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Offline Bigdoggy

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71 -73 Pinto 2.0 engine
« on: August 01, 2014, 05:13:48 PM »
I just purchased a hot rod with an early 70's 2.0 engine. It has stock carb/ ignition  but it has headers. My question is what can I do to this engine to increase horse power/performance without complete rebuild. What carb, intake, ignition etc would you recommend?
Thanks

Offline 72Wagon

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Re: 71 -73 Pinto 2.0 engine
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2014, 08:49:38 PM »
The 1971 2.0 had 100HP due to higher compression pistons. The following years the 2.0 dropped to under 90 hp due to emissions. 
 
The factory intake is actually a good flowing intake, a slightly larger 2bbl carb can help some. If the distributor is in good condition and does not have worn bushings it is also decent if equipped with quality points, or the Pertronics electronic conversion. Also be sure the advance parts are working properly.
 If a good and thorough tune up including wires, plugs, timing belt (they stretch after time), etc. This engine is fairly strong.
 The weight of your vehicle will determine how much fun this engine can be in its stock form. Automatic trans is also an anchor for this engine (my opinion).
1972 Wagon
2.0 (not stock), 4 Speed with Hurst shifter and roll control, Holley 390 4bbl, Spearco intake, MSD Ignition. 8 inch rearend 3.55 gears, custom dash and interior.

Offline 65ShelbyClone

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Re: 71 -73 Pinto 2.0 engine
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2014, 11:30:16 AM »
100hp was the gross rating; the actual (realistic) SAE net rating was in the mid-80hp range. Here are some ideas for improving upon that:

1.) Running (temporarily) without the air filter/housing made a difference I could actually feel on my 2.0, so a free-flowing open element would probably help. It will also lean out the mixture, so jet as necessary.

2.) A Weber carb might help, but I have no experience with putting them on Pintos.

3.) Four independent bike carburetors would almost definitely pick up some power. Get them off of a 1000cc+ four cylinder.

4.) A more aggressive cam. May require valve springs.

5.) Track down an old Ak Miller turbo kit. That would be the "easy" way to get +50hp without opening the engine. It could be further improved IMO by adapting a newer turbo that uses a T3 footprint and better wheel profiles. The old 1960s-era turbos are the definition of lag and abrupt power delivery.

6.) An ignition system won't do anything unless the one you have is not working optimally. At the very most I would upgrade to a Duraspark distributor and either a Duraspark ignition box or a GM HEI module and maybe a Ford TFI (post-Duraspark era) coil.

7.) Cosworth DOHC top end. Not cheap and you'll have to look across the pond to find one. There may be better iron SOHC cylinder heads too as the 2.0 was used for 35+ years in Europe, but I don't know a lot about them. The stock Pinto ports are often described as being too large to begin with.  ???

Be aware when looking for parts that nothing from the Ranger 2.0 (Lima family like the 2.3 and Ranger 2.5) will interchange with a Pinto 2.0 (EAO family).
'72 Runabout - 2.3T, T5, MegaSquirt-II, 8", 5-lugs, big brakes.
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Offline amc49

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Re: 71 -73 Pinto 2.0 engine
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2014, 11:57:35 AM »
X2 on the #1 there, the stock air filter housing flows like crap, simply throwing in a V-8 air filter to then let the top cover sit with about a 1/4" airgap there is worth 2-4 hp. I used to do that.

The stock carb is a Weber design (licensed by Holley and Motorcraft) but with 32/36 mm. venturis. A later 2.3 one had smaller primary side to choke off the engine more.

A good header will help a lot but hard to find now. I see you have one.  Any muffler that is straight through makes more power but noise comes with it especially on these inline fours. I used two on mine. The stock exhaust manifold blows, but stock intake is best of the best. You can radius the top of the stock intake runner entries with light porting to pick up a bit more.

Electronic ignition by far the best. Dump the points.

Offline oldschool787

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Re: 71 -73 Pinto 2.0 engine
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2014, 02:48:29 PM »
my 71 2.0 does great bone stock no mods all oem parts. took me a few months to get the timing and carb right. its not the fastest but it does 75 down the highway and been pulled over for doing 98 maxing out the rpm.  ;D and it also has the 4sp trans and its a 71 runabout
I might own one FORD but, I own a Chevy and a trailer.

