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Offline Alpine615

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1980 ESS Turbo Restomod
« on: May 21, 2012, 03:28:19 PM »
Hello everyone,
 
I have been a registered user of FordPinto.com for almost 9 years now, and this is my first post. I can remember the days of the animated braking and accelerating Pinto in the upper right corner of the homepage, complete with sound effects! While I have had a small presence over at TurboFord.org, for reasons unknown to me, I haven't been active here. Well, that is going to change right now. I recently read all 13 pages of r4pinto's 1977 project thread, and it motivated me to start writing down my thoughts, progress (and eventual failures) of my own project, a blue 1980 Runabout that I've dreamt of turbocharging for the last decade. It was only recently that I've had designs on making my baby a faux-ESS model, as I just happened to find some emblems on eBay. I am still looking for the ever-elusive all glass hatch, so if anyone out there has one for sale (plus the hardware), PM me or send me a note at snatkins5@gmail.com.
 
I came to love Pintos at an early age. My dad would drive me around in our 1980 Sedan on weekends to get haircuts, go to church (and then get donuts at a local bakery afterwards), etc. My older brother was given the keys when he got his license, and then he passed it down to my sister when he left for college. When she graduated high school, I was next in line but I would have to wait 2 years until I got my driver's permit. I spent some time doing minor improvements to our Pinto. I replaced burnt out light bulbs and fuses, had a CD player and speakers installed, and kept the car clean and waxed. Two months before my 16th birthday, my father sent the car to be tuned up (in anticipation of me taking the keys). When we got it back, my dad said "it was running better than it ever had." It ran so well, that he decided to take it to work one day, and while driving home, he was T-boned by someone running a stop sign. Thankfully, my dad was ok, but the car was totaled.
 
Needless to say, I was crushed. We had our mechanic salvage any parts he could from the car, in the hopes that if I ever did find another Pinto I could have some spares. Then one day, I was browsing the Ford Pinto Showcase's "Pintos for Sale" section (now defunct) and came across a beautiful, 1980 Runabout with under 30,000 original miles! The interior and exterior (same color - Bright Blue) were PERFECT! I couldn't believe it. The seller, a Mustang guy, said his wife was forcing him to sell one of his cars, and we nabbed it for $1000. It had a problem with stalling at low RPMs (especially when in reverse) but it got me to and from school during my senior year. And then, in the summer between my freshman and sophomore years of college, I decided that I would give this little Pony some much-needed upgrades...
 
After doing a lot of research on Turboford, I found an '88 Turbocoupe for sale in North Philly (about 35-40 minutes away) for $800. A friend and I pulled the 2.3 motor and T5 tranny out of that Tbird, as well as the 8.8" rear end (not sure why, though  :P ). We dismantled the engine, and had the block hot-tanked and bored .030", the crankshaft balanced and the head rebuilt with a Ranger roller cam by a local machine shop. We took care of the the rest. However, the engine still sits in my garage waiting to be installed in the car. Problem was, I didn't keep the old front sump oil pan! We were stuck. I couldn't find anyone selling one at the time, and summer was drawing to a close. I went back up to school, was broke from buying the Thunderbird, and the car (and engine) have sat in my parents' garage for almost a decade.
 
I've been intermittently searching for parts, but since graduating from college time and money have been scarce. I've had (and summarily been laid off from) 3 different jobs. A few years back, I was able to order a Pinto oil pan from a junkyard on car-part.com, but other than that, my situation hasn't allowed for any progress to be made. All the pan needs is a good blasting, a coat of paint, and it'll be ready to go.
 
Well, I am happy to say that I have found gainful employment once again, albeit it on a contract basis. The Pinto (and I) still reside at home with my parents, but they are starting to think about moving. I need to get some wheels back on this car, and soon. I am now making the time to work on my baby, and saving every penny I can towards the project.
 
