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Offline Greymare

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Pinto Fuel Mileage
« on: September 08, 2014, 02:51:23 PM »
Well I have been looking through some of the post on here and have seen from 15-25 MPG. I am trying to get an idea about what these cars get for MPG. Can you folks post up with the following information:

1) Engine size
2) Transmission
3) Aspiration: Turbo, natural, supercharged, ect....ect
4) tire size
5) Body style
6) Miles per gallon

Offline Henrius

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Re: Pinto Fuel Mileage
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2014, 07:59:35 AM »
I drove my stock 1973 Pinto with 2.0 engine and 4 speed  for many years back and forth to college on the highway. Atlanta to Augusta was a 3 hour, 140 mile trip at the 55 mph speed limit of that era.

Best mileage I ever got was 31 mpg on the highway, purposely keeping speed down to 50 mph. More usual highway mileage was 29-30 mpg.

Mixed driving would give from 21-26 mpg. Bear in mind that I never was a hot-rod driver. Easy start and coasting to stops.

I am getting my restoration done and will do more mileage tests soon. I raised compression to 9.5:1 and put in a new cam. I can tell it is a lot peppier, but do not know if I increased fuel efficiency.
1973 Pinto Runabout with 2.0 Liter & 4 speed. My first car, now being restored!

Offline dga57

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Re: Pinto Fuel Mileage
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2014, 11:08:07 AM »

The engine is the original 2.3, with 94,000 miles on the stock 4 speed drivetrain, stock carb and 195/55-15 tires. The car is a 1975 hatchback and the best I've gotten from it is 17.28 mpg.

This is about the same experience as mine... I purchased my '74 Runabout (2.3 with 4 spd.) new and made no modifications at all.  Took it on several long Interstate trips and never broke 19 mpg.  But then, gas was about 39 cents per gallon so it wasn't a real big problem.

Dwayne :)
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Offline Pinto5.0

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Re: Pinto Fuel Mileage
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2014, 06:50:20 PM »
My 76 wagon, 60K mile 2.3/auto, 185/75 tires was getting 14 mpg with almost all original stock parts. Installed new brass terminal cap/rotor, MSD 8.5mm wires, NOS 76 carb, new EGR adapter gasket & Iridium plugs & briefly got 21mpg before the engine started running rough & now I get 14 mpg again.
 
I have an 86 Ranger shortblock with 40K on it, a fresh D-port turbo head, 81 D-port carb intake, NEW 2014 manufactured Weber 38, NOS 76 Distributor & Duraspark box, Ranger header, 2" mandrel bent exhaust, 2" IN/OUT Dynomax muffler & a T5 5-speed to swap in. I'm shooting for 24-28 mpg
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Offline 65ShelbyClone

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Re: Pinto Fuel Mileage
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2014, 11:25:42 PM »
How is it possible to get such awful fuel economy with such a small car and engine?  :o

I'm hoping for at least 28mpg when the 2.3 turbo/EFI/T5 swap is finished. The tired 2.0/4spd was doing that.
'72 Runabout - 2.3T, T5, MegaSquirt-II, 8", 5-lugs, big brakes.
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Offline Clydesdale80

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Re: Pinto Fuel Mileage
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2014, 12:32:29 AM »
my guess would be that it's due to less than efficient engine design paired with the parachute shaped headlights and wheel wells. These cars also guide a significant amount of air to go under the car, which is not a good aerodynamics strategy especially when the under side of the car is shaped like that of the pinto.  Personally I'm going to fill those big wheel wells as full of tire as I can and pretend it's improving my aero and gas mileage  8)

on a more helpful note, I would bet a air-dam/chin-spoiler could be made to help considerably in conjunction with lowering of the car.
Bought a 1978 hatchback to be my first car.

