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Offline Dtmix

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My pandemic project...
« on: November 14, 2020, 11:22:55 AM »
Two scores and three weeks ago,ummm,oh, yeah, this is a Pinto website not a Lincoln  one! My bad...

Anyway, I purchased my first Pinto as a high school senior, a 1979 station wagon with the exterior decor group (not a woody) with a 2.3 liter 4-banger and a stick shift. It had the paint option of Medium Red Glow. I purchased it from my dad's colleague at Hancock AFB when it was a year old, as he got himself a bigger car. It proved to be an awesome car for a kid going away to college! It carried all of my worldly goods back and forth between home and the University every summer recess. Not to mention all the road trips up and down the coast to visit college chums, girlfriends, and road trips on spring break!

Needless to say, I ended up trading it in for a Toyota Corona, which was also a great car...but that's another story for a different day! Since then, I regretted selling the Pinto as it was my first car...just like your first love! I have kept in touch with my friends over the years, and without fail, they would bring up my Pinto! We all had great times and memories!

Two years ago, I started looking for my first car and was not surprised that it was no longer around being a car in the Salt state of New York. Therefore, I did a national search across the country using many websites and search engines of reputable car clubs and magazines like Hemmings. My first car color was no where to be found! I did come across two. One was a basket case Runabout, and the other was a hot-Rodded Wagon with a blank Cruising Wagon panels.  I have nothing against retsomods and hot-rods as they are unique and mostly well-crafted, but I wanted a stock wagon just like my first car...I finally expanded my search to include all colors and did inquire on two...a red wagon in Michigan and a brown one in Palm Beach, and had both inspected by a classic car appraisal firm.

When both inspections passed my standards, things became rather challenging! The red one was priced at 6000 and it was restored as new. As I made an offer, I learned that he decided to consign the car with a classic car dealer. The price doubled. As I attempted to meet them half way between the old and new price, another classic car dealer in Sarasota brought it as I called to finalize the deal. That car price is now nearly $16,000 and still remains for sale there. A nice car, but I bowed out. I moved on to the Hemmings Motor News ad in Palm Beach. Nice guy, but he was firm with his $15k asking price and the inspection shown that I would need to do additional work (weatherstrippi ng, tank draining, minor mechanical work like a tune up). I decided to bite the bullet and said that I would do the deal...he would not do escrow that I wanted to do to protect both sides. He may be honest, but after hearing so many horrific stories, I withdrew.

I was in despair thinking that I would never find one...and ready to throw in the towel...when I decided to look again and to my surprise I found an ad of a private sale of a 1980 Pinto Squire Wagon in Venice, Florida several miles from my dads house. I called my brother and sister in law to take a look at it. It was priced reasonably leaving lots of room for any additional work it may have needed. Long story short...the seller lived a hour from me here in Ohio and the car is her Florida car in Venice. I tried to upload 4 pictures for your viewing, but the box popped up saying it does not allow JPEG. How do I convert it from JPEG to JPG format???

It is in very good condition as I purchased it from a 86 year old lady who inherited it from a 91 year old friend who died. It spend its life in Florida as a snowbird's winter car after the first year in Ohio. The body is amazingly rust free, and the interior is nearly immaculate other than the faded carpet. I plan to either re dye or replace the carpet and the vinyl sidewalls in the cargo bay as they are really faded. The color is Vaquero (H2) which is sort of reddish brown and impossible to find the carpet in that color. I was able to locate the carpet with SMS Auto Fabrics in Canby, Oregon.

I was amazed that I found NOS wood siding at Green Sales in Cincinnati. I plan to strip the faded siding and replace with the new one. The paint is in really good condition so I plan to leave it as is (Bright Bittersweet 2G). Mechanically, it runs well when warmed up...but when started cold, it sounds like an old geezer with COPD! I think I am spoiled by fuel injection these days so it was like a shock at first! I had to retrain myself in starting procedures as unlike a fuel injection engine, I have to turn the key on, not start, and pump slowly three or four times and then start. Its starts right up and you don't have to do the steps to start the car again until the next day as it starts fine as a warmed engine.