Initially I was going to do a T5 swap, but recently decided I would keep the auto tranny for ease of mounting / no tunnel cutting. I thought the C3 that came with the car would be weak, so I picked up an increasingly rare C4 from a junkyard about 2 hours away. It was recently rebuilt by a local transmission shop with a Stage II shift kit and 2500 stall converter, and is ready to be bolted up.
 
I was told a while back that I'd want to swap out the 6-3/4" Pinto rear with an 8" unit from a Mustang II. Finding one with a posi was impossible, so since time is a factor on this project, I'm thinking of spending the money and having one built by a guy 30 minutes from me. Just need to scrape the cash together, once I figure out the tire issue (see below).
 
I am replacing most of the suspension system as well. All of the rusted parts have been removed, save for the strut rods. I purchased new control arms with urethane bushings, rear leafs, bushings and shackles, and 2 sets of KYB gas shocks (front and rear). The front coils are corroded, but they might clean up with some blasting and powder coating. Otherwise, I'll be looking to buy a pair of Eaton springs.
 
I still need to figure out the best tires to put on this car. I'll try to explain my thought process as best I can, concisely...
  * With turbo'd engine, I will want wider tires for traction and bigger brakes for stopping power
  * Wider tires and larger disc brakes up front require larger wheels
  * I know that the Wilwood 11" big brake kit will fit inside American Racing 15" Ansen Sprint rims (I love the vintage/stock look)
  * What size tires can I get for these wheels that won't rub the inner fender wells or suspension components??  :o
 
Still to come:
- Replace the IHI turbo that came from the Tbird with a Garrett T3/T4 hybrid
- FMIC
- Larger fuel injectors and Walbro 255lph fuel pump
- 65mm throttle body
- 3" exhaust
- Mega Squirt N Spark
- MSD Ignition
- Install Sports Instrumentatio n Package. I purchased the gauges, dashpad and sport steering wheel on eBay years ago, in the early 2000's
- Repair seat upholstery and install new carpeting (headliner is beautiful, even after 32 years)
- Install flip-open rear quarter windows, another eBay purchase
- Eventually I'd like to have the rust spots that have shown up taken care of (there are few, but the biggest is a quarter-sized hole in the passenger door) and have the car painted white (something about white with black trim accents and red center caps screams "sexy" to me)
- Full "ESS" paint job for car: black paint / powder coating for the sport mirrors, grille, headlamp doors, rear taillight panel, and windshield, door and window trim (finishing touch will be those emblems I mentioned earlier)
 
If you have made it this far, I congratulate you! I apologize for the lengthy post, but remember, I haven't posted once in 9 years, so I figured this might average it out.  ;D  If you can help me with my tire issue or have an all glass hatch for sale, please let me know.
 
I will try to post some pictures later tonight.
 
Thanks for reading!
-Steve
 
1980 Runabout

Offline dga57

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Re: 1980 ESS Turbo Restomod
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2012, 08:07:33 PM »
Hey Steve!
 
Even though you've been here for quite a while, I'll officially welcome you now that you've broken your long silence.  Loved the story of how you came to Pintos. 
 
Dwayne :)
Pinto Car Club of America - Serving the Ford Pinto enthusiast since 1999.

Offline Pinturbo75

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Re: 1980 ESS Turbo Restomod
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2012, 08:47:50 PM »
why not use the 8.8? i did in mine..... get the axles and drum brakes from a mustang, the mustang axles shorten the rear by3/4 inch each side..... either 7.5 or 8.8 the axles and brakes interchange between the two... strip the control arm mounts off it and weld on spring perches... that what i used...and im running 15x8 rims with 255-60-15s out back and they dont stick out the sides....its a good strong rear that is easy to get parts for...
75 turbo pinto trunk, megasquirt2, 133lb injectors, bv head, precision 6265 turbo, 3" exhaust,bobs log, 8.8, t5,, subframe connectors, 65 mm tb, frontmount ic, traction bars, 255 lph walbro,
73 turbo pinto panel wagon, ms1, 85 lb inj, fmic, holset hy35, 3" exhaust, msd, bov,

Offline Alpine615

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Re: 1980 ESS Turbo Restomod
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2012, 10:22:59 AM »
Hi Dwayne, thanks for the warm welcome! Did I read on r4pinto's project thread that you will be attending Carlisle this year? I will be there, most likely on Saturday, maybe even Sunday too.
 
