mounting both the beam and diff to the car.  This page of my build thread is the start of it, if you want the drawings for that PM me and I can send you stuff or we can work out a format that works for you.

TXratti
TXratti New Reader
8/1/19 12:12 p.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

I'm on the fence about modifying the beam right now... but I probably just should. I've not gotten to a point with my driving that not having an LSD is really affecting things, but its on the list. PMed you about the files.

Also looking at oil coolers.. I have a couple Mercedes 300D oil coolers, but they would need the fittings cut off and AN fittings welded on.. Could do the JVL thing and go with the RX7 cooler like you have, but was considering ponying up the $ for a nicer new one. 

The other consideration is race car classing... right now I *JUST* fit into STH in autocross (which is also how they class our SCCA TT here), and the beam modifications would bump me into the next class which likely is crazy aero and R-comp tires... we'll see.

 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UberDork
8/1/19 12:18 p.m.

In reply to TXratti :

The RX7 cooler is too big, in my opinion, and makes the oil pressure alarmingly low.  If I were doing it again, I'd just do a sandwich adapter at the oil filter, use a shorter Volvo filter, and run some generic oil cooler from eBay or amazon (which is my current setup, except with a huge RX7 cooler instead).

I'm trying to send/link some files in response to your email, let me know if it doesn't come through.

I totally agree with staying in your class and not messing with welding things to the subframe if the car drives fine as-is.

TXratti
TXratti New Reader
8/1/19 12:36 p.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

The 300D coolers look to be even bigger than the RX7 one; I've got them listed on Ebay right now. 

Emails did come through, we'll see about file formats.

I've yet undecided beyond autocross HPDE and attempting to do some TT next year, the drop in Eaton unit would fit within the rules.

GPz11
GPz11 Reader
8/1/19 7:34 p.m.

Here’s my oil cooler set up

The oil filter is under the driver’s side fender

The thermostat is under the front bumper rail

The actual cooler is in the middle of the grille opening.

 

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
8/1/19 8:39 p.m.
TXratti said:
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

Was waiting patiently for this thread to appear!

What do you plan to do for a driveshaft with the T5?  How about a diff?

 

am kinda tired of waiting on JVL.

Oh come on now. Are you saying spending 42.5 hours on the phone with him discussing everything other than your parts, and then waiting a few years for the parts to arrive, is tiring? laugh 

paranoid_android
paranoid_android UberDork
8/1/19 8:45 p.m.

Hey, another Mercury build!  Very cool cheeky

TXratti
TXratti New Reader
8/1/19 9:42 p.m.
In response to GPz11:

See that seems reasonably sized. What's the PN on the cooler, the thermo switch, and the fitting to the block?

TXratti
TXratti New Reader
8/1/19 9:45 p.m.
irish44j said:
TXratti said:

am kinda tired of waiting on JVL.

Oh come on now. Are you saying spending 42.5 hours on the phone with him discussing everything other than your parts, and then waiting a few years for the parts to arrive, is tiring? laugh 

Naw, I actually enjoy talking to him, he's got some good stories. I just get annoyed when he says he's got a box there ready to ship and then never sends it. He's given lots of good info, but you really have to just interrupt him and ask your question. I'm too polite for that but... I have done it before.

TXratti
TXratti New Reader
8/1/19 9:50 p.m.

Relatively recent engine bay photos.  Since then, the VAM has been removed (standalone) and the injectors have been upgraded to deka 80s 

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
8/1/19 10:22 p.m.
TXratti said:
irish44j said:
TXratti said:

am kinda tired of waiting on JVL.

Oh come on now. Are you saying spending 42.5 hours on the phone with him discussing everything other than your parts, and then waiting a few years for the parts to arrive, is tiring? laugh 

Naw, I actually enjoy talking to him, he's got some good stories. I just get annoyed when he says he's got a box there ready to ship and then never sends it. He's given lots of good info, but you really have to just interrupt him and ask your question. I'm too polite for that but... I have done it before.

I've heard that "box ready to ship" story from so many people regarding John :)

TXratti
TXratti New Reader
8/2/19 7:49 a.m.

In reply to irish44j :

I honestly think he's just forgetful, especially now.

GPz11
GPz11 Reader
8/2/19 8:25 a.m.

 

The oil filter adapter is from FloCool, saw it in GRM, and it's a nice piece of hardware for sure.

https://www.flocool.com/

Oil cooler - Derale 15451 Engine Oil Cooler Kit

Thermostat - Derale 25792 Fluid Control Thermostat Kit

Ol' John does have a lot of knowledge but you gotta wade thru the rest of it to get it.

I was lucky enough to be able to get one of DG's 8.8 set ups for my car.

