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Offline 78wagondriver

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My 78 wagon
« on: May 31, 2012, 12:27:42 AM »
  I bought this Little car as a temporary beater but its grown on me and I want to fix it to daily driver level. I wrecked my ranger a few months ago and needed a ride until deployment. I figured spending 600$ on a beater was smarter than spending the same on a rental. After searching Craig's list for a while looking for something running, tagged and in budget this is all I found. I had heard the stories about Pintos cathing fire and done research into the matter a long time ago out of curiosity, so I figured if would be safe enough. I'm glad I went ahead and got it.
  There are lots of issues with her and shes right terrifying above 70 mph, but I have gotten to work and back around the times. that's about four hundred miles. here a summery of the good and bad of my car.
Good:gets me .a-.b, averages around15-20mpg...that might be bad for a four banger but its better than I expect of a car this old. I can park in ridiculously small spaces, lots of cargo room, fun to drive in a frightening sort of way.Engine starts easily enough. window glass if flawless. doesn't burn oil or leak water. came with four new tires.
Bad:doors are so loose I can put my pinkie through the cracks had to put a rag on the latch posts to stop the rattling. differential was leaking but I think I have that fixed with new silicon gasket now. manual rack and pinion steering sends shock waves though my hands on pavement irregularities ...kind of like a go karts wheel feels on off road. Car dose take some time to get to 60mph, Around 70 a combination of steering shudder and rear end hop and side to side movement makes for a scary ride...I haven't seen if it can go faster than 73. at idle the engine shakes enough to make rear view mirror shake fiercer than any sub woofer, glovebow and steering wheel can be seen shaking, steering wheel has around a quarter of an inch excursion in its shaking. I have checked to see if it was something obvious like swapped plug wires. lots of minor/cosmetic issues that don't worry me like the engine tremors or high speed handling.
   I believe this car can be made into a good daily or at least backup river with some work. Ive got it to where its not leaking fluids and the breaks function properly so now I just need to work on drivability issues
Questions for any one who would please answer:
is this much shaking normal or harmful for a 2.3L engine?
Should steering wheal jerk and shake on every dimple in the road at freeway speeds? Ive never driven non powered steering or anything this small before so I don't know if this is normal.
Is rear end hop and side jumps normal for these cars above 65mph?
78 pinto wagon
80 silverado big ten
81 malibu sedan
92 cougar
92 siera 2500

Offline 82expghost

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Re: My 78 wagon
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2012, 08:21:14 PM »
front end bushings ball joints and tie rods and sounds like you need an alignment and rag joint needs replaced, shocks , it sounds like you got a car with 1.6 billion miles out of it, cool car thoe isnt it haha, watch out for people speeding because their air coming off of their car will send you into the next lane. rear end hopping is from not enough shock, or you have a midget hanging on one of your wheels, the engine shaking can be tuned out probibly, but dont expect a inline 6 pur
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Offline Pangra74

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Re: My 78 wagon
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2012, 11:59:44 PM »
Also the doors should have a plastic insert on the striker that sticks out from the door post. If it is just metal with no plastic around it, that's why the doors are loose and won't close tight. You can get those door strikers at Kragen or other part stores, a standard Ford part. It just unscrews from the door post, BUT be careful as there is a nut inside the quarter panel that's held in a metal cage that sometimes breaks off if rusty and falls down inside the quarter panel. You have to get the trim panel off to fish it out or hold it in place to re-attach the door striker.


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1974 Orange Runabout
1974 soon to be Cruisin' Wagon

Offline 78wagondriver

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Re: My 78 wagon
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2012, 01:48:53 PM »
Thanks for the replys. I had it on a lift to reseal the diferential and inspect breaks the other day. I looked at the suspension, but I dont know too much about that stuff yet... where the spindle meets the uper and lower controll arms has new bushings, but every other piece of rubber in there is cracked and old looking. I was told the shocks were new and they do look clean but the front driver seems to be loose or somthing as it makes a ratling noise if I lift and push bown on front bumper. I will replace both front shocks soon. the car tends to hold its lane when I release the wheell at 60 mph and the tires arent showing abnormal wear so Illl get an alignment after I get my bushings replaced.
  I got my door striker bolts for 20 bucks today they make the doors close tight as the lockwork on a gun. Now if I just had weather seals...
When I checked out my breaks I found the source of a shrieking noise. My rear driver side had a spring break off inside the drum. This sring conects a non-moving pulley like piec to the shoe. The pulley like piece had a cable conected to the anchoe bolt running through it. I dindnt have new hardware so I just toook the loose pieces out. Im guesing the broken stuff was for the parking break. My rotors have a bit of a lip on the outer edge from probably never being lathed in 34 years. the pads and shoes have lots of material on them and stop the car fine so I can put these fixes off for a while.
   Today my ALT light came in solid.I hooked a cheap digital multimeter to the batery and ran some tests. The battery voltace was 13.1 with engine off and 14.3 at idle. Volage at batery teminals droped to 5-9 volts when going from idle to aroond 2000 rpm then restabilized at 14.5 for the few seconds I ran it at around 2-3 thousand I don have a tach so Im just going by ear. It seams the voltage regulator isn't working right in the rpm ranges I typicaly operate in.
  This might be due to washing the car yesteday. If I wrecked the regulator I think I will just wire in a modern integrated altinator if they make one that fits.
   