Hey Steve, thanks for the tip! Your suggestion would definitely save me a lot cash. I remember in the course of my initial turbo research that the 8.8 rear could be modified to fit in the Pinto, but at this point I might just be looking for a bolt-in solution. Haha I just found this post on TFord...
 
http://forum.turboford.org/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=2;t=053764
 
Parents are aiming to list the house by mid-August and the Pinto is not the only thing on my plate.  :-\ I know where I could pick up the axle shafts, drums and perches, but it's the welding that worries me as I don't have the skills or the equipment. As you mention in that post, I would have to have that done professionally . I will look into this further, however, and let you know if I decide to go this route. As for Carlisle, do you have any plans to attend? I'd love to see your '75 sedan!
 
-Steve
 
PS - I spent my night cleaning off all the grime from the oil pan so I can have it blasted, so I didn't get a chance to post any pics. I'll make it a priority when I get off of work. I had forgotten about the small dings and dents in the pan and on the lip, and rediscovered them last night. When I do get to posting some pics, can anyone tell me if I should be concerned?
1980 Runabout

Offline dga57

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Re: 1980 ESS Turbo Restomod
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2012, 11:43:13 AM »
Hi Dwayne, thanks for the warm welcome! Did I read on r4pinto's project thread that you will be attending Carlisle this year? I will be there, most likely on Saturday, maybe even Sunday too.
 

Sorry... I usually try to make it to Carlisle, but won't be able to this year.  I'm pretty well tied up trying to be caregiver to my mother (Alzheimer's), sister (Spina Bifida), and wife (stroke).  I'm hoping things will get better eventually - I miss going to car shows.

Dwayne :)
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Offline r4pinto

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Re: 1980 ESS Turbo Restomod
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2012, 11:45:55 AM »
Wow Steve,  your Pinto story is definitely a cool one. Good luck with the mods to be done with your car. Hopefully it's in much better shape than my car was at first. I dunno how you managed to read my entire post but by hat's off to ya lol. The work on it never stops. My Dad & I will be doing to Carlisle again this year so I'll look for your car there. What area are you coming from?
Matt Manter
1977 Pinto sedan- Named Harold II after the first Pinto(Harold) owned by my mom. R.I.P mom- 1980 parts provider & money machine for anything that won't fit the 80
1980 Pinto Runabout- work in progress

Offline Alpine615

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Re: 1980 ESS Turbo Restomod
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2012, 01:17:33 PM »
Dwayne, I'm so sorry...
 
My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.
1980 Runabout

Offline Alpine615

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Re: 1980 ESS Turbo Restomod
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2012, 01:29:48 PM »
Hi Matt,
 
Unfortunately, with all of the things I need to get done, there is no chance my Pinto will be at Carlisle this year - I will just be there spectating. However, it is a goal of mine to not only register for Carlisle next year, but also join the Pinto Stampede!
 
As for your thread, it was definitely long, but it contained a lot of good information. "The work never stops" is an understatement, given all the things you had to tackle with your car, but Harold II looks great. I look forward to meeting the three of you (you, your dad and Harold) at Carlisle.
 
-Steve
1980 Runabout

Offline r4pinto

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Re: 1980 ESS Turbo Restomod
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2012, 02:17:07 PM »
We're glad to have ya here ;D  We all like to have fun & if the long threads help you out that's even better. I hear the stampede is a lot of fun & can tell you the Ford show at Carlisle is a blast.
Matt Manter
1977 Pinto sedan- Named Harold II after the first Pinto(Harold) owned by my mom. R.I.P mom- 1980 parts provider & money machine for anything that won't fit the 80
1980 Pinto Runabout- work in progress

Offline Alpine615

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Re: 1980 ESS Turbo Restomod
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2012, 11:05:49 PM »
These will have to do for now...


