Interesting. I am not seeing much oil dripping from the crank seals. But I have noticed the front of the motor had a lot of old oil buildup that I have not seen on other Panteras.
The amount of smoke the car emitted is beyond what is acceptable to me even though it is not happening most of the time.
I don't know the history of this car but I get the impression that is was a street racer back in late 90's. It had every ignition upgrade that MSD offered at the time including a crank trigger distributor which tells me they built it for high RPM use. When I got the car It had been sitting for 20 years. It had a blown head gasket between #6 and #7, the heads were off, and most of the ignition upgrades were MIA. There was no lip on the cylinder walls. Its clutch slips on the freeway. My hunch is that the engine has seen a lot of hard running and the rings are well beyond seated and perhaps even tired. You can see it in the compression test at the beginning of this thread. When time permits I plan to pull the engine and trans. Then I can replace the clutch and methodically go through the motor and at a minimum replace the rings and hone the cylinders.
The more I can do now to sort out engine issues will contribute to a more successful engine refresh later. And I get drive around a Pantera in the interim.
It is best to remove the rear deck lid when removing and installing the intake manifold. This is especially true for the installation of the manifold. The deck lid comes off readily by placing a length of PVC pipe (or a stick) to hold up the lid, removing the top bolt on the struts, tap out the hinge pins, and then slowly lower the lid. Then you and a helper can lift it off the car.
You do not need to open the bulkhead cover to work on the manifold.