78 pinto wagon
80 silverado big ten
81 malibu sedan
92 cougar
92 siera 2500

Offline Pangra74

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Re: My 78 wagon
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2012, 07:00:11 PM »
The pulley-like piece is part of the rear brake self-adjusters. Typical Ford self adjusters. The brakes will work without it ok, but will gradually go out of adjustment and your brake pedal will be lower under pressure (closer to the floor)
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Offline D.R.Ball

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Re: My 78 wagon
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2012, 11:27:00 PM »
Most if not all of the brake hardware for the rear drums comes as a complete kit called a brake hardware kit, Rockauto.com is going to be your new best friend.(At least it's MY best friend!) Check to set if the rear drum has any gouges on the inside and either have it turned down or replace it. The wagons BTW never had the same issues as the hatchback and sedans had with the gas tank issues because the gas tank is futher away from the rear diff cover in case the tank broke lose in a wreck.The front end should be rebuilt and or updated see Rockauto or Summit for the new bushing kits etc or you can use new rubber bushings also Springs and things has allot of the bushing front to back as well. The wagon should with a good tuned up engine should get better than 15-20 MPG the carb might need adjustment(mine needs it again)the E.P.A. rated the 1976 2.3 M.P.G. as getting 36 M.P.G. highway so it can do better than 20 easy...The weather seals and other gaskets are either on eBay or Steel Rubber of which sells good stuff.. You can change the alternator but why bother it should be a 70 Amp and that's just fine for normal use, one thing replace all of battery cables if you start having charging issues because the under hood heat wrecks them pretty quick IE 18 months for my first set.Do not forget about the cable going from the starter solenoid and the starter as well.These cars will last and are easy to keep running and if something breaks the pasts are pretty commom IE the parts interchange with other years and models of other Fords mostly especially the 2.3 engine parts.

Offline 78wagondriver

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Re: My 78 wagon
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2012, 11:54:07 PM »
  Well I made some progress and encountered some setbacks and a major scare today. Over the last few days Ive been making the interior nice and cleaning the car. I've put in home made door panels of carpet covered fiberboard and installed a pioneer 6.5 round speaker in each door. Ive also put seatcovers on and made a spare tire well cover out of carpet covered plywood. the ALT light seems to be a false alarm just like the ENG light. I cant trust any thing on that instrument cluster. The fuel gauge reads pegged high occasionally and the speedometer reads 80 when I'm doing 65 by GPS. I guess I need to calibrate some gears on the speedo because someone may have done a rear end swap for a diff that's geared lower or something. The issues with the instrument cluster are of no concern other than the one light that has never came in was the BRAKE light. It scared and surprised me a little when the pedal hit the floor exiting the freeway at 65 mph. Ive been in situations similar to this at least a couple times before. I tried pumping the pedal quick but got nothing so I just pumped some more while pulling the parking lever all the way. This slowed me to around 30 by the time it was time to turn right at the light at the end of the offramp. The light was red, but fortunately no one was coming from the left so I didn't have to run off the road. I made my turn slowed down some more and made my my next three turns to my parking spot. I should have figured this would happen. The pedals been spongy since I got it. Bleeding the brakes helps for a day or two. When I checked my reservoir after stopping today it was completely topped off. I have a brake booster on my car, I'm not sure if it came stock or was added on later though. After bleeding today the pedal feels firm when not assisted by engine but it can still be pushed nearly to floor by foot. With engine running the brakes travel two thirds to floor with no resistance then barely manage to stop the car when nearly pedal to the metal. I figured it must be a bad master cylinder since there's no sign of a leak. I went ahead and ordered a new one for 17$ to pick up tomorrow. The only other things I can think of is maybe the rod connecting to the pedal is missadjusted. Has anyone else ever had a problem like this? I guess I'll be taking the truck to work till I get this settled.
78 pinto wagon
80 silverado big ten
81 malibu sedan
92 cougar
92 siera 2500

75bobcatv6

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Re: My 78 wagon
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2012, 02:19:06 AM »
the only thing i can think of is that one of the lines has a plug in it. my bobcat sat for a looong loong time and when we did the bleed it was plugged up in the line a lil bit.

