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Author Topic: Lowering a pinto  (Read 5298 times)

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Offline LouisD

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Lowering a pinto
« on: September 01, 2011, 08:04:05 PM »
I had a pinto a few years ago and it was pretty darn low. Im looking to pick another one up now and want to lower it like my old one was but the problem is, I have no idea how my old one was set up. I didnt know much about cars then but now Im looking to start a new project. The car will be used for some aggressive street driving and road course stuff too. Question is, whats the best way to lower/stiffen up the suspension and where are the parts available from? I did some searching but all i found was a bunch about rear lowering blocks which is pretty straight forward but Im looking to go lower than just blocks. I saw the name racer walsh and checked the website but it was kinda hard to navigate...
Thanks in advance!
                                       -Louis


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Re: Lowering a pinto
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2011, 08:15:18 PM »
As a kid, in high school, I had a block made to serve as a spacer above (or below) the leaf springs. That made the ride look good but rode like there was no suspension at all.  So, don't do it that way.   :lol:

Offline LouisD

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Re: Lowering a pinto
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2011, 08:22:59 PM »
Im not too concerned with the ride, this is gonna be my race car of sorts lol not my primary vehicle. I have a vw bus and a miata to cruise around town in lol.
here my old one... I miss it

Offline D.R.Ball

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Re: Lowering a pinto
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2011, 09:02:26 PM »
Try Racer Walsh, they should be able to hook you up....IE shorter front springs for the front and rear lowering blocks out back.. Give them a call. The internet site has not been up dated forever and a day....

Offline pintogirl

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Re: Lowering a pinto
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2011, 09:13:20 PM »
I have no idea how to lower a Pinto, but I just wanted to say that you sound kind of like me! THat is in the reguards of the cars you own! LOL I too own a VW Bus and a Miata!  ;D
Kim
www.pintobuyer sanonymous.com

I have come to realize that I am powerless to cuteness of a rusty old Pinto.

Sacramento CA

Offline Pinto5.0

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Re: Lowering a pinto
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2011, 10:06:35 PM »
To lower my son's 4 cyl. '80 I got new rubber isolators to keep the squeak away & an old set of cast steel, not aluminum, 2" Racer Walsh blocks for the rear & a set of forged 2" drop spindles for the front. Combined with 215/65/14 front tires & 255/55/15 rear tires I should get a good rake & fill the wheelwells & still maintain stock suspension travel & near stock ground clearance.
 
For my V8 car I'm kicking around airbags to drop on demand.
 
That's the 2 common ways. Cutting coils & de-arching springs are old school methods.
'73 Sedan (I'll get to it)
'76 Wagon driver
'80 hatch(Restoring to be my son's 1st car)
'71 half hatch (bucket list Pinto)

Offline LouisD

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Re: Lowering a pinto
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2011, 10:10:56 PM »
Thanks for the heads up D.R.Ball, I'll give walsh a call.

And very cool pintogirl, any pics of them?

Pinto5.0, where do you get the drop spindles from?

Offline Pinto5.0

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Re: Lowering a pinto
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2011, 10:20:18 PM »
Pinto5.0, where do you get the drop spindles from?

I got lucky & found them on the scratch & dent table at Summit minus the original box for $75 but Ebay is loaded with them as is Speedway.
'73 Sedan (I'll get to it)
'76 Wagon driver
'80 hatch(Restoring to be my son's 1st car)
'71 half hatch (bucket list Pinto)

Offline LouisD

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Re: Lowering a pinto
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2011, 10:31:27 PM »
sweet! Do you happen to know if the stock brakes will bolt on the ebay drop spindles without the ebay caliper bracket too?

Offline Pinto5.0

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Re: Lowering a pinto
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2011, 10:52:55 PM »
I don't know about every set made but most are designed to use the stock 9" brakes. There are a couple cast for GM rotors & calipers as well.
'73 Sedan (I'll get to it)
'76 Wagon driver
'80 hatch(Restoring to be my son's 1st car)
'71 half hatch (bucket list Pinto)

Offline Srt

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Re: Lowering a pinto
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2011, 03:45:40 AM »
as far as de-arching leaf springs goes "....de-arching springs are (sic) old school .."
 
it is a very tried-true & effective way to lower the rear of a leaf spring car to enhance handling & steer clear of excessive leverage/torque acting on the rear suspension as a result of increasing the dimension from the leaf spring mounting pad to the axle tube centerline.
 
it works. it aint cheap, but it is a tried and true method.
the only substitute for cubic inches is BOOST!!!
Of course money helps too!!!  But, on the other hand the cars are just plain old COOL!

