Shopping Cart
Your Cart is Empty
There was an error with PayPalClick here to try again
CelebrateThank you for your business!You should be receiving an order confirmation from Paypal shortly.Exit Shopping Cart



Pantera Engine Removal

Posted by victory747 on October 16, 2010 at 1:07 PM


A collection of steps gained from experience, and notes gathered with many thanks from Doug Braun and Chuck Melton's website. 

A Few Notes:

To remove or install the engine in a Pantera, it is best to keep the engine and transaxle as a unit.  This procedure differs from the one in the service manual, but time has shown that not all manuals have the best solutions.

Prior to starting, it may be a good time to write down everything you want to do while the engine is out.  Some items can only be removed while the engine is out.

- Removal, inspection and sealing of the fuel tank

- Removal/replacement of the long coolant tubes, if yours are still one piece

- Insulation of the firewall

- (easy) Replacement of the motor mounts

Keep a notebook to record parts to order, and notes as to what goes where.  For all parts, large and small, store them in zip lock bags, with labels.  Don’t rely on your memory !  In some cases there may be a longer bolt and a shorter bolt, and where they go MATTERS !  This may seem overly cautious, but you do want every bolt going back into the SAME hole, period.  It is also a good idea to take photos as you proceed.

Be sure you have all the necessary tools for the task, and a good place to work out of the weather.

Put out the call to your Pantera buddies that you're planning an engine pull, and plan the whole day to get it done.  If you can, working on the disconnecting ahead of time will make things go much smoother.

Copy this process and have it as a checklist while you're working. 


You will need:

- The usual tools

- Coolant drain pan that holds at least 2-3 gallons of fluid

- Quart size Ziploc bags and a black marking pen to bag nuts, bolts and bits.  Bag and mark according to what they came off of.

- Engine hoist; you will need one with both extendible or folding legs and an extendible arm.  The balance point of the Pantera engine/ZF is at 47" from the rear lip of the bay, so conventional rolling hoists won't do the job.

- If you’re using a hoist with a balance bar, which once hooked up, is a much easier way to remove the engine/ZF, you’ll need four bolts: two that fit the bell housing at the 10 and 2 positions and two that fit either the front two intake bolts (5/16-18) or one of the accessory holes at the front of each head (7-16-14).  All should be about a ½” longer than standard, and large washers for all to prevent the chain from slipping off.  The balance bar should have chains with it.  You may find that using the accessory holes on the front of the head will foul the oil dipstick tube.  The tube cannot be removed with the engine in place.

- If you are using a carb lift plate, you’ll need that and a nylon tie-down strap with a come-along to balance the ZF.  A piece of heavy rope will work, but it's very difficult to adjust angle of the ZF.

- An engine stand: there are several types, but the most preferred is the type that holds the engine by itself at waist height and can be rotated on the long axis 360 degrees.

- You’ll need to position the car with about 8-10 feet of smooth surface behind it so the engine hoist can be rolled back easily

- If you’ve never done this, at least 3 friends to help.  If all goes well, they’ll still be your friends when you finish . . . ;-) 


- Disconnect the battery.  For safety, disconnect the - pole first, then the +.  To reconnect, just the opposite.

- Remove the rear deck lid: two possible methods.  (It has been stated that the engine can be removed without removing the deck lid, but it makes things extremely difficult, and you'll want all the access you can get when it comes to messing about in the bay)

1) Pulling the hinge pins: start by bracing the back of the lid with a rod of some kind, then disconnect and remove the struts.  Line the edges of the engine bay with blankets or towels, drop the lid back down and drive the pins out a bit (when you look up under the back edge of the roof, you'll see them there), then tap them out the rest of the way with a flat-blade screwdriver just under the head of the pin.  Lift the off to your out-of-the-way storage spot to avoid damage while it’s off. 

2) Unbolting the hinges at the roof: (this can be done by yourself, but best to have at least one helper to lift it off).  Start the same as above, but instead of driving the hinge pins out, remove the six bolts that hold the two hinges to the roof, then lift off and store.  Alignment is fairly easy when putting it back on.

