Welcome to, The home of the PCCA => General Help- Ask the Experts... => Topic started by: patcosca on July 19, 2015, 09:51:14 AM

Title: Early Pinto Rack Location
Post by: patcosca on July 19, 2015, 09:51:14 AM
Have any of you tried lowering the steering rack on a 71-72 Pinto to make room to lower the engine?  I'm working on a V8 conversion and want to use a Fox body oil pan, move the motor back about 7 inches and would like to lower the rack 1-2 inches to lower the motor as well.  Just wondering what impact it makes to the steering and handling.

Title: Re: Early Pinto Rack Location
Post by: pinto_one on July 19, 2015, 04:52:49 PM
Done that one time for a industrial diesel back in the mid 70s , the car darted a lot when you ran over railroad tracks ,pot holes , small curbs, and last was tire wear, when the car would lift the wheel toed in big time,
Title: Re: Early Pinto Rack Location
Post by: patcosca on July 19, 2015, 05:21:24 PM
How far did you lower it and did you realign everything after?  The rack on the 71-72 sits 2 inches above the crossmember.  Would like to lower it some to help set the motor lower.  Entire front end is apart now, be a good time to redesign it all if doable. 
Title: Re: Early Pinto Rack Location
Post by: 72pair on July 19, 2015, 05:24:22 PM
Yep, big time bumpsteer. If you lower the rack, the tierod ends must be lowered an equal amount. Still not 100% sure that will give you optimal toe throughout the suspension range.
Title: Re: Early Pinto Rack Location
Post by: Reeves1 on July 19, 2015, 05:56:50 PM
Moving an engine back 7" will put the carb up against (or under) the windshield cowl. Big mods, little gain.
Title: Re: Early Pinto Rack Location
Post by: pinto_one on July 19, 2015, 06:06:37 PM
I have to agree with Reeves1 ,  no gain in doing this and all you will be doing is cutting up a good pinto , and spend a ton of money doing it,  even if you cannot find a mustang II oil pan you can mod a early front sump pan , not hard at all, but the fox body oil pan would be a waste to try and make work , if your looking for the weight savings on the V8 try some aluminum heads , aluminum radiator, and extra cash they make a nice aluminum block ,
Title: Re: Early Pinto Rack Location
Post by: patcosca on July 19, 2015, 09:56:27 PM
Still curious of the work and outcome.  This is my 4th early V8 Pinto, I've built 3 from scratch.  I bought this one finished and have it apart to build the way I've always wanted.  This previous builder used a motor plate.  Actually works rather well.  Makes a lot of room for headers.  I have the car completely apart, including dash.  Plan to delete the heater, rebuild the wireloom, relocate all break and fuel lines and keep the motor short to fit under the cowl.  Doesn't look too major to rebuild the firewall to accommodate the set back.  It can all fit with rack in the original place, but lowering it an inch, even a half inch helps.  Plan to just spend a lot of time welding all seams on unibody, rebuilding stock suspension and brakes with best parts, running about 400 hp with an automatic and 4:11 8 inch with posi.  Most of my others were the same basic configuration minus the setback.  These just need the motor moved back to handle a bit better.

Title: Re: Early Pinto Rack Location
Post by: Reeves1 on July 20, 2015, 05:53:24 AM
Weight transfer rearwards will be minimal at best.
Like pinto_one said, go all aluminum if weight is your main concern.
All aluminum will come in lots lower than a 2.3 turbo swap.

I was thinking of lowering my B2 engine. Couldn't find all the right heim joints.
Plus it was advised on here they do not last well on a "driver".

If you are going ahead with this, make sure you blue print the full movement of the front suspension, so when you correct for bump steer you get it 100 % right. Or driving it will be spooky.

Had 4:11s & auto in one of my early builds. If I were to go auto again I'd go with the newer 4 speed ones. Otherwise your cruising speed with be low, with high RPM.

I'm going to have some shop time today......wil l look at my Ugly Yellow car & take some measurements to scratch my head too will have heater delete. I made mods to the firewall & trans tunnel for moving an engine back some. Not as far as you want though. I still wanted room for pulling the valve covers, without pulling the engine, to adjust rockers.

