Dutton Kit Cars and their owners

Question about the infamous pinto boat anchor engine , although the engine is not in a Dutton.

The 2.0 litre engine pinks link hell when gradually accelerating  and given the noise you would think the engine is about to self destruct. The engine is 202 block pinto that has been uprated with head / cam work .

I have tinkered slightly with the timing  slightly as the engine did run on and on when ignition turned off , and the only solution I can find to get rid of 95% of it is to use Premium grade petrol with a little octane booster. The engine is unleaded head but was told lead substitute  helps ?

Anyone else solved this problem , great engine these pintos are mind buckets of torque and keeps up with modern day traffic (in my escort) when coupled to a 5 speed box


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I would guess that the head work included a higher compression ratio, which is a common change for racing but a real bugger if you are running on low octane fuel. I don't know whether retarding the timing would help but it would also rob some of your power, so you might have already found the answer in Premium grade fuel and additive.

I think Daryl had a high performance cylinder head for one of his Pintos but he might not have got around to fitting it yet.

At Bristol there was a full Sunday roast with all the trimmings on offer, but admittedly the kettle was in use for the gravy rather than coffee.

Pull the vacumn advance off and block the carb end, set timing to between 8 and 10 degrees with a timing light. reconnect vacumn pipe and turn off. Wind mixture screw in fully (not to tight) and wind back out by 1.5 turns, wind the slow running screw out until it breaks contact and then back in by two full turns. Restart the engine and adjust mixture/slow running until smooth. There are more detailed and accurate settings to be had but this works to get mine running most times.

Pintos run lovely at 10-12 degrees at tickover ........but it will pink its head off when driven. At about 4 degrees the drive will be great......but it will tick over really lumpy.
the way to solve the problem is a pegged distributor these restrict the maximum advance so you can have 10 degrees at tickover but only get 20 degrees full chat instead of the 40 odd you can get.
what dont help is unleadded fuel but that is not easily solved.


Is it pinking on light throttle aplications or only when you have your clog down?

Pinto's were originally designed for 4* leaded fuel 97ron and todays ordinary unleaded is typically 94-95ron which is close to the old fashioned 3*  Running a pinto with 3* timing could cause it to run on because the exhaust valve temperatures have increased and running 4* timing on lower grade fuel will cause pinking though I would not have though as dramatic as you have stated. - Closest solution assuming you have no mechanical issues would be to use premium fuel 98 ron. If the head has been converted to run on unleaded fuel then additives are just a wait of money - they work out more expensive than premium per litre.

Have you checked the distributor mechanical and vacuum advance mechanisms are working correctly? I have seen both seize before. Like wise how much dynamic advance do you have - A stock Pinto dizzy at 10°BTDC will give 55°adv at highish speed and light throttle, if its jammed up here that wouldn't be good though it'll be a bitch to start.

Whats your coolant temperatures like?

The water temp is between 1/4 and 1/2

I have noted the bonnet gets very hot above the exhaust manifold.

Today I used bog standard 4 start and she is pinking like a pinkity pinker.

Tomorrow I will go back to V power fuel as this is better

Not sure what you mean bog standard 4 start, If you mean 4 star it hasn't been available for years.

Regular unleaded is same as old 3 star, V power is about the same as old 4 star, probably why it runs better

V power shell fuels kill unleaded heads. Did mine in 200 miles. Too much ethanol.

Which head? Currently V power has less ethanol than regular unleaded though I admit the keep clean aditive is a bit agressive.

very interesting discussion. i put about 10lt of v plus in my 1600 crossflow. god it goes like hell with that stuff in it.

71 casting so a 202 or earlier, definitely non injection. Car ran lovely for about 30 miles then started to 'play up'. Took it into a fuel injection specialist in Bolton and the first thing he did was a compression test which was abysmal. Took the head off and all the seats had pitted. Now those pits might have been filled with carbon which the shell fuel removed so you may be right about the clean additive BV. I went on the shell website after it happened and there were a few comments logged about not using it in older engines... shame I didn't read them before I used it. The Legerra runs an injection head now but the Sierra runs an old head on BP standard unleaded with no related issues in over 15000 miles. I will not be using Shell fuel again.

Neil, did you try the basic settings I gave you earlier in the conversation? what was the result?

Yes but who did your unleaded conversions Ade, there are varying qualities of conversions around


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