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Author Topic: So, you want to build a Turbo Pinto Part 2  (Read 3954 times)

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Offline Wittsend

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So, you want to build a Turbo Pinto Part 2
« on: March 27, 2009, 12:41:44 AM »

 I opted to use the stock turbo coupe exhaust – for now.  It was a split dual and I had to pinch off the drivers side and discard it.  There is no room with the gas tank and fuel pump to go out on the drivers side.  I had to dimple some of the frame rail and tweak the pipe some for a better fit.  I retained the CAT and only run the muffler to the rear end.  I used modified CAT mounts to support it.

 What transmission?

T-5’s came with most manual turbo Ford 2.3’s.  A  D-9 supposedly came on the Merkur.  It has been stated to be a lesser transmission.  The 87-88 turbo coupe T-5’s used a hydraulic clutch system.  You need to adapt to a bellcrank style.  There is a straight pull bellhousing, for the T-5, but I am unsure about it.  I believe it was from the Merkur.  If your car was originally an Auto you will need the manual pedals (both) and the clutch cable. Note, I was told that there are four kinds of pedals. 1973 and older are one type.  There were supposedly three different 1974 and up pedals.  If you had a brake booster, it took one type.  As a final note the turbo coupes came with a very low (close to 4.00) first gear. A V-8, T-5 is not a direct bolt in because on a different input shaft.
 Most people don’t use an AOD automatic 4 speed. I’m not sure why.  Most use a C-4 automatic 3 speed.  The C-4 requires a limited production (1974 only I believe) 2.3 to C-4 bellhousing.  You will “pay” for it.

Clutch cable attachment?

  There are crossmember clearance issues (at least on the 1973 and older cars) with the clutch cable when using the bellcrank bellhousing.  I fabricated an adapter out of 3/8” steel that relocated the cable slightly higher and to the outside of the car.  This required bending the bellcrank lever slightly for alignment.

Transmission mount?

 I found that reversing the main transmission mount and slotting the bolt holes as far back as possible allowed me to use the Pinto C-4 mount on the T-5.  I am finding it a bit soft and considerably flexing.

What rear end?

Some Pinto’s (mostly V-6) came with 8” rear ends. If your Pinto has the lowly 6-3/4” (a lot do) you should replace it.  The Pinto and the Mustang II 8” rear ends are the same. Get all the mounting pad stuff with it because there are differences on the positioning hole.  My 6-3/4” drums did not fit my 8” rear end.  The center hole was too small.

What ratio?

The Pinto, Mustang II 8” rear ends came in 3.00, 3.40 and 3.55.  It is my opinion that a 3.25 ratio would be ideal for street use.  I had a choice of 3.00 or 3.55.  Mileage was a factor in choosing the 3.00 as well as the previously mentioned 4.00-ish first gear of the T-5.  Remember your desired tire size should dictate what ratio you need. UPDATE - I found the 3.00 to not work well. It didn't affect the acceleration as much the car was just at the wrong RPM for most standard speeds. I swapped in a 3.40 and have been rather happy with it for general driving.

What driveshaft?

Every application is different. I can tell you that a C-4 to 6-3/4” driveshaft is a direct bolt in for a T-5 to 8”.  Measure and seek what is needed.

What heater fan?

  There is a clearance issue between the 90 degree turbo outlet and the standard heater fan.  Many people opt for the A/C version heater because the fan mounts inside the interior, not the engine bay.  Many fans are adaptable.  I found a stubby MG fan that gives the needed clearance and was easy to configure.  The cage is smaller too and has to be run backwards (reverse polarity), but moves a lot of air.

Other factors?

  I spent forever filing holes into slots for the engine and transmission mounts.  I wanted them to be adaptable.  I have minimal clearance on the steering rack, but still the hood touches parts of the engine even after filing the known areas (throttle body and vacuum fitting). The angled fitting for the vacuum line is the most likely place to hit.  I got one from a 2.3 Mustang that has a tap off the side instead of the front.  Still I had to grind as much as I could off it for clearance.  With all that there are places at the top and bottom that still likely have no more than 3/16’s clearance!
 The shift lever needs an adapter to move the lever back a number of inches.  For me the stock location is too far of a reach.
  I wired in a clutch switch for starting safety.  Hooking up the cruise control required some fabrication for the system to disengage it when using the clutch and brakes.

  What it took?

 I paid $850 for my Pinto and it cost me $425 to trailer it home.  I drove it stock for about 7 months.  I teach and have the summers off.  I would say it took me about 30 hours a week for 5 months to get it to the point of starting the motor as a turbo/5 speed car.   There is still much more to do.
  I owned the donor 1988 turbo coupe outright. I paid $1,500 for it as a salvaged vehicle (hit in rear) when the going rate was $6,000. It was my daily driver for 10 years before it marginally failed smog and I parked it.  During its use my wife was hit while driving it, and we got $1,400 from the insurance.  Hence it was my 10 year, $100 daily driver.
  I figure for the engine, transmission, steering column and other associated parts I got about $800 in parts off the turbo coupe. With a bit of thinking there are a lot of Pinto or turbo coupe parts that can be reused on this project.
  I sold the remaining parts of value for $230 and gave the body shell away for scrap. 
   I purchase the 8” rear end (drum to drum) for $116.  The radiator was approximately $22, the motor mounts were about $20.  The alternator bracket was $4 and the fan belt $1. The clutch and brake pedals were $12.  The bellhousing (with fork and throwout bearing) was $16. The clutch cable was $6. The fuel pump was $11.  So, it was only a bit over $200 to purchase everything I needed to do the swap.  Add $100 for the donor car and it is about $300.  But I sold extra parts for $230 so the cost was about $70 for the whole swap.  Now to be realistic there were probably $100 in incidentals, but still that is crazy cheap. I have purchased other things for the Pinto, but they were not necessary for the swap.

So, there is a rundown on the project.  Did it seem a bit long to read.  Good, now you understand. It takes a whole lot longer to do.  I'm not trying to talk anyone out of it, but I am trying to let you know what you are getting in to. As with anything of this nature - YOU DO AT YOUR OWN RISK. All the best.

Offline dave1987

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Re: So, you want to build a Turbo Pinto Part 2
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2009, 02:58:24 AM »
Very nice detailed write-up, both parts! You deserve a +1 for your efforts!
1978 Ford Pinto Sedan - Family owned since new

Remembering Jeff Fitcher with every drive in my 78 Sedan.

I am a Pinto Surgeon. Fixing problems and giving Pintos a chance to live again is more than a hobby, it's a passion!