Offline dianne

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Re: 71 -73 Pinto 2.0 engine
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2014, 07:21:17 PM »
Scott Hamilton has done a rebuild and it's posted on here and he's also posted a video of it running.

You can find that and it has a ton of information.
Vehicles:

- 1972 Plymouth Duster (To be a Pro Street)
- 1973 Ford Pinto wagon (registered ride 195)
- 1976 Mustang II mini-stock
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- 1979 Ford Pinto Runabout
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Offline Srt

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Re: 71 -73 Pinto 2.0 engine
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2014, 11:31:17 PM »
Some good advice here, not at all bad. The early '71 motors had a '0' deck height which explains the 9.0 CR. Few of the early engines came equipped with a Weber 32/36 staged secondary opening carb. Later in the same model run this carb was seen to be physically a 'holley/weber' carb with, most likely no major changes other than those fuel metering mods due to emissions requirements.
The OEM air filter arrangement is/was a restriction and, as you all know is one of the 1st things to be improved upon. AMC, you hit the nail on the head there.
OEM distributer is/was a Bosch unit, quite well manufactured but 40+ years later, yes it may be a bit tired. As many GM distributer housings are rebushed so can these very reliable Bosch units.
Exhaust manifolds are quite restrictive BUT, what is the motor in? A set of tube headers will work great but at what cost? (AMC again: very hard to come buy) maybe you can fab up a set to fit your specific application. They don't have to be perfect.
IMHO, mill the head. (Retrofit an adjustable cam gear for sure)
Turbo? Well let's just say that they are a lot of work. An old AK Miller setup will cost an arm/leg IF you can find one & you will still have all the afore_mentione d ignition & fuel delivery issues.
As to 50hp and turbo lag with those (old 1960's turbos); well let's just say that if the thing is set up & tuned with attention to detail keeping your intended use in mind I don't think that (turbo in good condition) that 100HP & NO turbo lag is VERY achievable even behind an automatic trans car.


100hp was the gross rating; the actual (realistic) SAE net rating was in the mid-80hp range. Here are some ideas for improving upon that:

1.) Running (temporarily) without the air filter/housing made a difference I could actually feel on my 2.0, so a free-flowing open element would probably help. It will also lean out the mixture, so jet as necessary.

2.) A Weber carb might help, but I have no experience with putting them on Pintos.

3.) Four independent bike carburetors would almost definitely pick up some power. Get them off of a 1000cc+ four cylinder.

4.) A more aggressive cam. May require valve springs.

5.) Track down an old Ak Miller turbo kit. That would be the "easy" way to get +50hp without opening the engine. It could be further improved IMO by adapting a newer turbo that uses a T3 footprint and better wheel profiles. The old 1960s-era turbos are the definition of lag and abrupt power delivery.

6.) An ignition system won't do anything unless the one you have is not working optimally. At the very most I would upgrade to a Duraspark distributor and either a Duraspark ignition box or a GM HEI module and maybe a Ford TFI (post-Duraspark era) coil.

7.) Cosworth DOHC top end. Not cheap and you'll have to look across the pond to find one. There may be better iron SOHC cylinder heads too as the 2.0 was used for 35+ years in Europe, but I don't know a lot about them. The stock Pinto ports are often described as being too large to begin with.  ???

Be aware when looking for parts that nothing from the Ranger 2.0 (Lima family like the 2.3 and Ranger 2.5) will interchange with a Pinto 2.0 (EAO family).
the only substitute for cubic inches is BOOST!!!

Offline Crazy Lacy

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Re: 71 -73 Pinto 2.0 engine
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2017, 06:03:52 PM »
X2 on the #1 there, the stock air filter housing flows like crap, simply throwing in a V-8 air filter to then let the top cover sit with about a 1/4" airgap there is worth 2-4 hp. I used to do that.

