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Offline Dan Leonard

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76 pinto not doing so good
« on: April 24, 2015, 11:41:14 AM »
Hey Guys I have a 76 Pinto and the last year or so has been a little rough. I have had it for about 5 years started out at 74,000 original miles and sat in a field for for a while till I got it. Spent about 4,000 getting it running and has done great till now. Last year I put too much stuff in it when we were moving and cracked the head. But got all that taken care of and surprising it ran after i replaced it. Then this month the timing belt went out and when I took it to the shop the time the thing they told me it was suffering from loss of power. I drove it for one day and it did't make it home. It started and died after backing out of the spot. Then turned over twice and died. Im trying to determine weather I should fix it up, sell it to someone who can take care of her or part it out. It breaks my heart to even think of these things I would rather drop a new engine into her and drive it for the rest of my life. Any suggestions I would like it to be a little quicker then 0-60 in 3 min. But I don't have 10,000 to drop into her. Let me know what you think and what I should do.

Offline 76hotrodpinto

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Re: 76 pinto not doing so good
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2015, 12:01:57 PM »
If you're not particular about matching numbers, if it has them, you should be able to score any number of 2.3 motors to just swap in. Old carb'ed motor, efi motor, or even turbo. If you do the work, it should be able to be done for $1000-$2000. Otherwise, I'd say do a compression test/ leak down test, and start from there. You may be looking at a rebuild, which is where you might consider a swap.
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Offline Wittsend

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Re: 76 pinto not doing so good
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2015, 09:24:03 PM »
OK, how do I not sound like the perplexed parent???  You put $4,000 into a Pinto to get it running! What was done???

When you say "the timing belt went out," did it break, or did it skip a tooth?  If you previously had replaced the head within a year the timing belt and tensioner should have been replaced. It is just general practice to do so. Less than $50 for parts and it adds no more time to the head replacement.  It is similar to putting on clean socks when you buy new shoes.  You just do it.

Anyway, my apology for getting all "parental" but for the money invested I'm sympathetic towards you in that someone appears to be taking advantage of you.  If you could give a list of what your $4,000 bought  those here can better assess the best direction for you to take. It is obvious you are enthusiastic about the car so hopefully there is incentive to keep it.

Offline ToniJ1960

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Re: 76 pinto not doing so good
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2015, 11:27:31 PM »
 If it ran well before the belt broke and not after I would check the timing see if they got it all set correctly when they put it on. These engines arent `interference` engines my timing belt broke a place I found put my new one on for $75 no problems.

Offline amc49

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Re: 76 pinto not doing so good
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2015, 01:01:49 PM »
I could put in 4 rebuilt engines for $4K...................

If the replacement head was a '74 or earlier the valve seats will be DEAD, they don't go much over 10,000 miles with no hardened seats for unleaded fuel. That 'loss of power' could as well be like said and belt not timed right.

Learn more about the cars, overly attaching emotion to a car just like a woman but with no true knowledge of such can be devastating. Witness the out of control costs stated here, I never spent that much on TEN cars put together.

Offline 65ShelbyClone

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Re: 76 pinto not doing so good
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2015, 05:16:59 PM »
$4000 sounds like the result of having a shop do the work.

Cracked the head? On a 2.3? That must have been some wicked overheating.

There are so many things that could cause a lack of power that we can't really offer specific advice without more specific details.

Can you do troubleshootin g yourself like checking the cam timing, checking the ignition timing, or doing a compression test?
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Offline ToniJ1960

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Re: 76 pinto not doing so good
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2015, 11:21:48 AM »
I could put in 4 rebuilt engines for $4K...................

If the replacement head was a '74 or earlier the valve seats will be DEAD, they don't go much over 10,000 miles with no hardened seats for unleaded fuel. That 'loss of power' could as well be like said and belt not timed right.

Learn more about the cars, overly attaching emotion to a car just like a woman but with no true knowledge of such can be devastating. Witness the out of control costs stated here, I never spent that much on TEN cars put together.

 I may have spent that much on my Pinto, in the last 28 years.

