Monday, December 23, 2013

First Look in Gas Tank

Here's a hole in the step in the fuel tank.  I'll have to patch or weld up the hole.  

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Sealing up the ZF

I made a lot of progress with the ZF.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Half Shaft Plating (Part IV)

I sent the half-shafts in for plating a few weeks ago and picked them up last week.  The plating company recommended cadmium plating for the unmatched corrosion resistance and excellent properties.  It's too bad that cadmium is such a toxic metal; there's really only one non-toxic equivalent plating, which would be gold plating.  Sorry, no gold plating on my car.  I like a yellow chromate finish, but I really like the bare cadmium color without the yellow finish, so I chose to have a clear chromate finish.  I was careful to wash my hands after handling these parts since I don't want any cadmium-related health issues.

Here's a bag of the half shaft nuts and grease seal washers.  Notice the ZF drain plugs, shifter detent, speedometer gear bolt, side detent cover, and top fill plug.

I had the plating company remove all four new U-joints and plate the spiders.  I'm really glad I did it, but wish I could have plated the caps.  Unfortunately I would have to hone each yoke bore to accept this and the press-fit nature may strip some of the plating off.  I'll just apply a clear coat after to keep the caps shiny. The bores of all yoke parts were masked and not plated.

One warning to those who read this blog and want to do what I did- don't plate the splines of the male splined yoke.  There isn't enough clearance between female and male splines to allow for the 0.0005" of plating.  I was warned about the issue but forgot about it.  After picking up the parts, I test-fit the assembly only to find that the two halves didn't slide together without the application of extreme force.  Luckily, I was able to have the plating company dip the splined end in acid and remove the plating.  The two halves now slide effortlessly together.  I have since coated the parts with a satin clear coat, which leaves the metal looking bare and untouched.

Although not related, here's the ZF top fill plug, cadmium plated.  I'll finish everything off with a nice satin clear coat.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Stainless Steel Fasteners for the ZF

I am replacing every piece of hardware possible with stainless steel in addition to painting each major part.  I want the tranny to be easy to clean, look good, and reduce corrosion potential.  I haven't polished each stainless steel bolt as I think it's not necessary for my tastes.  Here's a list of hardware available in stainless steel for a 1971 ZF 5-DS-25-2 transaxle:

M6 socket (allen) head bolts in the following quantities:
2- M6x50 for shifter cover
1- M6x30 for the shifter cover
2- M6x20 for the shifter cover

M8 socket (allen) head bolts in the following lengths and quantities:
14- M8x1.25x25  for lower cover
2- M8x1.25x40 for case halves
4- M8x1.25x50 for lower cover
1- M8x1.25x60 for case halves
1- M8x1.25x80 for case halves
1- M8x1.25x100 for case halves

Lock nuts in the following quantities:
2- M6x1.00 for the shifter detent cover
24- M8x1.25 for the rear cover, case halves, and shifter shaft end cover
25- M10x1.50 for the side covers and bellhousing

Flat washers:
5- 6mm standard flat washers for the shifter cover
10- 8mm standard flat washers for the shifter shaft end cover, and the case halves
5- 10mm standard flat washers for bellhousing nuts

Copper washers:
15- 8mm washers (5/16" washers are equivalent) for the end cover
20- 10mm washers (3/8" washers are equivalent) for the side covers

Please note that the use of a good anti-sieze thread lubricant is recommended.  I use a copper-based anti-sieze thread lubricant.  Stainless steel tends to gall & cause corrosion in aluminum and the anti-sieze will help to reduce that potential.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

ZF Updates

I haven't posted in a while.  I finally sent the half shafts to the plating company.  I saw a set of Spicer half shafts in a yellow chromate and loved them.  However, I chose to plate my half shafts in silver cad plating.  The plating is a true cad plating, which is much more durable (and toxic) than a comparible zinc plating.  I also sent the U-joints, ZF drain plugs, shift detent cover, and the shifter shaft detent part to be cad plated with the half shafts.  I'll post pictures when I get all of it back.  It should be fabulous.

I really didn't like the rust product on the end cover.  What a mess it made!  At each bolt, the product was flexible and didn't crush well.  It just ended up coming off.  It looks nice, though.  I'll spray it with a satin clear paint to protect the small area of bare metal where the coating came off.  I installed the rear cover by using a tiny amount of grease on each shaft shim to hold them in place.  I used the gasket and sparingly but carefully applied some Ford Motorcraft TA-31 gray sealant.

The side covers were a different story.  I primed them with a 2K epoxy primer and sprayed them with an industrial coating in gloss black.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Stunning De Tomaso GT5

The car in the video is Ron McCall's blue Pantera.  I plan to paint my car the same color.  Imitation is the highest form of flattery...

