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Offline Pale Roader

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I'm back (in a Pinto)... why? I'm starting to wonder....
« on: June 05, 2013, 07:51:46 AM »
Wow, its been decades. Got my password right on the first try. Good thing this isn't one ov those forums that deletes users if they dont post every day...


Insured my lil rat bag last week. 76 MPG no-option trunk with a 2.3 and a stick. My little science experiment... code (re)-name: Rat Bag. Sucker got parked in the mid-2000's when i tried to be a normal person and got a loan and bought a 96 Mustang GT. Life sucks and now, i'm no longer normal again, and  i'm back in a Pinto. Life doesn't zoop because i'm back in a Pinto... but because i'm back in MY Pinto. Sitting never does a car good... but THIS one made its desire to rust and die readily apparent when it popped a frost plug BEHIND the tranny, with NO water in the damn engine. That was just to piss me off. So i can either insure my 68 Caddy hearse and enjoy 8MPG, or i can pay some guy to fix my Pinto, which i did, which now involved a new clutch, carb rebuild, AND some lovely gas tank/sender Mickey-Mousing... and well now... THATS apparently just the beginning.


Oh yes. Come for a ride to work with me...


My daily commute now entails: popping the hood to completely refill the rad before EVERY trip (water pump sprung a leak while sitting), it will leak dry in 20 minutes, popping the air cleaner lid off to pour gas down the carb... the REBUILT carb... because it somehow completely drains ov gas if it sits for more than an HOUR. Then i start it up, which immediately wings the RPM's up to a fuel-efficient 3000 or so... because the choke has two settings: 3000 or stall. Tie the choke shut and it will NOT warm up... E-V-E-R. Then i can pretty much either automatic it (3000rpm, just drive with the brake) all the way to work, or i can three-foot it for the first 5 miles till things start getting normal. Thats fun... sailing into traffic, throw it into neutral, two-foot brake and gas to keep it from stalling. Hopefully its not raining (i live in the rainforest) because while (miracle ov miracles!) the wipers work...  the blades are pretty much metal-on-glass. The heater is doing SOMETHING... we haven't figured out exactly what yet. I'm told its pretty dramatic to watch... seeing as because WHILE SITTING... the steering rag joint FELL OFF... and its pretty much metal on (unconnected) metal down there. Probably a good thing i dont have responsive steering though... as unlikely as it may seem... also while sitting i think all the front end bushings either fell out, rusted out, or were stolen by gypsy vagabonds. Those wagons you see in old spaghetti-westerns rode nicer and quieter than this rig. SLLLLAM!!!ka-rattlerattle-POW! every bump... Good thing i have those 9" wide Z-rated 17" tires up front! Oh wait... got enough dry-rot in those from sitting (okay, i'll allow that one) that they look like they've got more siping than they came with. Those WERE good Dunlops. Back tires were always bald and cheap, so no loss there. I have some nice Dunlops for the back, but the 235's (yes... taller AND narrower than the front... because you know THAT looks cool...) are already polishing the rust in the inner wells... so i'll need spacers to fit those cool 265's i have. Cause you know... i'm sure you're thinking that this thing NEEEEDS some wicked 17" Z-rated rubber on it...


Back to the drive... again hoping its not raining... those holes in the floor make everything wet when the water falls, even with all the rags i keep for washing my hands after every start-up littering the floor. Oh, and that cranky carb is a DREAM when there's a touch ov humidity in the air as well... Foggy windows now? Oh well... its a narrow car, i can stick my head out the side window if need be. Night is fun, what with all the headlights cutting in and out on me randomly. Shockingly enough, i'm only missing one signal light... WHICH... is pretty much always on because the cancel cam is broken. Got my interior lights back last night too... those 5000rpm clutch-drops to warm the engine up send the lil sucker into some pretty gnarly chassis-wrap and the doors violently whacking against their strikers seem to jar the electrics a bit. Wish they'd jar  the fuel gauge to start working again. Even idling around at 3000rpm half the time, then triple-clutching it (to you know... get the thing MOVING) the gimp still gets over 20mpg in town... so you know i get cocky... "Tomorrow... it'll last till tomorrow..." Nope. Out ov gas. Dammit. My start-up jerry can is going to be empty in no time. Which... ov course jammed a hole in my headliner because my seat doesn't move forward or at ALL... aaaaannnd spilled gas all over the bottom back seat half. The top half is ov course collecting bugs and other wildlife in my shed... seeing as it wont stay attached to the car when i stop at lights. Well... i dont actually STOP at lights/signs anymore... battery is too weak to have to re-start it every time. I wonder what the hell is rolling around in the trunk though... key stopped working while it was sitting and the thing hasn't been opened in years.