Offline amc49

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Re: Pinto Fuel Mileage
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2014, 12:58:47 AM »
No OD w/ATX and a really slippy converter. Neither version makes the power a modern 2.0 does either or 130 hp. When fresh the modern car has power to spare for a low dog 4 cylinder but once the ring seal dies they become dogs exactly like these. The mileage then drops like a rock. When the motor is off there is only so much you can do with a 2 liter if no turbo. That last 30 hp is what really frees up a car in this size range, it allows you to back way out of throttle for mileage. When the zetec say dies from age, you have increased the amount of throttle needed to say climb a slight incline so much the car actually needs different gearing, not right there, 3rd is too low and OD is too high, the engine can't pull it. The car then stays in third with pretty much all slight inclines.

Bigger motors have so much more torque even when wore out they do not drop mileage as greatly in percentage as the small ones do.

Offline oldkayaker

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Re: Pinto Fuel Mileage
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2014, 05:42:14 AM »
This link goes to a government site and has mpg info on 78-80 Pintos and Bobcats.  Recommend using the txt file (my new computer can not open the dat files).  The info is scattered around and involves a lot of scrolling.
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/download.shtml

Some excerpts from a Car and Driver article on improving mpg in a Pinto.
http://ecomodder.com/blog/11-on-mods-plus-new-tires-car-and-driver-improves-mpg-by-25/

My 2 cents is that OEM's sacrificed mpg to stay profitable while complying with the more stringent emission and safety requirements during mid to late 70's.
Jerry J - Jupiter, Florida

Offline sedandelivery

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Re: Pinto Fuel Mileage
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2014, 12:06:01 PM »
Because of the emissions requirements of the 70's a lot of cars had terrible mileage, and the heavy bumpers did not help. The manufacturers boosted cubic inches to make up what was lost by emissions, so you had huge engines with little horsepower.

Offline 65ShelbyClone

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Re: Pinto Fuel Mileage
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2014, 04:03:20 PM »
Look at the 1978 ratings for a base Pinto; 25mpg city, 35mpg highway. The 2.3 automatic dropped that to 21/29, but that is still a LOT more than 14 combined.

My '68 Mustang does 14mpg with a terrible tune, even older engine design, no overdrive, and me driving with a heavy foot.

All I'm saying is that the tune and engine condition should be seriously examined with such bad fuel economy out of a 2.3 Pinto.
'72 Runabout - 2.3T, T5, MegaSquirt-II, 8", 5-lugs, big brakes.
'68 Mustang - Built roller 302, Toploader, 9", etc.

Offline dick1172762

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Re: Pinto Fuel Mileage
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2014, 04:57:42 PM »
I've owned 16 Pinto's, of which several were new, and none of them got over 20 MPG. Its a tractor motor plain and simple that was designed by Ford in the mid 60's. What would you expect from an over 40 year old designed motor. 35 MPG on the hi-way? Come on now! Not in your wildest dreams.
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Offline amc49

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Re: Pinto Fuel Mileage
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2014, 09:54:05 PM »
I so second that, no way is that 35 a real world number. And well known how utterly incorrect mileage figures back then were. There were news stories about how messed up they were.

I note the 25% increase only got car to 18 mpg in the Car and Driver link, but stated at 70 mph as well. Why the aero mods worked better.

Offline Srt

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Re: Pinto Fuel Mileage
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2014, 03:46:10 AM »
i used to get 24 with my 71 way back when, with a turbo 2.0, 4spd, 3:55 rear gear.


drove it hard but drove it wisely. 
the only substitute for cubic inches is BOOST!!!

Offline Wittsend

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Re: Pinto Fuel Mileage
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2014, 06:12:30 PM »
My '73, 2.0, AT averaged (mixed driving) about 22-23 MPG the times I checked it.  Regarding the turbo motor, while in the Turbo Coupe it averaged 19-24 MPG and on long trips and limited to 55 MPH I got 26-28 MPG.  I'm not sure how that would equate to the turbo motor in the Pinto. I have yet to measure it.

Just an FYI there are lots of things that can affect mileage. And by that I mean the measuring of it. Tire size can throw the readings way off. The wrong transmission gears for the speedometer can be an issue also.  The measuring of how much fuel is put into the tank is a big problem. Filling until the pump shuts off is highly inaccurate. Filling with a car on a slope is highly inaccurate.  Basically one needs to carefully fill the tank to the top of the filler neck with each test. this often requires patients most people don't have.

