TTAC Project Car: Sacrifice to The Sierra Gods!

 
Merkur? ZOMG SANJEEV Y U NO LS1-FTW?
No surprise, the auto journo that insists on everything LS-swapped is actually a big ol’ fraud. Do as he says, not as he does with TTAC’s Project Car — a 1983 Ford Sierra Ghia previously reviewed with the promise of more to come.
Promises: kept.

After scouring the interwebs, reading about the Sierra’s factory shortcomings and applying a modicum of common sense, the ultimate in Chevrolet LS-performance was beyond my financial scope and my intentions for a Mk1 Sierra. Stuffing 10 pounds of shit into a 5-pound bag, no matter the ability to make the baddest, brown, 5-door hatch on the planet, wasn’t in the cards.
TTAC Project Car: Sacrifice to The Sierra Gods!
Then a 1988 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe arrived via phone call. Bought by my friend (and infamous LeMons racer) Brian Pollock as a rust-free restomod worthy of a good home, he parted it out to feed his racing addiction. True to form, he made a quick buck off me with its valuable Fox Body parts, but our conversation soon regressed to the Sierra-worthy goodies: the turbocharged 2.3-liter mill, EEC-IV fuel injection, T-5 gearbox (a la Sierra Cosworth), the largest injectors/camshaft/manifold/VAM of its breed, rear disc brakes and even a serpentine accessory belt drive. It was all mine for $700, with Brian’s commitment to be the craftsman behind this madness.
TTAC Project Car: Sacrifice to The Sierra Gods!
Then another LeMons racer offered the running, restorable 1988 Merkur XR4ti (American Sierra to you noobs) seen in this article’s introduction. Sure, the motor’s hurt, but it rounds out the Sierra’s Ford-ification: a drop-in EFI wiring harness/fuel system/clutch, bigger (front) brakes, firmer springs, fatter anti-sway bars, stronger 7.5-inch differential and countless interior bits including a boost gauge.
$600? Sold! There’s even my favorite 2.3-liter aluminum cam cover with complimentary mud dauber nest:
TTAC Project Car: Sacrifice to The Sierra Gods!
Shockingly, the Merkur’s hurt motor fired up on first attempt after a 2+ year slumber. Once the amazement subsided (terrible quality YouTube video remains), the notion of driving a parts car certainly beats pushing the damn thing.

For the price of an LS1 take-out motor, my path to being a complete fraud — a two-faced bastard of massive proportions — was complete. Plus, I enjoy slamming performance Ford parts in Ford products where they do not belong. It’s been my shtick with non-Mustang Fox Bodies since 1999.
TTAC Project Car: Sacrifice to The Sierra Gods!
Necessary Aside: Behold the amazing parts interchangeability of (disturbingly comfortable) Turbo Coupe seats in Brian’s Ford truck. It’s also a 5-speed Fummins conversion, garnering attention from the tow-savvy among the B&B in our last article, effortlessly yanking the Merkur, T-bird and the Sierra around Texas. Aside from the color clash, this embodies everything I wanted to share in this update.
TTAC Project Car: Sacrifice to The Sierra Gods!
That’s a very handy book to find in the back seat of your Merkur parts car. I bet I can get $50 for it when I’m done with the swap. So what’s next for TTAC’s Ford Sierra?
The Turbo Coupe is stripped; of no further use to anyone but China. It’ll be scrap metal by the time you read this.
TTAC Project Car: Sacrifice to The Sierra Gods!
The Merkur isn’t long for this world, but the sacrificial lamb’s pain is pure pleasure to The Sierra Gods. I suspect we’re swapping subframes (for that stiffer suspension and big differential), grabbing fuel, drivetrain and EFI wiring bits in the coming months. And since its rust free, maybe I’ll sawzall off the rocker panels as the Sierra is a tad rusty-crusty after those hard UK winters.
TTAC Project Car: Sacrifice to The Sierra Gods!
Most of this is on Brian’s plate, but me? I’m ensuring the Merkur’s computer accepts a tune like the (better) unit salvaged from the Turbo Coupe, with input from my SCT tuner friend. Perhaps intake, exhaust and camshaft upgrades are in the mix. You never know!
TTAC Project Car: Sacrifice to The Sierra Gods!
I’m also geeking out over the Merkur’s factory boost gauge via installation into the Sierra’s cluster. Not a direct drop in, as the right-hand-drive Sierra puts the speedometer (and cable) on the wrong side of the assembly.
TTAC Project Car: Sacrifice to The Sierra Gods!
Nothing I can’t handle.
What other roadblocks shall TTAC’s project encounter? Until next time!

TTAC Project Car: Sacrifice to The Sierra Gods!
TTAC Project Car: Sacrifice to The Sierra Gods!
TTAC Project Car: Sacrifice to The Sierra Gods!
TTAC Project Car: Sacrifice to The Sierra Gods!
TTAC Project Car: Sacrifice to The Sierra Gods!
TTAC Project Car: Sacrifice to The Sierra Gods!
TTAC Project Car: Sacrifice to The Sierra Gods!
TTAC Project Car: Sacrifice to The Sierra Gods!
TTAC Project Car: Sacrifice to The Sierra Gods!
TTAC Project Car: Sacrifice to The Sierra Gods!
TTAC Project Car: Sacrifice to The Sierra Gods!
TTAC Project Car: Sacrifice to The Sierra Gods!
TTAC Project Car: Sacrifice to The Sierra Gods!
TTAC Project Car: Sacrifice to The Sierra Gods!
TTAC Project Car: Sacrifice to The Sierra Gods!
TTAC Project Car: Sacrifice to The Sierra Gods!
TTAC Project Car: Sacrifice to The Sierra Gods!
TTAC Project Car: Sacrifice to The Sierra Gods!
TTAC Project Car: Sacrifice to The Sierra Gods!
TTAC Project Car: Sacrifice to The Sierra Gods!
TTAC Project Car: Sacrifice to The Sierra Gods!

The post TTAC Project Car: Sacrifice to The Sierra Gods! appeared first on The Truth About Cars.