The stock carb is a Weber design (licensed by Holley and Motorcraft) but with 32/36 mm. venturis. A later 2.3 one had smaller primary side to choke off the engine more.

A good header will help a lot but hard to find now. I see you have one.  Any muffler that is straight through makes more power but noise comes with it especially on these inline fours. I used two on mine. The stock exhaust manifold blows, but stock intake is best of the best. You can radius the top of the stock intake runner entries with light porting to pick up a bit more. Electronic ignition by far the best. Dump the points.


New here, Hi Guys, Chiming in the the go faster issue.
Raising the air filter is a great idea, But I just bought a $10 stock filter 4 months ago, plus by raising it, the side clips won't clip. I was thinkin on drilling like 1" holes around the sides of filter holder to help it flow ? I bought my Header from ebay for $102 in Dec 2016, I have the auto trans, it is pretty slow car, I was thinkin on getting one of those Hot Spark kits for the 3BOS4U1 from ebay, my stock coil is pretty new, Is that ok to use with it.


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Offline dick1172762

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Re: 71 -73 Pinto 2.0 engine
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2017, 09:03:04 AM »
Nothing that you can do on the outside of this 2.0L with an automatic tranie will help very much except a turbo and even that will help only a small amount with a automatic tranie. The tranie must go if you want more get up and go. Header and larger carb will only help at higher RPM. On the street nothing will make a big difference in horse power. It would be really hard to gain as little as 20 horse power with out going in side of the motor. The 2.0L motors are pretty good as is, but its not a V-8 Chevrolet that can be tweak to 2 or 3 times as much horse power as it came with. 175 to 200 horse power are max for a FULL RACE 2.0L engine with out a turbo.
Its better to be a has-been, than a never was.

Offline Crazy Lacy

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Re: 71 -73 Pinto 2.0 engine
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2017, 04:28:29 PM »
I was thinking on getting one of these Electronic Ignition kits, does anybody know if they're any good. http://www.ebay.com/itm/311786478845?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
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Offline pinto1955

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Re: 71 -73 Pinto 2.0 engine
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2017, 01:55:25 PM »
I have one of the few remaining Offenhauser Competition C Intake manifold. With this manifold you can either put a Holley 350 cfm or 500 cfm on the engine. I decked the head put a mild cam, headers and this manifold and carb set up and it really woke up the engine.
1972 Ford Pinto SS/MC, HP 2.0, 4 speed, 9" full spool w/6:50 gears

Offline LongTimeFordMan

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Re: 71 -73 Pinto 2.0 engine
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2017, 10:40:14 PM »
Years ago in the early 80s I had a 72 capri with a built 2.0.  Isky 465x310 cam, holly 390 cfm 4 bbl on stock manifold, headers, mallory dual.point distributor, head milled .100. Started making power at 3000 rpm, carb secondaries opened ar 4500 (45 mph in 2nd gear) shifted from 1st gear at 7000 every day.. 70 mph in 2nd gear.  Drove it on the street in so cal for 3 years. Had no power below 2500 rpm.. wouldnt spin the tires no matter what I did.. BUT it did puzzle a lot of porsche drivers when they couldnt seem to get past an old capri when i stayed with them gear for gear.

2.0 motors will rev.. and make power at high rpm but not very flexible as a daily driver.

 Now I have a 73 wagon with stock 2.0, 4 speed trans. I added pertronix ign, opened up the primary jet in the stock carb a few thousands of an inch which made a considerable difference.  The biggest improvement came from advancing the cam about 4 degrees, eliminating the vacuum advance and setting the ignition timing at about 12-13 degrees initial at 1000 rpm. This made a world of difference in torque even with the 8.2 compression.

With the cam advance my 2.0 starts making good power at about 2600 rpm and pulls strong to 5000 rpm

The reason that aftermarket cams seem to work better is simply because they are ground to have more advance.

Headers work really well on engines that buzzz to 6000 rpm and beyond.. for street driving at 2000 to 4000 you really need more back pressure to keep the cylinders from over scavanging so the stock header works well.

I would DEFINITELY go with the pertronix for a few more bucks...

