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Offline Rooftop Rocket

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Trans, gear, shocks, and spring questions
« on: January 30, 2013, 10:23:45 PM »
Hey guys, new to the Pinto world, even though I've raced against them for years now. I have ran the 2.3 mustang on dirt tracks, but have never owned/drove a leaf spring car. I recently purchased the '78 in my avatar with hopes of building a pretty mean street car that I would like to Auto Cross on occasion. Hope you all can help me. Here are my questions...


1. What shocks do most auto cross drivers perfer? Everyday driving has no factor. Just want it to handle.

2. What weight front springs are needed to compensate for the heavy cornering?

3. What do I do with the rear leaf springs? Buy totally new or just stiffen the stock ones?
(remember I've never messed with leaf springs before)

4. I would like to put a 5-speed trans in. Is there a specific trans that is better than the rest? I was told to look for a ranger trans.

5. With the 5-speed trans, what rear gear size is good for street/strip/track?

All info and opinions are welcome. Just getting my feet wet yesterday, putting the first miles behind the wheel of a pinto, but I know it won't be long before I start upgrading. Already have one of my dirt track motors ready to go in! Thanks guys!

-Rocky Blue

Offline OhSix9

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Re: Trans, gear, shocks, and spring questions
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2013, 02:26:11 AM »
How much money do you want to spend?   qa1's are non, single  and dual adjustable coil overs  for out front. decent solution is a half coil off the front, fresh gas shocks, urethane bushings and away you go.  New rear springs are a smart idea.

t5 from an 87 -94 mustang is the best tranny bet. Whoever recommended the ranger trans should probably not be trusted upon for future advice ...

As far as aspiring to make it a mean street machine
Gear ratios are more a selection of tire size, intended use,  power available n how it's delivered.   easy answer would be get 3.31's or 3.55's.   a 2.3 dirt track motor, you're prob making mid 200's max and i assume it has some head work done.  either way. take it apart drop in forged 8.5/1 slugs and blow on it,
Modest beginnings start with the single blow of a horn man..    Now when you get through with this thing every dickhead in the world is gonna wanna own it.   Do you know anything at all about the internal combustion engine?

Virgil to Sid

Offline Rooftop Rocket

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Re: Trans, gear, shocks, and spring questions
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2013, 02:21:36 PM »
Thanks OhSix9! I'll start looking for a T-5.

Yeah the motor is a solid lift port and polished out of SC. Leagon Racing Heads. Not sure what cam is exactly. They're pretty secretive, but I can't complain. Won many races with their heads. Bottom end is all good stuff. We turn between 8500-8900 on the track with them. Should be fun on the street!

Offline Srt

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Re: Trans, gear, shocks, and spring questions
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2013, 03:22:21 AM »
if you are going to autocross the car AND use it on the street: what kind of street driving will it be?
 
any freeway miles? if no freeway then stick with a 4 spd.  use a low rear gear, use a limited slip rear.
 
if you're going to be doing any freeway driving then use a 5 spd with an even lower gear.
 
i would suggest that for x-cross use that you should at least de-arch the rear leafs and depending on your preferences, keep the rear loose & stiffen up the front or make it tight all the way around.  your choice but the road ride WILL suffer.
the only substitute for cubic inches is BOOST!!!

Offline Rooftop Rocket

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Re: Trans, gear, shocks, and spring questions
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2013, 10:21:43 AM »
Thanks Srt! Yeah I want to be able to hit the freeway if I have to, so I'll have my eyes out for a T5. But around how tall a rear gear would you guys use? I'm sure I have a 373 laying around out of a mustang if that will work. Or do I need a 410 or so? I just don't want to render my 1st gear obsolete, lol.

Also how big would you all go on the front springs in your experience. I know nothing about auto cross. We change set ups often dirt track racing. We use anything from 500-1000 lb springs. I read somewhere a guy was using 700's on his front. Does anyone know what the stock front springs are rated at?

Sorry for all the questions guys. I just know if anybody would know, you all would. I appreciate any info and/or opinions.

Offline Srt

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Re: Trans, gear, shocks, and spring questions
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2013, 03:53:33 AM »
you are the judge, but; i think a 3:73 & a 5 spd would be great.
 
my experiences were with a 1971 Pinto:
 
turbo 2.0, stock 4spd trans (be careful with them! they can be dicey when subjected to a lot of torque) (i became quite proficient at rebuilding them on sunday mornings!!!)
 
rear gears that i experimented with ranged from 3:55 to 3:73 to 4:10 (4:10 was a limited slip out of a early econoline)  & back to 3:55 all using the 6.75 " ring gear. never broke any of them.
 
stiff front end (1 1/8" front anti sway bar, front coils out of a chevelle @ about 500#) & koni's set up on the 'hard' side.
 
a real loose rear suspension ie: single leaf, de-arched rear leaf springs, NO rear anti-sway bar and koni's set up real loose.
 
the suspension really is a decision you need to make on how YOU like to drive.  remember, it's a street car but a FUN car.  make it so that you ENJOY it!  experiment!
 
i loved using it to take long runs out into the so-cal desert and the san bernardino mtns as well as the mountains west & south of palm springs and west into the greater san diego coastal area. 
 
darn car really never let me down.

it was a VERY tossable setup, not too uncomfortable on the street & I loved it.
the only substitute for cubic inches is BOOST!!!

