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Author Topic: Born 1974 - Died 1996 Resurrected 2021-2022?  (Read 1927 times)

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Offline PintoRoyL

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Born 1974 - Died 1996 Resurrected 2021-2022?
« on: February 01, 2021, 09:21:27 PM »
Hello Pinto friends. I originally found and joined this site a couple of years ago, but was not ready to do a build project on my '74 Runabout. I have owned this car since November 1 of 1981. For the most part, it was a good and reliable vehicle for me. Some time around 83-84 one of the cylinder walls cracked, necessitating an engine replacement. While I was at it, I converted from an automatic to manual transmission. Shortly thereafter, I also had the car painted white, whereas it was originally an avocado green color (seats and headliner remain green to this day). In 1988, I drove from southern California to the area around Seattle, Washington. It burned a piston in 1996 and I pushed it into the garage where it has not moved from until I cleaned the garage last summer. I recently acquired a 2.3L turbo with automatic transmission that I am looking forward to installing. I have never owned a  turbo vehicle before, so I will be asking a lot of questions and learning about both turbo chargers and also fuel injection.  The engine reportedly came from an 88-89 Tbird. It looks complete, but without wiring harness and computer.

Offline PintoRoyL

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Re: Born 1974 - Died 1996 Resurrected 2021-2022?
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2021, 03:26:54 PM »
Unable to post/preview photos. I have reduced pics to less than 1mb each. Can someone help me with instructions for attaching photos. Is there a required number of posts before I am able to include photos?

Offline PintoRoyL

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Re: Born 1974 - Died 1996 Resurrected 2021-2022?
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2021, 03:32:19 PM »
OK, I see that they do not show in preview, even though they are there. Those two pics were from July 3, 2020 when I drug the car out of the garage for the first time in nearly 24 years.
These two are from last week when I started this thread.

Offline Wittsend

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Re: Born 1974 - Died 1996 Resurrected 2021-2022?
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2021, 04:10:13 PM »
Hello, Welcome. The T-Bird Turbo Coupes were from 1983-88. So, you likely have an 87-88 engine. They were better in that they have bigger injectors, bigger VAM, were intercooled and rated at 190 HP (Manual). They have a smaller turbo (quicker spool up time) but some think it gives up too soon on air. The LA-2, LA-3 were the Manual designated computers for the 87-88 cars (Don't know the Automatics). Unfortunately the 87-88 wiring harness is a total mess. As I recall you can use other harnesses (The Merkur was stand alone) BUT.. ("Warning Will Robinson"), they are NOT pinned the same!!! So, you have to get that right. Remember even the newest Turbo Coupe (88) is now 33 years old and many of these parts aren't so easy to find. Others have used aftermarket computers.

 Turbo Ford (if it is still out there), NATO and The Ranger Station are good sites for Turbo stuff. Being your car is a '74 it is a lot easier than a 71-73 fitment wise. I have a 2 part post titled "So you want to build a turbo Pinto" but frankly a lot of it is the difficulties of adapting the 2.3T into a 71-73 car. Regardless http://www.fordpinto.com/general-pinto-talk/so-you-want-to-build-a-turbo-pinto-part-1/msg76893/#msg76893 All the best in your build.

Offline 71pintoracer

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Re: Born 1974 - Died 1996 Resurrected 2021-2022?
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2021, 03:56:59 PM »
There is also a forum here dedicated to turbo swaps. My car has a Ron Francis wiring harness and is way easier than trying to figure out a factory harness.
If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?

Offline PintoRoyL

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Re: Born 1974 - Died 1996 Resurrected 2021-2022?
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2021, 12:27:01 PM »
Thank you wittsend for the links. Good article, well writen.

71pintoracer, thank you for the tio on the wiring harness. I will look into that .

Offline 65ShelbyClone

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Re: Born 1974 - Died 1996 Resurrected 2021-2022?
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2021, 10:38:45 AM »
If your engine has an IHI turbo, top-mount intercooler, valve cover with a dip in the middle, and brown-top injectors, then it is definitely an '87-88 T-bird version. Longblocks were all the same from '83-89 except for one of the intake manifold bolt holes.
'72 Runabout - 2.3T, T5, MegaSquirt-II, 8", 5-lugs, big brakes.
'68 Mustang - Built roller 302, Toploader, 9", etc.

Offline PintoRoyL

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Re: Born 1974 - Died 1996 Resurrected 2021-2022?
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2021, 10:08:49 PM »
65ShelbyClone,
I thank you for the identification info.
I have been trying to post some pics of the injectors. They look like black ones to me.

Offline 65ShelbyClone

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Re: Born 1974 - Died 1996 Resurrected 2021-2022?
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2021, 10:14:12 PM »
That's the connector. I can't see the injector.
Black injectors are usually aftermarket replacements.
'72 Runabout - 2.3T, T5, MegaSquirt-II, 8", 5-lugs, big brakes.
'68 Mustang - Built roller 302, Toploader, 9", etc.

