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Pinto performance ideas


Davo
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It’s a new year, new lockdown and some spare Christmas cash. I was looking for some sound advice on what next to do under the hood, of the hood! 
 

I have a 2 litre pinto, dgav, fairly new coil and dizzy but I’m after some more power. 
move read the burton guides and the usual tricks are a new cam, new fancy carb, stage 2 head etc. 
 

by the time I’ve done all that, I’m wondering would it have been better to just put in a newer zetec. 
 

I quite like my old pinto for simplicity etc. 
 

I was wondering what experiences or recommendations people might have. 
 

engine swap to something else, or incremental parts replacement. 

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30 minutes ago, Thrashed said:

I had good results from an FR32 cam, bike carbs, 3 angle value seats and a ported head. Also a good rolling road session to bring it all together!

That’s interesting. So I have a new 32/36 carb, but I was thinking of swapping it out for the more expensive Weber’s, but that was mostly based on the thought that I could easily swap it out myself. 
 

I was looking at the same cam swap also, did you fit it yourself or get a garage to do it? 

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The head work I got a local shop to do but all the assembly and disassembly I did myself. I am reasonable with the spanner’s but no mechanic or engineer and I found it easy enough. Bike carbs were a bargain compared to Webber’s etc. My Dad had Webber’s on an old school Westfield as it was on the rilling road every year trying to keep them in balance. Never had that issue with the bike carbs. 

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Well, three years ago I new nothing. Now I still don’t know much but I have completely rewired it, cam belt change, new coil, dizzy and electronic ignition, timing tinkery and I’m doing ok lol. 

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Thrashed is spot on. I upgraded my 2.0 pinto with stage 2 head, FR32 cam and twin 40s. Luckily I have been tinkering with Webers for many decades, but they are demanding. Bike carbs with a suitable manifold will be a better bet, but they do need a rolling road session to get  the best from them. Also the cam has to be inserted from the rear, so the head has to be removed, so while its off why not upgrade it? I got 140 flywheel bhp, and loadsa torque, plus a reliable easily DIY maintained lump that certainly had a character of its own. I now have a 210 bhp REdtop, which is brilliant, but at times I do miss the slugging pinto.

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I am really tempted and lucky enough have some cash in my pocket. 
 

my kids keep telling me to just put in a zetec or all sorts of crazy ideas.  The eldest one is 21 and knows it all lol. I’d love to pick up an old zetec and swap it out, but I’m real nervous I’ll get in over the skill level and go from having a car that works to one that does not.

I am slightly nervous about pouring money into the pinto in case the bottom half doesn’t hold up.   

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Best bang for your buck on a pinto is boost.  Supercharger or turbocharger running 10-12psi, and a suitable carb (renault 5gtt) or efi setup and you will have a really nice streetable setup producing in the region of 200bhp and similar lbft of torque.  And if you are careful, its possible to do the whole turbo and efi conversion for less than the cost of a decent carb and cam kit.

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1 hour ago, theduck said:

Best bang for your buck on a pinto is boost.  Supercharger or turbocharger running 10-12psi, and a suitable carb (renault 5gtt) or efi setup and you will have a really nice streetable setup producing in the region of 200bhp and similar lbft of torque.  And if you are careful, its possible to do the whole turbo and efi conversion for less than the cost of a decent carb and cam kit.

What? I had no idea this was possible. Are there guides anywhere? 

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Very popular conversion elsewhere in the world and starting to become more popular here.  Not aware of any pinto specific guides, not ones in english anyway, but it is much like turboing any engine, so any generic guide will steer you in the right direction.  Happy to answer any questions you'd have too.  Basic requirements are:

Turbo Manifold (None off the shelf, but cheap to get made)
Turbo (I like TD04-13t and TF035 from Subaru imprezas and legacys etc)
Downpipe (exhaust)
Some kind of chargecooling, either air to air intercooler (ideal for low budget) or a water to air chargecooler (better for packaging)

Then it comes down to carb or efi.  Personally I'd go efi, its just all round better, so for that you will need
EFI fuel pump - either in tank or external
EFI fuel pressure regulator
EFI inlet manifold - pinto came with efi in later sierras etc and they are easy to get and ideal.  Can use the idle control valve, throttle body and fuel rail too.
Decent size Injectors - 300cc+
Mappable ecu - There so many options, best bet is pick a tuner and go with their recommendation.

That setup will quite happily run 200bhp on an otherwise stock pinto,  beyond that you are getting into a full engine build.
 

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1 hour ago, theduck said:

Very popular conversion elsewhere in the world and starting to become more popular here.  Not aware of any pinto specific guides, not ones in english anyway, but it is much like turboing any engine, so any generic guide will steer you in the right direction.  Happy to answer any questions you'd have too.  Basic requirements are:

Turbo Manifold (None off the shelf, but cheap to get made)
Turbo (I like TD04-13t and TF035 from Subaru imprezas and legacys etc)
Downpipe (exhaust)
Some kind of chargecooling, either air to air intercooler (ideal for low budget) or a water to air chargecooler (better for packaging)

Then it comes down to carb or efi.  Personally I'd go efi, its just all round better, so for that you will need
EFI fuel pump - either in tank or external
EFI fuel pressure regulator
EFI inlet manifold - pinto came with efi in later sierras etc and they are easy to get and ideal.  Can use the idle control valve, throttle body and fuel rail too.
Decent size Injectors - 300cc+
Mappable ecu - There so many options, best bet is pick a tuner and go with their recommendation.

That setup will quite happily run 200bhp on an otherwise stock pinto,  beyond that you are getting into a full engine build.
 

So it sounds like I could do this in two halve. Looking at EFI, if I look through the Burton power catalogue, what am I looking at? Something like those omex kits? They look pricey! or are you suggesting using an original Sierra EFI?

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Original Sierra efi manifold, injectors and fuel rail would be a good start. Initially you could use the Sierra ECU if you were on a budget, but you'd probably want to swap to a mappable ECU once you put the turbo on.

theduck has a wealth of knowledge and will be able to advise.

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Everything at Burton is pricey 😅

An original sierra efi manifold, fuel rail, injectors etc etc is good quality and what I used (but with larger injectors) to make 300bhp.  In fact the next iteration of the engine is still using the same manifold, throttle body and idle control and is aiming for even more!

If doing it in two stages, the original engine loom, ecu and efi dizzy is a good option and can normally be found for a reasonable price.  If you decide to go straight to a mappable ECU there are many many options, personally I used megasquirt because it was relatively cheap but powerful with lots of flexibility, but it certainly isnt for everyone as it is less plug and play than some other solutions.  

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