North American Turbocoupe Organization

FS: 1986 Cougar XR7 5-speed black 99,99x miles
86 XR7 5spd Offline
Senior Member
$3500 ; Lake Linden, MI 49945
Can deliver (trailer) to MI/WI/MN ... could drive it further Smile
Call/text if you wish 9 zero 6 3 7 zero zero 4 1 8

Sadly, time to sell. I have owned this car since '08 and have been on the forum here since then - buying parts, learning about 2.3t's and Fox Fords .. fixing up the Cat.

Craigslist ad with pictures:


1986 Cougar XR7 – 99,9Xx miles
Black exterior; maroon interior.
2.3 liter turbocharged SOHC 4-cylinder engine;
5-speed T5 manual transmission;
3.45 FDR Traction-Lok, Quad-Shock 7.5” rear axle;
15x7” ’10-hole’ cast aluminum wheels w/ 225/60-15 tires;
PW/DL/power mirrors, 6-way power drivers’ seat;
A/C (R134 converted) blows cold, and heat blows hot;
Razzi aftermarket styling kit with front air dam, side skirts, and rear spoiler;

Overall this car is a fine example of a rare offering from Mercury.

Featuring low miles and near-zero rust, this car is a >95% stock original survivor, and is freshly maintained, tuned, and fully sorted out.

It is fast, quiet, and comfortable. Happy at 85 mph for hours or putt around town. Does not mind being hustled or pushed, absorbs road irregularites well, can definitely hustle down a twisty road. Runs and functions as it should - no "tricks". Starts consistently, idles smooth, and pulls cleanly and hard all the way to redline in every gear. No "Engine Light" / fault light / codes. Fresh brakes, shocks/struts/alignment, Clutch action is smooth and progressive; transmission gear shifting is good, typical of T5 with some 'notchy-ness' and syncro wear.

This car maintains its originality including original aluminum space-saver spare, jack, spare cover, wheel locks and special lock key attached to original lug wrench; (4) color matched floor-mats; both functional foglights with rare Marchal covers; etc. (known exceptions to "Stock" are listed below).

All functions and options operate as intended: cruise control, A/C, vehicle message display, indicator lights, rear defroster , turn/park/brake/head/fog lights, power mirrors/windows/door locks, 6-way function driver’s seat, ‘Power Lumbar’ in seats, 6 speakers, twilight headlight , headlamp courtesy delay, power trunk release and fuel door release, etc. (EXCEPT headlight high-beam 'auto-dimming' does not function).

I would not hesitate to drive this car cross-country USA; and to back that up:
I WILL PERSONALLY DELIVER this car anywhere in the Lower 48... not for free of course, but it will be cheap since this car can easily attain 30 MPG !

This car is an un-restored 'survivor' and also a 'daily driver'. Overall it is in nice shape, however it shows wear and damage appropriate for a 30 year old car with >95k miles, including exterior and interior flaws, scuffs, scratches,and other minor damage related to normal use. I will attempt to list the significant items:

Interior flaws include sun-fading, couple small 'burn holes' in seat fabric, scuffing on plastic trim bits, cracked plastic at base of safety belt latches, slight tears in door seals, missing paint on drivers door switch panel, etc. Glass is all in nice shape; front windshield appears to be original and shows its age but is uncracked except one 3/16" rock crack below sightline.

Exterior flaws include scuffs/scratches/dings on body notably passenger door and front bumper cover; scuff/ damage on driver-side skirt; scratches w/rust on hood; small dents/cracked paint/surface rust in trunk decklid; re-paint flaws include solvent blisters & cracking.

'Under the hood' flaws: broken plastic 'starter relay/wiring shield', wiring insulation damage from mouse nibbling (included is a nice spare harness), slight P/S pump seal leak, slight front main seal &/or oil pan gasket seep, 'snaps' riveted to radiator core support & elsewhere from previous 'bra' installation, heat damage to plastic 'Tune-Up Info' tag on hood underside.

This car exhibits idiosyncrasies "typical of the breed", including rear axle gear noise at 45 mph, a bit of T5 input bearing, occasional dash gauge reading fluctuation, whiny power steering pump at low speed, occasional idle fluctuation (burble).

I am an automotive enthusiast and (former) Ford automotive engineer. I consider myself the caretaker of this special car for the last 10 years, but I am ready to pass it on, hopefully to another enthusiast.