Offline oldkayaker

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Re: Lowering a pinto
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2011, 04:53:18 AM »
On the lowering spindles, they are made for the 74-80 suspensions and will not fit the 71-73 suspension.  Your former blue Pinto appears to be a 71-73 model.  Not sure what you are looking to get.
 
Racer Walsh also has a free paper catalog that is much more user friendly than their web page for this stuff.
Jerry J - Jupiter, Florida

Offline r4pinto

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Re: Lowering a pinto
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2011, 12:07:12 PM »
The easiest way to lower a Pinto is to leave the saggy, worn out parts on it... If my car sat any lower it would drag the ground all the time.  :lol:
Matt Manter
1977 Pinto sedan- Named Harold II after the first Pinto(Harold) owned by my mom. R.I.P mom- 1980 parts provider & money machine for anything that won't fit the 80
1980 Pinto Runabout- work in progress

Offline pintogirl

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Re: Lowering a pinto
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2011, 01:06:14 PM »
And very cool pintogirl, any pics of them?


Here is a link to my photobucket page for the bus.

http://s106.photobucket.com/albums/m247/myhrdly/VW%20Bus/

Do go to The Samba forum?
Kim
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I have come to realize that I am powerless to cuteness of a rusty old Pinto.

Sacramento CA

Offline LouisD

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Re: Lowering a pinto
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2011, 07:24:17 PM »
Quote
it is a very tried-true & effective way to lower the rear of a leaf spring car to enhance handling & steer clear of excessive leverage/torque acting on the rear suspension as a result of increasing the dimension from the leaf spring mounting pad to the axle tube centerline.
 
it works. it aint cheap, but it is a tried and true method.
I'll do some researching on this. Any info on how it is done?

Quote
On the lowering spindles, they are made for the 74-80 suspensions and will not fit the 71-73 suspension.  Your former blue Pinto appears to be a 71-73 model.  Not sure what you are looking to get.
 
Racer Walsh also has a free paper catalog that is much more user friendly than their web page for this stuff.
Hmm, I'd prefer an early model but I can always retro fit an early front clip. I plan on getting pretty much what ever I find for the right price lol. Already ordered the walsh catalog :D


Quote
Here is a link to my photobucket page for the bus.

http://s106.photobucket.com/albums/m247/myhrdly/VW%20Bus/

Do go to The Samba forum?
Very cool! Ya im on samba, sn: hightopbay.  Here's my build thread for the bus so far on earlybay.com
http://forum.earlybay.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=31242

Offline pintogirl

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Re: Lowering a pinto
« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2011, 11:19:02 PM »
Your Bay is so cool!! I love the paint!!

I just picked up a Bay today!! Here is the photobucket page on it!!! I'm so excited!  ;D

http://s106.photobucket.com/albums/m247/myhrdly/70%20Bus/

I'm justcruzin on the Samba!! Guess I can join that early Bay forum now too! :D

Kim
www.pintobuyer sanonymous.com

I have come to realize that I am powerless to cuteness of a rusty old Pinto.

Sacramento CA

Offline baflinn

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Re: Lowering a pinto
« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2011, 08:58:02 AM »
Louis, I had a set of rear leafs built with a 1" de-arc (drop) by this shop in PA they can go as far as a 2" drop and the product is top notch. Lowering blocks will not help you as much as a de-arced spring if you're looking to build a racer. The block while lowering the ride height doesn't change the spring dynamics and if you're running old springs they're gonna be spongy. If you buy generics from JC Whitney or someone else you may not get a matched pair and everyone else selling them I found to be more expensive.

Shop around and do a comparison - granted I bought mine a few years back so the prices may have changed but it's worth a look.

http://www.springsnthings.com/leaf-springs

I have bought many of my suspension parts from them and have never been disappointed. - BruceF
Liquidating all Pinto related parts.

Current list can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bruceflinn/8007178278/in/photostream

Offline D.R.Ball

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Re: Lowering a pinto
« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2011, 03:40:30 PM »
Bruce, good call on springsnthings .com they have the parts I'm looking for, spring pads etc..

Offline LouisD

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Re: Lowering a pinto
« Reply #18 on: September 04, 2011, 05:02:55 PM »
Quote
Your Bay is so cool!! I love the paint!!

I just picked up a Bay today!! Here is the photobucket page on it!!! I'm so excited! 

http://s106.photobucket.com/albums/m247/myhrdly/70%20Bus/

I'm justcruzin on the Samba!! Guess I can join that early Bay forum now too!

Thanks! That's a very nice '70 you got there too! So whats the plan for it? Slam? Stock? Love the slight patina! Its a fine example, make sure you get on earlybay then lol.

Thanks Bruce, I'll check that out!

Still need to find a car..... Pintos seem to be far and few between around FL.

