The spreader bar attachments on my car are kind of chewed up.  Has anyone ever made an end cap or cover for those attachments that would cover the bolt also? I would like to dress up engine area and need to do something like a sheet metal cover.  Any ideas?

Thanks, David Finley #3659


Original Post

No one that I know has tried cosmetically modifying this vital structural area. Most focus on strengthening the rather flimsy attach points. The bar attach tabs are only light sheet metal welded to the inner fender panels, but are really part of the upper rear shock attach weldment. In the section of this Forum on adapting a Coyote engine where much of the inner rear fender sheet metal was cut away, a photo shows the complete weldment without the shrouding fender metal. A few owners have welded on strengthening doublers for the bar mount tabs when they were damaged. I would want to keep an eye on cracks growing in the area or loose bolts, not cover it up, but thats just me.

Those attachment tabs take much of the cornering loads from the rear suspension as well as resisting torque from acceleration & braking. Adding wider wheels and tires makes these loads higher. Having oversized, slotted holes in the stock tabs for the bar also does not improve the situation. So if you weld on doublers, make the holes much smaller to fit the bolts!  Eventually, stresses and relative motion from decades of vigorous cornering strains or breaks many of the spot-welds making up the Pantera's rear monococque and we wind up with excess rear camber that is no longer factory adjustable. In a chain-reaction, excess camber then rapidly wears out the inner edges of large, expensive rear tires.

You can probably make a cover for them out of stainless sheet metal fairly easily with a bench vise and a pair of "tin snips". I haven't bothered with that detail. The existing weld and appearance kind of add to the "hand welded together" race car appearance that shows in the Mangusta engine compartment.

Part of the character of the car.

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