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pinto help!

4356 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  ap72
I was working on starting a 11.5:1 chevy 350 build (which some of you may know about) that I was planning to put in an Opel... Well things have a funny way of happening and I am now the owner of a '78 Pinto. It is the definition of old lady car complete with near mint interior and sky blue paint (the front seats need new upholstery but the reast is immaculate).

Does anyone make any parts to make putting a sbc into a pinto any easier? I realize this will probably end up as a project for the welder rather than the wrench but if I can find mounts and headers at a reasonable price I'd apprecaite it.
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I've owned 3 pintos, with a 2300 and 4 speed they are almost fun.. (the 2000 w/auto was not very fun.)

Time to buy a welder, a torch, and a 4 1/2" grinder and start learning about fabrication. As sharp as you are, and with an engineering degree, should have that chevy in there in no time :thumbup:

It's just connecting the dots.

Later, mikey
You know, I'm all about wacky engine swaps, but I wouldn't mess with puttin' a 350 in a Pinto. My reasoning is that the motor is too heavy for the front of the car, no available swap headers (meaning considerable sheet metal surgery) and I just don't think you will get your money out of it at sale time. I googled 350 Pinto engine swap and didn't come up with anything. If it were a reasonable swap, someone would have done it already.

What I'd be thinking is finding a wrecked Thunderbird Turbo Coupe with a 5-speed. Those little motors put out 190 hp and with a 5-speed, that would be a blast to drive. With the lightweight 4-banger up front, handling would be great also. I'd use everything out of the Turbo Coupe including the rear end, wiring, computer, etc. I've seen a couple of Turbo Coupes here in the Phoenix area for around $900 (wrecked).

I'm also thinkin' that the resale appeal would be strong.
I had one years ago with a 302 in it,Man that was a kick in the a** to drive around..I out ran a state boy in that car ''ONE TIME''... :sweat: :D Never could keep a trans in it.. :smash: And I had to pull the motor out every time I had to change a trans.That's why I sold it.. :thumbup: And because of the ''ford motor'' :pain:

I had to wipe the dust off i this picture... :D


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pinto dude

I use to have an 80s wit the plastic grill and square hearlights. I was thinking about it be it was a feild car with a bondoes up body if it was like yours i probably would have done something. Back to the subjest there are a few pinto forums where youll find all you need. I recomend moving the front wheels a few inches foward relocating the fender openings and a resessed firewall is a must but thats what i would have done to mine. Autoweld chassis has a roll cage kit. Good luck
You know, a 78 pinto has the same suspension as a MII. so all the upgrade stuff is there. The motor in a pinto sits WAY out over the front suspension, in a few weekends you could build a tube frame for it, move the firewall back about 18" and set the balancer over the front crossmember, tubbed, with a 4 link and a dana 70 out back, then you'd have a neat car.

My 71 runabout had a hood ornament made out of a Mr Potato Head on a big spring. That car was a chick magnet too. :pimp:

Later, mikey
Well, i'm not looking to rebuild the car from scratch, so I guess I'll go with a turbo 2.3 or 2.5L. The weight thing is a really good point and half the reason I got this car was to keep good milage- a turbo four can do that better than a rowdy V8. Looks like I need to go pull yet another drivetrain. I'm thinking of using a 2.5L 5speed setup from a Ranger. I know the engine is basically the same, but is the trans usable? I'd like to move from a 4 speed to a five since these little 4 bangers don't have a lot of torque.
T-5 from a 4cyl mustang or Thunderbird will swap in.. put the turbo stuff on a the Ranger 2.5 ( 1998-2001 4cyl and 2.3 stuff bolts up ) and run the T-5. it'll end up pretty quick..

The Ranger trans is an M5-OD R1 5spd.. if you could fit it in the car, it would work. just use a Hurst shifter for it, the stockers just woudn't look right
I've been looking through some stuff this mornign and I think I'm going to run a 2.3L with a T-5- I'll be the easiest route. I was hoing to get my sbc together and in something, but it'll just have to wait.
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