During my ownership I have executed neglected maintenance, brought the car closer to original condition, while also making select functional (and reversible if desired) upgrades, as detailed below.
In most cases, the "cost" listed is for the part alone, since I did most of my service work myself.
Items like the A/C conversion, rear axle service, etc will have the "Labor" cost included since they were performed at a Licensed repair shop.
All parts installed are New unless noted as Used.

7/24/08 - Purchased with miles. Purchased from a local (U.P. North Michigan) owner, who brought car from Colorado years before, and was driven Summers only, stored inside Winters, while he owned it.
Similarly, I have stored it indoors every Winter and only driven it during the (quite brief) Summers here. I have put only ~18k miles on it over the last 9 Summers.

The XR7 was in overall very nice shape and rust-free as would be expected of a Western car, but displayed interior sun fading and wear, a cheap-o paintjob with extensive 'solvent pop' blisters, louvered hood, aftermarket body kit (however well installed), incorrect size 205/70-15 tires, evidence of having a “Bra” installed, lots of "deferred" maintenance, etc etc… geez.

Summer ’08:
> Converted air-conditioning to R134; $161
> timing belt; $25
> FULL Ignition tune up with TFI, Motorcraft distributor trigger, Motorcraft plugs & wires; $150
> upgraded to K&N 'cone' air filter; $25
> exhaust manifold (EM) gasket, machined EM flanges, port-matched EM to turbo 'turbine housing'; $110
> battery (replaced again in '16) and both cables
> rear differential drain & flush (cover off) $60

10/21/08: G-Tech 0-60 mph testing: 9.3 sec (2500 rpm launch) & 9.2 sec (3000 rpm launch, tire chirp)
In respect to age and originality, testing was done in a very conservative fashion. No wheelspin or slipping the clutch. No speedshifting.

> (4) 225/60-15 Fuzion HR-I tires, correct Original size $262
> 2.5" exhaust from 'downpipe' back to bumper (no cat, muffler, or resonator) $177
(complete original system from catalytic converter to chrome angle tip is included)

10/28/08: G-Tech testing 8.1-8.2 sec 0-60 & 16.3-16.4 @ 88-89 1/4 mile; some Posi wheelspin with 3500 rpm launch.
The free-flowing exhaust *significantly* improved the performance and overall driving competence. For example, 2-Lane Passing is much less stressful with the additional power. PS I added a muffler to quiet-down and improve the sound quality - see Fall '14

Fall '08: Into storage, 2000 miles of Summer driving, including a 1200 mile weekend achieving 26-28 mpg.

Summer ’09- 8/22/09: 800 mile road trip including tankfuls at 30.2 & 30.4 mpg (conservative driving style).

9/13/09: Replaced "lowered" rear springs with correct Used springs (TurboCoupe) $30, ENS-4-6101G isolators, KYB KG5556 Gas-A-Just rear shocks (kept original) $70

Summer '10 : Powdercoated 4 wheels black $120

7/20/11: Upgraded “1-wire” Oxygen sensor to “4-wire”; proper operation verified by monitoring A/F signal during all phases of engine operation including cold-start, cruise, WOT boost.

Summer ’12:
> Upgraded to late-model PMGR Used starter (smaller, lighter, uses less power) - $40 ;
> Upgraded to “5.0” metal dual-seal valve seals $10;
> Replaced intake manifold gasket ;
> Upgraded to late-model blue neoprene valve cover gasket (reusable, superior to cork) $10;
> Swapped louvered hood for Used stock black $30

9/11/12: Drivers power window motor - $154

Fall ’13: NOS Motorcraft brazed brass heater core - $70

August - October ’14: Another trouble-free ~2000 miles as my Daily Driver including a 1200 mile trip.

Fall ’14:
> overhauled rear brakes: HD/Premium shoes, self-adjusters, springs, wheel cylinders $50;
> all (4) headlights (Premium/Xenon) - $30;
> throttle position sensor - $22;
> “Cherry Bomb”-style muffler - $ 45

October '15:
> (2) rear axle bearings/seals, drained & flushed differential, fill with Synthetic lube $150
> (2) KYB 235002 GR-2 front struts and wheel alignment $265

August - November ’15: Another ~2000 miles of Daily Driver usage, consistent 23-26 mpg "around town" - not being conservative, enjoying driving the Turbo. New front struts was the last in the "to-do" list of brake and suspension maintenance. The XR7 now drives and stops like new, with a firm and controlled ride.