Lastly how one drives has a great baring on the MPG outcome. My Mazda 323 was a great example of what different driving can do. That car averaged about 33 MPG in mixed driving.  On the highway (long trip) I got 37-38 MPG going the 65 MPH limit. However, I twice slowed  long trips down to 55 MPH and got 44 and 45 MPG.  Another case in point. My wife's Mazda MPV generally got 21-23 MPG on long drives. Again, I deliberately drove 55 MPH (much to my children's consternation) and got 26 and 28 MPG. SO - perhaps the greatest mileage improver if YOU!

Offline pintolovr

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Re: Pinto Fuel Mileage
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2014, 06:44:09 PM »
I have a 1974 with a 2.0 and a 4 speed. I drive it everyday, no highway driving just city. I have a spoiler on the front and drive it like an old man (I am). I get 23 to 25 consistently. By contrast my 1973 wagon with a 302 gets around 18 to 20. Absolutely it is also in how you drive.
1973 Pinto Cruising Wagon (5.0 H.O.)
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1974 2.0 4 speed 42,000 miles

Offline Pinto5.0

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Re: Pinto Fuel Mileage
« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2014, 06:07:00 PM »
My crappy mileage is tune related. The NOS carb gave me 20+ mpg briefly before something blew out in it giving me 14 again. The automatic trans sure ain't helping any.
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Offline dick1172762

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Re: Pinto Fuel Mileage
« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2014, 07:48:22 PM »
i used to get 24 with my 71 way back when, with a turbo 2.0, 4spd, 3:55 rear gear.


drove it hard but drove it wisely. 
       NO WAY! You drove it too hard to get that kind of mileage. Tell the truth. 15 mpg at the best, with both feet on the gas.
Its better to be a has-been, than a never was.

Offline Srt

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Re: Pinto Fuel Mileage
« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2014, 09:54:44 AM »
       NO WAY! You drove it too hard to get that kind of mileage. Tell the truth. 15 mpg at the best, with both feet on the gas.


well, OK!  it was both on the gas around town! but on long weekend freeway trips, which we took a lot of, it would get 24.


a tank full every couple days of street driving but as someone alluded to above, gas was pretty sheap back then.
the only substitute for cubic inches is BOOST!!!

Offline Greymare

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Re: Pinto Fuel Mileage
« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2014, 03:59:52 PM »
Thanks folks for all of the replies. I am going to look at a Yellow wagon this evning. Its not the Cruiser model I was looking for but I have found some panels to convert it over. The guys wanting $750 for it. I hope to be able to post pics of my new DD tonight or in the morning. Wish me luck!

Offline rramjet

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Re: Pinto Fuel Mileage
« Reply #19 on: September 30, 2014, 08:39:21 PM »
My stock 73 Squire wagon with 2.0, AT and tiny stock size tires got as high as 23 on the highway at around 60 mph.

Also got lots of smiles per mile from everyone that passed me which was everyone.

Offline dga57

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Re: Pinto Fuel Mileage
« Reply #20 on: October 01, 2014, 02:15:28 AM »

Also got lots of smiles per mile from everyone that passed me which was everyone.

I know that feeling!  lol  I have the exact same setup on my '72 Squire Wagon.

Dwayne :)
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Offline Pinto5.0

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Re: Pinto Fuel Mileage
« Reply #21 on: October 01, 2014, 11:21:28 AM »
My stock 73 Squire wagon with 2.0, AT and tiny stock size tires got as high as 23 on the highway at around 60 mph.

Also got lots of smiles per mile from everyone that passed me which was everyone.

I'm usually buzzing down the highway in my 76 wagon at 75 mph doing the passing.
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Offline Greymare

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Re: Pinto Fuel Mileage
« Reply #22 on: October 01, 2014, 04:48:58 PM »
Well I didn't get to pick up my car yeterday. The guy couldn't meet with me. I did go look at 2 more but the owners wouldn't part with them.