I tried a $170 ALUMINUM Kent cam adjustable cam pulley and it worked well for about 5k miles then the teeth wore out.

I found that if you take a stock steel cam pulley you can offset the keyway in the pulley about .075" to achieve a 4 degree cam advance.

I did this by widening the keyway in the pulley by filing it and inserting a .075 shim made from a finishing nail.

The metal in the pulley is surprisingly soft and with a good file you can widen the keyway in about 10 minutes of filing.

I will post instructions about how to do the cam pulley mod as soon as I figure out how to post photos here.

With the keyway widened, i made a shim from a steel finishing nail with a dia of .075, presto.. 4 degrees cam advance. 0 dollars about an hour of work.

Red 1973 pinto wagon DD, SoCal desert car, Factory 4 speed, 3.40 gears, Stock engine, 14" rims and tires, 60 K original miles

Offline Wittsend

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Re: 71 -73 Pinto 2.0 engine
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2017, 12:49:13 AM »
Interesting about the cam advance. My daily driver is a 2000 Mazda Protege. I advanced the Intake cam 3 degrees and the ignition timing 4 degrees. I got these numbers off a Miata site because the engines are close in design. Similar to what you did the Mazda uses a pin and I elongated the vertical slot the pin goes into. In my case I used a sliver of a hacksaw blade in the slot to take up the gap. The blade was super glued in place and then I filled the slot (less the hole for the cam pin) with silicone as a secondary means of holding everything in place. The ignition is crank triggered off a rotation disc behind the dampener.  I simply elongated the four bolt holes that hold it to get the 4 degree advance.  And yes, like mentioned the car was noticeably sprightlier. It was all FREE other than my time (I was replacing the cam seals so I was "in there" anyway).

So, I said that, to say this, it seems manufacturers are conservative in their cam and ignition settings. Advancing even the stock components seems to pay dividends.

Offline LongTimeFordMan

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Re: 71 -73 Pinto 2.0 engine
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2017, 12:56:10 AM »
Well ford is notorious for retarding the cam timing. 

A common practice with the mid 50s Y blocks was to advance the cam.

Advancing the cam timing will lower the power curve, increasing the low end torque and limit the high speed revs. 

Retarding the cam raises the power curve will reduce the  low end torque and increase top end revs.

Track racers use adjustable pulleys to adjust the timing to suit track conditions.

Some speed equipment mfrs in the 70s even made variable advance timing gears that had a spring that held the gear in advance position at low speed and as speed increased, the spring flexed and the cam timing retarded, producing power at bothe ends of the curve.

Others sold offset keys for the timing gears.

From the factory pinto 2.0 engines typically had retarded cam timing and consequently lacked low end torque and started developing power about 3000 rpm but the lean carburetors fitted in the early 70s to enable gas mileage and breaker point ignitions limited top end revs to about 4000 so there was a very limited power curve.

EVERYTHING FROM HERE DOWN ONLY APPLIES TO 71-73 2.0 engines with bosch distributors, single connection vacuum advances.

Switching to a pertronix ign, opening up the primary jet in the carburetor, advancing the cam, disconnecting the vacuum advance and adjusting the ign timing for best performance can make a significant difference at minimal cost.

Factory carburetor primary jet can be bored out by a carburetor shop. The one I went to used a small reamer and said he bored the jet out "2 steps" whatever that means.  It made a significant difference but gas mieage will drop..

The factory distributor has about 16-18 degrees centrifugal advance so with the initial timing set at about 12-14 degrees at 1000 rpm and the vacuum advance eliminated, the total advance at 4500 will be about 28 degrees. The vacuum advance will tend to retard the timing too much at low rpms and heavy throttle, limiting acceleration.

To adjust the ign timing to best performance, set the ign timing at 9 degrees with a timing light, test acceleration. Loosen distributor lock down bolt under distributor (needs 1/2" wrench)  Advance timing (turn distributor COUNTER CLOCKWISE vacuum advance toward engine block) a small amount and tighten lock down bolt, test acceleration, loosen lockdown, advance timing another small amount tighten lockdown , repeat until more advance produces no increase in performance or engine seems to strain on acceleration.  Turn distributer back a SMALL amount and tighten lockdown bolt.Check ign timing with timing light.. should be about 12-14 degrees before tdc. Note for future reference.. with lower octane gas it may be necessary to retard timing (turn clockwise)

With a pertronix distributor, the factory ign coil or an autozone replacement should supply more than adequate spark for 5000 rpm.