- With stock seats, it may be sufficient to slide the passenger seat fully forward, remove the headrest, then unbolt just the 2 rear seat-to-floor bolts.  However, it you've gone this far, take the seat out altogether, and you'll have easy access to kneel in the passenger compartment while working on the front of the engine.

- Remove the padded firewall cover and center cover.  Store in the spare bed room until your wife starts to complain. 

From under the car:

- Chock the front wheels

- Raise the back of the car enough to get under, brace with jack stands that will not interfere with the legs of the hoist.

- Drain the coolant: two possible methods

1) Open both the petcock at the top of the radiator and the pressure cap to allow air into the system, then disconnect the flex hose that connects to the driver's side long tube (water pump), and drain into the pan placed under the car.  If your radiator has no petcocks, loosen the top hose going into the radiator.

2) Place the pan under the lower petcock at the front of the car (usually on the driver's side), open the lower petcock and the pressure cap, and raise the back of the car as far as you can.  Your goal is to drain enough fluid to get it below the level of the water pump hose, which will be your lowest open point when the engine comes out.  For extra push, put a pressure-test cap on the swirl tank and pump it up to 5 psi, the system will drain quickly.

- While the coolant is draining, you can get most everything else done.  Safety Note: cats and dogs are attracted to the smell of anti-freeze and will try to drink it - if you have pets never leave the drain pan uncovered or anti-freeze drippings on the shop floor.

- Remove the passenger side inner fender to gain access to the starter and exhaust header

- Disconnect L/R header to exhaust flange

- Remove exhaust headers.  The right one can stay in the car.  The left one has to be taken out to avoid interference with the oil filter (or pull the oil filter.  Since you may want to refresh your exhaust gaskets, pulling the headers will give you a chance to check the surface for trueness, and to clean off any gasket material.

- Disconnect the starter cable and remove the starter

- Remove the oil filter (not essential, but improves clearance)

- Disconnect the engine mounts: two possible methods

1) Remove the four engine mount-to-block bolts

2) Remove the long bolt going through each of the motor mounts.  If this method is used, or if you replace the motor mount rubber biscuits as part of this work, replace the long bolt in the downward position so, if the nut ever comes off, the bolt won't fall out.

- Disconnect the fuel line at the fuel pump, plug the line to avoid spillage, or unbolt the fuel pump and hang it out of the way until you disconnect the fuel line at the carburetor.

- Remove the e-brake cable bracket from the bottom of the ZF


From the engine bay:

- Pull the coolant drain pan out and drop the car back down for easier access to the bay, leaving enough clearance for the legs of the engine hoist under the A-arms.

- Remove the upper coolant hose/tube at the pressure tank

- Disconnect all wires and vacuum hoses from the carb, manifold and oil pressure sender, marking all appropriately.  Be sure they are out of the way.

- Disconnect the throttle cable from the carb and release it from the retention bracket at the front of the manifold

- Disconnect the fuel line at the carb, plugging to avoid spillage

- Remove the carb and drain the contents of the float chambers by turning it upside down over a container.

- If you are going to lift with a carb plate, install that with the appropriate bolts.

- If you are going to lift with a balance bar, cover the carb opening in the manifold with duct tape or other to avoid the unmistakable “oops, where’d that nut go . . . .”

- Disconnect the coil wire at the coil

- Pull the plug wires off at the plugs and remove the distributor cap (cover the top of the open distributor with a clean rag or plastic bag)

- Remove the camber bar/engine bay brace

- Disconnecting the clutch slave cylinder assembly - three possible methods:

1) Remove the assembly from the bell housing, using a wire to hang it up out of the way.  you don't need to remove the lever arm at the bell housing, but if you do, be sure to mark or score it and the end of the shaft so you know where to position it on the spline when you put it back.

2) If you intend to flush the clutch fluid, which should be done, simply detach the line at the top of the cylinder.  Be sure to have something to catch the fluid, especially if you have a painted engine bay, as this is brake fluid and will damage your paint immediately on contact.