Always an adventure. Every trip. Its one sexy ride with those 17's and all those cool dents though. As soon as i can find some early bumpers/valences those 700lb rust-planters will be outta there. Hoping they dont actually fall off before i do though... otherwise i'll be fabbing some duct-tape roll-pans. Actually... i bet that'd STILL look better than those stupid fat-lip bumpers.




Man, i REALLY wanted to drive this thing (seriously!). The car however... is on a different page it seems. 8mpg is looking pretty good right now... BUT... gas costs $1.50 a liter here (over $5 a gallon)... so until it dies or i have my friend with his military Humvee (H1) drive over it, i'm back. And i've got a lot ov questions.....

Offline dga57

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Re: I'm back (in a Pinto)... why? I'm starting to wonder....
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2013, 10:34:31 AM »
Hi Pale Roader! 
 
Welcome back!
 
While I'm sure there's nothing really funny about your daily commute, the mental images you inspired nearly caused me to choke on my morning java from laughing so hard!  It sounds rather like what happened to my '72 sedan after it sat in the garage undriven for about three years! 
 
Back when the freeze plug first popped a few years ago, you contemplated buying a '71 or '72 Runabout as a replacement.  Is that idea not feasible now?
 
After getting it running (barely), I sold my poor little sedan to someone who was looking for a project, added a few thousand dollars, and bought myself a '72 Squire wagon that is in ridiculously good condition and completely roadworthy.  I was initially sad to have given up on my sedan, but I definitely do not regret my action.  The idea that I did the right thing is reinforced every time I take my Squire out for a spin! 
 
Whatever you decide - repair or replace - I'm sure the folks here will be more than glad to help you!  Oh... and congratulation s on getting your password right on the first try!  I have trouble doing that on sites I use regularly!!!
 
Dwayne :)
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Offline Pale Roader

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Re: I'm back (in a Pinto)... why? I'm starting to wonder....
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2013, 05:27:31 PM »



Heh... well glad YOU'RE laughing. Truth be told when i'm not busy doing 12000 things at once to keep this wreck from sinking, i cant help but smile when i drive this thing. Its hilarious. Its actually a wicked little rally car on its best day with the stick and those big tires. It would even look cool if i could get those stupid bumpers off and get my big back tires on it.


The plan even before i bought this one, before it broke, and ever since... was to find a 71 (ONLY a  71) 4-speed with a hatch. It HAS to be a Runabout (i'd prefer disks and a 2L obviously). For years now (on and off) i've been looking for a decent one... has to run and drive at least a little better than Rat Bag... and it has to be cheap. I've found nothing. Found one within 200 miles on Craigslist, but the guy asks for phone numbers and never returns them. EVERYTHING else is either a 71 automatic, or a 72, or a wagon. In all those years i have not even been able to find some 71-2 bumpers/valences to put on mine. Anywhere. Even crooked rusted stuff... i'm not picky. I had to put about $400 into this one to get it to the gloriously mint  state i described above... but i'm still in it for less than 1K, and i can pull the rollers off it. I'd love to find a 71 and skip the daily drama...

