Pantera parts !
Topic started by: opm2000, Date: 07-07-2004 11:05 PM
Original thread: http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum3/HTML/000081.html


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #1, 07-07-2004 11:05 PM
      I took the week after Wheatstock off for a working vacation. I put the Pantero body molds thru a reconditioning process since they had been in storage for such a long time. Everything got washed several times, surfaced with 1200 grit, polished with 1500 grit, and buffed with machine glaze.

I then tried a layup in the biggest and most detailed mold. The layup consisted of a veil cloth, one layer of 3/4 oz. mat, and three more layers of 2 oz. mat. I used an iso type resin which is more heat, distortion, and weather resistant than the ortho type which most parts are commonly made of. This yielded a nice stout thickness of 6 3/4 oz..

After the layup was finished, I let it set in the mold for three days. Finally this evening I removed the part. It turned out pretty well.


This shot shows how well the detailing of the rear came out. Nice crisp edges. BTW, the white lines are clay that was used to putty the parting lines of the mold. End result is almost no parting lines on the produced part.

That's Blackram's '88 donor car in the background. It will become the first Pantera we produce from the molds, and it's construction will be the basis for the assembly manual.

David Breeze



PaulJK MSG #2, 07-07-2004 11:22 PM
      Lookin good Dave, definitely keep up the good work ....

donk316 (donk_316@juno.com) MSG #3, 07-07-2004 11:25 PM
      Your building Pantera Bodies for Fieros?!? AWESOME! I might do a rebody down the line after all.



blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #4, 07-08-2004 12:00 AM
      Dave,
Congrats on the way this part came out, I know there's a lot of hard work that went into it. Can't wait to start assembly!!

Ron
Blackrams


FriendGregory (gregorycushing@hotmail.com) MSG #5, 07-08-2004 12:30 AM
      Oh god, I am so confused. I love the Pantera and the Fiero GT notchback.
Ok, who can paste a Norm's fiberglass front end with a Pantera tail. I have chills.


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #6, 07-08-2004 12:26 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by donk316:

Your building Pantera Bodies for Fieros?!? AWESOME! I might do a rebody down the line after all.

Yes, at least that is the plan. I'm resurfacing & polishing the molds and then verifying that they will produce a good true part. At the same time I'm able to verify the materials required, to verify the price.

The first set of body panels will be assembled onto Blackram's '88 coupe, and the documentation of that build will become the assembly manual. This will be on a cd with step by step instructions & photos.

Right now I'm not actually taking orders or deposits, although four people are on the list to recieve a kit, once we get to that point. I've estimated that the body panels will sell for $4,000 and so far the materials estimate has been right on.

The Pantera assembles onto a stock Fiero with no stretching or cutting ( except for a 6" square panel to allow moving the headlight buckets forward by 6"). It self aligns onto stock mounting points. It can be configured with either a tilt rear-clip or you can have the stock Pantera engine lid if you prefer.

I have the mold for the GT5 front air dam/wing, and I'm building the molds for the GT5 fender flares & rear delta wing.

David Breeze



2M4 Dale (dalelee22@zoominternet.net) MSG #7, 07-08-2004 12:43 PM
      I'm closely watching your progress with this Dave as I am very interested !!!



Fie Ro (roderick.baas@tros.nl) MSG #8, 07-08-2004 06:25 PM
      Nice fiberglass work! I wish I had your skills, that would save me a lot of time! Good to see this kit produced.

chester (dirtyratracing@gmail.com) MSG #9, 07-08-2004 06:37 PM
      Lookin' good Dave! I might have to come by and check that pantera out in person!

Rob D.



blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #10, 07-08-2004 07:41 PM
      Rob, My suggestion would be that we have the next Bluegrass Fiero Gathering at Dave's place and then go on up to the car show just north of Cincinnatti. We could meet there in the morning and drive up to the show. Roger Garrison has invited us to attend, it should be a hoot.



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #11, 07-09-2004 06:37 AM
      Chester, you know anytime is good. Actually Ron had a good idea there. Maybe he can contact the group and set it up. I know both my wife and daughter plan to drive the GT on that trip, and I'm bringing the Pantera. It should be fun to meet Roger's group :>

David Breeze



blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #12, 07-10-2004 07:16 AM
      Rob,
You Out There?????

Ron

Flyguyeddy (be329@lab.icc.edu) MSG #13, 07-10-2004 09:08 AM
      lets get that norm's fiberglass front end with this one photoshopped!

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #14, 07-10-2004 09:31 AM
      The question is, are you wanting the flip/hinged nose or you like Norm's front end on a Pantero Rear Clip? The current Pantero has a rear clip that flips up, we've talked about doing the front in a similar manner. The nice thing about this kit, anything is possible.

Ron
aka: Blackrams


FieroPilot (scottfarnell@yahoo.com) MSG #15, 07-10-2004 10:52 AM
     

This may be a dumb question, but are we talking about a "Detomaso Pantera" rebody?

chester (dirtyratracing@gmail.com) MSG #16, 07-10-2004 01:51 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by blackrams:

Rob,
You Out There?????

Ron

Hey guys...thats fine. We will more then likely attend but wil be in the Blazer.

Rob D.



2M4 Dale (dalelee22@zoominternet.net) MSG #17, 07-10-2004 02:11 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by FieroPilot:

This may be a dumb question, but are we talking about a "Detomaso Pantera" rebody?


That's right !!!!!



blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #18, 07-10-2004 07:08 PM
      I realize that everyone has a favorite body style, but for me, the Pantero comes through on virturally every aspect.

Ron

aka: Blackrams

STRATOHACKER (stratohacker@aol.com) MSG #19, 07-10-2004 07:25 PM
      I wil be watching this closley as I have wanted a antera sine I was in junior high (a very long time ago) The prospect of building one the way I want it is very exciting.
This may be a re-body that I would actually want to do.
Nice work so far!!!



PaulJK MSG #20, 07-10-2004 09:27 PM
      The GT5 with front and rear flip ups is definitely the way to go . Hope this works out ...

DRA (fierorulz@yahoo.com) MSG #21, 07-10-2004 10:10 PM
      Hey Ron, I'll gladly pay you double what you paid me to get that 88 back from you .............. after your finished with it! LOL

Can't wait to see the finished car.

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #22, 07-11-2004 10:10 AM
      DRA,
Does the phrase "Fat Chance" mean anything to you? I'm assuming you're talking about after the re-body and re-power is completed? Still trying to decide what motor/tranny is going in, considering another 4.9 or 3800 SC II. If you have a preference, you need to speak up now! You'll probably want it delivered also? Refer back to the first sentence, Please.

Ron
aka: Blackrams



DRA (fierorulz@yahoo.com) MSG #23, 07-15-2004 11:09 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by blackrams:

DRA,
Does the phrase "Fat Chance" mean anything to you? I'm assuming you're talking about after the re-body and re-power is completed? Still trying to decide what motor/tranny is going in, considering another 4.9 or 3800 SC II. If you have a preference, you need to speak up now! You'll probably want it delivered also? Refer back to the first sentence, Please.

Ron
aka: Blackrams

Ron, prefer the 3800SC with the original 5spd but would settle for the 4.9. Delivery? Nah, I'd be quite happy to drive it back to GA. How about 20 X the original purchase price on the 88, am I getting warmer? LOL

Keep us posted on the progress!

2M4 Dale (dalelee22@zoominternet.net) MSG #24, 07-16-2004 03:53 PM
      I'm saving my dough and hope to place an order for one of these beauties this fall !!!!!

Can't wait !!!

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #25, 07-16-2004 08:13 PM
      DRA,
Just so that I understand, you would like the Pantero Body installed and I presume painted with a 3800 SC conversion for 20 times what I paid you for the car orginally. Let me think...............................................................................................................................................................
.................................................................................................................................................................................... ............................................................................................................................>

Does the phrase "FAT CHANCE" mean anything to ya?

But I am seriously considering a 3800 SC Swap with the orginal tranny. If nothing else, I think it will be a great highway car.




avengador1 (avengador1@aol.com) MSG #26, 07-16-2004 08:32 PM
      Any updates, pictures?

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #27, 07-16-2004 09:29 PM
      Not yet, Please remember, the Pantero Project is pretty much a week end project. Dave and I both work full time and honestly Dave is doing all of the work, I'm more of a cheerleader till the glass work is done then I'll do the rebody work. Be assured, when there is something to see, it will get posted promptly.



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #28, 07-16-2004 10:26 PM
      There has been some progress. I've cleaned and rewaxed the rear clip mold, as has to be done after producing a part. The mold is in 4 big pieces, now ready to be reassembled for the next layup. I used the designers recomendation for a layup schedule on this first part, and in general I think it worked out just fine. I did become very familiar with the quirks and pecularities of the mold during the layup, and that's just what I wanted. I believe I can see a few areas that I might want to throw a little extra glass into during future layups. Nothing major, just a little built in reinforcement in hinge or support areas.

I can honestly say that the only problem I had was with my gelcoat gun: it didn't want to lay the gelcoat on as wet as I would have liked. However, the gelcoat worked ok. I'm doing some practice shooting to try & solve that snag. The layup went fine. The first layer of cloth took forever, but each of the following layers went on progressively faster and easier...learnign curve thing.

And I've cleaned, polished, buffed and waxed the door skins, and the front trunk lid & liner. These get one final coat of wax, and they are ready for a layup. The nose clip is next, and if all goes well, I'll address it on Sunday.

I'm trying to gear up for a layup next weekend, of at least the door skins & trunk lid & liner. We'll see if the nose clip gets in there or not as things develop.

I'll post a few pics of the molds tomorrow evening....Bluegrass Fieros has a run up to a show in the Cincinnatti area tomorrow morning.

David Breeze



blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #29, 07-18-2004 10:38 PM
      Wow!!! We did a test fit of the rear clip today. I got so excited, I had to go home and change my shorts. Man, this is looking good.
Sorry, didn't take any pictures. Will try to next weekend.



2M4 Dale (dalelee22@zoominternet.net) MSG #30, 07-18-2004 11:00 PM
      OK .... now you're teasing us !!!!!

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #31, 07-18-2004 11:11 PM
      Dale,
I have never, I repeat, NEVER been accused of being a tease. At least not in this arena.



2M4 Dale (dalelee22@zoominternet.net) MSG #32, 07-19-2004 01:14 AM
      LMAO

NY_FIERO (timg@expressmart.com) MSG #33, 07-20-2004 03:47 PM
      can we see pics of the molding process? I love this pantera-fiero kit....


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #34, 07-20-2004 07:31 PM
      Hopefully we'll be able to post some pics later this week-end. No promises though.



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #35, 07-21-2004 09:59 PM
     

Ok, this is what it's all about. The mold surface has to be in whats called a Class A1 Surface condition. To get there, each panel is evaluated for repairs, if needed, and surface condition. These molds mostly needed only washing, and then a buffing with 1500 grit polish and then a buffing with machine glaze. Then 5 coats of parting wax are applied, with an hour between coats. Talk about elbow grease.

The previous panel and these three others make up most of the rear clip. The orange mold has nothing to do with the Pantera. When the time comes, the panels get bolted together to make a bigger one piece mold.

And this is a one piece mold, for a door skin.

Once the panels are ready, We'll cut the cloth and get things ready. More as it happens.



blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #36, 07-25-2004 10:52 PM
      For those that have asked, Pics are coming.



NY_FIERO (timg@expressmart.com) MSG #37, 07-25-2004 10:58 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by blackrams:

For those that have asked, Pics are coming.


I'm excited for you and the project...
Keep on keepin-on...


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #38, 07-26-2004 06:06 AM
     

The release system consists of the layers of wax, two wet coats of PVA, seen here, and the gelcoat, seen below.

For gelcoat, I'm using a polyester sanding primer. While these coats are drying, patterns are made and the cloth is cut.

The first layer of cloth is a 3/4oz. mat. This forms a protective skin between the gelcoat and the remainder of the layup schedule.

In some detailed areas, a thinner veil cloth is applied first. In some areas a slurry of thickened resin is used as a putty to ensure the cloth sticks to a tight edge or corner. The rest of the process is to apply a total of 6oz. of mat, in 2oz. layers. Each layer is applied, allowed to go thru the heat generating part of the cure cycle, and the next layer is applied.



avengador1 (avengador1@aol.com) MSG #39, 07-26-2004 10:51 AM
      Keep us posted, this is interesting.

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #40, 07-26-2004 08:54 PM
      Well, we're all finished with the layup. So the shop is cleaned up and we wait for three full days. The really fun part is pulling a fabricated part out of the mold. Nice to see the results "being born".

In the middle of this layup, Blackrams came over and we took a break to remount his rear clip.

As you can see, the clip fits the stock Fiero chassis easily.

And even though this is a dry fit, the roofline aligns in what looks like just the right spot.

And the Fiero doors even close ok.



blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #41, 07-26-2004 09:03 PM
      Dave,
I'm starting to get excited all over again.



blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #42, 07-27-2004 07:39 PM
      Dave,
What happened to the Picture I took of you? Folks, this guy looks really cool in his bunny suit with footies.



rverhalen (rverhalen@triad.rr.com) MSG #43, 07-27-2004 08:50 PM
      Now, can you build me one! I am ready the old 86 SE needs some new life in her....

If you do not stop, I will call Blackrams again and bother him with questions and pictures etc...

Damn I love that car!

Now when you get it done sell it to me!

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #44, 07-27-2004 09:34 PM
      NO bother, did you get hold of Ed? He really does know one hell of a lot about these little mid-engined monsters.



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #45, 07-28-2004 05:36 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by blackrams:

Dave,
What happened to the Picture I took of you? Folks, this guy looks really cool in his bunny suit with footies.

Hmmm, funny how Blackrams left, right after snapping this photo

Seriously, personal protection is everything, and when the gelcoat is applied, you are essentially spraypainting polyester resin. I love the smell of styrene in the morning.

David Breeze



blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #46, 07-28-2004 06:32 PM
      OK, let's be honest here, would anyone want to stick around with a guy dressed like this if that person had none of the protective personal equipment. I was afraid to breath, much less touch anything.



2-tone (cpnsavaho69@aol.com) MSG #47, 07-28-2004 08:28 PM
      That looks great! Ron you should have told me and I would have shown up. They are a awsome group of guys. cant wait to finnaly show up to a gathering in my rollerskate with a V-8. -B-



rverhalen (rverhalen@triad.rr.com) MSG #48, 07-28-2004 08:55 PM
      Blackrams,

I contacted ED again and we talked for over an hour, he does know so much about Fieros it is frighting!
Anyway he straightened me out on the wheel issues and again we talked about engine concepts! Damn you just have to love this guy. As you stated "If I do not know the answer, I know someone who does!" you were right.
Thank you for the great advise, now just get the Pantera done so I can buy one!

Good luck on your project it is coming along nicely!

Nice to see a man that is sharper then his tools!!! (rare these days)

VISCERAL (patnap71@gmail.com) MSG #49, 07-28-2004 09:19 PM
      After all is said and done, think you guys can get around to doing some GT5S fenders?



blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #50, 07-28-2004 09:28 PM
      I'll let Dave answer that question, but we've talked about the fender option. I'm current'y trying to resolve what style rear wing should go on the Pantero II. Considering the Delta Wing that came out on Panteras, but haven't decided what will look best and provide any function, if any can be gained. The front spoiler will be a inlet/reversed wing style the provides some down force. Panteras were known for getting light in the front end at higher speeds and this style spoiler should help in the down force.



VISCERAL (patnap71@gmail.com) MSG #51, 07-28-2004 09:35 PM
      very nice job!

related thread:

http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum1/HTML/043414-2.html#lastpost

buzzsaww MSG #52, 07-28-2004 09:47 PM
      I'm a former Pantera owner and your work looks like real good. For ideas check out www.panteraplace.com if you haven't already. Unfortunately mine was a basket case so I didn't get to enjoy it much(when I wasn't wrenching it was great) BUT I have just recently gotten some really good job news so I may be in the drivers seat again

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #53, 07-28-2004 10:08 PM
      Try this link:

http://www.panterasbywilkinson.com/images/final_catalog/gif/ill26c.gif

If that worked, I personally like the Group 4 wheel flares. I plan to incorporate these onto my choptop which is soon to get a Pantera body. From it, I'll be able to make the molds to offer these type flares.

That is not to say, however, that I don't like the GT5-S style. I think they look super, and yes, within a year I hope to be able to offer them as well.

The only thing that holds me back right now is I feel like I should have the right size wheels & tires on hand, so I could form some meaningfull flares, not just a generic shape which would need lots of additional adjusting.

On the yellow Pantera, we have Centerline wheels and 225/50/16 on the front, and 245/50/16 on the rear. We also have 2" Bell Tech drop spindles on the front (and I think a 1" drop would be better). But the point is, they fill the wheel wells and standard flares quite nicely.

David Breeze

VISCERAL (patnap71@gmail.com) MSG #54, 07-28-2004 10:36 PM
      these would really help out the rear

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=2485638219&category=34207

rverhalen (rverhalen@triad.rr.com) MSG #55, 07-28-2004 11:11 PM
      Damn, this thread is better then sex!

That car is.............. well there are no words for it, I want one!

The black one above is what I am talking about.... put me in line for one.... I am not kidding!!

buzzsaww MSG #56, 07-29-2004 12:29 AM
      here are some GT5 pics
http://groups.msn.com/73DeTomasoPanteraGT5forsale/shoebox.msnw


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #57, 07-29-2004 05:34 AM
      Thats a good find ! and not a bad price.

Obviously, our prototype car is using a stock Fiero lens and tailight assembly. Stock wiring is actually just long enough that it doesn't have to be cut.

Roger Garrison pointed out that the Geo Tracker & Suzuki sidekick may have a usable tail light. Dimensionally and shape-wise it will work. I'm just trying to get my hands on a cheap set, to verify. If you like the Altezza look, they are available new, all day long.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=7911856943&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT

Meanwhile, if you watch ebay you can pick these up. I paid $50 but they generally run $125+.

David Breeze

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #58, 07-29-2004 09:37 PM
      Anyhow, after our layup has cured in the mold for three full days, it's time to release the parts. The glass cloth was trimmed to about a 1/4" or so overhang along most of the mold edges, during the layup. A few taps along the overhang will generally start an edge to release. Then wedges are eased into the seperation.

These parts only required starting the wedges, and the whole part almost popped out of the mold.

This is a door skin. The white edges will be trimmed off to the imprinted edge of the mold with a die grinder cutoff blade. Then the PVA coating will be rinsed off with warm soapy water. Now you have a part, ready to install.

The door skins are made an extra 1/2" to 3/4" longer on each end to allow builder adjusting during assembly. That's what the imprinted line is you see in the upper corner of the above photo. If you've ever seen a kitcar where you could run your finger, or even your thumb, between a trunklid and a fender....well it just doesn't look right to me. All of the Pantera matching edges are close tolerance.

And here's the front trunklid. All parts are about 3/16 thick, solid, with nice sharp body lines & edges, no voids or pinholes, and coated with a builder friendly sanding primer.

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #59, 07-29-2004 10:22 PM
      Dave,
Looking great. No gatoring, no voids, you da man! Thanks for posting the pics.

BTW, Happy Anniversary.



VISCERAL (patnap71@gmail.com) MSG #60, 08-01-2004 12:22 PM
      I'll take some more pictures, uh .....fries and a chocolate shake to go, please!

DotTC MSG #61, 08-01-2004 10:20 PM
      oohhhh.. if you need another car to do a trial fittin on I'll donate mine

beautiful



PaulJK MSG #62, 08-01-2004 10:52 PM
      bump [with an eye out for the GT5 kit]

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #63, 08-01-2004 11:48 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by DotTC:

oohhhh.. if you need another car to do a trial fittin on I'll donate mine

beautiful

I'll let you know, but that'll be a long drive just to see if my rebody will fit on your car.



Will (william.lucke@gmail.com) MSG #64, 08-02-2004 12:36 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:


How wide are the fenders compared to stock Fiero fenders?



blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #65, 08-02-2004 07:32 PM
      Working from memory, I would estimate the fenders are over an inch wider out from the stock Fiero, but I'll check this weekend and try to give you some better info. Remember, this is not the wide body kit, wide body fenders can be added to this, but we're taking this one step at a time, wider fenders may come but we're gonna finish this car first before we start modifying stuff. We are mounting a wing and a spoiler to this also.



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #66, 08-03-2004 09:04 PM
      As Ron said, we do have the mold for a front spoiler, or air dam. It sort of depends on how you look at it. Remember, this particular car is a 1972 pre-L, so the front spoiler is made to blend into the stock fenders & fender flares. The later Group 4, GT5, and GT5-S had the wider wheel flares, and I think the front air dams went thru a sort of evolutionary process. I've certianly seen many different types of front air dams, as far as little differences go.

This is our current air dam, fresh from the mold.

and this shows the inner lip, which is fitted up against the body fender. Plenty of width to cleco, rivet, bolt or bond onto the front clip. I think I'd prefer to glass it on, myself.

This shows it just blocked up in place. It needs a bit of sanding away at two points and it will have a nice flush fit with the fenders. This will also raise the aft edge enough to mate with the nose clip, just under the lower radiator inlets.

The bowing in the center is due to the way it's blocked up. The part is actually quite stout as it is. One other way to mount it would be to leave the air gap at the aft edge, and shape the lower side of the "wing" into an inverted Clark Y airfoil shape. This would then give you true down force at any speed above 40 mph.

Also from this view, I can see how this air dam could easily be modified into a GT5 type by blocking in the areas from each side of the radiator inlet, continuing outward to the foremost point of the fronts (under the turn signals). Either making these areas flat, or putting in either an air inlet or a driving light, would put us in the ballpark.

I think here you can see how the sides taper nicely into the fenders. If we added wider fender flares, some might want to extend these sides into the flares, and that will be addressed this winter.

VISCERAL (patnap71@gmail.com) MSG #67, 08-07-2004 10:51 AM
      I need a fix man! I need more photos. I GOTTA HAVE IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #68, 08-07-2004 07:28 PM
      Hang in there, good things take time. Here's a Geo Tracker tail light I got on Ebay for $10.00. At a local car show, Roger Garrison pointed out a Countach that had these, and they looked very nice. Dimensionally, they are just about thesame as the Pantera tail lights I showed you previously. I still want to recieve these and try them in the frenched bucket to see if they fit well.

The same shape tail light also came in this version:

The prototype Pantero has stock Fiero tail lights, which work very economically, and look reasonably close to originals.



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #69, 08-07-2004 07:47 PM
      Most of the past week has been spent rearranging the shop. I'm getting a dedicated 200amp service installed. And this was ready to roll out, my own Pantero donor. That's a 4" chop.

The nose clip is ready to polish, buff and wax, and hopefully do a layup by next weekend. That's a big maybe.

We are ready to start installation on Blackrams Pantera, now. I have enough material to start recording the assembly manual. JP, down in Knoxville, suggested recording cd's on MS Notepad, saying every MS computer would be able to open it. I also have MS Word. Any thoughts on this? I want to creeate a cd manual full of text and photos, to walk folks thru basic installation of body parts. Chester has offered his considerable talents with a dvd, but we live a few miles apart, and continuous coverage might be hard to achieve.

BTW, the Pantero was invited to this car show. I was more than happy to oblige, and hope to see some of you folks on August 28th.

http://www.lexingtonconcours.com/

[This message has been edited by opm2000 (edited 08-07-2004).]

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #70, 08-07-2004 09:51 PM
      I tried checking the width of the rear fender wells just by using a plumb bob and tape measure. I'm taking a rough guess at 73".

If you take a tape measure & stick it into the fender well, just ahead of the strut (so this isn't dead center) I measure 18" out to the fender flare. I measured @16 1/2" on a stock Fiero.

These are very rough measurements, I'll get some exact figures when I can take off the wheels.

VISCERAL (patnap71@gmail.com) MSG #71, 08-14-2004 12:08 PM
      bump

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #72, 08-14-2004 12:26 PM
      For those that were wanting to know the difference in width on the fenders, I took a second last night to get an estimate, remember, this is just a swag. Anyway, from the stock inside liner to the inside edge of the rear fender, I could stick three finger in width ways. That's about 2.5 inches roughly guessing wider. SO even if I'm just close in my guess, I would say that the Pantero is between 4.5 to 5 inches wider on the rear fenders. Plenty of room for some rather large tires.

Dave,
I'm still drooling over this.



2-tone (cpnsavaho69@aol.com) MSG #73, 08-23-2004 10:15 PM
      Well the comp I'm normally on is down for a little tweeking, so I'm useing my brothers comp. Well I got to see the shop first hand this saturday, and I must say is it a nice clean setup. saw the molds firs hand and they are Quality pieces. The yellow pataro is very sharp. Blackrams is a lucky man geeting one of these cars put together for him. The folks on Versailles road saterday afternoon must have gon into shock seeing 3 4.9 fieros running up to newcircle road. scrabblegod, blackrams and myself must have turned some heads with our bellowing beasts. Thanx guys for the escape from my mundane life. Love to talk and look at these little cars. if you guys need any help in this area let me know.-B-



Black-Azz-GT (chris@hawkscay.tv) MSG #74, 08-23-2004 10:18 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by VISCERAL:

After all is said and done, think you guys can get around to doing some GT5S fenders?

Thats what I'me talkin about!



scrabblegod (gene@scrabblegod.com) MSG #75, 08-23-2004 11:12 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by 2-tone:

The folks on Versailles road saterday afternoon must have gon into shock seeing 3 4.9 fieros running up to newcircle road. scrabblegod, blackrams and myself must have turned some heads with our bellowing beasts.


After you and Ron blew past the guy that pulled out in the Pro street looking S10, I slowed down and tried to line up next to him.
He did not want to play. Must have wasted all his funds on the 2 foot wide tires and Monster tach with shift light.

Gene



blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #76, 08-24-2004 08:19 AM
      Enjoyed the heck out of Saturday, though we didn't get anything done on Pantero II, we did get a lot done rearranging some of the bigger stuff Dave couldn't have done by himself. So all in all, a successful weekend.

Gene, the S10 didn't do anything because he can't go around a corner above 20 mph. Though I'll wagger he can go 1/4 mile in a straight line rather quickly. I went by him too fast to see much, but did he have that bed tubbed?

Bill, enjoyed the ride in your car, stay with that injector issue, someone knows how to solve the problem.



eunospeed (eunospeed@msn.com) MSG #77, 08-24-2004 09:41 AM
      Wow, I'm just catching up on this stuff...... you guys have your hands full and things are looking great!

David, let me know when I can stop by and see this thing in person?

John

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #78, 08-24-2004 10:36 AM
      John,
Not trying to speak for Dave, but we try to do something jsut about every Saturday, mornings are best for us, we're still in relatively good moods.



eunospeed (eunospeed@msn.com) MSG #79, 08-24-2004 01:48 PM
      Ron,

Sounds like Saturdays are work days for you guys. I will try and stop by in the next week or two and I promise not to get in the way. I am even willing to help if I can!

See ya,
John


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #80, 08-24-2004 09:39 PM
      John, and everyone,
Fiero-folk are allways welcome, anytime. Ron is right, we generally get something done on saturdays and sundays.

This saturday I'm taking the Pantero to the Lexington Concours d'Elegance show at Keenland. http://www.lexingtonconcours.com/
This is an invitation only show, and I was amazed to be asked to attend and show the Pantero. Photos will definately follow.

After this show, I've been gearing up the shop and the molds for serious production of full body kits. A good number of folks have expressed interest, so I'll be going thru the list of interested builders, when the first few kits are made.

David Breeze

eunospeed (eunospeed@msn.com) MSG #81, 08-25-2004 07:35 AM
      David,

Good luck this weekend, I hope to stop by for the show if I have time. If I don't catch-up with you guys maybe I'll stop by next weekend.

John

VISCERAL (patnap71@gmail.com) MSG #82, 08-29-2004 04:26 PM
      bump

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #83, 08-29-2004 06:49 PM
      Great show this weekend, Dave and I had a wonderful time. Almost talked myself horse taking about the Pantero and Fieros in general. Also saw a bunch of very sweet rides, including the sweetest Stock 88 GT I've ever seen. A local guy owned it to, said he only drives it about once a month if that. I've invited him and a couple of other Fiero folks I met there to join Bluegrass Fieros, I'm thinkin they will join us. The Pantero was a big hit, it was really kind of funny though, people would look at it and then we would tell them that under all that fiberglass it was a Fiero, and you could almost measure the dropped jaws.



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #84, 08-29-2004 09:53 PM
      That was a nice Fiero, Ron. The remarkable thing is that the owner had entered his Corvette in the car show. When he saw the Pantero and spoke with us, he got so excited he went home and drove back in his Fiero.

But we were in very good company all day:

Since we were positioned near the entry gate, many of the entrants spotted the Pantero and came back to check it out. Like the owner of this GT40. He stayed about a half hour, chatting with us.

This was the first Concours held at Keenland, or in Kentucky for that matter. All I can say was it was a great success, with a huge crowd and many incredible cars. And everything was done for the benefit of the Childrens Hospital.

David Breeze



mrfixit58 (rlumsden@tampabay.rr.com) MSG #85, 09-15-2004 07:49 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:



Got any more pictures of this one?

Roy




opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #86, 09-16-2004 05:40 AM
      her you go

David Breeze

Kohburn MSG #87, 09-16-2004 07:03 AM
      [QUOTE]Originally posted by opm2000:


The orange mold has nothing to do with the Pantera.

it looks like a custum fiero door interior panel.. ?


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #88, 09-16-2004 09:17 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Kohburn:


it looks like a custum fiero door interior panel.. ?

Actually, what you're seeing is the rear/bottom fascia, The two CutOuts are where the exhaust is supposed to protrude. The mold comes apart to get the rear half of the car out. The other items are fender molds. In the background, you can see the hood and the door molds.



Kohburn MSG #89, 09-16-2004 09:24 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by blackrams:
Actually, what you're seeing is the rear/bottom fascia, The two CutOuts are where the exhaust is supposed to protrude.

cutouts int he orange peice?

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #90, 09-16-2004 02:10 PM
      Damn, I'm sorry, since I knew that was not a Pantero mold, I apparently looked right past it. Actually, that is a door panel mold, it's from a lambo kit that Dave has. We may use it in the Pantero, haven't decided yet. Sorry for the confusion.



Kohburn MSG #91, 09-16-2004 02:13 PM
      ha a door panel mold - i was essentially right.. any pics of the finished door panel? would it work in a stock bodied fiero?


VISCERAL (patnap71@gmail.com) MSG #92, 09-16-2004 04:58 PM
      UPDATES?

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #93, 09-16-2004 06:53 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Kohburn:

ha a door panel mold - i was essentially right.. any pics of the finished door panel? would it work in a stock bodied fiero?


That's the intent, whether it's in the orginal Lambo or possibly in the Pantero or both.

I'll let Dave post any updated info he thinks should go out.



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #94, 09-17-2004 10:11 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Kohburn:

ha a door panel mold - i was essentially right.. any pics of the finished door panel? would it work in a stock bodied fiero?

These are door panels from a Diablo kit I have. I made a mold so I could start resizing the panels to fit a stock Fiero, I kinda like their shape.

And I have this dash and center console from the same Diablo. I'm working on either resizing to fit a stock Fiero, or modifying the pod to get a more realistic Pantera dash look.

Both of these are very back burner projects. I've been playing around with them for my own use, only. When they are finished, and if folks like them, I'll have made molds so they would be available.

David Breeze

[This message has been edited by opm2000 (edited 09-17-2004).]

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #95, 09-17-2004 10:17 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by VISCERAL:

UPDATES?

If it ever stops raining here, I'll take a couple of pics of what we did to the engine bay just before the Lexington Concours show. It's one of the oldest and easiest tricks, but it really made a big difference.



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #96, 09-17-2004 12:02 PM
     

This is really too dark to see very well, but it is the view of the engine bay & vents from outside.

This is what we did. The good 'ol '84/''85 engine vent swap. It really cleaned up the view from outside, and made the initial view of the engine compartment more intrigueing, when you lift the rear clip back. The '84 grill is mounted on the stock hatch hinges, and the torsion rods are removed. This is what we replaced.

This is the "power hump" part of the '85-'88 deck lid. It was installed this way by the designer, and I think it is a clever method. With some cleaning up or original thinking, it could look real nice. This is how the Pantero was shown at Wheatstock.

Blackrams likes the '84/'85 grills so much that we are incorporating this style into his rear hatch. BTW, Blackrams has elected to go without a back-tilting rear hatch, and is also not using the stock Pantera hatch configuration as well. Instead, we are making a cutout something like this.

His rear clip will not tilt. Rather, the stock lid hinges will be used, and a more "Fiero like" rear lid will be created, giving easy access to the trunk space.

The aft section of the Fiero lid is also incorporated into whatever type rear clip configuration you use. Here it is bonded to the tilting rear clip, and when closed you have a weather tight seal.

David Breeze

VISCERAL (patnap71@gmail.com) MSG #97, 09-28-2004 09:09 AM
      I need another fix man!!!