There are others I am thinking of and they might be on an old computer somewhere.



This image was selected for the 2004 calendar, I believe... (photo taken at Valley Forge Park)








Pulled into the garage, ready for dismantling... (notice the TC engine block on the stand wrapped in a trash bag  :P )



I don't remember the driver's seat looking that bad...



Perfect dashcap and steering wheel...



30,563.3




1980 Runabout

Offline dga57

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Re: 1980 ESS Turbo Restomod
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2012, 11:40:53 PM »
Nice looking car!  My family had a '79 Bobcat that color back in the day.
 
Dwayne :)
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Offline Alpine615

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Re: 1980 ESS Turbo Restomod
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2012, 09:28:32 AM »
Thanks Dwayne!  :)
 
Last night I tried getting the strut rods out but found that they just spin when unattached.  ::)  Tried jamming a spare tired in between the strut and the frame, but no go. I think I'll need to temporarily attach the lower control arm, and then bolt the strut to it, to get it out. Dumb mistake, should've loosened it first before removing the rest.
 
And come to think of it, the first photo might have been in the 2005 calendar,not 2004. I still have it somewhere, probably in storage.
 
Hope everyone has a great day!
-Steve
1980 Runabout

Offline r4pinto

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Re: 1980 ESS Turbo Restomod
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2012, 11:28:36 AM »
Wow that car is sharp! Perfect dash is one thing but perfect steering wheel? Nice!! You got a real gem there. No rust I take?
Matt Manter
1977 Pinto sedan- Named Harold II after the first Pinto(Harold) owned by my mom. R.I.P mom- 1980 parts provider & money machine for anything that won't fit the 80
1980 Pinto Runabout- work in progress

Offline Alpine615

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Re: 1980 ESS Turbo Restomod
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2012, 12:40:38 PM »
Unfortunately, even though it's been garaged for the last 9 years, it does have a little bit of rust in the places you'd expect... along the wheel wells, the rockers, and the corners of the doors. The underbody was coated in Quaker State MetalGard (the rear quarter windows proudly display stickers) so the floor boards are clean, thankfully. I know you've dealt with rusty floors, and that does not look fun at all!
 
There are some minor dents on the body from the previous owner, so I was planning on having work done anyway, this will just end up adding to the cost.  :-\
 
However, I know it could be worse...
1980 Runabout

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Re: 1980 ESS Turbo Restomod
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2012, 02:39:29 PM »
nice wheels man. looks good for its age. tho i love the Alpine sterio =D

Offline Alpine615

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Re: 1980 ESS Turbo Restomod
« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2012, 03:02:47 PM »
Thanks 75bobcat!
 
I needed that thing in high school, as the factory AM/FM radio was crap. Funny thing is, I don't own CDs anymore! I do have an Alpine "media player" in my daily driver, that I will swap over once this car is up and running again.
1980 Runabout

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Re: 1980 ESS Turbo Restomod
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2012, 02:26:18 AM »
im running a pioneer deh-1800 atm. i will be adding 2 8in subs in the back of the wagon in subZERO boxes =D

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Re: 1980 ESS Turbo Restomod
« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2012, 08:29:44 AM »
So I know I still haven't posted pics of my oil pan, but I'm thinking I'd like to ask around the board and see if anyone has an extra they'd be willing to sell. I will also create a post on the Parts Wanted forum. Please contact me at snatkins5@gmail.com.
 
Thanks!
-Steve
1980 Runabout

Offline Alpine615

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Re: 1980 ESS Turbo Restomod
« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2012, 01:45:11 PM »
why not use the 8.8? i did in mine..... get the axles and drum brakes from a mustang, the mustang axles shorten the rear by3/4 inch each side..... either 7.5 or 8.8 the axles and brakes interchange between the two... strip the control arm mounts off it and weld on spring perches... that what i used...and im running 15x8 rims with 255-60-15s out back and they dont stick out the sides....its a good strong rear that is easy to get parts for...

