The Pantera Place
"Your de Tomaso Connection"
Maintenance and Safety Inspections
By Mike Dailey
The Pantera like any super performance car has areas that need regular maintenance checks and safety inspections. The area of most concern in the suspension, suspension mounts, drive train, steering and brakes.
Back A Arm Mounts
Photos by Charlie Mccall
These images show how the right back lower A arm mount has pulled through the sub-frame rail on a Euro GT5S. The frame and back wheel houses on the GT5S are constructed differently than on the regular production 1971 - 1974 Panteras because the original frame parts were no longer available when the GT5Ss were built. This is a very rare incident but it is still a good area to inspect during your regular maintenance. I've been told that that over tightening of the A arm mount nut can crush the sub-frame. The early Panteras have extra bracing and mods that were added in the back and front suspension areas after Ford did extensive testing of the cars at the Dearborn test track facility in 1971.
Front A Arm Mounts
Photo by Mike Drew
This image shows how the front lower A arm mount has come loose from the sub-frame rail of the car. This is a very rare incident but it is still a good area to inspect during your regular maintenance. The early Panteras have extra bracing added to the front suspension that attach to the bottom for the sub-frame and extend under the A arm mount for more support.
ZF Tansaxle Ring Gear
The bolts that attach the ring gear to the carrier can come loose and fall into the gears and destroy the ZF or cause the ZF to lock up. The failure of the ZF bolts is common occurrence and should be inspected to make sure the bolts have been safety wired. Unfortunately the ZF must be removed from the car to inspect the ring gear bolts.
Photo by Mike Drew
The original plastic bushing used on the passenger side of the steering rack is prone to wearing and allowing the end of the rack and tie rod to move. This allows the passenger side wheel not track correctly with the diver side wheel and causes sloppy steering. This can be tested by checking for any side movement of the tie rod at the end of the steering rack.
Structural Body Corrosion
The body of the Pantera is of monocoque design. This type of body is not very resistant to corrosion because the number of parts welded together to form the car structure creates lots of places for water to collect. The above image shows an example of a very badly corroded away front cross member and front valance that has been poorly patched with a piece of angle iron. The corrosion of the front cross member usually starts on the bottom side that is covered by the valance and is not visible unless the valance is removed. It is a good idea to inspect the structural parts of the Pantera body for corrosion. This corrosion link details what to look for.