Oil for a 1979 Ford Pinto?

Joined
Oct 9, 2004
Messages
12,862
Location
Cincinnati, OH, USA
Originally Posted by Kawiguy454
Dont laugh ...the $100 72 pinto i got had that little 2.3 which was quite a screemin little motor. The dune buggy guys loved em as they were very durable. Agree 10w30
Sure it wasn't a 2.0? The '72 Pinto I had, that I paid the princely sum of TWENTY-FIVE dollars for (had to have a key made & put a timing belt on it), the belt was broken when I bought it, had the 2.0. Remains the only engine I've ever blown up, ran it out of oil & threw a rod driving it to college!
 
Joined
Oct 31, 2014
Messages
1,227
Location
Pa, USA
My advice: Go drain the oil. Put drain plug back and drive it. The car is not worth any oil put into it. When it breaks down, have a junk yard pick it up. The car kills people, so kill the car.
 

Astro14

$100 Site Donor
Staff member
Joined
Oct 10, 2010
Messages
16,173
Location
Virginia Beach
Originally Posted by NH73
My advice: Go drain the oil. Put drain plug back and drive it. The car is not worth any oil put into it. When it breaks down, have a junk yard pick it up. The car kills people, so kill the car.
I really don't think that's helpful, do you? The car, in earlier years, had shock bolts on the rear end that faced forward, and could puncture the fuel tank in a rear end collision. With the bolts turned the other way, or shielded, this risk was reduced. OP, I would check on that. Lots of antique (and this car is an antique) cars don't meet modern safety standards, but without knowing the intended use, killing the car isn't necessary. OP, I would run an HDEO. 10W30 or XW40. That's what it would've been filled with when it was new. An HDEO will have that extra bit of zinc, which I would want with a flat tappet cam.
 
Joined
Sep 8, 2005
Messages
15,580
Location
Canada
Please enjoy and take care of that car, love the 70's cars! Would use a 10w-30 HDEO in that gem, will work great! Any chance of pics?
 
Joined
Oct 31, 2014
Messages
1,227
Location
Pa, USA
Originally Posted by Astro14
Originally Posted by NH73
My advice: Go drain the oil. Put drain plug back and drive it. The car is not worth any oil put into it. When it breaks down, have a junk yard pick it up. The car kills people, so kill the car.
I really don't think that's helpful, do you? The car, in earlier years, had shock bolts on the rear end that faced forward, and could puncture the fuel tank in a rear end collision. With the bolts turned the other way, or shielded, this risk was reduced. OP, I would check on that. Lots of antique (and this car is an antique) cars don't meet modern safety standards, but without knowing the intended use, killing the car isn't necessary. OP, I would run an HDEO. 10W30 or XW40. That's what it would've been filled with when it was new. An HDEO will have that extra bit of zinc, which I would want with a flat tappet cam.
So you take that car to a car show and everyone will say, "That is the car that blew up when rear ended." So why would anyone want to pour there heart and soul in a car to only hear that?
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2008
Messages
20,147
Location
NH
Originally Posted by NH73
Originally Posted by Astro14
Originally Posted by NH73
My advice: Go drain the oil. Put drain plug back and drive it. The car is not worth any oil put into it. When it breaks down, have a junk yard pick it up. The car kills people, so kill the car.
I really don't think that's helpful, do you? The car, in earlier years, had shock bolts on the rear end that faced forward, and could puncture the fuel tank in a rear end collision. With the bolts turned the other way, or shielded, this risk was reduced. OP, I would check on that. Lots of antique (and this car is an antique) cars don't meet modern safety standards, but without knowing the intended use, killing the car isn't necessary. OP, I would run an HDEO. 10W30 or XW40. That's what it would've been filled with when it was new. An HDEO will have that extra bit of zinc, which I would want with a flat tappet cam.
So you take that car to a car show and everyone will say, "That is the car that blew up when rear ended." So why would anyone want to pour there heart and soul in a car to only hear that?
You don't really think the issue was this bad, do you?
 
Joined
Apr 24, 2018
Messages
2,634
Location
Wisconsin
Originally Posted by NH73
Originally Posted by Astro14
Originally Posted by NH73
My advice: Go drain the oil. Put drain plug back and drive it. The car is not worth any oil put into it. When it breaks down, have a junk yard pick it up. The car kills people, so kill the car.
I really don't think that's helpful, do you? The car, in earlier years, had shock bolts on the rear end that faced forward, and could puncture the fuel tank in a rear end collision. With the bolts turned the other way, or shielded, this risk was reduced. OP, I would check on that. Lots of antique (and this car is an antique) cars don't meet modern safety standards, but without knowing the intended use, killing the car isn't necessary. OP, I would run an HDEO. 10W30 or XW40. That's what it would've been filled with when it was new. An HDEO will have that extra bit of zinc, which I would want with a flat tappet cam.
So you take that car to a car show and everyone will say, "That is the car that blew up when rear ended." So why would anyone want to pour there heart and soul in a car to only hear that?
The fact he has the car 40 years later indicates it's a safe durable car, otherwise, why hasn't it blow up already?
 