Offline PintoRoyL

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Re: Born 1974 - Died 1996 Resurrected 2021-2022?
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2021, 08:19:33 AM »
I haven't done much yet with the Pinto, except look at it in the driveway. With spring in the air, I got the lawn mower going for this year, a few branches trimmed from some of the trees, and then the battery on my daily suddenly went bad. Most of the yardwork chores are now at a sustainable level, though those dandelions are fast growers this time of year. My thoughts yesterday were, "why don't I just drop the replacement 2.3L in, and get it running as a naturally aspirated engine, then see what other systems need work after sitting for almost 25 years". That strategy would get the car drivable while I read to learn more about fuel injection and turbo charged systems. Since my daily ('78 GMC Caballero) is my main project, the Pinto is less important to my day to day life, and going the simpler build route at this time would be the way to keep me motivated in the shorter term.
Some questions for those of you who own 2.3turbo motors: 1) Can I pull my existing flywheel from a '78 2.3 non turbo to use on an '87-88 turbo engine? 2) Are there any changes to a 2000 Mustang World Class T5 trans to be made before bolting to an '87-88 2.3turbo Tbird engine?
I appreciate responses, and advice, that those of you who are more familiar with your Pinto's are, than I am with mine.
I am aware that I will need a pilot bushing, and a bellhousing swap. Any other things to expect, or watch out for? Maybe a hydraulic clutch conversion?

Offline Wittsend

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Re: Born 1974 - Died 1996 Resurrected 2021-2022?
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2021, 11:15:07 AM »

I don't know about the flywheel. Often when there is a question I will look up associated parts (in this case clutch disc, pressure plate) and see if they vary over the years span. It isn't a foolproof method but it would give you some idea.


The 2.3 used a specific T-5 noted for its 1st gear (some say 3.97 others 4.01). It has a LONGER input shaft than other versions. The V-8 version had a shorter shaft. I don't know if an extended pilot bearing is available..., or would work. There is caution regarding the throwout bearing possibly hitting an extended bearing (when depressed). A proper disc size/spline might be an issue too. The T-5 after 1995 was only available with the V6. The 94/95 T-5's had a longer (but not proper for a 2.3) input shaft. Other issues were an electric speedometer, in bellhousing hydraulic slave cylinder and flange instead of slip yoke driveshaft connection at the transmission.


It gets even crazier when you start to look at the GM T-5's (Nissan used it for a few years too). GM canted the whole transmission at an angle. And at one point GM went to the Ford belhousing pattern. At least in V-8 applications the GM T-5 was predominantly a 2.95 1st gear trans but they didn't go world class until 1988.


Basically you need an 85 (beginning of world class) to 93 2.3/T-5. But the newest of those in now 28 years old and can be as old as 36 years. Happy Hunting. When I did my Turbo Coupe drivetrain swap back in 2008 it made sense. I had already owned the donor car for 10 years. But I think today some of the more modern engine are likely a better swap. Unfortunately oil pan to crossmember and adaptable transmissions are an issue. And the most likely transmissions are truck transmissions.


https://www.moderndriveline.com/the-many-different-faces-of-the-t5/

Offline PintoTim2

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Re: Born 1974 - Died 1996 Resurrected 2021-2022?
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2021, 01:58:18 PM »
I would not use a Mustang T5 due to the mentioned 1st gear ratio.  Besides a good one is HARD to find used.  Turbocoupe T5 trans is the way to go - but the 83-86 Turbocoupe bellhousing is the one you need for a cable clutch (got mine on EvilBay).  I have found it easier to find a turbocoupe T5 since the Mustang crowd doesn't want them.  The flywheels are the same dimensions for all the 2.3.   The "2000 MY" T5 might be for a V6 ??  I don't know what the input shaft and bolt pattern looks like and if it will fit a 2.3L bellhousing.

Offline Wittsend

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Re: Born 1974 - Died 1996 Resurrected 2021-2022?
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2021, 06:25:01 PM »
Good that you mentioned the 83-86 bellhousing for the bell-crank cable hook up. It skipped my mind even though I had to get one for my '88. A minor point but there is the need to get the clutch cable over the crossmember. Some just use various construction framing brackets from the big box home improvement store. I made up a mount that fits in the existing hole. I designed it with an anti rotate (visible below the nut) incase it ever came loose using the existing (single) hole.

Lastly seating position is different for everyone but the stock T/C shift had me punching the dash and a very awkward motion. I cut and elevated the shifter into two or three parts (took numerous try's before it felt anywhere near normal) and then rewelded it. It still isn't as good as it was in the T/C but it is a WHOLE lot better than before.

