The Pantera Place
"Your de Tomaso Connection"

Dim Tail Lights

If you have one or more dim taillights or backup lights it could be caused by bad grounding of the light sockets or the wrong light bulb installed.  My Pantera had a bad ground that caused one of the tail lights to light dimly when the back up light was on and had the wrong brake/tail light installed on one side. 

The ground for the taillight assembles on the Pantera is accomplished with grounding wires from the wire loom and wires on the tail light bucket that attach to one of the tail light bucket studs.  The grounding is accomplished when the nut on the stud is tightened, pressing the two connecters between the bucket and the body of the car.   Make sure the terminals are clean and when the mounting nut is tight, the the wire terminals are pulled together and held tightly.   

The correct tail, brake and turn indicator lights for the Pantera are a European type but can be found at your local Advance Auto Parts store.   The brake and tail light is Sylvania part number 7528 (21 watt and 5 watt) and the turn indicator light is 7506 (21 watt).  

Dim tail lights.JPG (47508 bytes)   

The correct Euro lights

While you have the tail light assemblies apart it would be a good time to clean the lenses.  I washed my lenses with soap and water and the polished the outside of the lens with Meguiar’s Cleaner Wax.  The plastic surface of the lens will polish to a high luster but be careful to get all of the wax off so you do not end up with white wax stuck in the recessed areas or lettering.

Mikes Pantera 063002 2.JPG (47248 bytes) Mikes Pantera 063002 1.JPG (48146 bytes) 

The silver paint on the reflector part of the tail tight bucket was OK on my Pantera but I decided to refinish them so they would have a new bright reflection.  Special silver reflector paint can be purchased from your local auto parts store that is made for renewing the reflector but I had some plasti-kote Bumper Chrome #615 so I used it.  I removed the reflector buckets, removed the rubber seals, washed them, taped off the bulb sockets and sprayed the reflector side with the plasti-kote.  Three light mist spray coats created the best silver reflection surface.         

Mikes Pantera 063002.JPG (54316 bytes)

I finished off the job by replacing the stock mounting screws with black Allen head bolts to match the license place frame bolts.  The refurbish job really improved the brightness of the lights. 

Later on I found some stock NOS lenses and I replaced the old lenses.  The passenger side is the most difficult to find and usually is the most expensive.