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Online Dtmix

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My pandemic project!
« on: November 14, 2020, 11:21:36 AM »
Two scores and three weeks ago,ummm,oh, yeah, this is a Pinto website not a Lincoln  one! My bad...

Anyway, I purchased my first Pinto as a high school senior, a 1979 station wagon with the exterior decor group (not a woody) with a 2.3 liter 4-banger and a stick shift. It had the paint option of Medium Red Glow. I purchased it from my dad's colleague at Hancock AFB when it was a year old, as he got himself a bigger car. It proved to be an awesome car for a kid going away to college! It carried all of my worldly goods back and forth between home and the University every summer recess. Not to mention all the road trips up and down the coast to visit college chums, girlfriends, and road trips on spring break!

Needless to say, I ended up trading it in for a Toyota Corona, which was also a great car...but that's another story for a different day! Since then, I regretted selling the Pinto as it was my first car...just like your first love! I have kept in touch with my friends over the years, and without fail, they would bring up my Pinto! We all had great times and memories!

Two years ago, I started looking for my first car and was not surprised that it was no longer around being a car in the Salt state of New York. Therefore, I did a national search across the country using many websites and search engines of reputable car clubs and magazines like Hemmings. My first car color was no where to be found! I did come across two. One was a basket case Runabout, and the other was a hot-Rodded Wagon with a blank Cruising Wagon panels.  I have nothing against retsomods and hot-rods as they are unique and mostly well-crafted, but I wanted a stock wagon just like my first car...I finally expanded my search to include all colors and did inquire on two...a red wagon in Michigan and a brown one in Palm Beach, and had both inspected by a classic car appraisal firm.

When both inspections passed my standards, things became rather challenging! The red one was priced at 6000 and it was restored as new. As I made an offer, I learned that he decided to consign the car with a classic car dealer. The price doubled. As I attempted to meet them half way between the old and new price, another classic car dealer in Sarasota brought it as I called to finalize the deal. That car price is now nearly $16,000 and still remains for sale there. A nice car, but I bowed out. I moved on to the Hemmings Motor News ad in Palm Beach. Nice guy, but he was firm with his $15k asking price and the inspection shown that I would need to do additional work (weatherstrippi ng, tank draining, minor mechanical work like a tune up). I decided to bite the bullet and said that I would do the deal...he would not do escrow that I wanted to do to protect both sides. He may be honest, but after hearing so many horrific stories, I withdrew.

I was in despair thinking that I would never find one...and ready to throw in the towel...when I decided to look again and to my surprise I found an ad of a private sale of a 1980 Pinto Squire Wagon in Venice, Florida several miles from my dads house. I called my brother and sister in law to take a look at it. It was priced reasonably leaving lots of room for any additional work it may have needed. Long story short...the seller lived a hour from me here in Ohio and the car is her Florida car in Venice. I tried to upload 4 pictures for your viewing, but the box popped up saying it does not allow JPEG. How do I convert it from JPEG to JPG format???

It is in very good condition as I purchased it from a 86 year old lady who inherited it from a 91 year old friend who died. It spend its life in Florida as a snowbird's winter car after the first year in Ohio. The body is amazingly rust free, and the interior is nearly immaculate other than the faded carpet. I plan to either re dye or replace the carpet and the vinyl sidewalls in the cargo bay as they are really faded. The color is Vaquero (H2) which is sort of reddish brown and impossible to find the carpet in that color. I was able to locate the carpet with SMS Auto Fabrics in Canby, Oregon.

I was amazed that I found NOS wood siding at Green Sales in Cincinnati. I plan to strip the faded siding and replace with the new one. The paint is in really good condition so I plan to leave it as is (Bright Bittersweet 2G). Mechanically, it runs well when warmed up...but when started cold, it sounds like an old geezer with COPD! I think I am spoiled by fuel injection these days so it was like a shock at first! I had to retrain myself in starting procedures as unlike a fuel injection engine, I have to turn the key on, not start, and pump slowly three or four times and then start. Its starts right up and you don't have to do the steps to start the car again until the next day as it starts fine as a warmed engine.

