I am the proud owner of a '74 Pantera! I took delivery of the car this weekend and had a blast driving it!

I'm attaching a photo of my car (not sure if successfully.

I have a couple of questions and am hoping to receive advice/recommendations:

1) I was expecting my car to be loud, but my car sounds like a pack of harley davidsons rumbling down the block. I understand it has "privacy glass" modification, but the amount of engine noise and vibration I get in the cockpit is insane. To give you an idea, if I'm slightly on the gas, the rear view mirror is useless.

I'm considering insulating the cockpit, but am nonetheless concerned that my car just vibrates too much and makes too much noise to be considered normal, and may be indicative of something wrong.

2) I get the faint smell of gas in the cockpit, and the garage wreaks of fuel for a looong time after shutting down.

I understand from the that the prior owner hada concern about rust in the carb (indicative of a rusty tank) but that his mechanic had flushed the tank and resolved the problem.

3) Can anyone recommend a mechanic with Pantera experience (or 351C experience) in the New York City area, or preferably, on the East End (Hamptons) of Long Island?

Any help with these issues would be appreciated. I'm afraid of burning down the house after a nice ride in my car.

Thanks,

Fangio

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Fangio, Welcome,

The extra loud might just be the exhaust system installed on that car.

Lots of rear view mirrors shake like crazy. Search the archives for lots of ideas. Only way to cure it for good is to get a mirror that glues to the window glass.

I would address the fuel smell before you do anything else. Lots of panteras have been lost over the years from engine fires. Not to mention you could loose your house or worse!!
Find the leak/problem and fix it right away.

Doug M
Welcome Fangio, and congratulations on your car.

You'll get used to the noise, but the fuel leak, as Doug says, is Job #1!

Take the air cleaner off and check all around the carb (and at the intake) to see if fuel is obvious somewhere. Then follow the fuel lines back to the fuel pump (typically a mechanical unit on the drivers-side at the front of the engine — see pic) and make sure that ALL connections along the way are tight and secure. Once you've ruled out any leaks from the fuel lines and carb, you should check the gas tank and vent line that runs (is supposed to) from the top of the tank along the glass bulkhead to the evap. canister on the passenger side (it's a blue can about 6—7" dia. x 2—3" tall).

Once you rule out the obvious leak possibilities it might be time to pull the carb and see what might be going on inside that.

Good luck, and please find the source before you go enjoying the car too much more!

Mark

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Congratulations Fangio

That's a beautiful Pantera you've purchased.

Besides insulation and double pane rear window glass, there's not a lot you can do about the engine noise besides enjoy it! We call it the Cleveland symphony.

There are quite a few owners in the New York/New England area; hopefully some of them will chime in with recommendations for a mechanic.

-G
First of all, welcome to the family!

quote:
1) ...the amount of engine noise and vibration I get in the cockpit is insane. To give you an idea, if I'm slightly on the gas, the rear view mirror is useless.

The shaking mirror is a FEATURE. You really need to pay attention to what's in front of you rather than what's behind you as nothing can catch you! Seriously though, this is a common issue at certain engine speeds. Just grab the mirror with your right hand when you need to take a look. IIRC, others have reported that inserting a piece of rubber (or rubber hose) between the front of the mirror bracket and the windshield helps.

quote:
I'm considering insulating the cockpit, but am nonetheless concerned that my car just vibrates too much and makes too much noise to be considered normal, and may be indicative of something wrong.

Nothing's wrong. Your head/ear is only 10 inches from the engine versus being 3-4 feet from the engine in a front-engined car. You will hear more noise. To cut down on some of the interior noise, remove the upholstered firwall cover and line the firewall and engine cover with Dynamat. Wouldn't hurt to also line the doors, floors, and roof if you want to pull your entire interior apart. A change of mufflers also helps. Be aware that almost ALL Panteras emit a low frequency resonance at low engine speeds - typically when idling through a parking garage at 1500 rpm (see how many car alarms you can set off - it's a game!) - this is a product of having the worlds shortest mufflers on a big V8.

quote:
2) I get the faint smell of gas in the cockpit, and the garage wreaks of fuel for a looong time after shutting down.

