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Author Topic: Drivability update on 1978 Pinto  (Read 2048 times)

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Offline caravan3921

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Drivability update on 1978 Pinto
« on: January 31, 2023, 11:26:28 AM »
Long overdue update on our 1978 Pinto. I'm starting a new topic since it's been a while and a lot of this discussion goes back to my Nov. 2, 2022 posting under our pinto was featured on the facebook of racedaydetaili ng.
To summarize: Drivability issues going back over a year. The first shop/mechanics just couldn't seem to fix the problem(s). In early December 2022 we had it trailered into another shop where owner is a master mechanic. He promised us he could fix the car. We picked the car up yesterday; so basically, he was working on it and troubleshootin g for nearly 2 months.  That was ok with us. He said he was treating the car as if it was his own and storing the car each night inside. He said he rebuilt the carb, replaced the ignition module (which multiple people on this site told us to have done!), he said the fuel tank was dirty and clogged, he said he replaced the strainer, hoses, filters. He recommended we replace the ignition since one of the 'teeth' was broken and he doesn't want the flywheel to get damaged.  He recommends we replace the battery.  When he gave us the bill, he said he does not want us to pay it until we drive the car and are satisfied that he fixed the problem. We drove it home and no issues.  He had ferried the car back about 6 miles from the location of his second shop, where he was doing the work, so he drove it back at that distance with no apparent issues.  We were going to drive the car today but it's raining.  This master mechanic appears to be thorough and the fact that he doesn't want payment until we are satisfied is encouraging. (The first shop we had it in a year ago said the gas tank looked "clean"....whatever. And that shop rebuilt the carb as well! So it's been rebuilt twice in a year!)
At any rate, just need to move forward and develop confidence again while driving the car and stay optimistic that this master mechanic is our new best friend for this car!  On a lighter note, when we picked the car up yesterday, there were 2 signs in the back windows that said, "Sorry, not for sale!"  When he was working on the car for 2 months, he got so tired of people asking him if it was for sale.  They kept interrupting his work so he decided to post signs and be done with answering the same question over and over!

Offline JoeBob

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Re: Drivability update on 1978 Pinto
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2023, 12:53:54 AM »
I did not see your first post, so I don't know your issues. I had problems on my 77 Bobcat. I would run fine and then die, no sputtering, it would just stop. It would restart instantly with the turn of the key. It would restart so easily I barely heard the starter. I did many of the things you just did. I did them one at a time. Finally the  ignition module was replaced and everything was resolved. That was 3 years ago, everything is fine now.
Bill
77 yellow Bobcat hatchback
Deuteronomy 7:9

Offline Mattb

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Re: Drivability update on 1978 Pinto
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2023, 12:49:02 PM »
Any chance you could clarify what you mechanic suggested replacing in the ignition system that could cause damage to the flywheel? Thanks

Offline caravan3921

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Re: Drivability update on 1978 Pinto
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2023, 04:54:23 PM »
AARGh, it's worse than ever, stalling, so it goes back in on friday.
(The mechanic says it's the starter: one of its 'teeth' or blades is sort of broken.  We are not motorheads so am only relaying what we understood him to say or explain.)
Obviously the drivability issue is staying of paramound importance at this point, and any starter issues are on the back burner.


Offline Mattb

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Re: Drivability update on 1978 Pinto
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2023, 06:46:51 PM »
Starter/flywheel makes sense.
 Given what your mechanic said about the fuel tank, if he thinks your problem is due to continued debris in the fuel system, you may want to ask him if the fuel tank should be replaced. Fortunately they are available new for your year. Same tank as used in the Mustang II. Should be Spectra 81A or equivalent. Might even consider a new sending unit since the fuel pickup is part of the unit. If he doesn't think it's fuel related make sure he checks the low tension connection at the ignition coil. Ford used a plastic C shaped clip on connecter that could give issues.

Offline caravan3921

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Re: Drivability update on 1978 Pinto
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2023, 04:30:26 PM »
We've been driving our 1978 Pinto and it's driving well. The master mechanic said "I promise I can fix it for you."  Perhaps this on-going driveability issue for more than a year was a combination of things.  The mechanic cited a dirty fuel tank, filter, strainer, and blocked fuel jet. He rebuilt the carburetor and replaced rubber fuel lines to tank and pump. He also replaced the ignition module, which more than a few people on this site suggested be done! We'll be completing a couple more recommended projects on the pinto, hopefully before the end of the month. 

