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Thread: Merkur?

  1. #1

    Default Merkur?

    What exactly were these Merkurs? Who made them and why did they go under?

    I remember a friend having an xr4ti that was pretty cool and had a ford 4cyl turbo engine.
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  2. #2
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    They were the european Sierras.

    The XR4TI's were pretty cool, with the turbo 2.3 and a decent suspension. It was Ford's attempt to bring more of the euorpean influence to the states. Didn't go over too well i guess.

    There was actually another model, a 4 door sedan, but I can't remember what they were calling it. I believe it's european counterpart was the Scorpio.

    I just did a google and found this site, from the looks of it it should have anything you need.

    http://www.merkurdesktop.com/desktop.php

  3. #3
    Travis T
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    XR4Ti's are extremely fun, I had an 89, and with 160,000 miles on the worn out suspension, it drove and handled better than any Fox Mustang I've ever driven. Upkeep is sort of expensive, some Merkur specific parts are costly. The engine is straight from a Thunderbird TC, the transmission is a C3 if auto, or a real POS five speed that can be replaced by a T5 with a little work. Everything else chassis related is Merkur specific, but the cool thing is the engine stuff is readily available as it is standard Ford stuff. If I ever find a nice one cheap, I will own another one.

  4. #4

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    Was Merkur a Ford owned product? I would assume it would have to be. Is Merkur still around?
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    FEP Supporter 75coug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregpro50
    Was Merkur a Ford owned product? I would assume it would have to be. Is Merkur still around?
    They were simply Ford of Europe products that were sent to the U.S. and rebadged as Merkurs. There were two models, the XR4Ti and the Scorpio. The Merkur name died when Ford of Europe stopped exporting the cars to the U.S.
    Robert

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  6. #6

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    My Uncle had an XR4Ti that he bought new and drove forever. He just loved that car. It had over 250K on it when something expensive went south on it, I think the turbocharger. Anyway, the repair quote was hefty enough that, being the ever-practical German electrical engineer that he is, he just bought a new car instead.
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  7. #7

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    Something on the back end of them sorta looks SVOish. I cant quite put my finger on it...

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregpro50
    Something on the back end of them sorta looks SVOish. I cant quite put my finger on it...

    oh oh oh I know it's the ..um..that thing...what do you call it.. the um..REAR WING.

    That's it.

    kyle
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  9. #9

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    Iv'e owned 3 and had the pride of being a 'Merkur Certified Technician" by FLM.

    Merkur was imported by Ford starting in 86 and running through 89. Both were sold by the L/M stores and designed to compete against Audi 4&5000's and BWM 3 and 5 series. the car was completely mis-marketed had ad's like Bavarian Scream (The car was built by Ford Werke AG in Koln not in Bavaria), etc,etc.

    There were two models, The Satan (being the Scorpio RWD 4dr sedan based off the Granada platform with a 2.9 and A4LD tranny. The car would generally break within 2 minutes of leaving the showroom never to be repaired) You see them from time to time on the sideo f the road with $100.00 on the windsheild in white shoe polish. Pretty good for a 29K car huh?

    And the The XR4Ti. Being a very very good car based off of the Sierra Xr4. In europe some models are equipped with the Cosworth DOHC 4 and is somewhat comperable to our Mustang as far as being a 2-door performance oriented coupe. The Cosworth motor could not federalize, Ford decided to install the 2.3 Turbo and T-56 or A4LD but non-intercooled.

    It is an excelent handiling platform with an independant rear about 50-50 weight distrubution. Your SVO reference is due to the Bi-wing spoiler which ran unitl 87ish when in 88 the car recieved a single wing.

    Part of the problem for the car was the dealer network sucked, you had L/M techs used to Town Cars and Connnies suddenly working on these. Also, Klaus and Joe had a hard time getting the wiring interface downpat. The earlier ones all had brown wires with colored taces, the colored traces all wore off in no time due to our salted road enviroments and it is a bitch to work on. The car allways has its share of wiring demons but, all in all a good car.

    There is an excellent company in Oregon that I used to do buisness with, they are the Rapido Group and took over the parts and support (kind of defacto) from Ford in the 90's. The Xr4ti uses a rubber isolator coupling on the 2-piece driveshaft, these were prone to failure and cause a severe vibration.

    From Ford the service piece is the entire driveshaft and it ran in excess of 1600, rapido imports the Fods of Europe donut for about 100 bucks. Really stuff like that. They are also really good with Turbo 2.3 stuff and one of there 2.3 Xr4's hold the Bonneaville Salt Flats production record

    http://www.rapidogroup.com/index.html
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  10. #10

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    Yeah unfortunately...we got stiffed with the Lima engine Oh how good it would've been to get a Cosworth....

