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1991 Mercury Crapi...uh Whoops Capri

By Bitter, October 20, 2016

I just am buttoning up a total headlight rewire on this car, I'll get some photos and details up tonight, what an adventure and wow did everyone suck at making cars in the late 80's early 90's?

Alright, I'll get pictures in a few minutes (or hours) but here's the gist of it....

1991 Capri XR2 (1.6, turbo, 5spd, kind of beat up), H4666 are stock headlamps, about as good as a D cell mag lite. Replaced with E-code H4 housings and a 12Ga wire harness that runs 4 relays, 4 fuses. Power comes from the battery via a 4 inch 10Ga feed to a 4 slot fuse block (marine grade) with 4 ATC 20A glow-blow fuses that feed out to 12Ga wire to 4 relays, one relay per filament per headlight controlled by the stock headlight circuit. Initial voltage drop from the factory 25 year old wiring was a total of 1.5 volts, new voltage drop is a total of .25 volts. The extra volt gains about 30% more light, the H4 vs H4666 gains about 30% more light, and being an ECE lighting pattern puts about 100% more light on the road where it's useful. Somehow to my naked eye that 60% gain is more like 100% on the garage door.

Aaaannnnnddddd don't buy cheap Autopal headlamps, there's nothing but foreground light and the distance like has two dim spots. Blah, gonna order up some Hellas I guess.

The new Hella housings came in, wow those Autopal are just crap.

Nice! 3rd gen Capri XR2 - lots of Mazda 323 underneath, but Ford design aesthetic. I've seen some owners crank the boost up on the stock turbo to crazy pressures with a modded ECU - 14-16PSI is doable. Should be a fun project car.

Lot of work to get enough juice for good lighting - but can't put a price on safety. Direct tap to the battery - should be able to run some impressive lighting if needed.

Oh no extra boost and it's not mine. It's my Aunties car, this is just so she can see at night decently, and she wanted to 'change how it looks some' so I'm blacking the gray trim around it and reconditioned the top so it's nice and black, sadly it's getting some bad rust on the front edges of the floor pan, fixable but maybe not financially viable to fix.

I do wish I knew what the max safe boost on 87 was, as I would raise it a little for her. It looks like it uses a boost referenced MECHANICAL timing control on the distributor which is cool, it must retard the timing under boost via the diaphragm and it's got an acorn nut so it can be played with I assume. I'm not messing with ANYTHING without talking to her about it though.

Yea, the lighting will be nice, might maybe possibly get some 100/80W H4 if she wants more light, they're only $8 each! They don't last very long though...but might be worth it. She'd get near HID levels of light from those things.

Eventful day! I got the front bumper strip and passenger side strip blacked out, looks real nice! I buffed the pass side down with some meg ultimate compound, I'll wax it in the morning and do the rear bumper strip tomorrow. Leaving the lower bumper trims gray since they get too much abuse, I doubt the Forever Black will stand up to it, it doesn't soak into these plastics as nice as it did my Celica side skirts.

I fixed the pass side door lock issues, there's a pivot that the lock actuator attaches to that translates it's motion up to the latch, the pivot had seized and the rod clip at the DLA popped loose. I set the pivot in front of the heat gun for a while and then gave it a few whacks with a little wrench while I held it with a vice grips, it came free and I flushed it with WD-40 while spinning it, once it was totally free I lubed with spray lithium, it should be fine for a while now. The door lock cylinder had some plastic debris inside jamming it, shook that out and purged the lock of debris with some mild solvents, flushed out a slurry of metal and old grease, lubed with spray lithium grease, works great now! The pass side is the only power lock, it just clones the actions of the driver side manual lock, cheesy but effective I guess.

I wiped the driver side mirror with the wrong rag and ruined the finish on it, acetone, whoops! So I pulled both and gave both some satin black paint, the pass side got some fish eyes for some reason annoyingly so I'll have to lightly sand it and re-coat tomorrow, how annoying. I prepped the d/s with the same cleaner but then hit it with some SEM plastic prep spray, that one came out perfect, lesson learned. Clean wasn't clean enough!