These improvements should be really apparent with auto transmissions which need more low end torque off the starting line.

As far as camshaft timing, most fords do best with about 4-5 degrees  of camshaft advance. As posted by others here each cog in the cam pulley represents about 9.5 degrees.

Also.. since the distributor is driven from a separate pulley, changing the cam timing will not affect ign timing as it does on other engines.

As I stated. I did try a fully adjustable  Kent Cams adjustable pulley and drive tuned the timing to get the best performance which seemed to be about 4.5 degrees. Torque increased up to 4.5 but started dererriorating with more than that and engine ran "ragged" at high revs, so i settled on 4.5.

However as I stated the cog teeth on the aluminum Kent Cams pulley began to deterriorate after abour 5k miles so I experimented and came up with the idea of widening the keyway and shimming it..

With the pinto cam pulley there is no need to glue the shim in as it is held in place by the pulley retaining bolt.

I determined that offsetting the cam pulley key about .075" makes a change of about 4.5 degrees, and if you like you can experiment with different shims but I wouldnt recommend going much more than a .090 shim which I think would produce about 6 degrees, a small.amount of shim at the center of the cam pulley will make a lot of difference at the circumference.

I will make some photos and post some instructions for modding the timing gear soon.
Red 1973 pinto wagon DD, SoCal desert car, Factory 4 speed, 3.40 gears, Stock engine, 14" rims and tires, 60 K original miles

Offline LongTimeFordMan

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Re: 71 -73 Pinto 2.0 engine
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2017, 06:15:36 PM »
I have a 73 wagon with stock 2.0, 4 speed trans. I added pertronix ign, opened up the primary jet in the stock carb a few thousands of an inch which made a considerable difference.  The biggest improvement came from advancing the cam about 4 degrees and eliminating the vacuum advance and setting the timing at about 12-13 degrees initial at 1000 rpm. This made a world of difference in torque even with the 8.2 compression.

I tried a $170 ALUMINUM Kent cam adjustable cam pulley and it worked well for about 5k miles then the teeth wore out.

I found that if you take a stock steel cam pulley you can offset the keyway about .075 to achieve about  a 4.5 degree cam advance.

I did this by widening the keyway by filing it and inserting a .075 shim made from a finishing nail.

The metal in the pulley is surprizingly soft and with a good file you can widen the keyway in about 20 minutes of filing.

With the keyway widened, i made a shim from a steel finishing nail with a dia of .075, presto.. 4.5 degrees cam advance. 0 dollars about an hour of work.

If you want to try this i recommend finding a spare stock pulley to work on so you have the original if you screw something up.

Before you start, position the timing marks on the crankshafy pulley at tdc and the rotor in the distributor is pointed at the tcd mark on the distributor housing.

Then make a mark with a hacksaw in the sheetmetal backing plate wheel behind the cam pulley as detailed in Figure 1. (Hacksaw is yellow )

Make the mark in alignment with the center rib on the valve cover. This makes it easy to realign the belt at the right timing and can as well be used to position the engine at tdc in the future.

note that the front side of the pulley has three raised blobs (figure 3 Blue arrows) , Mark the front side of the pulley with paint to make it easier to identify which side goes toward the front when you replace it.

Loosen the cam pulley bolt and check to make sure you havent moved the cramk from tdc. If it has moved, realign the crank to tdc and make sure the mark made in the pulley backing plate is alighed with the rib in the cam cover.

Untension the belt adjuster as you would when changing the belt and slip the belt off just the cam pulley making sure that it is still positioned on the crank and distributor pulleys.

Remove the cam pulley without moving the cramkshaft and cam position.

