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PintoMan1

Author Topic: 1977 Ford Pinto, my 1st car from the 70s - seems to be all-original . . help  (Read 2092 times)

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Offline Seventy7

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Where do I start?

I came across this site while looking up the car I had just purchased. A white 1977 Ford Pinto hatchback, the listing caught my eye. at the price I got it for it was the only car with the ability to drive. I picked it up unregistered - The engine was loud, the exhaust smelled and  it was my first time experiencing a car that didn't have power steering or normal brakes. Upon driving away with the vehicle I got a text from the guy who sold it to me "Let me know if you get home okay" . . I immediately put my palm to my face   :-\ 

but I also put blind faith in the car and took it 40 miles that night, over the San Mateo bridge to my girlfriend's house. The next morning I took my girlfriend on the trip we were planning to Santa Cruz, that's a round trip of over 200 miles in a car that is unregistered and unproven. I was completely unfamiliar with the vehicle and just set myself down a 200 mile road that sometimes loses cell phone reception, this may of been the most risky decision I've ever made with a car . . . but, it made it!

That's right, unregistered . . smogging galore down the California streets. The car made it there and back safely. Even with a cop behind me at one point

Here's the problems, I've never really worked on a car and I feel over my head but I'll be damned if I'm going to get rid of this thing for less than I paid for it! . . mrrrrumph!

it doesn't start up right away if it's your first time driving it that day. It starts up easily but you need to give it some gas . . what's the diagnosis and how do I fix this?

the exhaust smell . . what can I do to fix this? Sadly I once had a 1997 Ford Probe that had a similar exhaust smell.

the engine seems to be all original, what can I replace and how much will it cost me? What should I do first to get this car up to road worthy standard?

also if we have any interior experts here, the carpet seems to have some rot and some tears . . I've found a carpet kit for the car but I looked up a video of how to install and it seems like a large task to undertake . . you have to lift the car to remove the seats and then tear out the old rug and place rug in it . .

I bought window handled because the car came with clamps to open the window, I ordered them online and they're suppose to be for the Ford Pinto, it looks like they fit but then they just don't grip the screw thing

Offline Seventy7

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Also, the gas gauge doesn't work . . I'd imagine this is an expensive repair for someone who doesn't know how to do it?

Offline dga57

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WELCOME  Seventy7!
 
Congratulation s of finding what appears to be a gem of a Pinto!  I personally am not a mechanic by any stretch of the imagination, but you have definitely come to the right place.  This site boasts a wealth of mechanical knowledge to help you fix most anything that may go wrong.  One thought: you mention that the car is hard to start on the first start of the day.  Unlike modern electronic fuel injected cars where you simply turn the key and go, a carbureated engine requires setting the choke for a cold start.  Turn the key to the on position, depress the accelerator to the floor once and release, then turn the key to start.  If everything is functioning properly, the engine will idle fast for a few moments, and then slow as it warms up.  Of course, at this point we have no idea whether your choke or carb are working right, but it's worth a try.  Good luck!
 
Dwayne :)
Pinto Car Club of America - Serving the Ford Pinto enthusiast since 1999.

Offline arkyt

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The exhaust shouldn't be loud without a leak.  FIX THAT!  The smell could be exhaust and it can be deadly!  If it smells like rotten eggs, it is probably the converter.  Seats are not hard.  Raise the car (on jack stands or a ramp) remove four bolts and repeat.  Take off the door sill trim, kick panels, shifter bezel, rear seat.  rip out the carpet and replace.

Best of luck with your new Pinto. 
78 sedan
77 V8 cruizin wagon
73 MGB
09 Challenger RT

Offline gaeliccouple

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Con grats! Pintos are easy to work on and fix, but you really do need to be some what mechanically inclined to enjoy owning one. You dont have to life the car to remove the seats. You can unbolt the front seats just be reaching under with a ratchet. You're probably going to need to treat some rust issues on the floor once the carpet is removed.    Enjoy :-)

Offline 74 PintoWagon

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Looks like a cool project..
Art
65 Falcon 2DR 200 IL6 with C4.

Offline ETPinto

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IF the previous owner was using some kind of clamp, visegrips?, on the splines that the window crank handle slide onto then there is good possibility that the splines are damaged.  Take detailed photo's of the splines where the clamps were and post them here for further advise.

Offline jeremysdad

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Agreed. Vice grips kill window cranks, regardless of manufacturer. lol

Offline 74 PintoWagon

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Hate when people do that..  >:(
Art
65 Falcon 2DR 200 IL6 with C4.