Offline Rooftop Rocket

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Re: Trans, gear, shocks, and spring questions
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2013, 05:04:02 PM »
Ok cool. I'm thinking 3.73 rear with the T5.

Question...I have plenty of fox body rear ends laying around that we use for racing.  Will these rear ends work in the pinto or do I need to look for a mustang II rear?


Offline D.R.Ball

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Re: Trans, gear, shocks, and spring questions
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2013, 08:13:52 PM »
Just change the gear that you have. Changing the gear is easy but you might have to check and or adjust the lash between the gear and pinion. The adjustment is made using shims.The  Fox Ford Mustang rear end is longer in width, or you could use an 8" rear end from a V-6 Pinto and be almost plug and play.

Offline Rooftop Rocket

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Re: Trans, gear, shocks, and spring questions
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2013, 06:13:29 PM »
Thanks D.R.Ball. Yeah that will probably be the way to go. I should be able to find an 8" around here somewhere from my racing friends. Until then, I'll run what I got.

Offline racer99

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Re: Trans, gear, shocks, and spring questions
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2013, 09:42:52 AM »
A 7.5 fox rear works very well,been there done that.

Went from street car (80 Pinto) to E/P auto-x car to GT3 SCCA car with one.
It works and it is easy to find parts and spares as all the Mustang
guys get rid of them for 8.8s.
They also use less power than an 8 or 9 inch due to
pinion location on the ring gear.

We ran 15x7 wheels( stock 10 holes) and also 15x8 steel racing wheels
with canteliever sidewall slicks ( measured 9.5 inches of rubber on the ground each).

Stock rear leafs clamped on the front half and cut Moog replacement V6 station wagon
springs on front with the largest sway bar we could find.

Car was very stiff and would pick up the inside tire on a slalom section of an auto-x
with no over or understeer.

A dirt track steering quickener also helped a lot as the factory rack is 4.2 turns lock to lock.

Offline Rooftop Rocket

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Re: Trans, gear, shocks, and spring questions
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2013, 10:02:59 PM »
Thanks racer99! All helpful info. Was already thinking about the steering quickener. Should help a lot, especially after I get my shock and spring set up right.

Offline Jerry merrill

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Re: Trans, gear, shocks, and spring questions
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2013, 01:19:13 AM »
Can you explain what a steering quickner is?

Offline Rooftop Rocket

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Re: Trans, gear, shocks, and spring questions
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2013, 11:56:36 AM »
http://www.jegs.com/i/Coleman+Racing+Products/193/22370/10002/-1?CAWELAID=1710569647&catargetid=1784160084&&cagpspn=pla&gclid=CLfekJzgpLUCFfBDMgodKV8AyA

It literally quickens your steering to where it takes less steering input from the driver to turn the wheels.

This particular quickener is a 2:1, so it only takes half the amount of steering input. If you turn the steering wheel 1 turn, it will turn the shaft twice.

Did I say that right fellas?

All I know is it helped my dirt track car a lot! I will for sure be putting one on my street pinto when I get closer to auto cross time.  8)

-Rocky

Offline Rooftop Rocket

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Re: Trans, gear, shocks, and spring questions
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2013, 01:34:10 PM »
Also, is this a stock Pinto spoiler? If so, where do I look for one?


Offline Pinto5.0

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Re: Trans, gear, shocks, and spring questions
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2013, 05:02:52 PM »
Yeah, that's an '80 Rallye spoiler modified to fit a steel hatch. They only came on all glass hatches.
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Offline D.R.Ball

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Re: Trans, gear, shocks, and spring questions
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2013, 10:31:16 AM »
Hey Rooftop Rocker, that part is for a power steering unit.....How did it work for your car ? Did you have power steering?

Offline Rooftop Rocket

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Re: Trans, gear, shocks, and spring questions
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2013, 03:31:51 PM »
D.R.Ball, I didn't even notice that, sorry. I just used the first one that came up on google for example. No, we use manual rack's.

http://www.speedwaymotors.com/Howe-151-Steering-Quickener,2025.html

I think this is the one we use on the racecar's. Hope this helps.

Offline 82expghost

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Re: Trans, gear, shocks, and spring questions
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2013, 09:40:19 PM »
i agree, keep the fromt stiff and get good shocks and you have good handling, i have 700 on the front and a huge sway bar and landrum 150 in  the rear, pro shock on all four corners and 13x7 21 hoosier slicks on stock gearing and my friends stock lowered miata cant touch me in the turns or my buddys m3, or my other friends ae86, steering quickener is needed once you start pushing these little cars, or atleast for me, i cant move fast enough, and wax the front part of the frame, easyer on speedbumps
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Offline Rooftop Rocket

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Re: Trans, gear, shocks, and spring questions
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2013, 11:11:16 AM »
Thanks 82expghost  8)