Summer '16:
> replaced both door's 'Beltline Moulding/Dew Wipe' trim pieces $30 (see write-up on NATO)
> replaced center switch panel overlay with NOS $30
> TUFF MP3/SD/USB/Bluetooth stereo (MAJOR improvement) $28;
> replaced all 11 dash cluster indicator lights with Sylvania
- Motorcraft MAX battery BXT56A $120

Summer '17 Front sway bar links Energy Suspension 9.8121G, (3) Gates Engine Accessory Drive V-belts

Fall '18 Rear axle pinion seal

Summer '19 Gates water pump

Included with XR7 are the following:

Ford Rotunda / Motorcraft Super STAR Tester: Dealership service tool to diagnose and troubleshoot sensors, relays, etc.

NEW spares:
> HD voltage regulator, $16
> distributor cap; $12
> Premium front brake pads; $30

USED spares:
> 'engine control module' ECM computer; tested/known good, correct part #;
> complete engine wiring harness;
> ’87-8 TurboCoupe intercooler, hoses, clamps;
> (2) rear ~1.5” drop/lowering springs ;
> L & R original maroon sun visors;
> (4) 'Cougar" head outline wheel centers;
> original hood - louvered, no underhood insulation.
> (4) OE 'Premium Sound' speakers & 'Premium Sound' cassette player;
> (2) distributor pickup ('86 original and 1 aftermarket), both tested/known good;
> aftermarket 'thin-film ignition' TFI module, tested/known good;
> window regulator assembly - driver's side
> "E6" exhaust manifold (an upgrade over the stock E3),
> vane air meter (VAM), air box, hoses;

Besides mentioned above, 'Non-Stock' items are MP3 radio (have original), headlights (upgraded to Premium/Xenon), K&N cone air filter replacing factory air box (have original), KYB rear shocks (have originals) and front struts, starter (later-model OE 2.3 upgrade), 2.5" free flow exhaust (have original), Razzi body kit, front grille.

*************General Information about the 1986 Mercury Cougar XR7*********************

The 1983-6 Mercury Cougar XR7 sold at much lower numbers than it’s cousin, the Ford Thunderbird TurboCoupe. Mercury customers also chose the manual transmission option in smaller proportions, This makes the T5 manual transmission equipped XR7 the rarest of the Thunderbird/Cougar lineup.

The '83-8 Thunderbird/Cougar share Ford's "Fox" platform with the '78+ Fairmont/Zephyr, '79+ Mustang/Capri, LTD II/Marquis, Mark VII, Continental, etc. = MILLIONS of cars made = maintenance items are EXTREMELY CHEAP and readily available. This is not a car which is expensive to maintain and drive. In fact it is the opposite. Very easy to work on since it is rust-free, and LOTS of space in the engine compartment.

Certainly not a pony-car (Mercury offered the Capri RS for that), the XR7 fills the role as Mercury’s ‘Gran Touring’ car: capable of traveling long distances at speed in comfort and control, while delivering exceptional fuel economy due to its small-displacement engine.

Differentiating them from the '85's, the '86 Cougars had flat taillights, new interior, new-style grille, and a third brake light in rear window.
The 1986 XR7 continued to offer only the turbocharged 2.3L I4, but got a power increase to 155 hp (116 kW).

The 1986 Cougar XR7 was THE LAST rear-wheel drive, four-cylinder Mercury ever produced.

General Specifications:
Wheelbase: 104.0"
Overall Length: 197.6"
Overall Width: 71.1"
Overall Height: 53.4"
Cargo Capacity: 14.6 cubic feet
Fuel Capacity: 18.0 gallons (XR7)
Brakes: Front: 10.0" vented disc ; Rear: 9.0" drum
Transmission: 5-speed manual (T-5) XR7 only.
Engine: MPI OHC turbocharged 2.3L (140 cid) I-4; 145 hp (automatic) / 155 hp (manual); XR7 only.
Weight XR7: 3,169 lbs.

