The Bodinecc Blog

The Bodinecc Blog

The engine change

The PanteraPosted by Erik Bodin-Ek Mon, February 06, 2012 11:14AM

The original engine was mounted out of the car, here the engine bay of the car can be seen in the condition it was then we bought it. Original damper mass is still in the engine compartment, which is not common among Panteras due to the fact that almost all have been restord one or more times over the years. You can also see the gearbox manufactured by ZF. It is 5 speed with limited slip differential and gearbox, all-aluminum with steel reinforcements on each side of the differential where the drive shafts going out.

The second important thing to inspect when buying a Pantera is that the gearbox is in good condition and do not need rebuilding as it is very expensive. Admittedly, these gearboxes are considered "bullet prof" as when in good condition can handle four-digit torque numbers.
There are still new transmissions to buy from the U.S. and also a newly developed 6-speed version, but these will set you back over 100K (Sek) in the standard version and a lot more for the 6-speed.
ZF gearbox was originally designed to be used in the Ford GT40 in both street and race versions. And these cars as many people know, won the Le Mans several times during the 60:ies. An enhanced version of the gearbox even used in the BMW M1.

The BMW engine was at the same time being taken apart, washed and inspected.

A dissasembled V8 takes up a lot of space especially if it is a twin cam engine and since the garage is full of other "crap" it can be difficult, like the bonnet of a Lotus Elan -64 hanging on the wall or the inline 4 cylinder engine under the bench (under the BMW head covers) from a Lotus Esprit - 81 (this engine is for sale by the way)... but there is a saying...the one with the most things when he dies win...=).

Here are the pistons and rods from the BMW V8. The rods have a nice design, however, they are made by powder metallurgy, which gives lighter rods but unfortunately with lesser mechanical properties then forges units.

Here we see the the original Cleveland heads made of cast iron and weighs enormously compared with the aluminum heads of the BMW in the picture below.

The beginning of the project!

The PanteraPosted by Erik Bodin-Ek Thu, April 07, 2011 01:52PM

The car was taken apart and thoroughly inspected.

The hole frame was checked inside with optical fibers and we concluded that we had managed to fine a well preserved example with little rust.

It is one of the most important things to check if the car is free from rust when buying a Pantera and a rust free car can be expensive and hard to find. The cars chassis is in fact a monocoque comprised of many steel sheets welded together i.e. very susceptible to rust.

The only place we found rust was in the compartment in front of the left rear wheel. This had occurred because of a little gap between the body and the forward facing wheel arch which allowed road dirt to collect inside the body.

This was fixed by a very competent body work specialist who removed all affected part and replaced it with hand fabricated steel sheet. We modified the wheel arch so it would not happen again.

The Pantera is an interesting car in the way that it is fairly common to exchange engine in them. I have seen several different engine configurations in the car, for example: windsors, Chevy and Ford small and big blocks, more modern Ford 4-valve engines and even Chrysler hemis and last but not least Carapis Pantera with a big block chevy engine which won several “Swedens fastest roadcar” awards during the nineties and still holds the official "Swedish land speed record".

The engine we chose was the BMW v8 M60B40 seen in the picture below, one was purchased in the late nineties for another project but it did not work out so when we acquired the Pantera in -01 the plans was drawn up for the exchange.

The first season

The PanteraPosted by Erik Bodin-Ek Sun, February 27, 2011 05:33PM

It is a DeTomaso Pantera from -72, imported from California in the late eighties and purchased by us in the winter of 2001.
The car was in almost in original condition apart from the nonstandard American rims that can be seen on the following image. The car had never been renovated and was in good original / working order.

The weight of the rims was substantial, the rear wheels were difficult to lift by yourself, although in the dimension 295/50 -15, so the hunt for the original magnesium wheels began immediately. While there are still new, original rims to buy the price of 15000kr per rear wheel makes it less appealing to buy new ones.

Some renovations and upgrades were made before the summer of 2001, which among other things were changeing the master brake cylinder, the renovation of the steering rack and checking the car in general.

The car was used extensively during the summer with both track days at Kinnekulle ring, street race in Norrtälje and drag racing at Tullinge Raceway witha quarter mile time of 13.633 i.e. alot of grunt in the original 351 Cleveland V8 with holly carburetor. The picture below is from this event.

When the autumn came plans were drawn up to change the engine to a V8 BMW (M60B40) plus several other modification to the car which was put on jack stands and disassembled.

The car was suppose to be ready by spring 2002 but like almost all projects the deadline was exceeded a bit. It took until the summer of 2005 before the Pantera was back on the road again.

Below is a picture of the car in its present state.