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Thread: 1989 red xr7 5spd

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Merrimac, MA

    1989 red xr7 5spd

    Picked up my XR7 yesterday! Sorry this very long winded but some of you might appreciate it. Otherwise, just check out the pics.

    So a quick background on me; the old man picked up his new 1990 LS when I was 8 years old. His first new car ever and he loved that car more than life. No one else rode in it and he wiped his feet every time he got in it. Fast forward 7 years, he bought a left over 1996 XR7 4.6 (still has it) and to my dismay the LS went to my sister. Well a year later I got my license and was left to fend for myself. I found myself a 1991 LS 5.0. I drove it through college and it was a great trouble free car. Fell asleep at the wheel one night and that was the end of that Cougar.

    I always wanted one of the XR7 SCís and can remember staring at the 1990 sales brochure my father kept on file. At one point when I was in college the old man bought a non running black 1990 XR7 in hopes we would restore it together but that never happened and to bone yard it went (sorry). Fast forward 12 years. Iím settled, house, wife, two car garage, money, yada yada yada. So I keep my eyes out and I finally find this XR7 on craigslist. It looks legit but I hadnít gained approval yet so I complimented the gentleman and moved on. He says he already has buyers lined up anyhow Ė oh well, next time.

    3 months later, still thinking about this car, and what a rare find, I cross my fingers and hope that craigslist email conduit is still active. I email him back asking for his buyers contact info. To my delight he decided not to sell the car Ė he couldnít, not to those guys anyways. So he and I start a dialogue and two months later Iím making the 3 hour drive to meet him and look at it. Iím pumped, I have cash in hand just in case. Well, itís everything he said it was, but alas, he is having severe separation issues and canít sell it there and then. He says, letís talk in the spring. OK. Iím not letting it go though. I keep after him and two months later after some back and forth we settle on a price and so here I am Ė itís in my garage and my smile is effectively connecting my ears.

    So without further adieu, the vitals;

    1989 Red XR7 5 speed. She has grey cloth, no moon roof, no JBL, keyless entry, auto dimming mirror, auto head lights, systems monitor etcÖ 15,526 original miles. Some of you may remember this car being advertised on here a couple times. Still on original good years. Sheís been a garage queen, never seen snow and maybe rain a couple times. 1 owner car, now 2. I made the 3 hour drive home yesterday without fanfare. Radio wonít turn on so I listened to the engine the whole time.

    Initial observations;

    She drives smooth and tight. And damn, the power, this makes my 91 LS 5.0 seem silly. I had forgotten what a great ride they are after driving trucks and jeeps for the last 10 years. Again, radio wonít turn on, have to look into this over the winter. The AC is not working so thatíll be getting fixed over the winter as well (if I want my wife to ride in it). She pulled 11 PSI @ 4500 RPM @ 90 mph in 3rd. Thats the most boost she has. There is a slight shimmy on the highway but thatís to be expected on the original rubber Ė they are probably not safe anyways. What a feeling breaking the ~~~ loose @ 25 mph! The 5.0 couldnít break it loose with a tail wind! A little wheel hop but it is what it is. ABS and firm ride seem to work fine. Slight whine from the fuel pumpÖ Drivers side bolster and lumbar are not working Ė they make a click on ďinflateĒ but thereís no movement. Lastly, there might be a slight coolant leak but I havenít gone looking for it yet.


    Well, I love the ďsurvivorĒ status this cat carries so the plans are minimal. I am looking at some minor bolt on mods all in the interest of preserving the head gaskets. I know if they end up going it loses some originality and it will be game-on at that point. Neither my wallet or wife will like me very much.

    I wonít do anything that will permanently alter the car and I will not get into the engine at 15k miles. I have a ken wagner DIC that will go on if I donít have to alter/cut/modify anything Ė if not, somebody here will get a new DIC at discount. I plan on removing the air silencer and replacing the filter with a K&N. The exhaust Ė this one tears at me but I feel it needs attending to. I was looking at just the Magnaflow down pipes and cats and a magnoflow resonator into the stock system but then I was looking at the mufflers which are a little tired. All the pipes look great but if Iím replacing every other component I would probably just splurge on the Mandrel Bends dual 2.25 system as well. Here is where I think about picking a 92+ tank and installing a new fuel pump as well. I donít know though.

