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Offline dennll

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Best stock setup for canyon carver?
« on: February 26, 2012, 07:32:36 AM »
Hi folks,

I'm beginning to shop for a sedan like my first car, and I'd like to use it as a weekend driver/canyon carver to go up against my BIL's 2002 Miata. What's the best engine/trans/rear end stock set-up to start with in the 74 - 76 years? I'd like the option of dropping a 2.3 turbo in at a later date, but frankly I'm not excited about all the changes that have to be made - don't want to cut the body or hood at all to make it fit.

From what I've read so far, 2.3 engine, manual trans, not sure about the rear end. Depending on the recommendation for rear end, is there a specific year/package I should be looking for to start with the best baseline before trying any performance mods/tuning?

Offline dennll

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Re: Best stock setup for canyon carver?
« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2012, 08:45:47 AM »
Wow, must have been a faux pas to even suggest that a Pinto could be a canyon carver... :-]

BTW, was neat to see the Pinto on Top Gear going around the track, nose diving and rolling...

Offline beaner

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Re: Best stock setup for canyon carver?
« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2012, 10:59:39 AM »
id run a 2.5l short block from a ranger with the roller cam from the same t-5 trans from a v8 mustang 8 inch or 9 inch rear with 3:50 to 3:90 gears  but thats just me
 
brad :)

Offline dennll

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Re: Best stock setup for canyon carver?
« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2012, 11:22:17 AM »
Thanks for playing Brad! Which rear end is faster off the line, the 3:50 or the 3:90, everything else being equal? I get that the 3:90 means more torque, but what does that mean for overall speed performance? I'm pretty sure I understand the theory, just don't know what happens in the real world.

Different question for everyone - how difficult is it to go from automatic to manual? Pedals I get, but is that a nightmare to do, or piece of cake? Other considerations when swapping?

Offline dennll

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Re: Best stock setup for canyon carver?
« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2012, 11:25:37 AM »
And Brad, thanks again, but the real question was what car to start with, in what combination available as stock. Most seem to lean toward the 2.3, but I've seen others rally around the 2.0. I also know several rear end ratios were offered depending on what package you got. Again, I'm assuming manual trans.

Offline 80_2.3_ESS

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Re: Best stock setup for canyon carver?
« Reply #5 on: February 29, 2012, 11:43:15 AM »
Me personally, I would go for a 2.3L 4-banger, with a factory 4-speed manual. That is what my car started as.

The nice thing about the 2.3L is that there is a but-load of bolt-on things to make the car go faster, such as head, cam, intakes etc etc. The 4-speed would work fine to run stock. I have roughly 135K on my factory 4-speed manual trans, with no issues.

You could look to replace the factory rear end housing with a Ford 8" unit. I swapped mine out from a Mustang II Ghia, and everything flew in, the spring perches were in the correct location and the width was perfect.

Brakes you may want to upgrade. They make kits to use the GM calipers with 11" rotors. You can also get the same kit that will convert your car to 5-lug, which will make wheel selection much easier. I did the 11" upgrade and converted it to 5-lug on my car.

I think the biggest thing will be tires if you are intending on driving the car hard. I am running the BF-Goodrich Radial TA's on my car, and they seem to grip okay for how I drive, but there are better tires out there.

My car is an 80 Pinto, with a modded 2.3L, factory 4-speed, 8" rear end, upgraded brakes and bigger tires. The car really shines in the corners. Off the line, the car is a bit sluggish, due to the 3.00's for the rear end gears, the bigger tires, and the super aggressive cam (power-band in my car is about 4,500 to 6,000 RPM's).





