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Author Topic: A winter project on one of the 71's  (Read 4532 times)

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Offline fozzy

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A winter project on one of the 71's
« on: February 10, 2014, 06:09:47 PM »
It's been a while since I posted anything here on the site.

Just after New Year's I got my car in the shop finally and started work on the long list of changes and upgrades.
I bought this car almost a year ago from a local guy who had brought it up from California.
It was for sale up here for a long time, I kept the info and called the guy months later and he still had it, sweet!!
http://www.fordpinto.com/general-pinto-talk/looking-for-the-history-of-this-1971-pinto/msg134530/#msg134530

My winter project includes making room for 275/50/15 ET street radials in an effort to get traction, welding a steel cowl onto the hood, pull the engine and transmission out and a box full of MSD ignition parts. I had a push rod break due to wear on the guide plate so a good look inside the engine is high on the list. The transmission oil is like mud so I'll pull that apart and clean it out and take care of a couple leaks at the same time..... All sounds pretty simple right.... ;D

I picked up a pair of Weld Drag lite wheels for the rear and mounted up the 275's. The plan is to keep the tires tucked into the rear wheel well. I'm going to move the leaf springs inboard and will end up cutting a minor bit of sheet metal in the forward side of the wheel wells.







I welded in a rear cross member and marked the hole location to re-attach the spring shackles.





I contemplated different ways to re-mount the front spring hangars and decided to weld in sub frame connectors like the ones the late vonkeysmeed did on his car. This will give me a strong attachment point for the front of the leaf springs.
This is a link to pictures that Brian posted when he did his sub frame connectors
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=282289&id=348192476964

I knew the floor pan was bent, either from being jacked up on the front sub frame or by torque trying to fold the car in half. In reality it was probably a bit of both. With the seats and carpet out I was able to survey the situation and make a plan. The previous owners had added sub frame connectors that attach the rear spring hangars and the front clip but swing outward and run along the bottom of the rocker panel. With a long piece of channel iron strung across under the car I was able to pull the floor back into place with some large redi-rod.
Before:


The fix:




After a couple hours of tinkering:


It's a work in progress at this point. I'll do my best to keep a picture record and post up the progress.

Online Reeves1

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Re: A winter project on one of the 71's
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2014, 04:48:18 AM »
Forget what Province you live in ?
What town is near by ?
Shoot me a PM ?

Offline fozzy

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Re: A winter project on one of the 71's
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2014, 03:50:17 AM »
We got a little dose of winter which doesn't happen often here so I stoked the wood stove when spare time permitted and got some more work done.



Using the existing holes in the floor as a reference I marked the cut lines with the aid of a laser and cut the passenger side out first. I decided to do one side at a time to keep flex and movement of the chassis to a minimum. The existing sub frame connectors that run from the suspension outboard to the rocker sill and back in are doing a pretty good job of keeping things straight.


Below where the rear seat would have been,  is a dishpan shape depression in the floor. The new inboard spring hanger is going to interfere with the floor so it must go and in doing so will also make it easy to attach the spring hanger to the sub frame connector at the same time. Again I used the laser to mark out the cut line for this piece. In the same picture you can see the dark blue line where the floor sheet metal sits now and where the floor was cut previously. The excess material here will be cut out and the new sheet metal above the third member will be welded in rather than pop riveted in. The existing sheet metal is galvanized and although I dont mind drinking milk I'd rather not weld galvanized so these sheet metal parts will be used as templates for mild steel.





Welding the sub frame connector in isnt too bad of a task, just time consuming. Welding that thin sheet metal to the tubing is a treat! It isnt real pretty although I have no doubt that it will never go anywhere :) It will get a bit of seam sealer and hide under the carpet anyway.


After the subframe connector was welded in it was time to finish cutting the square dish pan shaped piece out.

I then made a template for the next piece that the leaf spring hanger will be welded to. I marked the cut line for this piece also with the aid of the laser and shot across and marked both sides at the same time from under the car in the pit and matched the angle of the front edge. (The front edge of the front spring hanger is angled back) Boy oh boy, that laser sure makes it easy to mark out lines over uneven surfaces on the same plane!

The plasma cutter makes short work of cutting the 3/16 plate to match the template.


Here is the 3/16 plate sitting in place


Thats all for now.. I made the template for the next piece, didn't take a pic of it yet or cut the new piece out...




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Re: A winter project on one of the 71's
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2014, 04:39:22 AM »
Was the car really lowered lots ?
Never seen the floor cut for a diff before.

Offline fozzy

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Re: A winter project on one of the 71's
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2014, 09:04:12 AM »
Was the car really lowered lots ?
Never seen the floor cut for a diff before.

Yes it has been lowered for sure, just how much, I'm not sure.

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Re: A winter project on one of the 71's
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2014, 09:37:33 PM »
Mine was lowered. The 9" clears OK.
I will be raising mine back up some though.

Offline fozzy

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Re: A winter project on one of the 71's
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2014, 03:25:55 PM »
There is about 1.5 inches from the top of the diff housing to where the floor would have been. It would have been pretty tight all around.
As it sits now there is a 2" lowering block in the rear.

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Re: A winter project on one of the 71's
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2014, 04:09:22 PM »
i did my frame conectors the same way but i plug welded the front subframe a few times on the bottom to give it a little more hold plus i tied the frame in front and back to the rockers btw nice job  8)
 
brad :)

Offline fozzy

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Re: A winter project on one of the 71's
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2014, 09:49:27 PM »
i did my frame conectors the same way but i plug welded the front subframe a few times on the bottom to give it a little more hold plus i tied the frame in front and back to the rockers btw nice job  8)
 
brad :)

I haven't done it yet but also plan on plug welding the bottom in a couple spots. The existing sub frame connectors that run along the bottom of the rocker panel will get tied into these as well as a bolt in cross member under the driveshaft.. Slow progress but it is coming along..