Current Classifieds

78 Cruising Wagon at Mecum Chattanooga

Date: 09/02/2021 08:21 am
Gazelle Replicar Pinto powered frame

Date: 01/28/2017 12:30 pm
80 pinto original

Date: 08/04/2019 10:45 am
1971 Pinto

Date: 03/04/2017 11:28 pm
73 rear hatchback glass
Date: 07/06/2017 11:33 am
1974 Ford Pinto

Date: 10/16/2017 10:45 am
13" Style Steel Trim Rings

Date: 10/09/2020 10:35 pm
1975 Pinto bumpers
Date: 10/24/2019 01:43 pm
72 PINTO WAGON

Date: 09/23/2018 06:16 pm
Clutch Fork
Date: 03/31/2018 09:12 pm
Need seals Pinto Wagon
Date: 02/16/2017 05:09 pm
door sills
Date: 03/14/2020 03:20 pm

Author Topic: Update Suspension  (Read 510 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline LesAlbin

  • Pinto Member
  • **
  • Posts: 11
  • FeedBack: +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Another Lotus Driver
    • LesAlbin

  • Total Badges: 6
    Badges: (View All)
    Topic Starter Tenth year Anniversary Poll Voter Windows User Fifth year Anniversary Webmaster
Update Suspension
« on: March 01, 2022, 06:03:08 PM »
It seems suspension and brake parts for '74 and up Pintos are relatively easy to find, but things for the earlier cars are not.  What is involved in updating the front suspension of a '72 to '74 specs?

Offline PintoTim2

  • Pinto Member
  • **
  • Posts: 62
  • FeedBack: +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • '72 Pinto & '80 Pinto Pickup

  • Total Badges: 3
    Badges: (View All)
    Fifth year Anniversary Topic Starter Mobile User
Re: Update Suspension
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2022, 08:58:49 AM »
Great topic, thanks for starting it.   I have a  modified '72 - but I did not build it.  I was told that it has a Mustang II front suspension (that's what I bought parts for many years ago).  Let's see if others can provide first hand knowledge - otherwise I can get pics and measurements in a month or so (it's buried in the back of my barn).  It was built as a road race car - but not able to be run because of the mods.....  Both the builder and PO are passed, so I can't ask them....

Offline Wittsend

  • Pinto Master
  • *****
  • Posts: 2396
  • FeedBack: +241/-0

  • Total Badges: 8
    Badges: (View All)
    Tenth year Anniversary Mobile User Topic Starter Poll Voter 1000 Posts Linux User Windows User Fifth year Anniversary
Re: Update Suspension
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2022, 10:55:32 AM »
To my knowledge the main issues with the 71-73 Pinto front suspension is that the '73 steering rack is a one year only item. This would lead me to assume the 71-72 rack is a two year only item. The other is that the 71-73 front brake rotors are very hard to find. The cross members are welded in and may not be swappable. Also don't know about the A-Arms and springs. I agree with Tim this would be a good topic to get input from others.

I thought there was a means of swapping the rotors but maybe the spindles and calipers need swapping too??? Kind of odd that the Mustang II suspension is so prevalent in the racing world and we early Pinto people seem in a bind. When I read the Joe Escobar Pinto article I kind of wished I had a 74-75 Pinto and just swapped the early bumpers like he did. http://www.joe-escobar.com/pinto.html

Offline PintoTim2

  • Pinto Member
  • **
  • Posts: 62
  • FeedBack: +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • '72 Pinto & '80 Pinto Pickup

  • Total Badges: 3
    Badges: (View All)
    Fifth year Anniversary Topic Starter Mobile User
Re: Update Suspension
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2022, 01:35:48 PM »
Wittsend is correct on the steering racks.   A few years ago, I found a guy on Craigslist locally (Detroit area) that had Mustang II and Pinto racks.  His Dad was the designer for TRW.  Long story short, I got them all.   There are (3) designs:  71-72 - clamp on style ;  73 - unique gnorf that sticks up on one end & bolts on ;  74-80 Pinto & all Mustang II - 2 bolt on unit.   My cross member on my '72 has M-II design.  That said, if anybody needs one I have a few left (Sold them for $20 if you had a Pinto at the show...).  The first and third design are available new from Flaming River.  Mine have old seals and boots...  Back in the day, the trick for road racers was to use a powersteering rack w/o the pump - the ratio was quicker.  Wife can't turn the wheel at low speed tho - hense my search for an actual manual rack....

