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Author Topic: Pinto Powered Mustang Trike  (Read 665 times)

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Offline rob289c

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Pinto Powered Mustang Trike
« on: July 19, 2020, 06:19:07 PM »
About 10 years ago I dragged the rear half of a 67 Mustang coupe home with the intention of making a trailer out of it to tow behind my 67 Fastback.  My kids were young and if we went anywhere for more than a day trip, there was no cargo space in the Fastback trunk.  The trailer was to provide additional cargo space.  I never made the trailer.  I thought about making a smoker out of it but that never happened either.  I work 60-70 hours a week so my project time is limited.  About 7 years ago I decided I would make a trike out of it and wanted to use a 2.3 Pinto motor as the power plant.  As I've stated, I had 3 Pintos between 1983-89 and always liked them and the 2.3 engine.  I looked for a Pinto and as you know, they aren't cheap and aren't plentiful.  I found the 1980 orange one 5 years ago but couldn't make the deal.  I waited 2 years, called again and this time I got for less than I originally offered.  I dragged it home but it had to wait its turn as I had other projects in front of it.  Last Fall I started doing the body work on the Mustang.  It was a rust bucket and should have gone to scrap but I like to make something useful out of junk.  I cut both quarters off, welded in new rear frame rails, new trunk floor, wheel houses, quarter panel skins, taillight panel.  When I got the Mustang to build the trailer, I didn't want the roof.  Once I started on the trike project, I realized the roof would be nice.  I contacted the guy I got it from and he still had the roof.  I acquired it last November, cut it down, and welded it back onto its original body.  That was a chore...the lead in that area made it challenging to weld it back on.  After the roof was tacked on, I put it away for the Winter and resumed in the Spring.  I sold the 82 EXP I restored between 2014-2017 that my son had no interest in so it freed up floor space now it was the Pinto's turn.  I got it to run, now the engine is out.  Next is to fab a frame and mount the Pinto Power Plant onto the frame, then resume body work.  If I can fab the frame, get the engine/tranny on the frame and get the body in epoxy primer, I will feel that I got a lot done this year.  My outdoor and garage projects end in November.  I am in the heating business so it's 7 days a week/70 hours until late March.  Here are a few pics so you can see what I'm up to...
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Offline rob289c

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Re: Pinto Powered Mustang Trike
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2020, 06:42:32 PM »
The driveshaft is going to be quite short...18" at the most.  Does anyone have any expertise in driveshaft lengths and what are the limits in shortness?  I don't want this trike to be very long so it's got to be short.  The aircraft tow tractors I worked on in the Navy had very short driveshafts but I don't remember the exact length.  This is going to keep me awake at night until I find out what the limits are.  Any advice on the driveshaft  and anything else that pertains to my project will be appreciated.  I hope no one is upset that the Pinto is a doner...it's too rotted to ever see the road.  Sometimes you have to know when to say that something has seen its better days. It's getting a second life in a cool project that is going to be my retirement toy.  My Mustang and Harley will stay in the stable but this trike ids going to be cool!
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Offline dga57

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Re: Pinto Powered Mustang Trike
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2020, 09:10:47 AM »
I can't wait to see the finished product!!!


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

Offline rob289c

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Re: Pinto Powered Mustang Trike
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2020, 11:12:15 AM »
I will be sure to keep everyone update on my progress.  I'll probably have a million questions as I design and build it. 
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Offline rob289c

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Re: Pinto Powered Mustang Trike
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2020, 06:47:10 AM »
Tomorrow I am planning to start fabbing the frame for my project.  I have about 12" of Mustang frame from the parking brake cable mounts-forward to tie into.  I plan to use the forward leaf spring eye bolt as the positioning connection and use a couple of other bolt/nut attachment points, but then weld and add extra brackets to really make a solid connection between my "new" frame and the existing, old Mustang frame.  I am going to try to figure out a way to tie it rearward to the rear Mustang frame rails so it is completely solid.  I will send updates and likely ask for advice.
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Offline rob289c

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Re: Pinto Powered Mustang Trike
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2020, 05:37:25 PM »
I didn't start fabbing the frame as I said I would, but I did remove the front and rear seats, all the rodent-smelling carpet and insulation, and I was able to get the entire, intact wiring harness out from the left kick panel to the taillights.  I was able to remove two of the four shifter bezel screws but will have to drill out the other two.  I have the parking brake lever disconnected but haven't disconnected the cable yet.  I will be cutting out the firewall, transmission hump and driveshaft tunnel to graft into what is left of the Mustang.  I need to get the intact, under-dash wiring harness out next weekend.  I plan to use as much of the Pinto as possible in this project.  This trike is going to be my retirement toy (i'm 5-6 years away) and I want it to represent the three vehicles that meant the most to me:  Mustangs (teen years to current), Pintos (Navy and college), and motorcycles (since a kid to current).  This will be all three.   Some day I will be too old and feeble to hold my Harley up but this trike will let me be a biker, and a Mustang and Pinto enthusiast for years to come! 
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Offline rob289c