The pass side speaker is badly water stained and the cone is ripping/thin in spots so I ordered some replacements. from Amazon with prime shipping and my rewards balance they cost $15 for the pair. They should sound as good as or a little better than the OEM speakers with the 16W RMS JVC CD player in the dash.

It'll be like getting a new car when she gets it back, just wish I could fix all the rust on it and take the slop out of the shifter, another time.

I had some left over parts....and got a little distracted so this happened.


Ah whoops....

Oh and I also finally fixed the plate lights that have been out for 3-4 years or more. I had to drill out 3 of 4 screws, cracked one lamp housing a little but sealed it back up with E6000 craft glue. I didn't have any 194 or 168 bulbs on hand and heck if I'm going to pay $5 a pair at retail for those little things or wait for shipping on them or steal any from work/buy some from work. Nope, I had an old pair of LED T10 bulbs I wasn't use that I just tossed in there. We'll see how long they last, probably the rest of the cars lifetime.

I also ordered up 10x rubber T10 sockets from China so I can repair the front and side marker bulb sockets that are bad, I put some warm white LED's in the front sockets but I had to use glue to hold them and I'm worried they wont' stay put. I'll cut the stock lamps apart some and drill a 9/16th or a 14mm hole and glue these sockets in place, I also noticed that there's two unlit but lamp shaped inner sections of the rear lamps, I'd like to drop some T10 LED's in there too to add some extra rear tail lighting for more visibility, should be an easy project, but that stuff is coming from China and won't be in for a while, it'll go home and that'll get done later.

Is that the same kind of panel LEDs you put in the Celica?- Looks like a work light in the trunk of the car!

Yeah, can't do anything about the rusting like that - especially with all the stuff they throw down in your area in winter. Same thing as my cars back home in Ohio - body rots out before the car is done. Here in VA - not quite as bad, but not quite like a southern state - mostly likely get totalled out by a bad driver than anything else. Gotta love the DC Metro traffic.

Sounds like you are making great functional improvements and cosmetic improvements to the car - maximize the usage/safety of the car. Lucky Aunt!

Yea, COB LED strip panel thingy, same as I put under the hood of the Mazda but hers has a better tint than mine even though both came in the same package!

Flippin photobucket is down, I snapped a photo with my i-Potato of one side that's all done but I can't post it. Gosh!

So last night I did the driver side speaker! What a pain that side was, some snipstain had been in there before and screwed some stuff up. The panel is missing perimeter screws and the vapor barrier is all cut up! I made new barrier with some FV516 foil backed adhesive foam, but I can't do anything about the missing screws because they need a special bracket and I don't have any. I guess I can make some from some thin aluminum bar stock and it'll be better than nothing but I don't have any well nuts to hold them into the door panel and I don't want to bonk it up with lag style screws, I think I'll put it back together as it is and see about fixing it properly later on, days are getting short and cold now.

Still undecided about the 100/80W H4's $15 for a pair....would give tremendous light! I'll see how she likes this and then see if she wants more for $15.

Yeah, hate to see it when someone works on a car and does a job half-a$$ed. Dealing with things like that with my current house - bought a "newer" one made by a different builder than most of the cookie-cutter houses in the area - to avoid some of troubles those owners saw. The house is solid - just the previous owner was a "DIY" sort of guy - they dude just loves putting tape and epoxy on EVERYTHING.

Could try backing up those screws with some other material - even glue some nuts on the back of the panel to act like pseudo well nuts. But I can see where you want to do this right, the first time.

Hard to say on the light - myself, can't have enough lighting. At least you know that your upgraded wiring can handle the extra load!

I'll probably end up leaving it alone because nothing rattles and the panel is secure where the grab handle portion of it is, attentions are better spent elsewhere.

I would LOVE to give her a kickin sound system in that thing, since the cabin is so small about 200W with some punchy speakers would have it sounding amazing but that would be on MY dime default_laugh Her Suburban would be a good candidate but I think it uses those WEIRDLY sized GM speakers of olden time. Speaking up, we're swapping the rear barn door hinge pins soon since they've started wobbling badly in the past month or so, that looks fun.

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