3 4 5 6
therealpinto Reader
3/11/21 1:52 a.m.

I got the last connector(s) and the loom is pretty much done. I have to decide how to connect the radiator fan, either use the 2-pin DTM connector I have (but then I will have a "loose" earth connector that will stick out from the engine loom) or just use some normal round connector and have the earth separate.

We'll see.

Another small thing that has been fixed is the switch panel for fuel pumps (it's nice to be able to shut them down manually), launch control and line lock. I have had that panel for years, in front of the centre console.

It has worked fine but the white Dymo labels look a bit...DIY?

This looks a bit better! I found an online printer that would make one offs (but I ordered 3, because...) at a decent price.

They also made me a label for the radiator fan override.

A re-purposed rear window heater switch. I just need to get the indicator light working too.

Matte/satin vinyl would have been nicer but this is OK when it is in the car, I think.


therealpinto Reader
3/15/21 2:38 a.m.

So this weekend saw a kind of milestone passed. The last wiring bits were done and then I decided to power up the MaxxEcu (after checking that all pins on the loom beeped out it the right places).

That's always exciting and after using the correct USB port on the laptop, it auto-updated and then started speaking Mtune. I started with no sensors or stuff connected, then decided to try the E-throttle. Honestly that is the thing I am not 100 % confident in - but after fiddling with some settings, it seems to "work". At least the throttle body motion seems to follow the gas pedal. I do feel the TB may be a bit "sticky" though. It's a junkyard one from a Volvo V70 of unknown history so it may well be bad.

Another feature I have not mentioned (I think) is a little gadget display. For years I have had a lambda display next to the boost and voltage gauge. While I of course run closed loop I have gotten used to being able to glance on the lambda gauge to see that everything looks OK. I have also found it's a nice aid when just cruising down the road, to stay in closed loop.

But since the MaxxEcu replaces my stand-alone wideband lambda, there is no natural lambda gauge. Yes, I can use Mdash to get it on a tablet or a smartphone (and I did some tests for that) but I have a perfect 52 mm gauge spot. I contemplated populating that spot with something else (Amp meter? Oil temp?) but felt that if I add oil temp, I want to log that. Then I started thinking about making the MaxxEcu output a signal for a regular lambda display. This is very much possible since MaxxEcu is very "configureable". But I could not find a lambda gauge to match the other ones I have (discontinued of course).

My dyno guy and MaxxEcu dealer of course had a solution. MaxxEcu speaks CAN and that opens up for the CAN Checked device. http://www.canchecked.de/mfd15/ is a 52 mm gauge that will display pretty much whatever the MaxxEcu will tell it to. 

This means I also get easy access to ethanol content display and when/if I add oil temp I can get that as well. Compared to using Mdash or another android display this one is hard wired and starts up instantly. I can set warnings and also use analog inputs straight to the gauge if I want to. Too cool to pass on :-)

Pictures will follow when I have the time but after reading the instructions (!) the CAN Checked also works fine.


GPz11 (Forum Supporter)
GPz11 (Forum Supporter) Reader
3/15/21 7:33 a.m.

Here's another CAN gauge if you'd like to check it out.


I'm running it in my XR and yes, it's nice to be able to see what everything is doing without having a tablet or laptop connected up.

Rodan Dork
3/15/21 8:29 a.m.

I'm running the PerfectTuning gauge in our Miata (MS3) and I really like it.  Programmable display, programmable warnings, etc.

therealpinto Reader
3/15/21 9:09 a.m.

Cool, I hadn't seen that one before. Nice to see you like the concept, I think I will too.

The "Start in neutral, clutch out"  message is something I would consider in my car too :-)



therealpinto Reader
3/16/21 1:30 a.m.

And here is the CAN Checked device, with the other two 52 mm gauges in the very much unusual factory aircon bulge (only US models) in the Capri lower dash.

The rotary know to the lower right of the CAN Checked is the control button, rotate to select and click to confirm. Works really nice I think and way easier than a touch screen with the tactile feedback it has.

The thing also has a USB port for programming and that is accessible from the ash tray. Both that port and the knob are or reasonably long wires so they can be put where suitable.


therealpinto Reader
5/7/21 9:02 a.m.