Hey Pinturbo,

Where did you cut your axle housing? At the flange end or somewhere in the middle of the tubes and weld back together? It's been awhile since I've looked at my 8.8, so I'm wondering how you accounted for the axle bearings near the ends of the housing.

Also, as I mentioned earlier, I don't have the skills of equipment to cut and weld, so will any capable machine shop be able to do this for me? Or do I need to look for a speciality shop?

Thanks!
1980 Runabout

Offline racer99

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Re: 1980 ESS Turbo Restomod
« Reply #19 on: May 29, 2012, 04:21:57 PM »
You dont even have to cut the axle tubes.Our 71 IMSA RS Pinto
has a stock length Fox  7.5 under it. With the factory 10 holes
(15 x 7) we run a 9.5x23.5 cantaliever sidewall om them.

Offline Pinturbo75

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Re: 1980 ESS Turbo Restomod
« Reply #20 on: May 29, 2012, 06:26:10 PM »
like 99 said, you dont need to cut the axle,   just cut off all the mounts for the fox body control arms and weld on some spring perches....mat ch the pinion angle of the origonal rear end and mount it up... with mustang drum brakes even the parking brake cables work..
75 turbo pinto trunk, megasquirt2, 133lb injectors, bv head, precision 6265 turbo, 3" exhaust,bobs log, 8.8, t5,, subframe connectors, 65 mm tb, frontmount ic, traction bars, 255 lph walbro,
73 turbo pinto panel wagon, ms1, 85 lb inj, fmic, holset hy35, 3" exhaust, msd, bov,

Offline Alpine615

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Re: 1980 ESS Turbo Restomod
« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2012, 02:18:56 PM »
Thanks racer and pinturbo for your replies. Sorry for my delay in responding, but this is something I will definitely look into as it could save me a lot of $$$ over having a custom 8" rear built.
 
A quick update on my project:
 
I gave my Pinto a much needed bath about two weeks ago, and it's amazing how nicely she cleaned up. I somehow feel more motivated than ever to get to work on her, seeing her all shiny again.
 
I was also able to remove the strut rods by temporarily re-attaching the lower control arms and using my electric impact wrench. They appear to OK, only a minor amount of corrosion. Hopefully they'll clean up with a little bit of blasting...
 
...Which is why I recently purchased an air compressor and some tools so that I can blast the surface rust from some of the rear suspension hardware as well (upper and lower shock mounting plates, etc.) My intention is to get all those parts as clean as possible, and then have them powder coated. Once everything is coated, I'll swap in the new control arms, leaf springs and front & rear shocks. Polyurethane all around up front too...
 
-------------------------------------------------
Finally, to all of those I met at Carlisle:
 
Matt, it was a pleasure to meet you and your dad. I hope you made it back to Ohio safely...
 
Norm, it was good to see you on Friday. Although, where were you on Saturday? I didn't see you or the Boss Pinto and I returned to PCCA tent 2 or 3 times!  :)
 
Phil, I hope my contribution to the WWP helps, and seeing your "museum quality" Pinto was the highlight of the weekend...
 
To Harold, Skip and Bill, I know you aren't on the boards much, but if you read this, please know it was my absolute pleasure to meet and speak with you. I will definitely stay in touch for advice, encouragement, etc...
 
-Steve
1980 Runabout

Offline r4pinto

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Re: 1980 ESS Turbo Restomod
« Reply #22 on: June 04, 2012, 11:05:31 PM »
Steve, it was great to meet you at Carlisle this past weekend. Dad & I made it back to Ohio just fine. The car is undergoing some brake work before I drive it again. Looking forward to hearing more about your car.  ;D
Matt Manter
1977 Pinto sedan- Named Harold II after the first Pinto(Harold) owned by my mom. R.I.P mom- 1980 parts provider & money machine for anything that won't fit the 80
1980 Pinto Runabout- work in progress