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #98, 09-28-2004 09:47 AM
      We've spent almost every weekend and many week nights getting the molds ready to shoot new body panels. Experimenting with the new chop gun. There is much more involved in producing quality parts from fiberglass than I ever realized. Dave is a patient man and is determined to get the process right in order to produce the finest quality possible. The investment in dollars alone is stagering, not even talking about the time involved to get it right. I'm as anxious as anyone to get this done, (we're working on mine right now) but we want it right. I'm sure Dave will post anything he has when he has something worth posting. Thanks for your interest and please be patient.



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #99, 09-28-2004 10:20 PM
      The devil is in the details....seems about right.

Blackrams has decided not to have a tilt rear clip, as you know. We spent considerable time looking at how the original rear clip was mounted, and have come up with what we feel is a stronger, and easier to assemble mount. It can be used by both tilt and non-tilt rear clips, and can be easily modified for those who have removed the lower part of their trunk. We have the steel for this and hope to show it to you this weekend. The original mount has no problems I can see, except it might be a bit taxing to assemble. I'm looking for something the average guy can assemble in a day or less. The construction manual will detail all variations of mounting we know of.

This shows the aft end of the chassis, with the rear bumper removed. The original mount is a steel strap tackwelded to the rear of the trunk, with a reinforcing bar tacked to the frame. To this strap, hinges are at first bolted, and then welded. The bolts actually go into the interior of the trunk. I wasn't too impressed with that. So what we have is a square steel plate which mounts to the flared ends of the chassis rail, seen in the pic. To this plate, the steel strap is firmly welded. The hinges are welded onto the strap before installation, so bolts thru the trunk are not needed. Once the mount is completed, the stock bumber can be reinstalled, further reinforcing the square plate.

The arrow points to where the hinge line is. BTW, it's located just in-line with a square corner of a plate between the chassis rail and the trunk, so it's easy to find.

So, with the mounting issue resolved, we proceeded to cut and fit steel for the supportive skeleton underneath the rear clip.

The big holdup on fabricating the front clip, in my mind, was the wildshield wiper situation. This shows the stock Fiero location of the wiper posts, and the black trays where Pantera locates the wiper posts. The Fiero posts come out beneath the new skin, so they have to be raised or relocated, somehow.

David Breeze

[This message has been edited by opm2000 (edited 09-28-2004).]

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #100, 09-28-2004 10:41 PM
      One method we came up with involves unbolting the wiper arm assembly and moving it over 6". Sounds hairy, but it can easily be done. The driving arm has to be shortened by the same 6", and the post bases are remounted to the bottoms of the Pantera trays, wher the black panels are. I'll be verifying this system on my build.

But a simpler method involves disassembling the posts

and substituting a longer 3/8" bolt to achieve the desired height. The splined end is threaded, and then bolted in place, and the wiper arms have been relocated.

This is the method Blackrams will use.



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #101, 09-28-2004 10:49 PM
      So with these issues resolved, we began fabrication of the trunk liner. The hinges, latch and support rod are attached to the liner, and it is made to work. Then the Trunk skin is bonded to the liner. This allows for fine fitting of the body lines and panel gaps. Nothing looks worse than an ill fitting door on a custom built car. This method allows exact fitting.

And the front clip

I can't wait till we pop this out, late this weekend.

David Breeze

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #102, 09-28-2004 11:57 PM
      These pics represent many days of work and I am anxious as anyone to start bolting parts on. Gettin excited all over again.



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #103, 10-01-2004 12:25 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by VISCERAL:

After all is said and done, think you guys can get around to doing some GT5S fenders?


Today I secured a set of what I believe to be the GTS fender flares. Once I have them in hand I'll make molds so they can be available....and I'll modify our current front air dam to the GT5 or GTS look, make a mold, and then be able to offer two different air dams.

David Breeze



VISCERAL (patnap71@gmail.com) MSG #104, 10-07-2004 06:54 PM
     

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #105, 10-08-2004 05:52 AM
      The fender flares arrived, I'll try to post a photo tonite. I tried fitting them up against the yellow car...perfect fit. I 'm pretty sure they are the GTS type, but whatever, they give a nice look to the wheel wells.

David Breeze

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #106, 10-10-2004 09:53 PM
      Wow, these flares certianly do add a bit to the looks:

They seem to fit the contours of the body quite well. Here, Blackrams is holding the flares up so the existing fender flare wall & the flare wall just meet. We haven't done any accurate measuring yet, but it looks like you'd pick up about another 1" to 1.5" of width, for fatter tires. It doesn't look bad as is, the flares are bigger, ie taller and deeper, so they accentuate the flare areas.

Sorry it took so long, we got started on another layup for another rear clip.

David Breeze

The Black Widow (mlahood@min.midco.net) MSG #107, 10-11-2004 12:05 AM
      Very nice! Im really excited to see the gt5 thing... always my favorite. Keep us posted, cant wait to see it in person some day!
-Matt


datacop (datacop@gmail.com) MSG #108, 10-11-2004 01:16 AM
      now THAT'S what I'm talkin about!!

rverhalen (rverhalen@triad.rr.com) MSG #109, 10-20-2004 03:38 PM
      We need updates, I am looking at kits right now and want to put yours in the mix to choose from. So tell us more of where you are at and when is the first kit going to be sold?

If you guys can send me some pictures of the wider bodied look this would help.


Great job so far, just keep us updated

Thanks
Robert Ver Halen
rverhalen@triad.rr.com
336-462-1040


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #110, 10-20-2004 07:08 PM
      Hey, it's good to hear that folks are interested in this as a kit. First thing I'll say is that no kits have been sold to date. So if you do undertake to build a Pantero, it will be a very unique car. Blackrams is recieving the first parts pulled from the molds, and that is what you've seen in these pages so far. He was gracious enough to haul the prototype car and molds all the way from Vista, California back home to Versailles, KY for no charge other that recieving these first parts. That also made him a Guienea Pig in a sense, because I had to go thru a process of "learning" the molds, and figuring the best way to produce quality fiberglass parts from them.

Anyhow, I've been thru that process now, and last weekend we laid up the rear clip for the first true kit. It turned out very well, and we are gearing up to produce all of the remaining parts for kit #1, to be ready to ship this month.

Also, I've spent considerable time analyzing the mounting system used on the prototype car, and figuring out better ways to mount, in some cases. The whole idea of this kit, to me, is that it must be easy for the first time builder to assemble. None of this business where you spend years fabricating everything from scratch, as required in a Lambo kit. So I'm happy with what we've come up with in this regard. Instructions will be provided in the form of a text & photo guide that you open on your desktop computer.

I'm trying to keep prices cut to the bone, as compared to the Kitcar market. I've setteled on a price of $4,000 for the first 6 body kits. After that, I'll review things and see if I'm in the poorhouse or not. I'm not doing this to become rich & famous, but I do have to cover my costs.

The $4,000 will include the front clip, rear clip, 2 door skins, front hood skin, front hood liner, 2 headlight door skins, and 4 bumpers. The instructions will detail how to fabricate the simple steel reinforcement and mounting brackets, as required. Or for an additional $400 these can be provided already made up and fiberglassed in where appropriate.

The molds are not made yet for the wheel flares, but the materials have been ordered. I plan to offer two different styles of front air dam (your choice) and 4 wheel flares for $650, with the first 6 body kits. This will be open for review as well at that point. Right now, the mold is not ready for the second style airdam, so that's clear.

No pics tonight, but between now and this weekend, I'll add a few, and explain a few things along the way, such as how the body mounts, and the quality controll I use on each part fabricated.

I do appreciate folks keeping interest in this car. It is quite an undertaking to produce parts from a cold start, like this. When I acquired the molds, I set 7 months as a goal for kit production. But honestly, to get kit #1 out the door before 12 months time is just amazing to me.

scrabblegod (gene@scrabblegod.com) MSG #111, 10-20-2004 07:38 PM
      Seeing the time, effort and thought you put into your projects, and seeing some things you have done, I have no doubt these will be top notch kits.
Ron is going to bring his car over here when he gets back in two weeks so I can get the 4.9 put in. Then he can get the Pantera body mounted.
It would be nice to see him drive it to Ed's swap meet next year.

Gene



rverhalen (rverhalen@triad.rr.com) MSG #112, 10-20-2004 09:16 PM
      Well if you need another test car, I will fork up my 88 Formula I would like to have a style of a car that not many have for now. I would like to talk to you about Kit #2 for me. The money is not the problem and I have talked to Blackrams a few times about being on the list. Since my car is all new from the inside out the only thing left was to come up with a body that was different.
I have searched high and low for a unique body style but to no avail. So I came back to yours. With you basic body and some mods to make it a GT5 style you may have a line out the door. Since I run the AEX electronic dash that not many have I pride my car on having the first of many styles. Living in Winston Salem I am not that far from where you are at.

I spent some time today looking at the pantera body styles and found that the nose of a formula with slight modifications is very close to the GT5 style. Maybe we can talk on the phone and see what I can do to help in the kit process and marketing.

You need to have the first models in different parts of the country for viewing and to get the word out. Advertising never hurts.
PM me your number or call me on mine @ 336-462-1040 and we can talk about some ideas and the time frame of another kit for my formula.

Thanks for all of your hard work and coming up with an idea that is not only NEW but different in the world of kit cars.
I have had all that I can take of the kits that are out there now and looking like everyone else. Finally some new blood.

Thank you
Robert Ver Halen
336-462-1040 call anytime


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #113, 10-22-2004 06:41 AM
      Robert, your point is well taken.

I think what really appeals to me about this Pantera rebody is that it lends itself to customization so well. Almost everyone I've shown it to has said something more or less to the effect that "they would change some little detail, here or there, or add this or that".

I'm a Fiero guy, and a hotrodder and a builder. I like something that's a little unconventional, fast, and somehow customized. This should be a fun project:>

About widebodies, take a look at this page:
http://panterasbywilkinson.com/images/final_catalog/gif/ill26c.gif

The fender flares I currently have resemble the Group 4 type, like the top drawing.

now take a look at this page:
http://panterasbywilkinson.com/images/final_catalog/gif/ill26b.gif

This is a more detailed look at the various components of the true GT5-S conversion.

Note the different shape to the flares, the air inlet in the rear flares, and the "runningboard" sideskirts. Also, the airdam has a flattened frontal area with a cutout on each side for air inlet or lights.

The airdam I currently have does not have the flattened frontal area as seen in that illustration.

Now, if a person was on a real quest for as close to a GT5-S look as he could get, the flares and airdam I have could be used as a starting place. A little basic sculpting and glassing in and the deed would be done. If someone wants to go this route before I have had time to do it, I'll certianly work with them on a step by step basis. It's really easy.

I personally like the Group 4 look: basic retro body shape, accentuated fender flares, rounded side skirts, contoured front air dam, and maybe the delta-type wing.

Interestingly, a while back the GT5-S conversion was quite popular with the Pantera owners. But lately the trend has been to preserve or restore the retro look of the original body style.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=2495401341&category=6737

This is a link to a fine example of an '85 GT5-S, it's quite good looking.

David Breeze



rverhalen (rverhalen@triad.rr.com) MSG #114, 10-22-2004 08:39 AM
      When do you think that we can talk about a kit for myself, I would even pay an amount before to get on the waiting list so I am secured a spot? You can email me your number and I can call you back at anytime.

Let me know your thoughts

Thank you for your efforts

Robert Ver Halen
rverhalen@triad.rr.com
336-462-1040


Jake_Dragon MSG #115, 10-22-2004 06:46 PM
      I like these lights
This images is larger than 100K. Click to view.


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #116, 10-23-2004 05:01 AM
      Robert,
I'll contact you today (saturday).

Jake,
That's a nice photo. You don't suppose that other popup headlight cars have similar issues to the Fiero, do you? :> Nice treatment though, maybe a little inspiration in that photo.

David Breeze

rverhalen (rverhalen@triad.rr.com) MSG #117, 10-27-2004 09:47 PM
      Bump for more magic!

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #118, 10-28-2004 09:28 PM
      Wow, you know I really like that headlight treatment which Jake found. Here's another view of the same:
http://www.panteracars.com/mont2002a42.jpg

Given the fiberglass body we're dealing with, I think the portion of plexiglass which extends down the front could be made larger. That would allow using a full sized sealed beam. Tomorrow I'll measure how much space is available.

I've been gearing things up for another big layup this weekend. Tomorrow evening I'll get some pics out of how the rear section of the roof is modified, and how the rear trunk lid is prepared for mounting the rear clip.

Some exciting things have been going on the last few days. My wife was in a business meeting with the Kentucky Speedway owners, and she told them about the Pantero. They got all excited and invited us up next weekend for a few laps around the Speedway. It seems that Ford Motors is the big sponsor there this year. That should be fun, and a good opportunity to get some decent photos.

http://www.kentuckyspeedway.com/

David Breeze

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #119, 10-29-2004 06:34 PM
      Seems like everything always happens when I'm out of town. (
Oh well, that's what I call great exposure. Keep it under 140, they got all upset up there when I started going a little too fast for them. ;o)



Cheever3000 MSG #120, 10-29-2004 08:23 PM
      Just thought I'd share this site I found with lots of Pantera pics...
http://www.panteraplace.com/page34.htm


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #121, 10-29-2004 10:26 PM
      Now that's a link, Cheever !

There's a lot going on in this pic. The interface of the rear clip, with the stock aft roofline of the notchback Fiero. And the Pantera gills are removed, and scoops are installed. The sailpanel was made by FieroSails, after a meeting at Ed's Swapmeet this spring. Very nice work. With a tiltback, the scoop has to be shortened a bit, as seen here, and the sailpanel has an "ear" to fill the void.

Not the greatest image, but it shows the items mentioned above wtih the rear clip raised.

Here I'm trying to show you what kind of space you have to access the trunk. I wouldn't want to put a flat tire in the trunk from this angle, but it can be done. Other, more usual items are easily put in & out of the trunk. It is not as accessable as with a stock Fiero, but it deffinately is usable. Of course if it's a big issue, ditch the tilt clip and build the stock Pantera rear clip, with more normal trunk access.

The limit chain, which holds the rear clip. Clever idea, but I think a hydraulic strut, or an electric/hydraulic trunk opener would be great here.

This is how the Fiero rear clip is cut and used. We cut it a bit oversized, and will fine tune it so it matches the drip rail line.

The trunk skin is removed, for eventual bonding to the rear clip. If you like, I think the skin can stay on, but there is a weight savings by removing it. The trunk section is cut from the power hump section, and the trunk section is bonded to the rear clip. Neat.



rverhalen (rverhalen@triad.rr.com) MSG #122, 11-01-2004 07:52 PM
      Waiting for a Pantero Kit 4000.00 plus
Waiting to get the new larger wheels (unknow value yet)
Already having your Geo Tracker taillights in pristine condition for free Priceless....

Can you tell I am sooooooooooooooo ready for this kit and adding a turbo to the car?

Just send over more pictures to my email address and we can go from there!

Thanks
Robert Ver Halen
rverhalen@triad.rr.com
336-462-1040


datacop (datacop@gmail.com) MSG #123, 11-01-2004 09:20 PM
      I was over at Dave's house last weekend to get the tools to jack up our car and stuffs..

Looked over the molds he had, chop gun he's using, and the parts he's producing in his shop.. I HAVE to tell you guys.. the finish product that this man is producing is SECOND to NONE!! The detail in the molds is incredible. The prep work in producing a class one finish on those molds is amazing.

The finished pieces that he pulls out of the molds are so high quality.. they look like they require almost NO prep work for finish. It is truly amazing to see such high quality fiberglass pieces being produced first hand.

If I had the extra cash.. this is the kit I would buy, if only because of the care that I see Dave putting into each one of his layups.

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #124, 11-01-2004 09:32 PM
      Datacop,
You are so right! Dave is a true craftsman.

My Pantero project car was on the trailer this weekend and towed to Gene's place for the 4.9 install, just as soon as he's done, on with the body. Hopefully it will be ready for some of the shows this summer.



VISCERAL (patnap71@gmail.com) MSG #125, 11-14-2004 08:37 PM
      updates?

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #126, 11-16-2004 05:04 AM
      Visceral,
My project car, (88 Coupe) is currently getting the 4.9 conversion, so Dave is busy building more parts. He's gotten the process down to a fine point, his qork is first rate and he's producing some fine looking fiberglass parts.
Once the engine install is complete, then we'll start mounting the body on the car. I believe this is the best way to do this. I can just see lots of dinged up fiberglass if I did it the other way. Will post pics just as soon as we have something worthy of posting. Thanks for your interest.



eunospeed (eunospeed@msn.com) MSG #127, 11-16-2004 08:10 AM
      I've been lucky enough to see all this stuff first hand and Blackrams is right, everything is looking very nice! The kit is going to be sweet and look real nice on the Fiero platform. Can't wait to see how the motor swap is going.

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #128, 11-16-2004 07:59 PM
      I've started making the molds for the wheel flares shown earlier. These flares are the type which are fairly small (as compared to the GT5 or GTS type) and they were originally meant to be riveted onto the body. At first that sounds sort of crazy, but I've actually seen several pics of both street car and racing Panteras with the flares nicely riveted on. Go figure.

I saw them as easily reproduced factory style flares that could be sanded down along the edges and faired into the body by the builder to give a nicer look. I personally like their size, they are quite an enhancement over the standard flares on the original body. I will most likely use these type flares on my own Pantera build.

But along the way, I decided to take a break from things and try making up a set of flares, inspired by the GT5 or GTS style. How they will turn out will no doubt be a custom size and shape, but you understand where the inspiration comes from.

Here, a fence is constructed to hold the 2 part foam which is to be poured into the wheel flare area.

And here is the foam a day later. This type of foam does not react with the poly resin, and it shapes easily. If you tried making foam cores for your fiberglass projects and found that the foam did wierd stuff like melting when you applied resin, you had the wrong foam. After mixing and pouring small batches of foam, wait a day and then have at it. Tools of choice here are a hack saw, a very coarse broad rasp, a surform, a sanding block, 30 grit and 80 grit paper. Somewhere in there is a shape, we just have to let it out:>

And here is a shape begining to emerge after removing most of the foam that was poured.

The trick in this exercise is to see if I can make both sides look alike. Maybe not. Anyhow, after rough shaping, the foam will be coated with bondo and the surface brought down to a very smooth finish. In these photos, we are nowhere near that step.

David Breeze

mrfixit58 (rlumsden@tampabay.rr.com) MSG #129, 11-17-2004 10:16 AM
      Very cool. I love the "how to" threads.

Keep up the great work,
Roy


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #130, 11-21-2004 08:23 PM
      A small update on the "2nd generation" wheel flares:

The first flare was poured and rough shaped, as seen above. The opposite side flare was poured and allowed to set overnight. I needed to do two things next: establish a constant reference for shaping both flares,....and establish the wheel well opening in a straight & level condition. The cardboard fence was made to bow inwards a bit to assure there would be foam to work with. But now the excess has to be removed and the wheel well established.

Both items were accomplished by indexing the inside edges of both wheel wells, and laying a straight edge along the index marks. This quickly identifys where there is too much foam, so you just sand it away, and it leaves you with two new wheel wells that are straight & level. These become the reference for all shaping from here out.

I now made a sieres of marks 2" out from the stock wheel well, and trimmed the outside edges of the new wheelwells. Now we are ready to begin shaping the outside.

Since the wheel well has been reshaped, I did some fine tuning sanding of the first flare, getting it as close to what I wanted as the foam allows. Now I indexed the outside of the fender to establish reference points for shaping the second flare. These x/y axis marks allow me to locate points where the flare meets the fender, and to transfer those points to the other side. Note the dip in the upper front edge of the flare. This could be filled with foam, but I'll catch it with the bondo stage, later.

So, the other side was indexed and rough shaped. The fine tuning requires lots of rechecking the index measurements and just plain old looking at one side, then the other. Anyhow, we took it outside and gave it one more close look and fine tuning.

Now we are ready to apply a thin skin of bondo. This will fill the pores of the foam and allow even finer smooth sanding, and will help highlight any high or low spots, not visible on the foam.

David Breeze

[This message has been edited by opm2000 (edited 11-21-2004).]

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #131, 11-22-2004 02:27 PM
      I've been wondering about the space createdby the new wheel flares and would appreciate any thoughts you all might have. Look at drawing A. It shows the fiberglass body and new flare in crossection. Right now, the bottom edge is "straight & level" and fairs directly into the stock wheel well trim line. The thought here is this will help greatly when the builder fits the flare onto the body. The bottom edges match the stock opening exactly, and the outer "fender edges" are faired to fit onto the body. The outer skin recieves a layer of fiberglass cloth for permanant attachment. Now the bottom edge can either be glassed on in a similar fashion, or the space can be opened up by removing some of the flare and some of the stock fender....and then glassed in.

Now look at drawing B. It shows essentially the same thing except Here we have removed enough of the foam to come close to where the Fiero inner fender liner is. This means we are looking at two completely different plugs for the wheel flares. This option would have the benefit of being pre cut to accomodate large tires or wider spaced tires. But it would not have the convience of matching up to the stock wheel opening for initial alignment.

Which way should I make this? Seems like you could accomplish the same end result with either design.

David Breeze

The Black Widow (mlahood@min.midco.net) MSG #132, 11-22-2004 03:31 PM
      David:
wish i could tell ya, I would think B would be better for an more authenic look, since you can acomidate much larger tires. They both seem good, that would be the only reason I like B though. Keep us posted, this is an awesome build! Cant wait to see it when I come home!
-Matt


Jake_Dragon MSG #133, 11-22-2004 04:36 PM
      Why not trim the inside and make a new liner?


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #134, 11-23-2004 10:21 AM
      Both good points, and that got the wheels turning. Blackrams was giving a bit of input this weekend while helping on the second flare. His concern all along has been to devise a way to tie in or fasten down the inner fender liners.

I checked the front end of the yellow prototype car, to see again where the stock fender liner sets in relation to the stock Pantero wheel well outline. The Fiero liner generally parallels the Pantero outline on the majority of the front and back sides of the circle. Between 10 oclock and 2 oclock, the Fiero liner transitions from right on the Pantero outline...to a higher point (above the outline) which is at a maximum at 12 oclock.

If that's clear, then yes, a new liner, or transition piece would be in order.

What I'm thinking is to create the flare molds and new flares with the straight & level bottom, as in drawing A. This makes it very easy to align the flare to the body, and to get it right. Once attached to the body, the builder would only have to take a Dremel and cut off a slice of the bottom section between 10 oclock and 2 oclock, leaving a 1/2" +/- lip in the cutout area. To this lip a new liner or transition liner could be attached.

Bear in mind, we are working on the front fenders right now, the clearances will be somewhat different for the rears.

Now, all this wide flare business brings about the question...how do you economically get either a wider stance for your wheels & tires....or where do you find wider wheels. I'm thinking 275 to 315 on the rear and maybe 245 or so on the front. I'm not a big fan of droping big bucks on a whole new front end, or on custom built wheels.

David Breeze

[This message has been edited by opm2000 (edited 11-23-2004).]

VISCERAL (patnap71@gmail.com) MSG #135, 12-05-2004 09:44 AM
      bump

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #136, 12-07-2004 06:34 AM
     

Sorry for the poor pics

The foam has been covered with fine grade Bondo several times. At first filling the foam to provide a stiff skin to work with. Then filling pinholes. Then looking for low areas. At each filling I've sanded using 80 grit to knock down high spots and do general shaping. This has about gone it's course and I,m ready to shoot on a coat of primer, then sand most of it off, in search of the final smooth surface.

The overall shape has turned out pretty well. The front of the flares will blend right in with the add on air dam, and the back of the flares will blend right into the enlarged "runningboard " type sideskirts.

David Breeze



RCR (rcrabine@comcast.net) MSG #137, 12-07-2004 10:22 AM
      David,
Great jod there. Love the thread.
To copy the flare to the other side, it looks like you need a contour gage. I saw one on another post and they're pretty cheap: http://woodworker.com/cgi-bin/FULLPRES.exe?PARTNUM=864-227

Keep up the good work,
Bob


shawnkfl (kmn9312@knology.net) MSG #138, 12-07-2004 12:11 PM
      ok. i'm sold! i've been looking at other kits but i'm now sold on this one. i love the lins and look of the pantera. i'll be patiently waiting for one of these!!

VISCERAL (patnap71@gmail.com) MSG #139, 12-08-2004 01:26 AM
      Body contour tool from Eastwood.

http://eastwood.com/shopping/product/detailmain.jsp?itemID=1639&itemType=PRODUCT&iMainCat=504&iSubCat=514&iProductID=1639



blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #140, 12-08-2004 07:23 PM
      [QUOTE]Originally posted by shawnkfl:

ok. i'm sold! i've been looking at other kits but i'm now sold on this one. i love the lins and look of the pantera. i'll be patiently waiting for one of these!!


Patience is a virtue, this is work!

Dave is producing a very user friendly kit, if I can do it, anyone can.



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #141, 12-10-2004 12:32 PM
      RCR & Visceral,
Thanks for the tip on finding the contour gauges. I ordered a big one this week. So far I've used the grid indexing for initial shaping, and I've been making cardboard profile templates to check the profile similarity. A guage will be much easier to use.

Shawnkfl,
Thanks for the interest, and hang in there. It's encouraging to hear that you guys have an interest in building a Pantera.

Right now, Blackram's donor is recieving it's 4.9 transplant, and when that's finished we go directly to full body installation. With his build I'll assemble the text & pics for the Builder's Manual cd.

I'm fairly limited on space in my shop, so things progress in bits and spurts. I'm all set up to layup both a front & rear clip this weekend. At the same time, the wheel flares are ready for a coat of Duratec, so hopefully a lot more will happen to them the following week.

The first full kit to be sold is now complete, but the builder is waiting on me finishing up the wheel flare molds, understandably.

It seems to me that there is enough flexablility in the layup schedule, and I don't plan on doing a high volume production rate, so I almost think that each kit will be customized to each builder's desires. Anyone with an interest can pm or email me to discuss particulars and time frame. When I acquired this project, I wanted to bring it to the Fiero and Kit Builder Communities as something with classic looks, but open to customizing....and easily built....and affordable. For example, I think I've worked out how to assemble the rear clip mounting and hinge structure into an almost foolproof and super easy installation. And the wheel flares I'm molding will be a good close tolerance fit. These things all add up to make your project something you can assemble in a very short time, and then get out there and enjoy it.

David Breeze

bubbajoexxx (bubbajoexx@sympatico.ca) MSG #142, 12-12-2004 10:21 AM
      opm2000
Please dont take this comment the wrong way I would just like to know why you are not making the rear of the car with the proper cam shell deck lid
your kit looks good but would be 100% better with the correct deck lid and the engine compartment easer to access with the camshell as more area is opened and you dont have to slide under the rear clip .

[This message has been edited by bubbajoexxx (edited 12-12-2004).]

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #143, 12-12-2004 10:34 AM
      Bubbjoe,
I'll let Dave answer that question for himself, but it is still an option. The kit that Dave and I are producing for my 88, will have a rear deck lid hatch, though not exactly like the orginal, I feel it works very well with the Fiero and will use the orginal decklid hinge points. It also needs to be noted that engine access is so much easier with the tilt clip it's almost child's play, the whole rear clip takes about 10 minutes to remove. IMHO, this is not a reproduction, it's a kit car. No offense taken. I hope this answers at least part of your question. Happy Fieroing.



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #144, 12-12-2004 07:01 PM
      Hey Bubbajoe, I'm glad you like the Pantera Kit. Maybe you'll tackle one after your Stretch is completed :>

As Blackrams pointed out, the master mold for the rear clip is made in such a way that if you prefer a traditional "clamshell" Pantera deck, then we can make one which exactly reproduces that on a real Pantera.

This is the backside of the rear clip master mold. It's actually four big sections that bolt together. You'll see a flange bolted together running straight down from the "v" notch where the gills or scoops are. To create a traditional deck, we simply insert a long piece of vinyl in between those flanges during mold assembly. The result is a perfectly fitting rear section with a turned down lip for the deck to set on...and a matching deck with a matching lip as well.

This type lid would only require hinges installed along the rear roof section to be totally stock.

So far I've built three rear clips, and they have all been "tilt" configured. With the tilt deck, you lose the body line above the wheel wells from the clamshell deck...but you do pick up a body line from the wheel wells up to the gill/scoop area.

It's mostly a matter of builder preference. I can tell yu that the tilt clip is tons of fun at car shows and at the gas station, whenever you fillup. Flip back the tilt deck to access your fuel tank and you'll have an instant audience :>

For daily mechanicing, the tilt deck gives pretty decent access. For serious, heavy duty mechanicing, just pull the hinge pin, free the restraint chains, and two guys can set the whole rear clip on a set of sawhorses, no sweat.

David Breeze

bubbajoexxx (bubbajoexx@sympatico.ca) MSG #145, 12-12-2004 09:04 PM
      opm2000
hopefully in 2 years I will have the nessesary funds to do it as I plan building one for my wife with the camshell look


The Black Widow (mlahood@min.midco.net) MSG #146, 12-12-2004 09:10 PM
      David, you and Ron kick ass, Ill be home in January so I cant wait to check it out! Totally awesome!
-Matt


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #147, 12-13-2004 12:05 PM
      Hi Matt,
Be sure and come by my place when you make it back in to town. I'm hosting an open house for the Bluegrass Fiero Folks and any other Fiero/Hotrodder types who might want to attend....sometime between now and Janurary 5th. Any idea what your schedule is?

David Breeze

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #148, 12-13-2004 06:58 PM
     

As a follow up on the stock, clamshell type decklid, this pic may help. Here you can see a one-piece tilt-clip pantera part. You can see the clay line along the clamshell parting edge, though. And if you look closely (sorry about the pic quality) you can see that it is just above the "fender" line, all stock geometry.

In this pic, the rear clip is setting in it's true position on the chassis. The roofline doesn't match because I've done a 4" choptop on it, and will have to modify the rear clip to fit the lowered roofline. I plan to cut along the clamshell parting line and do the necessary recontouring only to the clamshell portion. From there, I'm still not sure if it will become a tilt-clip or a clamshell deck.

David Breeze

RCR (rcrabine@comcast.net) MSG #149, 01-18-2005 08:19 AM
      It's been a while....Any update?

Bob

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #150, 01-19-2005 06:34 AM
      Well, between the Holidays and the cold weather, I got distracted a bit:

Anyhow, the front flares are shaped and ready to have molds made around them. I'm in the middle of shaping the new front air dam, and it flows into the front flares, so thee is a holdup untill the air dam is finished.

The rear flares are almost ready for the bondo phase:

BTW, how do you like the wooden wingstands? I was using this photo for a shaping reference ( http://www.panteraplace.com/Pantera%20Pics/Meredith%201.JPG ), and Blackrams pointed out that the red car had what looked like a Fiero wing. He and Scrabblegod dug around and came up with this wing, and it fits perfectly, matching body lines and angles.

David Breeze

RCR (rcrabine@comcast.net) MSG #151, 01-19-2005 08:43 AM
      Looks great David, (nice to see you visit Ari's, too). The wing looks real good, but I would suggest fiberglass wing stands.

I like the old 70's era coffee table legs sticking out of the bottom, too.


rverhalen (rverhalen@triad.rr.com) MSG #152, 01-19-2005 10:15 AM
      I still want one Dave! Just waiting for the flared version ready for my car! It is looking good

Great work,

Thanks
Robert Ver Halen


PaulJK MSG #153, 01-19-2005 11:31 PM
      MAN those flares are NICE !!!!

This may sound crazy, but would an 88GT look good with your front end with flares and a stock rear section with the rear flares ? Any Photoshoppers wanna do one ? Can this be done ? Personally I've always liked the factory fiero GT rear end but those flares are irresistable ..

PaulJK MSG #154, 01-21-2005 01:35 AM
      bump for Dave's flares .....

Voytek (vurbanson@pecousa.com) MSG #155, 01-21-2005 10:55 AM
      Wow!!
This is an awesome thread! Makes me want to do more stuff to my Fiero.
I alread spent an entire winter in the garage a couple years ago. Maybe it's time to do it again!

Please keep us posted.

And thanks for the details - I love what you're doing.

One question, though. I would like to construct an air dam for my Mazda RX8. How did you make a mold for your air dam? I can see that you used the expandable foam for the flares but I don't think I saw too much on the front dam. Any info would be appreciated.




opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #156, 01-21-2005 12:31 PM
      RCR,
I really like the open forums where ideas are shared, too. Pennock's and Ari's are tops. BTW, I thought that was real resourcefull, using the coffee table as a work stand :]

Robert,
Hang in there, the flares will be finished soon. They do look good, Blackrams has given them his nod of approval, so I'm proceeding on with them.

Paul,
First chance I get I'll set the front clip that has the flares onto a chassis with the doors still attached. Maybe someone could Photoshop it a bit easier then.

Voytek,
Thanks. I will say that the front air dam took more preliminary thinking thru than almost anything. Right now it's about 1/2 way thru shaping, and the front clip it's on is upside down on the work table. I promise to get a rightside up picture in this weekend sometime.

David Breeze

[This message has been edited by opm2000 (edited 01-21-2005).]

