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Since I am getting paint work done, I had some minor body improvements applied.

One of them (a tip o' the hat to Larry Finch) is to strengthen the rear lower valence panels.  It's a simple mod, but takes a little welding. 

The first picture is the fully executed mod - the second and third pictures are the tabs installed on my car.  I'm going to fabricate the support rod, and drill / tap the structure mount point myself - hoping to save about $12 on the project! 

I thought this was a good idea, and now is the time to get it done!





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(Not sure why my pictures didn't show up in aprevious post, so I deleted it...) 


Working with my buddy to keep the American Economy rolling forward.

* * I'm in the booth for paint!   Whoo-Hoo! * *

I suggested a couple minor modifications (bumpers, grills, gills, and a "old school" spoiler).... 

My body and paint guy rightly pointed out a couple items that convinced me to go in for paint...


Looking forward to the final result... 


PS>>>  PM me if you are in the Southwestern portion of the United States, are considering an update to your body, or need paint, and are interested in a recommendation to a Body and Paint shop that has DIRECT experience with multiple Panteras.... 

PSSS>>> I am digging the "old school" spoiler...

PSSSS>>> Somebody (on this board) sold me a bumper that was too short...  Discussions with Kirk Evans pointed out that fiberglass parts get smaller & smaller as they go through a mold / part duplication sequence, and you have to know what you are doing to end up with the fiberglass part to come out of the mold as the same size as the original.

I suspect the dude that sold me the front bumper knew that  it needed work to make it fit...  but he didn't tell me that.... GRRRRR....  Anyway - if he (or she) is reading this...  I hope that they feel bad for selling parts that they knew didn't fit, but pretending that they didn't know it...    But maybe they didn't know it...  Let's hope so... 


Let's hope these pictures work!  All three were taken today (5/21/2020)!

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Of course when you drop off your car at a shop - something is going to break.

About 30 min after I left the shop on the initial delivery, my buddy called me.... "Hey - do your lights work?  They aren't going up!"


Of course I said "YES - or they used to yesterday!"! 


Here's we we found...

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Luckily I had a spare brass gear left over from my Taurus Window Motor conversion done back in 2015. 

I will tell you that getting that headlight motor plate on and off was a nightmare!  Maybe I'll write that up for a Tech Article!

All reassembled, painted, reinstalled and greased and adjusted PRIOR to painting.  NOS Limit Switches installed in prep for my Pantera Electronics headlight / motor controller install.

If I tried to do the reinstall after the paint - I am sure I would have regretted it!







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Last edited by rocky

It is taking a little longer to have pictures than I predicted above, but owners are always optimistic, and quality takes time.

The windshield was installed about a week ago, and all the trim (the black underneath) is done.  It's in the final stages of paint "conditioning" and reattachment of all the "accoutrements" (handles, trim, lights, etc.)

In addition to the overall paint, I am also having the front bumper, grills, screens, and gills redone in the appropriate black color to match the bottom of the car, and my mirrors.

Great work by the Duval Body and Paint Team!


PS.  These pictures are from about a week ago.


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Last edited by rocky

Getting very close to delivery.  All hardware painted and installed (bumpers, gills, grills, mirrors, spoiler).

A little buffing, a clean up, and she should be ready to hit the road.

Here's a couple of pictures, of both the paint, and some of the finish work on my fiberglass bumper, and new (old-school) spoiler.


I don't know if you recall (I sure do) - but some dude sold me a fiberglass bumper, and after I got it painted and tried to install it - it didn't fit.  It was about 2" too short across the front of the car.  Discussions with Kirk Evans indicate that fiberglass parts have a tendency to get smaller in the manufacturing process, and that there were front L bumpers circulating around that had this problem.  I guess he (the seller of my bumper) forgot to mention that.

The professionals at Duval Body and Paint split and extended the bumper, and then trimmed the back of the bumper for a near-perfect fit to the front contour lines.  The split is in the center - under the DeTomaso Logo.


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Rod - your bumper is probably right near mine in the production sequence.  Apparently the amount of "shrinkage" is related to the dimension, and so it is much more apparent in the bumper long axis than the "height" on the car.

So luckily the fitment and geometry relative to the car features doesn't change much, the bumper only needs extension....  There was precision fiberglass work needed to make the recessed emblem hole look right relative to the DeTomaso badge.  We could have gone with a flat bumper, but I liked the recessed look.

The car is done - pickup tomorrow.  Here's a final picture after cleanup.


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Finished Larry's mod on the rear tail panels.

While these look more "bent" than Larry's do (and they do have about a 30* bend in them), the angle of the camera makes them look more wiggly than they are.