Offline Pintosopher

  • 33yrs SCCA, 19yrs Egroups/PCCA ,40yrs enlightenment
  • PCCA Charter Member
  • Pinto Master
  • *
  • Posts: 1997
  • FeedBack: +383/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • Essses my Nirvana , Liberty to play, my mission

  • Total Badges: 8
    Badges: (View All)
    Topic Starter Signature Poll Voter 1000 Posts Windows User Tenth year Anniversary Fifth year Anniversary Photographer
Re: Update Suspension
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2022, 07:35:33 PM »
To my knowledge the main issues with the 71-73 Pinto front suspension is that the '73 steering rack is a one year only item. This would lead me to assume the 71-72 rack is a two year only item. The other is that the 71-73 front brake rotors are very hard to find. The cross members are welded in and may not be swappable. Also don't know about the A-Arms and springs. I agree with Tim this would be a good topic to get input from others.

I thought there was a means of swapping the rotors but maybe the spindles and calipers need swapping too??? Kind of odd that the Mustang II suspension is so prevalent in the racing world and we early Pinto people seem in a bind. When I read the Joe Escobar Pinto article I kind of wished I had a 74-75 Pinto and just swapped the early bumpers like he did. http://www.joe-escobar.com/pintorules.html
I would default to any advice Racer Walsh can offer on the Front suspension. Using a crossmember from a later car would solve a rack issue, Remember that the Front unibody frame horns are spaced differently than a 71-73 than 74 up. Hence swapping a later spindle and control arm setup are not going to allow for proper alignment throughout the range of motion. if it will bolt up at all. The front rotor issue to spindle/caliper spacing might be resolved if the Wilwood Classic line of products are in the mix. This is an unknown 4 me and my 72 racer but worthy if the GT SCCA rules allow.
Pintosopher, Vintage between the ears. Bent towards Semi-Tube nirvana ::)
Yes, it is possible to study and become a master of Pintosophy.. Not a religion , nothing less than a life quest for non conformity and rational thought. What Horse did you ride in on?

Check my Pinto Poems out...

Offline Wittsend

  • Pinto Master
  • *****
  • Posts: 2396
  • FeedBack: +241/-0

  • Total Badges: 8
    Badges: (View All)
    Tenth year Anniversary Mobile User Topic Starter Poll Voter 1000 Posts Linux User Windows User Fifth year Anniversary
Re: Update Suspension
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2022, 01:27:08 PM »
"73 - unique gnorf that sticks up on one end & bolts on "

Yes, I ground down that "gnorf" as much as seemed practical to get the 2.3 oil pan to clear (which I also indented more with a hammer). You can see the ground area (silver in the image). We may have different definitions of what "bolt on" means. The 73 rack uses two clamps (though the clamps are bolted with two bolts each). One as seen in the image is at an angle. The other on the passenger side (unfortunately) sits horizontally under the starter and is likely the cause of vibration (and harshness) as it has feeler gage clearances and flexes with the engine mounts.  >:(


Offline PintoTim2

  • Pinto Member
  • **
  • Posts: 62
  • FeedBack: +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • '72 Pinto & '80 Pinto Pickup

  • Total Badges: 3
    Badges: (View All)
    Fifth year Anniversary Topic Starter Mobile User
Re: Update Suspension
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2022, 08:52:05 PM »
Here’s an interesting product from Big R Motorsports :  a ball joint conversion to put the 74-on spindles on an early Pinto.   They have a lot of turbo 2.3 parts too. 
==================
This adapter allows the 71-73 pinto owner to use 74+ spindles for bigger front disc brake conversion. In the past people would stuff the sleeve with a coke can, which is very unsafe. These are strong steel bushings that will make your swap simple and fast. Keep your stock rack and upgrade quickly.
=======================
https://bigrmotorsports.com/

Offline Wittsend

  • Pinto Master
  • *****
  • Posts: 2396
  • FeedBack: +241/-0

  • Total Badges: 8
    Badges: (View All)
    Tenth year Anniversary Mobile User Topic Starter Poll Voter 1000 Posts Linux User Windows User Fifth year Anniversary
Re: Update Suspension
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2022, 11:34:49 AM »
Thanks for the info. I assume it is the $75 spacers you are referring to. The link lead to many items. I could probably get my son to machine me some. BTW, is the set for one side, or is it just one ball joint per side that is different? I'd be curious to see if it was a minor task to alter the 71-73 A-Arms to just accept 74-up ball joints???