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #157, 01-21-2005 07:27 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by RCR:

Looks great David, (nice to see you visit Ari's, too). The wing looks real good, but I would suggest fiberglass wing stands.

I like the old 70's era coffee table legs sticking out of the bottom, too.

Hey now, those professional looking stanchions were my idea. Oh, OK, we'll try to come up with something a little different than these.
News Flash: Just thought of this, Styrofoam Cups would make a great stanchion, light weight and aerodynamic (somewhat), different heights available, 8 oz., 10 oz., or 16 oz. for the really raised look. When not in use, can be used as orginally intended, well, maybe.



PaulJK MSG #158, 01-21-2005 10:08 PM
      Oh man, I can feel my wallet starting to get lighter .... and there's not that much in there to start with .....

Can you make a bolt-on clip that looks like this ?

Maybe leave off the lower spoiler / air dam and make it tilt. YOWEEEE ...

[This message has been edited by PaulJK (edited 01-21-2005).]

VISCERAL (patnap71@gmail.com) MSG #159, 01-22-2005 01:14 PM
     

nice wing:

[This message has been edited by VISCERAL (edited 01-22-2005).]

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #160, 01-22-2005 07:47 PM
      Nice pics. Now does anyone know where we can get some similar looking wheels at a reasonable price.



The Black Widow (mlahood@min.midco.net) MSG #161, 01-22-2005 09:40 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by blackrams:

Nice pics. Now does anyone know where we can get some similar looking wheels at a reasonable price.

Pantera have huge wheels, will they fit?

Custom2M4 (custom2m4@hotmail.com) MSG #162, 01-22-2005 10:12 PM
      I thought I would be of some help on this...

PIC -

Details -
http://cragar.dkhinc.com/WheelsDetail.asp?id=620[/URL]

PIC - [img]http://www.centerlinewheels.com/images/wheels/00_CONVO%20PRO%20RACE_hi_301x281.jpg[/URL ][/img]

Details - [URL=http://www.centerlinewheels.com/wheels_detail.php?mw_id=15&sw_id=79]http://www.centerlinewheels.com/wheels_detail.php?mw_id=15&sw_id=79

PIC - [img]http://www.centerlinewheels.com/images/wheels/00_CONVO%20PRO%20(street)_hi_301x281. jpg[/img]

Details - http://www.centerlinewheels.com/wheels_detail.php?mw_id=11&sw_id=64

There ya go! The middle one, or last one I think would work the best, plus it is a race rim, so you can get any sort of crazy offset and sizes (ex .15x15, 16x16 for the middle one)

 
quote
Originally posted by blackrams:

Nice pics. Now does anyone know where we can get some similar looking wheels at a reasonable price.



blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #163, 01-23-2005 08:37 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by The Black Widow:
Pantera have huge wheels, will they fit?

Anything is possible, just depends on whether or not you're willing to spend the bucks. What ever we do will be some sort of compromise, but I would like to replicate the Pantera look as much as possible. Remember, this is still on a Fiero hub, but I would like to move into a 16 or 17 inch wheel. Fronts will be somewhere in the 7 to 8" arena, rear will probably be 9 to 11" wide. Thanks for the input, the search goes on.



THE BEAST (jgomez@ircc.cc.fl.us) MSG #164, 01-27-2005 04:21 PM
      opm2000,

Would you be willing to produce wide fender flares for the Fiero?

I'm looking everywhere for a good shape that can be used in the Fiero and is affordable!

Thanks!
James.


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #165, 01-28-2005 10:01 AM
      Beast,
Sure, that would be a fun project. There are a couple of widebody kits out there, but I don't know, there may not be a simple "flare" kit. I think Chester did a bit of custom work in this department recently, and I'll see if I can get a look at the Dirty Rat, to get some ideas.

It would be best if we knew a wheel and tire size that you wanted to use with the flares. That way we could bring them into the correct size and shape to start with, as opposed to building a flare and then figuring out what w/t combination fits. I'll wait untill warmer spring weather arrives, before starting on something like this.

It's interesting how both the Fiero and the Pantera designs just beg for customization, and share design aspects. This pic was sent to me by a Fiero/Pantera owner in Sweden. It shows a Pantera front air dam which was modified to fit his Fiero. Looks right at home to me.

BTW, this is a fairly good representation of the front air dam we're working on right now.

David Breeze

THE BEAST (jgomez@ircc.cc.fl.us) MSG #166, 01-28-2005 02:55 PM
      David,

I'm up for it, the wheels will be between 17 or 18 or even 19 (inches that is).
It all really depends in what is available for a good price, offset, width etc.

To give you an idea:

Regardless the (17-18-19 diameter) they all will average in the front about 25 inches and 26.5 in the back, by using the proper tire wheel combination.

The front and rear width will remain about the same, regardless of their sizes as well.
With the front being between 7 - 8.5 inches
And the back about 9 -10 inches.
The offsets will be between 40-50 in the front, and between 30-40 in the back

That will give me an average of about 1-1.5 inches sticking out of the front fenders
And more or less about 2-2.5 inches in the back!

Thanks!
James.


THE BEAST (jgomez@ircc.cc.fl.us) MSG #167, 01-28-2005 03:00 PM
      In other words David,
Could we say, lets make them to be about

1.5 in the front
And 2.5 in the back?

I'm sure that there is about couple dozen of fellows in this forum at any given day and time, that are up to the deal!

Thanks again.
James.


VISCERAL (patnap71@gmail.com) MSG #168, 01-28-2005 07:45 PM
      What will use as the front hood vent as in whats on the Pantera?

[This message has been edited by VISCERAL (edited 01-28-2005).]

PaulJK MSG #169, 01-29-2005 12:41 AM
      You weren't just teasing about the pics of the flared front end, were you ?

VISCERAL (patnap71@gmail.com) MSG #170, 01-30-2005 11:48 PM
      bump


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #171, 01-31-2005 08:43 PM
      Visceral,
You know, it's only about a 5 1/2 hour drive from Chicago to Lexington, you should take a weekend trip down and pay us a visit.



JKobra MSG #172, 01-31-2005 11:39 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:

David Breeze

Wow! That looks really sharp. I'd would go as far as to say that looks better than the GT style facia. How much will it cost?

(sorry don't want to hijack thread, just curious)

VISCERAL (patnap71@gmail.com) MSG #173, 02-01-2005 08:05 PM
      updates, Got to hav'em!!!

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #174, 02-01-2005 09:46 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by VISCERAL:

updates, Got to hav'em!!!

Now that you have an open and standing offer, you don't have to wait for an update, come on down and see for yourself.



PaulJK MSG #175, 02-02-2005 12:49 AM
      Ron, if I leave now I'll be there by next tuesday . Now can I see a pic of the flared front end

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #176, 02-02-2005 09:31 AM
      Sorry about the delay, guys. I've sort of taken a break and been working on my 4.9/Allante, fabricating all of the cradle mounts. You need a break every so often.

As far as hood vent grill material, those particular grills look pretty nice. I think they could easily be duplicated with some strap steel and a mig welder. Then sandblast them and powdercoat. A nice weekend project.

The front clip is now ready for final contouring, assembly, and bondoing. What's that mean? Well, this front air dam has to have a removable plug made. Where the fender flares can be formed on the clip and the molds taken directly from them as installed on the clip.....the air dam will have to be formed and then removed from the clip. This is to allow all of the stages of smoothing, spraying, etc that has to be done.

So what we now have is this:

The foam has been squared up with the valence bottom, the fender sides, and the front of the car. The front clip is jigged to be setting as it will on the chassis. A ramp between the two foam blocks has been made, and removed. And the bottom lip which surrounds the entire assembly has been made and removed. Some final contouring of the front face of the foam blocks will be done to accomodate these:

which are APC H312V halogen 2.5" x 4" driving lights. An opening will be formed with a nicely radiused in-turning lip.

Next is to assemble the pieces and apply one layer of fiberglass, reinforce the assembly, and remove it from the front clip. Then more smoothing and fitting.

It's taking some time, but let me tell you, when Blackrams helped me turn the clip over to what you see here, He could see what was taking shape and, well , got excited all over again.

I hope to have all of this flare/airdam business completed in time to take samples to Ed Park's Swapmeet.

David Breeze

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #177, 02-02-2005 09:39 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by PaulJK:
Ron, if I leave now I'll be there by next tuesday . Now can I see a pic of the flared front end

Paul,
Tuesday will be fine. Do you prefer your coffee black? Any favorite breakfast items you would like us to stock up. We'll hold the room after 6:00 PM without reservation, but would like a verbal confirmation. Cya Tuesday.

BTW, arrivals after 10:00 PM really piss off the proprietor, try to get here before bedtime.




PaulJK MSG #178, 02-03-2005 12:11 AM
      Well, your stuff is turning out so good don't be surprised to hear a knock on the door someday :. I'll buy the first round of coffee ! I love the flared front end but had a question:

The pics on page 4 of this thread seem to show 2 versions of the flared front end; (1) like the red car and a different one like the blue car.

To me at least, the blue car version looks much better and muscular because the flares are blended into the body; the red car version looks more like it was added on later. Are you planning to blend the flares like the blue car (I hope). If you made a flared version like the blue car, it really adds more variety to the kits you're offering because it's a lot more different than the stock version you already have.

Wonderful job ...keep up the good work ...

By the way, as a kid I remember going to an autoshow and seeing the new 1971 Pantera and wondering how anybody could afford $10,000 for a car ....

[This message has been edited by PaulJK (edited 02-03-2005).]

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #179, 02-03-2005 06:47 AM
      PaulK,
Similar experience: I was a kid on a ten sped bike, riding with my buddies one summer night. We ran into the only two Panteras in Kentucky that night. They were at the gas station, filling up. It was an incredible experience, seeing them, knowing they were out running the backroads thru the Bluegrass horse farms. This was in '73, and we'd never seen anything like a Countach or Ferrarri. It was almost a spiritual experience.

But about the styling of the flares and airdam.

The Pantera seems to have gone thru three or four major styling changes, and to have benefited form many personal styling modifications.

The body molds I currently have are of the basic body which endures thru all of the changes. This is the yellow prototype car, seen in this thread. It has the relatively small wheel flares built in, and no air dam.

Then we have a mold for an early air dam, or really a type of chin. There are pics of it in this thread. It adds a lot to the looks of the Pantera. I personally think it takes more custom fitting to fit it up to the body. But if you like it's looks, it is a cool, doable addition.

Then there are the add on Pantera flares which I purchased, and they are seen earlier in the thread. They really add some physical "pizazz" to things, and I think they would work well with stock wheels and tires just fine. I plan to make molds of these in case someone cares for that look. These were the first type flares to be added to the Pantera. There are examples of these actually riveted to the body, and that was the look. For that look, these flares fit with very little additional work. But if you wanted these flares to blend and flow into the body, they will require a bit more body work. Very doable and good looking, though.

Actually, the previously mentioned flares are what led me to building the flares we are on now. They will more resemble the type on the red car. That is to say, they may not be exactly like the red car's flares, but they are definately inspired by them. I've had three main criteria in fashioning these flares.

They must look good on their own, in case they are the only addition to the basic body. I've really paid attention to how they will flow into the rocker panels and into the leading or trailing fenders.

They must work with both air dams. Once again, hours spent considering how they look with the flares.

They must fit. I can't build the car for the average builder, but I can sure make it easier for him by making butt lines match and having an alignment/reference point on every part. Some of the Ferrari builders out there can show you examples of having to section, chop, and remake almost every body panel to make it fit. Not here.

Anyhow, these current flares are more of the third generation type. Again, they have been both riveted on, and blended in. Both looks are cool, it's just builder preference.

The air dam I'm currently building will very much resemble that on the red car. However, it will have a somewhat more sloped "side curtian" than the red car has. I'm refering to the verticle panel between the front edge of the front fender, and the front of the car. In this respect, it will somewhat resemble the air dam on the blue car.

The blue car looks to be from the fourth generation, or the 1980's versions. I agree, I love that totally blended look. I believe this form is more similar to the white Predator, which you may have seen. I'm sure that one day I'll build one of these. This form can easily be atained by modifying the stock body which we now produce. Hopefully an ambitious builder will produce an example, soon. Or maybe someone will comission us to build one as a turnkey.

Right now my main focus is this:

to produce Blackrams' Pantera, he has had some good design ideas and has been instrumental in bringing about this project.

And I want to complete my choptop Pantera. You simply can't believe what a simple choptop does when combined with the Pantera body...it's wicked.

And I want to service the one or two folks who have said they want a body kit. It takes time to go thru this start up process, and the quality of the first few builds out there is crucial. Down the road, I don't see producing more than three or four kits a year, simply to keep a lid on quality, and to maintain my sanity.

David Breeze



blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #180, 02-04-2005 07:30 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:

PaulK,
Blackrams' Pantera, he has had some good design ideas and has been instrumental in bringing about this project.

And I want to complete my choptop Pantera. You simply can't believe what a simple choptop does when combined with the Pantera body...it's wicked.

And I want to service the one or two folks who have said they want a body kit. It takes time to go thru this start up process, and the quality of the first few builds out there is crucial. Down the road, I don't see producing more than three or four kits a year, simply to keep a lid on quality, and to maintain my sanity.
David Breeze

All true, and thanks for mentioning me, but Dave is the craftsman. Gotta be honest though, Dave, it's too friggin late, you lost your sanity just before we started this project. I came along willingly.



PaulJK MSG #181, 02-11-2005 04:21 PM
      Here are a few ads from a kitcar magazine that might help you with finding the wheels you want :



Fie Ro (roderick.baas@tros.nl) MSG #182, 02-11-2005 04:56 PM
      Real nice craftmanship! Good to see you're putting your own ideas in this buildup.

I think the top wheel would look cool...in 19" or something
 
quote
Originally posted by PaulJK:



PaulJK MSG #183, 02-12-2005 02:35 AM
      yeah - LOVE the spinners but I'm partial to 16 inch myself - also love a somewhat soft but smooth ride

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #184, 02-12-2005 10:24 AM
      In that I've already got the C4 Vette Brake upgrade for the Pantero, it obviously requires larger wheels, I've already got the C4 upgrade on my 4.9 Formula running it with 16" Centerlines, which is the smallest diameter wheel I know of that you can run with the C4 upgrade, I'm very satisfied with the improved performance of these brakes. But I also like the ride achieved with a little more side wall on the tires so I doubt I'll go any larger than 17's. Thanks for the leads on the wheels, we'll post more pics as time goes. We're hoping to have a Pantero road ready by the CFOG-I Show in Osage Beach, MO this summer.



DL10 (dl10@frontier.com) MSG #185, 02-12-2005 01:01 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:

The blue car looks to be from the fourth generation, or the 1980's versions. I agree, I love that totally blended look. I believe this form is more similar to the white Predator, which you may have seen. I'm sure that one day I'll build one of these. This form can easily be atained by modifying the stock body which we now produce. Hopefully an ambitious builder will produce an example, soon. Or maybe someone will comission us to build one as a turnkey.

Just for those who have never seen the Predator here is a couple of pictures

it is a replica of a Pantera 200 or Nuvo pantera

here are some pictures of that car

There are molds made for my car, and they were for sale. I did at one time think about making and selling body kits, but I decided it would be to much trobule for what little money you could make, and I like having one of only 2 cars left. { there were 3 cars built and 1 car wrecked} Good luck with your project and I hope you do well.

[This message has been edited by DL10 (edited 02-12-2005).]

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #186, 02-12-2005 04:24 PM
      DL10,
Very nice ride. What else is there to say, very nice indeed.




DL10 (dl10@frontier.com) MSG #187, 02-12-2005 05:13 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by blackrams:

DL10,
Very nice ride. What else is there to say, very nice indeed.

Thank you ...............I take no credit for any part of the building of the car, all I did was write a check

I think we met at Wheatstock. I really didn't get much time to to visit.........I was asked to be a judge sence I didn't have my car there, and it kind of took my whole day.

[This message has been edited by DL10 (edited 02-12-2005).]

VISCERAL (patnap71@gmail.com) MSG #188, 02-12-2005 06:09 PM
      Save yourself some design work time and make a mold of the wheel flares off DL10s car and voila, old beautiful nose, nice flares and we now have the 80's blue model wrapped up. DL10, you should compare car bodies in person, he's only 2 states away. Add a targa top and a 2"-3" chop and a v8 and look out!

P.s. Theres just something about those wheelwells on DL's car that just doesnt look right to the eyes, not bad but theres something.

[This message has been edited by VISCERAL (edited 02-12-2005).]

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #189, 02-12-2005 08:11 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by DL10:
I think we met at Wheatstock. I really didn't get much time to to visit.........I was asked to be a judge sence I didn't have my car there, and it kind of took my whole day.

Yep, Dave and I both spoke with you briefly before you took off to judge. Good times in Topeka, I'm sure Osage Beach will be just as much fun. Hope to see you there.



PaulJK MSG #190, 02-13-2005 03:55 AM
      Ron: Hope they help. The magazone was an old one, so I hope the ads are still good. Man, your car would look good with the cobra wheels with spinners ....

DL - Nice cars, especially the red one . I have a question for you - check your PM ...

[This message has been edited by PaulJK (edited 02-13-2005).]

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #191, 02-13-2005 05:24 PM
      Paul,
Thanks for the information, we've already made contact via inter-net. We'll see where this goes.



DRA (fierorulz@yahoo.com) MSG #192, 02-13-2005 05:37 PM
      Still following this thread Ron, anxious to see the finished product!

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #193, 02-13-2005 08:25 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by DRA:

Still following this thread Ron, anxious to see the finished product!

I'll put it this way, you wouldn't recognize that 88 4 Cylinder coupe today, I'll leave it at that for now.



THE BEAST (jgomez@ircc.cc.fl.us) MSG #194, 02-18-2005 03:51 PM
      Any updates?
I want to see more Pics!

Thanks!
JG.


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #195, 02-18-2005 08:58 PM
      Dave will probably post some pics in the near future, but just to update you all, we are building two Panteros, mine will be very similar to the yellow car you have seen in the preceeding pics, but mine will not be a rear tilt clip. I'm modifying the rear somewhat, it will still look very much the same as the yellow car, but my car will have a rear deck lid that opens similar to the Fiero. Dave's project is a chopped Pantero, I gotta tell you, this is one bad a$$ looking ride. We, (mostly Dave) have been working to develop the fender flares and front spoiler/wing, but have been somewhat distracted because we aren't going to do any body fitting/mounting until the new engines and transaxles are in. Don't want to mess up any fiberglass doing the installation. Mine will be a stock 4.9 with a manual 5 speed, utilizing Rockcrawl's chip. Dave's will be slightly more exotic, but I'll let him tell you about that swap.

Still looking for a reasonably priced set of wheels that will be appropriate to this project, thanks to some Forum member's suggestions, we have found some very nice wheels that would look fanastic on the cars, only issue is price. That's right, we're still Fiero folks at heart and in the wallet. Anyone with suggestions, please reply to this. Thanks for asking.



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #196, 02-22-2005 08:03 AM
     

I recieved and interesting package today, from Bo, in Sweden.

Seems he owned a Pantera and a Fiero, both at the same time. He used his Pantera air dam to fashion an airdam for his Fiero. I have previously posted a pic of his creation.

Anyhow, in the spirit of bringing something new to the Fiero community, Bo has shipped the mold for his airdam to me. I had offered to build a few Fiero/Pantera airdams from his mold and offer it to any Fiero customizers out there.

Enjoy.

David Breeze

Cheever3000 MSG #197, 02-22-2005 08:40 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:

...And I want to complete my choptop Pantera. You simply can't believe what a simple choptop does when combined with the Pantera body...it's wicked.

Somebody get busy Photoshoppin'... I gotta see this!



bubbajoexxx (bubbajoexx@sympatico.ca) MSG #198, 02-22-2005 12:55 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:

I recieved and interesting package today, from Bo, in Sweden.

Seems he owned a Pantera and a Fiero, both at the same time. He used his Pantera air dam to fashion an airdam for his Fiero. I have previously posted a pic of his creation.

Anyhow, in the spirit of bringing something new to the Fiero community, Bo has shipped the mold for his airdam to me. I had offered to build a few Fiero/Pantera airdams from his mold and offer it to any Fiero customizers out there.

Enjoy.

David Breeze

you have my interest here how much are these dam's going to be sold for and when will
they be avalable



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #199, 02-22-2005 02:56 PM
      Bubbajoexxx,
I'll be starting the work on this mold this weekend. To ship it, Bo had to cut it in half. So I have to jig it back together and apply some additional reinforcing to the backside. Then, aside from a standard cleanup and polishing, the mold will be ready to try pulling an air dam from it. At most, there will be a minor parting line up the center, where the ramp into the radiator is. But I think I can make the repair invisible.

Cost will be very modest, although I can't really say untill the first one is done. I'll earmark it for you and you can decide later. Shouldn't take too long to get the results.

David Breeze

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #200, 02-24-2005 11:40 AM
     

Here is a brief update on the front airdam. The shape of this airdam requires that the plug be built on the front clip....then removed. This is to allow for the surface preparations before applying the gelcoat of the mold.

You've seen the pouring and rough shaping of the foam so far. The lip and ramp were made seperately, using Clarke foam. It comes in 3/8" sheets and is resistant to epoxies and resins, and it shapes easily. These parts were cut to fit and the radius of the outer edge sanded in. Then a mixture of resin and glass micro-balloons was made up and squeeged onto the foam surface. Before this slurry set up, a layer of fiberglass was applied.

Next, a layer of fiberglass was applied to the poured foam pieces on the nose clip. This was after metal furnace tape was carefully applied to the nose clip, to act as a release. The glass cured and was trimmed and sanded a bit.

Next, the lip and ramp pieces were jigged into place and bondo was used to create radius edges, to further shape the final product.

Here you see kleen-clay being used. I didn't like the look of the lip on the sides of the airdam, so here we are using the clay to quickly fill in and reshape a portion of the plug. Once this is finalized, another layer of glass will be applied. Then the whole works will be turned over, the underside reinforced and glassed so it won't warp, and the entire plug removed from the nose clip.

Here's some of the most used items or tools. Duct tape and furnace tape make quick, thin release tapes for both foam and glass cloth. Bondo is used for shaping radius and filets, and for filling foam surfaces. Hot glue gun is for quick jigging or attaching parts. Most shaping is done with a rasp file, a surform, or 80 grit paper on a hard or soft block.

If you look at the unused resin in the cup, you'll notice it has turned a red color. The resin I use does this when some is left in a cup. This makes a great "double check" device. When you start a layup or as the layup progresses, you can use this trait to confirm that you have properly mixed your resin. There was a thread recently where someones layup was slow to cure. Although temperature may have been the culprit in that case, it's not uncommon to either improperly mix your resin, or actually forget to catalyise a batch. Red cups at the end of a layup are nice.

David Breeze

RCR (rcrabine@comcast.net) MSG #201, 02-24-2005 12:43 PM
      This is a gret buil-up thread, David. Keep up the good work.

Bob

bubbajoexxx (bubbajoexx@sympatico.ca) MSG #202, 02-24-2005 08:07 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:

Bubbajoexxx,
I'll be starting the work on this mold this weekend. To ship it, Bo had to cut it in half. So I have to jig it back together and apply some additional reinforcing to the backside. Then, aside from a standard cleanup and polishing, the mold will be ready to try pulling an air dam from it. At most, there will be a minor parting line up the center, where the ramp into the radiator is. But I think I can make the repair invisible.

Cost will be very modest, although I can't really say untill the first one is done. I'll earmark it for you and you can decide later. Shouldn't take too long to get the results.

David Breeze

thank you be sure to let me know



blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #203, 02-25-2005 09:47 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by bubbajoexxx:
thank you be sure to let me know

Bubba,
We played around with the new mold this evening, it is pretty interesting, but i gotta tell you, honestly, Dave's version is IMHO much nicer. No offense to anyone that likes the other versions. It's all a matter of what you like.



bubbajoexxx (bubbajoexx@sympatico.ca) MSG #204, 03-05-2005 03:38 PM
      bump

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #205, 03-05-2005 07:58 PM
      Pics coming soon, this is gonna be cool.



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #206, 03-06-2005 07:17 AM
     

The plug is prepared for removal from the front clip by first attaching a couple of wooden braces. These were hot glued in place, and then 2 part foam poured in to fill voids between the braces and the plug.

The foam was shaped to a fillet shape, to help the glass cloth lay down. A slurry of micro was squeeged into the foam, and bondo used to fill remaining big gaps. Then four layers of cloth laid up and allowed to cure. The idea here is to create bracing that will prevent any twisting or distorting of the plug as it is removed.

So, the plug was seperated from the front clip. If you remember, duct tape was used on the front clip, to act as a parting surface for the foam. And metal furnace tape used as additional parting surface for the glass. With the aid of wedges and a tight pucker, the plug came right off.

A pic of the foam. It stays in place thru the rest of the preparation process. The glass edges have to be trued up, and some surface filling and smoothing done with bondo. Then a few coats of Duratec sanding primer, followed by lots of wet sanding and polishing. Then we actually build the mold, based on this plug.

BTW, the foam represents dead air space between the airdam and the front clip. The idea is that the entire backside of a new airdam will be totally accessable to the builder, once he has positioned the airdam. The majority of the attachment layups can then be done from the inside, and a nice blending of the outside done, with only a lighter closeout layup required on the outside. Then if more interior space is required for lights or whatever, the builder can cut as required into the front clip, behing the airdam.

Progress is being made on Bo's Swedish airdam. I've cleaned it up, sanded for reattachment, and jigged it back together for permanant reatachment. I'll try to get pics up tonight.

David Breeze

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #207, 03-06-2005 10:54 AM
      I told you it was gonna be cool.



rverhalen (rverhalen@triad.rr.com) MSG #208, 03-14-2005 07:48 PM
      Do you have a kit ready as of yet? Just looking hard here.
I love the widened look of the flares.

let me know

Robert Ver Halen
336-462-1040


rverhalen (rverhalen@triad.rr.com) MSG #209, 03-14-2005 08:24 PM
      I have my car up on many sites to see if anyone wants to trade for a kit car, now I see your almost finished molds and really re-thinking about not selling or trading and putting on one of your kits to a already fine 88.
Now if you can give me a call on the cell 336-462-1040 we can talk about when you will be ready for the wide body kit and all of the mounting points done we can get down to business. Also I want to get the first wide body kit to create the flyers for the product and do some videos also. Can you gel coat in colors? Like Red / or Black? Just an idea. With your wide body kit on my car what an amazing car that would be. Can not wait.

respond as soon as you can! I have a guy trying to trade me a 95% done lambo for my car now.
Thank you and keep up the great work!

Robert Ver Halen
A re-sparked interest again


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #210, 03-15-2005 10:07 AM
      Robert,
The servers here at the University are going down today for maintenance today, so this will be brief, and I'll get an email to you this evening from home.

I've got a front and rear clip completed and setting in the molds, ready to take out. BTW, that's a good way to protect the molds, and of course, the longer a part sets in the mold, the better. The flares and the air dam are progressing into the polishing stage this weekend, so they are soon to be in production.

Anyhow, I'm prepared to work you a sweet deal...I think you'll like it. As I said earlier, the first six kits are priced as they are, and I'm going to try to do even better than that by each one of them.

David Breeze

rverhalen (rverhalen@triad.rr.com) MSG #211, 03-15-2005 10:37 AM
      Sounds great, I would like to get my car and your body kit put in the same room and make them both shine.
Then I will be calling a few people to get a video and other things set up. Since my dash is only 1 of 12 ever made it makes the car even more special. I would even take off a few weeks to get this online. Time to make a name for yourself and get the world rocking again with a new kit. I am tired of seeing Lambo's and other really expensive kit cars that not everyone can own.
The whole idea of a kit car is to have something that you can not own (the real version) and build something like it for yourself.
Most people build Fiero based kit cars and never touch the basic Fiero, like suspension / Brakes / carriage itself etc.
Since my car is done throughout and show ready then only thing I need to do is put on the kit and wheels and I have an even better car then before and since I drive to everything to show her off Iwould even carry fliers, cards, CD's to pass out to people to get them excited enought to buy one. Price of Fieros being low and the kits being of great quality the combination would just renew the interest in Fieros again to bump the price of our cars even higher.
I am looking at this in a different way since this is the newest and most interesting project that I have seen in a while.

Let's talk and make this happen

Robert Ver Halen
336-462-1040

[This message has been edited by rverhalen (edited 03-15-2005).]

bubbajoexxx (bubbajoexx@sympatico.ca) MSG #212, 04-07-2005 09:18 AM
      updates please

exoticse (exoticse@netzero.com) MSG #213, 04-07-2005 10:32 AM
      For those interested there is a big article on this car (the original/not this project) in this month's (May) issue of Sports Car International.

You can find the Magazine at Barnes and Noble.

[This message has been edited by exoticse (edited 04-07-2005).]

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #214, 04-07-2005 12:39 PM
      Well, things have progressed, but it's been one step forwards and two steps backwards, you know?

I guess I wasted about a month while a certian person was busy blowing hot smoke up my tailpipe. He wanted a kit, had a real nice donor car, and spends literally hours on the phone and email with Blackrams and I. I actually offered to either deliver the kit personally (no charge) and then fly to his place once a month untill completed.....or offered to fully assemble the body onto his donor car and return it to his place (no charge). Everything came to a screeching halt when I saw him announce in the Mall that he was getting a different kit. He never bothered to even notify me of his change of plans. I generally like to treat people well, and expect as much from them.

No big deal, I just wanted to get that off my chest.

Sooooo, where were we?

I put the Swedish front airdam mold back together, and then was able to see that the mold is for the Pantera. I mistakenly assumed that Bo had resized an airdam to fit his Fiero, and then made the mold. Seems he must have made the mold, and then resized the part made from it. So Bubbajoe, I could send you an airdam that you could resize, but not one ready to attach and go. I'll be going thru the resizing process and making a mold from the new part this spring, but it's going to be a while.

I was all ready to spray up the fender flares & airdam with Duratec. Got all set up to spray, and opened the Duratec to see that it had expired it's shelf life. Looked like real thick gook. I ordered new Duratec and am now wet sanding those parts, readying to build the molds.

That did give me time to decide to build epoxy based molds, instead of polyester molds, though. The epoxy system is more expensive, but it overcomes the alligatoring problem with poly molds. Often there is "styrene migration" from the new mold. It usually disappears after producing three or four parts. But it manifests itself by causing alligatoring of the gelcoat layer. Problem is not structural if you use a sanding gelcoat, as I do. But it means sanding and spraying a part after it comes from the mold.

I'm real pleased with the way the flares & airdam look, at this point. My neighbor (a Porche driver) has gotten in the habit of coming over and lusting over them. Very distracting.

David Breeze

[This message has been edited by opm2000 (edited 04-07-2005).]

bubbajoexxx (bubbajoexx@sympatico.ca) MSG #215, 04-07-2005 08:03 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:

Well, things have progressed, but it's been one step forwards and two steps backwards, you know?

I guess I wasted about a month while a certian person was busy blowing hot smoke up my tailpipe. He wanted a kit, had a real nice donor car, and spends literally hours on the phone and email with Blackrams and I. I actually offered to either deliver the kit personally (no charge) and then fly to his place once a month untill completed.....or offered to fully assemble the body onto his donor car and return it to his place (no charge). Everything came to a screeching halt when I saw him announce in the Mall that he was getting a different kit. He never bothered to even notify me of his change of plans. I generally like to treat people well, and expect as much from them.

No big deal, I just wanted to get that off my chest.

Sooooo, where were we?

I put the Swedish front airdam mold back together, and then was able to see that the mold is for the Pantera. I mistakenly assumed that Bo had resized an airdam to fit his Fiero, and then made the mold. Seems he must have made the mold, and then resized the part made from it. So Bubbajoe, I could send you an airdam that you could resize, but not one ready to attach and go. I'll be going thru the resizing process and making a mold from the new part this spring, but it's going to be a while.

I was all ready to spray up the fender flares & airdam with Duratec. Got all set up to spray, and opened the Duratec to see that it had expired it's shelf life. Looked like real thick gook. I ordered new Duratec and am now wet sanding those parts, readying to build the molds.

That did give me time to decide to build epoxy based molds, instead of polyester molds, though. The epoxy system is more expensive, but it overcomes the alligatoring problem with poly molds. Often there is "styrene migration" from the new mold. It usually disappears after producing three or four parts. But it manifests itself by causing alligatoring of the gelcoat layer. Problem is not structural if you use a sanding gelcoat, as I do. But it means sanding and spraying a part after it comes from the mold.

I'm real pleased with the way the flares & airdam look, at this point. My neighbor (a Porche driver) has gotten in the habit of coming over and lusting over them. Very distracting.

David Breeze

sounds like you are getting closser to the finish product and the investment in expoxy molds will pay for it self 10 times over as worping from old molds totaly disapers and they last way longer than resin molds and less prone to chipping when pulling parts I will get back to you on the front dam soon as I can modifie it my self if need be

VISCERAL (patnap71@gmail.com) MSG #216, 04-10-2005 06:50 PM
      bump


shawnkfl (kmn9312@knology.net) MSG #217, 04-10-2005 08:55 PM
      that's it. as of today i'm starting to squirrel away some cash for this body. i want this soooooooo badly...