    Wheels and tires. There is something cool about having the original rubber still but maybe Iím being a little ridiculous. I also love the stock seven spokes. Part of me wants to preserve the original wheels and tires and part of me says who cares? If I did preserve them Iím thinking some Cobra Rís or Bullets but I always thought the larger wheels looked funny at stock ride height. I canít find a pic of a stock red XR7 with some nice +1 or +2 wheels to decide and I suck at photo crop. Any pics out there would be appreciated.

    I guess thatís about it for now. That was way too much and I apologize but itís been bottled up in me since 1990 and I had to get it out. I look forward to your comments/thoughts/suggestions ideas and to hopefully meet some of you at some point.

    Cheers Ė Ben.

    A little trouble uploading pics so go here.

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    Last edited by BUDXR7; 11-17-2014 at 02:42 PM. Reason: resized images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    That is one clean XR7. Congrats on bringing that one home.
    Jim, SCCoA Member#: 2789

    "cuz Jim has mad skillz, yo!" Melon.
    "You guys crack me up talking about nitrous when you don't even know if you can keep it together on gasoline." XR7 Dave
    "I didn't break it, I found it's weakness."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Merrimac, MA


    Thanks man. Appreciate the compliment. I'm feeling the love for XR7s here....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Robinson, IL
    Super Nice XR7!!!!


    Lance Sikorski

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Phoenix, ax
    Identical to my first car ever owned.. Keep me in mind if she is ever for sale!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Merrimac, MA
    Quote Originally Posted by SoonerSamSC View Post
    Keep me in mind if she is ever for sale!
    Sure thing, but boy, the original owner was so sad to let it go we had a gentleman's agreement that I would let him know if it ever had to go.

    Hopefully it's found a home for the rest of it's years though.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Adrian, Michigan

    Thumbs up

    Very nice. One modification you should consider is a late model [94/5] blower. It's more efficient than an early model blower and should definitely up the fun factor on spirited accelerations.
    SCCoA Member # 490 since 1997
    1995 SC (five speed) 12.8913@105.86
    Best 60' 1.7489

    1994 SC (automatic) 13.4829@100.23mph
    Best 60' 1.8539 On a stock long block with bolt on's

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Republic of Texas
    Beautiful survivor! I wouldn't change one single thing. Period. They are only original once. Even if you keep all the original parts and put it back later, it's no longer original in the true sense.

    My survivor is currently in deep storage while all the others are being modded, driven, beaten and killed. While the others are dying, time has stopped for mine; it's still 1989 in my shop building! When she emerges from hibernation in a few years, she truly will be a unique piece. I actually drive mine occasionally to stir the fluids, but it hasn't been registered in 7+ years, and won't be for at least that many more years.

    You can still drive yours carefully and enjoy it, but I'd seriously avoid changing anything on the car. Just drive and appreciate it for the wonderful machine that Ford built back in '89. It's a time capsule, and there need to be a few remaining "pure" examples out there in the future.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Merrimac, MA
    Quote Originally Posted by txsc View Post
    Beautiful survivor! I wouldn't change one single thing. Period.
    There are two distinct camps in this club. One is drive, break it, fix it, upgrade it. The other is don't change a thing, such a unique animal should be preserved. Far more fall in the first group.

    I can respect both but I think I fall somewhere in between. I want to preserve it REALLY close to stock and will keep the miles off it but there are just some minor tweaks that ford should have done but failed to. These changes will increase reliability with the added benefit of some minor performance improvement.

    I don't plan on selling anytime soon so I have no idea what the future value will be but I just don't see it ever being a duesenberg so what the hell? Enjoy it, baby it, improve it, show it off(get laughed at), have fun.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Broken Arrow, Ok
    Your storie is almost the exact same as mine! I found my 89 Thunderbird SC in the paper. The old man wanted it to go to someone who loved the cars, not just some one who need a set of wheels for a DD.
    Mine doesnt have quite as low of miles on it (47k) but its about as clean.
    The 5 speed makes me jelous though. lol

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