From April 1986 Hot Rod magazine:
155 Hp @4600 rpm (manual trans)
190 ft-lbs torque @ 2800 rpm
Weight: 3084 pounds
0-60mph: 8.23 sec.
1/4 mile: 16.50sec @ 82.7mph
Base Price: $14,372

Total "4-Eye" (4 separate headlights) Cougar Production :`
1983: 75,743 ; no XR7 model offered.
1984: 131,190 ; XR7 6,171 [4.7 % of total]
1985: 117,274; XR7 7,850 [7.0 % of total]
1986: 135,904; XR7 6,504 [4.8 % of total]

For the 1987 Thunderbird/Cougar restyle, the Cougar XR7 Turbo I-4 option was dropped and replaced with the 5.0. Ford kept the 2.3 Turbgo as the sole Turbocoupe engine, adding an intercooler for more horsepower, and numerous drivetrain and suspension upgrades. Sadly, the '87 XR7 no longer shared the Turbocoupe's upgraded suspension and brakes either, becoming essentially an 'Appearance Package' in the Cougar lineup.
No manual transmission was offered for any '87-8 Cougar. Cougar fans had to wait until the "all-new" 1989 MN12 Thunderbird/Cougar to see a 5-speed manual transmission option again. Again exclusive to the XR7, the manual was now paired with a new Supercharged/Intercooled 3.8 V6. This engine was shared with the XR7's cousin, the Thunderbird Supercoupe. Of course, an automatic transmission was optional for both the XR7 and Supercoupe.
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Cool Cats
Four Eyed Pride
David T
T5 / ported E3 / .63 / 35# / K&N
2.5" exhaust w/ cherry bomb
30+ mpg! 8.2 0-60, 16.4@88 1/4 (gTech)

firebirdparts Offline
Always liked the Merc styling. GLWS!

86 XR7 5spd Offline
Senior Member
Just went over 100k miles on my favorite twisty road yesterday ... running awesome !

Reduced Price $3250

I can deliver via trailer to Michigan / Wisconsin / Minnesota / Ohio / Illinois for little to nothing $ ...
David T
T5 / ported E3 / .63 / 35# / K&N
2.5" exhaust w/ cherry bomb
30+ mpg! 8.2 0-60, 16.4@88 1/4 (gTech)

86 XR7 5spd Offline
Senior Member
Craigslist ad has been updated with some newer pics
David T
T5 / ported E3 / .63 / 35# / K&N
2.5" exhaust w/ cherry bomb
30+ mpg! 8.2 0-60, 16.4@88 1/4 (gTech)

vachel Offline
Junior Member
Sounds great, good luck with your sale!

86 XR7 5spd Offline
Senior Member
I've been daily-driving this for the last couple weeks and have put 750 trouble-free & fun miles exploring the twisty 2-lane roads that run along Lake Superior's shoreline ...

getting ready to put it away for the Long Winter ...
BUT I would rather sell it to someone

call me and let's make a deal !

{ PS - I have a bunch more on-hoist underbody pics taken last week which I can email or text to you if you wish}
David T
T5 / ported E3 / .63 / 35# / K&N
2.5" exhaust w/ cherry bomb
30+ mpg! 8.2 0-60, 16.4@88 1/4 (gTech)

86 XR7 5spd Offline
Senior Member
ok well after a quick 1000+ miles of joy-riding in 5 weeks,
and a fresh oil oil change and set of Autolite 764's,
the Cougar has been tucked away in it's indoor Winter storage ..

thus, I can no longer promise to drive it to you !
since we already have 5" of snow and it looks like it's here to stay, along with icy & salty roads

I'll still be able to show you the car if you come here
and could trailer it to you if that helps make the deal..

otherwise see you Next Spring !
{and I've already bought some stuff to 'correct' some flaws the Cougar has when that time comes.. um in 6 months }

Craigslist ads are expired ; msg me yur email for pix ..
David T
T5 / ported E3 / .63 / 35# / K&N
2.5" exhaust w/ cherry bomb
30+ mpg! 8.2 0-60, 16.4@88 1/4 (gTech)
Mikey97D likes this post

86 XR7 5spd Offline
Senior Member
Cougar has been sold...
David T
T5 / ported E3 / .63 / 35# / K&N
2.5" exhaust w/ cherry bomb
30+ mpg! 8.2 0-60, 16.4@88 1/4 (gTech)
Mikey97D and Jeff K like this post

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