THE BEAST (jgomez@ircc.cc.fl.us) MSG #218, 04-11-2005 02:00 PM
      Any Updates?


Please!

JG.

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #219, 04-11-2005 06:14 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by shawnkfl:
that's it. as of today i'm starting to squirrel away some cash for this body. i want this soooooooo badly...

Me Too, I'll send pics just as soon as it's done.

Seriously though, just as soon as we work out any kinks we might find, we'll have some to ship out. This is a very easy kit to assemble and looks great, my problem is I want mine to be a little different, thus the delay. But we're working on it, I promise.



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #220, 04-12-2005 11:03 AM
     

Well, here's where we are with the wheel flares & airdam. This shows a flare after recieving one mist coat & five wet coats of Duratec. The Duratec is lightly sanded 2-4 hours after spraying, with 80 grit paper on a sanding block. This opens the coat to complete overnight curing. The next day you continue to sand with 80 grit & 150 grit, using a block or spline. What you are doing is flattening the sandable filler/primer to expose low areas & pinholes. Those areas will remain a darker grey, and high areas become a lighter grey.

Here's the airdam after sanding. Now you use a finer filler similar to Bondo, but suitable for pinhole or spot filling. I like the Evercoat Metalfil because it's more of a liquid and can be mixed with a bit of micro-ballons if you want to make it heavier. Anyhow, you slightly overfill the voids and sand them down after 30 minutes, which is what you see here.

It's important to note that all materials so far are poly based. This means they have to be catalyzed, and will gel quickly, like 20 minutes or less. This can be exciting when you are using a spraygun, to say the least. Believe me, when a batch of Duratec gells inside you spraygun, it's the dickens to clean out.

Here's the Duratec and the best gun I've found so far for this type of spraying. This is a cheap, gravity feed, conventional spraygun with a 2mm tip. This allows uniform spraying of unthinned material. Any smaller tip will not work well. I've tried about every type of gun out there, and for this aplication, this works very well. The Duratec is also used as a gelcoat substitute when we do a layup in one of the molds. For this application I thin with @ 10% hot laquer thinner and use a HVLP gravity feed gun with a 2mm tip.

Next up is applying another 3 wet coats of Duratec and wet sanding thru 500 grit, followed by machine polishing and buffing thru 1500 grit. Thgsi should yield an incredibly smooth, reflective surface, suitable for mold production. Hopefully the mold layups will commence this weekend.

David breeze



blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #221, 04-14-2005 09:31 PM
      Anyone going to The Fiero Factory Swap Meet? We're taking the orginal Pantero if anyone has an interest.



1987bluegt (albschroer@aol.com) MSG #222, 04-15-2005 12:20 AM
      hey if you start selling this as a kit howw much



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #223, 04-15-2005 06:15 AM
      So far I'm sticking with what I said earlier:

>>
I'm trying to keep prices cut to the bone, as compared to the Kitcar market. I've setteled on a price of $4,000 for the first 6 body kits. After that, I'll review things and see if I'm in the poorhouse or not. I'm not doing this to become rich & famous, but I do have to cover my costs.

The $4,000 will include the front clip, rear clip, 2 door skins, front hood skin, front hood liner, 2 headlight door skins, and 4 bumpers. The instructions will detail how to fabricate the simple steel reinforcement and mounting brackets, as required. Or for an additional $400 these can be provided already made up and fiberglassed in where appropriate.

The molds are not made yet for the wheel flares, but the materials have been ordered. I plan to offer two different styles of front air dam (your choice) and 4 wheel flares for $650, with the first 6 body kits. This will be open for review as well at that point. Right now, the mold is not ready for the second style airdam, so that's clear.
<<

Until Carlisle 2006, the only advertising will be here on Pennock's, a showoing at Ed Park's Swapmeet, and a showing at the CFOG-i Osage Beach meet. After Carlsile, things may change. If you seriously want a kit now, email me and I will work with you.

I'd really like to encourage folks to support those who support us, such as Cliff, Ed Park's, and the CFOG-i folks. To say the least, fuel prices have put a strangle hold on our activities. And they can have the same effect on our supporter's businesses. Simple things like showing up at Ed's Swapmeet or the sumer CFOG-i meet, meeting the Fiero folks, and doing business with all those involved....can mean all the difference.

David Breeze

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #224, 04-15-2005 07:36 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:


I'd really like to encourage folks to support those who support us, such as Cliff, Ed Park's, and the CFOG-i folks. To say the least, fuel prices have put a strangle hold on our activities. And they can have the same effect on our supporter's businesses. Simple things like showing up at Ed's Swapmeet or the sumer CFOG-i meet, meeting the Fiero folks, and doing business with all those involved....can mean all the difference.

David Breeze

Very well said and agreed to. Some things are hard to put a price on, having folks like Ed Parks and his crew at Fiero Factory is Priceless.



bubbajoexxx (bubbajoexx@sympatico.ca) MSG #225, 04-16-2005 03:49 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:

So far I'm sticking with what I said earlier:

>>
I'm trying to keep prices cut to the bone, as compared to the Kitcar market. I've setteled on a price of $4,000 for the first 6 body kits. After that, I'll review things and see if I'm in the poorhouse or not. I'm not doing this to become rich & famous, but I do have to cover my costs.

The $4,000 will include the front clip, rear clip, 2 door skins, front hood skin, front hood liner, 2 headlight door skins, and 4 bumpers. The instructions will detail how to fabricate the simple steel reinforcement and mounting brackets, as required. Or for an additional $400 these can be provided already made up and fiberglassed in where appropriate.

The molds are not made yet for the wheel flares, but the materials have been ordered. I plan to offer two different styles of front air dam (your choice) and 4 wheel flares for $650, with the first 6 body kits. This will be open for review as well at that point. Right now, the mold is not ready for the second style airdam, so that's clear.
<<

Until Carlisle 2006, the only advertising will be here on Pennock's, a showoing at Ed Park's Swapmeet, and a showing at the CFOG-i Osage Beach meet. After Carlsile, things may change. If you seriously want a kit now, email me and I will work with you.

I'd really like to encourage folks to support those who support us, such as Cliff, Ed Park's, and the CFOG-i folks. To say the least, fuel prices have put a strangle hold on our activities. And they can have the same effect on our supporter's businesses. Simple things like showing up at Ed's Swapmeet or the sumer CFOG-i meet, meeting the Fiero folks, and doing business with all those involved....can mean all the difference.

David Breeze

your gas prices are alot cheeper than what I pay $4.05 cents a gallon here in Canada on a good day on a bad day $4.15 per Gallon so you dont have too much to complain about

[This message has been edited by bubbajoexxx (edited 04-16-2005).]

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #226, 04-16-2005 11:24 PM
      >>you dont have too much to complain about<<

Isn't that the truth ! We had a German girl with us last year as a Foreign exchange student. She recently emailed me that they were paying for a litre of gas what we pay for a gallon.

I used to think that when the revolution came that the lawyers would be the first ones up against the wall, but maybe it will be the fuel barons instead :>

David Breeze

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #227, 04-17-2005 03:47 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by bubbajoexxx:


your gas prices are alot cheeper than what I pay $4.05 cents a gallon here in Canada on a good day on a bad day $4.15 per Gallon so you dont have too much to complain about

Bubba,
I hate to think what I'm gonna have to give up to drive at those prices, but it's all relative, if you're used to paying a buck a gallon for gas or milk and the price doubles, it's gonna hurt regardless of other issues. Back to the Pantero issues.

Dave and I spent an interesting day trying to figure out how to get a Pantero and a Fiero onto my trailer the other day, the additional length of the Pantero body makes it impossible to fit the two cars on my trailer. Oh well, I guess I'm going to have to get a longer trailer. I can and have transported two Fieros on my gooseneck, but that isn't going to happen with the Pantero re-bodied car. The additional length added to the nose and tail simply won't allow two cars on the trailer without modifying the trailer.




blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #228, 04-22-2005 10:06 PM
      Dave,
I'm thinking it's time to release some more pics.



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #229, 04-28-2005 09:16 AM
      Well, while waiting on the backordered epoxy surface coat, the wheelwell flares and airdam have recieved two more coats of Duratec, and are being wet sanded and polished.

We are taking the yellow Pantera to Ed Park's Swapmeet and hope to see many of you all there. Being as Ed's is sort of a 4.9 haven, I thought I'd show you some of the particulars of the Allante/4.9 hybrid. The '88 choptop I'm building will have this motor and the flares & airdam, and hopefully be shown in some state of completion at the CFOG-i meet at Osage Beach this summer.

First, from the 4.9, the valve covers, rocker bridges, pushrods, and intake manifold are removed...in that order.

It's important to keep the pushrods & manifold bolts organized:

From the Allante, the upper intake manifold is removed:

Then the valve covers and fuel rail can be removed:

Now the rocker bridges can be carefully removed:

Once they are off, the pushrods are taken out and the lower intake manifold can be removed:

The above picture is of the underside of the lower intake manifold. You can see how cleanly the airflow is. But the critical thing here for the Allante hybrid swap is the shape of the water coolant pasages in the lower manifold and the heads. Two different shapes were made, and they must match.

Here is a (blurry) closeup of the coolant passage in the head:

If everything matches, mating surfaces are cleaned up and the parts are reassembled.

See you at the Swapmeet.

David Breeze

Jake_Dragon MSG #230, 06-07-2005 04:51 PM
      There was a 74 Pantera in the parking lot, I was making a fuss about it and everyone was like what is the big deal. I was at lunch so I went out and sit on a bench and sure enough the guy that owned it came out. I told him I was hoping he would come out before my lunch was over so I could tell him what a sharp car he had.
Looked just like this one http://www.panteracars.com/lv01Dscn0953.jpg
Oh yea bump


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #231, 06-07-2005 08:37 PM
      I'm not a Ford man, but this was/is one cool car. BTW, the fender flares molds are almost completed and quite frankly I'm hoping this is about to come together.



355Fiero MSG #232, 07-02-2005 08:57 PM
      Any updates on the air dam and wheel flares for the Pantero David?

Almost done my 355 kit and will be looking for another one to start up this winter...

Have fun
Don


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #233, 07-02-2005 10:37 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by 355Fiero:
Any updates on the air dam and wheel flares for the Pantero David?
Almost done my 355 kit and will be looking for another one to start up this winter...
Have fun
Don

Don,
Dave is off in Texas on another exciting adventure so I'll try to answer your question. Actually, the front air dam and the rear fender flare molds are done waiting to be polished and put into production, the rear fender flares still need a couple more layers of glass and a structural base/legs and they will be ready to join the other molds. We hope to be able to bring an entire kit with the plug (Pantero) to Osage beach for display purposes. Hope those that see it will like it.



355Fiero MSG #234, 07-03-2005 01:15 AM
      Thanksfor the update Ron;

I have been talking to David on and off for a while now about his Pantera kit and I have been waiting to see how the flares turn out. I was wondering how it would look with a 2" chop out of the roof like Archie does? I remember him saying he had a lowered top Fiero he was going to put a Pantero on. I would also look into putting a longitudinal V6 or V8 as well and make the body fit up to it on the Pantero as that would finish it off beautifully. Longer wheel base closer to the original and a good solid Audi trans would be the topper.

I think the only thing I see with the Fieros is that the windows and roof line are just a bit high. All the rest of the car is great for looks overall in my humble opinion. A 2" drop would be ideal I think for a roof line on kits as well as the Fiero itself. I like what a lot of the people on this forum have done with their cars as well. The chop tops Archie puts out are really impressivel. Too bad he is so far away from where I live. A drop in is not an easy thing to do.

I almost want to get another Fiero and play with it as well while I am finishing up my 355 kit.

Thanks again for the update and and I'll keep emailing David and get updates as well.

Cheers
Don


scrabblegod (gene@scrabblegod.com) MSG #235, 07-03-2005 12:30 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by 355Fiero:

I would also look into putting a longitudinal V6 or V8 as well and make the body fit up to it on the Pantero as that would finish it off beautifully. Longer wheel base closer to the original and a good solid Audi trans would be the topper.

I think the only thing I see with the Fieros is that the windows and roof line are just a bit high.

Cheers
Don


I am considering one of the kits, and if I get it, it will be going on a longitudinal V-8.

One thing I know about the roofline has to do with the man who created the first molds. He was to tall to sit comfortably in the Pantera, so he molded a Pantera, then modified it for the increased headroom in a Fiero.
I have never sat in a Pantera, but if a Fiero has more headroom................

I guess I am going to have to stop hanging out at Daves house so he can get the work done quicker!
That aside, I can say after looking at other kit cars and comparing them to this one, I can tell you the work Dave is putting into this going to pay off greatly for those who install the kit. The workmanship is top quality and the finish on the parts is amazing.

I have looked at various kits including a Lambo in the last couple months and my reaction to them all was "There is no way I could ever see myself completing this kit" from the quailty of (or lack of) the fiberglass work to the additional fabrication needed.

Daves kit is a quick assemble and you will not get that stuck in a rut feeling you get with long projects.
I think a couple competent people could assemble the body in two weekends. Maybe even one if they paid the extra 400.00 to have the extras done by Dave

Gene


355Fiero MSG #236, 07-05-2005 12:53 AM
      That would be great as I have had a 355 replica I have been building for over 4 years now. There is A LOT of custom fabrication done on the car though.

I have also had to cut and adjust every panel on my current kit to get everything to line up properly. It looks really good now but it was a lot or work getting there. I would really like to see an easy build for a change as I haven't seen one yet.

I would probably modify enough on it to make it a hard build anyway. Not that bright I guess.....

Thanks for the info.
Don


RCR (rcrabine@comcast.net) MSG #237, 07-06-2005 12:52 PM
     
 
quote
I would probably modify enough on it to make it a hard build anyway. Not that bright I guess.....

I've followed enuf of your build to know you're pretty sharp. You just like to do things the "hard" way and it's going to pay off with a fantastic build.

later,
Bob

PS I need more Pantera pics....

PPS Is there anywhere in this post that mentions price? Just curious and too lazy to go back and read.

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #238, 07-06-2005 07:01 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by RCR:
PS I need more Pantera pics....
PPS Is there anywhere in this post that mentions price? Just curious and too lazy to go back and read.

Pics will follow as progress allows, building the molds for the fender flares was a major undertaking for us. I'm sure when Dave gets back from his Texas Adventure, we'll get back on the project and might even post some pics.

Price??
Yes, I believe Dave does mention price on page one, two or it might be three.



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #239, 07-06-2005 07:04 PM
      Blackrams, we were actually in Huntsville, Ala., taking our daughter to Space Camp. Texas trip is later this month, when #1 son graduates from training at Fort Sam Houston. We stopped in at Ed's place, but it was the weekend and nobody was home. We'll try again tomorrow.

Scrabblegod, thanks for the kind words. Like you, it seems I've seen everything imaginable put out there as a "kit". My personal goal here is to produce a quality product that the builder can easily complete. I think we're there.

355Fiero, I echo RCR's comments reguarding your abilities, that's one fine build you've been working on. Seems like some people just like to build, eh? And I agree with your evaluation of the roofline. The choptop Pantera I'm building as a company showcar has the conventional 3 1/2" Fiero chop done on it. Blackrams & I have played around putting body clips onto the chopped chassis, and it is truely a remarkable look. Can't wait till I can show it to you guys. Serious work begins on this car after Osage Beach. BTW, I'll support your strech effort as much as I can, maybe something like sending a second junk skin along with the kit, so you can project around with the best way to accomplish the stretch, before modifying your good clip. And btw, a chop is actually very straightforward to do.

RCR, about mid way thru this page the prices are mentioned. I'll stand by thes at least untill Carlisle '06. For the Osage Beach show we are preparing a front & rear clip with the new wheel flares and air dam. I'll post a few pics within a couple of weeks as things progress. We plan to show the yellow prototype car and a few body clips or parts at this show.

The wheel flare and air dam molds project has gone well. We made some nice thick master molds using epoxy based materials. Everything came out incredably thick, stout, and a super shiney mold surface. The molds get polished this weekend, and then the first new parts will be laid up. I went to great lengths to make thes plugs fit the body precisely, and the details transferred thru to the creation of the molds. This translates into a part that the builder is able to easily fit and attach.

And I can't resist the following: if you want to do something or create something, go do it. Don't think for one minute that it can't be done. Here is my daughter, survivor of two very major heart surgeries and a special needs child, all of her life. She's flying the Bellanca down to Huntsville. All I did was make it take off, and then make it land.

David Breeze



scrabblegod (gene@scrabblegod.com) MSG #240, 07-07-2005 12:39 AM
      Tell her she looks a whole lot better flying it than I do with my big butt wedged in there.

Gene

[This message has been edited by scrabblegod (edited 07-07-2005).]

355Fiero MSG #241, 07-08-2005 01:09 AM
      I echo Scrabblegod's sentiments. That is great to get your family out on trips together. We all get so busy sometimes we forget the important things in life that are under our own roofs. My eldest daughter dropped by tonight to say hi and see what was up and only stayed for about a 1/2 hour or so and then was gone again to her place. I am feeling a bit of an empty nest syndrome tonight.....

Thanks for the compliments guys. I have really enjoyed learning how to build a lot of this stuff as I go. I think the next build will be that much faster as I can just do the better way the first time rather than 4 prototypes and 3 mistakes before getting it right. Lots of spare metal and many grinding disks have gone through my garage these past few years.

And yes, I love building stuff. I have two more ideas banging around in my head for after the Pantera build. Ferrari 288 GTO and a Ferrari 250 GTO or maybe just a really worked over Fiero like some of the others have done on this forum. Maybe a complete scratch build frame up. Who knows what the next few years brings.

I think we need to look at the wider suspension build for your kits with the flares David. The wider stance will make a world of difference.

I tried doing some Photoshop on the roof of one of your pics of your car to see how it would look with a couple inches taken off and I think iit really makes all the difference.

With this chop and the flares, this would be one very nice car to put together and very hard to tell it apart from the original.

Enjoy your trip and keep plugging away at it.

Cheers
Don


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #242, 07-09-2005 06:53 PM
      Bumped for my own reading enjoyment. Sorry Dave, I thought you had taken off to Texas already, guess I wasn't listening (again).



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #243, 07-11-2005 06:11 AM
      Don,
Here's some food for thought, reguarding a stretch. I'm sure you've given it more thought than I, so far. But I ran across this model, and it helped to visualize a few dimensions.

This is pretty much a dead ringer for the flares & front air dam we've been building up the past 6 months. Sure wish I'd had this model during the sculpting phase.

When you look at the side profile, it looks like the major dimensional difference is the distance between the aft door-edge and the gill/scoop location. Or maybe you'd say between the door-edge and the fore edge of the rear wheel well.

So if you wanted to stretch the chassis to have a longitudinal drivetrain or to arrive at more exact porportional dimensions, think along the lines of making a cut as shown below:

This would allow the entire rear clip to move back, including the top portion where the rear clip matches up to the Fiero roofline. Turns out that this is also a good thing, because it appears that the Pantera roof is somewhat longer, front to back, than the Fiero. So you'd just add in the same amount of roof skin that you had added in for your chassis stretch. No need to actually enlarge the actual cab or roof structures, you are just adding the roof skin. Now the roof and what Fiero people call the sail area is more in porportion as well.

Anyhow, food for thought.

David Breeze



355Fiero MSG #244, 07-12-2005 07:27 PM
      Wow!!!

Yepp, that was about what I was thinking for the stretching part. Good catch on the roof lines as well. Cut the rear of the Fiero off at the Firewall and put in a custom tube chassis somthing like Bubbajoexx as been doing to his Fiero.

This does look like the right place to cut but the last thing is to also lose 2" off the roof of the Fiero as that will put it right about the same height as the Pantera.

With the extra length, about 5" I think, there should be enough room to shoe horn a small block in it attached to an Audi trans with the front accessories moved to the sides with one of those kits that reduces front exposure on the V8's.

More food for thought David. Now, I just need to get out into the garage and finish putting my current one together so I can clean out that side and start the next one........

Cheers
Don


355Fiero MSG #245, 07-12-2005 07:29 PM
      David;

Can you get a full side shot of your Pantero and either email it directly to me or post here please? I want to do some Photoshopping to see what I need to do.....

Need a direct at same height side shot though please. Bending over so that the camera is about lower mid level of the side window and far enough back to just get the full car in the picture.

Thanks
Don


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #246, 07-13-2005 04:44 AM
      Bump

THE BEAST (jgomez@ircc.cc.fl.us) MSG #247, 08-01-2005 05:15 PM
      Update?

JG

scrabblegod (gene@scrabblegod.com) MSG #248, 08-01-2005 10:28 PM
      I know Dave is working hard to get parts ready and loaded for this weekends Fiero show in Osage Beach. Probably will not hear much from him till he gets back.

I do know he finished the molds for the flairs and has laid up at least one set so he can have them at the show.

Gene

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #249, 08-01-2005 10:34 PM
      Sorry for the lack of updates. Blackrams and I laid up the first set of wheel flares and the front air dam this weekend. We're letting them cure until thursday morning, when we will pop them out of the molds, and trim the flashing from the edges. We now plan to bring them to the CFOGi meet on friday. I'll try to get a quick photo posted by mid day thursday.

We're also planning to bring the rear body clip which we used as the plug for the rear wheel flares. That way folks can see what a dramatic difference these make in the appearance. We might be able to post pics from the show. If not, Sunday evening for sure.

Once we return from the CFOGi show, all efforts will be focused on completing the choptop Pantero I'm building, and Blackram's roadster Pantero. We hope to have both cars completed for the Carslile kitcar show. We've agreed to continue posting progress on these two cars here, so you will get to see how assembly of the body goes.

David Breeze

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #250, 08-05-2005 05:58 AM
     

The new molds and the first set of flares & airdam produced from them.

Blackrams takes a break from loading the Pantero for the Osage Beach trip. He's holding up a rear flare, and thats the air dam in front. The parts are untrimmed, just as came out of the molds.

We laid the parts up with a sanding primer gelcoat, and 7 ounces of fiberglass mat, hand laid in four layers. Parts are super. Check 'em out at Osage Beach.

David Breeze

CaliforniaSpeeder9 (midengine4life@gmail.com) MSG #251, 08-05-2005 06:35 AM
      Wow those all look brilliant. I cant wait to see it all put together



355Fiero MSG #252, 08-08-2005 02:04 AM
      Beautiful Job David and Ron; Really nice looking flares and front airdam. I think those will will do an awesome job setting off the car. Well Done.

I am looking forward to seeing your chop top build as well.

Hope you enjoyed Osego Beach this past weekend.

Don

[This message has been edited by 355Fiero (edited 08-08-2005).]

AusFiero (jim@jadeweb.com.au) MSG #253, 08-08-2005 08:29 AM
      Nice stuff. Keep up the good work.


Lambo nut MSG #254, 08-08-2005 11:53 AM
      For what it is worth, I talked to both David and Ron at the Osage show, and they are both great guys to talk to. The parts are even better in person. Very good quality, fit and finish, and nice weight to them. These are not cheapo parts! Got me to thinking along the lines of a Pantara project too.

Kevin

shawnkfl (kmn9312@knology.net) MSG #255, 08-17-2005 10:34 PM
      that rebody is so going on my fiero!!

...that is, when it's ready for sale and i have my cash saved up. but it IS the only rebody for me.

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #256, 08-18-2005 08:09 PM
      Thanks for the kind words, there has been a tremendous amount of work just getting to this point. Dave and I are both working on other things while we try earning a living. We hope to have his chop top and my roadster done for the Carlise, PA show. We'll see.



Cheever3000 MSG #257, 08-18-2005 08:25 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by blackrams:

... a tremendous amount of work just getting to this point. ...

A Fiero owner's work is never done.



datacop (datacop@gmail.com) MSG #258, 09-04-2005 08:36 AM
      Got another really good look at the Pantero this weekend at Chester's house warming...

The more I look at it, the more I really like it.

The view from the front and the rear are just dripping with "sexy"! I can't wait to see Blackrams' wide body roadster assembled. That is going to be a seriously wild ride!

355Fiero MSG #259, 09-12-2005 01:18 AM
      Any updates on the progress of blackram's wide body or your chopped Pantero David?

I am almost to the point of paint on my kit so I should be looking for a new project by mid winter. A little later than planned but the back yard got in the way of working on the car.

I think taking 1 or 2" out of the top of the Pantero would really highlight the look a huge amount. The glass and roof just look a bit too high for the rest of the car. I am really interested to see what the chop top version look like.

Cheers
Don


scrabblegod (gene@scrabblegod.com) MSG #260, 09-12-2005 09:37 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by 355Fiero:

Any updates on the progress of blackram's wide body or your chopped Pantero David?

Cheers
Don


Rons widebody is just waiting for the slow slow slow mechanic to get the engine back in. If they can get him off his butt, you may see some body panels installed soon.

Gene



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #261, 09-12-2005 10:59 PM
      Hey Don,
Don't let Scrabblegod fool you. He is and excellent mechanic and assembler, and an absolute genius when it come to wiring issues. To say nothing about the fact that he's also a walking-talking version of the Hollander Interchange. When he's done with Ron's drivetrain, Ron has a few minor issues to deal with such as installing auto-everything doors. Then we will take a free hand at creating the roadster version. I sent Ron some pics of the latest Ferrari roadster. I was quite inspired by the similarity of the two. That should be a fun project. Ron has also picked up some side scoops that he wants to try and incorporate into the bodywork. Similar to the Type 5 scoops, but not exactly that kind.

I think your right, a 2" choptop might be just the thing for the Pantera. I also think your right about the wider front end mentioned in earlier posts.

Having returned from the CFOG-i Osage Beach show, I too have cleared up the honey-dews, cleaned up the shop a bit, and finally got a weekend in on the Choptop Pantera. I'd like to use this thread to detail the build of that car. And since there have recently been a couple of "how to" choptop threads, I thought that might be a good place to start.

Bear in mind, the donor car for the Choptop Pantera was acquired several years ago for $400. It was an '88 formula "with a rod knock". I never saw it run, or even turn over. I started the choptop process several months before the Pantera project came into existance, but documented most of the critical steps along the way. So if some of the "how to chop" pics are dated, you'll understand.

By now, most of the chop is completed, and the bodywork will be able to start. Various other parts of the recipe have been accumulated and assembled, such as the Corvette rotors & adapters for the brakes, new calipers & stainless brake lines, new radiator, rebuilt ac compressor, new alternator, Ed Park's 4.9 wiring harness, rebuilt 4t60-e transmission, 4.9 crate motor, Allante intake, full poly, etc.. The entire drivetrain gets disassembled one more time, and everything gets sandblasted and either powder coated or por-15'd.

But this is where the choptop really started:
This is the '88 formula, up on homemade ramps. Great for under-car work like oil changes.

So the first thing to come out was the fuel tank. Best to clean it out and replace the fuel pump now.

At this stage, other goodies were removed like the coolant tubes and ac lines, and most of the interior was removed. I sat in the car with the seat in my favorite position and measured head clearance, with the stock headliner in place. If your doing a chop, do this, and write down your measurement.

Anyhow, the car was then rolled into the shop, and the cradle removed, along with most of the body panels. I left the roof panel and door skins on. Then I went to great lengths to level the chassis, front to back and side to side. The front end was setting on the wheels & tires, the rear end had the empty cradle reinstalled and was setting up on 4x4 cribbing, and I had a set of jackstands set up about in the middle.

After the chassis was leveled, permanent reference points were established.

Pip is being slow, so I'll continue tomorrow.

David Breeze




opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #262, 09-13-2005 06:18 AM
      The idea of reference points was to be able to accurately locate a part of the car, say the roof for instance, then to be able to remove it....and later to be able to replace it exactly where it came from, in relation to everything else.

So, about 4 eyehooks were set in the ceiling to hang plumb bobs from. The point where a plumb bob touched the roof was etched onto the roof.

The above pic also shows jig blocks that were hotglued to the roof for a carpenters level to set on. This establishes front-to-rear level of the roof section. A similar set of jig blocks set the side to side level.

The rear window glass was removed and a jig board installed. This board stays with the roof section when it is cut loose from the rest of the chassis.

The above pic shows the jig board. It is screwed into the top roof section, and rests on the chassis "shelf" along it's bottom edge. The bubble level is hotglued on and sets level & square in two dimensions. As additional point locating references, the metal angle tabs on either side of the board are clamped onto the chassis.

So now we are set to start chopping the chassis. Working space is created by removing the engine, the chassis is leveled and setting rock steady, and we can take parts off the chassis and accurately put them back in place.

BTW, I'm sure there are many ways to execute a chop. I've never had the chance to examine anyone elses work, or ever seen pics of how they did it. I just tried to think every step thru before doing it, and this is how it was done.

More to come.



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #263, 09-14-2005 05:46 AM
     

Before any cuts were made, the cabin was braced against folding in upon itself. These brackets were fabricated and bolted to the strut towers. The pipes are thick walled boiler pipe, and are firmly in place up against the front firewall. Note that the way the pipes run and the jig board is made allows total access to cutting & welding operations.

Considerable time was spent looking at how the windshield and it's support structures would move, when laid back. I decided where the pivot point would be, based on where the cuts would be. Given this, it looked like the bottom edge of the windshield would raise up as the windshield laid back. So, I removed the black windshield adhesive all along the bottom edge, and up to and just past the calculated pivot point.

BTW, the windshield of the donor was cracked when I got it, so it will be replaced. However, it was left in during the entire chop process since it greatly aids in keeping the chassis square, once a few cuts have been made.

And this was the first cut. All of the interior and door seal and supporting parts had been removed by now. I used a Sawzall with a 6" and a 10" blade.

More to come.



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #264, 09-15-2005 06:25 AM
      This first cut was eventually opened a bit wider. This cut allows the windshield to lay back & down. Cut was widened using a die grinder cutoff wheel. As in most Fiero structures, the cut is really thru two metal panels, one outside and one inside.

And this was the second cut, where the roof top will actually pivot and rise up, as the windshield lays back.

The third cut is really just an extension of the second cut. It follows a recessed channel in the underside of the roof and connects the two "second cuts". The roof metal is two layers thick, just behind the windshield. This cut is made with the die grinder cut off wheel. A plasma torch would sure be nice, but hey.

And a fourth cut was made. I had planned this car to have no sun roof opening, so I felt free to make this cut here. To me, for this project, it was the right place to do it. Obviously, if you wanted to keep your sun roof, you'd make this cut elsewhere.

What happens is the roof top also moves to the rear, as the windshield is laid back. So, if you want to keep the back window in its stock location, you will have to shorten the roof top a certian amount. Seems like it was about 1" to 1 1/2" overlap, after this cut was made and the widnshield was laid back. It looks like there is room to make this cut either in front of or behind the sun roof opening, but I havent done that. You need to consider attach points of the skins, etc..


As you can see, I used a rope to support the front half of the roof top, after this cut was made. The rear half is still quite sturdy and requires no support yet. But here on the front half, you will need to provide a support that will hold everything steadily, and it should also allow you to move the front half back and down, as you mate things back together, later on.

I



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #265, 09-16-2005 06:28 AM
      Next, I went to the aft half of the cab, what amounts to the rollover structure. The roof section is two layers of metal thick, as are the side panels. In addition, the side panels have a corragated, semi-tubular member added inside for strength. And the inside corner of the roof section has a third layer of metal.

All of this can make cutting and bending and welding back together become complicated. Fierst thing I did was drill out the 42+ spotwelds holding in each of the inside corner pieces and removed them. These are later reinstalled.

That makes the inside look something like this:

Next, the cuts were made to chop off the top of the rollover structure.

It was removed with the jig board and level blocks and reference marks all attached.

That left the side panels, or upright portions of the rollover structure exposed. The top was cut off in a single cut, made just below the driprail.

Then the upper 4" of the exposed uprights was cut off.

At this point, a trapeeze was hung to support the front section of the roof and the windshield. Since those cuts were made, it is very esy to move this section around, and support is important. The trapeeze allows for position adjustments, and doesn't get in the way of other work.



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #266, 09-17-2005 07:19 AM
      This closeup shows where the chop was made. plenty of structure was left on the roof section for reattaching. But the chop was made as high as posable. And you can see the tape on the top of the upright, that's where the bottom of the chopped section was.

This shows the three cuts made to the outside of the upright. The chop cut is on top, and the two lower cuts are to allow inward bending. You might be able to just grab hold of the uprights and bend them in, they don't go too far inwards. But making these slicing cuts in the outer layers allows very precise inward bending.

So now the main thing is to get the pieces back together. From the measurement I had taken earlier of head clearance, I determined how much I wanted the roof to drop. I had cut about that much out of the uprights, but they are on a slight angle, so 4" off the sides doesn't really mean 4" of lowering. Close though.

So I went thru a process of cutting down the height of the jig board which is still attached to the roof section. First, I cut 3.5" off the bottom of the board and tried mouting the roof. But the sides still had room to come lower. I put the seat back in and double checked. Then I cut another 1/2" off the jig board, and things started looking just right.