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Painted ZF Transaxle

Here's the newly painted ZF:

Note that every exposed stud and gasket surface has been masked off.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Work continues on the ZF

I've been working on several things, but here's some paint progress.  Using Aluma-Blast paint, I painted the bottom cover, shift cover, and shift shaft cover.  I finished them off with several coats of satin clear coat.  The satin clear coat is invisible and the aluminum-like paint is very convincing. 

Here's the covers.  I really like the paint so far.

I've also been busy getting the case ready for paint.  I made a template of the side cover gasket areas to ease masking there.  Note that the gasket contact areas are considerably smaller than the actual gasket, so a direct tracing of the gasket doesn't work.  You can, however, get a good tracing of the bolt holes and main cover hole.  I stuck the thin cardboard cereal box on the bolts and used a rubber mallet to imprint the aluminum case face.  You need four sets, two with main holes and two without.  The two with holes are used on the side covers, and the two without on the case.  I did the same with the bottom cover, which made a slick thin cardboard cover for it as well.  The rear cover could be done in the same fashion using the gasket, but there are so many holes, I'm not sure it would work well.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Differential Stuff

The differential in a ZF transaxle used in the Pantera is a 40% locking limited-slip differential that uses a friction and thrust washer plate at each end.  The friction plate rubs against the differential case and thrust washer when a torque unbalance occurs between each side in relation to the ring gear movement and the spider gear axles move up the triangular ramps in each differential case half.

Here's the differential.  You can clearly see the two differential case halves with triangular notches.  Also visible is the small axle dimpled thrust washer and the dog-eared thrust washer.

Another view of the dog-eared thrust washer.  The large dog-eared washer in the picture has seen some heat but isn't scored.  The smaller thrust washer is also worn but doesn't need to be replaced at this time.  The washer can be simply flipped over.

Here's the friction washer, indexed to the splined axle spider gear.  

The ZF manual calls for 0.1mm to 0.2mm of play in the system.  However, Lloyd B. and Dennis Q. both agree that you can run a little more play without problems.  I have 0.008", which is on the high side of 0.2mm.  No further work necessary, other than some good oiling of all parts before putting them back in the differential housing.  

There was some minor pitting of the spider gears but I'm told that pitting in these gears is common and isn't a source for worry.  The differential has been given a clean bill of health and ready to reassemble.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

ZF Side Cover Breakdown

I've been busy doing other things lately, but I had a chance to get back on the ZF today.  I finally removed the pesky side cover axle seals.  It wasn't fun, and I worried about damaging something.  It required a good whack with a big hammer and a punch to move one side slightly and then I was able to pry it out with a handheld seal puller.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

ZF Side and End Covers

The ZF side covers come out with some persuasion.  The manual calls for a special jig that removes the covers, but I found that a nice rubber hammer works just fine when you hit the cover tops.  To remove the stub axles from the bearings, you really need some good snap ring pliers and a press.  First, remove the small snap ring and washer below the snap ring.  I had to borrow a friend's snap ring pliers to remove them.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

ZF Transaxle Safety Wiring Part III

I have finally reached the point where I actually show the safety wiring!  Yay!
To begin, one needs to understand how to install safety wire.  The ARP bolts use 0.032" safety wire, which was included with the bolts.  Safety wire pliers were not included but are really handy in doing this stuff.  I would recommend them.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

ZF Transaxle Safety Wiring Part II

I work on this project at night mostly when everybody has gone to bed.  Here are the latest updates:

I mounted the differential in a vise.  The experts said mounting the differential case in a vise wouldn't hurt it.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

ZF Transaxle Safety Wiring Part I

I found that the ZF ring gear bolts were safety wired but poorly done and still using stock bolts.  It's very likely that the bolts were removed, drilled for safety wire, and reinstalled.  Dennis Quella and Lloyd Butfoy both advised to remove the stock bolts, install new special drilled ARP bolts, and safety wire again.  Well, this meant that I was going on an adventure!

I purchased the new bolts, side cover seals, side cover gaskets, bottom cover gasket and side detent cover gasket.  The bolts weren't cheap ($140 for 10!)  I purchased everything through Pantera Performance Center (Dennis Quella) since RBT would not split out the gaskets individually and it was cheaper to just get what I needed through Dennis.  Both Dennis and Lloyd are very knowledgable, willing to talk, and give advice, so I couldn't go wrong either way.

I borrowed an engine stand and mounted the transaxle on it and went to work.

Transaxle mounted in the engine stand.

Bottom cover and side cover removed.  The side axle bearings were in perfect shape and looked like they hadn't been used at all.  All of the studs were relatively free of corrosion.  The paper side cover gasket fell apart when I removed it and really didn't stick to the case at all.  I wish I could say the same about the bottom cover gasket, which will be a mess to remove.

Stay tuned.  I plan to remove the differential, install new ring gear bolts, safety wire the ring gear bolts, clean and paint the side covers & rear cover, clean & paint the case, replace the bottom cover studs with stainless bolts, and clear coat everything after it's assembled.  