Offline Pinturbo75

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Re: 1980 ESS Turbo Restomod
« Reply #23 on: June 05, 2012, 10:50:50 AM »
just a quick question,,,, i re-read your initial post and you said you did a 30 over bore.... what pistons did you use?  im hoping not hypers....... they are not suitable for a turbo app... even if the machine shop said they would work they wont.....so hopefully you got some forged ones in there....
75 turbo pinto trunk, megasquirt2, 133lb injectors, bv head, precision 6265 turbo, 3" exhaust,bobs log, 8.8, t5,, subframe connectors, 65 mm tb, frontmount ic, traction bars, 255 lph walbro,
73 turbo pinto panel wagon, ms1, 85 lb inj, fmic, holset hy35, 3" exhaust, msd, bov,

Offline Alpine615

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Re: 1980 ESS Turbo Restomod
« Reply #24 on: June 05, 2012, 02:36:07 PM »
just a quick question,,,, i re-read your initial post and you said you did a 30 over bore.... what pistons did you use?  im hoping not hypers....... they are not suitable for a turbo app... even if the machine shop said they would work they wont.....so hopefully you got some forged ones in there....

Yarghhh, that they are. Chalk it up to inexperience at age 18, I guess... ::)
 
I just searched quickly and found a bunch of forged pistons at Summit, but I would gladly accept advice on the best brand/vendor...
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Offline Pinturbo75

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Re: 1980 ESS Turbo Restomod
« Reply #25 on: June 05, 2012, 05:05:51 PM »
me personally, im running weisco flat=tops BUT!!!! im running a standalone ecu and e85... so i have a way to tune for my setup... if youre using a stock ecu id look for a set of either diamond or cp pistons..... both are nice quality... cp is more expensive.... if youre using stock rods id just give them a call, most of their off the shelf pistons are for floating rods.....
speedpro pistons shown on summit havent been made for nearly 5 years now even though they show them on the site...... soooo.... take a look at what i suggested and figure what you can afford.... theyre gonna be near 500 with rings...
75 turbo pinto trunk, megasquirt2, 133lb injectors, bv head, precision 6265 turbo, 3" exhaust,bobs log, 8.8, t5,, subframe connectors, 65 mm tb, frontmount ic, traction bars, 255 lph walbro,
73 turbo pinto panel wagon, ms1, 85 lb inj, fmic, holset hy35, 3" exhaust, msd, bov,

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Re: 1980 ESS Turbo Restomod
« Reply #26 on: June 08, 2012, 11:09:56 AM »
Huzzah! Thank God I took pictures!
 

 
Had to rotate the image 180, but if you were to zoom in on the pic, the piston reads 'L2500F 75MM', which when looked up on the Fed Mogul site, comes out to be a forged piston. Whew!  ::)
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Offline Pinturbo75

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Re: 1980 ESS Turbo Restomod
« Reply #27 on: June 08, 2012, 11:39:31 AM »
cool deal,,,,, youre golden then.......
75 turbo pinto trunk, megasquirt2, 133lb injectors, bv head, precision 6265 turbo, 3" exhaust,bobs log, 8.8, t5,, subframe connectors, 65 mm tb, frontmount ic, traction bars, 255 lph walbro,
73 turbo pinto panel wagon, ms1, 85 lb inj, fmic, holset hy35, 3" exhaust, msd, bov,

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Re: 1980 ESS Turbo Restomod
« Reply #28 on: June 19, 2012, 11:00:22 AM »
Does anyone know what the orange bushing is called that is crumbling in my hands in the picture below? I took this picture while disconnecting the steering column from the steering rack. I've searched on RockAuto and can't seem to find it, but it is apparent I will need a new one!
 


Edit: Added a second image.

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Offline Pinto5.0

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Re: 1980 ESS Turbo Restomod
« Reply #29 on: June 19, 2012, 11:14:50 AM »
That WAS your steering coupler. It's also called a rag joint. Someone on here may know the part number but it's one of those HELP packages at the parts store. They have several different bolt spacings. The ones I found on Ebay required a minor elongation of the holes but thats no big deal.
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