Considerable time was spent getting the top leveled, and the windshield laid back square. Now's when it pays to have taken several reference point measurements. I wanted the door window frame to match, and the back window to remain in it's stock location. Finally a few tack welds were made, the seat put back in, and all levels and reference points checked again.

All of the numerous cuts or slices were examined for the best way to weld them back together. I cleaned them up for welding and cut patches, or cupons, mostly of 16 gauge steel. I wanted to cover each cut with an oversized patch. In some instances I used 1/8" steel for the patch.

After the outside was patched, I cut a big closeout panel of 16 gauge. Here it is shown half way installed. There is still a whole second half to go in.

The cuts made under the top of the windshield, and the cuts to the sunroof rail were reinforced with 1/8" steel on the inside, and 16 gauge on the outside.

I'll have to take a few more pics to show this.

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #267, 09-17-2005 07:54 PM
     

This is the section removed from the uprights. It now measures 3.6" , the cut lines I laid out were 3.75" apart.

This is the 16 gauge steel patch welded onto the top of the #2 cut. Sorry for the pic quality. The 16 gauge steel shapes easily to follow contours. And it measures as thick as or actually thicker than most of the sheet metal of the Fiero chassis. I've been using .030 wire and argon/co2 gas and found in most instances you can weld right on with it. If you happen to have gotten to agressive with the grinder removing paint or scale, the base metal may thin a bit. In those cases, .025 wire does nicely.

And this is another set of 16 gauge patches, over the sunroof cut. With most of the oversized patches, you can weld the patch on from one side, and the weld the edges of the actual cut from the other side.

This is the underside of the #2 cut. Here I used several patches made of 1/8" steel, from an abundance of caution. The big hole is to access the roof skin bolt, and the small hole is a pilot to locate the center of the sunshade cutout. Also, you can see the 1/8" strap steel welded into the channel where the cross-cab cut is which connects the #2 cuts. The 1/8" steel welds very easily onto the Fiero chassis. I use a weaving side stitch sort of welding pattern, maintaining penetration and the puddle on the 1/8" side, and fanning into the chassis side. Works well. Where necessary, the heavier beads can be smoothed out with a 4" grinder.

And this is the same thing going on with the underside of the sunroof cut.



blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #268, 09-17-2005 07:54 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by scrabblegod:
Rons widebody is just waiting for the slow slow slow mechanic to get the engine back in. If they can get him off his butt, you may see some body panels installed soon.
Gene

What can I say?



Custom2M4 (custom2m4@hotmail.com) MSG #269, 09-18-2005 12:03 AM
      Who needs the front end... Just the rear clip looks sexy on a fiero.. haha Why not have a hybird. How much do you think the whole kit is going to cost the consumer? I don't know if its been asked even though I am sure it has. Just a tad curious.... As I do happen to love pantera's...



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #270, 09-18-2005 07:42 AM
      Custom2m4,
That works for me. One of the earlier pics posted shows how well the rear clip fits right up to a Notchy roof & doors & side rails.

To me, the whole Pantera body, front & back, just begs for customization. And since it's made from stout fiberglass stock, it's easy to do those mods.

The current price for a full kit has been explained a couple of times earlier in this thread. Those prices will be good untill Carslile Kitcar 2006, when the prices may change or become turnkey only.

Anyone seriously wanting a front or rear clip can certianly have one for a reasonable price.

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #271, 09-18-2005 04:55 PM
     

This is the backside of that section taken out of the uprights. You can see the W or UU shaped channels that run top to bottom thru the uprights. The hole in the right hand channel is where the shoulder strap bolts in.

This shows how 1/8" patches are used to rebuild the channels. And I used a piece of 1/4" with a nut tacked to the outside to replace the now removed seatbelt hole. Look closely and you can see the nut, just before it gets totally closed in.

The above also shows part of an L shaped 16 gauge patch which covers an inside cut on the upright, and laps onto the backwindow shelf for additional bracing.

It takes lots of clamps to hold the inner panel in while you weld it back. Strips of 16 gauge metal about 1" wide are inserted all along the edge, where the spotwelds were drilled out. The first pic above shows a strip, and a cardboard pattern used to fit a corner.

These strips inserted around the edge let you use the holes from the spotwelds as places to rosette weld the panel back in place. And in a few places along the outside edges, it gives you more "meat" to weld.

Once the bulk of the welding back is done, I tacked a few L brackets around the windshield perimeter, to locate the new windshield.

With these in place, I made an ink mark on each where the glass crosses. On the top & two sides, the glass will lay flush, but it's position has changed along the bottom. Glass guy should have no problems.

Then the windshield was removed. If you have to pull a windshield, use one of these. Best $20 I ever spent.

With the windshield out, the inside of the #1 cuts will easily be patched. Good chance to clean up the ol' VIN # plate too :>




355Fiero MSG #272, 09-30-2005 03:44 PM
      So David and Ron;

How is the progress on the wide body and chopped versions of the Pantero coming along?

Cheers
Don


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #273, 10-01-2005 06:01 AM
      Hey Don,
Well, the welding work dealing with the choptop is finished. Time to clean up and chassis paint a substancial part of the chassis.

I found tht prices for new front windshields, installed at my shop, run between $150 and $350 . So, I've invested some time into finding out what the differences are. Since I'm neck deep in Homecoming preparation activities at the University, I've scheduled the new windshield for the second week of October.

I've been working on the door windows.....the bane of all choptops. If you look closely at
http://wildpantera.com/images/lagt4-02.jpg you may get an idea of what I'm building. I decided to try window frames, built into the door.

That's the way the Pantera door glass is contained, so what the heck? I cut & fit all the parts for the driver's door last weekend, and after Blackram's BBQ today, I'll be putting the door together tomorrow.

Don't know if anybody's interested, but the first step in doing this choptop was to lower the seat rails & perches. You gain almost a full inch in headroom by doing this, making a chop more feasable for those of us in the "tall guy" category.

David Breeze

[This message has been edited by opm2000 (edited 10-01-2005).]

exoticse (exoticse@netzero.com) MSG #274, 10-01-2005 07:54 AM
     

I don't know about the rest of you guys but i am dying to see pictures of these cars coming tobether with the chop and the body panels on !!

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #275, 10-17-2005 06:27 AM
      Just a very quick update:

Driver's side window frame installed. White thing is a plastic panel used during the fabrication. Entire frame is bolted in for easy removal, and will remain that way during the quest for glass or plexiglass. Bolt in bracing was made with final welding-in in mind. It is suprizingly stout as it is.

Rolled down to dew strip level...and it can go further. Original Fiero door seals were used and the frame fits tightly up against them. The front triangle window was made with a 1/2" inner lip to hold a stationary window pane. Although I did consider installing a typical vent window there, and I think the lip will work with that, if I ever change it.

Frame follows the upper cab contours and fits flush with all trim. Roll-up portion of frame contains typical felt channel which window rides in.

David Breeze

355Fiero MSG #276, 10-21-2005 12:04 AM
      Windows look good David. I think with the lower roof section and window frames, your Pantero is going to be looking very sweet indeed.

Keep it up.

Looks like my project will be in the garage one more winter getting cleaned up and finish detailed ready for paint and final assembly for the Spring.

Cheers
Don


bubbajoexxx (bubbajoexx@sympatico.ca) MSG #277, 11-21-2005 05:45 PM
      update please

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #278, 11-22-2005 12:48 PM
      Things are coming along. I had to make a side trip and fix my son's Eclipse ( I know, I know ). Seems it had an intermittant short somewhere that would just shut the car down at random times. I don't mind telling you that I worked on tracing this down for over a year. Finally, Scrabblegod produced a reliable wiring schematic to study, and we got the beast to run again. Working on this car has really made me appreciate GM products.

So where are we with the Pantera ? The chassis got rolled inside the shop and the 4.9/Allante was test fitted. Everything fit like a glove. While I had it in, I tried several throttle cable ombinations, and I could really use your input, Bubbajoe. The '88 v6 throttle cable has enough travel to fully operate the throttlebody, stop to stop. But the cable housing isn't long enough to suit me. I'm referring to the cable sleeve length, going from the firewall to the mounting point at the end of the cable sleeve. There is a bracket on top of the Allante intake tubes, and the v6 housing will reach to there, but with a heck of a bend & stretch.

So I tried a 4 cyln throttle cable of unknown vintage. It has lots of extra sleeve length to fill the bill. However, it is a bit shy in actual travel of the cable, limiting the full stop to stop travel of the throttlebody. Any idea how to free up some extra travel length? I can hear something hitting and causing the stop, inside the cable housings, but I can't tell what or where.

here is a pic of the housing bracket I'm wanting to use:

Other news: I cut the dogbone bracket and the battery tray out of the engine compartment just to make some elbow room.

Then the engine/cradle was removed and the chassis rolled outside for a good degreasing and pressure washing. Then rolled back inside and leveled up. I got a good start on preping for the chassis paint, using a wire brush, etc anywhere I could reach. I found a product at the Carquest paint specialty shop. It is generic POR-15, just a lot less expensive. Seems the company owner used to work for POR.

Then I started fitting the front clip onto the chassis, with Blackram's help. We've been reverse engineering how to assemble one of these kits, and along the way trying to improve on things like mounting brackets, etc. I'm real happy with what we've come up with for the front. Simple to make from prints, and simple for me to jig and make a set for you, if that's what you want.

And along the way in this front end process, we were able to really nail how to relocate the headlight buckets. All pretty straightforward stuff, and based on chassis reference points.

I think I have redesigned the rear clip mount to be much simpler. The original was simplicity in itself, but I didn't like the big mouting bolts being visible along the bottom edge of the rear clip. I think I have eleminated those and developed another bracket that once again can be duplicated from prints, or easily jigged and fabricated by myself. The rear clip begins December 21st, when I have a couple of weeks off.

We've been working on a few molds for parts Blackrams has come up with for his ride. One of these would be very exciting for Don, or anyone contemplating a stretch. We think this will make a stretch easy, and the looks of it really flow. But that will have to wait for another day :>

After closely looking at Scrabblegod's 4.9 Fiero with Supertrapps, I measured and compared, and decided the Supertrapps would be a perfect fit on the Pantera. They are really too long for a Fiero rear clip, part sticks out and can burn you leg. But the Pantera rear clip is different, and they fit just fine. So I managed to pick up a set for next to nothing. I'll try to get a pic out in the next few days to show you.

David Breeze

[This message has been edited by opm2000 (edited 11-22-2005).]

madcurl (madcurl@fiero-performance.com) MSG #279, 11-22-2005 01:38 PM
      Nice.


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #280, 11-22-2005 05:51 PM
      Building a Pantero is one of the most fun projects I have ever taken on. But it's one hell of a weekend project. If I could only win that darn lottery, I could quit working for someone else and work on this full time. This is going be a very cool ride when completed. But, that's just my opinion.



blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #281, 12-03-2005 07:28 PM
      Bump for Creigh to view.



Custom2M4 (custom2m4@hotmail.com) MSG #282, 12-03-2005 08:16 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by blackrams:
This is going be a very cool ride when completed. But, that's just my opinion.

I second that! Go pantera's!

FierosinKY (mike@body4change.com) MSG #283, 12-04-2005 12:36 AM
      I saw these parts today in person...They are TIGHT!!!!!

We made it back safely. I will keep you updated.

Thanks again Dave!

Mike

VISCERAL (patnap71@gmail.com) MSG #284, 01-08-2006 12:51 AM
      bump

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #285, 01-08-2006 09:24 PM
      Hey Viscereal, thanks for the bump

Here's the state of the Choptop Pantera this morning:

these pics are showing the rear clip mounted and chopped to match the chopped chassis. After altering the height of the rear clip to match the new roof line, foam was added to the cutout areas of the strakes. The foam was contoured and covered with a single layer of 3/4 oz matt cloth.

The plan is to use the 3/4 oz matt as a form or mold, and we will rebuild the rear clip from the inside. After curing 24 hours, the rear clip will be removed from the chassis and flipped on it's back. The foam will be removed, exposing the underside of the 3/4 oz matt. Then the rear clip will be rebuilt using 3 or 4 layers of 2oz matt. During final finishing, the 3/4 oz matt may or may not be sanded away, depends on how it goes.

To get to this point, we had to attach the rear clip. There are three "self locating" points that easily position the rear clip: The outline of the door frame, an edge on the backside of the trunk-box, and the aft edge of the Fiero roof clip. Due to the chop, we were able to use two of these points.

To attach the rear clip, part of the steel tube frame that reinforces it had to be installed:

This frame is made of 1" square tubing and 1/8" plate.

The plates are drilled to enhance bonding, and 4" steel hinges were selected and welded, with the hinge pins just at the bottom edge.



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #286, 01-08-2006 09:44 PM
     
Note that the tubing is bent to follow the contours of the rear clip. While we used 1" tubing here, the prototype used 1/2" tubing. I have a tendency to overbuild. I'll show you what this size change meant later on.

Then the inside of the rear clip was sanded with 80 grit where we wanted to bond in the frame. Two slightly oversized pads of 2oz matt were wetted out and placed where the steel plates go. We wanted to ensure a good squeeze out here.

Then the tubing of the frame was wrapped in two layers of woven BID cloth, to enhance the bonding of the metal to the fiberglass. The still wet frame was laid in place, and attached with two layers of 2oz matt. Only the outer 4" of each end of the frame were not glassed in. Later, additional steel will be bonded in and welded to this frame at these ends, using gusset plates.

Note that even though it's a fairly tight fit, the longer arm of the frame fits neatly across the top of the tail light boxes, and still leaves plenty of room for the opening to be cut for the clamshell rear decklid. The tubing is correctly positioned to become part of the trunklid seal, later on.

The addition of this small amount of framework greatly stiffened up the entire rear clip. After this had cured a couple of days, we were ready to proceed with attaching to the chassis.

more to come.




opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #287, 01-09-2006 06:03 AM
      With the frame bonded in and cured, the rear clip was sectioned. Along the back edge we used the parting line that forms the back edge of the clamshell:

But along the sides, we followed the curving body line that is just below the clamshell parting line:

This allowed us to get the rear clip into position and start checking for clearances:

The rear bumper was removed and a small 3" corner removed from each end:



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #288, 01-09-2006 06:24 AM
     
The other half of the mounting brackets is attached to the front ( or trunk ) side of the rear bumper. Strips of 1/2" square steel tubing were welded on to space the verticle 1/8" steel plate. This spacing places the verticle plate within 1/8" of the backwall of the trunk box. The matching half of the steel hinges is welded to the bottom of the verticle plate.

Now the rear bumper was reattached to the chassis and the rear clip joined to it at the hinge pins. I'll have to get a pic of that, later. But this pic shows the desired alignment of the hinge pin with the back edge of the trunk box. Position it there and the rear clip is at the right height.

With the rear end firmly in place, the door jamb alignment was checked, using a stout paint stirring stick to set minimum clearance between the steel door panel and the rear clip fiberglass:

And the door jambs were temporarily attached using a single 8mm nut & bolt:

So, with the rear clip really firmly in place now, we were ready to trim the removed clamshell for the chop. The roof section of the Fiero rear clip was harvested and attached to the chassis using the 3 stock mounting pads. The clamshell was put in place, and the sides of the strakes was eventually removed:

more to come.



PaulJK MSG #289, 01-10-2006 05:04 AM
      In your spare time, i think you guys need to make some room for some trophys. Man, this is gonna be sweet ....

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #290, 01-14-2006 06:43 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by PaulJK:
In your spare time, i think you guys need to make some room for some trophys. Man, this is gonna be sweet ....

We appreciate the kind words. But I think we'll hold off on that particular task till we have a finished product and see how it is received. I think it's the coolest ride I've ever been involved with but, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. From the comments we've received up to this point, I'm feeling good about our efforts. Between Dave's expertise and my goofer abilities, I think it's coming along nicely. Again, thanks for the kind words.



exoticse (exoticse@netzero.com) MSG #291, 01-14-2006 09:21 PM
     

You guys are kicking some a** !!

Great job.

bobm (rmickla@bellsouth.net) MSG #292, 01-23-2006 12:15 AM
      Well, I did register Dave, thanks for the pics. I was just wondering, if the clamshell option is used what are the plans for the rear side windows? Fuel filler location?

[This message has been edited by bobm (edited 01-23-2006).]

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #293, 01-23-2006 09:44 AM
      Hi Bob, and welcome to Pennock's. There's lots of folks & info on this site to help you with your Fiero.

You bring up an interesting point. With the tilting rear clip, the stock fiero gas cap assembly is left in place, and easily accesed by tilting open the rear clip. The Fiero fuel trap door assembly isn't needed, and the rest of the stock fuel system does quite well.

With a clamshell rear deck, more or less the stock Pantera type, something has to be done to locate a fuel cap. Here's a picture showing the gill location, used on many Panteras:

The devoute replica builder could easily build something like this. I do have molds for the gill, which is the corregated looking skin in the above pic.

The Yellow prototype Pantera ( the Fantera ) was built with a tilting rear clip and internal gas cap, but it did use the corregated gill panels. Being a Fiero type guy, I sort of like to modify things and also like side scoops. So on that car, I removed the gills and added a couple of scoops:

Sorry, it was raining this morning. But here you see a modest sized scoop and the black plexiglass sailpanel treatment, ala' Paul MiCibbins.

There is plenty of room between the chassis and the fiberglass skin to reroute the gas tank lines to anywhere you want. I've sort of been considering a trap door, similar to the Fiero fuel filler door, set into the fender or the strake. I'll get a pic of this area as soon as I cut out the clamshell opening on the choptop. I do plan on adding totally functional scoops on both sides: one to blow directly on an engine oil cooler, and one to blow directly on a transmission cooler.


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #294, 01-23-2006 02:57 PM
      To show you the size opening we've developed by eleminating the gill and adding a scoop.......I'll finish the modification of the rear clip for a choptop story:

This was the calculated amount of lowering that would be needed, to make the stock fiberglass fit the now choptopped chassis. The entire side of the strakes was taken out, as shown in the pic a few posts back. This was in order to achieve a nice flat plane from one body line to another.

Once the cutout was made, the top of the clip was jiggedback into place, matching up to the unaltered trunkline at the rear ( where the keyhole is ) and matching up to the top of the roofline.

Then the cutout was closed in from the underside using white foamboard and tape, and finally a pour of urethane expanding foam was made. After curing a couple of days, the foam was sculpted into the shape we wanted. Both the strake sides and the scoop openings were shaped:

It's important to remember that this foam is being used to create the inside face of a mold, so all of the surfaces of both the foam and the rear clip can line up.

Once the shape is finalized, it was covered with one layer of 3/4oz matt. This single layer of fiberglass is the new mold.

After curing, the rear clip was removed from the chassis and flipped over, and all of that foam was removed. We now have a shell or mold that will allow us to rebuild the strake walls.

From the inside of the rear clip, three layers of 2oz matt are laid up, overlapping a healthy amount onto existing structure. This is cured, and the clip flipped over, right side up. Then the 3/4 oz mold layer was removed, and a final layer of 2oz matt was applied to the outside.

After curing, the now chopped clip was reinstalled to the chassis, and is now ready to cut out the clamshell trunk lid.




blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #295, 01-23-2006 03:54 PM
      Damn, this is like dejavue, I feel like I've actually been there. Wait, I have been!!!! Another weekend and a little more progress. Someday, we'll have this ready.



355Fiero MSG #296, 01-24-2006 01:12 AM
      David and Ron;

You guys are doing an incredible job on the choptop rear section. It looks more Pantera like already with the lowered roof line. I can hardly wait to see the finished section after you have sanded and filled to perfection.

Well done.

Cheers
Don


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #297, 01-24-2006 03:35 PM
      Thanks Don,
Once the clamshell is cut out and hinged, and the wheel flares installed, the finishing work will begin. Don't you just love sanding?

So how has your current project been doing, Don? I think you've progressed into that relm of finishing work, haven't you? I'd be very curious to know what system or products you've been using !

David Breeze

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #298, 01-24-2006 06:08 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by 355Fiero:
I can hardly wait to see the finished section after you have sanded and filled to perfection.
/QUOTE]

Well Don, so far we haven't turned anyone down that wanted to offer help sanding.



355Fiero MSG #299, 01-25-2006 01:42 AM
      I have enough of my own sanding to do thanks Ron. Put the bondo on with a shovel and sand most of it back off. That is how it is done right???????

David, finishing work on a car is like finishing work on the house projects. Entire rooms get renovated in a few weeks but the base board and trim sits in the back room for another year at least and then another year after that to paint.........

I have been stymied on my car for a couple months now. Xmas buying frenzy slowed down the car purchases. I am getting back into it in a couple weeks as I have year end stuff to do on the business so not much car work going on. I am now shooting for Spring release so see how far off I am. I pretty much finished my interior bucks out of foam and fiberglass in the late fall early winter so I have a 355 interior now and will have all molds to make more if I ever want to. It has been really nice here for weather and is all the way up around 0* C so it is quite nice for our winters but still too cold to fiberglass comfortably.

Lately when I am avoiding year end, I have been working to design a new convertible top that folds up and sits on top of the firewall. I took the original Automoda rear folding section from pictures and then measured out my wife's Miata top front section for size relationships and I am marrying them together to fit the Fiero. The rear pieces will come down and sit on top of the firewall and the front will fold up and sit on top of them when done. All folded down, the top should rise up to about 4" - 5" above the firewall top. That way, I can open the engine hatch when the top is down or up and it gives a much more finished look to the car instead of a top that folds down out on to the engine lid like some I have seen. I pretty much have it nailed in software so now I have to take it out to start cutting and welding metal. The concept seems to be working fairly well. Wonder what the finished product will look like?.....

That choptop Fantera looks great from the pictures you have posted. Do you have a full or front quarter shot to see how it looks overall? It would be interesting to see how much of a difference it has for a look from the front versus your original yellow one. Also, are you going to go into the interior as well to create the authentic look of the Pantera or keep the Fiero interior?

Anyway, keep up the great work guys. It is coming closer to a successful conclusion all the time.

Cheers
Don


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #300, 01-25-2006 03:01 AM
      Don.
I'm not sure we can even get to the front of the car much less back off far enough to take a pic. But, we'll figure out a way eventually. Would love to see more on the convertible build, I'm wanting to do one of those and would like to see what you're up to on this.



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #301, 01-26-2006 01:02 PM
      http://www.panteracars.com/lasinto219.jpg

I like the above style of dash. I imagine Aus would like it even more

Yes, I do plan on an entire interior ( ie dash & center console ). But I really don't know if I'll have time to put it into this car, before Carslile Kitcar Show '06. My thoughts are to duplicate the overall shape, maybe relocate the vents, but use the existing rack for hvac & radio, and use the existing pod. It would be easy enough to scoot the pod back to flush mount with the rest of this type dash.

Right now, the cradle is not in the chassis, so it's pretty hard to roll it out for a good side or front view. We'll see what we can do this weekend.

On Blackram's advice, I'm in the middle of fitting the clamshell with it's internal steel tube reinforcing, and the hinge mechanism. This means the clamshell will be cut open sometime Sunday.

Back in the '80's & '90's when I was building airplanes, we avoided using bondo like the plague. I know that product has evolved a lot, since then. But shrinkage over time was the concern. I became pretty familiar with mixing the base resin with glass microballoons to make a creme or paste that is used just like bondo: shovel it on and sand most of it off

I've been real pleased with the Duratec high build sanding primer, which I've been using in the molds as a substitute for the gelcoat layer. I'm hoping to continue using the Duratec, after coarse filling with resin/micro, to achieve a guide-coated surface. Then a coata of PPG DP epoxy primer, and PPG Deltron basecoat/clearcoat. To be honest, I've never shot a basecoat/clearcoat. All of my experience is with one coat polyurethanes. But the repairability of a basecoat/clearcoat is hard to argue with.

David Breeze



88White3.4GT MSG #302, 01-26-2006 01:47 PM
      Great work! keep it up

bobm (rmickla@bellsouth.net) MSG #303, 01-27-2006 09:11 PM
      Dave,

I don't know if this was posted already and I missed it but, are you modifying the molds or producing new ones to make the lower profile available as well? And has documentation already been started to accompany the kits when available?

[This message has been edited by bobm (edited 01-27-2006).]

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #304, 01-28-2006 02:04 AM
      [QUOTE]Originally posted by bobm:
Dave,
I don't know if this was posted already and I missed it but, are you modifying the molds or producing new ones to make the lower profile available as well? And has documentation already been started to accompany the kits when available?

Not trying to speak for Dave, but I've spent virtually every weekend for the last year and a half with Dave working on this and the following is my personal opinnion.
The answer to the second question is yes, we have been documenting each step of the process and plan to have a CD that would accompany any kit for the diy'er. Your first question is harder to respond to. We have discussed building a new mold of the chop top, but I personally think that each chop is going to be slightly different and therefore building a fibergalss rear clip for a chasis that still needs to be lowered might be just asking for problems. There are simply too many variables and we're not sure that we wouldn't just be wasting our time, efforts and money. Dave's 88 has about 4 inches of chop, can we guarantee that every person doing his own chop is going to build it to the same dimemsions, doubtful. so then what we've been doing for the past few months will have to be redone all over again. My personal opinnion is that we need and have to offer a pretty standard kit that the DIY'er can modify to his/her own style. My project is destined to be a Pantero Roadster, so we're going to have to rework the orginal rear clip to suit my needs, will anyone else want a roadster style Pantero, hard to say but building a new set of molds would be pretty costly and time consuming for what is likely to be very few sold and would also offer one style only that the new owner might have problems fitting to his car unless he/she did the exact modification to his car that I did. I have to say that producing molds that would fit all the variables is almost impossible. About the ony way to do something like that would be for us, Dave and I, to produce a turn key and though that is a possibility, it's a time consuming process. Just my two cents worth, happy Fieroing.

Editted to add, after thinking about it I guess we could produce a jig or the deminsional drawings to build a jig that wouldfit the chop top we have already come up with, but I can see how not everyone will want the same thing so I guess that puts us back to square one.



blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #305, 01-28-2006 02:05 AM
      Oooooooo, making some progress this weekend, Dave's is gonna have to post some pics.



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #306, 01-30-2006 06:47 AM
      Bob,
I think Blackrams pretty well answered where we are on creating a mold for a chopped rear clip. It could be done, but the builder would have to assure his chop was to the same rear window height as ours, within a certian range. Since there is some adjustability of the rear clip available, reguarding the rear roof of the Fiero matching up to the roof of the rear clip, it could be done. But I have to ask myself: for the time and money invested in sucsh a mold, how many chopped rear clips would I sell?

I certianly don't have a problem modifying a rear clip for a builder, but complete instructions on doing this for yourself will be a part of the instructions we are working on. Chester, another PFF'r has offered to shoot a DVD of the basic assembly process. That, the many pics we've been taking, and supportive text should provide enough to allow even the first timer to build a Pantera.

This weekend we managed to get the rear clip bracing and hinge mechanism fabricated and installed. We wanted a hidden hinge, that would allow the decklid to open up and away from the chassis. Many hinges make the leading edge turn down into the body at some point, or they have a hinge roll visible, or just look bad when closed.

So these hinges are made using 2 1/2" steel hinges and 2" dia. steel pipe. The strap rests on top of the Fiero chassis roof, under the fiberglass of the rear clip and the SMC of the Fiero, and will be welded in place later on.

The hinges are welded to a framework of 1/2" square steel tubing, which nestles up inside the strakes and crosses the front and rear. The corners are gusseted for additional strength.

BTW, whenever steel is bonded to our fiberglass, we wipe it down real well with Acetone to remove oils and contaminants. And we also spirally wrap steel tubing with a strip of BID fiberglass cloth, before laying the tubing in place. This extra skin of glass around the tubing gives the attaching matt fiberglass a better hold.

Here you can see the tubing glassed in place with three layers of 2oz matt. We cut 5" wide strips and tore them into handy 12" lengths for placing. We wet the strips out on the cardboard, using a 3" chip brush, and then we can easily pick them up and place them. For this type work, we usually mix 12 oz batches of resin.

We decided to let this layup cure untill Tuesday evening, when we will then reassemble the rear clip to the chassis and cut out the clamshell. Sunday afternoon I got a lot of work done on relocating the windshield wipers, but we'll get into that later on.

David Breeze



355Fiero MSG #307, 02-21-2006 12:05 PM
      David and Ron;

I am very curious as to how the back end looks with the clam shell cut away and functional. I bet it looks awesome.

I had an opportunity to get into the garage and get closer to having the convertible top prototype designed and built Ron. I'll send pics for you when I have the front section in and folding correctly.

I need to replace my alternator on my daily driver today though. An aweful racket it is making back there.....

regards
Don


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #308, 02-21-2006 06:52 PM
      Don, I'm very interested in seeing your progress on the Vert. I want one and some day I'll have one. I just gotta quit taking on all these other projects. Going to an auction this weekend, found out about an IRS auction that has Five 53 foot car haulers on the block. I'm thinking this is something worth going to, just maybe I'll drag one home.
The clam shell does look great, though I get to see it up close, Dave is gonna have to post the pics.



motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #309, 02-21-2006 07:03 PM
      Dave and Ron; This is really looking good, I can't wait to see the finished product. Are you going to the Fiero factory swap meet? Cheers Beers n Gears. Joe

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #310, 02-21-2006 08:05 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by motoracer838:
Dave and Ron; This is really looking good, I can't wait to see the finished product. Are you going to the Fiero factory swap meet? Cheers Beers n Gears. Joe

I sincerely doubt we'll be ready to show off our efforts by then, we're shooting to have it ready for Carlysle later this year. But, I and several of the Bluegrass Fiero Group will be there. The orginal Pantero plug car may come along, we'll just have to see how things move along.



PaulJK MSG #311, 02-21-2006 08:21 PM
      I want a dash and console ! ....

PaulJK MSG #312, 02-28-2006 01:55 AM
      Ahem ..... did you guys ship that dash and console yet ? .....

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #313, 02-28-2006 11:56 AM
      PaulJK,
Well, it ain't exactly in the mail. :>

However, I have ordered some flat sheets of urethane foam to make up the prototype.

Some input from you might be helpfull. For instance, I plan to use the Fiero dash to chassis mounting points, located just under the speaker covers. It seems logical to put the speakers & these mounts back where it is a user friendly thing to install.

Same with the windshield defroster, why reinvent the wheel.

However, should I incorporate the Fiero heating ducts at either end of the dash? Although they aren't located at the ends of the pictured Pantera dash, the hvac plumbing is there, and not having to reroute those two vents would again, make installation easier.

And the instrument pod. To achieve the overall profile of the pictured dash, it looks like the pod should be moved back about 2". This is easily done, since the pod mounts to the steering wheel collumn with two bolts on a flat plate. A simple flat plate extension would allow relocating the pod without getting into a bunch of rewiring.

Any thoughts?

PaulJK MSG #314, 02-28-2006 09:08 PM
      You have a PM and a few e-mails ....

The more I look at it, the less I like the factory Pantera dash in the pic above. FAR too much stuff in the console and almost nothing in the main dash. No glovebox ? No cup holders ? Vertical radio ? Also, the top should ALWAYS be a dark color or you'll get a lot of reflection in the windshield.

Yeah ..... I think we could come up with something (similar but ) much better (improved) than that ..... Pantera dash Rev 1

[This message has been edited by PaulJK (edited 03-01-2006).]

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #315, 03-01-2006 08:04 AM
      Yep,
I agree with most of that. A few posts previously, I mentioned that the center stack I'm working on would pretty much retain the vents, hvac controll, and radio stack right where they are. After all, the chassis and wiring are there, and I really like the KIS approach to building anything.

My main objective would be to achieve the look of that entire dash, ie the shape or outline. And I do like the way the outline transitions from the arm rest, up along the center stack, and into the dash. BTW, I do have the arm rest portion ready.

Your pm & emails appreciated, and I'll be following up with them soon.

David Breeze

gearhead351w (gearhead351w@yahoo.com) MSG #316, 03-08-2006 05:22 AM
      More pics everyone chant this is great I love the pantera when do you think you will have a working kit I love the flare's they turned out great

ibcruzn (shaneroden@hotmail.com) MSG #317, 03-08-2006 09:12 AM
      That is looking real good! Ya more pics please.

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #318, 03-08-2006 10:51 AM
      Sorry there hasn't been many pics lately. I will rectify that by this weekend.

I've been working mostly on the various details concerning the rear clip & clamshell. Hinges, gas struts, trunk seal, latch, remote latch opener ( I just don't trust the stock Fiero remote latch :> ), lip & gasket seal, fuel filler, and tail lights. Just recieved a Spall kit for remote door latches and trunk latch. And I've been sandblasting & powdercoating everything that comes loose in the engine bay, various engine brackets & mounts, and the rear suspension.

The goal has been to have the car ready for Carslile Kitcar 2006, but I'm starting to doubt we'll make it.

There have been a few folks wanting to order a kit, and I've been telling them I'd go into the kit production mode after Carslile 2006. And I've promised to hold to the prices in this thread, if they are a member of Pennock's.