Offline dga57

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Re: I'm back (in a Pinto)... why? I'm starting to wonder....
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2013, 11:06:17 AM »
Bumpers are out there, but they are pricey!  I needed a rear one a couple of months ago and ended up paying $208 (shipping included) for it.  It was NOS and considering the condition of my car, I felt it was worth it.  If you're not choosey about the bumpers being straight or rust free, ask here on the site... I'll bet somebody has some they'd like to get rid of! 
Dwayne :)
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Offline Pale Roader

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Re: I'm back (in a Pinto)... why? I'm starting to wonder....
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2013, 06:59:45 AM »
Bumpers are out there, but they are pricey!  I needed a rear one a couple of months ago and ended up paying $208 (shipping included) for it.  It was NOS and considering the condition of my car, I felt it was worth it.  If you're not choosey about the bumpers being straight or rust free, ask here on the site... I'll bet somebody has some they'd like to get rid of! 
Dwayne :)


I dont need a straight or mint one... just one thats in relative passable shape. I'll bash on it a bit if i have to. The car is a turd, i wouldn't even want a mint bumper. And if the 71 bumpers are different than the 72's, then i want the lighter ones. Oh, need a 71 grille too. Valences are usually all bashed... and really, as long as i can physically bolt it up i'll be happy.


Also, they have to be within driving distance ov Vancouver. I'm too paranoid to mail money. I'd like to see it before i buy it. That definitely hurts my search. NOTHING around here!

Offline Pinto5.0

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Re: I'm back (in a Pinto)... why? I'm starting to wonder....
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2013, 10:10:34 PM »
You can send money to Fred. He's never let me down.
'73 Sedan (I'll get to it)
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Offline Pale Roader

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Re: I'm back (in a Pinto)... why? I'm starting to wonder....
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2013, 03:57:06 AM »



I'd rather GIVE money to Fred. Is he close by...?? (forgot on this site you cant have three '?'s in a row without making a smiley...)


An update on this whole mess. Car will NOT start now unless i pop the hood and dump gas down the carb. EVERY time, unless its still hot. The air cleaner lid has been in the back seat for a week now. I love how this car is a 'science-free' zone... Oh, and lost a reverse light tonight. On a good (?) note, i seem to be getting a minimum ov 20mpg city in this wreck. Thats with 3000rpm idles and 5000rpm clutch-drops (when the carb thing fills my soul with love), and generally driving around in a lower gear than necessary to warm the thing up. I cant say what it gets on the highway, as its got a 5 mile limit (with the water leakage) and i'm pretty sure it wont pull 60mph in 4th. I contemplated buying a new sending unit so i can have my gas gauge back, but the tech that fixed the rotten one said the tank is just as rotten on the inside... so whats the point? Think i'll save my money for some Rain-X instead. Beats buying wipers.

Offline dga57

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Re: I'm back (in a Pinto)... why? I'm starting to wonder....
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2013, 10:14:05 AM »


I'd rather GIVE money to Fred. Is he close by...??

Depends on your idea of "close" - he's in Parker, Arizona.
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Offline blupinto

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Re: I'm back (in a Pinto)... why? I'm starting to wonder....
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2013, 08:19:54 PM »
Don't lose hope...

      In October, against my better judgement, I followed my heart and bought another (yes ANOTHER) Pinto- a pretty beat-up looking one missing all sorts of things like mirrors, the shoulder parts of the seat belts, etc. and broken stuff like door releases and armrests. Because I bought it (with my 2013 Carlisle Fund, no less) at a junkyard, it now has salvage title... a pain in the rear to get registered. First she had to have a brake and light inspection. Brakes failed because of a leaky cylinder and her back-up lights failed to work, even after I replaced both bulbs and the fuse. Turns out it was a broken (in two pieces) back-up light switch.  I replaced the switch, while a real mechanic replaced the faulty brake cylinder. THEN I had to buy brand-new license plates but couldn't get the personalized plates I wanted (deemed "too offensive") before I could drive her legally. Oh, and the hours waiting in line for one-day moving permits and the other nonsense are hours I will never see again.  After all THAT, she sporadically had fuel issues where she would lose power in 4th gear and jerk and sputter at around 55 mph. No bueno. I took her tank out and cleaned it after I discovered a piece of mylar candy wrapper in the fuel line.