Astro14

$100 Site Donor
Staff member
Joined
Oct 10, 2010
Messages
16,173
Location
Virginia Beach
Originally Posted by NH73
Originally Posted by Astro14
Originally Posted by NH73
My advice: Go drain the oil. Put drain plug back and drive it. The car is not worth any oil put into it. When it breaks down, have a junk yard pick it up. The car kills people, so kill the car.
I really don't think that's helpful, do you? The car, in earlier years, had shock bolts on the rear end that faced forward, and could puncture the fuel tank in a rear end collision. With the bolts turned the other way, or shielded, this risk was reduced. OP, I would check on that. Lots of antique (and this car is an antique) cars don't meet modern safety standards, but without knowing the intended use, killing the car isn't necessary. OP, I would run an HDEO. 10W30 or XW40. That's what it would've been filled with when it was new. An HDEO will have that extra bit of zinc, which I would want with a flat tappet cam.
So you take that car to a car show and everyone will say, "That is the car that blew up when rear ended." So why would anyone want to pour there heart and soul in a car to only hear that?
I suppose it would be a lot like owning a Ford Explorer. You know, the SUV that rolls over and kills people? Remember the headlines? I sure do. Perhaps we should give the OP enough credit to allow him to make his own choices.
 
Joined
Nov 12, 2019
Messages
514
Location
Upstate
That 2.3 is a single overhead cam engine with pretty mild valve springs. Any readily available SN xxW-30 or xxW-40 will be fine. A high mileage oil for the seal conditioners wouldn't be a bad idea. As it was built near the end of the Pinto production, a '79 model should have the safety updates factory installed. Probably worth the time to peek underneath to see if the protective panels are in place in front of the fuel tank. I'd also be sure to have a high mount stop light installed so the dummy behind you will know when you're braking.
 
Joined
Nov 22, 2004
Messages
9,054
Location
Texas
Supertech Syn High Mileage for $13.48 a 5qt jug. Run it 5k miles max since you probably have a little fuel dilution being a carbed motor.
 

pbm

Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
9,427
Location
New York
The 2.3 OHC Ford was a durable little motor....far, far better than it's main competitor's...the Chevy Vega. OTOH, I would make sure the gas tank 'shield' was in place....I responded to a few MVA's where the Pinto exploded from a rear end hit...at least 2 of them caused the driver to be DOA....
 
Joined
Oct 31, 2014
Messages
1,227
Location
Pa, USA
Originally Posted by Astro14
Originally Posted by NH73
Originally Posted by Astro14
Originally Posted by NH73
My advice: Go drain the oil. Put drain plug back and drive it. The car is not worth any oil put into it. When it breaks down, have a junk yard pick it up. The car kills people, so kill the car.
I really don't think that's helpful, do you? The car, in earlier years, had shock bolts on the rear end that faced forward, and could puncture the fuel tank in a rear end collision. With the bolts turned the other way, or shielded, this risk was reduced. OP, I would check on that. Lots of antique (and this car is an antique) cars don't meet modern safety standards, but without knowing the intended use, killing the car isn't necessary. OP, I would run an HDEO. 10W30 or XW40. That's what it would've been filled with when it was new. An HDEO will have that extra bit of zinc, which I would want with a flat tappet cam.
So you take that car to a car show and everyone will say, "That is the car that blew up when rear ended." So why would anyone want to pour there heart and soul in a car to only hear that?
I suppose it would be a lot like owning a Ford Explorer. You know, the SUV that rolls over and kills people? Remember the headlines? I sure do. Perhaps we should give the OP enough credit to allow him to make his own choices.
Oh, but I thought it was the Firestone tires that made them roll over. Mine at least have the General Grabber in them, so I should be ok. Probably doesn't matter. Despite how that, all those SUV of that same caliber are just as prone to rollover. Despite all that, the Explorer in my name was inherited through a marriage. If it were my choice on vehicle alone, it wouldn't be there. Anything major like transmission rebuilt, engine rebuilt that is required of it, it is going be gone. If someone wants to have a Pinto, have at it. Anyone could keep any vehicle to 40 years. I was just pressing buttons here. A lot of good oil advice here. I think I like the HDEO 10w30 advice since that was probably what is the closest thing that used from new. 10w30 High Mileage is another good one.
 

FCD

Joined
Oct 22, 2015
Messages
3,878
Location
Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain
Originally Posted by kschachn
Originally Posted by FordCapriDriver
Valvoline VR1 10W-30, affordable, high ZDDP, can't go wrong with that.
Ah yeah, an $8 a quart racing oil for a 1979 Ford Pinto. Right. Why not Red LIne at $12 a quart? Wouldn't that be more better? I mean, you couldn't go wrong with that either.
8$ a quart, really? Here in Spain it's half of that.
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
Messages
7,577
Originally Posted by SoftLight
Hi everyone. I've read some threads here before, and now have joined. smile I recently acquired a 1979 Ford Pinto with the 2.3 engine (4 speed manual). Miles are unknown (5 digit odometer, no idea if it's flipped over). What oil should I use? Is an oil high in ZDDP needed? Thanks.
I would use a conventional 10w-30. I remember having that engine/ transmission in my 79 Fairmont, there was a factory sticker on the air cleaner lid saying not to use 10w-40. I really don't know why that was suggested.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 4, 2017
Messages
23,977
Location
...
Originally Posted by Lubener
Originally Posted by SoftLight
Hi everyone. I've read some threads here before, and now have joined. smile I recently acquired a 1979 Ford Pinto with the 2.3 engine (4 speed manual). Miles are unknown (5 digit odometer, no idea if it's flipped over). What oil should I use? Is an oil high in ZDDP needed? Thanks.
I would use a conventional 10w-30. I remember having that engine/ transmission in my 79 Fairmont, there was a factory sticker on the air cleaner lid saying not to use 10w-40. I really don't know why that was suggested.
Wasn't that around the time that news came out that 10w40 was not a good oil to run? There was a general switch back to 30 grade.
 
Top