Nick in CT

1980 2.3L Pinto ESS

Offline 82expghost

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Re: Best stock setup for canyon carver?
« Reply #6 on: February 29, 2012, 04:17:10 PM »
Dont know how fast your trying to go, but to beat the miatas handling you have to remember the miata is as light as a feather, you get a t9 or t5, 4 speed is fine, but i like more options, drop the pinto on the ground, 2 inch drop spindles and new springs, i have landrum springs on all four corners, 650 rates in the front and 150s in the rear, when you do that get different wheels, cant run 13s unless you space them in the front, or they will hit the ball mounts, good old mustang wheels on 1 inch spacers will do the trick, 15x7s with 225 50 15s, good shocks are a must, afcos will act like drag shocks after a while, pro stock shock are awsome and then get swaybars, run a light swaybar on the rear or none at all, you will love the rear steer, for speed, 2.3 and the sky is the limit with that thing, thats my setup and i take corners faster than all my friends, they drive m3s, crxs, cameros and s2ks, and they cant touch me in the turns, staight aways are different storys thoe
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Offline dick1172762

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Re: Best stock setup for canyon carver?
« Reply #7 on: February 29, 2012, 05:46:29 PM »
Shocks and tires are by far the most important item on a Pinto "Boy Racer". Lower it till the front control arm is level with the ground (about 1/3 to 1/2 a coil cut off on the front). Aluminum fly wheel will make a really big improvement out of the turns. I've got a 3:50 / 8"/ posie in mine, with 205/60/13 tires on all four corners. 7"wide wheels too. Works for me.
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Offline dennll

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Re: Best stock setup for canyon carver?
« Reply #8 on: February 29, 2012, 07:47:59 PM »
My car is an 80 Pinto, with a modded 2.3L, factory 4-speed, 8" rear end, upgraded brakes and bigger tires. The car really shines in the corners. Off the line, the car is a bit sluggish, due to the 3.00's for the rear end gears, the bigger tires, and the super aggressive cam (power-band in my car is about 4,500 to 6,000 RPM's).

Nick, I saw your car in another post - nice set up. If I can find the original 3:40 rear end that came in the '76, is there any reason to swap up to the 8" rear end? I've seen a lot of people use the 3:55, which I'm guessing is why they switch to the 8", but I figure the 3:40 will be a huge improvement. [Does anyone have a history of rear ends that came in the Pinto for all years?]

Offline dennll

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Re: Best stock setup for canyon carver?
« Reply #9 on: February 29, 2012, 09:03:47 PM »
Dont know how fast your trying to go, but to beat the miatas handling you have to remember the miata is as light as a feather, you get a t9 or t5, 4 speed is fine, but i like more options, drop the pinto on the ground, 2 inch drop spindles and new springs, i have landrum springs on all four corners, 650 rates in the front and 150s in the rear, when you do that get different wheels, cant run 13s unless you space them in the front, or they will hit the ball mounts, good old mustang wheels on 1 inch spacers will do the trick, 15x7s with 225 50 15s, good shocks are a must, afcos will act like drag shocks after a while, pro stock shock are awsome and then get swaybars, run a light swaybar on the rear or none at all, you will love the rear steer, for speed, 2.3 and the sky is the limit with that thing, thats my setup and i take corners faster than all my friends, they drive m3s, crxs, cameros and s2ks, and they cant touch me in the turns, staight aways are different storys thoe
Thanks for the info dump 82expghost - that's a lotta great info! I like the sound of "rear steer". Not sure I understand the issue with the 13" rims...

Offline dennll

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Re: Best stock setup for canyon carver?
« Reply #10 on: February 29, 2012, 09:07:11 PM »
Shocks and tires are by far the most important item on a Pinto "Boy Racer". Lower it till the front control arm is level with the ground (about 1/3 to 1/2 a coil cut off on the front). Aluminum fly wheel will make a really big improvement out of the turns. I've got a 3:50 / 8"/ posie in mine, with 205/60/13 tires on all four corners. 7"wide wheels too. Works for me.
Dick, any noticeable tire sidewall deflection in the corners? Toying with the idea of bumping up to 15" wheels like a lot of folks, but like the look of the originals. I see now that you're running 7" wides, which I'm sure helps.