I completed a tune up, replaced all the fluids, gaskets, filters, PCV, and the like. Hopefully that will improve the cold starts. As it was a Florida car, the previous owner's mechanic bypassed the heater core, as they apparently don't need heat. I plan to reinstall it and hopefully there is no problem with the heater box as there must be a reason of bypassing it? I plan to replace both if needed be in the Spring while doing the AC recharge/conversion.

As the auto-shipping firm damaged the lower front valance panel loading or unloading the car, I faced the task of seeking a replacement. I was unsuccessful in doing so with dismantling yards, eBay, NOS parts retailers, and the like. It was frustrating as the panel as whole was in very good condition with the bolt holes on one side broken off. I saw on this Pinto website about Showcars Unlimited in Foxboro, Ontario. I contacted him and he sells spoilers but had no valance panels as he was unable to find one that was not damaged to create a mold. I explained about mine, and he was excited as he wanted one to create a mold of. He said that he could try to rebuilt the bolt bracket piece and then create a new mold. I agreed and shipped him the panel. I will keep you updated as that might become a source for you to replace your damaged or missing valance panels of your 1979 or 1980 units if he proves successful in replicating it by making fiberglass molds. Fingers crossed!

Another area in need of my attention is the powered rack and pinion steering rack as it is leaking from the boots. It seems to steer just fine, so I am wondering if it could be rebuilt or should I simply replace it with a new unit? That'll be my summer project in 2021.

The tires...OMG! I thought that would be an easier item to locate. 165/80-13 wsw are rarer than hens teeth! I have a set on back order with Coker Tire, and just been notified it will not arrive until Jan 2021!!! I already had one tire go flat due to dry rot, so I replaced it with a trailer tire so I can move it around or drive it locally. What are you folks doing for tires on yours?

Oh golly, I yakked your ear off enough already!
Happy Motoring!
Dan

Offline Mattb

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Re: My pandemic project...
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2020, 12:58:06 PM »
You could consider a 185 70 13 or 175 80 13 tire. Check out the options with the online retailers. Looks like Milestar makes a whitewall in the latter.   Goodrich radial  TAs are made in 205 60 13 if you like the raised white letter look-  could also run the letters on the inside to make them blackwalls. . Assuming your speedometer is calibrated for the 165 80 13 tires, the speedometer may be a couple mph off at 60 mph.  However if your budget allows and you like the look you might consider the Magnum 400 wheels. I have a set on my 77 sedan and am quite happy with them.  I got mine from CJ Pony Parts but are carried elsewhere as well. They are 15 inch and give many tire options now and probably going forward. 185 60 15 would be close in diameter to your current tires. My 77 uses 4x4.25 lug spacing. You would need to confirm the spacing of the 1980.
  Best wishes.

Offline dga57

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Re: My pandemic project...
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2020, 04:35:26 PM »
Hi!

Your story isn't all that different from mine except that I bought my first car at sixteen when I got my driver's license - a brand new 1974 Pinto Runabout, orange with black interior, 2.3L, manual transmission.  Enjoyed the heck out of that car for a couple of years but traded out of it in 1976 for something bigger.  A few years afterwards I began having dreams about that Pinto.  No joke!  It was always along the lines of finding it somewhere stashed away and I had simply forgotten about it.  In Dreamland of course, it always looked like new - not even dusty!  lol  That went on for years and years until finally about 25 years ago I began a search.  It turned out that my former car had been destroyed in a fatal collision shortly after I traded it, so finding it was out of the question.  I then spent more than twenty years looking for a suitable replacement.  I bought and sold a couple of other Pintos along the way, but I had my heart set on an exact replica.  A friend in California finally located one that matched perfectly except for having an automatic transmission.  I'd like to change that someday, but can live with it since the rest of the car is essentially identical.  The engine had already been rebuilt and most everything else to bring it up to par has been done.  For reference, I paid $1500 for it and I'm currently into it for about $12,000... but I got the car I wanted! 