David Breeze

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #319, 03-08-2006 06:06 PM
      I definately want one.



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #320, 03-12-2006 06:39 PM
     

We had some good weather, so I was able to get outside and sandblast a buch of parts for powdercoating. This is most of the rear suspension, engine mounts & brackets, and engine bay brackets....but not all.

Don had asked to revisit the wheel flares & airdam

This is a front wheel flare. Both the airdam and all four wheel flares were made to match up to the Fiero rockers.

This view might show how well the uniformity of thickness is, and how all corners are reinforced. These were laid up with a 3/16" thickness, and they are incredibly stout.

When I made the mold for the air dam, I double the height of the bottom lip edge. It runs from one wheel well, across the front of the bottom tray, and across to the other wheel well. That gives you the option to use the lip as you see it, or trim it way down to a knife edge tray & lip.

Did I mention that I really like powder coating?

David Breeze

[This message has been edited by opm2000 (edited 03-12-2006).]

88White3.4GT MSG #321, 03-12-2006 06:55 PM
      did you do the powder coating yourself

edit: yes! i own page 9 in a great thread

[This message has been edited by 88White3.4GT (edited 03-12-2006).]

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #322, 03-12-2006 07:11 PM
      Yes. I certianly don't profess to be an expert, but I'm amazed at the results. I degrease with a mineral spirits parts washer, sandblast with fine grit black oxide, preheat to 450 for outgassing, cool off and shoot powder, and bake at 400 for 20 min. My oven is a throw-away from the university apartments :>

Anyhow, two sets of steel side braces were welded up. The tabs fit onto the stock Fiero chassis mounts, and they are slotted so you can tweak the fit, if needed.

A gussett plate was tacked onto the rear-end steel bracing, and the side braces were bolted to the chassis, clamped to the gussett, and glassed in.

Yep, that powder coating sure does things.

David Breeze




opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #323, 03-12-2006 07:38 PM
      After the clamshell hinges were finalized, I added these support braces. They rest on an adjustable bolt in the top of the strut tower, where the Fiero has a Nylon height adjuster. The bolt just replaces the nylon part. But together, they allow for fine tuning the panel to panel fit of the clamshell and the rest of the body. And they will provide a handy place to attach gas lift struts for the clamshell.

The Fiero rear decklid was cut to make removing the subframe easier. A bit of hammer & chisel action with a stout putty knife seperated the subframe. The subframe is bonded to the Pantera clamshell, so you get a completely sealed trunk, and a latch mechanism.

This is the subframe in place. A bit is trimmed from the edges all around, and the entire thing is roughed up with 40 grit sandpaper for later bonding. Eventually, the subframe is set in place and the clamshell closed down on it. Then builders foam is shot into the channels, bonding it to the clamshell. After opening the clamshell, the foam gets cleaned up and the whole assemble gets glassed onto the clamshell.

I don't trust the Fiero electric trunk opener, so I bought a nice set of shaved door solenoids and a cheap trunk solenoid. Don't do that. :> I wound up using the Fiero trunk solenoid, but instead of relying on the latch for electrical ground, I ran a ground wire for it, also. Works great. Then I welded a loop onto the lockset connector shaft, and attached a mechanical backup opening system. That is, I got a standard chake control and connected it, so you can reach into the engine bay from the back window opening, and pull the choke control, and release the trunk. Probably should do that for my daily driver Fiero :>

Above is a cheap, weak solenoid. Not enough snort.

Choke cable attachment.

Mechanical realease system in place. Since both the wires for the latch solenoid and the mechanical system wer to be run thru the foam & fiberglass attaching the subframe to the clamshell, I ran them thru an oversized wire loom, and wrapped it with electrical tape. Once everything is finished, I can still service both systems with no problems.

David Breeze



motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #324, 03-12-2006 10:43 PM
      Hey Dave sweet pics, keep them coming. Cheers Beers n Gears. Joe

motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #325, 03-28-2006 12:26 AM
      Time for a bump.

PaulJK MSG #326, 03-28-2006 02:54 AM
      You know Dave, Dakota Digital makes linear actuators that you might want to consider for something:

http://www.dakotadigital.com/index.cfm/page/ptype=product/product_id=58/category_id=217/home_id=59/mode=prod/prd58.htm

They can lift 110 lbs and could be pretty impressive lifting a hatch. Only problem is that battery power is REQUIRED - without power (dead battery) you can't lift the actuator (it's a screw-type mechanism). Might be OK for anything except the place where the battery is ....

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #327, 04-03-2006 10:55 AM
      PaulJK, the linear actuators would be cool. I have measured and they could very easily be used with the tilting rear-clip. It is balanced so well that it really requires very little effort to lift or lower it. We'll see what transpires later this sumer when I go thru the yellow prototype car.

Using actuators on the clamshell would also be interesting. For now I've ordered a couple of gas lift struts which I'll try first. Cost is much lower, and the obvious "electrical failure" situation is avoided. Looking at the Autoloc documentation on installing linear actuators, it looks like they could be installed in the same location as the gas struts. If that is the case, then a quick release pin located near the rear window pivot point might do for the failure mode.

David Breeze

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #328, 04-03-2006 11:30 AM
      Motoracer838, thanks for the bump!

An additional layer of Coremat and woven fiberglass cloth was applied to the backside of the clamshell to resist deflection. Learn as you go. I'll include these layers in every rear clip that I make, while it's being layed up in the mold.

The Fiero trunk liner skeleton was trimed a bit more and sanded for attachment with fiberglass tapes. I filled the channels with expanding foam, but I'm not sure you'd need to do that.

After the atachment layup, everything worked fine. The clamshell closes and the latch clicks shut. Both the manual and electrical releases work fine. Later, I'll install a couple of poppers to slightly raise the lid when the release is hit. The outer edges of the liner will also get glassed in later. For now I'm leaving them open incase additional wiring is run, or whatever.

Lousy pic, but this is a lip for the clamshell to rest on. For the front half of the clamshell, I applied duct tape to the inside edge of the clamshell, and metal furnace tape to the outside edge of the rear clip itself. Then I closed the clamshell and applied a 3" tape where you see the lip. 1" was under the clamshell and 2" glassed to the inside face of the rear clip. After curing, the tape worked as a release, and a lip was formed. I've trimmed it back to about a 1/2" lip.

For the rest of the clamshell lip, I used a lip that I had made previously. After the rear clip had been modified to fit the choptop chassis, I turned the clip over and used duct tape as above to preform a lip for later use. I knew about where the clamshell cut line would be, and made a 4" wide lip to cover te general area. Now you see a portion of that lip, cut to fit and ready for sanding for bonding. Notice the drill bit is just below a hole in the lip. Before removing the lip from the ductape I drilled a few pilot holes to be used later for precisely locating the lip to the body contours. Works great.

And here is that lip, held by clamps in place while the resin sets. After removing the clamps, and additional fiberglass tape will be installed to further attach the preformed lip to the rear clip.

You can also see one of the wheel flares, held in place with clamps. I've trimmed the flares to the mold trim lines and am very pleased how little final sanding was needed to get a nice close fit. The wheel flares and front airdam are fitted, so a bit of preparation sanding and I'll be attaching them.

I've also been working on the front clip. Back around Thanksgiving, Blackrams and I essentially installed the front clip in one weekend. This included the few cuts needed to move the headlights, and fabricating the mounting steel. It went very well.

Here you see the front trunk lid liner, in place, and your looking at the topside, which gets the lid skin bonded to it. The idea here is to install the hinges and latch to the liner, get that working, and then attach the skin to it. That allows you to trim to a nice close body panel gap.

You'll notice a slot I've cut from the portion near the latch, on the driver's side. Took me forever to figure out what was going on here. The prototype car used the liner with out the slot cut. This was sone by bending down the 1/4" lip along the top edge of the trunk. No big problem. But in cutting out this slot, I've found an alternative method of installing the liner. The existing mold can easily be modified to reshape the liner to where you get the clearance and don't have to cut the slot, or bend down near as much of the lip.

You'll also notice the relocaated windshield wiper posts. I solved the wiper delima be moving them over 5 1/2" so they are positioned in the Pantera vents, as on a real Pantera. Blackrams and I have worked out a couple of different methods of getting functioning wipers, and that info is way back in this thread, somewhere. For this, I simply cut the decking loose that the wiper posts mount to, and scooted the whole works over 5 1/2", and welded it back in place. This meant that the short arm of the wiper linkage, the one that attaches to the motor, had to be shortened 5 1/2" also. Didn't work at first, untill I welded that short arm back with a gooseneck shape, instead of a straight line. Works great.

And here is the bottom side of the liner, or the side you will see when you raise the front trunk lid. This liner is an exact replica of the real Pantera liner, and it's a work of art. It has a curving profile that fits into the trunk lid opening and presets the contour for the trunk lid skin. The channels that you see give it super rigidity so you don't need to use a steel structure. With this liner in place, I reached under thru various openings to check clearances. It's amazing how well this liner and front clip fit the Fiero chassis You'll notice a bit of alligatoring on this one, from back when I was going thru the learning curve of gelcoat application.

Waiting on a fresh batch of resin and some more hardware to come in.

David Breeze

[This message has been edited by opm2000 (edited 04-03-2006).]

madcurl (madcurl@fiero-performance.com) MSG #329, 04-03-2006 12:58 PM
      Man...look at those massive fender flares!!! How much longer before this beautiful creation is finished?




motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #330, 04-03-2006 07:02 PM
      Yup; Looks like more fun with fiberglass. As if I don't have enough projects in the fire allready, I'm starting to think I'd like to do one of these! Thanks Guys. lol. Cheers Beers n Gears. Joe

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #331, 04-03-2006 09:17 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by madcurl:
Man...look at those massive fender flares!!! How much longer before this beautiful creation is finished?

Filling those flares is my challenge. Think about it. $$$$$$ Accepting reasonably priced suggestions, anyone?????



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #332, 04-04-2006 12:42 PM
      Actually, from the Madcurl thread about 20' rims, I saw a link to this vendor

www.introwheels.com

and like what I see at http://introwheels.com/pages/w_endless/5-star.shtml

price is modest, and I think you can specify how the wheel is built. I haven't spoken with these guys yet, sort of waiting untill the wheel flares are on and axels in place. Good time for measurements I'd prefer a deep dish Campanello-like look, but these sizes and offsets are hard to come by. I'm looking to hold 275 or wider on the rears, and as big as will comfortably drive on the fronts.

As to when this project will actually roll out the door.....soon. But not that soon. Every step is being scrutinized with future builders in mind. One thing I can certianly share with you, is that it is one thing to design and build a prototype. Quite another to figure out how to assemble another one, when another one has never been assembled yet.

David Breeze

Custom2M4 (custom2m4@hotmail.com) MSG #333, 04-04-2006 02:24 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:
One thing I can certianly share with you, is that it is one thing to design and build a prototype. Quite another to figure out how to assemble another one, when another one has never been assembled yet.

David Breeze

Thats why I will stick to Customizing my car and just winging everything, I don't have a timeline, nor have anything to make my car resemble. I know how much work goes into your cars, I follow your thread whenever I see it. You guys are doing a great job given that you have to make your car look like another. Again mine is whatever I want it to be. You guys have it alot harder than me. Best of luck, and keep up the great work!



madcurl (madcurl@fiero-performance.com) MSG #334, 04-04-2006 02:24 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by blackrams:


Filling those flares is my challenge. Think about it. $$$$$$ Accepting reasonably priced suggestions, anyone?????

DUB's 285/30/20 I don't know the GA owner nor the actual rims width


And now what you've all been waiting for.......more LAMBO pics!



[This message has been edited by madcurl (edited 04-04-2006).]

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #335, 04-04-2006 06:45 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:
Works great.

Above is a cheap, weak solenoid. Not enough snort.

Choke cable attachment.

Mechanical realease system in place. Once everything is finished, I can still service both systems with no problems.

David Breeze

Dave,
I've said this to you in the shop, I'll say it in public. Hi tech gadgetry is cool, but reliability is the key. Cost is another big factor. I like the system you've worked out and if I was going to build my Pantero like yours, it would be the way youv'e done it. We've looked at so many ways to do these things, it makes my head hurt just to think about it. Great job!!!



motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #336, 04-15-2006 10:17 PM
      Bump.

PaulJK MSG #337, 04-16-2006 04:05 AM
      Since the Pantera was a 70's-era design, I'd use a nice set of 16, 17 or 18 inch rim and tire set. The 17's should be reasonably priced. Persomally, I Love 16 " - nice ride, rarely worry about bending a rim, reaonably priced and it looks "Normal".

[This message has been edited by PaulJK (edited 04-16-2006).]

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #338, 04-16-2006 07:08 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by PaulJK:
Since the Pantera was a 70's-era design, I'd use a nice set of 16, 17 or 18 inch rim and tire set. The 17's should be reasonably priced. Persomally, I Love 16 " - nice ride, rarely worry about bending a rim, reaonably priced and it looks "Normal".

Paul,
Agreed, 16" or 17"" is my goal. The problem is finding the right 7" tp 7.5" wheels for the front and then a matching 8.5" to 9.5" set that will fill the back. Those "massive" flares look great and I love them but it's going to take a pretty good set of tires to fill that up so that it doesn't look like we're running around on a set of those mini spares.
I'm also attempting to stick with the era style wheels. Not many choices IMO there.



PaulJK MSG #339, 04-18-2006 04:29 AM
      Well, I looked around but couldn't find anything I would call "reasonably" priced. i was trying to get you a lead on cobra-type wheels with the spinner in the center, but, MAN, were they expensive.

Here's a place I looked through a littel bit (i have NO experience with these guys):

http://www.customwheelsdirect.com/index.php

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #340, 04-19-2006 12:35 PM
      I did talk with a shop that specializes in widening aluminum wheels. They can easily widen the "backside", moving the inner rim inboard. With the shallow faced rims found on most front wheel drive cars, they are hesitant to try widening the outer rim outboard, mostly for cosmetic reasons. This may work out for the rears, once they are moved out with spacers. We'll see.

A quick update:

I had gotten to the point of having the front airdam and all four wheel flares trimed and ready to mount. But these were the first set of flares made from the new molds, so last weekend I decided to make up a new set. These will come out of the molds saturday and get trimmed for final fitting.

This pic got squeezed a bit:

I tried 2 200lb gas struts on the clamshell lift, and they were way, way to stout. So I went to the other end and tried 2 80lb struts. They pop the trunk open and hold about one foot open, but don't hold when full open. I'll either try stronger struts, or seriously consider the jackscrew lifts. But this is fine for now.

A lot of work has gone into the fuel door. With the tilt-back clip there is absolutely nothing to do. But with the clamshell, you have to relocate it. Adding wheel flares narrows the available space on the fender down considerably. I don't want a "Pantera" fuel door located in the Gill, because I like scoops, and plan to have scoops where the Gills are.

So, I looked into rerouting the Fiero fuel door to the one spot available. I have figured out two ways to reroute the fuel standpipe. But most of the Fiero fuel door hardware just won't fit the space. First culprit was the beveled plastic "funnel" that surrounds the actual screw-off gas cap. I found that the same piece on many GMC trucks has the right angle to match the fender.

Then I figured out two methods of rerouting the standpipe. One method uses all Fiero pipe, but with a cut in it, and rejoined with a piece of filler hose. The other method uses a GMC truck standpipe gooseneck and filler hose, reconnected to the remains of the Fiero standpipe. I haven't settled on which one to use, but fell it will work out. I worried about this at first, but then I saw that all of our trucks at the University have a hose section between the gooseneck and the standpipe.

On tap for this weekend: rear flares get demolded and trimmed. The airdam gets mounted.

David Breeze




PaulJK MSG #341, 04-20-2006 03:28 AM
      I believe the linear actuators from Dakota Digital are 110#, so they may do the trick for you. Bad news = they are $199 each

motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #342, 05-04-2006 08:57 PM
      bump

fierogt3800 (fierochris@yahoo.com) MSG #343, 05-05-2006 12:16 AM
      any idea on a price for this kit yet? are you going to have a chop top version of the kit too? i would be interested in the chopped version




opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #344, 05-05-2006 09:57 PM
      Well, a lot of good work has been done. I've made up four new wheel flares. The molds I make have a two elements built in: a large flange surrounding the part on the outside edges, and a trim line, which is imparted onto the made part. These have been working out very well. I'll get some pics of this stuff up later this weekend.

Meanwhile, the front clip was turned upsidedown onto sawhorses, and the front grill and front turnsignal cutouts made. A 1 1/4" lip was left inside the grill cutout, for mounting the steel grill to, but it may be reduced down to as little as 1/2" when it's all done.



Here you can also see I've marked lines for sanding of the gelcoat, for the attachment tapes. Doing this upside down works great, since the airdam easily rests on the clip, and fine tuning the fit can be done. Mostly, I used a 4" welding grinder fitted with an 80 grit sanding flap to trim to the parting lines I mentioned. Then it's just a matter of beveling that edge to match the contours of the clip. The larger sanding disc makes it much easier than trying to do it with a dremel tool, which can dip & dive as you are sanding along.



Here you see the airdam trimmed and setting in place, with two clecos holding it firmly in position. A bit of vasaline is dabbed onto the shafts of the cleco before inserting, and the attachment tapes can be glassed right in. The vasaline acts as a release, and after a few hours, the clecos can be removed.

Once the fit was achieved and the marked areas sanded, the whole works was moved back indoors, and the airdam was attached using two layers of bid cloth, along the entire underside edge of the airdam, where it meets the front clip. I also used a squeezeout of a mix of resin, cabosil, milled fiber, and 1/4" chopped fiber. This stiff mix was used both as a gap filling squeezeout and as a valley filling fillet, and applied just before the attaching tapes. This cured to an incredibly strong attachment. The next day the whole works was turned right side up, and a purely cosemetic layup was sone on the outside to cover the joints, using two layers of 1 oz. mat.



And these badboyz arrived. I have to round up a couple of relays, but will soon be replacing the gas struts.

On tap for this weekend is attaching the four wheel flares. That said, it is Derby weekend here. And my daughter is going to her first prom, so I'll try to get more posted by late sunday.

David Breeze


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #345, 05-05-2006 10:16 PM
      Fierogt3800,
I'm sticking to the kit prices which are in a couple of places, further back in this thread. I've pretty well proved the molds to my satisfaction, and discovered what areas need extra or special reinforcement, while in the mold, to yield a good stout product.

While I imagine that the only turnkey or rolling chassis Panteras that I build will all be choptops, I still don't think I'll be producing a mold strictly for a choptop. Two reasons: each choptop done by a different builder is going to be demensionally different, just a bit. That might just throw off the fit of a "choptop fiberglass body", and I just don't want to sell anything to someone who is going to be disappointed. The other reason is that I found it very simple to modify the stock fiberglass rear clip to fit a choptop chassis. I'll be including the pics & text to walk the builder thru that process, if they go that route. Plus, I'm only a phone call away, whenever a bit of help is needed.

On a side note, if you happen to live in the eastern half of the US, I will be willing to work out a delivery method to help defray the cost of shipping, as much as I can.

David Breeze


bobm (rmickla@bellsouth.net) MSG #346, 05-11-2006 10:28 PM
      Dave,

It's been a while since I've posted. I guess you never made Carlisle. Do you have any estimates of completion at this time? and, when kit production will begin?

Thanks, Bob


Philphine (philphine@live.com) MSG #347, 05-11-2006 11:01 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:

I did talk with a shop that specializes in widening aluminum wheels. They can easily widen the "backside", moving the inner rim inboard. With the shallow faced rims found on most front wheel drive cars, they are hesitant to try widening the outer rim outboard, mostly for cosmetic reasons. This may work out for the rears, once they are moved out with spacers. We'll see.




is this place somewhere in ky? did you or could you ask about filling in and redrilling aluminum wheels for a new bolt pattern?



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #348, 05-12-2006 09:34 AM
      Philphine,
They are in Michigan. http://www.weldcraftwheels.com/ is their website. And james@weldcraftwheels.com is their email tech questions. They can give you a better answer with an indepth email or chat from you, the devil is in the details you know

Bobm,
Hello again. Yes, I missed Carslile. To make it I was faced with either starting to take shortcuts in the build of the choptop Pantera, or just not taking it.

I decided to continue the process I've been following: building and documenting each step, trying to troubleshoot the build process or part fabrication process, so that the new builder has as easy a job as possable. I like stout parts that fit. I'm sure we've all seen extremely thin fiberglass parts, or parts that looked cratered like the face of the moon, or even entire kits where most of the body panels have to be re-cut and re-sized to fit the Fiero chassis, or where the chassis has to be cut and resized or even entirely replaced.

I'm looking at rolling the choptop pantera out of the indoor workspace by the end of this month or by the middle of next month at the latest. I've been gearing up the molds and materials to starting the first for-sale kit then. Pretty much on the same schedule we had discussed earlier.

There will be a one week layoff in mid-late july when my son & I go fishing in Canada, before he goes to Iraq. Other than that, it will be full time, one kit at a time

[This message has been edited by opm2000 (edited 05-12-2006).]

motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #349, 05-27-2006 01:06 PM
      t
t
t


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #350, 05-27-2006 06:27 PM
      The fender flares have just been glassed to the body, those of you that like the wide body look are gonna love this. Dave, is a magician when it comes to taking a concept to reality. Dave's Choptop is really cool.
Now I just have to get him to quit playing with, oh, almost let the cat out of the bag.
I guess you'll just have to follow the thread. When Dave's ready, he'll post pics.



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #351, 05-27-2006 09:27 PM
      First of all, many thanks to the contributors to this thread: http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum2/HTML/073239.html

Well, the cat is out of the bag, The linear actuators are installed and I just don't know how to tell you just how cool they are.



In the above pic, the motor is installed facing down. I did that to ensure full range of motion and to confirm clearance when closed. Turns out the motors can be installed facing upwards, tucked out of the way visually, from the same bracket position.



These are really cool. They are controlled by two entirely seperate electrical circuts, the remote door latch controller, and a panel mounted switch. Manusl backup is that the forward bracket bolts or soon to be quick release pins, are easily accessable when in the closed position.



While the gas struts were nice, they weren't remarkable. The actuators get the same ear splitting grin when I show them to someone, and they come out with something like "starship enterprise!". No kidding.

Anyhow, the entire system works like a swis watch. The actuators stay syncronised at all times, raising & lowering. They can be stopped at any point of the lift or run to full lift and they stop by themselves. They lower and settle snugly onto the hatch lip, and you hear the trunk latch snick shut, and the actuators turn off. I honestly don't think the latch is required with actuators in place, but I'll keep it there for the time being.

And many thanks to the forum members who suggested considering linear actuators. It helps to have a constant input of fresh ideas or perspectives.

David Breeze


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #352, 05-27-2006 09:40 PM
      As Blackrams said, all 4 wheel flares are glassed on. The process is to fit them to the body, glass on from the outside, reshape the wheelwell opening on the inside, and glass on from the inside.



Tools of choice:



cutting out the wheelwell notch after preliminary body fitting



flares clecoed on , gelcoat sanded, ready to apply 4" tapes



Ireally wanted to sand the attachments and shoot a coat of Duratec primer on before showing these, but what the heck.

David Breeze


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #353, 05-27-2006 10:27 PM
      Just to keep stuff straight, no where in my previous post did I mention those actuators. I didn't let that cat out!



PaulJK MSG #354, 05-27-2006 10:42 PM
      ahem .... who mentioned actuators ?

Terrific job Dave !

[This message has been edited by PaulJK (edited 05-27-2006).]

motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #355, 06-20-2006 10:50 PM
      Since Madcurl was bumping threads today, I thought I'd break out a little bumpage of my own.

Hey Dave I talked to Ron the other day, did he say hi for me?

Cheers Beers n Gearz. Joe


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #356, 06-21-2006 11:46 AM
     

The Tracker tailight assy didn't quite fill the stock space, so I tried cutting a part off another assy and adding it. Not sure if I'll go with this or a set of stock Pantera tailights I have. I do like the look of the European lens colors, and the overall shape as it somewhat matches the contours of the rearend, and the cost and availability of these tailights.

The past month hasn't seen a lot of progress due to having to move my wife's business to our home. Priorities get set by the war department, you know, and we go forth from there BTW, networking with Fiero folks has saved the day with Patty's office move. Chester & Renee came over and graced Patty's office computers with their considerable skills. We've horse traded a bit to pay for these services, and I'm sure you'll see more of the Dirty Rat in the day's to come.

Blackrams did come over and we worked out a set of templates for interior rear clip panels. These will closeout the space between the Fiero trunk and the back end of the Pantera rear clip. We also made templates for panels that closeout the sides, running from the rear of the clip all the way up to the back window.

The rear clip is now ready to remove so it can get a final detailing, and the chassis gets painted and the engine installed.



Installing the front clip was super easy, and we did this back before Thanksgiving. Here you get a glimpse of the mounting rail and the headlight cutout. Cutting out for moving the headlights forward is very easy, a portion of the front wall gets removed, and a portion of the side wall, and the headlight buckets get "streamlined" a bit, cutting off small protruding bits.



Here you can see the headlight mount bracket which is attached to the main front clip bracket. Fabricating these brackets is easy, since they align to stock Fiero mounting points.

And here is another view.





The skin is removed from the trapdoor assy by removing two plastic rivets, to reveal the spring-loaded mount and trapdoor skelton. The skelton is "streamlined" and the hinges temporarily removed to aid aligning the mount.





A portion of the stock Fiero trapdoor mount is removed and prepared for glassing to the front clip. It is easily positioned by using the skelton/hinge assy, making sure the skelton can get full rotation....and by the fact that you simply remove 1/4" from the stock leading edge of the mount and align it with the back edge of the opening in the front clip.



The Pantera trapdoor skin is bonded onto the mounted skelton later.

David Breeze

[This message has been edited by opm2000 (edited 06-21-2006).]

bubbajoexxx (bubbajoexx@sympatico.ca) MSG #357, 06-30-2006 06:21 PM
      updates please

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #358, 06-30-2006 07:09 PM
      Bubba,
I'll talk to Dave about posting some more pics this weekend. We are making progress, it just takes time when the majority of work takes place on the weekends. But we'll catch everyone up soon.



bubbajoexxx (bubbajoexx@sympatico.ca) MSG #359, 07-07-2006 10:42 AM
      you are doing a great job with this car but I dont understand why you did not enlarge the trunk space as you have a huge empty space behind the stock trunk

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #360, 07-09-2006 08:03 PM
     

Bubbajoe, your point is well taken. This pic shows the templates made for the trunk close-out panels. The area just behind the trunk and above the internal Fiero bumper is totally available. It looks like one could easily double the available trunk space by extending the trunk back directly from the "shelf" level of the Fiero trunk.

For now, though, I'm going with the stock trunk. Along these lines, I've been preparing the headlight cover molds, the 4 Pantera bumper molds, the front hood mold, the gill/scoops and the engine cold air tube for a new layup. I'm thinking I'm going to make all of these pieces with this fabric:



As these develop, I'll show you whats involved in doing carbon fiber parts both from molds and as overlays.

Most of my time lately has been sent disassembling the front end. Finally got it all taken apart and the bushings removed, and everything is ready for sandblasting and powdercoating. I did verify that the trans oil cooler and engine oil cooler would fit where I wanted them. Here is the engine oil cooler in place:



For those of you who are into that sort of thing, I'm raising funds for my favorite charity. This auction is still open:


(just ebay under Kentucky Basketball)

and this one just closed:


(sold for $2,500)

Next saturday, my son and I head for Bubbajoe's territory. We're going to :

http://www.duenorth.net/atikwalakelodge/

After we snag a few monsters, I get a whole week to spend in the shop. Hopefully there will be some interesting updates then.

David Breeze

[This message has been edited by opm2000 (edited 07-09-2006).]

exoticse (exoticse@netzero.com) MSG #361, 07-09-2006 08:19 PM
     

One of the coolest ongoing projects on the forum.


motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #362, 08-02-2006 09:42 PM
      Badly needed bump.

Joe


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #363, 08-03-2006 05:41 AM
      They say a picture is worth a thousand words



Hunt didn't need the boat after he caught this one!

And we caught 50 of these in one day



Sadly, after returning from the north country, I had to deal with the harsh Fiero realities of life. My daily driver 3.4 had developed an apparant vacum leak which I just couldn't trace down....so I decided to pull a good running 2.8 from another car and swap it into my daily driver. There are priorities and having a good running fairly fuel efficent daily driver is way up there. Anyhow, I should be able to get back into the Pantera building thing this weekend.

David Breeze

[This message has been edited by opm2000 (edited 08-03-2006).]

bubbajoexxx (bubbajoexx@sympatico.ca) MSG #364, 08-03-2006 08:16 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:

They say a picture is worth a thousand words



Hunt didn't need the boat after he caught this one!

And we caught 50 of these in one day



Sadly, after returning from the north country, I had to deal with the harsh Fiero realities of life. My daily driver 3.4 had developed an apparant vacum leak which I just couldn't trace down....so I decided to pull a good running 2.8 from another car and swap it into my daily driver. There are priorities and having a good running fairly fuel efficent daily driver is way up there. Anyhow, I should be able to get back into the Pantera building thing this weekend.

David Breeze



nice northern pike and at that size delicious eating


motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #365, 08-26-2006 12:25 PM
      Bump

bubbajoexxx (bubbajoexx@sympatico.ca) MSG #366, 08-27-2006 05:17 PM
      mega bump need a progress report please

Gokart MSG #367, 08-27-2006 06:55 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:
Sadly, after returning from the north country, I had to deal with the harsh Fiero realities of life. My daily driver 3.4 had developed an apparant vacum leak which I just couldn't trace down....so I decided to pull a good running 2.8 from another car and swap it into my daily driver. There are priorities and having a good running fairly fuel efficent daily driver is way up there. Anyhow, I should be able to get back into the Pantera building thing this weekend.
David Breeze


Is this the 87GT you bought from me in 2000? If so, how many miles does she have now!
Marc



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #368, 08-28-2006 09:38 AM
      Gentlemen,
Thanks for the kind bumps. Yep Gokart, that's the GT I bought from you. It suffered a broken timing chain after my son ran it for two years, so we swapped in what turned out to be a real stout 3.4. Loved that, but recently it developed a vacum leak which I couldn't solve without pulling the motor, so we just swapped the 103,000 mi. 2.8 out of the yellow Pantera. The GT now has 165,300 on the chassis.



I actually had to install the 2.8 twice, since I cheap-od out and tried to use the existing clutch plate that was on the 2.8 ( it had a 4spd trans ). Upon firing up, it sounded like a wheelbarrow of steel was being dumped behind the GT. I pulled the 2.8, expecting to see a destroyed throwout bearing, but found this:



Turns out this was a remanufactured clutch plate, and the two circled rivets had been repaired by putting the steel squares over the rivet holes, and riveting & welding them on. The heads of the rivets are @ 1/16" higher than the others. Worked fine in a 4spd trans, but in the 5spd they found interference along the backwall of the bellhousing. Oh well, new clutch solved the problem and it runs like a top.

Mostly, I've been doing normal Fiero-type stuff. The chassis is up high enough to get underneath and chassis paint everything.



And all brake lines, coolant lines, heater & AC lines are off for cleanup & paint. The AC components are out for flushing & conversion, and the radiator is out for replacement.



The front end parts have been sandblasted for powdercoating:



I typically degrease parts with a parts washer and sandblast once. Then inspect and re-sandblast, in order to get all old paint or surface off. Notice that the front knuckles have oxidised just setting overnight. In my experience, the powdercoat takes best on a thoroughly clean surface.

And I did get the door popper and remote opener solenoid installed and working on the driver's side door:



Rember the yellow Pantera?



It's in position for installation of "the secret weapon":



I live about 4 miles off the departure end of 22 at Bluegrass Field. There was a terrible crash about a mile off the end, right before sunrise yesterday. Pray for the 49 souls.

David Breeze


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #369, 09-04-2006 06:29 AM
     

A few folks have asked about homebrew powdercoating, so here's my $0.02 worth. It's real easy and a suprisingly forgiving process. You need to follow a few simple proceedures and be aware of a few precautions.

The dust is insidious, it gets everywhere. I transferr powder from the plastic zip bags I recieve it in....into the gun bottles....using a small dipper. Small enough to fit within the mouth of the bottle. Even pouring directly out of the zip bag will raise a dust like you wouldnt believe.

Wear at least some sort of dust mask or respirator whenever handling the dust. Longsleves, gloves, a hat....it depends on your tolerance levels I guess, but you will experience dust.

I shoot my parts outside of my shop, in a very simple booth. Just find a big cardboard box big enough to house your biggest objects. I shot a few parts inside my shop, and spent a week finding red dust. Same goes for the oven. Just don't do it in your house unless you want an immediate divorce. And I only tried it inside my shop once. My oven sets outside where it can vent safely, and is covered with a tarp when not in use.

And the same goes for the sandblasting. It's a very messy process. I do most of my sandblasting outside, away out back. If you have a booth or sandblast box, so much the better, but it still raises a lot of dust.