Offline caravan3921

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Re: Drivability update on 1978 Pinto
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2023, 07:50:15 PM »
Happy to report that the 1978 Pinto is running great!  After MORE THAN A YEAR of trying to troubleshoot its driveability issues, we have settled into a great relationship with a master mechanic who knows what he is doing, understands the car, appreciates and respects the car, and educates us along the way as well. (He owns the business, has mechanics who work on cars, but he does the work himself on the Pinto.) He explains and shows us what the issues are, summarizes the work to be done, and after the work completed, goes over everything again with us.  He says often, "It's a beautiful car." He also thinks any rust on it is minimal and doesn't recommend any body work on it at this time. He told us of one occasion when the car was at his shop, an admirer went over to the car and opened one of the doors to look inside, and he reprimanded the person because the car didn't belong to him. You gotta love this guy! I'm thinking he's the guy I need to leave the car to in my Will because he appreciates it, knows the car inside and out, and would preserve it as is, and not modify it in any way.  Needless to say, I'm feeling extremely grateful for this man!
On another note: the driver's sun visor has lost its little gray rubber tip that engages it in its holder when not using the visor.  I checked with a wrecking yard in Colorado but was told nothing was usable. I suppose I could check ebay.  Might have to buy the entire visor to get the little missing rubber-type tip.

Offline Mattb

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Re: Drivability update on 1978 Pinto
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2023, 08:16:06 PM »
Tip available

Offline oldkayaker

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Re: Drivability update on 1978 Pinto
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2023, 04:24:15 AM »
Another possible source for the visor tip.  www.sscenterpr ises.com/pinto-bobcat
Jerry J - Jupiter, Florida

Offline rob289c

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Re: Drivability update on 1978 Pinto
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2023, 06:49:22 AM »
I'm thinking any Mustang parts supply business will have what you need, or at least a suitable substitute. 
rob289c

Offline rob289c

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Re: Drivability update on 1978 Pinto
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2023, 06:50:19 AM »
What was the final verdict on the drivability issue?
rob289c

Offline caravan3921

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Re: Drivability update on 1978 Pinto
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2023, 11:40:17 AM »
did you miss my post on March 9? It's driving great, so be sure to read it!

Offline rob289c

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Re: Drivability update on 1978 Pinto
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2023, 02:52:27 PM »
I saw in your Feb 22 post that the mechanic diagnosed a dirty fuel system and performed a variety of repairs.  I also saw he replaced the ignition module.  Two separate systems.  Your Mar 9 post states it is driving well, but doesn't identify which system repair (fuel or ignition) really fixed it.  If I was the owner I would want to know for sure. and would have done one repair at a time.  I would still be curious and would want to install the old ignition module to see if it would cause the issue again.  You can't "unclean" the fuel system but if you had the old module, you could easily swap it with the old one to see if it was the problem all along.  Or...keep driving and enjoying it and don't worry about anymore!  :)
rob289c

Offline caravan3921

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Re: Drivability update on 1978 Pinto
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2023, 10:14:56 AM »
I love your analytical approach to problem solving, and I'm like that a lot as well, but in this case I don't think it was a case of either/or, but rather both systems concurrently had issues that needed to be addressed.  The mechanic had the car for nearly the entire month of January while we were out of state in MN so we weren't getting detailed updates from him.  At any rate, the car is back on the road where it belongs and we're grateful to have found this mechanic who got us back up and running.

Offline rob289c

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Re: Drivability update on 1978 Pinto
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2023, 10:38:59 AM »
Glad he fixed it and hopefully it is still running flawlessly.  I hope my project runs well when I get it buttoned up and running.  Spring is around the corner...maybe by the end of April it will be warm enough to get it out and start working on it again.
rob289c

Offline caravan3921

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Re: Drivability update on 1978 Pinto
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2023, 02:08:51 PM »
Yes, it is still running flawlessly! We're taking it out every 1-2 days.
(Looks like Jade Pinto is now on eBay!)