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I have been threatening to do a write-up on my build for a while. I see all these great threads, for example the ones by Rob B., Kirk Evans, and and others detailing extensive, very high quality work being done to their cars.

My skills are not as tremendous, but I have the help and assistance of a an expert Pantera enthusiast and Hot Rodder (Wade - 4280 / Mark IV) and the resources of this board.

My project started as a new motor build, with upgraded performance goals. I wanted to "freshen up" the stock engine, and give the car more power, but retain the classic, stock lines.

Once the motor was built (about Feb., 2014), I pulled the original engine. That was when the scope of the project really changed. Things I found, and upgrades I needed boosted the scope beyond what I was expecting, but it all needed to be done. If you are in for a dime, you are in for a dollar!

My wife (first and only) was surprised by the workload, but what can be done?

I am far along, and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Hope you enjoy the pictures, and the details of my build progression.

Here's my car before the resto. I'll try and shrink the pictures in future posts.

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The engine is a basic 351C, sonic tested, and bored .030 over. It is designed (hopefully) for reliability / durability, oil control, and additional power. I am working to make it "tractable" on the street. It is also intended to run on pump gas.

Significant effort went into achieving these goals.

It will be normally aspirated with a 735 CFM Holley (modified for "4 corner idle") and an Edelbrock Performer dual plane manifold.

Oil control scheme includes lifter bore bushings (Wydendorf Tooling and Oilite bushings, T. Meyer restrictive cam bearing set, appropriate plugs in oiling passage to cam, and a drilled "oil squirter" on the gallery plug by the distributor gear). The squirter directs a stream of oil onto the cam / distributor gear interface. Additionally, the oil pump and passages into the main engine feed were ported to reduce restriction in the pickup and feed circuit.

Heads were ported to improve flow. Bench flow data is showing 288 CFM / 190 CFM at .600 lift.

I plan to run a standard Duraspark II electronic ignition, with an eCoil. Most of the electrics will be close to stock with the remote solenoid, and external voltage regulator.

Wade fabbed up a bracket for the AC compressor and alternator. This supports a future "flat bulkhead conversion".

We will be running a Sanden AC compressor inboard, and the Ford alternator outboard. Idlers / tensioner modifications were needed.

Part Number / Statistics
Block - DOAE-L Casting (2 Bolt Mains)
4V Heads (Open Chamber)

TRW Domed High Compression Pistons - L2348 .030 Over
Coated Performance Rings
T. Meyer Oil Control Cam Bearings
Crank - Oil Holes Chamfered, Bearings .010 Under

Pioneer Harmonic Balancer
Rollmaster CS3091 Timing Chain
ARP 154-3604 - ARP Cylinder Head Bolt Kits

Bullet Cam - Hydraulic Roller (See GP Hydraulic Cam in "Sticky #3)
Matching Hydraulic Roller Lifters; Morel
SS Single Piece Valves
Matching Valve Springs
10° Steel Retainers
Teflon Seals
Comp Cams Ultra Pro Magnum™ Roller Rocker Arms: Ford; 7/16" Stud, 1.73 Ratio (1830-16)
Guide Plates, 351C
5/16" Heavy Wall Pushrods
Rocker Studs, 7/16"

Melling 84A Oil Pump

FelPro Gasket Set - 31781 (Head Gasket 8347 PT-1)
ROM Turkey Pan Intake Manifold Gasket

New Steel Flywheel
Centerforce Pantera Clutch and Pressure Plate
McLeod Pantera Throw-out Bearing

Avaid 10 Quart Oil Pan
New Pantera Motor mounts

Robertshaw 333 Thermostat
Stewart Racing EMP-16143 Water Pump
IPSCO Tensioner

Carter M6882 Fuel Pump

Spark Plugs Modified for Extra Sparkage

Ford Gen 1 Alternator Updated for 80 A Output
Sanden Rotary AC Compressor

I'll post more pictures once I get them organized.

Last edited by rocky
Engine Build Pix....

Original "New to Me" Block:

Cleaned Up:

Lifter Bore Bushing Install:

Rotating Assembly Integrated:

Heads Prepped:

Oil Pump Work:

Engine Home from Build - Ready to Just "Plunk In":

Ready to pull out the old one!

All the detail work on the lifter bores, heads and oil pump was performed by 4280/Mark IV in his shop. I was merely the scrub-nurse.

Last edited by rocky
Engine Bay Cleanup and Nightmare....

Did you ever see things that you knew were wrong, but hoped that "your eyes were deceiving you", or "maybe it's supposed to be like that"?

I saw a crazy coating / filling on the bottom of my swirl tank. It looked really funky, but I thought (hoped) it was "supposed to be like that".

I also saw small area of corrosion coming through on the passenger upright. "Maybe it wasn't a big deal", I thought.

Once I pulled the motor - It was apparently obvious. The swirl tank had leaked early in the car's life, and the first owner had the swirl tank patched / soldered / epoxied / etc. The tanks were a mess.

