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Reply to "History of 4621. UK registration VNP653L"

Hi (again),

I have sent a private message to you but in it I said I would post some more general stuff on the public forum. So here is some information which might be of initial use.

Probably the most important thing in your “early days” is to keep a check on the clutch pull back mechanism I had built. I say in the early days simply because the clutch and slave cylinder are new and probably not full “bedded in” yet. It is a simple job to check and adjust – only a few minutes – but worth doing as Panteras are notorious for riding to clutch as the clearance is very very fine (don't hover your foot on the clutch pedal even though it's tempting as it's a bit awkward at first to hook your foot under it with the limited clearance between the pedals.

I had this modification made specifically to counter the problem of the slave riding to clutch. You will see that the operating cylinder actually tilts down towards the rear of the car and the operating shaft can move its way forward under vibration etc when otherwise not in use. The stop mechanism I had made stops this happening as the return spring pulls the shaft back to where it should be to give proper clearance of the slave cylinder on the clutch plate.

The job is easier to do if the "luggage caddy" is unbolted and lifted out (3 bolts).

  1. Remove return spring

  2. By hand, push the operating lever towards the rear of the car ensuring the threaded stop bolt is resting against the backstop before movement occurs.

  3. There should be travel of around 3mm equating to approx 1mm of clearance at the release bearing to clutch cover.

  4. To increase the clearance undo the lock-nut and un-screw the stop screw (anti-clockwise viewed from rear) until sufficient clearance can be felt by moving the arm backwards and forwards, tighten lock nut

  5. The long stop bolt above the cylinder should need no adjustment, this is only to prevent the unlikely over pushing of the clutch cover

  6. Refit return spring

When you take the luggage caddy out you will see an Anderson socket for jump starting (I have never had to use it but it's there “just in case”. I always kept the car on trickle charge and with the electrics all isolated with the red key under the dash. The cigarette lighter in the centre console is wire direct to the battery so you can use it for trickle charging even with the “red key” out and isolated. The battery itself is on a tray in the leading edge of the drivers side rear wheel arch

I made the rear quarter light widows/vents unboltable as are the horizontal metal quarter plates between the wings and the engine bulkhead (allen key bolts into captive threads) to make it easier to access engine bay ancillaries. You shouldn't need to worry about the cooling water top up tank in the engine bay (passenger side just behind the bulkhead) as there is a second one in the front “bonnet” (drivers side between wing and pedal box fluid bottles). This is much more convenient. Just in case the electric latch for the front bonnet fails (push button under dash to tight of steering column )(it never has failed) there is a lever pull in the passenger side where the glove box should be.

The fuel tank is quite small and it does take patience to fill (bit like an Austin 7!). Fuel consumption is not as excessive as you might think (well … depends how close you right foot is to the floor) but you will still only get a range of about 130 to 150 miles. The fuel gauge is deceptive, probably because it is genuine DeTomaso and the fuel tank is not! I always used to reset the trip odometer to check my mileage between fills. Even when you top the tank the fuel gauge will only read three quarters and it will stay there for a long long while. You think “hey … this is good”. And then it will drop quite quickly. The red low fuel warning light does work but then you have to start looking for fuel with about 25 miles.

I can't think of anything else in particular at the moment but if you have questions I'll be happy to try to help subject to delays as explained in my private message to you.

So I'll sign off now and wish you Happy Days with your car. I hope you enjoy it as much as My wife and I did. It's a bit of a beast but it's also a real head turner. We had loads of interest when we were out and about – most people haven't the faintest idea what it is … “is it a Ferrari?” - “No ...they're common!”

All the best,