If you do cut the windshield cowl & box, make sure your car is properly supported. You will not be able to move it till all welded back together, or you may end up with a twisted car. You may also want to think of TQ boxes & a cage for the support you'll need to help prevent body twist.
Title: Re: Early Pinto Rack Location
Post by: patcosca on July 20, 2015, 07:40:04 AM
Reeves1, thanks, all good points to ponder.  Yes I expected to blue print the chassis, I've got original measurements to work with as a start, and then see what it would change if I lowered it.  I've also got another complete 72 next to it if I need more measurements.  I'm not at the point of cutting yet, but getting close.

If you have a Fox body oil pan laying around, have a look.  It is like it was made to fit in a Pinto.  Lays right over the rack and crossmember.  I'm hoping to design it all around being able to still maintain the motor in the car.  Adjust valves and such.  The only concern is plug #4.  May need a hole through firewall to get to it.

I'll be interested to hear what you find out on your car.

Thanks for taking a look.

Title: Re: Early Pinto Rack Location
Post by: Wittsend on July 20, 2015, 10:38:07 AM
LOL, at first glance I thought this was about roof racks.

When a wheel travels up/down it moves in an arc. And given the steering arms are fixed they move in an arc too. The arc the tie rod ends travel at the end of the rack don't usually coincides with the wheel because the design is trying to compensate for camber changes when a car leans in a corner.  When you move the rack you alter this relationship.  Assuming the factory got it right to begin with if a car is lowered there is benefit in raising the rack to get back "close" the the original relationship.

In your case you want to lower the rack and the compensation for that would be to raise the car.  The general rule of thumb is in the normal driving position the lower A-Arm and the rack arms should be parallel to the ground. This is because the arc rates accelerates with distance of movement. Being parallel they are less incline to have huge changes in general, small road bump driving. Whatever you do, do at your own risk. But remember the suspension geometry is very complex and there are consequences to alterations.
Title: Re: Early Pinto Rack Location
Post by: Reeves1 on July 20, 2015, 03:33:39 PM
Spent time thinking this out, looking over two of my cars in the shop.
Lots to post, likely in the morning ?
Title: Re: Early Pinto Rack Location
Post by: Reeves1 on July 27, 2015, 05:42:46 AM

In the above link you can (barely) see the support plate over the wiper arm hole. 7" will be into that plate by about 1/4". So the hump for the wiper arm from left to the right one would need to be cut out : means building your own wiper arm, and moving other things under the dash to make up for this.

The trans tunnel starting at the front, would have to be cut out to near the frame rails & narrow as you go backwards, to at least behind the OEM shifter hole.
Due to this, the OEM trans mounting / support bracket will be lost. New one in a new location will need to be made.
Means no room for a gas peddle. But, you will have to move it back anyway. Same for making a new brake peddle.
You will have to make your own seat brackets.
Steering column will need to be extended back. Means no rag joint. You will have to make new brackets to move the whole unit back 7". Then make the extension from the rack, using at least one U-joint. Maybe two, as your angles will change.

Look at the holes/slots in the windshield cowl. You will need to cut all but the last (outside on each side) 3 or 4. Or all of them.
7" goes to about 1/2" behind the slots. Close the right windshield wiper arm hole.
Title: Re: Early Pinto Rack Location
Post by: Reeves1 on July 27, 2015, 05:50:04 AM

Scroll to the bottom, last picture.
You can see where I moved the wire harness hole up & to the left.
You would have to cut the fire wall out to just shy of the support bracket for the mast brake cyl.
Mean finding a new place for your custom wire harness.

After all the metal is cut out you will have to mount the engine & trans. Then plan out how and where to box in a new trans tunnel & fire wall.
This, in the end, will weigh more than what you have now, adding weight to the front, ending in a negative gain.

For sure a good 8.5+ cage will need to be installed, to gain structural integrity back.
Title: Re: Early Pinto Rack Location
Post by: Reeves1 on July 27, 2015, 06:07:07 AM
Likely a few things I've forgotten about, since it's been a few days since sitting in the shop, looking over two of my cars.

In the end, you'll be adding weight to the front.

Best way to go has been mentioned: go all aluminum.