 To quote my mother in law "Oh, Yea..., and another thing....." The trans mount needs to be reversed and holes slotted. I don't know if the manual early cars used the same round rubber mount but I am still using mine from the C-4.  "Oh, Yea..., and another-other thing....." the driveshaft will probably not be the proper length. I was fortunate. My '73 C-4 / Auto trans / 6-3/4" shaft fit perfectly when I went to the T-5 and an 8" rearend. I'd find what ratios are in the rear end before jumping to a T-5. They could be 2.79 and then it would surely bog and negate the swap. I run 3.40's on 13" tires and it is just about right. If the car will have tall tires 3.55 might be better.


Offline PintoRoyL

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Re: Born 1974 - Died 1996 Resurrected 2021-2022?
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2021, 08:30:41 AM »
All good points to ponder, thank you. I did check on some of the part numbers, primarily for the input shaft. The input shaft is different for sure, but that can be changed easy enough in just a couple of hours on the bench while the trans is already out. It would be primarily the length of the shaft that I need to know,  that would tell me whether I must use an adapter/spacer plate between the eng/trans. The trans/rear gearing, as you said, is a must to keep in mind also. I did the input shaft swap on a t5 from a '92 S10 pickup connected to a Chev 307 that I am running in my daily driver GMC Caballero.

Offline 65ShelbyClone

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Re: Born 1974 - Died 1996 Resurrected 2021-2022?
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2021, 12:38:36 PM »
The input shaft is different for sure, but that can be changed easy enough in just a couple of hours on the bench while the trans is already out. It would be primarily the length of the shaft that I need to know,  that would tell me whether I must use an adapter/spacer plate between the eng/trans.
Yeah, but the input shaft is part of the first gear ratio. You'll need one that matches the current ratio (whatever that may be) and fits a 2.3, which may or may not exist. There were at least three different versions of the 2.3 input shaft alone; the one in mine has a 4.03 first gear. '87-88 had a 3.97 and '85-86 SVOs had a 3.50. The only bellhousing adapter I know of is one that adapts a pre-'94 5.0 V8 T5 to the 2.3 block.

A note on shifter positions: the only T5 that doesn't require cutting the shifter hole is a Camaro version that Wittsend mentioned. The problem there is that the rear mount/crossmember needs more fabrication due to being on a weird angle. I think there are also some late '70s direct-pull bellhousings that fit on T5s so the cable doesn't hit the front crossmember, but I don't recall what the engineering numbers are.
'72 Runabout - 2.3T, T5, MegaSquirt-II, 8", 5-lugs, big brakes.
'68 Mustang - Built roller 302, Toploader, 9", etc.

Offline Wittsend

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Re: Born 1974 - Died 1996 Resurrected 2021-2022?
« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2021, 02:31:41 PM »
65SC is correct. It is just not swapping out the input shaft because the 1st gear is attached to it. The easiest solution is finding a 85-93 2.3 T-5. And if your fortunate the bellhousing will be the one you need. Mine came from '86 Turbo Coupe.


 But as I mentioned above these are 28-36 year old transmissions. I did my swap back in 2008. At that time I would often find three to five T/C's in the two Self Serve yards in the San Fernando Valley area outside Los Angeles. It seemed like within 6 months I was fortunate to find one to three, then at times one infrequently and by 2015 I don't think I found another one even though I went once a month. So, if a 'large population/cars lasting longer' area like Los Angeles has long been depleted it must be a lesser chance in smaller markets.


I say this somewhat hesitantly. The V-8 T-5 and proper adaptation MIGHT be an easier route. Obviously the shaft is too short but fabrication of an extended throw out bearing..., or a hard press fit on the end of the input shaft of a shaft extender is at least something to ponder. The problems I potentially see are the extended throwout bearing being encroaching on the clutch disc center hub. With a shaft extender the the stability might be an issue. The reason I said MIGHT (above) is that I have been looking for a V-8 T-5 for my Sunbeam Tiger and those older Mustangs like the T/C's aren't around much..., if not at all. I'm not trying to be the voice of gloom just stating the realities. If you feel inclined to overcome those, all the best.

Offline 65ShelbyClone

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Re: Born 1974 - Died 1996 Resurrected 2021-2022?
« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2021, 03:03:13 PM »
Two other options are to change the cluster gear to match the input shaft (in other words, tear the trans completely apart and invest a lot of money) or look for a T9 out of a Merkur. A T9 is based on the Pinto 4spd and doesn't require cutting or fabrication AFAIK. The problem is that they're even harder to find than a good 4cyl T5 and they're not as strong either. I spent a few months looking in SoCal and saw a single one covered in grease and "might" need a rebuild for $600.

I remember when people would keep blowing-up their T5s instead of upgrading because they could find a cheap junkyard T5 on any given weekend. Long gone are those days.
'72 Runabout - 2.3T, T5, MegaSquirt-II, 8", 5-lugs, big brakes.
'68 Mustang - Built roller 302, Toploader, 9", etc.