Enough. The general process is to clean the part by degreasing, and remove old paint & rust, usually by sandblasting. I use either a mineral spirits parts washer or the purple degreaser from NAPA & water rinse. After parts are washed, handle with gloves. Sandblasting is to remove rust & old paint, and it gives a good "tooth" to the surface for the powder to adhere to. Newly welded fresh steel parts may not need sandblasting, but they do need degreasing.



Here you see a control arm, rubber bushing removed and then sandblasted. Heat proof tape is put on anywhere you don't want powder, like inside the bushing area, or the rim where the front joint is to be pressed in. Figure out how to handle the part for suspending in & out of the spray booth, and in & out of the oven. Mostly use the wire S hooks that come with the kit, and use safety wire where needed to help the s hook out.

Once the powder is on the part you don't want to brush it, and when it comes to hanging that part inside a hot oven, you need to have figured out how to move the part.



Welding gloves and a couple of pair of longnose pliers makes moving hot parts a lot easier.

The baisc el cheapo powdercoat gun kit:



You will need to supply compressed air to the gun. Only 10 psi, so make sure you can regulate it down that much, and it must be dry air. My set up goes thru three pressure regulators and a pipe drying manifold before reaching the gun, so I know I have 10psi when I dial it up. If you can see water mist when you blow parts off with your compressed air, it has water in it. You need to have dry air. A final line drier usually comes with the kit.



Here is a sandblasted knuckle hanging a bit too high in the spray booth. I hung it a bit lower on another s hook before shooting it. Notice it has tape inside the bore where the bearing presses. And most of the other holes are plugged with silicone heat resistant plugs, which come with the kit. Once again, these plugs keep powder out of places you don't want it.

The powder likes dry storage. Shooting it amounts to filling the gun bottle about 1/3 full, attaching the grounding wire clip to either the part or I usually try to clip onto the supporting s hook, and stepping on the power pedal for the power unit. Triggering the gun after that results in a poofing cloud of powder. Waving the gun around the part helps, and concentrating on tight corners first seems best. You can stop, reposition the hang of the part, and resume shooting. Just try not to disturb the powder, and remember to trigger the ground pedal. The dust is everywhere, so do wear your PPE. After shooting the part, take the ground clip, touch it to the gun tip to release the static charge, and shut it off.



Now transferr the part to the oven without disturbing the powder. The oven doesn't have to be preheated. Some items can be placed on the oven rack. Anyhow, generally, the powder wants 400 degrees for 20 minutes, after the part reaches 400. I use an infrared temp gun. My throw away oven heats, but the thermostat does not work, and I'd suggest you not kid yourself and trust any oven thermostat. Get an infrared thermometer gun. After 20 minutes, remove the part and hang it elsewhere to cool.

Some parts may need preheating to outgass oils, etc, especially if they are aluminum and aused items, like brake calipers maybe. All this means is precleaning, and putting into the oven and heating up to 500 for a bit. Ideally the bad stuff outgasses, and after it cools, you reclean if needed, shoot powder and bake, the evil stuff won't bubble out and ruin your work. It only happend to me once, but I learned :>



Here's a brake rotor that actually cooling, but I wanted to show you the masking required for it. Most parts require no masking, just shoot them. Others are a pain. Here tape was put on the brake dis itself, and inside the center hole, and plugs were put into the holes for the 5x100 bolt pattern. BTW, this is a Corvette rotor for '88 using Fiero calipers.



Next, masking paper was taped around the previously applied heat tape. The rotor is supported in the booth, groung connected, and paper & tape & plugs mask everything but the metal to be powdercoated. The tricky part is removing the paper after the powder is shot. And this part is laid on the oven rack for heating.

After heating, the part is removed for cooling, and finally the plugs & heat tape are removed:



When you switch colors you have to clean the gun out real well. Mostly this is done with compressed air, but it takes a bit, and it sure raises the dust. You can load your oven up with as many parts as it will hold, but they should all be about the same size or weight. Don't put a knuckle ans several small washers in together. Teh washers would be cooked before the knuckle even came up to temperature.



That ought to be enough to get you going if you've been thinking about doing your own powdercoating. Or maybe this is enough to convince you to use one of the powercoaters on the forum. Have fun.

David Breeze



datacop (datacop@gmail.com) MSG #370, 09-05-2006 10:53 AM
      PermaLinked on BluegrassFieros.Com: DIY Powder Coating by David Breeze

bubbajoexxx (bubbajoexx@sympatico.ca) MSG #371, 09-16-2006 11:21 PM
      bump ity bump

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #372, 09-18-2006 12:40 PM
     

Still mostly doiing Fiero-type stuff, but I did finally get around to glassing in the headlight door hinge bases. These parts are cut out of the Fiero inner front hood, along with the metal strap inside. The strap is threaded to accept the headlight door hinge mechanism, so it's just a matter of locating where these bases mount, to allow full travel of the headlight door hinge. There is a huge amount of adjustablilty in the mounts and various hinge fasteners, so even if you don't get it just perfect, your still ok.

I have finished degreasing and preping the chassis for a paint job. I'm using a product called Chassis Saver. It's identical to POR-15, just a bit more affordable.

And I've been round & round with the fuel tank and sender. I've finally decided to coat the interior of the fuel tank with the POR-15 product. I've done all of the cleaning and tweaking of the fuel sender that I can. I sure don't like those senders. If this one doesn't work well, it's coming out and I'm installing a capacitance sender, like the ones I've installed in homebuilt airplanes. We will see.



This weekend I layed out the dimensions available on the forum for a front battery box, drilled corner holes and cut out the opening.



I then cut & fit cardboard panels to create the mold of the battery box. This is a great example of how you can quickly fabricate parts with fiberglass. Bear in mind that the cardboard is the mold, and the layup will be done on the other side. Since the cardboard cleared everything like steering arm, swaybar, brake lines, etc.....there will actually be a bit more clearance once the cardboard mold is removed.



Sorry for the glare. Here we are on the side where the layup will be done. Everything is covered with aluminum furnace tape. Then one quick coat of wax, and three thin coats of PVA. Now it's ready for the layup.

At this pooint, Blackrams came over and pointed out that the box was sized for a standard v6 Fiero battery. Since this car is getting a 4.9 v8, it might use a bigger battery. Ok, we resized the opening and retaped the cardboard mold back together, and recoated the worked on area. Now it should accomodate any size battery.



Then we cut panels of 2oz mat to fit the mold. We used panels like this and then overlapping tapes on all corners and edges, wide enough to assure a minimum of 2" overlapp. This box is made of two layers of 2oz matt. After curing and removing the mold, If it seems like it needs more strength, I'll ad one layer of woven fiberglass cloth.

Anyhow, we did the layup by having Blackrams quickly wet out each panel, laying them on a cardboard work surface and wetting them out rapidly with a 2 1/2" brush. Then I'd take each pre wetted panel and place it in the mold. This goes real fast, we were able to use 24 oz of resin and lay it into the mold within the 20 minute gell time of the one resin batch.



After 3 days, we will remove the part and the mold, trim it, and evaluate it's strength.

David Breeze



blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #373, 09-19-2006 09:25 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:
Sorry for the glare. Here we are on the side where the layup will be done. Everything is covered with aluminum furnace tape. Then one quick coat of wax, and three thin coats of PVA. Now it's ready for the layup.
At this point, Blackrams came over and pointed out that the box was sized for a standard v6 Fiero battery. Since this car is getting a 4.9 v8, it might use a bigger battery. Ok, we resized the opening and retaped the cardboard mold back together, and recoated the worked on area. Now it should accomodate any size battery.



Anyhow, we did the layup by having Blackrams quickly wet out each panel, laying them on a cardboard work surface and wetting them out rapidly with a 2 1/2" brush. Then I'd take each pre wetted panel and place it in the mold. This goes real fast, we were able to use 24 oz of resin and lay it into the mold within the 20 minute gell time of the one resin batch.
David Breeze


Hey, that was my attempt at special effects.



bubbajoexxx (bubbajoexx@sympatico.ca) MSG #374, 10-06-2006 07:25 PM
      bump need imput

s550w MSG #375, 10-06-2006 07:35 PM
      Dave,

Did you happen to place the Pantera front end on a rest of it Fiero body and snap a couple of pictures?

Brian


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #376, 10-07-2006 08:46 AM
      Brian,
That would require us to have a Fiero with the front panels off, we don't happen to have one like that now, that might be an option the next time we prep one for for rebody but we don't currently have one at that stage. You need to make another trip down and I'll take you to the shop so you can visualize you tail off.



s550w MSG #377, 10-07-2006 09:07 AM
      Sounds good, now I need to find some time!

1fastcaddy (ku_ace@yahoo.com) MSG #378, 10-08-2006 04:29 AM
      I just thought Id mention that I have been working at a full production show quality powdercoating shop and though rough, your little writeup on it was pretty close to what we do. One major difference is that we preheat every part to 400* and before it cools, we shoot the corners where the powder tries to avoid. then you coat the rest and after it is cooled back down, it can be frosted with the last layer of powder then heated to 400 again for about 15 to 25, depending on thickness. Our website is www.precisionpowder.net if anybody in the area needs some show quality work done for the lowest price in the area, give John or Steve a call and they can hook you up, tell them Andrew sent you and maybe you can get an even lower price. Thanks, Drew



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #379, 10-16-2006 12:32 PM
      Thanks for the many kind bumps.

I have been busy putting the Choptop Pantera back together, ever so slowly. Some things really can slow you down...like the stainless auto trans tubing kit from the Fiero Store. It just plain don't fit an '88 chassis. Looks like it would be a glove fit on an '84-'87. So work-arounds take time.

But it really is great when other things fit right the first time. Like the battery box. Most excellent fit, and I've got the new cables fabricated and routed. I've removed and flushed the entire AC system, and am ready to reassemble the entire front end now.

More pics on this stuff later.

I had the sad occasion to take my son to his farewell ceremony, as he is now on the road to Afghanisan. Looks like two months intense preparation and then out of country.

Just before Hunt left we were talking abut putting the LT1 into the Yellow Pantera, and he said it would be awsome. So yesterday I devoted the day towards that project.





David Breeze



motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #380, 10-16-2006 07:12 PM
      Well I can see that youv'e been busy, thats the problem with having more than one project going at a time, it's hard to decide what to work on and sometimes it seems like moving sideways instead of forwards. Keep up the good work!

Joe


motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #381, 10-27-2006 08:46 PM
      bump

ly41181 (ironova@hotmail.com) MSG #382, 10-28-2006 02:52 AM
      All I can say is WOW! Love your write up on the powder coating and fiberglassing your battery box. Hope all is well.

Josh


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #383, 10-28-2006 08:03 PM
      Josh,
Thanks, yes, all is well. BTW, we need to hook up sometime, maybe the next Bluegrass Fiero meet.



Progress made on the secret weapon. The trunk cutout was fine tuned and amazingly, everything fits with gobs of working space. The tilting rear-clip version of the Pantera uses a strut tower brace, upon which the trunk latch/release is remounted. So I wasn't too concerned about cutting out the forward wall of the trunk, and the structural cross member at the top of that cutout.

Nonetheless, I rebuilt the cross member. A small bit more will be added to what you see here, but this alone is very stout. Final cleanup and painting will be done when the engine/cradle are pulled for the last time.



That strut tower brace is not in place in any of these photos. But Blackrams came over and we reinstalled the rear clip to check clearances.



The strut tower brace clears the LT1 intake by 3/8"+. The rear clip closes and opens just fine. And there is plenty of clearance at the front for easy access to all plumbing, shift cable, throttle cable, wiring, etc. This installation even uses the stock LT! exhaust manifolds, and they clear just fine.

The remaining item to check with the rear clip on was clearance for the Supertrapp exhaust, both when the rear clip is closes, and tilted back.



This is what the size Supertrapps that I have look like, more or less in position. The exhaust opening in the rear clip will have to be elongated a couple of inches more, or we'll use the shorter Supertrapps, or maybe a combination of the two.

BTW, reguarding this type install using the thm325/375/425 trans, everyone allways asks how much of the trunk do you have to cut out.



About this much



The rest of the day was spent routing the various plumbing systems back into the front of the Choptop Pantera. Tranny lines, brake lines, AC lines, radiator, condenser, etc. Hopefully this will allow reassembling the front suspension tomorrow.

More pics tomorrow night.

David Breeze



madcurl (madcurl@fiero-performance.com) MSG #384, 10-28-2006 09:35 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:

The exhaust opening in the rear clip will have to be elongated a couple of inches more, or we'll use the shorter Supertrapps, or maybe a combination of the two.

More pics tomorrow night.

David Breeze


Hehe. You said, "Elongated." j/k.

Nice choptop build.


motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #385, 11-12-2006 08:34 PM
      bump

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #386, 11-13-2006 09:58 AM
     

Funny how details can slow you down when least expected. The sender in the Choptop Pantera fuel tank looked like toast, and cleaning it up per the many posts on the forum didn't make the ohmeter readings any better. So I planned to use the sender from an '86 4cyl tank. That sender read ok, and the fuel lines turned towards the driver's side to boot. But upon actual assembly many problems arose. The bracket that holds the fuel pump has a different foot (fixed that) and it's a different length ( so the pump and pulsator didn't look very sturdy when installed ) and the final blow : the whole assembly is about 1/2" longer than the v6 sender, so it wouldn't fit into the tank.

I had used the por-15 gas tank clean & slosh kit to clean up the '88 fuel tank, and with it's larger capacity, I really wanted to use it. So I did some major surgery on the fuel sender and found what is shown in the above pic. I've never seen this in sender clean up threads before. I found a major, major location of corrosion in the electrical connection of the float arm and the sender body. To get to it you unbend two metal tabs, and then you have to remove the flared out plastic of the sender body in two places where it attaches to the assembly tree. This allows you to expose the large contact area between the float and the body. Otherwise the area is virtually inaccessable.

It took some major effort to clean the corrosion. Then the only thing left to reassemble the deal is the two metal tabs, but they looked ok.



So the proper sender tree was reused, fitted with a new pump & pulsator that fit very solidly, and the sender had good ohmeter readings. I used two layers of 1/8" cork sheeting to make new anti-squeek pads, and the fuel tank was finally good to go.



After the tank was installed I had flushed out both the AC lines and the heater lines, and they were reinstalled. Next came the auto tranny coolant lines to the front radiator. After wasting three days trying to make the stainless lines from the Fierostore fit, I gave up and purchased some 5/8 stainless steel line from Summitt Racing, and made my own lines. If you have an '84-'87 auto, I think the Fierostore lines would be ok. But for an '88, no way. Anyhow, finally these homemade lines were routed parallel to the driver's side radiator coolant pipe, and they fit just fine.



Next was painting the parts of the calipers which I couldn't powdercoat. Real nice kit with cleaner and paint. It takes several coats of paint, but looks nice when done.



And finally the assembly of the front suspension began. I generally gob on excess amounts of the poly grease, and wipe away the squeeze out after assembly. Never had a squeek. It's handy to have a variety of clamps when pushing poly. If you look closely you'll also see Rodney's 1" lowering balljoints. These were pressed in at NAPA, and I migged four tack welds around the top of each one.



When all is done I'll have to paint the parts that weren't powdercoated. Turns out Rustoleum Red matches the powder I used. How nice.



I again spent way too much time figuring out which way the caliper adapter brackets went. But finally that too was done. I haven't fully assembled the calipers yet, but that is next.



Although I can't say anything good about the tranny lines from the Fierostore, I will say their stainless brake line kit fit like a glove. This was installed, and the front compartment started taking shape. Heater lines, AC lines, brake lines, tranny cooler lines, and engine coolant lines are now in place. I installed pvc grommets where the battery cables go thru the front firewall and ran them into the front bay. So now the spare tire pan and battery tray are ready to go in. Finally



A couple of quick shots this morning, just to see how things were shaping up:







So it looks like a few more evenings this week and I can set the front end back down on the floor. Next up will be the final assembly of the engine & drivetrain. Can't wait

David Breeze

[This message has been edited by opm2000 (edited 11-13-2006).]

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #387, 11-20-2006 11:54 AM
     

Things are moving along. I filled the torque converter with 1 qt of trans fluid and fit it onto the transmission. Then I used the cherry picker to mate the engine & trans. Next I installed the rear trans mount and the "front" engine mount.






Then it was pretty much a matter of attaching to the cradle and adding the front trans mount. After everything was torqued down it looked like this:






I measured for the serpentine belt, and amazingly, NAPA had one in stock this morning. If it fits then installing the various plumbing items and the Ed Park's harness are next.

It feels good to begine reassembly

David Breeze


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #388, 11-24-2006 09:01 AM
      Bump, just cause, no other reason, just cause.



PerKr (per_kristoffersson1@hotmail.com) MSG #389, 11-29-2006 10:56 AM
      this is interesting. out of my reach, but interesting

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #390, 11-29-2006 11:26 AM
      PerKr,
Maybe not so out of reach. I actually recieved a mold for a Pantera front airdam from a creative fellow in Sweden. I'd be interested in knowing what the real shipping costs would be. It proably would be a painful figure, but you never know untill you ask. If anyone knows of a contact to begin with, I'd look into it.

David Breeze


motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #391, 12-16-2006 04:54 PM
      Time for another bump.

AquaHusky (david.t.cisneros@gmail.com) MSG #392, 12-18-2006 04:10 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:





This here reminds me of that slant nosed Pinto they made for a couple of days in the 70's.


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #393, 12-18-2006 07:37 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by AquaHusky:
This here reminds me of that slant nosed Pinto they made for a couple of days in the 70's.


Huh???????



blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #394, 01-01-2007 07:33 PM
      Time for another bump, we're getting so close and yet it seems like we're never gonna let this tiger out of the cage. Oh well, stand by for more.



AquaHusky (david.t.cisneros@gmail.com) MSG #395, 01-03-2007 07:04 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by blackrams:


Huh???????




heh... It's called the Pangra. Here's a link to a pic of one.
http://www.bob2000.com/pangra.jpg
Hope this clears it up a bit.


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #396, 01-03-2007 07:57 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by AquaHusky:
heh... It's called the Pangra. Here's a link to a pic of one.
http://www.bob2000.com/pangra.jpg
Hope this clears it up a bit.


I can see where you were coming from, it was just the comparassion that threw me for a loop.



AquaHusky (david.t.cisneros@gmail.com) MSG #397, 01-03-2007 11:06 PM
      I think it's the lights that I see. And, wasn't it Ford that brought "empty" Panteras from Italy and stuffed a V8s in them? If so, that might be why the light lids look so similar.

bubbajoexxx (bubbajoexx@sympatico.ca) MSG #398, 01-04-2007 08:45 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by AquaHusky:


This here reminds me of that slant nosed Pinto they made for a couple of days in the 70's.


the kit was called the Silohuette I purchased one in 75 for my 302 powered pinto just a basic bolt on new fenders and hood the grill is retained and the signal lights and front bumper and you had to make your own light pop ups


AquaHusky (david.t.cisneros@gmail.com) MSG #399, 01-04-2007 09:41 PM
      Sillo-wet? I'm sure if I tried to find that I'd get pics of ugly vans. Altho, when I first seen pics of that car, it was called the Pangra or whatever.. Know why? (That's an actual question)

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #400, 01-05-2007 07:36 PM
      It's time to bump this to a another page, mostly because I helped eat that fish Dave is holding up in the pics on this page and it doesn't look nearly as attractive in that pic as it looked on my plate. Damn, that was good eating!



goyal99 MSG #401, 01-15-2007 04:05 PM
      Just a question to the builder:

Where do you get your supplies for the 2-part expanding foam and Duratec primer??

I've see those at Fibre Glast website but I'm not sure if that's the best place to shop for those.....if you have another, cheaper supplier please let me know..

Thanks and keep up the great Pantera build project.

VK


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #402, 01-15-2007 04:54 PM
      The overall best prices and also very fast response time is from U S Composites, if your living in the eastern half of the US. BTW, I use the least dense foam. It foams great at 70 degrees, and will perform not as well if 10 degrees cooler, but still works. At 70, you can cut and sand a fresh pour after 15 minutes. It cures all the way thru, and saws or sands nicely, and is compatable with both epoxy and polyurethane resins.

uscomposites.com

David Breeze


goyal99 MSG #403, 01-15-2007 05:18 PM
      Thanks Dave

another question on the thickness of Fiberglass mat you use in your project:

sometimes (usually when starting a mold) you use 3/4 oz mat....other times you use 2 oz FG mat....what the reason for this besides building up the mold for strength??

I'm assuming that you get your fiberglass supplies from the same place as well....are you using 3 LB density Foam or higher for your projects??

Regards - VK

[This message has been edited by goyal99 (edited 01-15-2007).]

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #404, 01-16-2007 06:04 AM
      I've allways used the 2 lb density foam. Maybe I need to expand my horizons....

I am in the middle of building a Pantera dash, and I am also using the foam boards made from this same type foam. I've only found these at Fiberglast, so they are a bit pricey, but they are extremely handy to use. So it depends on what your application is.

When doing any type layup using polyester or vinylester based resins and gelcoats, I almost allways will lay down a "skin" layer and let it peak or exotherm. Then I'll layup a second and thicker layer, and let it peak. Then I'll finish the layup, usually with two more of the thicker layers.

Polyesters have an ability to generate a lot of heat when curing, and the more resin present, the more intense the heat buildup is. When polyesters generate heat, they also shrink a bit...it's the bane of polyesters. It is possable for a part to shrink 1 %. That may not sound like much, but if your 100" long car body shrank 1", it just wouldn't fit.

Other considerations are how the gelcoat in a mold reacts to too much heat, the mold surface or mold itself and how it will react to too much heat, and on and on.

Now if you are just putting a fiberglass patch on the backside of some existing part, as a repair, I wouldn't be near as cautious.

I do recall an occasion in the shop when 2 gallons of mekp was added to 2 gallons of resin, obviously by mistake. Talk about fireworks


goyal99 MSG #405, 01-16-2007 10:23 AM
      Wow, really interesting explanation Dave, thank you!

I would be interested (and others I'm sure) to see photos of your Pantera dash progress, if you have any....

BTW, my next project is to make a copy (mold) of an existing 308 dash I have and make it fit into a Fiero to give it a different look....I haven't started this project yet but your idea of using foam boards sounds interesting....will investigate further.

now back to work - Cheers!

VK


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #406, 01-18-2007 02:31 PM
     

I've been working on & off lately on this, getting the annual inspection done. But after getting the engine & cradle back into the chassis, it was time to attend to a few details. One problem was what you will eventually run into if you drop many Fiero cradles. Sometimes the thin metal that cages the rear cradle nuts will just rust away. Then the "witch-hat" nut will just turn, making it difficult to get the rear cradle bolt out. That was the case with this chassis, and there are several ways to correct it.

In this case I cut open a small window in the side of the beam where the nut sets.



The ruined cage was removed, and the base steel cleaned up to allow the nut to set flat, and to allow welding.



And the sides of the opening were cleaned up for welding a patch back on.



The nut was centered over the pass-thru hole, and tightened in place with a bolt, and welded in place.



A patch was cut out of 14 gauge steel and tacked into place.



And it was welded in place.



BTW, I painted as much of the insides as I could after welding in the nut, and of course painted over the new patch.

David Breeze

[This message has been edited by opm2000 (edited 01-18-2007).]

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #407, 01-18-2007 03:25 PM
      As mentioned earlier, I've begun working on a new dash. I wanted to create a dash that was inspired by a version of the Pantera dash. There were several versions. I also wanted to make it so that the Fiero instrument pod was used, and the Fiero center console was used. I wanted it to be able to be finished either by painting, upholstering, or overlaying. And I wanted to replace the Fiero defrost vents.

So what I've come up with uses the main instrument pod, sans any of the plastic mounting pedestal. Only the white instrument box and metal tab that secures it to the steering collumn is used. The stock Fiero instrument cover facia may be used, as well.

Over at the center console, the plastic "skeleton" frame that runs along the armrest console and supports the radio & hvac head is left in place. The radio & hvac head are also in place. And above that, you can either leave the two heater vents in place, or remove them and install the Fiero GT instrument pod (the oil pressure & voltage meter).

Since I'm reworking the vents for my own use, I put the GT pod in place above the hvac head.

To replace the two heater vents at the far ends of the dash, next to the doors, I'll be installing these:



I've used these eveball vents in experimental aircraft, and they are the berries, and just $14.00 each. Replacing the in-dash heat vents, and the defrost vents are two of these:





These rotate 360degrees and have angular adjustability, and can be closed off entirely, just like the eyeball vents. These are exactly the type of vents used in Lamborghini dashes, but they just don't have a raging bull embossed into them. I found them in a Ford backhoe, and they cost $25.00 each.

The under-dash ductwork frame is removed and replaced with a box-like plenum that will recieve air in both the vent & defrost modes. CAT hose attaches to the two eveball vents, and the Lambo vents just set in the dash, and it forms the top of the plenum. So you have full controll of where your defrost air goes, and can run both defrost and vent at the same time. Keep It Simple.

To the afore mentioned list of design parameters, I wanted the dash to match up with the door upholestry ques, just as the stock dash does. So the first step was to stretch reference strings to locate the top and bottom leading edges of the dash, and to make sure they would line up with the instruments.

Most of the dash is being built out of urethane sheet foam from Fiberglast. It comes in 2'x4'x1" sheets, and is the same material as the two part pour foam. It is a bit pricey but really helps in a project like this. Templates are made first for any panel using foam cores poster board. So the first templates & foam boards made were the top & bottom of the dash. To reproduce the windshield edge of the dash, the Fiero dash was simply turned upside down and traced onto foam-board. This was sut out and fit, making sure it squared up with both the windshield, the sides, and the string. Pretty much same thing for the bottom panel.



The foam core poster board cuts, saws & sands very well, and is fairly stout. It really helps if you have a small bandsaw.



Here you see the urethane board cut out and in place. The leading edge is rounded, and there is a cutout for the instrument pod. Height was set by both the string, and the fact that I wanted the GT pod fully visible.

Once the upper & lower panels were cut out of foam and the fit look ok, they were prepared for glassing.



A slurry was mixed of resin & micro, and this was squeeged into the surface of the foam. The slurry was allowed to cure over night and then lightly sanded, to ensure there were no stickups. The slurry seals the foam and makes it adheare better to the fiberglass, especially if you have a layup where gravity wants to pull part of it down.

And that was the case here. I wanted the top panel to be glassed on the top, the rounded nose, and about 4" along the underside of that panel. Same thing for the bottom panel. To avoid a slow process of several seperate layups and endless sanding....I sstarted each panel out by cutting out the cloth and taping it to the last 1/2" of that 4" underside. This was laid on the worktable edge so that the excess cloth hung over. The 4" side and nose were then wetted out....and the whole assembly was flipped over and laid on a piece of wax paper. This then allowed the topside to be wetted out, and gravity was happy.



This shows how the 4" side was taped to the foam, using furnace tape. BTW, tape just will not stick to foam, so the slurry step is necessary to make the tape work.



This pic is also after, but shows how both sides and nose are able to be glassed at one time, and not bag off the foam mold.

Once these were trimmed up they were jigged in place, and templates made for the various verticle pieces. These pieces are now being made up as fiberglass parts, as well.



Here you might notice the armrest console. It's all ready for making a production mold. And that is the same goal of this dash project.

David Breeze



PaulJK MSG #408, 01-26-2007 03:33 PM
      Dave, I have a question about the linear actuators you're using on the rear hatch. If the power fails, can you raise tha hatch by hand ? I talked to Dakota Digital about theirs (the most expensive stuff in the automaotve world ) and they said if the power fails, their linear actuators CANNOT be moved by hand.

I'd like to use them on my car, but I need the actuators to be "free-wheeling" if the power goes off.


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #409, 01-27-2007 03:47 AM
      Pauljk,
The units I have also are locked up if power fails. That is why I located one of the pivot points at the rear window on the chassis. It could have been located almost anywhere on an arc using the hood-end as a pivot point, and that might have visually buried it even more than it now is.

As it is, the unit is nestled up into the strake and is pretty much out of sight. It certianly is not in the way when the hood is raised up and you need to lean into the engine compartment.

So what if the power fails? The Pantera rear hood has that opening just behind the chassis rear window. It acts much like the Fiero rear hatch vents....it lets air out of the engine bay. And it also lets you easily reach the pivot point of the actuator. Instead of a bolt & not at that end, I'll be using an AN bolt with a hairpin clip, just to make it easier to reach in...pull the clip....and pull both bolts.

I went thru the exercise when I first installed the actuators, and once the pivot point is pulled, you can open the trunk easily. So I guess that is a consideration in your application. Can you locate the actuators so that you can easily release one of the pivot points?

FWIW, the actuators seem to be well made, and I'll bet they last a very long time.

David Breeze


PaulJK MSG #410, 01-27-2007 04:04 AM
      Much thanks. I'll have to study my rear hatch, but I think it's too far enclosed to allow much access.

I'm watching your dash build-up with much interest; I may be in the market for a new dash someday soon . Here's a link to some cool interior accessories as food for thought:

http://www.zigsstreetrods.c...interior.html#ACVent

Actually, i think I like the idea of being able to use the fiero instrument cluster, but would something like this be able to fit as well ? :



Probably without the brushed aluminum plate ?

[This message has been edited by PaulJK (edited 01-27-2007).]

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #411, 01-28-2007 06:11 AM
      Pauljk,
Those are nice looking AC vents, thanks for the link. Those dash inserts should fit, one way or another. It looked like most of them were @ 14" or 18" wide. I'll have to measure the width of the pod this morning.

I did make the whole left side of the dash with that sort of customized dash in mind, though. Essentially you have an opening for the pod, which has a small flat panel on each side of the opening. If you were to eleminate the opening , you'd have a full with flat panel to work with.

I have allways fancied this dash, but if I use it, it will absolutely be the last purchased item on this current build. Check out

http://www.nordskogperforma...dashpanels/page2.htm

They have similar complete dashes as well. Their spedos & tachs remind me of Cliff's original dashes. Who knows?

David Breeze


PaulJK MSG #412, 01-28-2007 05:34 PM
      To be honest, the cavalier digital dash i already have will most likely be my first choice, but it's nice to have options. I like the Nordskog stuff; they're not too far from me (down in Orange County). Just be careful when you choose warning lights - calif. makes you have a functional "Check Engine" light or you won't pass smog testing . I know the Dakota Digital panels have all the indicator lights built in (including Check Engine), but they are Very Expensive and I've found Dakota Digital Very difficult to deal with. (They're also quick to charge big re-stocking fees).

MoneyNoMo (paul7113@lycos.com) MSG #413, 01-29-2007 03:18 AM
      Some pics you might find interesting:





[This message has been edited by MoneyNoMo (edited 01-29-2007).]

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #414, 01-29-2007 10:02 AM
      Moneynomo,
Interesting screen name, I feel your pain I don't suppose those pics are from one you happen to have setting around, are they? If so, I'd like to speak with you about getting some pics & measurements. Your pics pretty well show the style of dash that has inspired this build. The only aspect I couldn't really bring into the Fiero interior was the V shaped center console. It just doesn't have enough depth or height to be done. But I am pleased with what I've been able to bring into it so far.



Above pic is after all of the various parts have been made and fit into place. I used hot glue dabs, clamps, jacks, or whatever it took to get it jigged into place and square with the chassis and other interior panels. Then the top was taken off and I began bonding th dash together from the inside. The foam was micro'd and 2 oz tapes were installed.



After those cured, I put the top back on and used a couple of 1oz tapes to secure it to the main dash. I'm using lightweight tapes on the outside of this plug, to minimize the amount of sanding needed to prepare it for the mold building process.



Sorry about my old camera. This shows the begining of installing and shaping the foam fillets on the sides of the instrument pod cover. Once those are shaped, the dash can be removed. On the bench, the intersecting corners will be given a final shaping, and the interior will recieve additional bracing. Then the fun begins.

BTW, the portion you see going under the steering wheel will not be there on the final dash. It has to be removed inorder to remove or install the dash. I will include it as an extra part though, incase the builder just wants to have it in place.

David Breeze (the one in Kentucky)


MoneyNoMo (paul7113@lycos.com) MSG #415, 01-29-2007 07:52 PM
      Only in my dreams, David. Those pics came from a pantera listed on eBay. However, I'm thinking that you could make a good guess to distances using the speedo and rocker switches (on the left in photo). If the speedo is maybe 5 and 3/8 inches in diameter and the rockers are maybe an inch and a half high, I'm guessing that the height of the dash face is probably something like 4 inches in the long rectangular places and maybe 6 inches in the space shaped for the speedo and tach.

I'm guessing that the one you have in the pic is maybe 8 or more inches. May I suggest that you more or less keep your total height, but make the face shorter and have a small "parcel shelf" running along the bottom. Maybe something like a 2 inch shelf and a 5 inch main face. I think the result would look more proportional to the pantera and add a cool place to put stuff.

[This message has been edited by MoneyNoMo (edited 01-29-2007).]

MoneyNoMo (paul7113@lycos.com) MSG #416, 01-29-2007 08:18 PM
      i did a photoshop and left the original show through at the bottom:



The black at the bottom of the shortened face is the parcel shelf, which would be lined in black material.