I completed a tune up, replaced all the fluids, gaskets, filters, PCV, and the like. Hopefully that will improve the cold starts. As it was a Florida car, the previous owner's mechanic bypassed the heater core, as they apparently don't need heat. I plan to reinstall it and hopefully there is no problem with the heater box as there must be a reason of bypassing it? I plan to replace both if needed be in the Spring while doing the AC recharge/conversion.

As the auto-shipping firm damaged the lower front valance panel loading or unloading the car, I faced the task of seeking a replacement. I was unsuccessful in doing so with dismantling yards, eBay, NOS parts retailers, and the like. It was frustrating as the panel as whole was in very good condition with the bolt holes on one side broken off. I saw on this Pinto website about Showcars Unlimited in Foxboro, Ontario. I contacted him and he sells spoilers but had no valance panels as he was unable to find one that was not damaged to create a mold. I explained about mine, and he was excited as he wanted one to create a mold of. He said that he could try to rebuilt the bolt bracket piece and then create a new mold. I agreed and shipped him the panel. I will keep you updated as that might become a source for you to replace your damaged or missing valance panels of your 1979 or 1980 units if he proves successful in replicating it by making fiberglass molds. Fingers crossed!

Another area in need of my attention is the powered rack and pinion steering rack as it is leaking from the boots. It seems to steer just fine, so I am wondering if it could be rebuilt or should I simply replace it with a new unit? That'll be my summer project in 2021.

The tires...OMG! I thought that would be an easier item to locate. 165/80-13 wsw are rarer than hens teeth! I have a set on back order with Coker Tire, and just been notified it will not arrive until Jan 2021!!! I already had one tire go flat due to dry rot, so I replaced it with a trailer tire so I can move it around or drive it locally. What are you folks doing for tires on yours?

Oh golly, I yakked your ear off enough already!

Happy Motoring!
Dan
Happy Motoring!
Dan

Online Dtmix

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Re: My pandemic project!
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2020, 01:52:37 PM »
As I know that some of you have been following my project under the General Pinto Talk section of the forum, but it appears that this is where I should post my pictures. Thanks to Matt and Wittsend in showing me how to reduce the sizes so it can be added. Fingers crossed!

The first few is when I purchased the car in Florida, and these were taken at my brothers house before the car carrier shown up to take it back up to Ohio. The exterior shots include three sides. The last picture is from a brochure that looks like an identical twin to mine!

Happy Motoring,
Dan
Happy Motoring!
Dan

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Re: My pandemic project!
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2020, 02:07:54 PM »
Now, the interior...it is in remarkable good condition other than fading of the carpets and plastic pieces. The dash is crack-free as well with a period-correct GPS (compass) LOL! The sunvisor needs to be redone due to the previous owner clipping on so many pieces, including vanity mirror, garage door opener, and guardian angel icons. I have located tier vinyl fabric from SMS auto fabric in Canby, Oregon to restore it including the inner padding. I enclosed a snapshot of the fabric samples. I also ordered the carpet from them as well. They contact with ACC carpets but using the original template and special ordered color of Vaquero (Ford color code HZ). They just arrived, so I hope to have it installed next week while Im on vacation. I will post the after pictures. Here's the before pictures:
Happy Motoring!
Dan

Online Dtmix

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Re: My pandemic project!
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2020, 02:10:32 PM »
Fabric samples from SMS auto fabric Inc.
Happy Motoring!
Dan

Online Dtmix

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Re: My pandemic project!
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2020, 02:13:37 PM »
Cargo Bay..see the side panels, it has faded and scratches. It will be redone using SES interior paint dye. Cargo Bay Carpet was covered with a blanket for its entire life, so I plan to keep that while replacing the faded carpet in the passenger area.
Happy Motoring!
Dan

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Re: My pandemic project!
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2020, 02:22:13 PM »
When the previous owner passed away in 2008, her best friend inherited the car. Unlike the deceased owner who had a garage, she had a carport, which explains why the driver's side wood appliqué are more faded and worn than the passenger side that was covered and up against her home. As I mentioned before, I located wood siding appliqués to cover both sides and tailgate. I hope to have that done during this winter while the car is hibernating.
Happy Motoring!
Dan