Offline dick1172762

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Re: Best stock setup for canyon carver?
« Reply #11 on: February 29, 2012, 10:11:51 PM »
I run 7" wide but I have a friend with a Pinto with 8" on all 4 corners. And I think Pintony has 16x9" on his wagon. The tire /wheel combo is the key to sticking to the track. Lots of rubber is the answer.
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Offline dennll

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Re: Best stock setup for canyon carver?
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2012, 11:13:47 AM »
Are you using spacers at all, or they work fine with what lowering you've done? Wondering if you can lower with drop spindles enough to get handling improvement w/o having to use spacers. Maybe a wheel with offset will eliminate the need for spacers?

Offline dick1172762

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Re: Best stock setup for canyon carver?
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2012, 03:00:55 PM »
Cutting a 1/3 to 1/2 coil and a set of Racer Walsh 1" lowering blocks will get it as low as you can stand on city streets. Lowering spindles will put the bottom ball joint almost on the ground with 13" wheels, and if you have a flat, on the ground. Not worth it!!!!
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Offline slooldracer

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Re: Best stock setup for canyon carver?
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2012, 03:35:51 PM »
Dick, for racing, (and I have it also reg as a historic vehicle, ) I put the axel on top of the leaf spings, and used 3 inch lowering blocks avail everywhere to raise axel even higher from springs. I use 14 x7 wheels with Toyo Proxes 255x50x14 tires with 2 each wheel spacers avail from Racer Walsh
The older I get, the faster I was

Offline dennll

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Re: Best stock setup for canyon carver?
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2012, 09:07:49 PM »
Cutting a 1/3 to 1/2 coil and a set of Racer Walsh 1" lowering blocks will get it as low as you can stand on city streets. Lowering spindles will put the bottom ball joint almost on the ground with 13" wheels, and if you have a flat, on the ground. Not worth it!!!!

How high up does the ball joint normally sit? 13" wheels or 15", I plan on keeping the overall tire diameter the same. Want to keep this a sleeper car as much as possible, but thought lowering a couple inches max would be worth it for any handling gains, plus to fill up the wheel wells a little more without up-sizing the tires...

Offline 82expghost

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Re: Best stock setup for canyon carver?
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2012, 12:56:42 AM »
if you want to keep the sleeper look, dimond racing can put the centers of the original steelies on wider 13 inch rims, thats what im going to do here soon so i can run the beauty rings and so i can get the offset needed so my rims dont rub the balljoints from the drop spendles, cutting springs will lower the car and stiffen the front, but then you have the side effect of bad camber, also it puts the steering in a bind messing with the bump steer, vw cut those springs all day, ford pinto, mabe a rung or rung and a half, as for the rear springs, landrum race leafsprings bolt rite in and lower the car like 2 inches, and if you to slam your pinto, remember you have that subframe that sits realy low already, or you will get stuck in a walgreens parking lot on a speed bump roasting tires trying to get off of it
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Offline dennll

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Re: Best stock setup for canyon carver?
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2012, 05:29:21 AM »
Ghost, I like that idea - can they do the same with the alloy wheels?

Offline D.R.Ball

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Re: Best stock setup for canyon carver?
« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2012, 03:04:52 PM »
Or you can try to back fit the I.R.S. from any Mustang G.T. that NO ONE WANTS....Add a panhard bar etc.....