After some careful thinking, pondering and dialogue I decided to rip the bottom end apart to fix the compression, the right way (or one right way). Skim the block to bring the pistons closer to the deck, since I got an offer from the same guy who flowed the head to fix it for me.

This time there were really no surprises when taking the bottom end apart, and a quick few passes in the mill later, the pistons are almost flush again. I should get around 9:1 (possibly a little bit more) with this, a decent base and if I ever want to increase CR more, the head can be skimmed a bit.

While everything was OK in the bottom end I still got new bearings (because...they are "cheap"), and also decided to go for ARP head studs. Hopefully they can make the Victor Reinz head gasket survive E85 and boost.

Building a Pinto engine is a nice relaxing thing for me. Kind of mind soothing (something that is quite welcome this spring). Getting the gearbox back in place, not so much so but in it went...

...and finally it was time to start it up again!

I had to remember how to set the trigger angle, and re-calibrate the E-throttle but it runs!


therealpinto Reader
5/18/21 1:16 a.m.

With it running decently on gasoline I switched to E85, and got it working on booze too - at least on idle and free revving. The other stuff would be a task for my trusted dyno tuner Mattias. I need his dyno plot to register the car with all the changes so I prefer letting him to a tune. 

Before loading it on the trailer I took a new weight. In Sweden, the amount of power you're allowed to have in a "home built" road car is connected to the weight. Normally 15 kW/100 kg (204 bhp per metric tonne) but I have an exception permit to use 20 kW/100 kg instead. The weight used is the "curb weight" (car with all fluids, plus a driver of 75 kg). On the picture above there is 20 liters of E85 in the tank, and no driver. So the curb weight should be around 1265 kg and that would allow 252 kW or around 342 bhp. Good to know...

All loaded up and ready to leave an early Friday morning!

When I got to Mattias we bolted the car to the dyno hubs and then proceeded to go over my settings with a cup of coffee. Mattias is very experienced with MaxxEcu and immediately found some things that I had done "not really right". Quite interesting to see that with some settings, the car will still run fine but you can get issues later on. Especially when changing stuff.

With that done I left Mattias to do his business while I did a tech inspection on a completely different project (VW Baja Bug with raised type 2 suspension and a Volvo B20).  Quite soon I got a report from Mattias saying the engine was performing a lot better - 260 whp at wastegate spring pressure, 0,8 bar. A while later a somewhat cryptical message saying "at 1.2 bar it's better all over than before at 2.1" but also about the need to adjust plug gaps and fix some boost pipes.

When I returned for lunch he had re-calibrated the E-throttle and adjusted the plug gaps. We had a bite to eat and then went back to the dyno.

Now we made some "power runs" and settled on a nice 1.2 bar setting.

This is a comparison to our last session with the 19T turbo. While the 319 whp is a nice improvement the real deal is that torque before boost climbs is pratty much 50 Nm better, and that the torque and power holds on a lot better.  In reality, the last setup would also start trigger missing after 6000 rpm for unknown reasons so I have added almost another 1000 rpm of useful power band. It's all about the area under the graph...

Will it take more boost? Probably, or certainly, but these are the stated figures that work for registering the car and there is not much head room left in the turbo.

We then swapped to gasoline, to make a tuning for the flexifuel capabilities. The E85 sensor means I should be able to run any mix of E85/gasoline.

We needed to make a bit more fuelling adjustments than we thought but in the end the gasoline vs E85 graph is pretty good. 306 whp and 382 Nm is decent and we did not stress the engine too much here - the idea is to run E85 whenever "power" is needed. Gasoline is more for transportation...

During this last run I spotted a substantial oil leak so it was time to call it a day. The cover for the dizzy drive had loosened and dumped a lot of oil on the floor, over the engine bay... So I got to test the trailer winsch, finally. Worked fine :-)

Back in the garage I fixed the leak (but I still suspect the valve cover gasket seeps a bit). Sunday it was time to get the first tech inspection for the registration process done. This is what I do part time but of course I can't inspect my own car, so a colleague drove 5 hours to help me out. Even though I know the process, and I have checked the car over it was a bit exciting. All worked fine but now he has driven this setup more than me ;-) The engine seems to pull nice and is also well behaved in normal driving.

