The Pantera Place
"Your de Tomaso Connection"
Replacing Valve Covers
By Mike Dailey
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A few years ago I bought some de Tomaso logo valve covers to replace the covers on the Pantera that were repaired by a previous owner. They had cracks that had been aluminum welded. I finally got around to replacing the covers and the following steps detail the process.
As part of the cover replacement a friend gave me some used breather caps that I cleaned and painted with wrinkle finish black paint. It is important that the breather gasket fits flat against the cap.
View of the cover before removal. The first step was removing the breather cap/PCV valve and setting it aside. My car uses 1/4 20 socket head bolts and I removed them being carful not to drop the parts.
When I did my sparkplug wire project I allowed a little extra slack so the cover can be removed without disconnecting the wires.
View with the cover removed.
I'm using Fel-Pro 1615 rubberized cork gaskets.
The gasket only fits one direction, so make sure the gasket holes lineup with the bolt holes in the head befor you put the cover on .
My original covers had some adjustment work done to move the top part of the baffle over for rocker arm clearance so I did the same on the new covers.
New cover in place. Be carful not to over torque the bolts. I just hand tighten them with the Allen wrench.
Both covers installed. After the covers were installed I ran the engine to check for leaks and then re-torqued the bolts. I'll check them again after a few miles.
If this is the first time your valve covers have been removed you will most likely notice that the brace on the coolant tube running to the swirl tank is retained by one one of the valve cover bolts. This makes removing and replacing the valve cover very, very difficult. A fellow Pantera owner, Dan Jones, came up with a neat idea to stand the brace off to the side with a short link. My link was made from a old carb bracket. It doesn't need to be curved, but the I used was and it worked fine. The coolant tube bracket must be adjusted so it is beside the valve cover not over it.
A close up of the new valve cover showing how much thicker the cover is at the base that should reduce the cracking problems my old covers had.