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Re: My pandemic project!
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2020, 02:27:07 PM »
If you look closely to the steering wheel (see interior shot) you can see the black trim in the horn pad is broken. I found the piece under the seat, and would like to repair it. Other than just gluing it with cracks showing, how do I repair and conceal the cracks? If I were to sand it and repaint it, it creates another dilemma...the scratches from the sand paper is likely to show through, and the chrome paint on its edges would need to be reapplied. How do you folks do this?
Happy Motoring!
Dan

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Re: My pandemic project!
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2020, 03:05:12 PM »

It's not black or cheap, but it might work for you. The wood inlay would match your side trim. There may be others for sale on line for less. I think Ford used this design on many cars, for years.

1975 1976 FORD MUSTANG LTD TORINO PINTO HORN BLOW SWITCH COVER TRIM PLATE NOS | eBay
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Online Dtmix

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Re: My pandemic project!
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2020, 05:36:52 PM »
You are not wrong...it's pricy, but again where would I find another? Sigh...before I bite the bullet, how can I find the part nbr so I can ensure it'll fit? It's advertised for LTDs but I would imagine all steering wheels would be standardized by Ford? I'll take your word, if you feel confident that it will fit? I wonder if I can counter offer? How low can I go without offending him or her?

Thanks for finding this as I looked high and low without success!

Happy Motoring,
Dan
Happy Motoring!
Dan

Offline one2.34me

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Re: My pandemic project!
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2020, 07:54:47 PM »
The part number is listed in the eBay add when you scroll down. Before I spent the money on the part, I'd remove the broken part off of your Pinto to make sure it was the same as in the eBay add, front and back. If it was my car and my broken part and it matched the eBay part front and back, I'd buy the part. (If I decided to spend the money) The add says the part is returnable for thirty days, but you pay shipping costs. It does appear that there aren't a whole lot of these parts available new. Once you remove the part, you may find that you can repair it good enough to be happy with it repaired.
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Online Dtmix

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Re: My pandemic project!
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2020, 07:12:33 AM »
I counteroffered, but they declined but did remove the shipping cost. I accepted it. Fingers crossed that it is as described! Thanks so much for locating It! I have tried many variations such as horn button, auto trim etc.

Happy Motoring!
Dan
Happy Motoring!
Dan

Offline one2.34me

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Re: My pandemic project!
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2020, 04:05:27 PM »
You're welcome. I'm glad to hear he at least dropped the shipping cost for you. I hope it turns out to be exactly what you were looking for. It'll go nicely with your new side paneling.
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Re: My pandemic project!
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2020, 08:18:16 AM »
Dan,

Love the pictures!  It looks like you scored a true gem among late model wagons and are striving to bring it to absolute perfection!  It looks great and I'll be interested watching as you tackle all the little details that will make it truly outstanding! 

Dwayne :)
Pinto Car Club of America - Serving the Ford Pinto enthusiast since 1999.

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Re: My pandemic project!
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2020, 12:33:06 PM »
Yes, I think the wood grain trim will be perfect for the steering wheel as the car has the interior decor group which means the shift bezel, e-brake handle, and dashboard all have wood trim pieces. I wondered why not the steering wheel? Maybe it was an oversight on the assembly line or it was replaced? Your guess is as good as mine. Thanks for locating it for me!

As for the other respondent, I am glad that you are enjoying my project as much as I am! I will keep you posted as I move along.

For those watching the tire issue of mine, I was successful getting through with Coker Tire after they told me that my back order for the 165/80-13 Maxxis WSW tires were delayed once again. I told them about this club and how it was advised that 175 or 185 would be a better fit. They did the calculations and said it would be similar but 3/4 inch taller but the same in every other way. As I already have the dry rotted 175 on the car, I knew it would still fit despite being slightly taller. They e mailed me a chart along with the mph/revolution differences which is also slight (1 to 2 mph reading difference). They had that size in stock!!! I switched my order and they are to arrive this Friday!!! Yahoo! I will let you know how Friday goes!

Happy Motoring,
Dan

Happy Motoring!
Dan

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Re: My pandemic project!
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2020, 09:39:53 AM »
Two new updates on my Pandemic Project...