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Finally- I have a ZF Dash 2 Transaxle

Yep, it's official.  I am the new owner of a Dash 2 type transaxle.  Here it is in the protective container.  

My friend also gave me his slave and master cylinder.  I have no idea if these are any good but I'm grateful for them nonetheless.  You can't refuse free!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Taillight Lens Restoration Part III

Here's a nice touch to my taillight lenses:

Stainless steel allen head screws, complete with little o-rings courtesy of Larry Finch.

Now to blast & paint the threaded studs on the bucket mount side and replace some missing nuts.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

June Utah Pantera Get-Together

Once again, we had our annual Utah Pantera Get-Together.  It was a really, really hot Saturday morning, with temperatures later in the day exceeding 103 degrees F.  Four Panteras and eight owners came, making this a little more of a success than the last meeting in September 2012.   Evan Deneris was our gracious host, and each Pantera was parked around his beautiful front yard's fountain.

Doug Reynold's black '74 was beautiful.  One of the rare so-called "Super Panteras" modified by the late Gary Hall, the car hasn't seen the light of day in 10 to 15 years.  Doug said it was in rough shape, but Rex Marshall and Doug really went over it, polished it, and got it running.  A small coolant leak at the Hall Phoenix radiator led to some coolant loss on the driveway.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

I found a transaxle!

Yes, I finally found a transaxle.  It has been hiding in my area for 30+ years.  Imagine that!

Gears look good with no signs of rust.  A friend of mine is willing to sell it to me for a reasonable price, too!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Half Shaft Rebuild Part III

I couldn't get the last two u-joints out, so I took it to a machine shop.  The machinist couldn't get the u-joints out either, so he cut them out with a torch.  It's now time to blast them, paint them or have them plated and re-assemble with new u-joints.

Here are the half shafts, laid out as they came apart.  My marks are easy to see but it's important to keep  the yoke sides together as they are balanced that way.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Interior Ideas

I have never really liked the two-pod dash style.  I traded some parts for a single pod dash that looks like this:

I have the vent inserts and two of the switches.  While I like the concept of the dash, blonde leather is not what I want, unless it could be used as an accent.  Also, the burlwood dash piece has too much of a glossy, plastic feel.  I think dash inserts are classic and needed in a Pantera interior.  It seems to break up the sea of black in the interior.  Most new vehicles don't have all-black interiors; car manufacturers usually include some form of trim piece that serves to break up the look.  Original early Panteras used chrome accents on gauges and other parts to break up the black look.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Taillight Lens Rehabilitation Part II

I work on my car here and there, mostly around 9:30 at night when the kids have gone to bed.  It occupies my time a little better than other things I tend to spend (waste) my time on.

I cleaned each lens with soap & water twice, then masked and painted the lens interior using rattle-can metallic paint.  One side has definitely turned out better than the other side, but both are acceptable.  I won't be showing off the interior of the housing, so who cares if I got a run or two?

One side painted with rattle-can metallic paint.  Should be good enough.

The next step of this restoration process is to investigate new connectors.  The old connectors are fine for a car that won't see much but sunshine, but I gave up on and sold the original wiring harness.  Maybe the choice of connectors will be another blog post.

That's it for now...

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Taillight Lens Rehabilitation Part I

I decided to rebuild something really cheap and easy to restore or upgrade.  I have euro-style amber lenses for my taillights, brand new, but the housings are used and in need of some care.

Here are the two taillight housings:

Left side, but notice an extra bulb socket in the upper big reflector opening as compared to the right side below.

Right side.

I plan to paint these, but why are there two bulb sockets in the left housing?  The second socket is definitely an addition, given the crimped wires on the back and the recessed socket.

Half Shaft Rebuild, Part II

I have used the press to remove one U-joint so far.  I found that removing the joint involves the following process:

First, position the press using sockets or steel pipes of the right diameter.  You need to push one end down and the yoke end below must be fully supported concentrically around the U-joint cap.  The support is easy with a large socket.  I have started with the splined yoke side first.

Press the joint until one cap is protruding.  Grab the exposed cap in some vise grip pliers, holding the opposite end in a vise.  Rotate the cap until free from the yoke.  If you can't get the other side out, press it out opposite and repeat.

Now, repeat the above process using the axle or transaxle side yoke.  Note that these yokes aren't flat on each side, requiring an angle-cut pipe or some ingenuity so that the pressing is completely straight.  A wobbly part won't press out right and you'll quickly find that out if you try.

You should end up with this:

As a side-note, I found out that I need the end cap I was missing in the last post on half shafts to prevent grease from flying out of the open end.  A 45mm hammer-in cap fits perfect, and I found one at a local machine shop.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Visit to Pantera Performance Center

Several months ago, one of the principals at work asked if I'd like to attend an out-of-state seminar.  I said sure, and noticed that there was one in April in Denver, Colorado.  I jumped at the chance since Dennis Quella's shop is there.  I visited the shop on Thursday evening, just two days ago.  Dennis agreed to stay late to talk to me.

