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Offline john hamilton

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1971 Front suspension
« on: June 27, 2017, 06:40:51 PM »
I'm new on the forum here, so I've been looking for information on the 1971 front suspension.  Most of the posts are pretty old, so I'm hoping for some updated information.  My '71 has drum brakes on the front so I plan to install larger disks.  So far, I've seen that Wilwood has a 5 lug kit for the '71 Pinto and PST has a front end rebuild kit for a '71 that includes the lower ball joints.  If there are no distinct advantages to swapping in the later suspension, I'll plan to go this route.

On the other hand, the '74 and up suspension components are readily available and considerably cheaper.  Are there major handling advantages to using the later suspension?  Dropped spindles and tubular a-arms are sexy, but is it worth the fabrication needed to change the crossmember?  Also, has anyone actually swapped a later Pinto crossmember into an earlier car?  Would you recommend using one of the street rod crossmembers or try to source one from a scrapped car?  I don't mind doing the fab work, but if it ain't broke...

I've seen a couple of Turbo Coupes available for donors if I want to go 2.3 Turbo, but if this is truly going to be my time machine, I gotta go V8.

Any and all input is appreciated!

Thanks, John
The loose nut behind the wheel

Offline russosborne

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Re: 1971 Front suspension
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2017, 08:15:02 PM »
Well, given that you are aware of and seem capable of doing the crossmember swap, I'd seriously consider going with the Mustang II/later Pinto front suspension.

You can get all sorts of stuff for it at any hot rod place for one. Lots of options. Won't be getting obsoleted as the parts for the 71 might (has happened on other cars(what do you mean you quit making those?)). Just make sure that when you buy something it is for the original MII, as some hot rod stuff may be slightly different and not a bolt on for a stock suspension. Crossmembers and racks are two that stand out in my memory.

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

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Offline Reeves1

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Re: 1971 Front suspension
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2017, 08:53:12 PM »
I put a Wilwood kit on mine & not happy with it. The pads sit beyond the rotors , that are 10.75. There is room for an 11" rotor, but they tell me there are none that fit that kit.

If I were you, I'd pick up disk rotors.
Tony put a Strange kit on his 71 & is happy with them: http://www.fordpinto.com/your-project/1971-with-a-cleveland-install/30/

You can still get upper & lower ball joints. Beware on some tie rod ends though. Try & get OEM style.
Swing arm bushings are also available.

Only thing I've yet to find is a re-build kit for the rack. Cannot even find new ones.
The ones advertised as for the early ones are different.

Various things you can do for front springs. I use Mll springs cut down. I'd have to check, but think it was between 3" & 4" less than 6 full coils.

Offline Reeves1

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Re: 1971 Front suspension
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2017, 08:54:29 PM »
Change the cross member with a newer (74^) and it will have to be narrowed.

Offline Billnparts

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Re: 1971 Front suspension
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2017, 09:44:16 AM »
I have the Heidt dropped spindles with AldenEagle coilovers. Great conversion.


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Offline justplainwill72

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Re: 1971 Front suspension
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2017, 02:56:11 PM »
Anyone know of any air bag or air ride for the pinto front end..??

Offline dick1172762

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Re: 1971 Front suspension
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2017, 09:04:33 AM »
Read Street Rodder Magazine for many air bag set ups.
Its better to be a has-been, than a never was.