The final inspection is next week and then I hope the car will be road legal again :-)


therealpinto Reader
8/8/21 3:05 a.m.

So yeah, the summer is almost gone (not quite but...well...). The inspection went fine and the car is road legal with 319 bhp since early June. It drives nice but with the addition of the Sierra 2.9 and the drift car for Kajsa it hasn't been driven much at all. Partly also because of the hot weather, this is not the car to drive to a crowded beach in +30 degrees C...

Last week Kajsa was away working on the Tuesday practice night at the drift track so I decided to take the Capri there for a trial. If you remember I have been there before and usually end up in the sand trap :-(

Now I decided to take it slow and just learn the new engine. With only three cars on track there was loads of time.

It was immediately apparent that this setup is a lot easier to drive. I basically took one turn at a time and by the end of the night I could almost link it all into one drift. Almost, there are places where I just don't want to risk too much. But now I do feel I can keep practising without having to overdo it. The broader power band means it is way easier to drive slowly.

Funny, that you use another 20-50 bhp or so to be able to go slower!

Towards the end of the night the trusty Pinto reminded me that it was time to re-set the valve clearances after running for some time so I packed up and drove home. With a smile :):-)

Some quick clips:




8/8/21 4:15 p.m.

Just spent a good chunk of the afternoon on the deck reading this entire thread, just marvellous stuff. GRM legend

therealpinto Reader
1/17/22 2:37 a.m.

Just a quick maybe-not-so-interesting update but still. I need to make sure we remember this car...

It has been in the "parking" bay of my small 2-car garage at home for the beginning of the winter but since we have some work on the Sierras coming up I needed to free that space. This means moving the Capri to my rented storage garage where I keep the snow mobile during the summer, and also where the P11 race car now has lived (and last summer I also tried to keep the rented drift car there as much as I could).

The rented space is a 10 minute drive from home. It probably is an old bus and truck garage, where I have roughly a third of a larger space that I share with an acquaintance. It was actually him that found the offer but it was too expensive to rent for just him (plus the landlord wanted someone with a business and, erhm, stable economy). Sharing a larger open space has its downsides, the years up until now one part has been used by a carpenter/builder and the other part by different people (boat, container conversion). It has been a bit messy but the good thing has been that the others rarely have filled their spaces totally, so there has been space for us to move around a bit. Helpful when getting cars in an out for example.

After the summer I got a text message from the landlord saying they were gonna make some renovations in our space, paint some floors and walls and wondered if we could clear the space a bit. For my part it was fine, I only had the P11, the snow mobile and some wheels there but my "room mate" has a Capri in millions of pieces, a Suzuki Vitara A-traktor project (yeah) and...stuff. It ended up with them just covering our space with tarps.

Then I was contacted again, with the landlord explaining that they were making some changes. Our former "neighbours" had left and they were gonna use the space themselves. Now I called them up to reason a bit about the future and we had a good chat. The idea is to make the entire property a bit nicer and that's why stuff is moving around. But it also meant we would need to change our spot at least for some time.


We used to have the area inside the right door pair at the bottom, up towards the yellow square. The suggestion was not to move to the yellow part. Roughly the same area but a little bit different in shape. The old space we had was around 11,5x5,4 meters and the new one roughly 5,2x10,5.

The upside is we have a man door in the uppermost port in the picture (we had to use that one before too) and that door pair is in better working order than the one we had. But fitting four cars (my "target") in this space is tougher, especially when having the door on the "long" side meaning you have a sharp turn to make entering.

Still, I could not object to our move with the possibility to get it all painted with new lighting etc. But I also pointed out what my future plans for this area is - I want to use all of "my" rented space for myself, as soon as the buddy is "done" with his Capri. It's not cheap but it's a nice place and it would solve a lot of my current space issues at home. I can either keep 4 of my cars here, or 3 cars plus a lot of "stuff".

This is the first trial of where to put the P11, it's right inside the door, stuffed to the wall. The door is wide enough that you still can get a car in there. The rear of the P11 might just overshoot our area by a tiny amount but so far it has been OK.

And here is the entire space. 