Offline oldkayaker

  • Pinto Master
  • *****
  • Posts: 752
  • FeedBack: +113/-0
  • Gender: Male

  • Total Badges: 5
    Badges: (View All)
    Topic Starter Signature Windows User Tenth year Anniversary Fifth year Anniversary
Re: Update Suspension
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2022, 04:39:22 AM »
I suspect the Big R tapered adapter bushing is for the small 71-72 tie rod end to fit in the 74+ spindle steering arm.  The 73 uses the same larger size tie rod end as the 74+ Pinto's (no adapter bushing needed).  There are other significant dimensional differences between the 71-73 and 74+ spindles (see attached file).
Jerry J - Jupiter, Florida

Offline PintoTim2

  • Pinto Member
  • **
  • Posts: 62
  • FeedBack: +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • '72 Pinto & '80 Pinto Pickup

  • Total Badges: 3
    Badges: (View All)
    Fifth year Anniversary Topic Starter Mobile User
Re: Update Suspension
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2022, 08:24:12 AM »
Great info from oldkayaker.  Looks like the arms are a bit different early to late.   I did a quick bit of research on Rockauto and Rare Parts.  Looks like the 71/72 upper ball joints are the same with 74-on Pinto & M-II (MOOG K8212 & Rare Parts 10400).  The lower is the problem for 71/72 (Rare #10303) Looks like its not available at Rockauto or Rare Parts.  The 74-on Pinto & M-II lower ball joint is available (MOOG K8209, Rare #10175).

Since my '72 has a M-II level crossmember, I'm not of much help here - my second Pinto is a '80...  I have a new appreciation of the guy who did my 72s suspension - everything works, doesn't rub with wide 14" rims and handles like a slot car. 

Offline Wittsend

  • Pinto Master
  • *****
  • Posts: 2396
  • FeedBack: +241/-0

  • Total Badges: 8
    Badges: (View All)
    Tenth year Anniversary Mobile User Topic Starter Poll Voter 1000 Posts Linux User Windows User Fifth year Anniversary
Re: Update Suspension
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2022, 11:49:38 AM »
Wow, so much of the '73 data is not there. Oh well my car still steers fine and for a mere $4 each I bought some very decent 71-73 model brake rotors at a Pick Your Part 50% off sale back about 2010. Given the Pinto sees about 10-20 miles a month I'd think I'm set for life.

Offline LesAlbin

  • Pinto Member
  • **
  • Posts: 11
  • FeedBack: +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Another Lotus Driver
    • LesAlbin

  • Total Badges: 6
    Badges: (View All)
    Topic Starter Tenth year Anniversary Poll Voter Windows User Fifth year Anniversary Webmaster
Re: Update Suspension
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2022, 03:07:31 PM »
Looks like Alston Racing has upper and lower control arms for the 71-73 Pintos that will allow the Mustang2 spindles to be used.  The Big R bushings will allow the 71-72 steering racks to be used with those spindles.  These spindles will allow fitment of larger brake discs, but probably require at least 14" wheels.  Also looks like 5 lug wheels would be necessary so keeping the stock 4 lug look wouldn't be an option.  What I can't tell is what effect changing to the taller spindles would have on suspension geometry.  Does anyone know what the dimensional differences are between the early and late Pintos' suspension attachment points?  I guess installing the Mustang2 cross member would take care of any differences, but that sounds pretty major.  Thoughts?

Offline PintoTim2

  • Pinto Member
  • **
  • Posts: 62
  • FeedBack: +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • '72 Pinto & '80 Pinto Pickup

  • Total Badges: 3
    Badges: (View All)
    Fifth year Anniversary Topic Starter Mobile User
Re: Update Suspension
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2022, 12:32:29 PM »
LesAlbin:   Not sure how difficult it would be to measure.  We need somebody with a stock 71-73 car and a 74-on car to be sure its measured the same.
   As far as brakes go, I've been looking into that, but got limited response from my "Tims Brakes" issue.   What I can tell you is the stock rotors are 9.3".  These seem to work fine for 4 cylinder and 6 cylinder cars with good pads.  My '72 has a V6 and even with wide tires, the 9.3" brakes work well.   I like to limit my Pinto & Mustang II rim choices to 13 or 14", there are some 15" rims that look good on these cars too, but I like them a bit smaller.  That said - 13" tires are few and far between unless you get autocross tires.  I found P205-60R13 BFG Radial T/As from Coker tire (they drop the car 3/4").  I did this for a M-II that has unique 13" rims.  I also am getting a kit from Racer Walsh to put 10" Wilwood rotors on that car (the V8 NEEDS more brakes...).   Wilwood has a 74-on spindle 11" brake kit that they say will fit "some 14" rims" 140-14271.   I was going to get one and try it on a '80 Pinto I want to run 14" rims on.  It hasn't happened yet...  I seem to be better at collecting parts than putting them together!   Thanks for the 71-73 control arm info!! 

