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lpblauvelt

'Resto-modding' Ford Pinto

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Hey all - just joined up on here. Not sure if I'm in the right spot, but I could use some advice on a restoration a friend and I are starting to part together.

My buddy bought a 1980 (last model year) Pinto about two years back from a Ford Dealer for a steal. (I know this might be a pretty late year for this forum but hey, lets give it a shot) It was partially restored, but all original and in working order. A few months ago the motor started knocking and you know the rest. Now that he's got the cash, he's looking to restore the car and make it a daily driver.

Question is- which drive train would be the best for this project?

We're going for fuel injected rather than carb and a manual trans as well.

Any advice is appreciated!

-Levi

Edited by lpblauvelt (see edit history)

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What about a rebuilt original motor if he is restoring ?

Wayne

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We thought about it but would rather go with fuel injection and also want to convert to manual trans.

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If you want a 5spd 4cyl EFI why not just spend the money on a Civic? Otherwise to convert the car your currently working on over may very possibly exceed the value of the car by the time it is all said and done. If it were me I would either keep it original or stuff a big ol' nasty motor in it. That's just MHO.

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The problem is finding an engine that has the FI that you want that will fit under the hood and is set up for RWD. They are not easy to find. The transverse FWD 4 cylinder has become nearly ubiquitous. Any of the older engines are going to have more primitive FI systems. The whole thing is a big bag of snakes. All the harnesses and sensors, the PCU, sometimes even the gauges will have to be taken from the donor vehicle so everything will work. If I was going to attempt it. I guess I'd go with a Toyota pickup as a donor

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Unless there is an overwhelming sentimental attachment, and I don't disparage that, run (not walk) away from this idea. From this era buy an Alfa Spider, or a Toyota Supra, or an RX7 or something else. You will have less hassle, more driveability, and a car that can be sold one day for more than scrap value.

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Turbocharged Ford 2.3 liter found in, say, an old Thunderbird Turbo Coupe or Mustang SVO. Grab the 5-speed manual transmission and make a driveshaft to link it to the original rear end. Ford's EEC-IV engine management system is rather simple and the factory setup from a T-Bird or SVO should work by connecting less than 20 wires--get an ECTVM for both the Pinto and the donor car and it'll be easier. Alternatively, the Mustang 5.0 guys figured it out 20 years ago so there are easy-to-tune stand-alone systems that'll drive it, too. Voila! 100% Ford sleeper that isn't a goofy V8-powered nightmare that overheats the moment you go above 2000 RPM.

I think that would be very cool. The world doesn't need another preserved Pinto, have fun with it instead!

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Matt - I'm not so sure that finding a "Turbocharged Ford 2.3 liter found in, say, an old Thunderbird Turbo Coupe or Mustang SVO" will be that easy and if you do, keep that vehicle and have fun with that. MHO

Chuck

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You could always look into the EFI 2.3L found in the Ford Ranger. There are plenty of those around.

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Not sure if I'm in the right spot,

Sadly, you're not. The AACA is dedicated to stock preservation, not modifications. Those of us who appreciate both are few and far between here. You'll likely get more useful info at a site like Hotrodders.com.

Personally, I'd go with a later model EFI Ford 4 cyl and a T5 trans. Quad4rods.com has bellhousings to mate the FWD Zetec motor to the T5 trans for a RWD application. They also sell a standalone EFI controller for this motor.

http://quad4rods.com/index.php?page=shop.browse&category_id=3&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=100041

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Pinto came with a 4 cylinder that was used in various Ford cars and trucks for many years. There was also a V6 option. Mustang II was based on the Pinto platform and came with 4,V6, and V8 options. So there are various engines from the seventies and eighties that will more or less bolt in.

You may have more luck on a Ford, Mustang, or hot rod web site. This one is more for rebuilding the stock engine.

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OP, are you related to Milo Blauvelt who lived in Bremo Bluff, VA? He was the original owner of the 1949 Studebaker 2R5 pickup I bought in 1974.

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When I was in college a guy had a Pinto with the drivetrain from an 87-88 T-bird Turbo Coupe in it. Was an easy install and made a great little sleeper. That's where I'd go, I think, should be relatively cheap to buy and give you more power with decent mileage afterwards.

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Putting a higher HP motor in this will most likely take out the rear end in this car. To find a rear end to fit with out having to narrow it would be a challenge.

It would be a lot less work to just redo the motor you have or get one that has been already reworked.

Think about a stick shift parts car, maybe a running rusted one.

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Putting a higher HP motor in this will most likely take out the rear end in this car.

Only if you can fit enough tire under the wheelwells. The reality is that you'll probably spin the largest tires you can fit before you break the axle.

To find a rear end to fit with out having to narrow it would be a challenge.

It's a challenge only if you can't use Google. Key in Pinto rear axle swap and you'll find that a Mustang II uses an 8" Ford axle that bolts in.

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