One of my first expenditures was a set of five new WSW 13 inch tires which, if I recall correctly, came out of Canada.  I bought them on ebay.  They were difficult to find then and I think it's only gotten worse.  So far, I've had no need to replace them. 

I'm glad you found a Pinto wagon that makes you happy and did so in a relatively short time!  Keep it forever and have a ball!

Dwayne :)
Pinto Car Club of America - Serving the Ford Pinto enthusiast since 1999.

Offline Dtmix

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Re: My pandemic project...
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2020, 11:10:36 AM »
Thanks for both of you feedback about the tires! I added the 5th tire as a spare to my initial Coker Tire order, now that I know they are not easily replaced. The car will be garaged to keep the UV rays to the minimum as they are known to break down rubber. I have heard conflicting stories about the tire protectants we use to make tires blacker...some say not to use it as it has detrimental affect on the tires while others say it will provide some protection. I have always thought it to be protective as the name implies...sigh ...what's the consensus out ther on this issue?

As for alternative sizes, 185 seems tall, but maybe not as much as I think? How can I gauge what it would look before purchasing them? If I was to restored the car, I might consider that with wheels as one of you described. However for this specific project, I am aiming to keep it as stock as possible. I guess I feel that I am a steward or caretaker rather than an owner that I am as I wanted to preserve it for future generations as less and less are surviving over the years. Imagine back in the day, there were millions and many vintage pictures, you can easily spot a Pinto! Nowadays, how many are still around? Does Anyone in the club know? From my two year search, that was a wake up call for me as I had no idea how difficult it was to find! Being rare does not make it valuable, but it was an icon for the times...

While searching for the tires, I did come across Diamondback that manufactures their own tires or purchase them overseas and modify the side walls. It was priced higher than Coker, but available in 3 weeks. The down side was that the whitewalls are added afterwards. They claim it's better due to being vulcanized. I guess I wasn't sure if that was a plus or a minus? Your thoughts?

Anyway, I found a leak in the fuel line between the carburetor and the transmission area near a coupling. Sigh, I am thinking that if I were to make the repair, I probably should replace the entire fuel line. It could be possible to cut part of the line and add two new couplings? The main reason of doing the partial replacement is due to my lack of experience and tools for bending. Your thoughts before I tackle this project this week?


Happy Motoring!
Dan

Offline Wittsend

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Re: My pandemic project...
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2020, 11:30:32 AM »
185 tires are slightly larger that I assume the 175 tires the car came with? As noted the 185-70-13" tires are a good option. You are getting a little more width but compensating with the 70 series to get the height back where it need to be.

There is no "fuel line" between the carb and transmission unless you are just referring to the "area" and not the two items themselves. There likely is a vacuum modulator line from the carb to the transmission that is commonly steel but has short rubber vacuum lines on either end. In either case it should be an easy fix but be prepared and quick. You may get half a cup flowing back from the carburetor but the end coming from the gas tank may continually flow. Having a low tank level, parking (if you can) with the front higher than the rear will help. Whatever you go don't get gas in your ear!!! Don't ask how I know.

Offline dga57

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Re: My pandemic project...
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2020, 11:50:43 AM »
Dan,

I have no personal experience with Diamondback but I will tell you what little I know.  I used to have a 1997 Rolls-Royce Silver Spur.  It was essentially perfect (one owner and meticulously kept) when purchased except that the previous owner put a new set of blackwall Michelin tires on it.  A lot of people were doing that because whitewalls were getting harder and harder to find, but that car came with no choice other than whitewalls from the factory and it simply didn't look right to me with the blackwalls.  As a member of the Rolls-Royce Owner's Club, I started researching there what people were doing for replacement tires.  I found one owner's post warning people against Diamondback tires.  He swore he purchased a set for his Silver Shadow and the car handled so erratically that it was impossible to control and extraordinaril y dangerous at speeds over 30 mph.  He said it was because the groove cut into the sidewalls to accommodate the white rubber weakened the tires structurally.  He went on and on about how he was nearly killed and how he was going to sue the company.  To be totally honest, it sounded like quite a bit of exaggeration to me, but it did make me re-think ordering a set.  Other members said they'd had them and saw no difference in the way their car rode or drove.  As I said, I never really placed a whole lot of credibility in this guy's story, but it was disturbing enough that I decided I could live with my blackwalls after all.  Now, all that being said, when I was selling cars in the late 1970's there was a vendor who came to all the local car dealerships and, for a nominal fee, could convert any blackwall to whitewall.  The process involved grinding a groove into the tire and filling it with white rubber.  I do not know how similar or dissimilar this process was to Diamondback's, but the end result looked good and we never had any complaints from customers who chose to go that route.  They obviously couldn't have been vulcanized since this was performed on the sales lot without even removing the tire from the car!  My gut instinct is that, while the Diamondback is probably a safe tire, Coker has been around for many years and I'd probably do that instead. 

