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Merkur XR4Ti - for what class(es) am I eligible?


rjk*49

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Been trying to get a response to this question from various CA regional NASA "contacts," but no luck whatsoever. So... What class(es) can I participate in with a Merkur XR4Ti, with a modified engine, suspension, and aerodynamics? Engine is the same as that used in the SVO Mustang (2.3L turbo), and TBird TC.

 

Did some "turns" a LONG time ago, and want to get back into it. But, SCCA doesn't want to have anything to do with turbo production cars, and there's no room/recognition of the XR4Ti. Besides, I've heard MUCH better things about NASA from friends who're giving up on SCCA and its games. But, I don't know where this car can fit in, or how much I would be allowed to modify it.

 

If all else fails, I could participate in the HPDE program, but I'd rather get involved in a competitive group. I doubt the car can develop enough reliable HP to participate in any unlimited category. Any suggestions are GREATLY appreciated. Thanks!

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Are you looking to autocross, road race or time trial? The reason I ask is the answer will vary based on which one you are interested in.

 

In general, I have found that NASA will find a place for you to run with any of these choices. You just need to directly contact your regional representative for the relevant choice of activity.

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Thanks Keith. I registered and posted my question here specifically because I was getting NO responses from the regional rep/officials in No. CA.

 

I'm looking to road race, though if nothing is available, then I guess I'd resort to time trials... at least I'd be more inclined to keep the car road legal if I was only time-trialing.

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Do you know what class your car would be in with other sanctioning bodies? I'm guessing PS0, but I'd have to know more about your car and consult with higher-ups.

 

Although I would be interested to see if this car fits into American Iron Oh, wait it has independent rear suspension, right? If so, that's out since it isn't on the list.

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Thanks Jim for looking into this.

 

I've only seen/heard of one "stock," no-modifications-allowed class in SCCA for an XR. SCCA could never find a place for the XR... They categorize it as an import, but won't let it run in "import" classes because the 2.3L turbo is US made. Go figure.

 

I don't want to run in a pure stock form. I plan on using all Sierra RS/RS500 Cosworth suspension/driveline components (e.g., LSDs, T5, big-rotor brakes, revised front suspension spindle, geometries, etc.). , but retain the US 2.3L turbo (instead of converting to a Cosworth 2.0L turbo).

 

Those mods would push me into a much higher performance class, right? That's OK. OTOH, while the 2.3L turbo is near bulletproof and can generate good HP and TQ at high rpm, it'll never have the good low-end TQ of a V8, or even a good 6. I want to have fun and be competitive, but not be totally outclassed, or eternally stuck as a backmarker.

 

One more question... if it ever came to it and I decided to drop an SHO V6, or 302/stroker into it to be competitive, would that jump me into an "unlimited" race class?

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Those mods would push me into a much higher performance class, right? That's OK.

 

Probably right out of PS0 and into Super Unlimited for road racing.

 

OTOH, while the 2.3L turbo is near bulletproof and can generate good HP and TQ at high rpm, it'll never have the good low-end TQ of a V8, or even a good 6. I want to have fun and be competitive, but not be totally outclassed, or eternally stuck as a backmarker.

 

I always thought the weak link was the rear end in those cars.

 

One more question... if it ever came to it and I decided to drop an SHO V6, or 302/stroker into it to be competitive, would that jump me into an "unlimited" race class?

 

Definitely. There very few classes you can totally change the engine and stay in,

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Thanks Jim.

I'll look up PSO, and SU. Sounds like those are the only two categories available, other than TT.

 

Tough decisions... if those mods pop me up into SU, then the 2.3L will keep me a backmarker. If I'm relegated to "unlimited," then seems I oughta consider a swap to V8 (a big job with an XR). OTOH, I'd like to keep it street/smog legal, which means either doing a 2.3-to-V8 swap for any race weekend, or give up a really great street/road car and relegate it to race-only. Hmm.

 

BTW, you're right about the rear being the weak (mechanical) link (if your T5 doesn't blow up). For an open diff, the stock XR diff is pretty solid, but the halfshafts are the problem. The 7.5" and 9" LSDs in the Cosworths were tough enough if shot-peened, but a full-on racing RS500 had so much TQ coming on abruptly @ 4500rpm, they could literally snap the even bigger Motorsport halfshafts in almost any gear.

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How's this for an idea....

 

Bring it out to a few events running in HPDE and see how fast it is compared to the race cars running in the races that day. I bet you'll find you are closer to some of the SU cars than you might think if your car can turn well.

 

Granted, there's always the possibility for a really quick car showing up like a Radical, but in SoCal there's been a turbo Miata that was pretty quick but you should be able to hang with. At the least, there's probably someone else running similar times you can dice with if they aren't in a class battle.

 

You could also check out mylaps.com and look at some of the NASA events for the SU times. At the very least, if you show up to every event and race, you'd proably take the championship as I can't rememebr seeing the same car running SU more than 3 events a year.

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Tough decisions... if those mods pop me up into SU, then the 2.3L will keep me a backmarker.