In the end he turned his Capri 90 degrees. And that is where this update was supposed to go - me getting my Capri in here.

Because of the renovation I couldn't do it much earlier and then it was Christmas. Then it was minus a bazillion degrees but last weekend the temperatures were more sane. But snow... even getting out of the garage, on to the trailer and into the storage would need studded winter tires, at least on the rear. I have no spare 15" winter wheels (to go over the brakes). But I decided to borrow the Cosworth wheels of Kajsas black Sierra. 

I had charged the battery in the Capri a couple of weeks ago when I started it up for a while to let the fuel circulate a bit (E85...) but now it was pretty dead. Charging for some hours only helped a bit, and not even the booster pack was enough. Sure, the cold start of an E85 is a bit hard but with around 10 degrees C in the garage it should not be impossible.

Finally I got it running, and let it idle outside as I swapped the rear wheels and connected the trailer. But I stalled it driving it up on the ramps and the battery quickly died again. Doh. Anyway, I could use the winch and then only hope that I could get it started to unload. 

As I entered the storage place my partner in crime was there and we quickly decided that it was better to just try reversing the trailer towards the door and unload the car straight in. It's a rather tight reversing manouevre but it worked.

Once inside, I had invested in mechanical dollies;

The floor is quite smooth especially with the fresh paint but I hadn't counted on the slope. But finally we had my Capri in place, where the blue tarp is in the picture above, 90 degrees against the P11. This means the Suzuki (short, narrow) fits well in the space left. I covered my car in two covers to protect it as much as possible and took the snow mobile on the trailer back home.

I am a bit intrigued about the battery though. It is an Optima red top, bought in 2016 (meaning it is not as "new" as I imagined) and while I have not been extremly good at trickle charging it has also never been out in the cold. I took it back home and it is now on the "Recond" mode on one of my C-Tek chargers. Let's see if it wakes up...

therealpinto Reader
8/16/22 4:32 a.m.

The Capri was probably too safely tucked away under two soft covers in the storage space since I didn´t bring it out until August :-(

But when I did it was with a new battery.

The target was a Track Weekend at our local track, originally called "Scandinavian Festival of Speed" (a bold statement) but in the end reduced to less of a party, more of a track day. Or three track days actually.

Thursday evening I loaded up the track day stuff in the Capri and planned to leave after an early lunch on Friday. But Friday morning I had second thoughts, and decided to take the trailer instead. IF something would happen...it´s nice to be able to get home. Not that anything should happen of course.

Track time was split between three groups, drifting, grip and Legend Cars. When signing in it was explained that the grip group (including me) was welcome to drive during the drifiting passes too, if we wanted too. This meant a whole lot more flexibility in driving and was a really nice bonus. Suddenly I would have all the track time I could use and more.

Friday weather was really nice and sunny, just the right temperatures. Entering the track was exciting - I had never properly driven this engine setup on something else than a short drift track (and public roads...). And I had never taken this car with the suspension setup from 2014-on out on a real track, just autocross. And how would I adapt a track that I have hundreds of laps in the Primera in my muscle memory?

OK, it turned out. Yes, a big change to have a car that oversteers on throttle, and accelerates hard in 4th gear. Turn-in is much more enthusiastic than the Primera (of course) and the brakes have a very different feel. But yes, it is fun!

I tried softening the rear shocks a bit to reduce oversteer but I´m not sure it worked. And then a friend requested that I should try his Legend Car, and it would be rude to refure. That was not boring anywhere, in anyway! I fully see the rationale behind a small-footprint, "real" racecar with small wheels. Food for thought.

In a later drive pass I felt something not quite right and as I entered the pits and took of the helmet it was clear, at least one cylinder missing.

After it had cooled down a bit I took out the plugs and it was clear that at least number 3 but possibly also 4 was wet. Like, water wet (not oil). And at least 1,5 litres of coolant was missing. My gut feeling said head gasket failure.

I joked to my pit neighbour that "20 years ago I would have gone home and swapped the gasket to be able to drive tomorrow, but now I am too old for that". I loaded the car on the trailer, ever so thankful for making the right choice in the morning...

