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Author Topic: '73 Ford Pinto Front 5 Lug Conversion  (Read 2753 times)

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Offline SkipSherv

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'73 Ford Pinto Front 5 Lug Conversion
« on: February 03, 2017, 05:29:23 PM »
Yes, this topic again!  After reading several posts over the years including Frankenpinto's project and speaking to Eddie Dodd who has a '73 Track Racer converted, I've decided to try this conversion for the bastard year (1973) that will require some modifications.  I welcome any advice and/or comments from the experts.  I am not a mechanic, but learning as I go as this is part of the enjoyment for me.  Here is what I have already:
- MUSTANG II FRONT 11" DRILLED SLOTTED FORD ROTORS DISC BRAKE KIT 2" DROP SPINDLE

Here is what I am purchasing from Speedway which clearly states they will only fit '74-'80:  Am I crazy?
Speedway Mustang II Tubular Upper Control Arms, Stock Width, Pair
Part # 91035320
-Speedway Mustang II Left Tubular Lower Control Arm for Stock-Strut Rod
Part # 91034327-L  as well as Part # 91034327-R
- Bolt Kit - Mustang II Lower Arm
Part # 91034311-2
- Mustang II Upper Control Arm Bolts
Part # 91034310-2

Thank you!
Skip
1973 Ford Pinto 289 V8 Vermillion Red

Offline russosborne

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Re: '73 Ford Pinto Front 5 Lug Conversion
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2017, 11:35:30 PM »
Not going to work to the best of my knowledge.
the 73 has a completely different front suspension than the 74-80 Mustang II style. Including the crossmember.
If you want to do a lot of welding/swapping you could maybe do it, but it isn't simple or easy.

Russ
In Glendale, Arizona

RIP Casey, Mallory, Abby, and Sadie. We miss you.

79 Pinto ESS fully caged fun car. In progress. 8inch 4.10 gears. 351C and a T5 waiting to go in.
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Offline 65ShelbyClone

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Re: '73 Ford Pinto Front 5 Lug Conversion
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2017, 12:11:17 PM »
The '74+ spindles, arms, spring cups, steering rack, etc. are all different than the '71-73 parts.

It would be less arduous IMO to work out some custom caliper brackets and keep the early front suspension, but also have a full machine shop at my disposal.  There's a thread about that on here somewhere, I think relating to a Granada swap. It involved modifying a set of inexpensive GM caliper retrofit brackets to fit the early spindle.

AFAIK, the spindle nose has the same dimensions as early Mustangs, Granadas, Mavericks, etc so the rotors and bearings ought to fit on the early Pinto spindle.
'72 Runabout - 2.3T, T5, MegaSquirt-II, 8", 5-lugs, big brakes.
'68 Mustang - Built roller 302, Toploader, 9", etc.

Offline SkipSherv

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Re: '73 Ford Pinto Front 5 Lug Conversion
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2017, 02:07:57 PM »
Thak you guys for your feedback.  Can you look at the two posts (below) by the Late Brian VonKleinsmid and give me your opinions?  It is NOT detailed but he says "Minor" clearance issue with the spindles and he did some grinding.  Thanks! 

https://www.facebook.com/pg/Project-Frankenpinto-348192476964/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10151013244481965

https://www.facebook.com/pg/Project-Frankenpinto-348192476964/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10151247827571965
1973 Ford Pinto 289 V8 Vermillion Red

Offline 65ShelbyClone

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Re: '73 Ford Pinto Front 5 Lug Conversion
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2017, 08:22:28 PM »
All I'm able to discern from the pictures is that he made an upper control arm spacer to account for the taller '74+ upper balljoint mount. I don't think it's that simple; I seem to recall that at least one of the control arms is longer on the later cars. I could be wrong too; it was only a cursory tape-measuring on my parts when I was changing springs last year. I have an entire '77 front clip for reference could possibly hang a tape under the '72...

Here's that thread I was talking about:
http://www.fordpinto.com/pinto-faq/front-disc-brakes-(4-5-lug)/
'72 Runabout - 2.3T, T5, MegaSquirt-II, 8", 5-lugs, big brakes.
'68 Mustang - Built roller 302, Toploader, 9", etc.

Offline SkipSherv

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Re: '73 Ford Pinto Front 5 Lug Conversion
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2017, 10:56:00 PM »
Looking back at the conversation I had with the track racer owner last year, it turns out I was mistaken; his Pinto is a '77, though he was pretty adamant that with minor modifications those tubular arms would fit.  I'm not inclined to try that at this point so I won't be ordering those Mustang II upper and lowers. 

Aren't all the upper ball joints the same for all years?  I don't think those in the pic are taller.

Greg Smith has Frankenpinto now.  I'll ask him to take a closer look and get his opinion on Brian's work and see if he thinks there were some steps left out.    Here is where I think he made the "minor clearance grinding" on the spindles.
1973 Ford Pinto 289 V8 Vermillion Red

Offline 72pintoproject

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Re: '73 Ford Pinto Front 5 Lug Conversion
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2017, 09:44:12 AM »
I have a 72 converted to 5 lug. I just gingerly removed some material from the caliper bracket until the later 5 lug rotors were able to rotate freely. Just a little a time with an angle grinder and continually test. Another option would be to turn down the rotors to min thickness.
If you were to go the Maverick/Granada route with GM calipers, you have to use the un-welded aftermarket 74 to 80 caliper brackets and weld the mount to the 73 position. This requires a weld joint with proper penetration. I know others may disagree but the factory caliper mount with some material removed still looks more substantial than the aftermarket conversions. All I can add is I have a 72 V8 conversion and have done numerous panic stops to test the modification.

Offline 65ShelbyClone

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Re: '73 Ford Pinto Front 5 Lug Conversion
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2017, 07:40:44 PM »
Greg Smith has Frankenpinto now.  I'll ask him to take a closer look and get his opinion on Brian's work and see if he thinks there were some steps left out.    Here is where I think he made the "minor clearance grinding" on the spindles.

Since I'm on the cusp of doing a Granada rotor/GM caliper five-lug conversion on my '72, I'll add something I discovered during my intensive researching on the topic:

Those knuckles in the picture are dropped spindles. Regular ones don't have all that material at the top and probably (I'm guessing) wouldn't require grinding to clear the UCA.
'72 Runabout - 2.3T, T5, MegaSquirt-II, 8", 5-lugs, big brakes.
'68 Mustang - Built roller 302, Toploader, 9", etc.