It looks like 1974 Panteras have spacers welded to the chassis to provide clearance for the seat to move freely on its rails and not drag on the carpet.  Yet both seats are currently hitting the seat belt plate when moved, especially on the passenger side.  The seats stop moving forward when the seat hinge hits the large Phillips head screw that secures the seat belt plate.  Does anyone know if this vintage Pantera originally used additional spacers?

In the picture below you can see how the seat has been dragging near the bottom of the plate  and chipping its paint.

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Original Post

Dear Steve,

1) yes, late '74s had the seat spacers spot welded in place

2) Yes, the seats should not rub on the seat belt plate in the rocker

3)  Something ain't right

4)  I had a something similar with the driver's seat in my second Pantera.  I took it to a pro to remove the seat spacers for increased head room.  He noticed that some lunk head had put a jack under the seat floor pan and bent the floor.  He quickly corrected that issue.  It is possible that you may have a similar distortion of the floor pan that could explain your peculiar interference of the seat and the seat belt retractor plate.

            Warmest regards, Chuck Engles

Interesting. '71-'72s used square aluminum seat-spacers so obviously they aren't welded. The fronts are slightly thicker than the rears to give a tiny bit of rake. But the holes in everything are oversized so it should be possible to loosen bolts & shove the seat toward the console and gain a little space. One '74 needed lots of clearancing; it had Ferrari seats and hit everywhere. I file-elongated some holes, swapped the lower phillips screws for metric flatheads, countersunk the seatbelt plate and bevelled the plastic F-car rake adjuster knob, all to gain 1/8" clearance. Pantera seat pans are narrow!

Steve..

- my floor is "flat", i.e NO adds /welded on top of the flat surface.
- nuts are welded from below for M8 set up,
- the aluminium spacers go directly on the floor level. Well here I still think to CUT the carpet for rectangular openings so the aluminium spacers sit right on the sheet metal. (Carpet is still waiting to be put.)
- I did play with the spacers a bit incl. adding SHIMS, to get the max out on hight!
  is a messy job ..shims in ..shims out until it fits.
(I have the brass rollers for the seat rails as old rubber /steel was worn out)

IT is a good idea to have the base level welded and then add ..any shim(s), easy to  set up.

I THINK my chassis has the lowering modification for the seat level as is appears, but I have no ref. 

Matthias

7102 came with the welded on steel spacers as yours, no aluminum at all.

Mine were attached with a bit of stick weld, not spot welds.

I removed the rears by cutting the welds with a wiz wheel in a grinder for a little more rake. The adjusters still work ok, the seats drag on the carpet a bit, but they are only used to get access to the hardware to remove the seats.

Probably not what your looking for, but I put square polished aluminum tubing under my rails, then added a small spacer on the front part because I like the seat to have a bit of rake to it. I have lowered pans from the prior owner so these worked perfect to get a bit more height and rake that I liked and allowing the seat to slide as well.

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Jan, nice work on the aluminum seat pedestals.  It looks very clean.

The car I am working on is a European Pantera that was originally sold by the Claude Dubois distributorship for DeTomaso cars in Brussels.  It is somewhat different than the Panteras that Ford imported to the US.  Specific to this thread, the seats might be different.  Has anyone seen this type of seat in a Pantera?  The door panels and dash inlay are the same color and material as the seats.  The seat back flips forward and is controlled by a spring loaded hinge and lever.  Thus the seats are wider than other Pantera seats that I have worked with.  The bottom of the spring loaded hinge is dragging on the seat belt plate when the seat is moved back and forth.

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I worked on a '75 Pantera that had those seats. They were black leather with chromed side plates and quite heavy. If the seat is dragging on the raised head phillips scews, countersinking the seat belt plate holes & using metric flathead screws is simple, cheap and doesn't really change the 'stock' look.

Thanks Jack.  This car is actually a 1975 as well.  It just does not make sense that DeTomaso would produce a high end car with seats that drag metal to metal.  The fix that I am gravitating towards is use M8 button screws and 1/4" aluminum spacers.  There is also an unneeded bulged in the plate that can be pressed flat.  My hunch is that DeTomaso shipped the car with spacers and someone took them out for extra headroom.

Last edited by stevebuchanan

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