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It looks like the pan can come out, once the E-brake & starter are removed but it appears the water hoses, at least one in particular, need to be removed as well. And the shift linkage looks a bit close too.

Anyone ever remove a 351C oil pan from a Pantera while the engine is still in the chassis?

Thanks for reading!

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It's not a big deal to do. The only installation secret is clean clean clean. Then wipe down surface areas again w/lacquer thinner. We have both Fontana and 408 Stroker engines built with no pan gasket. Only this:

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The oil pan can be removed with the engine in place if two modifications to chassis are done.  You need to remove the parking brake bracket.  More significantly, you need to cut out the crossmember on the chassis.  Both can be refitted, and both are required to be reinstalled.  Many Panteras are retrofitted this way so that the oil pan can be removed if needed.



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Last edited by stevebuchanan

Well, the ZF is a good jack point.  It will hold the load the of the engine and and ransaxle.  For what you are contemplating it is a minimal load on the engine and transaxle.  

But my vote is to pull the engine and transaxle as a unit.  It will preserve the car's infrastructure.  Doing so willl make it easy to clean the engine bay.  Maybe replace the oil pan.  It looks like someone used it as a jack point or rested the engine on the ground.

Once all the bolts are out, the pan drops down 8" or so, then moves forward 6-8" to clear the oil pulp pickup screen from around the internal pan baffle. Once the pan is out, you can pound the distorted bottom back flat- a new pan is usually not required. The oil pump pickup should be 3/8"- 1/2" ABOVE the pan bottom; yours is likely touching- or bent from a previous removal attempt. And that will cause oiling problems at higher rpms. Cars made after Ford left in '74 have a removable crossmember and a removable e-brake bracket. DeTomaso used to sell those in Europe as upgrade parts, but of course they are no longer in business. A few specialty shops may stock these parts either as billet or modified-stock.

As was said, it's better to pull the engine because getting a new pan gasket to seal in the corners near the front & rear pan seals is picky enough working upside down that you'll wish you'd pulled everything. A rotatable Harbor Freight engine stand makes it easier. It's also a h...uvalot simpler to cut the crossmember out neatly with the engine out. There are welded flaps above, below and on both sides, and the front lower rear a-arm fasteners go thru the crossmember flaps. A Sidewinder and a coarse disc or a reciprocating saw are your best friends in removing all this debris; just don't damage the main frame rai!s while cutting! You'll need to weld back steel pieces to your crossmember ends so its now bolt-in-removable, or the chassis stiffness and handling will be severely affected. Ford did us no favors here!

Once the e-brake bracket is cut off, weld on  a piece of angle-iron at the cut for a screw on bracket so the OEM bracket is then removable. There should be no reason to adjust the e-brake afterwards.  As you can see, on uncut cars, all this is a fairly major job. Mike Daily's web site '' probably has the work illustrated.

Thank you for this comprehensive reply!

From all the input, I will be pulling the power train. To do this, should I remove the single bolt in the aluminum brace, or both bolts at the block? The two zf mounts look pretty straightforward.

Anyone know where I can find an NOS '72 CJ oil pan?

I have a run-in stand to confirm no leaks before re-installation.

Remove the two single bolts.

this is a very good time for you to consider a proper aftermarket baffled oil pan. I believe the CJ oil pan is better than standard stock but not nearly as efficient as the aftermarket “10” quart pans offered by several builders

A quick search of this forum should steer you to more information


To add to Larry's comments the 2 bolts in the block can be a challenge to remove.

If you haven't already do a search for "engine removal". There is a wealth of information for this process. There are a handful of tricks that are helpful. Once you've done it once or twice a single person can do this in 4 hours or so once the deck lid is removed.

There are three (3) oil pans used as stock on various models of Cleveland. #1 is an open bucket with no baffles at all, used on 351-M and 400s, mostly on trucks. #2 has a horizontal baffle surrounding the oil pump pickup. This is the 'std' pan for 351-4Vs. #3 has the horizontal pump baffle and a rudimentary crank scraper spot-welded on the sloping part of the pan. This is the so-called 'Boss' or 'HO' pan. All are useless for a Pantera, since even moderately hard cornering or acceleration will force oil up the sides of the pan, uncovering the pump pickup and allowing it to suck air.This then runs the pump and bearings temporarily dry. I've seen a single 3 hr open track event waste the rod bearings and break rods in a STOCK Pantera. It happens quicker on big-tire cars or with modified engines.

Aviaid, Armando or maybe Kevco make fully baffled competition '10-quart' oil pans with their own pump pickup. They should be mandatory for ANY Pantera. Most knowlegeable engine shops will not release a rebuilt engine without such a pan installed. They are fully semi-pro-race-ready as well and bolt on exactly like a stock pan, using stock bolts, gaskets, seals & a stock flexible dipstick. There are no known drawbacks except price and the extra 3 lbs of weight. They are semi- expensive ($500 or so) only if you ignore the cost of replacing the block or crank while running a stock pan, assuming you actually drive your Pantera on the street.  Do not waste your money on a stock pan; it is the equivalent of running pickup truck tires on a competition car.

UPDATE: removed the stock EBrake bracket, both hoses to/from the radiator and  the starter, and the oil pan dropped out. Did not have to remove the engine. Did not have to cut out the factory cross chassis brace. Did not have to jack the engine. Did not have to rotate the crank and the counter balance was in the way, but she still cleared.

Upon inspection, the crank counter balance was nicking the rear baffle edge by a very slight amount. That is what was making the noise. Beautiful, clean, four bolt CJ engine with factory serialized con rods. Wow!

Now I need a new oil pan. Any out there?

Thanks to all for your help on this one.

Last edited by fordismyboss

I am confused. The initial goal was just to replace the oil pan gasket, for which all you really need is for the pan to drop down a little bit.

apparently you somehow managed to completely remove the oil pan?, something most of us have always thought could not be done. 👍👍

with that done you found a crankshaft interference-I am still wondering how that even happens——-which could easily be resolved with a little grinding on the affected baffle.

why do you now want to replace your oil pan?


Good question. I left some parts of the story out! I initially dropped the pan thinking I could get it all the way out. There was no way put a new gasket in without removing the oil pan, just no room and expect it to seal. The gasket in there was original! So I bolted it back up, changed the oil to move the car to a different lift and there was a small ticking sound and I got concerned, it also leaked a lot as can be expected. The pan was distorted at some point in it's life. The sump area is pushed up about 3/8", and the back area has a small 1/8" indentation. Glad I was able to get it out without drive train removal, as I thought I had a much bigger problem with that new ticking sound. Sure, I could grind the baffle, but look at the bottom of the pan in the image, the car deserves a new pan that is not distorted. Hope I can find one.....

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