I made my first set of braces out of steel strap, but didn't really like how they laid in there.  So I used some steel tubing.  It worked out well.


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A little bit of sad news.  The Previous Owner (PO) of 5357 (Neil Dettorre) recently passed away.  He really took good care of my car before handing it off to me.

Here's a couple of pictures.  First one is from the POCA Newsletter, the Oct. 2020 Issue.  Thanks to POCA for the photo and the write-up.

The middle photo shows Neil and his wife Carol, in November, 1991.  I believe it was down in Newport Beach or some POCA event where there was professional photography (MIAD?) associated with the event.

The bottom picture is myself and Neil at the same function - the 2016 Fun Rally in Las Vegas.  We had taken a tour of the Shelby Museum and Factory.


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I finished the install of the PE (Pantera Electronics) Headlight/Motor Controller.

While I can't say it was a "3 banana job", it took me the better part of a day to do the majority of the work.  When you read the manual, it's a little off-putting, because of the number of steps, but once you dive in, the job is pretty straightforward, and the manual is clear.  But it really only becomes clear once you make the commitment to do the install and you get under the dashboard!

The first part of the job was tuning up, checking, and lubricating the stock lift motors.  It wasn't clear that mine had been looked at in 45 years.  I took the headlamp assemblies out, removed the rear splash shields, and removed the buckets.

It was amazing the pile of screws, nuts, washers and lock washers pulled out of the front!  While the POs weren't lubricating the headlight system, I think every time someone went up in there, they dropped a washer or two!

I cleaned up the area, lubricated the nylon bushings and the motor drive gear, and the "sector gear" on the headlight lift rod.  As you will recall - I had already replaced the broken plastic gear with a brass one.  My motor assembly plate needed a little fine tuning to engage perfectly.

I fabricated a little "sector gear stop" that mounts to the driver side radiator support (thanks, Rick),  This simple bracket provides a stop for the buckets when extended, and is intended to reduce headlight shake when driving.  Mine is based off this photo, but the execution is slightly different.


Once I was satisfied the stock system was OK, I jumped into the install of the PE HMC.

It's pretty straightforward - modification of the limit switches with jumpers, removing the stock headlight relay, mounting the HMC board, and wiring it up.

I made short 3" extensions from the headlight relay wires to the HMC board, it just made the hookups easier.  You can see them in the last picture (below).

Next was a single sense harness (2 wires) to the stock headlight switch.  Pretty straightforward, and easy routing.

Finally, a 6 wire harness to/from the passenger side fuse panel.  For my own convenience, prior to the install, I had contacted Jon Haas (PE), and requested that he fabricate me the wires needed for this one, and the headlight switch harness.  This eased the "prep" effort, I got wires with the correct color code, and I was able to create a very neat harness, with good routing from the drivers side relay panel to the fuse panel.

I had a minor "head-scratching" moment when the wires on the fuse panel that I was looking at didn't match the manual's drawing, but it turned out the wires needed are on the BACK of the stock fuse panel.  The fuse panel needed to be removed from it's mount to access the three required wires.  A quick call to PE (Jon) pointed me in the right direction, and allayed my concerns.

Once the HMC was connected, there is an extensive checkout procedure in the manual - an excellent plan to ensure that "bonehead" wiring errors won't damage any critical systems.  I am proud to say, I passed the wiring test with flying colors!

Honestly - anyone can do this install.  You just have to be careful, take your time, and follow the instructions.

I reinstalled the buckets, installed the headlights (new Toyota H4 Semi-Sealed Beams), and I am good to go for improved night driving!

Anyway - a couple of tips for those of you doing this install.....

Buy a bunch of the Yellow .250" wide terminals (for 10-12 AWG wire), both male & female.  You use a lot of them throughout the project.  You also need the Blue and Red ones as well, but not as many.

I used more terminals because of my extensions from the existing relay wires to the board, but having extensions certainly made the connections easier.

John Haas can build you the the harness from the HMC to the fuse paneI if you want.   I felt like it was a good investment, and I didn't have multiple sizes of Gray, Orange and Pink wire.

Once you open things up - figure out how you want to mount the controller board on the relay plate.  It goes on with only two attachment screws (For the L Model - the two lower holes), and you will need spacers.  What I did was run long machine screws from the backside of the plate, and then used a jamb nut to hold the screw to the plate.  Then I used two plastic spacers (they were different lengths because of a bend in the plate).

This is another one of these "Gosh, it's working fine, do I really want to do this?" type projects, but I hope it will take some load of my switches and wiring.  One nice thing is the board has a lot of indicators that will help you troubleshoot it if things go wrong with the lighting.

Here's a few pictures for your enjoyment.





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Last edited by rocky

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