First, the tires finally arrived from Coker Tire! I had a local garage install them ($22 per tire) as I did not have the equipment to do the task myself. Just as you predicted, the difference in appearance was not obvious despite being slightly taller (175/80R-13 Maxxis WSW). The WSW were 5/8th inches which is perfect for the time period! It rode much better than the trailer tire it had on one wheel due to lack of size availability! Chuckling...

Secondly, the steering wheel horn bar's trim piece also arrived. One member found this online for me as I was unable to locate one to replace the broken trim piece. Perfect fit (not yet installed, just a test fit). I am tickled to see the improvements these little things makes the car!

Tomorrow, I will be tackling the interior by having carpets replaced, installation of the horn bar trim, replacement of broken seat belt sleeves, and other details. I will farm out the re-dying the interior plastic panels to an upholstery shop as I felt they can do a better job than I can as they are the experts.

As the exterior is my next project, does anyone know how to properly remove the wood trim piece that surrounds the wood siding? What kind of clips does it use? I would imagine the removal would determine the methodology for removal. I also feel that before tackling this, I probably should order replacement clips as some probably will break...hence the need to know type of clips to get ahold of. I would imagine these would be difficult to locate as NOS, so which fastener hardware company would you suggest that I reach out to for these clips?

I will keep you posted!

Happy Motoring!
Dan
Happy Motoring!
Dan

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Re: My pandemic project!
« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2020, 02:40:04 PM »
Hey Dan,
Post some pics when you get your interior put together. I'm anxious to see how it looks. I'd also like to see some pics of your new Coker tires on your car. Your paint looks good, are you going to do a repaint or paint restoration before you put on the new woodgrain?


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Online Dtmix

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Re: My pandemic project!
« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2020, 03:27:19 PM »
Nice to hear from you! Sure, I will be sure to take pictures when I tackle the interior in the upcoming week! The same for Coker Tire. Diamondback also has the sizes and will do white walls in any width that you want. Coker is 5/8 inch wsw. Both companies have good websites to look, and will send you printed catalogs upon request. 

No, I do not plan to repaint the car, as the paint is in remarkable condition. Once the wood grain is removed, I will be sure to take a picture before reapplying the new ni-noc applique. The paint will be attended to by clay bar, some paint corrective methods to regain the shine to the chalked/faded paint as well as to remove fine scratches. Fingers crossed. The only part that was repainted was the rear drivers side wheelwell when I experienced a tire blow out. The steel cords of the tire scraped the paint and chewed up the mud flap. Sigh...I was amazed to locate a NOS factory mud flap! Other than that spot, all of the paint is original from the factory!

If it wasn't for the peeling wood grained moldings, faded wood siding, and gas spillover damage to the wood siding, I would've kept the original siding. I was able to locate NOS wood applique at Green Sales in Cincinnati as well as reproduction siding with a company in California...I think it's called Custom Interiors or something like that.  I can look it up for you if you wish. It was spot on...incredibl y so! As tempted I was to go with NOS pieces, I felt that dealing with the reproduction would be easier as its new from 3M and if I needed more, I can was get more. The price was a little less, about 200 less, which isn't that big of a difference considering the size of order.  I will take a picture of the sample against the existing siding the next time if I out to the garage so you can see for yourself. I welcome any suggestions or thoughts!

Happy Motoring!
Dan
Happy Motoring!
Dan

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Re: My pandemic project!
« Reply #17 on: Yesterday at 10:17:19 PM »
From the way it looks in the pics, when your paint is done being clayed, touched up and polished it's going to look better than new. I just saw today that you bought your Pinto wagon in Venice, FL. I bought the '75 Pinto hatch that I now own in Venice, CA. It was dented, broken (grille), and scratched on every body panel, roof and bumpers included. I haven't done anything to it appearance wise other than metal working the body damage out a bit, cutting the bumpers and fixing the grille. I've have tinkered with the engine, suspension and weight and it runs and handles well. The red gas cap in the pic is off of the Pinto Pony I bought new in 1979. Had to buy a locking cap due to the gas shortage and people syphoning gas.
Take care
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