Offline 82expghost

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Re: My 78 wagon
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2012, 04:14:55 PM »
my mastercylender was the same, the new one should fix it, make sure you prime it good before you put it on, the voltage regulator is dirt cheap, mine went out and did the same thing but it got my alternator, 12 for the regulator and like 20 bucks for the new alternator, easy to replace too
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Offline 78wagondriver

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Re: My 78 wagon
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2012, 01:10:21 AM »
I got my new master cylinder installed. The brakes work fine now. while I had the hood off I pressure washed rust out of the engine bay and wire brushed and repainted the underside of the hood. The original radiator overheated and exploded on the previous owner. Its been a few days and several starts since the ALT light came in. If It was a badt VR or Alt the batery would be dead by now especial with runing lights and sterio. I got my engine runing smoother, starting easier and pulling stronger in low RPM by fixing the vacuum leaks cused by trashed emissions control components. removing the parts and lines and pluging off the vacuum leaks dosnt do anything for economy on my motor though. Its a CALI car so its got the Holley weber 6500 feedback carburetur on it. I fount a haynes guid for the car so eventualy Ill get the engine down to its bare essentials and tune it for the best fuel ecomomy I can get. Looks like its going to cost around 250 bucks for new springs and shocks up font. I think I'll replace the swaybar hardware sooner though as its probably cheaper and might lessend the body roll I get when pulling U turns. I got what I think is a good deal on hubcaps on ebay. 4 for 15$ plus 16$ shipping. They shoul fit as they are 13 inch like my stel rims. I wonder if my mismached wheels will mess it up though. My car came with three four slot wheels and one eight slot wheel mounted and a severely bent 4 slot spare rim in the trunk. I hope the diference in slots dosnt matter to the covers when I get them.
78 pinto wagon
80 silverado big ten
81 malibu sedan
92 cougar
92 siera 2500

Offline D.R.Ball

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Re: My 78 wagon
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2012, 12:48:59 PM »
Nope it should not be a problem as the hub caps fit in to the rim lip and not on the wheel it self. As for the brakes if you hear a whoose sound when you hit the brakes(up front) the vacuum booster has failed and changing the master cylinder will not fix it. This happened with my 1976 Pinto Wagon.

Offline 82expghost

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Re: My 78 wagon
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2012, 09:59:38 PM »
my voltage regulator went bad and was charging no problem, just it was pumping out 15.8 somtimes spiking to 17, it took it a week to fry the alternator, your lights could be coming on though if your ground isnt hooked to your engine or alternator, while playing with wires i figured this out
98 taurtus, now in heaven
82 exp, the race car, cancer took it away
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Offline 78wagondriver

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Re: My 78 wagon
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2012, 09:41:50 PM »
I took some pictures with my phone at its lowest setting so I could post them. Well that didn't work, but format factory did. These show my interior that I spent around 100 bucks redoing. The original door panels were red vinyl but were falling apart and mutilated by a previous owner cutting them for speakers with little care for doing a nice job. The seats it came with were yellow so not from this car and were torn up so I put some forty dollar walmart covers on them. the spare tire well had no cover so I made one out of plywood and covered it with same auto carpet from O'reilys. The stereo is a 120$ pioneer head unit with 50$ pioneer 6.5s that fit flush to the panel with a couple millimeters clearance for the moving window parts. The stereo is by far the most expensive part I've put on the car so far followed by the seat covers then the master cylinder. I'm propably not going to do much more to the interior other than finish carpeting the cargo hold and maybe make a headliner for it. I think first I will work on things like ride quality and engine performance now that I have the important issues of stereo and brakes worked out.
78 pinto wagon
80 silverado big ten
81 malibu sedan
92 cougar
92 siera 2500

Offline 78wagondriver

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Re: My 78 wagon
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2012, 03:05:09 PM »
I got my hubcaps today!
78 pinto wagon
80 silverado big ten
81 malibu sedan
92 cougar
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Offline r4pinto

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Re: My 78 wagon
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2012, 03:12:29 PM »
Looks good!
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 dga57

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Re: My 78 wagon
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2012, 12:13:16 AM »
Pinto Car Club of America - Serving the Ford Pinto enthusiast since 1999.