Offline PintoTim2

  • Pinto Member
  • **
  • Posts: 62
  • FeedBack: +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • '72 Pinto & '80 Pinto Pickup

  • Total Badges: 3
    Badges: (View All)
    Fifth year Anniversary Topic Starter Mobile User
Re: Update Suspension
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2022, 09:43:10 AM »
I poked around the Alston site.  The 71/72 arms I saw were for a coil over conversion.  Is this what you were planning, or did I miss the standard coil spring and separate shock parts?   

Offline LesAlbin

  • Pinto Member
  • **
  • Posts: 11
  • FeedBack: +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Another Lotus Driver
    • LesAlbin

  • Total Badges: 6
    Badges: (View All)
    Topic Starter Tenth year Anniversary Poll Voter Windows User Fifth year Anniversary Webmaster
Re: Update Suspension
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2022, 04:16:50 PM »
Try JPEGS.  They show the early control arms.  Don't see anything about coil overs there.


Offline LesAlbin

  • Pinto Member
  • **
  • Posts: 11
  • FeedBack: +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Another Lotus Driver
    • LesAlbin

  • Total Badges: 6
    Badges: (View All)
    Topic Starter Tenth year Anniversary Poll Voter Windows User Fifth year Anniversary Webmaster
Re: Update Suspension
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2022, 04:18:47 PM »
Sorry, JEGS not JPEGS.


Offline TIGGER

  • PCCA Charter Member
  • Pinto Master
  • *
  • Posts: 2412
  • FeedBack: +70/-0
  • Gender: Male

  • Total Badges: 10
    Badges: (View All)
    Topic Starter Signature Poll Voter Windows User Apple User Mobile User 1000 Posts Tenth year Anniversary Fifth year Anniversary Photographer
Re: Update Suspension
« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2022, 08:04:36 PM »
so to my knowledge, the only way to use the 74 and up suspension parts in an early car is to swap the cross member.  That requires the existing cross member to be cut out and re-welded.  Lots of work if you ask me but there was a local guy that did that very thing to a 72 hatch that I used to own.  For him it was easier to do that than hunt down all the 71-73 bushings and stuff to rebuild the front end.  In addition, as mentioned before, the sourcing of the from rotors is very difficult.  His wife drove the car around for a little while longer before the rear half of the body succumbed to the tin worm.

It has been a lot of years since I have looked this stuff up but someone in the past did a good write up on the differences in the suspensions between the early and later cars.  I am sure it is still out there. 

My 73 has a 2.3T swap done to it and when that was done, the steering rack was changed to one from a 72 to gain more oil pan clearance.  I did not do the conversion but my buddy did and he said it was a straight forward conversion to get rid of the 73 rack.
79 4cyl Wagon
73 Turbo HB
78 Cruising Wagon (sold 8/6/11)

Offline Wittsend

  • Pinto Master
  • *****
  • Posts: 2396
  • FeedBack: +241/-0

  • Total Badges: 8
    Badges: (View All)
    Tenth year Anniversary Mobile User Topic Starter Poll Voter 1000 Posts Linux User Windows User Fifth year Anniversary
Re: Update Suspension
« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2022, 01:12:12 PM »
The original poster is also considering a 2.3 swap. In as much as the '73 only steering rack has that bulbous piece (I ground mine down and gently indented the oil pan) it is the steering rack rear/passenger steering rack BOLT I have the greater difficulty with. I ground it as much as seemed safe and the Turbo Coupe starter still hits it lightly.

 I realize the Ranger starter is smaller. I'm just economically minded and loathe the fact I never got one at Pick Your Part before the pandemic. Starters are (now) $35 with a $10 core and add in another $5 for their silly fees totaling $50. They were cheaper two years ago and monthly had 40% off sales that the pandemic put a halt to. Probably would have been $25-ish at the time.