TXratti
TXratti New Reader
8/2/19 11:53 a.m.
GPz11 said:

 

The oil filter adapter is from FloCool, saw it in GRM, and it's a nice piece of hardware for sure.

https://www.flocool.com/

Oil cooler - Derale 15451 Engine Oil Cooler Kit

Thermostat - Derale 25792 Fluid Control Thermostat Kit

Ol' John does have a lot of knowledge but you gotta wade thru the rest of it to get it.

I was lucky enough to be able to get one of DG's 8.8 set ups for my car.

Thanks for the P/ns! I know, 8.8 would be nice (I'm assuming this is the explorer IRS 8.8?) What final drive ratio options are there for the 8.8? Lots of good DG parts that I wish I could get (like the top mounts, but I'll probably get something from Burton Power).

How long have you had the Derale kit? If you have an oil pressure gauge, what sort of pressure are you seeing?

And yes, I've patiently waded through lots of phone calls with John, and talked about many things besides cars. Need to give him a bit of a nudge on some things though, now and again. I seem to get along with most people, and am more patient than most :)

 

TXratti
TXratti New Reader
8/3/19 7:22 a.m.

Decided to get a jump on painting the roll bar:

I'm super happy with how the roll bar turned out. Adam Brock, from his company 9hio, came out from Ohio and put this in the car in my garage. Cut, bent, welded everything right there. Need a cage? He can come to you.

GPz11
GPz11 Reader
8/3/19 7:12 p.m.
TXratti said:

Thanks for the P/ns! I know, 8.8 would be nice (I'm assuming this is the explorer IRS 8.8?) What final drive ratio options are there for the 8.8? Lots of good DG parts that I wish I could get (like the top mounts, but I'll probably get something from Burton Power).

How long have you had the Derale kit? If you have an oil pressure gauge, what sort of pressure are you seeing?

And yes, I've patiently waded through lots of phone calls with John, and talked about many things besides cars. Need to give him a bit of a nudge on some things though, now and again. I seem to get along with most people, and am more patient than most :)

 

The 8.8 is from a MN12 Thunderbird, have a 3.55 aluminum diff in right now and a spare 3.73 NOS iron one just in case. For 8.8's, whatever ratio you want is out there. I'm also running DG's strut top mounts and cross brace. Also have his Wilwood brake kit on the front.

The oil cooler kit has just been this year, as for oil pressure, about 50~60 when first started up and about 40 at idle when hot. Oil temps when driving are around 140 ish. When stuck in traffic, it will go up at bit and also when on track.

TXratti
TXratti New Reader
8/3/19 11:36 p.m.
GPz11 said:

The 8.8 is from a MN12 Thunderbird, have a 3.55 aluminum diff in right now and a spare 3.73 NOS iron one just in case. For 8.8's, whatever ratio you want is out there. I'm also running DG's strut top mounts and cross brace. Also have his Wilwood brake kit on the front.

The oil cooler kit has just been this year, as for oil pressure, about 50~60 when first started up and about 40 at idle when hot. Oil temps when driving are around 140 ish. When stuck in traffic, it will go up at bit and also when on track.

Nice! That's right, the tbird also had the 8.8 IRS. Does it have a positraction or whatever Ford calls their LSD?

140 seems low for a turbo car,  temp-wise.. my daily is above 200F once it's up to temp, touches 240 F when driving aggressively/autocrossing. Regardless, that's a good number and it does not seem too large like Chris was saying his RX7 one was.

Willwoods would be nice,  eventually  perhaps, right now I'm on 2016 Focus calipers with Tim Spencer's adapters. It stops well, but has a decent amount of pedal travel... I'm about to fab a gas pedal extension to have it reach closer to the brake, but also have it bend back towards the firewall so that I can get my foot on it even when I'm full in the brakes. Right now the gas pedal is higher than the brake when you're heavy braking, not conducive to heel-toe shifting.

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 HalfDork
8/4/19 10:39 a.m.

140 farenheit is too cold for oil temps in a car that gets street driven. Need to see over 200 to boil the condensation out or else change the oil after every drive like we do with pure racing cars.

GPz11
GPz11 Reader
8/4/19 1:47 p.m.

Well, the thermostat opens after 180 so what can I do? It’s bypassing the cooler till then.

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 HalfDork
8/4/19 5:21 p.m.

In reply to GPz11 :

That sounds like the gauge is inacurate or the thermostat is stuck open. Check the inlet and outlet temps at the cooler from a cold start and see what the temp is  there and when the cooler begins to see hot oil.

TXratti
TXratti New Reader
8/5/19 1:32 p.m.
GPz11 said:

Well, the thermostat opens after 180 so what can I do? It’s bypassing the cooler till then.

Definitely sounds like the gauge is wrong, especially if you can verify that oil is going into the cooler.

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