Offline 78wagondriver

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Re: My 78 wagon
« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2012, 12:10:18 AM »
  The pinto ran fairly well yesterday with the exception of it has been getting hard to start over last couple of days. This morning it took a few tries to start and would not idle at all. I had to drive my truck to work. This afternoon I think I figured out what was wrong. With the air cleaner off the engine Idles fine. I figured I might need a new filter for more air flow. The guy at the parts store said it could be that my carb is way too rich so its taking a lot of air to make it reach proper fuel air ratio. this makes a lot of since and explains my terrible 20 mpg fuel economy. For now I find it runs allright so long as I only loosely tighten the air cleaner case. I also have some kind of solenoid controlled vacuum operated enriching valve thing on my Holley Weber 6500 carb. I had that plugged off before so now I have a week vacuum going to it. I'll see what that dose for it. I think I might need to adjust my idle mixture.
 My Haynes manual tells me what kind of carb I have and where stuff is on it. It doesn't tell me anything about tuning it and recommends taking it to a ford dealership as only ford can properly adjust the carbs settings. No way am I doing that. Ive been thinking about getting a new or re-manufactured carb that is simpler and doesn't have any extra stuff on it. In the mean time I would like to try tuning this one. Any one have any pointers on getting it close to right? Today I took my truck to the junk yard and found a mustang 2 that just came in today. I needed a spare rim and tire and on this car I hit the jackpot. I got a four slot rim with a brand new kumho powerstar tire on it. That cheep Chinese tire is a perfect match with the four others on my car. I also got the four mustang 2 hubcaps. Ill save my pinto caps for later and use these for daily driver use as they are a Little more worn than the ones I got on eBay. They have little mustangs in the center, but hey pintos are ponies too. I got all that for 50 bucks.
78 pinto wagon
80 silverado big ten
81 malibu sedan
92 cougar
92 siera 2500

Offline 78wagondriver

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Re: My 78 wagon
« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2013, 11:21:27 PM »
Well its been a year now time for an update. About a week or two after my last post I figured out the problem with my carb causing it to run poorly with the air filter on. It was not a case of too little air as I suspected, but too much air. My carb mounting bolts were loose so when I put on the air filter and tightend it down the filter housing would push against hoses and stuff to lift the carb slightly off the intake manifold. This slight crack would allow air to bypass the carb and have too Little fuel to run right or at all if too tight. Tightening the mounting bolts solved that problem. I then tinkered with the idle adjust screw a little. with that fix done I drove the car around town short trips of ten miles or less whenever I could. After a month or so I developed a transmission leak so bad it would dump a quart of fluid every ten miles. eventually after a month or so I finally got it on a lift to see about it. The source of the leak was a bad pinch with a shear in one of the metal transmission cooling lines where they go between the oil pan and engine cross member. So I cut out around the pinch and spliced the metal line with a rubber fuel hose clamped on each end. No more transmission leaks since. It drove well enough with the only major problems being a slow oil leak at a poorly fitted valve cover cap and the ever present extremely rough Idle. This weekend I fixed those issues and other minor things. For the oil cap I tried a made in china OEM replacement breather cap, but it would not fit. What I did find that worked was an eight dollar breather cap at Orielys. It was a push in style that said it was for 1.25 inch aftermarked valve covers. I pinched and shoved its gasket in my valve cover then pushed it in for a perfect snug fit. Then I checked my PCV valve and saw it was loose inside the bottom hose so I clamped it. Now I have a slight vacuum at the nozzle of the breather cap. Next thing I did was remove my EGR valve from the intake. I had removed its vaccum line a year or more ago and thought it would be shut. I plugged the hole on the intake with a bit of shelving board cut to roughly match the gasket bolted in place. Most kits for EGR delete use aluminium, but wood works for now... With the wood in place I cranked my engine to a unusually smooth and low Idle and heard the put put of exhaust coming out the now free hanging EGR valve. It had rusted wide open. I hack sawed the EGR line off at the header and pounded flat and folded over the remainder close to the header to end a loud exhaust leak. While I was at it I tried to do the same for the old smog pump fitting on the header. it didn't fold so well and snapped off at the thread in piece. Unable to find a bolt about 9/16Th's of an inch wide to plug it I got creative with what scrap I had lying around. I took a spent 7.62 x54r steel rifle case and hammered that in. No more exhaust leaks. No more oil leaks. No more transmission leaks. No coolant or fuel leaks yet and no power steering pump to leak. Car cold starts easily with one or two pedal pumps, runs smooth with only a little engine shake,likely due to bad balance, worn engine mounts, and has enough power to peel out for a second or so from a stop on dry pavement. Front suspension is GONE though. I hear the shocks hiss their full travel on some speed bumps and deep dips when I hit them faster than I can walk.Theres no end to the fun things to fix and learn about on this car.
78 pinto wagon
80 silverado big ten
81 malibu sedan
92 cougar
92 siera 2500

Offline 74 PintoWagon

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Re: My 78 wagon
« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2013, 08:11:11 AM »
Glad to hear it's running good.
Art
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