...and as I left the track I called my buddy Isak who had planned to follow me to the track Saturday. I said the car was broken, no driving, but that we´d go anyway. He asked how hard it was to fix and said "I´ll help out!". So I gave it some thought - I have all the parts, Friday night is "ruined" anyway...and the gasket needs to be swapped. Do it now, or later...

The decision was "now" and we set to work. It was good to have a helper since the head is heavy...

And, the damage was very clear. Detonation? Probably, something blew the fire ring out into the coolant passage.

The fiddly part aboout this task in my car is that the bolts for the intake and exhaust are quite hard to get at. A reminder when/if I build another manifold again...

At 00.15 or something we could start it up on all 4 cylinders again. A quick wash and loading on the trailer would have to wait until Saturday morning.

I did a couple of stints before lunch time and gave Isak a ride around the track. He has been marshalling a couple of races so it was nice to show him how it feels from the other side.

We had a photo shoot to perform as the rain let go and then I went out with my daugther as a passenger. Just as I was about to leave track I thought I saw some smoke so I tried to listen again for missing cylinders. Another head gasket failure? I had lowered the boost a tad to avoid it but... Although this time I had all cylinders running.

Coming back and opening the bonnet it was clear that we had another issue. Oil spray almost everywhere... The seal for the camshaft had walked out so with aid of a cam pulley spinning there was oil spread...luckily most of it stayed in the car at least.

Once again, happy to have brought the trailer.

All in all it was a great weekend out and plenty fun to really, really, drive the car. I need to do this more :-)


AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/16/22 10:18 a.m.

In reply to therealpinto :

i'm always happy to see this car on page 1

crankwalk (Forum Supporter)
crankwalk (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
8/16/22 10:18 a.m.

Glad to see you are out enjoying it!

therealpinto Reader
8/19/22 2:31 a.m.

Thanks! I have ordered new seals and also a new cam pulley. I always thought the one I have (a second hand, home built thing) had a bit of a wobble and I wonder if that is what made the seal loosen.

I just paid the import duties (thank you Great Britain for leaving the EU - not!) and expect the parts to be ready to fit next week.


therealpinto Reader
8/25/22 2:08 a.m.

Short update here too; Monday evening I swapped the cam seal and put the new cam pulley on. It´s a Burton steel pulley (since the alloy ones are known for wear) and it feels really well made. I might be imagining but it feels like the engine does run a tiny bit smoother, less vibration. Placebo or not, it´s driveable again and I gave it a quick wash.

September is basically filled with wrapping up the racing season, a business trip and a "guys trip" (to the French Riviera...oh my) but I really wish I could find the time to get the spare gearbox fitted and tested before snowfall. 

I need to know if I should try to bring back some billet shift forks for the uprated T5 when I go to SEMA in November...


therealpinto HalfDork
11/26/22 8:40 a.m.

I never got to testing the spare gearbox, instead I just forked out (haha) for some billet forks, and swapped them into the "proper" gearbox. But I also made a simple gearbox jack from a "mini lift"

The standard forks showed no ill signs or wear however...

The new ones look better though :-)

It's almost impossible to test the gearbox on the floor, but I still have the feeling that it is very hard to shift into second gear whenever the shafts are turning in relation to each other. It feels like something is binding in the synchro. So, I ordered a new synchro set for the 2nd gear (even though I changed it when I put the gearset in some time ago).

To compare, I brought the spare gearbox out of storage and it actually seems to go into gear a little bit better. But not perfect. I decided to open it up before fitting it to the car, just to estimate the condition - it comes from a rallycross car so has seen some beating.

Yep, that one has a shift fork that has clearly been thrashed, and repaired. Also, the 5th speed gear has some chipping...

Then I ran out of time to reassemble that one.

I still lean towards fitting the spare gearbox to see if it behaves the same - if so, I need to look over the clutch release mechanism again, to see if there is an issue there, or with the pilot bearing. But when I last had the gearbox down I tested with a spare input shaft and to me, it feels like it is releasing like it should.


Rodan SuperDork
11/26/22 9:28 a.m.

Like the gearbox jack!

IIRC, that's a T-5?

therealpinto HalfDork
11/26/22 9:52 a.m.

Yes, this is a (or, two) T5's, from the Sierra Cosworth rwd.