Offline amc49

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Re: 76 pinto not doing so good
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2015, 01:55:59 PM »
I'm talking about a spread of like 40 years......... ....and keeping 4 cars going at the same time the whole time. Got 5 running right now. If they were all Pinto types it would be even cheaper, the electronic stuff costs more to keep it going. I was used to maybe $250 outlays max  for ATX rebuilds, that jumped up to $600 on the last one what with all the stupid double piston setups it had in it, can't buy piston seals any longer, entire piston assemblies now at sometimes 5X the price. ATX COMPLETE rebuilds are quickly becoming impossible, you need two months to gather up all the necessary parts. No way are trans shops rebuilding the entire thing any longer and I don't care how much they swear they are. Most ship in entire rebuilt units done elsewhere and no idea of how extensive the rework. Older trans used simple thrust washers that cost maybe $1 each, now needle bearings used that last longer but no way to tell how old they are by viewing them, they can look perfect five minutes before they shell out to tear up the entire trans since the little rollers are bearing grade steel. Meaning you now have to add up to $75 just for the thrust washer set to truly guarantee another ten year plus rebuild. Most of the rebuilds nickle out there and reuse the same thrust parts and even if lifetime warranty trans you get parts that can blow up in short order. They don't care, Made enough on the first go-round that they can actually afford to give out another trans. What that warranty now means, not a lifetime quality part, rather a lifetime replacement series of non-quality parts and what China does best.

As usual, I rave on forever....... ......

Offline Hobbesga

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Re: 76 pinto not doing so good
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2015, 07:21:19 AM »
I don't know what to say because I think I've got about $4k of better in getting mine running and mine only saw a shop one time in getting there.

I tore mine down and replaced all the rubber bushings in the suspension, new shocks, ball joints, undercoated the car, up sized the exhaust... Redid the brakes with new rotors and drums, pads and shoes, calipers. New tires that fit the stock rims, and what the hell, new lug nuts. New universal joints, and mounted for the engine and transmission. The engine saw a machine shop for magnafluxing and had the postings bored over 30, the crankshaft turned, and discovered the head was cracked. So I just replaced the head with a new custom unit from the same shop. So of course that all took new pistons, bearings, and gaskets when I reassembled it all. And head bolts of course. Did new timing components and belts. Fluids and filters. Replaced the plugs and wires. New radiator. New alternator. A carb rebuild and then turned around and replaced. New scrapers on the windows. Working on the interior seats and panels now. Rebuilt the power steering pump. Tranny gasket, filter, and replaced the lines. New vacuum booster and master cylinder. Replaced the ignition system and rotor cap. New hoses and heater core. And a coat of paint.

I can't think of anything else right now, but I've been working on it for a few years now. I keep rolling myself that I don't want to have to pull it back apart any time soon. Throw in some new writing here and there and a battery. A lot of stuff also got fabricated at the house. I made a custom water housing inlet and repaired the fuel tank by cutting it apart and cleaning it up then welded it back together. Stuff like that.

If the engine hadn't spun a bearing when i bought it then I probably wouldn't have went through it like I did, but hey it is what it is. So, I know it can be done. The sad part is that I know I'm not done yet.

That being said, my dad and I did a truck for a friend a few weeks back. The motor was seized, the starter broken with the bolts wrung off in the housing, freeze plugs popped, key lost, body panels ripped, fuel pump had been broken by having the tank hit underneath and shattering the housing. The idle air control valve was frozen. The power steering pump pulley was screwed up by inept mechanics. The thermostat was toast. And the front end had been damaged and radiator leaking.

With the two of us pooling our   tools and time we put that truck back on the road after a week of after work and a long weekend. We rebuilt everything that we had to with scrap materials lying around. He did have an old battery that we rehabbed and I got around the anti theft system by wiring in a resistor I had in my parts bin and stilling out the ignition. He welded up the starter housing and I drilled and tapped the bolt holes. The IAC valve I modified and set. The fuel pump I tore down and "welded" up with a soldering iron. He welded the body. We did the tire work ourselves. The freeze plugs were already bought by the owner two and a half years ago when they had popped out the block. The thermostat we replaced because it was made into the housing as one piece. The owner has tore it out and caused the overheating which caused the plugs to pop since it was filled with water. Grand total spent $23.

So i can see it going either way. $40 or $4000 you can get a car going either way, but some projects are a pain in the butt and some you enjoy...

Maybe someone should do a poll on how much the average pinto owner spends on their ride. Might be surprising.

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Offline Hobbesga

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Re: 76 pinto not doing so good
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2015, 07:22:31 AM »
Sorry, I saw the note about you raving on and felt compelled to show you a real wall of text.

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