In answer to your question about tire dressings/protectants, I've always thought shiny tires look unnatural.  I want mine clean, but not shiny and artificially black, so I never use the stuff.  When it comes to anything having to do with automotive products however, I tend to trust Mothers and Meguiars brands more than most.

Dwayne :)   
Pinto Car Club of America - Serving the Ford Pinto enthusiast since 1999.

Offline Dtmix

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Re: My pandemic project...
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2020, 07:27:19 PM »
Thanks for your responses...it was helpful!

First, the fuel issue as that is more of a pressing issue for me. You are correct in interpreting my description to be in the "area" rather than a tube running from the tranny. If that was the case, I would probably worried about what else weird was happening? Lol... I will wear earplugs, so thanks for the warning! I honestly did not even think about the vacuum modulation line...I just assumed it was a fuel line so thanks for pointing that out so I can ascertain what project am I about to embark upon! I will take a closer look and get back with you and of course, the shop manuals.

Secondly, thanks for sharing your information that you have learned about Diamond Backs...you may be right that the fella may be exaggerating, but again if a person feels the need to do so to emphasize his point, it may be worth listening to or further research. However, Coker has been around for ages and they have an excellent reputation, I think I agree with you in sticking with them especially when I will not be driving the Pinto during the winter, so why not wait. I was leery about Diamond Back's practices of cutting into the sidewalks, but I guess they have done enough of them to know.

I remember how we would paint sidewalls onto retreads at the dealership that I worked for. I never understood why people would buy el cheap retreads and pay extra for the whitewalls which made them stand out even more as Cheepies. My driving back then was much more spirited than today, so I needed the good stuff! Michelins, Yokohamas, and Pirellis were typically my tires of choice. Oh golly, that reminds me...my first car, the red Pinto, had Firestone 500s, which were recalled and they gave me 721s as replacement! Do you remember those? Did your first Pinto have those?

That would be funny if I could order reproduction logos of Firestone 500s on put them on whatever tire I am getting from Coker so I will be answering another set of explosive questions! Many don't believe me when I try to tell them that the exploding Pintos were not all that common, or more frequent than other counterparts of the era...nor that wagons were not the subject of such recalls. Maybe I can tell them that I am a dare devil driving a Pinto on explosive tires! Chuckling...

I would love to see the pictures of the Rolls next to a Pinto! Classy! I will send you some Gray Poupon mustard for the photo shoot-😎

Happy Motoring,
Dan
Happy Motoring!
Dan

Offline one2.34me

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Re: My pandemic project...
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2020, 09:33:40 PM »
"Seven, around two, wrapped by one!"   
Run Pokey Run!

Offline dga57

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Re: My pandemic project...
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2020, 08:05:06 AM »
Dan,


I made the terrible mistake of deciding to "update" and traded my Rolls-Royce in on a Jaguar XJL before I finally acquired the orange Pinto, so there are no photos of the two together.  I do however, have at least one decent picture of the Rolls on my iPhone and I'm pretty sure there are photos of the Pinto taken in California right after the paint/bodywork were performed.  Let me see what I can dig up and I'll email you a peek at them. I've already gleaned your email address from your profile, but give me a little time; I'll come up with something! 


Dwayne :) [size=78%]  [/size]
Pinto Car Club of America - Serving the Ford Pinto enthusiast since 1999.

