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  • Writer's pictureKingsley James

Pinto power westfield

Updated: Apr 1, 2022

This 1994 Westfield came to me from a local auction having just passed it’s m.o.t with no advisories. Comes with a 2.0 Pinto engine, side draft Webber 40mm carburettors, 5 speed type 9 ford gearbox, 4 nearly new tyres, full weather gear and a quick release steering wheel for easy access. Lots of previous m.o.t’d back up the low mileage of 39000 on the clock. Having been treated to a cambelt, 4 new inlet valves, valve stem oil seals, new gearbox mounts and a full gearbox gasket kit all within the last 500 miles there wasn’t going to be to much mechanical work needed.

When it arrived at the workshop it was a little slow on the starter motor. This turned out to be a scrap battery so a new one was fitting with slightly increased cranking amps just to be sure. Once running there was an occasional misfire on idle. This was an easy fix as 2 of the spark plugs were cracked. It was also clear from the colour of the plugs and the smell of the exhaust that it was running to rich and required the carburettors being set up. For peace of mind the relevant checks and maintenance are carried out. First up is the compression test.

Cylinder 1 compression

No.1 cylinder just over 140 psi

Cylinder 2 compression

No.2 cylinder just under 140 psi

Cylinder 3 compression

No.3 cylinder just over 130 psi

Cylinder 4 compression

No.4 cylinder just over 130 psi.

A variation of no more than 10 psi between the strongest and weakest cylinder is pretty good for a 30 year old engine and although this isn’t really a problem this small variation can be narrowed down by simply adjusting the fuel mix on each intake.

New #NGK spark plugs needed

The 2 old plugs on the right were cracked and causing a slight misfire on idle and so were changed. The colour is also a bit dark and so confirming the rich fuel mix.

Rocker adjustment on the #Ford Pinto engine

Modern engines these days use hydraulic valve lifters which are non serviceable. Older engines like this Pinto use adjustable rocker arms to covert the lift of the cam shaft into a downward motion pushing the valves into the combustion chamber allowing the fuel and air mix in and the burned gasses out. The rockers hear are adjusted to have a gap between the rocker and cam or the rocker and valve stem of 10 thousandths of an inch on the exhaust valves and 8 thousandths of an inch on the inlet valves. This is to allow for thermal expansion. As the engine gets hotter the metal will expand and the gap will close. If the gap wasn’t there as the engine gets hot the valves would be held open resulting in no compression. Equally if the gap was to big the valves wouldn’t be opening enough. This would result in a lack of power and compression. This can happen after long periods without checking.

Next up is to balance the carburettors. The basic idea hear is to use an air flow miter to measure the air flow being sucked into the engine through the 4 carburettor inlet trumpets (1 per cylinder) and make adjustments to equalise. This insures all 4 cylinders are getting the same amount of fuel and air. At the same time the fuel mix screws were adjusted on the lean side.

Last on the service side is a simple oil and filter change and it’s ready to be started again.

The last job was the cosmetics. Being a 27 year old fibreglass bodied car that was built to go racing it’s fair to say there were some imperfections in the paint. The whole body was treated to 1200 and 3000 grade wet sanding to remove scratches and was followed by a full machine polish to buff to a high shine. The only bit I couldn’t sand out was a hair line crack in the gel coat on the rear passenger wing but other than that the body has come out like new.

This is a great fun car combining a powerful reliable and very simple engine with an 850kg body.

Now sold.


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