3) Remove the clutch clevis pin and unbolt the clutch slave cylinder.  Use a tie wrap to prevent the slave cylinder actuation rod and piston from coming out on the cylinder.  Hang the cylinder up and out of the way on the fender.

- Disconnect the speedo cable from the ZF ONLY by undoing the knurled nut at the end of the cable and gently pulling it out of the 90-degree housing.  NOTE. do not undo by trying to remove the hex bolt at the side of the ZF!  You will loosen parts inside the ZF which, if they fall in, can ONLY be fixed by opening up your tranny.  That’s a very expensive "Aw, [email protected]#$t”

- Disconnect the ground cable at the back of the ZF

- Disconnect the back-up switch on the driver's side of the shifter box

- Disconnect the shift linkage at the shifter box on the ZF.  Before you loosen the nut and pull the u-joint off the spline, score across the exposed splines and U-joint both laterally and longitudinally to mark the position of the shifter and position on the splines.

- Disconnect the inner ends of both half-shafts, compressing the shafts for clearance.  It is not advised that you pull the inner half of the shaft off for clearance as the two halves of the shaft are balanced to each other.  If you do, be sure to mark them for reassembly.

- Remove the four bolts holding the A/C condenser housing, without disconnecting any wires or hoses, lay the unit over onto the right fender well taking care not to crimp any hoses, and hold in place with a piece of wire.

- Loosen the rear ZF mounting bolts at the rubber bushings: do not remove until the ZF is supported for removal.  This is a good time to record the number, placement and thickness of the washers in the mounts as this is important to the positioning of the


From inside the car:

- Loosen the water pump hose at the pump.  Once the hose clamp is free, a long, slender flat tip screwdriver inserted between the pump nozzle and the hose, worked around as much as you can reach, should loosen it sufficiently without damaging it.  If that does not work, you will have to cut the hose, but be careful not to score the nozzle, or be sure to buff it smooth if you do.  If you've drained the coolant by opening the lower end of the water pump; hose, simply remove the hose and pipe at the upper end and set aside.

- Disconnect the thermostat pipe and remove the thermostat.  NOTE which type it is, (351C with the hat or 351W w/o the hat) then throw it away as you’ll be installing a new one.  Once the engine is out, check if the stock brass restrictor is present under where the thermostat resided.  I it’s present, you T-stat should have been the 351C type with the hat.

- Disconnect the water temp sender (if yours is a car with the sender mounted in the block near or on the water pump.

- Remove the alternator and disconnect the wires.  Here again, some say you don't need to remove it, but you have to disconnect the wires.  This can be very difficult while still mounted, and you may have clearance issues when pulling the engine.  Be sure to mark the wires as you detach them from the back of the alternator so you know where they will be reattached to.  NOTE, be careful not to let the stud holding each wire turn as you loosen the wire nuts as it can damage the connection inside the unit.

- Loosen the A/C belt tensioner and lift the belt off of the pulley.

- Unbolt the A/C compressor bracket, letting the AC compressor rest on the frame rail and taking care not to let it rest on hoses or wires.

- Disconnect the ground cable at the AC compressor

- Disconnect the AC clutch lead

- Disconnect heater hoses at the engine block and water pump, marking each as to location.  Clamp them shut to avoid spillage.


Pulling the Engine/ZF

- Extend the legs and arm of the hoist.  Extend the hoist arm until the hook will reach 1) over the back edge of the manifold if you’re using a balance bar or 2) over the rearmost hole on the carb lift plate if you’re going that way.  Extend the legs slightly further out than the arm to assure balance.  The engine/ZF together weigh about 750 pounds, so you want to make sure you have a stable platform.

- Tape a towel or blanket around the rear edge of the roof above the engine, and across the back edge of the engine bay to protect your paint. 