I was like a kid in a candy store.

Sadly, I didn't get much chance to take a ton of pictures and didn't want to upset my host by capturing everything.  Some of the things I liked are the Ron Davis radiator/fan setup, the Pantera with the Coyote engine, and some Fikse wheels.  I also enjoyed talking to Dennis about ZF transaxles and handling gearsets from a transaxle he was rebuilding.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Weatherstripping Kit

I bought a complete weatherstripping kit for the car around Christmas from Scott Bell.  I am thoroughly impressed- it is an exact match for the original stuff.  Time to throw that stuff right out!  Here's the link to the kit, with a list of all that is provided:

Scott Bell is a great guy.  I can't speak highly enough about what he's doing.  Yes, he is a little bit on the "dark side" for putting an LS motor in his Pantera and selling the conversion kits.  I like Ford V8's but will not bash the LS- it's a great motor family and a modern testament to the all the good parts of pushrod engines the family keeps alive in so many ways.

Scott's other products can be seen here:

Half Shaft Rebuild, Part I

I'm working on the half shafts, ready to rebuild them.  I went in with some buddies on a 20-ton shop press and bought some u-joints with grease zerks from a Pantera parts vendor.  I found out later that Steve Wilkinson actually manufactures the joints and the joints are labeled "PPUSA" for Pantera Parts USA, which is his corporation name.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

IR EFI using Weber Manifold

After researching Weber carburetors extensively on the internet, talking to people who run them, talking to tuners, etc, I decided to look into IR EFI options with the same Aussiespeed manifold.  I thought for some reason that few made a throttle body for the IDF pattern, but I was wrong.

Weber carburetors are really neat, but independent runner electronic fuel injection allows for similar benefits without some of the drawbacks.  The general drawback to IR EFI is the cost.  However, I am pleased to show a couple options that reduce the cost of such systems.

Throttle Bodies

There are several EFI throttle bodies available for the Weber IDF setup, mainly geared toward the air-cooled VW world.  However, there is no reason why these throttle bodies wouldn't work on the Aussiespeed manifold.  For example, CB Performance has a set of two throttle bodies for $530 that are exact dimensional replacements for Weber IDF carburetors.  The throttle bodies feature integral injector bosses, vacuum/IAC ports, allow for the same linkage, and are machined to accept a throttle position sensor.  I wouldn't recommend their fuel rail as it appears to be too small for a healthy V8, but fuel rail blanks are easy to find and easy to have machined.  The nice thing about using a set of exact matching throttle bodies is that you could run Weber carburetors for a while and then switch to EFI without much work.  Your linkage would be the same, your height would be the same, etc.


Many of the well-known EFI systems out there will work okay with IR EFI.  TWM even recommended that I look into FAST EZ EFI, claiming that there are a lot of people running this EFI system without issue on IR EFI systems.  The downside to EZ EFI is that it won't control spark timing. The next generation, EZ EFI 2.0 reportedly will control spark timing.

Kelly Coffield likes the Electromotive offerings, stating that there is a speed density/alpha N blend feature that makes tuning finicky IR systems much easier.  Also, he likes to stay with systems that allow full sequential injector firing over bank fire systems.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Weber Carburetors, Part III

I have so much to share that I'm going to push the tuning links back to Part IV or even Part V.  I haven't even got to the other good part- the EFI part!

System Prices

A few people have asked what a Weber IDF system might cost  I can estimate it but it depends upon a lot of variables, such as where you buy the carburetors, what linkage you run, if you want an expert to set it up, what jets you need, etc.  Webers were never cheap, so you should stick with that 4-bbl if you like things cheaper and simpler.  Here's some quick up-front costs for example:

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Weber Carburetors, Part II

Anatomy of a Weber IDF

The carb in the following pictures is a junk 40 IDF that I picked up locally for nothing but I had to buy the top as it was still good.  I wanted the carb to serve as a mockup carburetor for my engine.  It's a great piece for exploring the inner workings of the carburetor.  In all, the carburetor isn't as complex as you might think.

Rear view.  Block-off plate is missing.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Weber Carburetors, Part I

I've always loved Weber carburetors.  I think they make a V8 look just that much better.  Lately, I've been working on a few ideas.  I'm planning to use 2V style heads since there are so many manifold choices these days.  However, up until recently, there hasn't been a Weber intake for the 2V Cleveland that is readily available.  There is a manifold called the "Cain" manifold for a 2V Cleveland that was not produced in numbers and is pretty much non-existent.  However, recently a version was made in Australia by Aussiespeed that is the same thing:

Aussiespeed Manifold