As others have already said, FIRST AND FOREMOST CHECK FOR LEAKS!!! If there are no leaks, you need to rebuild or replace your carb. I had the same issue with mine but could not find any leaks. Took my car for a dyno tune and discovered that the carb was leaking gas into the intake manifold after shut down - a new carb solved that problem.

Enjoy your new ride, and all the attention that will come with it!
Thank you all for you kind welcome and advice.

The reaction the car gets is insane! On my first stop at the gas station, someone actually asked me to take a photo of them with the car. I stopped in town and had a coffee on the bench next to where the car was parked, and every other person that passed by it would comment on it. I just sat there like a fly on the wall listening - all positive comments - first experience I've had where a car generated that must interest.

Another thing I noticed is that the car is 100 times more beautiful in person than in photos - for some reason it isn't photogenic, but in person the car is absolutely beautiful!

As to specific comments:

I will follow the advice and take care of the fuel issue asap. Thanks for the tips, and I really appreciate Mark pointing out places to look on the photo and his step by step instructions. I'm not a mechanic, and don't really have experience working on cars, but have learned more in my search for a Pantera than I have in all my years as a car afficionado.

Regarding the engine noise, I understand the Cleveland symphony, although I never heard it in person, but this car seems much much louder than normal. I'm pretty sure that the car doesn't have any exhaust issues and it certainly doesn't sound like a hole in the muffler, but I have a feeling there is more to it than just the fact that it is a loud car. I'll look into insulation, but not just yet, too many other things I want to straighten out mechanically and make sure the car is running at 100 per cent, which it seems to be for the most part (except fuel and vibration issues), but I want to take it to a mechanic that is familiar with these cars to be sure.

Hopefully, someone will chime in with a recommendation for a mechanic in the NY area.

Re vibration, I'll check the engine mounts.

Also, thanks for the advice on the fixes for less than 20 bucks - already bought the fire extinguisher before I purchased the car. Hopefully won't need it. Can anyone suggest where I should drill the weep holes?

Again, many thanks fro the warm welcome and all the advice.
Your fuel tank has a breather line that goes from the fuel tank to a carbon canister on the other side of the engine bay. Make sure the breather is connected to the carbon canister. If it came loose, you won't see a fuel spill but you will have fuel vapors.
Fangio,

Congratulations and welcome.

Another place to check for fuel and vapor leaks is the top of the fuel tank. There are three gaskets there that could leak fuel and fuel vapor. They are the fuel filler, the fuel gauge sender, and the fuel tank vent.

Another place to check is the large diameter hose that connects the external fuel filler to the fitting on the top of the fuel tank.

John
quote:
Originally posted by Fangio:
Regarding the engine noise, I understand the Cleveland symphony, although I never heard it in person, but this car seems much much louder than normal.


Fangio,

Do you have any details about the engine in your car? I have two Panteras and one has a bone-stock, original engine (internally). The car is very quiet in the cabin and the rear-view mirror doesn't vibrate at all. With the windows closed, it is very easy to have a normal conversation — even at highway speeds.

BUT my other Pantera has a very nicely built motor with an aggressive, lumpy cam, roller rockers and all sorts of other goodies inside. It also has a large-diameter GTS exhaust and big-bore headers. In this car I can barely SEE the rear-view mirror — let alone what it's reflecting because it bounces around so much. It's the engine that is doing this and, I hope in your case too, there is absolutely nothing wrong at all. Far from it! The suggestion about adding a rubber tube wedged between the windscreen and the mirror is a good one. I had one in one of my trucks and it helps for sure.


Another thing I wanted to share is that even with a lack of experience and confidence, you should try to do some of the work on the car yourself. Excepting a few things (the ZF, some electrical things etc.), the Pantera is a very easy car to work on. You will get to know the car, gain confidence/experience and several years from now YOU will be writing this post to someone else.

Besides this great forum, there are several astounding on-line resources out there: Mike Dailey's www.panteraplace.com, Chuck Melton's www.provamo.com and numerous owner sites (mine is one) that have many tips and tricks, project details etc. to help you through. Even if all that doesn't comfort you, the Pantera owner community is THE BEST at helping and sharing knowledge. Better than ANY other car community I've encountered. We have a great group of vendors who supply just about everything we need (start with PIM who support this forum's existence) and will also help advise. Driving the car is great but a big part of the ownership experience is tweaking and working on the car to make it the way you want.

Good luck!

Mark
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