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Re: Pinto Powered Mustang Trike
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2020, 04:39:55 AM »
My progress:  I mocked up the firewall and trans hump to the Mustang body.  I bolted the trans mount to the tunnel to be sure I get the shifter linkage in the right position.  I removed and stripped the steering and suspension from the front frame section.  I will be grafting that into the remnants of the rear Mustang frame with c-channel and 2 x 4 square tubing.  I will bolt everything and tack weld, then drag it to a weld shop I use and let him weld everything solid.  I have a Lincoln ST-125 wire feed that is great for bodywork and light gauge steel but I want to be sure this is solid and strong.  I am going to spend part of today welding patches in the Mustang floor under rear seat section.  I want to sand down the body and spray with epoxy primer over Labor Day weekend.  My goals before November 1 is to get the frame buttoned up, the engine bolted back into frame, and the body in primer.  Then I can put it away for the Winter.  I only do oil changed and tire rotation, and emergency repairs, if needed over the Winter.  I work 7 days a week and the shop becomes a storage barn in the Winter.  It will come back out in the Spring and the build will resume.  How do I move this thread to the "Your Project" section?  I think it would be more appropriate there. 
rob289c

Offline dga57

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Re: Pinto Powered Mustang Trike
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2020, 06:03:40 AM »
  How do I move this thread to the "Your Project" section?  I think it would be more appropriate there. 

I took care of it for you.  Have a great weekend!

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

Offline rob289c

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Re: Pinto Powered Mustang Trike
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2020, 03:23:07 PM »
Thank you for moving this thread.  I participated in a Back the Blue Motorcycle Run today, then another Pinto owner stopped over to look over my parts to see what he can use.  Heading back out to the shop to continue cutting/patching the rear floor area. 
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Offline dga57

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Re: Pinto Powered Mustang Trike
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2020, 04:47:06 PM »
Thank you for moving this thread.   

Glad to have been of help.

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

Offline rob289c

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Re: Pinto Powered Mustang Trike
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2020, 12:05:34 PM »
Last week I took the subframe to a sandblaster to get it blasted and epoxy primed.  I hope to have it back soon so I can fab the transition from the Mustang frame to the Pinto Frame.  Over the weekend I fabricated under-seat floor patches for the Mustang section and welded them in place.  I welded the Pinto Parking brake mount in the Mustang's driveshaft hump.  I cut the Mustang parking brake cable mounts off the frame and relocated them to the underside behind the rear seat.  What was left of the cables fit perfectly to the Pinto Parking brake mechanism.  I placed the rear seat and inner quarter panels in place to see what it will look and feel like.  Of course I sat in it, pressed the accelerator and pretended to "drive" it!  Next weekend I plan to start sanding the body with a plan to spray epoxy primer Labor Day weekend.  I hope to have the subframe back by then so I can fab the transition, pin the two frame assemblies together, then take it to a welding shope and have everything welded up solidly and professionally
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Offline rob289c

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Re: Pinto Powered Mustang Trike
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2020, 05:46:36 AM »
I got the sub frame back from the sand blaster in epoxy.  Looks good.  There is some Swiss Cheese in the bottom of the lower frame rails but that will be boxed in after my transition piece from the Mustang Frame to the into sub frame is inside the rails.  I got a new tank of Argon/CO2 for the welder yesterday so I will be back on it this weekend.  I picked up some 80 and 400 grit sandpaper so the sanding starts this weekend with the goal of spraying the epoxy primer Labor Day weekend.
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Offline rob289c

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Re: Pinto Powered Mustang Trike
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2020, 04:20:14 PM »
Progress:  Wire wheeled, sanded, and scrubbed the last two weekends.  Today I shot epoxy primer.  It's sealed from the elements and I can do a little body work before I put it away for the season.  The bodywork will consist of filling my welding seams and smoothing out areas that can use it.  I fabricated my transition piece to get me from the Mustang frame to the Pinto sub frame and it's at the welder's shop.  I hope to get it back this week so next weekend I can tie the two frames together, then take the whole assembly back to the welder to get everything tied together properly.  After that I can bolt the engine back into its frame and wheel it into the corner till Spring!
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Offline Wittsend

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Re: Pinto Powered Mustang Trike
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2020, 05:12:24 PM »

... It's sealed from the elements and I can do a little body work before I put it away for the season. ...


