--> 1978 Pinto All Glass Hatch

The White One

1978 Pinto All Glass Hatch

Purchased on Ebay 11/08/2007

I wanted a decent looking driver to replace the 1980 I have. This one does "look" much better than the 1980 and it's a 4 speed which I prefer. Looks OK so I'm satisfied... cross your fingers for me.

Some details from the Ebay Auction

1978 Ford Pinto - 3 Door Runabout

Vehicle Description - from seller
Im Turning 50 and time for the car to go. I am the 2nd owner.This car sat since 1993 untill I bought the car.I have had it for about 2 years and drive it most everyday.New paint(macco)not great but ok. Could use better bodywork on roof and behind doors, but ok for a daily driver.New carpet,battery,and car cover.This is not a rust bucket.This car is very clean,more than most I have seen.Dash pad cracked.Everything works on this car and has a rear defroster.Comes with rear window shade.New tires and ready to drive. Leaks some oil about 1/4 a week.When you turn the key over you have to let off on it and then it starts.I dont know much about motors.Ask questions if you like.Car is sold as is.Driver door needs door pull installed(comes with car) door needs adjustment.Head liner looks good but a couple of seams are streched.Seats look good, except back side of drive seat. I found this car sitting in a driveway in our little town.The lady who owned it could not drive anymore.If you win,I could give your her number.I have the 78 book that came with the car. Dont forget, this car is about 20 years old. This is not a fully restored car,but a nice daily driver.Fun to drive

General Impressions - after delivery and inspection - 11/10/2007

Sure looks like it is a low milage, almost original car. Engine Decals look good and original, some of the belts and hoses look to be original Ford parts. Brake and clutch pedals are not all worn out. Seats appear to be original as well head liner, sun visors, door panels and other interior panels.

Car was not stored inside during all the years it sat, looks to have baked in the sun. Dash pad is badly cracked up, plastic panels in rear are brittle and all door, hatch and windshield gaskets are in rough shape. Carpet has been replaced.

It was Macco painted 2 months ago and so it's not a great paint job, lots of over spray and flaws. The stripes are vinyl and are coming loose so they will be pulled off to leave me an all white car, I will most likely replace with new stripes and be sure to remove wax/prep the surface before I do. Car was originally blue with a black vinyl top and the inside doors have been painted a different (lighter) color blue than original. The original exterior blue was hard to verify as all white painted surfaces do cover really really well including the engine compartment. Per the seller the wheel lip and body moulding had some surface rust and he ground it down and applied some fill. It Looks OK from 15 to 20 feet but it's easy to see the imperfections in the fill up close.

Seems to run OK but will need a bit of work to be road ready. Tires are new (200 miles) but under sized (175/60 - 13") and I will need replacements for the rear if nothing else because of speedo issues. Need to replace the ignition switch. Carb may need a little adjustment on the air/fuel mixture as well as choke, It did flood out on me. It seems close but little adjustment may be necessary. Radiator needs flush, more water than anti-freeze. I have only driven it about a mile so far but seems to be a decent running little car.

Interior Restore 2008

Some updates to mention before and during the interior restore. New heater core installed, new hoses as well. Replaced the turn signal switch, electronic ignition module and starter switch and the rear axel seals and brakes were replaced. Now for the interior...

March/April 2008
Headliner Splits and Drops

I was installing the new door and hatch gaskets... looked up and saw the headliner. I was planning on restoring the interior at some later time but since I needed a new windshield gasket and the headliner dropped.. I guess now would be a perfect time.

I started by stripping the interior. I planned on repainting the dash and doors.

Here I have assembled the parts to reinstall. The 80 Pinto I scrapped donated some of the interior parts for the restore. The original rear panels in this car were brittle and crumbling so I used the ones from the 1980. The under dash defrost vent also came from the 1980 and the 1973 donated the coin tray and door panels that were not used during its restore.

Here I have everything painted and assembled, ready to be reinstalled.

Time to get the car ready for reassembly. Started with repainting the dash, Rustoleum Cobalt Blue Metallic. Sanded, primed and painted.

New headliner installed, I did it myself.

A few wrinkles but not to bad for my first time.

Here's the speakers I installed to fill the holes in the panels from the 1980. Since the interior is blue I decided to use speakers that light up blue with the flick of a switch mounted under the dash.

The blue dice came with the car so....