 

Like Tom said, you should come out for an HPDE and compare times. The SU champion in Socal this year was in a turbo Eclipse and I'm pretty sure that would be a comperable to your car (2.0L turbo AWD vs 2.3: turbo RWD).

 

but a full-on racing RS500 had so much TQ coming on abruptly @ 4500rpm, they could literally snap the even bigger Motorsport halfshafts in almost any gear.

 

I saw this first hand. I had a buddy with a huge turbo swapped onto his XR4Ti. We were heading out of Westwood, getting onto Wilshire (a huge 6 lane road). He accelerated to get away from me and display his massive power and all I heard was rev, boost, BANG! and then nice metal sounds as I drove by.

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Great! Thanks guys!

 

That's unexpected... I'd heard that SU was all-out, full roll cages, guys stuffing stroked V8's into 2500# cars, fuel cells, etc.. I'll have to read the rules on SU. Leaning towards stripping this new one down, stitch welding, full or near-full roll cage, etc.. I'd rather get that done first, than just swap all the Cossie stuff on and shoot for PSO in HPDE, only to find out I have to take it all out to do the welding, cage, fuel cell, etc. for SU.

 

Jim... the halfshafts my be weak, but the body is awesomely strong. I know personally of 4 guys (including my son) who've totalled an XR (yup, the one I was prepping to race), and everybody walked away. The worst was 3 buddies got hit head-on by a drunk (they slowed way down in time), and nobody was hurt. Then, while the CHP had them stay in the car and arrest the drunk, another drunk was attracting to the flares, and rammed them from the rear. Again, nobody hurt. Damn lucky, plus German engineering and unibody crumple zones. Pretty advanced for 1986.

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That's unexpected... I'd heard that SU was all-out, full roll cages, guys stuffing stroked V8's into 2500# cars, fuel cells, etc.. I'll have to read the rules on SU.

 

The rules for SU- just make sure you are safety compliant with the CCR. There are no class rules!

 

SU depends a lot on where you race. In Socal we do a good job of persuading people into "normal" classes and there are probably only two or three regular SU racers. Most of the other cars are people running in preparation for an enduro or ALMS or Grand Am teams practicing. Other regions, however, have so many SU cars that they break them up into multiple SU classes based on engine size.

 

Of course there are a lot of good Socal classes if you want to switch to another race car. (Not sure how much you've built on the XR4Ti.) Tom and I have found that most of the fun in racing comes from the people you are racing with. Coincidentaly, he and I race in the same series- the SE-R Cup. I think we've had the closest racing this year (all drivers qualifying within a few hundredths and good battles throught the race session) and are looking forward to a fun 2005. The cars aren't SU fast, but we have a ton of fun and the racing is pretty inexpensive. Even guest drivers are surprised at how much fun they have. Cars can be built or bought for about $6500.

 

In fact there's a nice one for sale right now HERE.

 

another drunk was attracting to the flares, and rammed them from the rear.

 

NICE.

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I've heard and read good stuff about SE-R on this site. I'm pretty much stuck, though, with canabalizing Cossie stuff off my wrecked XR and installing it into my remaining XR. Already paid for, and all that...

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  • 3 months later...

Obviously the car was built in Geramny so that makes it legal for the GTS category. Even a Trabant, a Bitter or an Opel is legal as long as it is built in Germany although I wouldn't race a Messerschmidt.

Ask the GTS gurus...

McGyver

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Tough decisions... if those mods pop me up into SU, then the 2.3L will keep me a backmarker.

 

Like Tom said, you should come out for an HPDE and compare times. The SU champion in Socal this year was in a turbo Eclipse and I'm pretty sure that would be a comperable to your car (2.0L turbo AWD vs 2.3: turbo RWD).

 

 

 

Yeah, just a 350WHP/1980lb FWD turbo eclipse running on 275/40-17 Hoosiers with 328mm rotors and 4 piston Stop Tech brakes..............

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Thanks NASA Jim,

HPDE will be the first step I'll take. After weighing it all out, I finally bit the bullet and decided to drop a 5.0L into one of my XR's for this project... figured that w/ almost 200ft-lbs more TQ (stock) below 3500rpm than the best 2.3L turbo setups/dyno's I've seen, that's the best solution to keep from becoming a backmarker. Besides, should be tons of fun on the street w/ that much TQ available, something I've never had with the 2.3L (although I did run a 12.97 w/it @ Sears Point last year). Besides, for what I wanted to do w/ the 2.3 to make it competitive and durable, it would cost me almost double to do the same with a 5.0.

 

Stockpiling the parts to do the swap, and have another balanced 5.0 long block sitting in the garage w/ AL heads, et al. The first one will get me approved for the street for smog. The second one will be dropped in when I'm ready to go to HPDE. Should be a really nice combination with all the Cosworth suspension and rally components. Really looking forward to it, but its gonna take a while. Nothing ever comes easy with this car. Hoping for something rolling towards end of summer. Probably too late to participate in much, but gotta have a goal, right?

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