Offline dga57

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Re: My pandemic project...
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2020, 08:28:10 AM »
BTW, I just realized I didn't respond to your tire question.  After 46 years, I have absolutely NO recollection of what tires were on my original Pinto, although I'd bet money they were Firestone.  The Firestone fiasco came along a little later and I actually got a recall and a free set of new tires on my Ford Ranger pickup thanks to that. 

Also, just for the record, there is no evidence of any Pinto EVER "exploding", although that is a popular misconception.  They were prone to fires from a ruptured gas tank in rear end collisions just like every other small car of the day.  The scandal was the result of a leaked Ford office memo which, while not specifically mentioning the Pinto, referenced that the expense of settling lawsuits resulting from the fires would be more cost effective than fixing the problem.  Not a great business decision!

Dwayne :)
Pinto Car Club of America - Serving the Ford Pinto enthusiast since 1999.

Offline Mattb

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Re: My pandemic project...
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2020, 11:25:01 AM »
You might want to check out your car on automobile-cataloge.com. to see the original tire size (unless the door sticker is still in place). The tires on it now could be off somewhat from the original size.

Offline Dtmix

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Re: My pandemic project...
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2020, 03:26:20 PM »
Thanks...The car brochure and salesman guides shows the sizes to be B78-13, which I entered to the tire equivalent sizing chart on one of the Googled sites. It came out as 165/80-13. The dry rotted tires I have are those sizes and made by Michelin. They came with the car from the previous owner. I looked up Michelins manufacturing website and they no longer make them...hence Coker.

I agree that the Pintos were not exploding per se, but that of fires. I Would recommend the book  written by a college professor who teaches tort law titled The Ford Pinto Case. Very interesting reading and it negated what Mother Jones magazine had said. Mother Jones numbers were inaccurate and so forth. Parts of the book was rather dry reading as most college textbooks are, but I found it quite informative!
Happy Motoring!
Dan

Offline Dtmix

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Re: My pandemic project...
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2020, 03:36:22 PM »
Interesting... I went out to look at the door label, it shows the info as you suggested. I tried to attach the picture, but it states too large of an attachment.  Please bear with me and give me a crash course on how to reduce the size? I  also want to show you some of the work I have done as well!😉

Dan
Happy Motoring!
Dan

Offline Mattb

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Re: My pandemic project...
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2020, 04:45:41 PM »
Might want to check that B78-13.  Thats what came on my 77 sedan originally. I used a conversion that equated to 179-78-13 which of course is not made but is very close to 175-80-13.( I did end up changing to a 15 inch wheel).You would want a tire with approx 24 inch diameter to keep your speedometer accurate assuming the gearing of the speedometer is as original. I would say that 165 tire you mentioned would be closer to the old size A78-13.

Offline Dtmix

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Re: My pandemic project...
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2020, 07:30:14 PM »
Matt,

Thanks for your pointing out the tire sizes and equilivency... I am now confused as I revisited the tire sizes. One points out A78-13 while another shows B78-13 as Pinto's standard tire. The conversion chart supported your numbers by showing that B78-13 to be close to 175/75-13 while the A78-13 would be nearly equal to 165/80-13. Why are they showing A78 and B78 to be the standard tire? They are different in sizes. Please clarify as now I am worried that I may have ordered the incorrect size?

Happy Motoring,
Dan
Happy Motoring!
Dan

Offline Mattb

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Re: My pandemic project...
« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2020, 10:19:16 AM »
Well- if your goal is to stay as built the default size to go with is the door tag, if it’s there/ readable. The “ confusion” may be related to different tires used on the sedans/ runabouts vs the wagons. So make sure you search for  the wagon size. In my experience the data on automobile-catolog.com to be useful. Another thought would be to spend a few dollars(around $20)and order a Marti Report for your car. I got one for my Pinto and it listed all options and included the original tire size. You can order it on line and the report is emailed to you.

Offline Wittsend

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Re: My pandemic project...
« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2020, 01:58:23 PM »
... I tried to attach the picture, but it states too large of an attachment.  Please bear with me and give me a crash course on how to reduce the size? ...