Blue dice door locks were needed...

...and a blue dice shifter as well. It's not as big as it looks in the picture and not really unconfortable to use. In this picture you also see the new AM/FM, CD, MP3, WMA stereo I installed. All the lights for it are blue and I can plug in USB flash drives as well as SD memory cards for music. You also see the runabout emblem I installed in the coin tray for a nice finished touch.

Then came the window treatments for the rear..

..and a closeup.

now for the front windshield..

Now for some shots of the finished interior.

Carpet had been replaced by the previous owner, I left as is. The seats are original, I need to do a little cleanup but they will have to be redone at some later point. Still OK for now but starting to split at the seams.

The door panels came from my 1973, used to be beige but some blue wedgewood vinyl paint was a perfect match for the seats.

Doors look much better with the cobalt blue vs. the baby blue the previous owner painted them. Also the New Door, Windshield and Rear Hatch Gaskets are a welcome addition, recently tested during an all day rain and no leaks yet :o)

Steering wheel is from the 1976 Mustang II I sent to the junkyard last summer, inserts painted blue to match.

And a couple shots of the exterior..

.. notice the blue pinstriping down the sides has been removed, it was starting to peal off so I helped it along.

And Yes... I made a video...

Just before winter set in and having driven it all summer as a daily driver... I had time for one last mini project before I put it away for it's long winter nap. New brakes and lines for the front, radiator referbished and painted, cleaned up under the engine, tighten down a few things and... tear into that engine compartment! to clean it up. A leaky valve cover gasket needed replacing and once I got started tearing it apart... I couldn't stop. Not as detailed as I would have liked however time was limited and it is a daily driver after all :-)

Time for another... Video!!

Head Gasket Replaced
August 2009

Well... last year in hopes of stopping an oil leak I replaced the valve cover gasket and cleaned up the top half of the motor. Didn't work. This car has always smoked a bit out the tailpipe on startup and it just kept getting worse. I was beginning to believe I had a head gasket issue. I started looking for the leak and found a bad one, bottom of the head in back on the driver side. New! Head Gasket Needed!

so... here's what I started with

looked ok for a driver but my plans included a major cleanup.

here we go... down to the block

cover up the pistons

and disassemble

now ready to get started on the next step... cleanup

push it outside...

get out the power washer...

soak it down with engine cleaner

2 sessions with the power washer and much better

this pinto was originally blue

Previous owner had the car painted white and did the engine bay too.

however no primer was used and I doubt the engine was torn down this far so some areas didn't get covered and some of it just flaked off. I did do some sanding to prepair for the next step.

Now for some of the parts going back on. This head was from a "rebuilt" motor I had purchased for parts. I sent it out to be checked and cleaned. The machine shop said surface was flat, no cracks and over all very good condition. They did replace 1 valve seal, the others were ground and they also replaced the rear cam seal. Rebuilt Head!

Some of the other parts. I wire wheeled everything down to metal, primered and painted.

again... no primer used previously so paint was flaking. I stripped, primered and repainted.

wire wheeled and shiny!

time to primer the block, several coats were done to prime it good.

time for the paint

several coats and kept checking for thin spots.

brake booster and master cylinder now match

used a fan to help it dry for the next step

next day... cover the engine and wires, time to start painting the engine bay.

primer the engine bay so the paint will stick! and hopefully last awhile.

fan used again to help dry the paint

looking good and ready to start reassembly

reassembly started

a mock up to give me an idea of the finished look

timing set and button up

this is looking really good... hope it runs as good as it looks when done.

After getting it started, set the timing... it's running great and ready for a test drive.

the details... lots of work...

wire wheel everything! even the bolts, painted items all primered before paint.

wires cleaned up and some new looms

radiator looks new and shiny!

It's really amazing how nice this looks in person, the best part... runs as good as it looks.

and of course.... a Video!

~~ 2010 Update ~~

Not much was done to any of the Pinto's this year, no major projects except this one. It Now Has! New Leaf Springs! and New Shocks! on all 4 corners! I knew the leaf springs were weak but didn't know how bad until the new ones were installed. When the bolts were removed from the old leafs, one just broke in half and the other was just as bad. Good thing I wasn't driving it much.

It's been a slow and steady project since I got it. Sure like this one and now with all the "mechanicals" finished, an "almost new interior" it's time to consider.... body and paint???