Offline pintogirl

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Re: Lowering a pinto
« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2011, 06:25:45 PM »
Thanks! That's a very nice '70 you got there too! So whats the plan for it? Slam? Stock? Love the slight patina! Its a fine example, make sure you get on earlybay then lol.

Thanks Bruce, I'll check that out!

Still need to find a car..... Pintos seem to be far and few between around FL.

The plan is to just clean it up and camp in it!! :D  Already joined EarlyBay!! Thanks for the link!!


As far as Pintos, to bad you didn't live closer. I have a few to spare! LOL I have 7 Pintos right now. :D
Kim
www.pintobuyer sanonymous.com

I have come to realize that I am powerless to cuteness of a rusty old Pinto.

Sacramento CA

Offline LouisD

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Re: Lowering a pinto
« Reply #20 on: September 05, 2011, 10:42:39 AM »
^ Thats a good plan for the bus. Its so much fun camping and cruising around in some old vw's. And if you ever get  bored, feel free to drag one of the 7 down to florida lol. Tow it with the bus and make a road trip out of it! Then we can hit up some FL campsites vw style! lol

Offline Reeves1

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Offline LouisD

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Re: Lowering a pinto
« Reply #22 on: September 05, 2011, 04:34:39 PM »
^Nice, thanks!

Offline Pinto5.0

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Re: Lowering a pinto
« Reply #23 on: September 07, 2011, 11:54:25 PM »
My '80 has 83K garage kept miles & the rear springs are firm so the lowering blocks are perfect for her. It will not see over 150 HP so wrap up wont be an issue. I do have new Moog spring & shackle bushings as well as spring isolators so all slop will be gone when I get back there & replace everything.
 
As stated, lowering spindles don't fit '71-'73 models.
 
If your springs are solid you can have them de-arched at any spring shop. It used to run about $35 bucks to do a pair but that probably went up some. I don't recommend blocks if you plan to exceed 300 HP either unless a good set of ladder bars is included out back.
'73 Sedan (I'll get to it)
'76 Wagon driver
'80 hatch(Restoring to be my son's 1st car)
'71 half hatch (bucket list Pinto)

Offline pintoman1

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Re: Lowering a pinto
« Reply #24 on: September 08, 2011, 07:26:59 AM »
i have lowering spindles on my '73. just had to have the tie rod holes reemed out alittle to fit stock tie rod ends.
1973 pinto runabout

Offline LouisD

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Re: Lowering a pinto
« Reply #25 on: September 09, 2011, 08:08:43 PM »
All good stuff to know guys! Thanks for all the help!

Offline dennll

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Re: Lowering a pinto
« Reply #26 on: February 26, 2012, 09:19:04 PM »
Sorry, resurrecting this thread, but I think it's relevant...

Has someone worked out the formula for maximum wheel/tire size with respect to stock wheel well clearance and lowering? I see a couple tire size recommendation s here based on how much the car is lowered, but would be nice to have a rule of thumb to work with. Figured into this rule would be how much clearance you need to leave for suspension travel, turning, handling characteristic s. Anyone?

Offline lefty

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Re: Lowering a pinto
« Reply #27 on: February 27, 2012, 02:59:06 PM »


Lowered mine 3" front and back -shorter springs on front-3 " lowering blocks on back.  Run 14" rims on front and 15"rims on back


Offline Menace Kustoms

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Re: Lowering a pinto
« Reply #28 on: February 27, 2012, 04:18:38 PM »
Hmmm, that's almost low enough . . .

Offline 80_2.3_ESS

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Re: Lowering a pinto
« Reply #29 on: February 27, 2012, 06:21:26 PM »
Sorry, resurrecting this thread, but I think it's relevant...

Has someone worked out the formula for maximum wheel/tire size with respect to stock wheel well clearance and lowering? I see a couple tire size recommendation s here based on how much the car is lowered, but would be nice to have a rule of thumb to work with. Figured into this rule would be how much clearance you need to leave for suspension travel, turning, handling characteristic s. Anyone?

On my car, an 80 Pinto, I have Racer Walsh lowering springs in the front that my dad put into the car back in the early 80's (yes, the car is a "hand-me-down" lol). for the rear, we took out the blocks between the springs and rear-end, which raised it a little. Gives the car a mean looking rake to it. Also has a Mustang II 8" in the back, not sure if that alters the ride height at all.

As for tires, I am running 14's all the way around, I think they are 8's in the back and 7's in the front. Back tires are 245-60-14's, and the fronts are 205-60-14's if I recall correctly. No rub in the back, and just minor rub in the front when the wheel is turned all the way to one side or the other.







Nick in CT

1980 2.3L Pinto ESS


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