Dan

I'm on Windows 10. What I do is open the image then use the Snipping tool (white circle/red outline/scissors) to capture the image. This generally reduces the file size to 50KB-150KB depending on what you started with. This "snip" needs to be save to a folder (make a new one called "Pinto Pictures" so it is easy to find). Then when you go to attach the image to a post it should well be within the constraints for image size. And it should also allow you to not exceed the total size for displaying the maximum four images per post.

Offline Dtmix

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Re: My pandemic project...
« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2020, 04:23:51 PM »
I am still stuck as to making a decision with the tire issue.

Take a look at the tire overlay conversion and tell me your thoughts?

https://www.tacomaworld.com/tirecalc?tires=165-80r13-175-80r13

Coker says they have the 175/80R-13 in stock.  Should I stick with my order of the 165-80R-13’s? I cannot get a direct answer when I asked them which of the two is the closest in size to the B78-13R that was original to the car.

Happy Motoring,

Dan
Happy Motoring!
Dan

Offline one2.34me

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Re: My pandemic project...
« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2020, 05:08:35 PM »

I bought a cheap set of the P185/70R-13's to run around on for my '75. Based on the chart below the P185/70R-13's are what you're looking for.
P175/75R13 or the P185/70R13 would be the tire your looking for.

Alpha Numeric 78 series           P-Metric 75 series Radial         P-Metric 70 series Radial
A78-13                                   P165/75R13                           P175/70R13

B78-13                                   P175/75R13                           P185/70R13

D78-13                                   P185/75R13                           P205/70R13

I bought a set of P195/55R-15, BFG SC2's for more spirited driving.
 
Run Pokey Run!

Offline Mattb

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Re: My pandemic project...
« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2020, 06:41:17 PM »
If you are looking for whitewalls and you cant find them in 185-70 : 175-80 should be close as well. Take a look at Simple Tire and see what they have. Another thing to consider is the Goodrich Silvertown that Coker has in size 195-70-13 again if you have whitewalls in mind. They are pricey but there might be a reason why compared to the other brands. Ask Coker about them. If you plan to drive your car a fair amount(at least for a Pinto) you want the best quality tire you can afford( and are relatively easy to replace if you end up getting some tire damage)and ,within reason ,not sweat the size too much. I wanted to get a set for my Mustang II but at the time they were on endless back order and ended going with a 15 inch wheel/ tire package.

Offline Dtmix

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Re: My pandemic project...
« Reply #20 on: November 19, 2020, 07:18:29 PM »
You guys rock! Thanks for bearing with me asking so many questions about the tires, as they have been a challenge to locate. I wanted to be sure I get the right ones. I know, I know, seems vain to be insistent on the whitewalls. If it was a non-woody or a hatchback, it would look great in black walls or raised white letters...but this is a Squire Wagon, and WSW are a must!

Thanks for pointing out the options as for tires and the conversion chart. I will check out Simple Tire before calling Coker in the morning. I will go with the 175 or 185 pending on availablity and pricing. It helped when you reassured me not to sweat too much on the size as they are relatively close enough. I was just worried that if I get the wrong size, it would look weird or something like that.

Lastly, thanks for the directions on how to reduce picture size so I can upload my pictures!!! I can't wait to share my pandemic project! I probably will work on uploading pics this weekend as I have to work tmw. Hong Kong Phooey! Lol...

Happy Motoring!
Dan
Happy Motoring!
Dan

Offline Dtmix

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Re: My pandemic project...
« Reply #21 on: November 22, 2020, 02:35:18 PM »
Coker tire is closed on the weekend, so it appears. I will try again Monday as I have decided to get the other size that you have suggested.

In the meantime, your tips about reducing the picture sizes was helpful. I posted them in the project section as it seems that's where pictures should go. Let me know if I am mistaken. I kept the same title, My Pandemic Project, so you can find it.

Looking forward to your feedback and other suggestions...

Happy Motoring,
Dan
Happy Motoring!
Dan