Scribe marks on the pulley on each side of the original keyway and put a dot of paint at the location of the original keyway for future reference. Figure 3 red arrow

Clamp the pulley in a vice or hold it facing you as it did when on the car with your paint mark facing you and with the keyway on the right side (at 3 oclock) as shown in Figure 2. 

With the pulley facing you the way it sits on the cam, with your paint mark facing you, and the keyway at 3 o'clock, carefully file the BOTTOM EDGE (toward 4 o'clock) of the keyway and widen the keyway about .080 to .090" as shown in Figure 3.  yellow arrow

periodically test the fit of the pulley on the camshaft and insure that as you file the keyway you are able to rotate the pulley counterclockwi se on the camshaft a few degrees until the key in the camhaft W can slip freely into the area you just filed WITHOUT ROTATING THE CAMSHAFT.

when you have finished widening the keyway, fit it to the camshaft and again check that it is free to rotate counterclockwi se the full width of the keyway without rotating the camshaft.

temporarily install the camshaft retaining bolt, reinstall the timing belt, making sure that the three indexes,(cam pulley aligned with crease in cam cover, crank pulley aligned at tdc, distributor rotor aligned with tcd mark on distributor)

tension timing belt and rotate the engine by hand until slot in cam pulley backing wheel aligns with the crease in the cam cover.

Loosen and remove the cam pulley retaining bolt.

make a shim from steel rod stock, a nail or other item with the desired thickness.  I used a 1 1/2" .075 diameter steel finishing nail which just happened to be the proper diameter. cut a piece about 1-1/8" long and bend one end at a 90 degree angle to create a tab to aid in inserting and removing the shim. (see detail in Figure 4). if the stock is too thick, simply flatten or file it to the desired thickness., I recommend .075"

Rotate the crankshaft COUNTER CLOCKWISE a few degrees so that the cam pulley rotates on the cam and the key in the cam rests on the RIGHT SIDE OF THE KEYWAY (toward 7 o'clock)  leaving a space for the shim on the right side (toward 5 o'clock). as shown in Figure 4

Insert the shim on the 5 o'clock side of the cam key.  Turn the crank COUNTER CLOCKWISE to position the shim against the keyway, and flip the bent tab on the shim up toward the retaining bolt hole, this will hold the shim in place and make removal / replacement easier in the future.

Install and  tighten the cam pulley bolt..

You are done..

also.. since the thickness of the shim determines the offset and thus the cam timing, you can if you want experiment with shims of different thicknesses to vary the timing..

and if you ever want to return to factory timing, just repeat the install steps and insert the shim on the opposite, 7 o'clock side of the keyway.

THINNER SHIMS= LESS ADVANCE
THICKER SHIMS = MORE ADVANCE

be aware that small changes in the thickness of the shim prodices a lot of difference in the offset. From experimentatio n I have discovered that a .075 shim produces about 4.5 degrees, so i suppose you can assume that increasing or decreasing the thickness .015 would result in about a 1degree difference..

also, you probably wont notice a benefit at advence of more than 5 degrees and performance will degread at about 6 degrees.. about .090 shim.

Dont spin the tires too much
Red 1973 pinto wagon DD, SoCal desert car, Factory 4 speed, 3.40 gears, Stock engine, 14" rims and tires, 60 K original miles

Offline robertwwithee

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Re: 71 -73 Pinto 2.0 engine
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2017, 11:29:35 AM »
Great write up longtimefordma n.  Easily understood with pics.

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Offline LongTimeFordMan

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Re: 71 -73 Pinto 2.0 engine
« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2017, 11:36:39 AM »
Thanks.... 
 Glad you liked it.

I am on a fixed income and dont have a lot of money to spend on mods so I have been doing a lot 9f research and using my car as a sort of test bed to improve performance on a budget.

As I figure out more solutions I'll be documenting and posting them.

Btw.. how many of you folks are planning on going to the Stampede this year?

Its  at the Ford company picnic in Dearborn and Ford has lined up a lot of fun stuff for us...

Check out the Stampede website and let Norm you are going.
Red 1973 pinto wagon DD, SoCal desert car, Factory 4 speed, 3.40 gears, Stock engine, 14" rims and tires, 60 K original miles