I forgot many people close up their pools after labor day in areas like upstate NY. And here I am in the nicer area of So. Cal. (typically 80's or less in summer/ 60's at night) and it is 109 with predictions as high as 115!!!

Offline rob289c

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Re: Pinto Powered Mustang Trike
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2020, 05:13:36 AM »
We had several days in the 90's this Summer with essentially no rain in Jun and into July but now were into the 70's and there will be a few straggler days in the 80's but it's all downhill from here.  I will close my pool next weekends.  It doesn't get used much after mid-August so it's a waste of electricity and chemicals to keep it open.  It's going to rain on and off all day today.y

Trike Content: It's 6:00 AM here; in a few minutes I will go out to see if the primer is full cured. 
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Offline rob289c

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Re: Pinto Powered Mustang Trike
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2020, 05:32:32 AM »
Progress:  Frame transition pieces are now bolted to the Mustang frame rails.  I installed the engine/tranny back into the Pinto subframe.  The next step will be to line up the Mustang and Pinto subframe to determine how long I need to make the framerails to tie the transitions to the subframe.  I want to be sure the hole for the shifter ends up exactly above the linkage below.  I expected to get that all done this past weekend but I ended up doing bodywork on the underside of my son's car doors and that took longer than I expected.  I wanted to get them sealed up before Winter or the driver's door would have had major cancer after the Winter. 

Anyway, be next weekend, the two frames will be connected, engine removed, and the assembly will go to the weld shop to get everything properly welded.  More to come...
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Offline Wittsend

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Re: Pinto Powered Mustang Trike
« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2020, 10:56:33 AM »
It is so nice to see a project progress. While it seems to happen on all car forums, it seems more prevalent here that cars a bought, parts are purchased..., and little to nothing happens. People vanish into thin air. It makes me wonder what happened to all those Pinto's? Soldier on, I know you are seeing cold weather soon so here is hoping for an early spring.

Offline rob289c

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Re: Pinto Powered Mustang Trike
« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2020, 05:44:46 AM »
Last night I "rearranged the furniture" to see it mocked up.  I need to cut about 4" off the rear of the tranny hump to get the accelerator and brake pedals a little closer.  I have a 34" inseam but it's would be tippy toes to "floor it" the way it is.  There is a support brace in the hump just forward of where I originally cut it and wanted to leave it but I will remove it, modify, it and weld it in a new position just forward of where it currently resides.  This is an "engineer it as you go" project.  There is no template, it's not a kit, and certainly not a restoration project.  It's a one-off that gives me something to think about when I wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep!  I think after this coming weekend, I will have the length of the hump and frame figured out, and engine once again removed so I can get it to the weld shop to tie the two frames together. 
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Offline dga57

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Re: Pinto Powered Mustang Trike
« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2020, 07:35:09 AM »
I can't wait to see the finished product!


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

Offline rob289c

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Re: Pinto Powered Mustang Trike
« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2020, 06:43:34 PM »
Yea, you and me both!   :D  I think this is going to be my last automotive project.  I want to enjoy my toys and not just work on things!  I only get weekends for my projects so they take longer than they should.  I think this is going to be a cool toy and looking forward to see how it ends up.  I have all kinds of ideas so we'll see what it ends up being when done.
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Offline rob289c

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Re: Pinto Powered Mustang Trike
« Reply #20 on: September 19, 2020, 08:23:38 PM »
Today I pinned the fames together.  Tomorrow I will remove the engine from the chassis and get it ready to take to the weld shop.  I also cut off about 6" off the driveshaft tunnel.  It shortened it up a bit and allows better reach to the accelerator.    I would have gotten more done today but I spent several hours helping my son install a stupid siren system in his car.  It was against my better judgement but I was able to spend time with him and teach him some mechanical skills.  He usually fights me on everything so since he needed my "assistance" I worked on his project instead of mine. 
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Offline rob289c

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Re: Pinto Powered Mustang Trike
« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2020, 07:43:53 PM »
All loaded up on the dolly.  Will transport to the weld shop on Tuesday.  Hopefully it will be back by the weekend so I can once again re-install the engine in the chassis and tuck it away for the Winter.  Over the Winter I need to figure out the front end.  I will have to hire a custom MC builder as designing and installing it is beyond my capabilities. 
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