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Author Topic: Front suspension differences pre-'74 versus '74 & later  (Read 9230 times)

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Offline Pinto5.0

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Front suspension differences pre-'74 versus '74 & later
« on: September 15, 2011, 09:54:23 PM »
Here's my question. I have MII/streetrod upper & lower control arms for airbags, drop spindles & a manual rack all for post-'74 MII & Pinto suspensions.
 
I may be picking up  a clean '73 & I want to know what I have to do to install these parts on the early car. I know there are differences but I don't know what the differences are.
 
I also have the steering column & front crossmember out of a '77 & I know I need to use that column to connect to the rack but will I need to swap out the crossmember as well?
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Offline Pinto5.0

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Re: Front suspension differences pre-'74 versus '74 & later
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2011, 05:38:05 AM »
For what it's worth all I can find is one reference from Pintony that he changed the crossmember. Not one person can say if they pulled it off & how in any old posts.
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'80 hatch(Restoring to be my son's 1st car)~Callisto
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Offline PintoMan1

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Re: Front suspension differences pre-'74 versus '74 & later
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2011, 10:23:22 AM »
you just might have to change the cross member for the rack to bolt on i know that the '71-'72 racks bolt on differently and won't fit the '73 i would check the bolt patterns for the rack you have to the cross member you have i don't remember how the '74 is anymore (memory is getting real bad in the old age) but all in all i would say you would have to change the cross member
keep us posted on how you make out!
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Offline Pinto5.0

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Re: Front suspension differences pre-'74 versus '74 & later
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2011, 03:41:55 PM »
Well I bought the '73 today. It has front drums & the crossmember is going to need swapped. Everything is different from what I can tell. It has a manual rack(1 year only deal) as well as a 1 year only steering shaft & rag joint.
 
Since I have so much work ahead to swap it I may look into an aftermarket crossmember thats set up for air bags & I may just replace the front frame rails with 2x3 box tubing that runs all the way to the back bumper since I'm tubbing it.
 
Time to start another project thread.....Ugg ghhh!!!
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'76 Wagon driver
'80 hatch(Restoring to be my son's 1st car)~Callisto
'71 half hatch (bucket list Pinto)~Ghost
'72 sedan 5.0/T5~Lemon Squeeze

Offline PintoMan1

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Re: Front suspension differences pre-'74 versus '74 & later
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2011, 07:31:02 PM »
i thought it would be different wasen't sure about the 1 year thing.
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Offline Pinto5.0

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Re: Front suspension differences pre-'74 versus '74 & later
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2011, 05:39:26 PM »
The only reason I know about the 1 year only parts is Ebay listings. I have seen several used racks listed as '73 only & Flaming River lists this '71-'72 only rack
 
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/FLAMING-RIVER-1971-72-PINTO-MANUAL-STEERING-RACK-FR1501-/230674172163?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&fits=Model%3APinto&hash=item35b5408903
 
Cardone offers a rebuilt which only fits 1973
 
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Cardone-Industries-23-1710-/120779896881?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&fits=Model%3APinto%7CYear%3A1973&hash=item1c1f0af831
 
And of course the modern rack is always listed as '74-up leaving the '73 as a 1 year only piece.
 
I only went into this much detail in an effort to inform anyone with a '73 to beware of this issue. I didn't know it for sure till I bought my '73 & looked at it & it's definitely different from a '72.
 
I assume the shaft & rag are 1 year parts since the '73 splined shaft on the rack appears to be shorter than the '72. I've never measured one so I may be wrong here. The rack IS different however.
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Offline dave1987

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Re: Front suspension differences pre-'74 versus '74 & later
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2011, 01:53:08 AM »
I own a 73 station wagon. The rack and tie rods are all still good on it, nice and tight steering like my 78 is now with a brand new rack, tie rods and bushings!

What exactly is different from the 71-72 and the 73 front ends?

Do tierods (inner and outer) interchange?

Do the 71-71 vs. the 73 racks mount differently, or are they strapped on from above to the "shelf" of the cross member like my 73 is? I know that 74 and up are bolted on THROUGH the cross member and not on top of the front lip of it.

Would it be possible to put a universal joint on the rack to make up for the extra distance between the rack input shaft and the steering shaft?
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I am a Pinto Surgeon. Fixing problems and giving Pintos a chance to live again is more than a hobby, it's a passion!

Offline TIGGER

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Re: Front suspension differences pre-'74 versus '74 & later
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2011, 02:39:47 AM »
Yup, pretty much the 71-73 suspension is totally different than the 74 and up.  Not much will interchange.  Pretty much the only difference between the 71-73 suspension is the steering rack for the 73.  As mentioned above, it is a one year only rack.  The 73 rack is bigger and bulkyier than the 71-72 ones.  I'm not sure why they changed them?  My 73 hatch has a 72 rack in it now for clearance for the 2.3T.  As I understand it from my friend who did the conversion, he cut and rewelded in the 72 mounting brackets to the 73 and along with the rag joint, bolted it right in.
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Offline dave1987

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Re: Front suspension differences pre-'74 versus '74 & later
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2011, 03:39:59 AM »
So it IS possible. That is comforting to me so I know it's possible to keep the car on the road, even if not 100% original to it's year. Maybe I should invest in a spare rack for it while they are available, just in case.
1978 Ford Pinto Sedan - Family owned since new

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

Offline TIGGER

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Re: Front suspension differences pre-'74 versus '74 & later
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2011, 04:04:30 AM »
Yup, pretty much the 71-73 suspension is totally different than the 74 and up.  Not much will interchange.  Pretty much the only difference between the 71-73 suspension is the steering rack for the 73.  As mentioned above, it is a one year only rack.  The 73 rack is bigger and bulkyier than the 71-72 ones.  I'm not sure why they changed them?  My 73 hatch has a 72 rack in it now for clearance for the 2.3T.  As I understand it from my friend who did the conversion, he cut and rewelded in the 72 mounting brackets to the 73 and along with the rag joint, bolted it right in.

I forgot to mention that the tie rod ends are of a different diameter and my friend swapped the spindles as well.
79 4cyl Wagon
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Offline Pinto5.0

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Re: Front suspension differences pre-'74 versus '74 & later
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2011, 09:57:18 AM »
I forgot to mention that the tie rod ends are of a different diameter and my friend swapped the spindles as well.

So spindles are '73 specific too then & it's the rag joint rather than the whole shaft. That's good to know when I decide to sell some of this stuff off eventually.
 
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'80 hatch(Restoring to be my son's 1st car)~Callisto
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Re: Front suspension differences pre-'74 versus '74 & later
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2011, 07:10:23 PM »
i won't say for sure about the spindles because i put '74 and up on my '73 the only thing i had to do to them was have the tie rod end holes reemed out just alittle to fit the '73 tie rods ends.
oh! also the splindles i used were the 2" drop spindles
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