            The good news is, she runs fantastic now and I can only thank Rich Gallina for his patience and help with getting the timing right (and other Pinto things too). She still needs 3 new tires and the right inner tie rod is still loose but she's been great transportation and even gets a thumbs-up from a man in a late-model Mustang (a higher-end model) some mornings when he passes me on the freeway on my way to work.

          Sorry about the War And Peace-size post, but I guess what I'm saying is I started out with an unknown entity in Moxie BluBelle. I swear I've seen her parked a couple miles from my home a few years ago, and even then it appeared she had been sitting. All the crap I cleaned out of her cowl and doors, plus the surface rust almost all over, confirms it. Still, I had faith in the lil' scamp when she started right up at the junkyard with maybe a cupful of gasoline in her cap-less tank.  It could be McCaa stubbornness that kept me working on this car... or a sixth sense told me this car needs to run good and be mine. Who knows?  I'm hoping you can get your Pinto back into good service soon. It's a long hard ropad, but if you love that car, it's worth it, and the joy of driving it and making people smile will dull the pain of working on it and the frustration you had to face. Good luck, Pale Roader, and never give up!  :)
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Offline Pale Roader

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Re: I'm back (in a Pinto)... why? I'm starting to wonder....
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2013, 09:48:04 PM »



dga57, yeah... not really my definition ov close...


Blupinto, I really do like this car... its as good as its going to get in a later year (no-option stick mpg car), and even the considerable rust wouldn't keep me from dumping tons ov money into it. What DOES keep me from dumping tons ov money into it is that i want a 71. Even if i put 71 front clip and rear bumper on it it will weigh a ton more than a 71 (why? no one here can say). I just want a 71. So this will do FOR NOW... i can maybe scab some early bumpers/valences on there for now, i can make it into a fun lil punk car for now... but i cant spend money (big money) on a car that weighs 200lbs more than it has to.

Offline Pale Roader

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Re: I'm back (in a Pinto)... why? I'm starting to wonder....
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2013, 05:04:45 AM »



Well, not that my point was to turn this into a blog... but the lil black science experiment i think is coming to a conclusion. I am concluding that this heap really does want to be turned into a cube and sent to China to be turned into lawnmower shrouds and DVD player cases.


The pouring gas down the carb EVERY time it starts thing has gotten old. Trying to wrap my head around how a new carb can be so useless has brought me back to the tank and sender. Thinking now that the VERY mickey-moused sending unit has already gone bad, and the fuel pump refuses to draw gas at cranking speed. After its running okay and warm is fine, but cold no chance. Seeing as i'll not be pulling the tank anytime soon, and the water pump is going from worse to ridiculous... the 8mpg horror ov a 68 Caddy is looking a LOT more reasonable a choice for daily commuting. Damn. I was having fun with this little bomb.


If i can make ANY money working while spending $1700 a week on gas with the Caddy i'll be buying parts for this rolling IED, and maybe in a month or two... damn i wish i could just find a half decent 71 instead...

Offline pintoman2.0

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Re: I'm back (in a Pinto)... why? I'm starting to wonder....
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2013, 10:25:01 AM »
Pale,

Reading your daily commute was a hoot!!!  I've had a few Pintos that made my 60 mile commute as much of an adventure. I've had a coupe where I had to pump the brakes three times before they would even start to leave the floor. Lots of fun on the freeway when traffic stops suddenly. I drove one for two years that was the opposite, when I touch the brakes the backs lock up. Lot of fun on a wet freeway. I had one that I drove for 9 months with no battery or starter, and towards the end I had the same kind of starting problems as you, but I always got it to start before I got to the bottom of the hill.

Ah, GOOD TIMES!

