This is Jim Kloosterman. You may have sent me a message directly about a week ago too. It came across my phone but now I can't seem to find it! I did rally a Pinto in the late 70's but I'm not sure that the Brian McMahon photo is of my car; there were several others also rallying Pinto's in that time frame. I'd be happy to help you if I can, just remember that was almost 40 years ago and memory is the second thing to go!! You're welcome to communicate directly via e-mail at: [email protected] if you wish.
I'm completely new to the rally scene. I have a dirt track background. But no clue on this kind of racing. My pinto does have the recall installed so risk of fire. Which in reality was more then just the car itself. Only 27 had fires. The volkswagen beetle and datsun b210 had worse ratings when if came to collision caused fires. Buy anyways I'm very curious as to how to et ground clearance and suspension travel out of basically stock suspension configuration and just run upgraded racing springs and shocks. I know it's hard to determine because of the difference in stages but what gear ratio do you run in the rearend? I know it's not going to be 6.00 like in the dirt track. Think 3.42 or 3.73.
Gearing will need to be more in the 4.30 plus area, maybe even 4.80 to 5.00. Most NA cars use 1st gear only at stage start and then 2-5th for the work. I'd guess you should be looking at about a 2" raise over stock or so. Easy in the back due to live axle with leaf springs. Leaf springs can work, like to wheel hop. Probably be better to switch to 4 link with panhard or watts and either coils or coil overs. You'll need some sort of limited slip affair for the diff while you're changing everything around. The front will likely be a bit more work, maybe graft a macpherson strut assemby in?