For the owners out there, would you consider the Pantera suitable for the novice do-it-yourselfer?

Assuming one is starting with a mechanically and structurally sound car, are the maintenance and upkeep requirements reasonable for the owner that wants to do the majority of his own work and learn along the way?

How would that burden (rather, labor of love) compare to that of a mid-year Corvette or early Pony car?
Original Post
quote:

How would that burden (rather, labor of love) compare to that of a mid-year Corvette or early Pony car?


Unless you're willing to reduce the value of a mid-year Vette you have keep it pretty much stock plus every single part is outrageously priced. As for the early pony-car, a single word: uniqueness. The Pantera looks are incredible, unlike anything else on the road. They are actually fairly easy to work on (from a modestly adept driveway mechanic). One of the best things is you can customize it (to a point) and not effect the marketability. The other is the support you'll get from the Pantera community. You'd be very hard pressed to find an issue that someone out there hasn't seen before and sorted out.
Thanks, Husker. That all seems apparent about the Pantera community. You are also right about the Pantera's looks and uniqueness.

My plans in owning and maintaining each of those three example cars would be quite different. I would go down the NCRS path with the Vette, embracing the attendant challenges and headaches. I would keep the Pony car close to stock, perhaps making some modest performance enhancements. In the Pantera it seems that one can go toward either extreme (within reason) without effecting the marketability of the car.
A related question, does the mid-engine design complicate motor access compared to these other front engine cars?

Can one access the motor similarly for the more common modifications, ie intake, heads, headers, etc? Or is it more likely to have to pull the motor to gain access?
Accessing the motor is not that bad. You get to the sides by leaning over, or you can easily climb in and perch on the transaxle if you really need to. You get to the front by removing a couple panels behind the seats, giving you access through that firewall (it's a reasonable opening, maybe 1.5' x 1.5' roughly). You can also (theoretically) easily remove the rear 1/4 windows for easy access to the front upper areas. About the only real challenges would be:
1. Dropping the oil pan, IF stock crossmember underneath hasn't been cut out & replaced with a removable one.
2. Fuel tank issues, requires engine removal. But engine removal is not bad, no worse and probably easier than most other cars.

All those jobs you mention are very do-able with engine in, headers are easy from underneath, intake not too bad, heads not too bad though not that much harder to pull the engine at that point.
quote:
Originally posted by SoonerBJJ:
For the owners out there, would you consider the Pantera suitable for the novice do-it-yourselfer?

Assuming one is starting with a mechanically and structurally sound car, are the maintenance and upkeep requirements reasonable for the owner that wants to do the majority of his own work and learn along the way?

How would that burden (rather, labor of love) compare to that of a mid-year Corvette or early Pony car?


IMO, other than style and mid-engine aspects, compared to late 60s US sport/muscle cars, there is nothing especially exotic about the mechanics of a Pantera. -A pushrod 351c, rack and pinion steering, dual a-arm independent suspension front and back, hung in a steel mono chassis. Good stuff for the era but nothing difficult to understand.


The ZF transaxle may be the exception as it is unique compared to most US drive trains and requires many special tools and knowledge to rebuild. Electricals might also be a bit off-norm for us US guys but again, schematic and multimeter can usually cure all ills that hasn't been smoking or burning.

Best,
Kelly
quote:
Originally posted by SoonerBJJ:
A related question, does the mid-engine design complicate motor access compared to these other front engine cars?

Can one access the motor similarly for the more common modifications, ie intake, heads, headers, etc? Or is it more likely to have to pull the motor to gain access?


Intake - On a cleveland its very straight forward. There is no coolant in the intake like a Chevy.
Headers - Good accessibility (assuming the bolts cooperate, see related threads)
All in all I've found the engine quite easy to work on (although working on the front is a challenge see Buttondoor's comment).
Once the rear hatch is removed one person can pull the engine/transaxle (with patience!!)
Best thing to do is to see one for yourself of course.
Where are you in OK?
quote:
Originally posted by SoonerBJJ:
All good to know. Where would be a good place to begin to school oneself on electrical for these cars? Any specific books to recommend?

Husker, I'm in central Oklahoma.


One good word of advice on the electrical system. Make sure the grounds are all good! More electrical things don't work right in a Pantera because of that issue than any other. That and the fuse box connections.
...We were ALL Novices Once!! Now Most of Us are Experts! Weather we wanted to be or Not! Goes with the 'Territory'. Nobody has yet told You to go to panteraplace.com and check out 'Technical' for Your wireing Diagrams! The best Wireing Diagram I have found is in the 'Large' Repair Manual sold by the Vendors.

Welcome! and Good-Luck with Your decision!
Being the owner of both a mid year coupe and a Pantera, I would say go with the car you would enjoy the most. Both cars have their unique challenges for R&M and restoration. As stated earlier most if not ALL the parts are available for the vette. The Pantera...well that can be a challenge sometimes. As for ease of repairs, the vette is a bit easier just because of the sheer volume of tech help available out there. The ZF and rear bearing assy cost on the Pantera can be scary compared to the vette.

If I had a choice between the 2 cars there would be no question, no hesitation, I would pick the Pantera hands down! Since day ONE I have gotten more enjoyment driving and showing that car than I have ever gotten in the vette.
burn rubber

Unfortunately, I am a spectator for a bit, I am doing a frame off on the vette and for some dumb ass reason, I decided to do some 'upgrades' on the Pantera before I finished the vette which leaves me with nothing to drive for a bit. Going to shrink soon to have head examined.

Angelo
Speaking for the “mechanically challenged “I had very little previous experience, outside of the usual LOF and tune ups. My decision to work on something was that if I could un bolt it and just bolt the new part on I would do the repair.
With the advent of the internet I have found a plethora (l like that word!) of information. Usually there is someone who has tackled the same repair or modification and often they have taken pics. This is not just true of Panteras but most modern vehicles.

The beauty for me is the huge amount of knowledge in the Pantera community. And without exception everyone is glad to help you. I have had people I have never met from California, and around the US walk me through projects by phone. Others have made special tools that they have sent to me. I cannot say enough but about this fantastic community of owners.

With all of this help I have totally re built my suspension , replaced my intake and carb, rebuilt my ignition switch, modified my window regulators , re built my master and clutch & slave cylinders and chased down numerous electrical gremlins. This is only the projects that immediately come to mind.

Bottom line is that with basic mechanical skills and the information available most people can work on these cars. I get a great deal of satisfaction doing these projects.

But in the end the Pantera will always put a huge smile on your face. When you fire it up, listen to the fantastic sound of the “Cleveland Symphony” coupled with the thrill of driving these beasts there is no better value for the money, period! Big Grin

Jeff

Previous owner of #4060 for 4 years in the 70’s
And now caretaker of #4134 for the last 16 years.
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