Offline Pale Roader

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Re: I'm back (in a Pinto)... why? I'm starting to wonder....
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2013, 07:20:34 AM »



Well i guess my little science experiment is over before it began. I needed it to last me ONE MORE DAY... just one more 2 mile trip to work and back... before i took it off the road tomorrow and swapped the plates onto my 68 Caddy. So OV COURSE... starting it up after work, which was easy enough with the usual gas dumped down the carb... i literally cannot clutch this thing enough to (get this) get the  turd to pull a U-turn from the sidewalk where i was parked to the other lane... because the crest in the road was too steep. Yes... this car quite literally does not have enough power to get over the crest in a downtown city street. And because it could not get over the crest, it stalled ov course, and then would not restart with any amount ov gas. The really neat 'whirring' noise instead ov the usual cranking noise tells me that the head gasket is toast. I almost wished it would unstrap and roll off the back ov the tow truck on its way home, but i thought better ov it... i actually like the wheels that are on it. And now once again i am the owner ov a non-running Pinto, that cannot be easily fixed. SOOOOOOOOOOOOO O GLAD i paid a mechanic to fix the tranny/frost plug problem.


You know that viral video ov that guy taking an axe to his hearse in the mall parking lot...?? Yeah. Good thing i didn't have an axe.


ANYWAYS... this POS is not getting off so easily. JUST because it obviously does NOT want to run... because it obviously wants to die mercifully and go off to the scrap heap... i'm going to fix it. I cant think ov a better colder revenge than that...




Why cant i just find a half-decent 71 Runabout with a stick...??

Offline dga57

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Re: I'm back (in a Pinto)... why? I'm starting to wonder....
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2013, 12:08:16 AM »


JUST because it obviously does NOT want to run... because it obviously wants to die mercifully and go off to the scrap heap... i'm going to fix it.


I like the way you think!!!

Dwayne :)
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Offline DreamBean

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Re: I'm back (in a Pinto)... why? I'm starting to wonder....
« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2013, 12:48:05 AM »
I'm Old School, If I cannot get my choke to work right, I just put a manual one on. I too had a vehicle that I had to pop the hood before I drove it. Drove me crazy. So I feel ya pain.
Go Ford, Go Fast Or Go Home!

Offline Pale Roader

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Re: I'm back (in a Pinto)... why? I'm starting to wonder....
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2013, 03:49:55 AM »
I like the way you think!!!

Dwayne :)


Well... this may or may not happen. I DO need a new car, but the desire to fix THIS one is limited. Once i pop that head off to do the gasket i'm GOING to get the 'might-as-wells'... and considering that my near-immediate plans for this thing was a header + 2 1/4" mandrel-bent Borla exhaust and other mods... there is pretty much NO way i'm going to get through a head-gasket job without adding a header/exhaust, headwork (shave for compression, porting, hell... even big valves if its cheap enough...) blah blah blah... I guess this would be the perfect time to do the steering coupler too... as i was not looking forward to replacing the rag-joint as it was.


The work shouldn't be too hard, its not a V8, so half the job right? Its just that now i'll be what? $125 into the header/exhaust, at least $200 into headwork, more for the gasket and soft parts, and well... probably $500 total more into this wreck that STILL wont be worth the price ov the used rims it rolls on. I'd MUCH rather start with a better car. I still have a tank rusty enough to plug the sender with scale, and a fuel gauge that will never work. AND that STOOOOOPID carb... ugh.


With ported head, another full point ov compression, header and race exhaust, will this thing STILL be a dog at 2400lbs...? ? ?

Offline Pale Roader

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Re: I'm back (in a Pinto)... why? I'm starting to wonder....
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2013, 03:56:09 AM »
I'm Old School, If I cannot get my choke to work right, I just put a manual one on. I too had a vehicle that I had to pop the hood before I drove it. Drove me crazy. So I feel ya pain.


On my Mopars i've never bothered with a choke period, and i live in Canada. You just 'stay with it' till it warms up, maybe two-foot it the first couple miles... no biggie. But THIS car... this car just will NOT warm up. EVER. I'll let that sucker sit at 3000rpm for a minute in the driveway, then drive for five miles before that thing starts to drive like a car. Without the choke it is utterly undriveable. I've NEVER owned a car that refused to warm up like this one. All the stock engine stuff is still attached too... and working, no plugged/broken risers/intakes/hoses, etc. My 72 Charger had a 440 with NO air-cleaner (just a stub-stack), no choke, single-plane aluminum intake, blocked heat-crossovers, big spacer under the carb, and headers, and it was good to go in the dead ov winter a 1/2 mile down the road...