Removal W/Balance Bar

- Raise the arm so the hook will be well clear of the car and position the hoist with the hook over the rear edge of the manifold

-  Hang the balance bar with chains off the hook

 - Remove the two bellhousing bolts at 10 and 2, and insert the longer version with a washer through the lowest link on the chain on either side and tighten enough so the chain is snug between the washer and the bell

- Repeat for the two forward most intake manifold or front-of-head bolts and the chain on the front of the balance bar

- The chains will have to be long enough so the bar clears the manifold, but short enough so the top of the bar clears the rear edge of the roof

- Once the chains are hooked up, lift the arm to put tension on them, then crank the balance bar so the hook on the arm is nearly to the rear of the bar as your balance point is about even with the rear ends of the heads

- Remove the two rear horizontal mounting bolts on the ZF 

At this point, you’ll want one person inside the car to watch the clearance of the distributor to the rear window and to make sure the hose comes off the water pump cleanly, one person to work the hoist arm, and one on either side of the car to watch for clearance, keep things out of the way (like fingers . . .) and guide the hoist driver. 

- Raise the hoist enough to clear the “ears” on the ZF mounts

- Gradually start pulling back on the hoist as you lift, as much as you have clearance for at the rear of the ZF and under the roof, and crank the balance bar forward to tip the engine slightly nose down (this will be the position for most of the extraction).

- From here, it’s just up-a-little, back-a-little and so on, watching for clearances: dist to rear window, balance bar and engine under the roof, tranny and eventually oil pan over the back of the car.  As you’re coming over the back of the car, you can use the balance bar to level things out.  NOTE: Never be in a hurry or try to move too much at once, and be sure your team communicates so you all work in unison.

- Once your have the whole thing clear of the car, you’re done save for dropping is on some kind of supporting stand or pallet and disconnecting the balance bar

- While the engine is still suspended, but at ground level, unbolt the bell housing and have two guys grab the ZF from either side and gently work it back and off the input shaft.  The ZF weights about 150 lbs, so two guys should be able to handle it.  Have a dolly or pallet of some kind to rest it on.

- Hang the engine on your stand 

W/Carb Lift Plate

- You’ll want a very short length of chain on the hook to carb plate, or hook the plate directly.  The key is that there is enough distance so the arm clears the back of the engine and ZF when raised up, but short enough to fit under the back edge of the roof.

- Raise the arm so the hook will be well clear of the car and position the hoist with the hook over the rearmost hole on the lift plate, then drop the arm and hook up

- Put the nylon tow strap and come-along around the ZF just behind the bottom plate and over the hoist's arm, cinch up so there's no slack.  The come-along needs to be positioned up near the hoist arm so it draws the strap from below.

- Once the chain and strap are hooked up, lift the arm to put tension on the chain and the strap

- Remove the two rear horizontal mounting bolts on the ZF and the spacers.

- Position your team

- Raise the hoist enough and start to tighten the come-along to clear the “ears” on the ZF mount

- Gradually start pulling back on the hoist as you lift, as much as you have clearance for at the rear of the ZF and under the roof, and tighten the come-along to tip the engine slightly nose down (this will be the position for most of the extraction

- As the arm comes up, you'll need to keep tightening the come-along to keep the engine nose down.  At some point, you'll run out of cinch, then you'll just have to lift the assembly until all can clear the back of the car

- From here, it’s just up a little – back a little and so on, watching for clearances: dist to rear window, under the edge of the roof, tranny and eventually oil pan over the back of the car.  As you’re coming over the back of the car,

- Once your have the whole thing clear of the car, you’re done save for dropping is on some kind of supporting stand or pallet

- Remove the ZF as described above, and remove the clutch and flywheel:

- Make sure there are indexing marks on the clutch body and flywheel or you will SCREW the balance when you re-assemble it.

- Take the clutch mounting screws out 2 turns at a time so you don’t jam them.

- Put a block under the flywheel before you unbolt it - it's heavy

- You can use an impact wrench when removing the flywheel bolts so you don't have to brace the flywheel from turning, or simply have someone insert a large screwdriver into the teeth against one of the cover plate alignment pins while you break the bolts loose.

- Lift the motor and hang it on the engine stand 

. . . and finally . . . 

- Break out the beer and thank everybody with a toast! 

Reinstallation if virtually the same in reverse.

Categories: Technical Articles