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I've had my ZF at a certain Pantera specialist's shop for about 5 months now. They had a LOT of work to do when I brought it in, so I decided not to bug them about it for a while. I started calling two weeks ago. I leave an increasingly irritated message with the "secretary" but after four calls, I have not recieved a single reply from the "boss". I'm ticked off. I won't tell you who this is...I'm not trying to stir things up...yet!
Anyway, I'm about ready to pick my ZF up, crate it up, and ship it to RBT Transmissions in California. Has anyone dealt with them recently? Were you satisfied with the customer service and the workmanship? Did the price seem within reason? What kind of timeframe did you deal with?
Any info, either on or off the board, will be appreciated.
Thanks, Mooso.
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What I think I know: RBT Transmissions is THE place to have ZF work done. The business was started by Roy Butfoy and his son Lloyd under Ford auspices when the Pantera was new. They were trained in ZF work by the Factory in Germany. When ZF decided to stop making the 5DS-25/x model in the mid-80s, RBT bought the U.S. (and maybe the world) rights, all the tooling and spare parts, engineering dwgs etc. So, 100% of the new parts, gaskets etc marked 'ZF' come from RBT, and other Pantera vendors buy them for resale. Other (used) ZF parts come from cannibalized transaxles not economically repairable or from redesigned cheaper parts others have made.Its up to you whether you want such in your tranny or not. Nearly always, its a money decision as to who does one's ZF work in the U.S. but if the parts installed are new and genuine ZF, they will be RBT parts. Caveat Emptor! I have not personally had ZF work done at RBT, but then, I've also not NEEDED to have any work at all done (beyond safety-wiring new ring gear bolts).
I just received mine after a checkup. Had the case polished, did a great job. Haven't installed it yet, but so far I have nothing but positive things to say about them. Had some problems with the throwout bearing and Lloyd was nice enough to donate one. Don't think you can go wrong with them. Expect the service to take awhile, I'm sure they stay quite busy. Probably dependent on the time of year.
Don't forget Frank Jerome in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. He has been a Pantera owner for many many years, and works on them, including it's ZF transmission, and is very good. Many people will vouch for his work. He won't have near the backlog that RBT will have either. Not saying anything is wrong with RBT, but it isn't the only place to get quality work done.
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