29th Aug 2010, 13:50

I have a 1991 Mercury Capri XR2.

It just won't start. It cranks, cranks, and cranks but won't fire. I have already changed the ignition module, pickup coil, computer, distributor, ignition switch. I even checked the fuel shutoff switch in the trunk, and it is fine. I have my 12volts coming from the coil. its losing ground I think.

Please, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Also I was wondering if the problem could be from the knock control unit or knock sensor.

Thank you.

18th Sep 2010, 07:05


I just came across this site. I'm 54 and have been a car nut all my life, and a mechanic for the last 37 years. I sold my 2000 Audi TT Quattro, and wanted something fun but different.

I came across a '91 XR2 with only 84,000 miles and it hooked me! It's been well cared for and babied.

I immediately had the timing belt/water pump and pulleys replaced, as well as the thermostat. It had run warmer than I liked.

The one oddity it has is somewhere in the brakes; they stick or drag. It's doing it less often and not a bad, but it's got me puzzled because it's intermittent and there is no pattern. The symptom is the pedal gets hard and the car will roll to a full stop by itself. I've checked everything out, and have found nothing amiss. Any ideas?

10th Oct 2010, 21:41

I had a similar/same problem with my 94 it is the vacuum assist canister sticking. I replaced mine and it fixed this sticking brake problem. I had thought that it was my master cylinder, but after thinking about it for a while, it didn't make sense.

21st Feb 2011, 14:28

I had a problem with the Capri climbing a 1,000 grade, it would lose power, but ran fine on level ground. I replaced the gas cap for $10, and now it runs great!

22nd Mar 2011, 16:48

I too have recently purchased a 91 XR2. 97,000 miles on it with 1 owner prior. I have receipts from coolant system upgrades... hoses, flush etc. But am considering dropping a lower temp thermostat in, as mine runs just below the red at idle. Is this the reason you did yours, and have there been any problems with the engine since?

23rd Mar 2011, 17:16

I wouldn't trust the temp gauge on the instrument panel. I would have it checked with an diagnostic thermometer.

16th May 2011, 07:14

We just bought ours from eBay. I know, taking chances, but they work fine. Both were under $200, driver's side was $140, and passenger was only $110... Good luck!

BTW - on my second '93 Capri. Fun car, but always the second car. First one had a hard top too, need to find a hard top for this one.

7th Nov 2011, 22:53

Some very interesting comments in this thread about Capri's, and I've read a lot written by some of the early "expert" media writers (most dead now thankfully) about the Ford Capri, which by the way outsold Mustangs in the US when sold as Mercury's.

I have owned a sports car restoration business for a lot of years, and used to specialise in well known British sports cars, and in my semi retirement, I have started to do some Capri's for fun. What I am finding is that all the Capri's I have (4 at present) have over 160,000 klm on them, and they all still have original motors and gear boxes and diffs, and they all function quite well mechanically. They have the usual superficial body bumps and scrapes, but even these issues I am finding surprisingly easy and cheap to address, and absolutely no rust issues. If they were of the well known British sports car variety, they'd be on their first engine rebuild at a minimum, and large portions of the body would have been replaced due to rust.

As far as performance goes, I don't think even its stable mate the MX5 outperformed most variants until it went out of production, and isn't it funny how there are less and less of them being sold cheap!!

Have fun Capri owners. CJ.

12th Mar 2012, 15:30

Try the fuel pump. That's what was wrong with mine.

13th May 2012, 13:35

Check to see if the fuel pump is working. Pull the back seat out and put your ear to the fuel pump cover. Have someone crank the engine, you should hear the pump running. If you don't hear it running, then the pump is bad and needs to be replaced, or you don't have the correct voltage to the pump. You can check the voltage with an electrical meter. With the key in the on position, it should read between 6V and 9V, and when cranking, 10V to ground. I hope this helps.

25th May 2012, 12:34

I just purchased my 1991 Capri XR2 one week ago. She's only got 89k on her. I absolutely love it, already. Sadly for the poor little thing, the initial owner didn't get the whole "interference engine" concept, never changed the timing belt, it went out, and blew the motor at around 80K. So that was replaced. However, aside from a few missing trim pieces related to the hard top and the broken glove box handle, the rest of the car is in far better condition that others I've seen half its age!

Yesterday, I drove in to town and ran in to the gas station, came back out, and she wouldn't start. It was almost 90 degrees out, the car got too hot, vapor locked, and I had to let it sit for over an hour before it would start again. After that, I couldn't make it a mile without it hitting the red. So my project for this afternoon is to do my first ever thermostat change (coolant level is fine. No coolant leaking. Fan is working). I'm hoping like heck that's all the problem is.

I have one question I'm wondering if anyone can help me with. The last few days I've noticed when I start the car and it's idling, the engine keeps revving. Most of the time it goes between 2000 & 2400 rpm, though on some starts it's been 2500 & 2800rpm. Just curious if anyone knows what would be causing this, whether it will cause any problems anywhere, and if it will, how to fix it?

Like the rest of you, loving my little Roo-Car!!!

1st Jun 2012, 13:38

I am guessing you have a vacuum leak. Check the intake hose and all the vacuum hoses attached to the intake manifold. It could also be the intake manifold gasket.

4th Nov 2012, 19:49

Spray some PB Blaster in to the vacuum hose from engine to the brake booster. There is a ball check inside the rubber hose. Remove the plastic end on the booster and remove it from the hose, and look inside the end of the hose. It has a ball check, and moisture makes it stick to prevent vacuum in the booster.

Good Luck, Spokes.

19th Nov 2012, 08:16

The Capri is an amazing car. I have got a 91 XR2. I have modified it a bit, but not much. All I have done was a cat back exhaust and a short ram air intake. The best thing about the sound is the turbo chirp as I shift.

I do have a problem though; it really started before any mods were done to it. When I got it, it had 120k, but it was my parent's car and they bought it brand new. The problem is that when I start it, it's fine. It's when I drive it down the road a bit, then it starts revving to around 1500 to 2400 RPM and then dives to about 400 RPM, then comes back up to 1000 and throws a check engine light at me. Then it smells like gas and sputters. And then it stops and it's fine, and then about 2 minutes later, it does the same thing.

Hope someone has the answer, because I really want my car up and running again.

11th Aug 2013, 18:29

You need to replace the electronic control module inside the distributor.

2nd Aug 2014, 16:47

Try adjusting the hand brake to loosen it up some. Also, in my Capri XR2, the rear caliper pins rusted up and froze the caliper, so try cleaning up all the caliper sliding pins.

Hope this helps you out, Chris Marino.

2nd Dec 2014, 19:40

I have a 1991 Capri XR2 turbo. It runs fine except for when I put it in gear and go to take off. When the boost starts to kick in, it starts to backfire. Any ideas on what may cause that?

10th Apr 2015, 23:15

Check the fuel tank. It may have water in it.

28th Feb 2017, 05:06

I have a 91 Mercury Capri XR2 1.6L. It is an amazing car. I've only had it for a couple of days. It's a 5 speed transmission. I've never drove another car like this one. When I start the car and turn it off, the boost gauge will jump up half way, then drop. After that it doesn't do anything, but you can still hear the whistle from the turbo. I only paid $150 for it. I wouldn't sell it for anything.

6th Apr 2017, 00:53

My '92 N/A Capri is my 150 mile a day commuter. I just bought a '92 XR2 for a cheap source of parts, but it runs so well I'm thinking of fixing the rust and driving it.

Those who complain about availability of mechanical parts... It's a Mazda 323.

6th Apr 2017, 18:53

Not really. Way too many parts specific to the Capri.