    They also had "AWD" versions in Europe and a few people have done conversions here in the states using the 4x4 parts from there. Also seen a few V8 conversions, V6 conversions, etc.
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  11. #11

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    So as I understand this, the only thing that is really Ford as we recognize would be the engine? Everything else was from europe?

    It was kinda a neat idea being rear wheel drive and all. I think I even read that they had independant rear suspension.

    Maybe this would be a car that I could play with for a little if I can find one cheap.
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregpro50
    So as I understand this, the only thing that is really Ford as we recognize would be the engine? Everything else was from europe?

    It was kinda a neat idea being rear wheel drive and all. I think I even read that they had independant rear suspension.

    Maybe this would be a car that I could play with for a little if I can find one cheap.
    They are a good car and, really receptive engine bay to a 5.0 SEFI conversion.

    There was another nut doing twin turbo nissan VG-30T conversions called the Scorch or something

    Search under its real name Ford Cosworth Sierra http://surf.to/cosworth
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  13. #13

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    Yeah they were also down in South America and apparently thats where the orignal Scorcher came from.

    But yes, its a Ford of Europe(Germany/UK) with a US Ford engine.

    There are a few people working on 8.8 Cobra IRS conversions as well since the stock rear in a Merkur is a 7.5.
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  14. #14
    FEP Power Member not-a-stang's Avatar
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    I remeber this one guy in my old college had one, but he rebadged it as Cosworth Sierra...and it was all track modded.

    It looked mean...SVO mean.
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    FEP Supporter Mustang Marty's Avatar
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    Merkur means Mercury in German. Unfortunately, if people can't pronouce the name, they won't buy it. (see Daewoo). Ford made an XR8 (5.0 Powered) for the South african market as well. This was mainly so they could use the 5.0l in their race cars. There were also all-wheel drive versions in it's home market (XR4x4). These cars were really popular in Europe until it was replaced by the Mondeo in 1994. They just didn't sell well here, and when the dollar took a nose dive in the late 80's the car got priced out the market.

  16. #16

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    Worthless triva. One of the Ford Probe prototypes was based on the Sierra. I have pics of like 3-5 different protoypes for the Probe. And its one of them.
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  17. #17
    Travis T
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    People didn't buy many of them because my 89 stickered for $23k, but for some reason, they are now common for less than $2k. I bought mine, which was a pretty decent car, for $1450. It was fully loaded, leather, seat heaters, sunroof, power everything. Best winter car I ever had as far as heat and defrosting capabilities go. Gregpro50, they do indeed have independent rear suspension, and if you've found a decent one cheap, it would be a fun car to own. Don't pick up one that looks to have been abused though, as these cars tend to have lots of little gremlins as it is (nothing major, just little annoyances). A friend of mine found one in a junkyard without a sunroof (pretty rare), and we are building an autocross car out of it.

  18. #18
    FEP Power Member slickshift's Avatar
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    Merkur was a featured marque at Fords at Carlisle last year
    If you think Four-Eye owners are a small but proud bunch....

    Every rag-tag Merkur that limped in was hailed as a hero by the group that was there already
    It was great to see so many in one spot
    Inspiring, really

    http://www.merkurclub.com/default.htm
    Scroll down to "It's a Record" for pics

    Text:
    It's official! The big Carlisle 20th anniversary celebration is over and we assembled the largest collection of Merkurs and their owners ever! 236 was the official count. Thanks to everyone that made this possible. The time, effort and money involved was breath-taking. Row after row of XR4Ti and Scorpios exceeded the allotted show-field space and spilled over into an adjacent area! Continue celebrating the 20th anniversary at other events planned throughout the year and be proud of your Merkur's heritage.
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    FEP Supporter 75coug's Avatar
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    Wow, 236 of them in one place? That is a remarkable turnout. I think that we would be very hard-pressed to get that many Capris at an event, and FoMoCo sold a lot more of them than they did Merkurs.
    Robert

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    1982 Cougar wagon

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by slickshift
    Every rag-tag Merkur that limped in was hailed as a hero by the group that was there already
    That is so funny. I wonder how many tried to make the trip to attend the meet and broke down on the way.

    How come people can have a big meet for some forgotten car like the XR4Ti and I have yet to see a meet for Capris? (not that I own one I could bring anyway)
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