I debated gearbox choices a lot but ended up with this solution since it was reasonably "bolt on" to a Pinto and Capri (compared to a modified BMW gearbox for example).



therealpinto HalfDork
11/28/22 6:44 a.m.

I have had the "spare" gearbox apart and partly together numerous times, something would bind and stick but finally I got it to work. Probably a combination of previous repairs and me forgetting stuff...

One niggle with it was that the input shaft bearing retainer, that has the sleeve for the throwout bearing was modified. The sleeve was cut away since the ´box was used on a Volvo B21 motor, where a hydraulic throwout bearing was fitted to the Volvo bellhousing. Why? The "strange" rules in the Swedish rallycross, where the 2150 class has a set number of "points" you can take in modifying. Up until a few years ago it basically meant that when fitting the Volvo motors (as "everybody" does) into another car, you need to keep a gearbox from the car make. In this case, the Sierra that had been running this gearbox needed a Ford gearbox. Rules changed and that´s how I got the gearbox...

Anyway, finding a new bearing retainer from a Cosworth gearbox was impossible. Instead I found some Jeep application that had a similar sleeve dimensions wise, only a bit thicker. A friend turned it down to the correct diameter for me.

Of course, I have since given some thought to the idea of a hydraulic throwout bearing myself. But I can always refit the cut retainer if need be.

I added a rear cradle for the gearbox jack, but again, ran out of time for refitting...


Shavarsh HalfDork
11/28/22 6:56 p.m.

Glad to see your updates, I'll be following along. My T5 needs a rebuild and I'm interested to see if you notice a difference with the new forks.

therealpinto HalfDork
11/29/22 5:41 a.m.

I will report whenever I get the chance to try it out...

Rebuilding the T5 was pretty nice work, I think, the issue with the Cosworth T5 is that you can´t get the 5th gear through the housing, so you either need to cut a bearing race (what I did) or have a special 5th gear puller. 

As I have the perfect gearset from my old gearbox I probably will use that in the spare gearbox sometime. But I also want to swap out the 2nd gear synchro in the "real" gearbox and then I need to pull 5th gear...so will probably see if I can have a puller made.

Using a US ´box with a normal 5th gear means it is much easier.


therealpinto HalfDork
12/20/22 3:55 a.m.

It has been stupid cold here and I have reduced the heat in the garage. Mainly since the load sensing device (current limiter) for the EV charger goes offline all the time but also because we have a bit of an electricity shortage, and I like to be able to contribute best as I can.

But the other night I faced the cold and decided it was time to get a gearbox fitted to the car again. Any hopes of getting the Capri to winter storage before Christmas are long gone but I have some hopes for January.

Anyway, I added a better rear support to the gearbox jack and now the T5 is pretty solid there:

Time to put it to the test. Getting a gearbox down is always assisted by gravity. The other way, not so much.

But this contraption worked a treat! Got it on the first go after a slight angle adjustment - the front "fork" can be adjusted up and down with the gearbox in place.

That was a relief, much easier than balancing on a floor jack. I might see if there is a way to extend the height screw for the jack, so it can be operated from both sides but that's a minor thing.

With the gearbox in place, supported by the jack, instead I got stuck on the cross member and rubber mount. It has always been a little bit off since I built it. The mount also hangs really low and this summer, it caught the edge on the rented garage opening and shifted even more. I can't get it to line up now. So I decided I will re-do the mounting and see if I can make it a bit more streamlined. I have been using a Volvo 740 gearbox rubber mount but I think a Sierra mount will work better. So that will be ordered to arrive after the holidays. Because by now I was also freezing :-(


jimbbski SuperDork
12/20/22 6:02 p.m.

FYI Last winter I  Last winter I fabricated a hydro clutch for my friends V6 Capri that had a T5 trans.  I posted some pics on Capri World (North America) Facebook group but here's couple: 

therealpinto HalfDork
12/21/22 12:58 a.m.


I have seen a few other conversions but it is always good with more inspiration. I am actually pretty sure it could be done in a way to keep the cable clutch option.

In my cae, I also have the EPAS column that fights for space but I do think it would work.

Those are work-in-progress pictures from 2016.

That bellhousing in your image is wanted by many here in Europe...


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