Sticky #1: Dropped Floor Pans

Here are the seat mount rails mounted to the floor. The 2 close holes in the back of the rails are for the 2 different lengths of Pantera seat rails. Using this mounting system, you can actually move your seats farther forward because the mount holes are in a better position---and you can still move the seat all the way back to the firewall even with the bulkhead reduction kit (flat firewall)

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They're ready for carpet. The mount nuts on the underside prevent the bolts from sticking through the pans. This type of support rail keeps you seat rails from bending keeping them in good shape. Hope this helps.

Kirk

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I am reminded of a news clip from the N.Y. times, It seemed a large slightly over sized truck enter the Holland tunnel and promptly became stuck , many city workers engineers, and experts, began to contemplate the solution, cut the top dig the asphalt out under the truck, just then a car slowly passing rolled down it's window and a little girl stuck her head out of the window and said "JUST LET THE AIR OUT OF THE TIRES" My solution to your problem is just that simple, remove the padding in the seat, mine has 1" of high density foam, it is very comfortable and lowered the seat 3" "that's where the center point of the car is " and going over things like speed bumps or high drive way skirts can make this lowered pan hit the ground!
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Originally posted by Pantera Lover:
I am installing drop floor pans and a drop battery box. Has any one tried this and was there any problems I should be aware of? Will the seats still be able to slide back and forth for adjustability? Etc.... THX in advance!
Chris, the car does not bottom on the lower pans. In fact the 80's Panteras are lowered by the factory 3" instead of the 2" most of the aftermarket does, and still no problems.

You need to look at the T-top Panteras with the 3" "railroad iron hanging under, and still no issues?

Go figure?
Beautiful.... Thanks Doug!


quote:
Originally posted by PanteraDoug:
Yes. Those are the ones that I used.

You cut a hole in the floor, bend down a 2" flange from the existing pan and weld the two flanges, the old and the new together.

I reinforced these pans using steel channel on the underside.
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Originally posted by Joules:
Those pans appear to be a tray dropped all the way around rather than front to rear. Wouldn't they prevent the seat moving forward?


No, the seat works fine.

With the seat all the way back, there is about 10 to 12" of additional exposed floor pan in front of the seat and I doubt that even if you altered the seat tracks for greater forward travel, that there would be any practical reason to go more forward unless your legs are cut off at the knees and still want to operate the pedals?

If anything with the pan, it could have been shorter from front to back since there is no need for that much forward seat travel.

You could use the additional space to hide your pistol under the floor mat.


Another consideration with changing the floor pans is that the original seat location had the driver seat more to the door.

That added to the "twisted" feeling of the pedals being off too much to the right and the steering wheel not centered to the driver correctly.

What you do with these pans is place the seat in the car where it is oriented better. I'm not sure that it is possible to get it centered perfectly but it will feel better closer to the console. At least it does to me.

I want to say that I relocated the seat about 1-1/2" closer to the console but it is 30 years since I did it and I don't have the original floor pans to compare it.


You MIGHT want to consider spacing out the pedal assembly forward at this time also. I gained 1-1/2" of leg room right there and the lower seat position makes it possible to use a helmet comfortably without feeling that your head is in a vise.

In re-reading these old posts, it reminded me of one car in which we added dropped floor pans by only cutting the two sides and back of the seat floor, then bending the stock pan down and welding in triangular filler pieces on sides & a rectangular one in back. That retained some fore-and-aft adjustability for the owner who was a big man!  Combine this with seatback rake adjustment and you have a definite improvement for larger adults.

Also note that post-Ford '80s-up Panteras are rumored to have different floor pans from the early cars, which provides factory dropped seats (and dropped battery boxes, too). I've driven the late models but never had one on a hoist to examine the floorpan design. Finally, if you can live with slightly more road noise in the cabin, cut away the rug below the seats, remove the aluminum rug spacers below the adjust rails and bolt the rails directly to the steel floor. That lowers the seats by almost an inch with no welding. Note in any case the floor MUST be flat or the adjust rails will bind and fore-and-aft adjustment will be very difficult.

When I got my 74 Pantera L, the previous owner didn't mention it had a driver's dropped floor (I didn't see the car up on a jack). When I sat in it, I just noticed that the pedals and steering position are not bad at all and for my size of 6'1" and 240 lbs, I am quite comfortable in it with a couple inches of head clearance (I have a taller torso and shorter legs compared to guys my height so I have problem with headroom and not so much with legroom) and the driving position is great. However, it was a totally different story when I sat on the passenger's side. To start with, getting in was much harder with my head hitting the roof pillar and the leg position being way to the left and my head stuck to the ceiling, totally uncomfortable, but it's fine for my wife of 5'7".

Later on up on a jack I saw that only the driver's side has a dropped floor. I guess his wife wasn't too tall either.

Also, I have never scraped the floor pan on anything including one time not seeing a speed bump and going over it at 30 mph (ouch). At first the seat didn't seem to move forward, but one day when I played with it's handle, it moved forward just fine. As a matter of fact, due to my strange body, I have to sit with the seat two inches forward, just putting on the seat belt with my fat stomach is a bit of hold your breath while doing it thing due to the seat position being 2" forward now (I didn't have this problem before I pilled the seat forward).

So Pantera Lover shouldn't worry. Sorry but I don't know the manufacturer of my dropped pan. Here are a couple pics including one clearly showing the dropped floor at night, parked behind Scott's yellow Bad ass Pantera. 

BTW, do you like my cup holder?

IMG_2944IMG_2774Scott & mine

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I also went the route of Corvette C-4 seats on my recent restoration/modification.  I bought a used pair on ebay for $400, bought some inexpensive but beautiful leather hides, covered all surfaces inside the car with leather with contrast red diamond stitched quilting.  In the couple of times I've driven the car since I got it back a couple of weeks ago, I found the seats comfortable and supportive, and without dropped floor pans, I still have some headroom.  At your height, are you really sure you want to drop the pans?pantera seatspantera seats

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