My belief is that fluid was dripping down into the passenger side upright, and corrosion had occurred. It looks like this had happened a long time ago, but the damage had been done. There were no other areas like this - it seemed to be limited to the passenger side upright. This exact situation was described recently in a Bosswrench post.

I tried to deny it to myself, but once the motor was out, I couldn't. The structure (upright) had to be fixed.

Prior to the engine pull I had been working on scraping the stock undercoating. I struggled with the options of using a truck bedliner (like the Banzai Pantera), or paint. I finally decided on Ford Grabber Yellow.

Again - I didn't realize the amount of work that was entailed in an engine bay prep. In fact, with regard to bodywork, there is never a point in which you can say..... "It's 100% done". You can always do more, scuff more, clean more, etc. I have to say, we did a good job of prep, and I believe I have a good foundation for the future.

I did not try and make the bay 100% pristine. Dimples / imperfections from the factory build remain. If someone wants to take it back to stock with the factory bedliner, they can have at it. I think my engine will look good inside the new, cleaned up engine bay.

Stand by for more pictures once I get them organized.

OBTW: Did I mention that my buddy 4820 / Mark IV has the mad skillz needed to execute such a repair project? Thank Gawd!
Last edited by rocky
Stand by for additional upgrades, including:

Valence Repair
Jacking Point / Structural Upgrade in Rear Cross Member
Engine Bay Brace Weld Cleanup
Bay Paint
- Inner Bay is Black
- Outer Bay is "Grabber Yellow"
Bulkhead Cover Opening Repair and Nut Plate Alignment
Flat Bulkhead Modification
Stainless Steel Bulkhead Covers and Insulation
Reconstruct Rear Upright Bushings
Removable Bay Brace & E-Brake Bracket
Hardline from Radiator to Swirl Tank
New Swirl and Overflow Tanks with Improved Cooling Design

Lots of work was done while the "Big Cat" was in the shop. My goal was to get it in and out in record time. I believe the car spent about 3 weeks away from my house, and honestly, the volume of work accomplished during that time was eye-watering.

Stand by for more pictures...
Last edited by rocky
Front Valence Repair:

The inside of the radiator cavity was in good shape, but the bottom of the valence had seen it's share of impacts over the life of the car.

There had been some work previously done to make it look OK, but close inspection revealed that it was really a mess. Once we got into it, you could see that the metal had been pulled back out with a slide hammer ("the bane of artists in sheet metal"), and a lot of body filler had been used to repair the damage.

Wade fabricated a bottom panel, and reworked the existing metal to rebuild the "chin", like a surgeon resculpting the chin of a 42 year old Kardashian.

I think the results are spectacular.

While we were up front, we did a bunch of minor work to the radiator, reseal, clean, paint, and tie off the wiring.

We also added a hardline from the front to the rear of the car, that will provide an automatic air bleed to prevent air from being trapped in the radiator.
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Rear Jack Point / Structure Reinforcement:

This one is in honor of Rob B. My rear cross member had taken a couple of hits back in the day, so we decided to open up the original box and straighten it out. This allowed us to add some improved structure in there.

You can see in the picture that the frame is sound. A 1/4" thick steel extrusion fit into the space like a glove, and is unnoticeable in the final product.

This gives me a robust jack point for the rear of the car.

Did I mention all this fabrication work was done by Wade (4280 / Mark IV)?

Last edited by rocky
Thanks, guys, appreciate the compliments. This has been a long journey, and I'm happy to show off the results. Garth, not sure I will make it out that far this year, but who knows! I've gotta get it running, first!

Painting of the Bay....

Shot the bay with three colors / textures. Yellow for the main bay area, black inside the motor compartment, and a bedliner type substance on the outside of the frame, and inside the wheel wells.

It came out very nice.

Also powdercoated the rear suspension, and some of the accessory pieces (Electrical panels, tank holders, pulley).

Last edited by rocky
Stainless Steel Firewall Covers....

We sprayed Bedliner, then I installed the original firewall insulation, then an additional layer of foil-backed fibrous insulation.

Finally, installed the stainless Steel Bulkhead Panels. "Nut-Serts" were set into the original firewall. The machine screws on the corners press the steel against the insulation to avoid any potential for vibration.

Nutserts in the steel also hold the tank cover on. More nutserts and P-clamps will be used to secure the engine bay wiring harness (which is just now reaching completion).

I'll get a picture soon with the tank cover on.

Last edited by rocky
I don't believe so. Mine just had a fiber insulation glued onto the bulkhead.

It seemed like the top (outside) layer had a hard coating on the top.

I think the same material is used inside the passenger compartment, as well (behind the upholstered firewall cover).

Did I mention who cut out, and formed the SS panels? I am proud to say I did cut out the cardboard template that was used in their design. They really fit great. Thanks Wade!

Last edited by rocky

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