Offline DynoDon

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Re: Best stock setup for canyon carver?
« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2012, 01:00:43 PM »
Or you can try to back fit the I.R.S. from any Mustang G.T. that NO ONE WANTS....Add a panhard bar etc.....
Mustang GT's have NEVER had an I.R.S. - the only Mustang that came from the factory with I.R.S. is the 99-04 Cobra and since those cars are rare and collectible, I don't think you will find too many rear ends assemblies from them available.
Also IRS set ups don't use a Panhard bar, that is for live axles only.
Got my first Pinto in 1971, bought my 5th one in 2012

Offline 82expghost

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Re: Best stock setup for canyon carver?
« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2012, 11:54:00 PM »
You could use the IRS out of a thunderchicken or a merkur, that's a lot of work for a gain not worth the hassles, the leafspring rear end is so much better in my opinion in so many ways, for instance the rear steer, and is lighter than the mustangs four link binding crap
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Offline Starliner

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Re: Best stock setup for canyon carver?
« Reply #21 on: March 10, 2012, 11:01:19 AM »
Great message thread. 
Anyone here fabricated a rear panhard rod to their Pinto rear end? 
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Offline 82expghost

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Re: Best stock setup for canyon carver?
« Reply #22 on: March 11, 2012, 12:47:18 AM »
panhard is old school, go watts linkage, unless u drive in circles then panhard bar is fine
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Offline Starliner

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Re: Best stock setup for canyon carver?
« Reply #23 on: March 11, 2012, 11:05:15 AM »
OK, anyone installed a watts linkage system on their Pinto? 
The pivots are more complicated than a simple panhard rod.    I would guess it is best to get a kit. 
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Offline D.R.Ball

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Re: Best stock setup for canyon carver?
« Reply #24 on: March 12, 2012, 09:46:10 PM »
Try Racer Walsh.They have most of the other go fast stuff too. They do not update their web page however, best thing to to is call them with the part number. Also Speedway has some Pinto parts.

Offline 82expghost

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Re: Best stock setup for canyon carver?
« Reply #25 on: March 12, 2012, 10:03:02 PM »
most range rovers come stock with them, cut it off of the frame, pretty simple when you look at it long enough
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Offline Srt

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Re: Best stock setup for canyon carver?
« Reply #26 on: March 13, 2012, 03:34:53 AM »
the panhard rod & the watts link are really best suited to a live axle non leaf spring car to limit lateral movement of the 3rd member under the chassis. 
 
the leaf springs will provide more than adequate lateral motion restraint in most cases.
 
i don't think that the trouble gone thru to apply either to a leaf sprung Pinto would be worth the gain. (if any).
 
that's not to mention the rather tight space available at the rear of a Pinto.
 
others may have a differing opinion. please chime in if you do.
 
just my $0.02 worth.
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Offline dick1172762

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Re: Best stock setup for canyon carver?
« Reply #27 on: March 13, 2012, 03:00:45 PM »
You must run a panhard bar if and only if you use long shackles to place the rear spring eyes on a level plain like the GT-Pinto boys do. Otherwise you will never see a differance on any thing short of an all out race track. Been there/done that!!!!
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Offline racer99

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Re: Best stock setup for canyon carver?
« Reply #28 on: March 13, 2012, 04:52:36 PM »
I second what Dick is saying.My GT3 Pinto was a killer
at the autox and did well roadracing(down on hp) without all the exotic
stuff such as a panhard bar and a coil over front end.

The thread asks best stock setup,so for a minimal outlay
I would lower the car(cut front coils and use  blocks in the rear) clamp the rear springs on the front half,13x 7 or 8 or 15x7 10 hole Mustang wheels with sticky street tires (less than 200 tw rating).The Mustang wheels would throw off the sleeper look though.
Move the battery to the right rear and get the car on a set of scales.
A PERFORMANCE alignment will go a long way to help handling but isnt
optimal for treadware.

You dont want to hear this but,the Pinto will never be on a level playing field
with the Miata.I have run GT3 with a Pinto and a RX2/RX7 and now run Spec Miata
and the Spec Miata will beat the spats off of the Pinto with less hp.The SM is also
quicker at the autox than the Pinto.

Offline dennll

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Re: Best stock setup for canyon carver?
« Reply #29 on: March 13, 2012, 09:06:09 PM »
And therein lies the challenge. So what does the pinto need to come close to the miata? Is there a horsepower amount that is the breakeven on performance? Or is it a suspension issue?