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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I'm new here, so go easy on me :)

girlfriend has an 89 Pony, which is a 1st gen, correct?

no options, except auto (ugh)

She's about 95lbs and 5' tall. So its a little hard to maneuver at slow speeds to say the least.

I've got lines, pump and rack. Just need the pulley, mounting bracket and belt. Anything else I might need?

Also looking for ideas on why the ting shifts into third so early, causing the motor to bog down and ping. Should I convert to the HO top end?

Thanks,
Stefan
 

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I would change the tranny oil and filter. Do these trannys have a modulator in them as well like the C4's? If so that may help as well (it may be called a vacuum modulator, been a long time since I dealt with an auto).

WRT the manual steering, I think you're the first I heard going that way, most of us go to manual. Buy her a set of 10 lb free weights, they will do wonders. As an added bonus, if you piss her off, she will be stronger and have something to hit you with. ;)

Seriously, there are a couple of other pieces you will need but damned if I can remember the name. One is the piece that goes along the firewall and I have completely forgotten the other. Isn't there a difference in the shaft length to the steering column? It's been so long since I gathered parts for this.

One of the bushings and brackets is different on the rack as well, the right side I believe. It's obvious when you look at the two together.

HTH
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Heh, believe me she's plenty strong for her size. I sometimes forget and she catches me by surprise. The biggest issue is just that she's so short that she has very little leverage on the wheel. I don't have nearly the problem and I'm not that much larger than her (about 5'8" 190lbs) mostly just due to having longer arms adn a little more strength.

Well, I guess I'll spend some time at the 'yard when I pull the parts to grab everything that I can just to be sure.

The thing is the stock wheels and tires really are quite dangerous in the wet, especially when combined with the worn pogo sticks she has for struts. So i've got a set of 15x7's adn 195/50 15's for her car to put on. Though I'd much rather not kill her with them without a little assistance :)

The tranny I think uses a mechanical link to the tranny that is connected to the throttle lever so I think that's the modulator. Perhaps lengthening this will help with the problem. the tranny has had the fluid and filter change recently along with the injector. The fuel pump might be getting weak by now.

Thanks,
Stefan
 

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Stefan,

I'd say if she doesn't have leverage, her driving position isn't correct. I'm barely 5'2" myself but do not have the problems with manual steering (and sticky tires when racing) that you describe. Hands at 10 & 2 or 9 & 3 (depending on the wheel). Got tilt? Make it more level. If you don't have tilt, personally I think the stock wheel position sucks for short people, it's just way to high for comfort. You can shim the top of the column though to lower it a bit.

Seat back should be positioned as upright as possible.

Correct distance from the steering wheel, again us shrimps get shafted. :) Drape your arm over the top of the steering wheel. If you have a tilt wheel (in the correct position) your wrist will drape over the top of the wheel. Otherwise strive to have your fingertips touch the edge of the dash. Be relaxed. When your seat position is correct in this way, you will find a nice bend at your elbows with your hands at 9 & 3 etc.

Once this is all set, if it were a stick you may find the reach for the clutch pedal a little long. I put blocks on the pedals of the blue car, the race car has pedal covers anyway. The beater does not and I pay for it at times on long trips.

About the stock wheels/tires being dangerous in the wet, it's not the size (I'm assuming 13 or 14?), it's the tires. The worn struts and probably bushings are not helping either. You want 15 x 7's? Fine, but note that the size won't make things more or less safe, it's the quality of the tires. I drop down to 13's for the winter, but use 15 x 6, 6.5 or 7 for the summer.

I can't see where the fuel pump would affect shifting, but I've never had an auto Escort so I can't say for sure.

If you guys weren't on the other side of the country I'd love to help fit her to her car but considering our distance, I hope my descriptions help out.

FWIW, my SO has a Sentra that at one time had no PS, a 2:1 quickener (I believe, if not tighter), a *tiny* steering wheel, wide sticky tires with the wrong offset and a non-moveable seat that I had to drive with pillows. I took it to the gym one morning and by the time I got there (3.5 miles, mostly highway), I felt like I had already worked out. Lat muscles mostly. It was pretty incredible. But most of my issues had to do with the fact that I could not get in a good position to control the car.

In my race Escort, putting the stock seat in puts me too high and it's is much more difficult to drive. OK, besides the fact I hit my head on the roll bar as I sit higher, but it's just not comfortable with that seat.

Seat position is very important to car control. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I agree, but like you said without a tilt column and different seats there isn't much one can do about that. Besides teh main issue is at slow speed (like parallel parking)

I've done plenty of track days and autocrosses and crewed for a regional championship winning FF. So performance driving is no stranger to me (it is to her, but she's getting used to it lol)

I agree that the tires are a critical function of available traction and the cheap Cosco specials on the rear (that are of course worn out) aren't helping at all. Keeping them on the ground is also very important and the worn rear struts makes the car pogo stick when it hits a bump in the middle of a corner and this does not inspire confidence. Of course she doesn't mind driving it like that, but I do. The upgrade to wider wheels and tires are only happening since the tires are worn and its time to replace them. The struts and springs will be upgraded at the same time to help make better use of the new tires. Of coruse I'll pay attention to the alignment (some negative camber would be very helpfull)

I mentioned the fuel pump because the car is pinging underload and it may not be providing the volume needed at load to keep the combustion going at peak efficiency. Basically my mind was just dumping to the keyboard and it should have been a separate subject for down the road.

Thanks for your insight and help. Still need to know what's in volved with the power steering conversion, but I'll fuddle through it.

Best Regards,
Stefan
 

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fiat22turbo said:
I agree, but like you said without a tilt column and different seats there isn't much one can do about that. Besides teh main issue is at slow speed (like parallel parking)
I don't think I quite said that. You can shim the top of the column to bring it lower, and certainly no reason why a stock seat can't be adjusted correctly, providing it's not broken. The one in the 86 was broken when I got it which wouldn't have bothered a taller person (the back didn't latch in the top few positions). I swapped the seat with another car, if I didn't have another car I would have swapped driver and passenger till I found another seat.

Again, I don't have a problem with parking the car even with sticky tires and I'm not much taller than your girl. Then again, I enjoy heavy weights at the gym. ;)

You'll need camber plates for negative camber

For the pinging, what are you using for gas grade? I have found pinging believe it or not, when timing is advanced and using mid-grade. Dropped timing back to stock, and no pinging. Also when someone advances timing to 44 degrees by mistake (not me LOL)
 
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