[This message has been edited by MoneyNoMo (edited 01-29-2007).]

fourpoint9 (stevenmsimpson@comcast.net) MSG #417, 01-29-2007 09:14 PM
      How about this? It's thinner and has the V shape in it.

[This message has been edited by fourpoint9 (edited 01-29-2007).]

PaulJK MSG #418, 01-30-2007 01:39 AM
      The wide at the top and tapering downward to narrow makes the side of the footwells. However, a flat face (instead of the 3-surface pantera design) would be better for mounting things liek the A/C panel and radio face. Here's a few pics I had:





See how the rocker switches, gauges and vertical radio are on 3 different planes - i think this would be better as 1 flat piece.

[This message has been edited by PaulJK (edited 01-30-2007).]

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #419, 01-30-2007 12:11 PM
      Hmmm,
All good points & ideas.
Moneynomo, you'r most likely right about dimensions & porportions. The "height" of the front panel came from duplicating the "height" of the stock Fiero dash. The horizontal top & bottom panels line up with the upholstery on the stock Fiero door panels. You'e got to start somewhere. I am intrigued to see what a slimmer front panel would do. As it happens, the bottom panel is just a very short distance below the main instrument pod. But it looks like a slimmer lower panel somewhere @ the height of mid-hvac head might work.

fourpoint9, that's what I set out trying to achieve, as far as integrating the V shaped center console into the new dash. It gets complicated by retaining the set location of the Fiero center instrument stack, and the relatively small amount of free space to work with. From the left side of the center stack to the right side of the main instrument pod is just about 3" or less. Although there seems to be plenty of room to work with the passenger side.

Pauljk, I agreee, a totally flat panel would be easier to work with. I'll bet most people just looking at photos don't even pick up on the 3-plane center console. If we were to completely forsake the stock center console mounting structure, then incorporating many of these suggestions might yield something interesting.

I plan to carry the existing plug thru to a finished mold and at least one produced dash. But meantime, I have plenty of materials around to try out some of these ideas.

David Breeze


motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #420, 03-07-2007 07:49 AM
      This is way past due for a bump, Dave are you out there?

Joe


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #421, 03-07-2007 11:14 AM
      Hey Joe,
I took a couple of weeks for some quality time with my son. This was taken two days before he shipped out to Bagram, Afghanistan. I hope everyone supports our troops....it's young men like Hunt that make our daily freedoms possable...things like this forum.



Meanwhile, Once the dash plug was built I began the process of preparing it for creating a mold. This involves a lot of 80 grit sandpaper and a sanding block and a sanding spline. Generally, you sand everything once, removing the high spots. This quickly reveals the low spots. Then you squegee bondo over the low spots and fill in any depressions or add fillets to sharp edges that might prevent easy mold release, later on.



Above shows the start of this process. On this plug, I worked with three applications of bondo applied to the fiberglass surface of the plug. It's easy to do, but very dusty, so allways take the precaution of wearing a respirator.

Once the plug was fairly smooth, I sprayed on three wet coats of Duratec, a polyester sanding primer. This cures to a nice smooth dark grey surface. Then you again begin sanding to lower high spots and fill the low spots. Thsi plug was smooth enough that I used a liquid form of bondo for the filler and switched up to 150 grit paper. Once filled and sanded, I shot a second layer of Duratec on, this time mixed with another Duratec product that imparts a slightly harder, glosssier finish. Usually I will then wet sand up to 500 grit and then polish and buff thru 2000 grit. But this plug was turning out so nice that I went straight to waxing.

Five layers of mold release wax are applied, with an hour between coats. The last coat is allowed to harden overnight. This wax is a parting agent, but it's main function is to fill pores in the finish. Once the waxing is cured, I shot on 3 coats of PVA release agent. When making parts from a mold, I usually use two coats of PVA, but when building a mold, I like the insurance of a third coat. PVA is a liquid release agent, and in a well seasoned mold you may not even have to use it, just one coat of wax.



Above is a typical detail gun. I use this to spray the PVA, undiluted. You want to use a pressure setting that creates a fine mist with the tip about 18" - 24" back from the surface. The PVA is misted on wet but not sagging, and allowed to completely dry till it is shiney and dry to the touch.

Also is the hvlp gun I use to spray Duratec and gelcoat. The tip size is 2.5mm. Thsi gun shoots undiluted Duratec ( which is as thick as hot syrup ) really well, and sprays gelcoat ( which is even thicker ) well enough. It can get really hectic spraying these two products if your gun isn't suited to it. You only have 15 - 20 minutes at best before the batch in the gun will gell, and if it isn't flowing quickly from the gun it will exotherm in the cup and gel even quicker. You really haven't lived untill you've tried to clean up a gun that is gelling up :>

You can thin both products with acetone, mek, styrene, or other products, but you get the best results if you can apply a 20mil coat of undiluted product. I have an old fashion cup gun for spraying gelcoat, and I've used it. But when you use a cup gun, it's "Katie bar the door" time. A cup gun will just about spray everything in three counties. I like spraying in a very controlled fashion, and these products are not cheap, so finding the right spray gun is the ticket.

David Breeze


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #422, 03-07-2007 11:57 AM
     

Above was actually taken after the mold building had progressed, but it shows the backside of the parting flanges I made. A plug is made so that it has no negative draft, hopefully. This would allow a one piece mold, which is easier to build and maintain. But if negative draft is unavoidable, or the plug it too large, or the part has a lot of complex corners and edges....you will build a mold that is really several molds that bolt together to form one master mold.

Such was the case here. I decided where the parting lines would be and ran a dam of plasticine clay along the backside of each line. On the side where the mold was to be built, I placed playing cards against the plug surface, and pressed them into the clay dam. Then I applied metalic furnace tape to the mold side of the playing cards. This creates a flange, and when you build the removable part of the mold, you also build the flange. It is later drilled thru so it can be bolted to the rest of the mold.

Note: The parting flange was actually installed after waxing, and before spraying the PVA. Then when spraying the PVA, the plug and the flange get sprayed. You can use any number of things to create a parting flange, but I like this method because it is easy to construct, and can follow contours easily.

Just before spraying the gelcoat, the rest of the plug is masked off. This is to prevent spraying gelcoat on it, and allows you to work only on the removable parts of the multi-part mold.



Above was actually taken after several layers of the mold were laid up. But it shows some of the masking. I use typical painters' paper and masking tape, you just have to be sure it sticks. So the next step was to spray the gelcoat. A tooling gelcoat gives the mold a hard smooth surface from which to build new parts. It is thick and dense so you can sand or buff it if necessary when building new parts. A color like orange is often used because it helps highlight air bubbles during the layup or new parts. But it can be grey, or black, whatever.

The gelcoat is pretty finiky stuff. It needs to be sprayed on in three wet passes to a thickness of 20 mils, and allowed to cure to a no thumbprint or thumb drag state. Then a second coat is applied, just like the first. There are many things that can screw up a gelcoat. I like to keep the layup area @ 65 degrees, and monitor part temps with an infrared temp gun.

As soon as the second coat of gelcoat cures, the layup can begin. The base of the flange is usually a pretty sharp angle, so it gets a fillet of resin thickened with cabosil and milled glass. Then a "skin" layer of 1 oz. mat is applied to everything. This layer is allowed to cure past peak heat an cool a bit. Then a second coat of 2 oz mat is applied. Between layers you lightly sand edges to remove needles of glass, and the surface of the layup itself to remove any unseen stickups. Anything that sticks up will create an air bubble in the next layer, and you want to achieve a solid layup for your mold.



For a mold I usually apply a 1 ounce skin, followed by two layers of 2 oz, and then a layer of coremat and 2 oz, another layer of coremat and 2 oz, and then a layer of woven tooling cloth. A mold needs to be thick enough to prevent warping and distortion. Some production shops will tell you you can apply 5 layers in a day, but I like to apply two at the most. Polyester resin generates heat as it cures. Too much heat causes shrinkage and warping, and can cause problems with the gelcoat. The resin I use has no wax added, so the outside never cures untill you air deprive it. This means you can take your time and add a couple of layers a day, and when finally thick enough, I spray PVA onto the backside of the mold, causing the final cure.

The pic with the sprayguns shows the coremat. It is a thin, cardboardpaper-like material with microspheres in it, and is used as a bulker to thicken layups. The manner I apply it is to leave an edge around the coremat, for the fiberglass layer above to bond around it. This creates a composite sandwich layup, similar to what we used in composite aircraft building, and imparts great strength and rigidity to the mold.



Above shows the center console taken thru these stages, with the first layer of coremat going on. Coremat also spreads the load of the eggcrate structure which is added to the backside of the mold. Eggcrating is simply wood or steel bars that create bracing and also create a stand for the mold.

David Breeze

[This message has been edited by opm2000 (edited 03-07-2007).]

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #423, 03-07-2007 12:12 PM
     

Above shows the parting flange dam being removed. The removable apart of the mold and it's flange have been built thick enough to go ahead and remove the dam.



Next, the edges of the newly created flange are squared up and the PVA layer is removed. The PVA was now a thin film which easily removed from the orange flange.



So now we have to build the rest of the mold. The new parting flange will recieve three coats of wax, and then it and the rest of the plug will be sprayed with PVA, gelcoat, and then followed by the layup schedule. After the last layups are done, it's best to exercise restraint and wait 3 to 5 days for the mold to set. Then you can part the mold from the plug, and begin to make new parts!

BTW, this is a dash plug I'm working on for Blackram's convertable :>



David Breeze

[This message has been edited by opm2000 (edited 03-07-2007).]

motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #424, 04-01-2007 09:34 PM
      Bump

FieroMontreal (bastien_ja@hotmail.com) MSG #425, 04-26-2007 10:53 PM
      That last dash one looks very much like the dash I had in my old 1991 Nissan 300zx!

Keep up the good work


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #426, 04-27-2007 08:20 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by FieroMontreal:
That last dash one looks very much like the dash I had in my old 1991 Nissan 300zx!
Keep up the good work


I'm assuming you consider that a good thing. In that my Pantero version will be a roadster with a raked windshield, I think the Lambo version works. It's all a matter of taste, some will like neither version. You can't please everyone but we feel that these two versions work for the car.
I'm trying to decide if installion of a "glove compartment" in the Lambo dash is worth the effort. I know the utility of such a install would be very useful but I'm not sure it's worth the effort. As these projects move from one phase to another, lots of ideas come up. But every idea effects something else and slows the whole process down. Dave is the craftsman with the knowledge in this project, I'm more of the "stand by and hold this" helper but this is and has been one hell of a project. I'm thankful for the opportunity to work with Dave on this.


jstricker (jstricke@rwisp.com) MSG #427, 04-27-2007 11:20 PM
      One thing to consider, Ron, in the "worth the effort" equation is if you make the interior box of the glove compartment removable from the OUTSIDE, you can easily pull it and get to things like the mounting points, wiring to the back of the radio/HVAC controls, relay module, etc., without having to stand on your head and look up under the dash without being able to get any light on the subject.

You're old, like me, and not nearly as limber as you used to be. You're also getting bigger around, like me, and let's face it, we just don't fit places we used to.

John Stricker

Edited to add..................Not everyone is built like David. I think he has tapeworms or something.

 
quote
Originally posted by blackrams:


I'm assuming you consider that a good thing. In that my Pantero version will be a roadster with a raked windshield, I think the Lambo version works. It's all a matter of taste, some will like neither version. You can't please everyone but we feel that these two versions work for the car.
I'm trying to decide if installion of a "glove compartment" in the Lambo dash is worth the effort. I know the utility of such a install would be very useful but I'm not sure it's worth the effort. As these projects move from one phase to another, lots of ideas come up. But every idea effects something else and slows the whole process down. Dave is the craftsman with the knowledge in this project, I'm more of the "stand by and hold this" helper but this is and has been one hell of a project. I'm thankful for the opportunity to work with Dave on this.

[This message has been edited by jstricker (edited 04-27-2007).]

jscott1 MSG #428, 04-28-2007 12:39 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:





I haven't poked my head in this thread in a long time so forgive me if I speak out of turn, but I don't understand why someone would go through all the trouble to do a custom dash and stick with the stock gauges? To me, it instanly looks retro 80s and not as nice as a custom autometer or dakota digital, or a later model cluster like the firebird or grand am.

That's just my unsolicited opinion, you can easily disregard, but if its the wiring the scares you off I can help you with that.


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #429, 04-28-2007 03:27 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by jstricker:
You're old, like me, and not nearly as limber as you used to be. You're also getting bigger around, like me, and let's face it, we just don't fit places we used to.
John Stricker
Edited to add..................Not everyone is built like David. I think he has tapeworms or something.


John,
The paragraph's that are not quoted are worthy of consideration. The part that is quoted is simply not true, I'm young, limber and skinny, just ask my....I can't afford to have anyone lie for me. ;(
OH crap, never mind. You're right but I'm still cute.



blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #430, 04-28-2007 03:34 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by jscott1:
I haven't poked my head in this thread in a long time so forgive me if I speak out of turn, but I don't understand why someone would go through all the trouble to do a custom dash and stick with the stock gauges? To me, it instanly looks retro 80s and not as nice as a custom autometer or dakota digital, or a later model cluster like the firebird or grand am.

That's just my unsolicited opinion, you can easily disregard, but if its the wiring the scares you off I can help you with that.


Your opinion is appreciated, I can't speak for Dave, speaking for myself, alternative gauges are a very real possibility, and that may end up where we go. My thoughts are that not everyone wants alternative gauges, with this dash, there are several possibilities. It's easy to put a different dash guage panel in for a different look, this set up allows us to go several directions. I'm personally leaning toward a digital dash with HUD but that is somewhere down the road. Who knows where this will end up. You have to start somewhere. Thanks for the input.

Now I have to start that diet so that Stricker will shut up.






opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #431, 04-29-2007 05:32 AM
      Ahem,
Well John, there is hope. If you & Blackrams keep it up with the diets & situps, then you guys can become sexual tyrannosauruses too, just like me

David Breeze


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #432, 04-29-2007 05:52 AM
      Jscott1,
Your point is well taken. In this particular case, I have tried to consider both how I'm going to be dealing with the instrument issue.....and also how a prospective builder might have to deal with it .

I agree, especially if the car is being shown, that the gauges should be changed out to their final design. This obviously can mean a rather tidy investment in itself, but the payback in appearance is tremendous.

With the design of this particular dash, as well as the Lambo-type I'm doing for Blackrams, you will be able to use the stock Pod. However, at any point you can easily remove the pod and install what amounts to a flat panel "filler" panel , and install the custom gauges of your heart's desire.

I did hit the wall regarding this concept while working on the center console portion of the Pantera dash, I'll give you that. I did want to stick with the stock hardware locations. The thinking was it was just plain easier for most builders to at least be able to start there. If we had assumed a clean sheet in this area, I might have been able to achieve the DeTomasso "V" center console. I will find out with later versions of this dash, so stay tuned.....

Anyhow, as I stated much earlier, my own plans are to initially get the Choptop-Pantera running and debugged using the stock Pod. Then as long as I'm not totally in the poorhouse, the Nordskog Designer kit goes in. And no doubt I'll be calling on you for assistance, as I'm a self confessed electrical-Neanderthal.

David Breeze


Cheever3000 MSG #433, 04-29-2007 07:53 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:

... you guys can become sexual tyrannosauruses too, just like me



A sex Rex?




blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #434, 04-29-2007 07:57 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:
then you guys can become sexual tyrannosauruses too, just like me
David Breeze


 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:
I'm a self confessed electrical-Neanderthal.
David Breeze


Ah Dave, does the phrase TMI mean anything to ya? There are some things I'd rather not know.



jstricker (jstricke@rwisp.com) MSG #435, 04-29-2007 09:04 AM
      David,

Diet is a four letter word, go wash your mouth out. Actually, I'm more than a little impressed a KY country boy spelled tyrannosaurus correctly. Bet Ron can't do that.

All that aside, if you do go with a glovebox think ahead. On the dash on the Roadster, I positioned the instrument cluster and the glovebox so that I had access to everything (pretty much) behind the dash in one form or another. It makes assembly and service a whole lot easier.

John Stricker
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:

Ahem,
Well John, there is hope. If you & Blackrams keep it up with the diets & situps, then you guys can become sexual tyrannosauruses too, just like me

David Breeze




blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #436, 04-29-2007 01:18 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by jstricker:
David,
Diet is a four letter word, go wash your mouth out. Actually, I'm more than a little impressed a KY country boy spelled tyrannosaurus correctly. Bet Ron can't do that.
John Stricker


Huh??? Who, me???



Sourmug MSG #437, 05-27-2007 11:30 PM
      Wow guys!! I haven't had a look in this thread before but I'm glad I have now. You are doing some awesome work and my hats off to you.

Nolan


madcurl (madcurl@fiero-performance.com) MSG #438, 08-12-2007 01:18 PM
      anything new to report?


Cheever3000 MSG #439, 08-12-2007 01:47 PM
      I saw a yellow Pantera going down the street the other day. The distinctive rumble sound made me look up and there it was. Beautiful. Naturally, I thought of this thread.


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #440, 08-12-2007 04:49 PM
      Rumble huh, hopefully it won't be long and Dave's LT1 will be running in a Pantero, rumble it will.



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #441, 08-13-2007 07:56 AM
      Progressing along nicely on several fronts. I've no pics here at work, but will get a few up shortly.

This weekend a new builder from Wisconson visited and took delivery of a kit. After meeting him and his sidekick, I think you will soon see some interesting developments.

I think you'll like what we can do with the front hood skin, while it is in the mold. Pics will tell the story better than I can explain here, right now.

The LT1 is progressing nicely, just about ready for it's final installation into the chassis. Again, the pics may intrest those folks out there that like longitudinal v8 installs.

And the 4.9/Allante is in, lacking only the final attachment of various plumbing lines.

More later.

David Breeze


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #442, 08-14-2007 11:02 AM
      For the longitudinal v8 folks:



Poor quality pics as usual, but look closely. I fabricated a bracket to hold the trans shift cable, so this setup uses the stock Fiero shifter & shift cable. Also you can see the vss adapter, which generates the necessary signal for the '93 LT1 computer I'm using. A cable driven spedometer can be attached, but I'm going to look for a spedo signal out of the computer. Look closely behind the differential and you will see the remote oil filter adapter. You can also see the trans end of the kickdown cable attached. I'm using a stock Fiero kickdown cable. More on that later. And finally you can see a mount for the trailing link which attaches the knuckle to the cradle. Since the cradle is extended, and the trans is in the way, the link is relocated. More on that later. The black paint is a POR15 clone, by Magnum Paints. It's not cheap, but less than POR15, and I honestly think it's the same formula.

While the rear clip has been off and I had an extra set of actuators laying around, I've been working on installing them on the rear clip. I think I've got it all worked out, and the last two brackets will be welded in place today or tomorrow.







opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #443, 08-14-2007 11:18 AM
      I've been working on installing the front hood. And while the mold was laying there ready to layup, I decided to try including a set of hood extractors. I've seen pics of Panteras with extractors covered with grills, but being a Fiero type guy, I kind of like the open, visible type. So I made up a set of plugs using foam cored poster board, covered with aluminum furnace tape, and clayed in the edges with a nice radius. Size was dictated by a random cutout of the front of the tirewell wall. It can be enlarged, allowing a different final shape to the extractors.





The whole works was sprayed with PVA and Duratec:



And a typical layup done:



Here it is, straight from the mold, cut & trimmed but not washed up:





For the purist, the extractors will look a bit further back than on a real Pantera. Location is dictated by the radiator location of the Fiero chassis. Since the headlight buckets are moved 6" forwards, it makes the extractors look a bit aft. But I like the overall effect. It can be modified to a different shape or size, before the layup. For that matter, there's plenty of room to either lay the Fiero radiator down or move it forwards if you so wanted. Then the extractors could be located in what would appear a more of a stock Pantera location. I think I'll offer the addition of extractors to buyers at no additional charge, if they know exactly what they want, and where it's located.

David Breeze


PaulJK MSG #444, 08-14-2007 07:27 PM
      Very very nice work, David. I love the look of the front end, but how are you going to mount the headlight motors and assemblies to those new locations ?

[This message has been edited by PaulJK (edited 08-14-2007).]

s550w MSG #445, 08-14-2007 09:02 PM
      I think I like it....Some views are good but, this is the second time I've looked through the whole thread looking for some good shots from multiple angles. Maybe I'll make it to a Bluegrass event and be lucky enough to see it in person....


Those hood scoops looked good.

Brian


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #446, 08-14-2007 09:25 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by s550w:
Maybe I'll make it to a Bluegrass event and be lucky enough to see it in person....
Brian


Plan on mid October for a gathering then. Got a new toy I want some folks to see.



ly41181 (ironova@hotmail.com) MSG #447, 08-14-2007 11:35 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by blackrams:


Plan on mid October for a gathering then. Got a new toy I want some folks to see.



Where is it going to be?

Josh


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #448, 08-15-2007 05:50 AM
      Paul, I've taken pics out the wazoo of everything except the mounting brackets for the front end. I made a set for the new builder, so maybe he can post a pic.

A cut is made in the front corner of the chassis, just infront of the stock headlight bucket location. See the curving chalk mark.




On the front side, the cut is just outside of the outermost bolts for the front bumper. Bumper obviously gets trimmed before reinstalled.



Then a simple set of steel braces is made which serves both to mount the entire front clip, and to relocate the headlight buckets. It's very simple. I'll have to pull my front clip to get a shot, so maybe the new builder will get a chance to send a pic.

David Breeze


motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #449, 08-25-2007 12:08 PM
      Hey Dave; have you got some pics of the car with all of the panels on at this time?

Joe


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #450, 08-25-2007 02:15 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by ly41181:
Where is it going to be?
Josh


Josh,
If you're on the Bluegrass Fieros mailing list, watch your email, details will be coming out soon. The location will be at my new home just east of Frankfort, KY. Be looking for that email.



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #451, 08-26-2007 09:42 PM
      Hey Joe,
No real beauty shots, 'cause I'm still trying different things, like different styles of scoops, etc.



A few obvious things:
-I'm looking for the right wheels & tires. Latest up is a custom made set.
-The front end needs to settle in. Probably won't drop untill it's driven around a bit.
-If it doesn't settle, drop springs are next.
-Sanding is not my favorite sport. I will conduct one killer body prep session, when the time is right.



I think I'll make another front hood, with a bit wider extractors. The first one I made was based on the width of the fan shroud opening. I think a bit wider, and maybe extending the back edge of the ramp a bit more too, will look nice.

I made this front airdam so it could be used on a body without the wheel flares. I'm going to widen the flare of the lower lip, where it transitions from the front edge to the wheel flare. Just enough to make the lines flow.

I've sanded about three different shapes of side scoops. Getting tired of that. One or another will eventually surface.

The door skins were ridiculously easy to fit.

Everywhere I have attached something, like the front air dam or the wheel wells, and anywhere I have modified the body, like changing the rear clip to fit the 4" chop of the roof.....I added an extra layer of 2oz mat, so I'd have plenty of leeway to acheve the nice sharp lines associated with the Pantera design.

Enjoy.















David Breeze



blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #452, 08-27-2007 07:55 AM
      That's one nice looking fence also.



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #453, 08-27-2007 09:08 PM
      Hmmm,







Inspiration for the next creation?

David Breeze


PaulJK MSG #454, 08-27-2007 09:12 PM
      WOOOOOW - I'd love to see THAT come into production (probably would generate a lot of interest at the kit car forum too

http://www.kitcar.ca/kitcarsforum.com/


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #455, 08-27-2007 09:15 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:

Hmmm,







Inspiration for the next creation?

David Breeze


That would make an awsome Targa or Convertible. Looks great as a Coupe but, well we both know that I like verts.



avengador1 (avengador1@aol.com) MSG #456, 08-27-2007 09:16 PM
      That project is coming out great. You need some deep dish wheels to fill those wheel wells now. I also would put a single wide vent in the front hood. I think it would look better.

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #457, 08-27-2007 09:21 PM
      Avengador1,

Agreed on both counts.

Both will come to pass.

David Breeze


355Fiero MSG #458, 08-31-2007 03:49 AM
      David;

This is an absolute gem. Taking the roof down and adding the flares made all the difference in the world on the look for the vehicle. You can be very proud of what you have accomplished so far.

I have had my Ferrari 328 panels sprayed into the molds for the next project on GusHotRod's old frame but I have not pulled them out yet to start up the 288 GTO project.

Keep going on yours as it will be incredible when you are done.

Again, What a difference and well done.

Cheers
Don


PaulJK MSG #459, 08-31-2007 05:21 AM
      that's for sure Don, i can't believe how good that looks with flares and a chop top - makes me sad i'm so tall

[This message has been edited by PaulJK (edited 08-31-2007).]

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #460, 08-31-2007 09:59 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by PaulJK:
that's for sure Don, i can't believe how good that looks with flares and a chop top - makes me sad i'm so tall


Paul, The seat has been lowered to floor pan height. I'm a hair over 6' and have no issues. Well, other than getting down that low to actually get in that is.



355Fiero MSG #461, 01-02-2008 01:55 AM
      David;

Any update on the Pantero? The chopped version is looking great.

I have been busy building my interior fo rthe 355 project so I can get it done and on to using GusHotRod's frame on the 288 GTO project. Also gathering parts right now for the GTO.

Cheers
Don


Austrian Import (maximilian_ledworowski@csumb.edu) MSG #462, 01-02-2008 02:28 AM
      Suggestion: Use the side mirrors from the 2008 Camaro. (or inspired by. ) It would flow well with the lines..

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #463, 01-02-2008 11:09 AM
      Austrian, these are the 2002 type, and don't look too bad. I can't really find replacement 2008 mirrors, but I think they look something like those on the Camaro prototype, pretty streamlined !





355Fiero, Keep up the good work, you must be really stoking the home fires, this time of year

Most of the recent progress has been with the yellow Pantera. The LT1 install is finished, and ready for the new tires to be mounted and a four wheel alignment done.

In gearing up for the Carslile show and the Detroit show, I recently purchased a nice pro-line car trailer from a local Fiero builder, and have been going thru my truck, getting it ready for the long hauls. Loads of fun.

I plan to sand & prep the yellow Pantera this winter and shoot a fresh paint job as soon as the weather breaks.

I am looking for one part, and maybe someone can help me out here. With the thm325 trans I'm running with the LT1, there is a long output shaft, or axle, which plugs into the differential and rides underneath the engine. There is a snapring or circlip in the splined end of this shaft, just like on our Fiero axles, which retains the shaft inside the differential. I need a snapring. The local dealerships tell me the part is no longer available, and searching thru numerous parts shops, I've not found a dead-on match. The snapring I'm using works, but I'm not sure for how long. Could get exciting, eh ?

Just this weekend I rolled the choptop Pantera back into the shop. All that remains is a bunch of wraping up the remaining details of assembly, and then the real fun of body prep begins. Again, the goal is to be ready to shoot paint as soon as the weather breaks.

I've been a bit distracted lately by the Bellanca. It has a 1700 hour TBO, and is within 200 hours of TBO time. After about 6 months of circulating mineral spirits thru the engine, it still wouldn't free up a stuck valve, and so wouldn't pass annual inspection. Base estimate on overhaul is $22,000. Oh well, it's only money, right ?

David Breeze


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #464, 01-02-2008 12:08 PM
      You can't take it with you Dave.



madcurl (madcurl@fiero-performance.com) MSG #465, 01-02-2008 04:11 PM
      Why not try the 350z mirrors and they might fit the front window corner.

THE BEAST (jgomez@ircc.cc.fl.us) MSG #466, 01-12-2008 06:01 PM
      David you have a new PM!

JG


Custom2M4 (custom2m4@hotmail.com) MSG #467, 01-13-2008 12:52 AM
      If you made that prototype kit, I would be very tempted to come get one.

SAFASTRO MSG #468, 01-24-2008 11:14 AM
      WOW........I wasn't really diggin the overall look of the car at the start, so I quit checking for updates........THEN........thought what the heck, lets take a looksy........that looks FREAKIN AWESOME with the chopped roof and the fender flares!!! It looks like a whole new car!!! Do you have any pics of the chop process? Is that the stock Fiero windshield? WOW!!!!!
Great job......now I'll be checking back for updates again!!

Edit......I found on page 7 the chop process. hehe



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #469, 01-25-2008 06:38 AM
      Wow! Yeah, that's exactly what I said the first time I rolled it out of the shop and could stand back a bit and really "see" it. I'd been working on it for over a year, but inside a shop with very tight working space, and just couldn't get a real good overall view.

I agree, the standard body looks great on a stock Fiero chassis. But the chop and flares completely change the character of it. I like it.

I guess the chop is as standard as they come. I did it a few years back, just to see how difficult it really was to chop a Fiero. Turns out it's fairly easy.

The next chop I do may have the basic cuts done a bit differently than those seen in this thread, but the overall deal is the same.

I call this a 4" chop, because I cut a 4" section out of the pillars on either side of the rear window. I arrived at that measurement by first lowering the seat rails and floor pan a bit, then removing the roof upholestry, and measuring how much excess head clearance I had when seated in my favorite position. I had measured something like 5" or 5 1/2" clearance was available, and so allowed for some replacement roof liner, and arrived at 4" available for the chop.

I did keep the back window board which was used to jig the roof during the process, and I guess measuring it's height would be as good a measure of "how much of a chop is it".

When it warms up a bit, I'll remeasure that and let you know. Right now it's so cold that even the Politicians have their hands in their own pockets around here.

BTW, that is the stock Fiero windshield.

The overall apearance should improve even more with the right size rims. I'm awaiting the arrival of some Axis Widetrack rims with 285x50's.

Come to Carslile or to Detroit 25th and get a ride.

David Breeze

[This message has been edited by opm2000 (edited 01-25-2008).]

motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #470, 01-25-2008 10:10 AM
      Hey Dave, I've been looking at the pics for a while now, and was wondering what you thought about reworking the airdam and front flares for a soother transition. It just looks like this area is begging for a more flowing transition from one to the other.

Joe


SAFASTRO MSG #471, 01-25-2008 10:58 AM
      Hey Dave, if I do end up coming to the 25th, I'll be sure to hit you up for a ride!
Once again, keep up the great work, and wait impatiently to see these Axis rims fillin up those wheel wells!!
Take care!



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #472, 01-25-2008 01:34 PM
      Hey Joe, keen eye. I had the same thought, concerning blending the outer edge of the lower lip...moving it more outboard to where it blends in with the front wheel flare.

I made up some cardboard panels to fiddle around with angles, and have settled on using the front corner as a pivot point, and swinging the side of the lower lip out to a wide point which is about 2" more outboard by the time it gets to the wheel flare. And a similar treatment to the lower edge of the flare, itself. It made all the difference in appearance, not looking so "pinched in" from the front.

A bit more foam and glass will get it done!

David Breeze


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #473, 01-26-2008 05:48 AM
     

BTW, these are the four types of mirrors that were used on Pantera's over the years.

The Vitaloni Baby Turbos are available both in "real" and knock-off form, so I am looking into them.

A good article is at http://www.panteraplace.com/page55.htm

PIP may not be working


David Breeze

[This message has been edited by opm2000 (edited 01-26-2008).]

RCR (rcrabine@comcast.net) MSG #474, 01-26-2008 07:05 AM
      Hey David,
Are you using the pre-88 or 88 rear suspension? In this picture:

it looks like pre-88.

My question (if it's pre-88) is: What are you doing with the mount for the rear trailing link? It looks to be cut off and a different bracket mounted. If it is an 88, then it's understood.


Thanx and great job..

Bob


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #475, 01-26-2008 10:30 AM
      Hey Bob,
Yes, it's an '85 cradle & suspension. The trailing link is replaced with a threaded tie-rod tube and heim joints, and the location of the mounting point is sort of left up to the builder. I don't have any pics of this on this computer, but will post a few later today.

Having used the Joe Wynman guidelines for most of this installation, I had originally built the assembly that Joe described. But I felt it had too much freeplay, and replaced it with what I'm using now.

I tried to locate the pivot point in the middle of the "sweet spot" as far as bumpsteer correction was concerned. Right now the new arm is mounted on one very stout "standup", and seems firm enough. But, the next time I drop the cradle on this car, I plan to add a second "standup", and thereby have a thru bolt supported on both ends.

It is easier to understand with pics

David Breeze

BTW, pm sent.


RCR (rcrabine@comcast.net) MSG #476, 01-26-2008 12:10 PM
      Thanx David,
I messed up the relocation of those points on my Aurora swap (with 4t80e trans). This should help a lot.

Bob


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #477, 01-26-2008 01:28 PM
     



These should give you a pretty good idea of what's going on. All the parts came from Speedway, I believe. The outer tie-rod post has a huge threaded shaft length, which gives you unexplored dimensions when it comes to alignment time

David Breeze


War Hammer (oldsouthphoto@yahoo.com) MSG #478, 02-06-2008 06:59 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:

Hey Joe,
No real beauty shots, 'cause I'm still trying different things, like different styles of scoops, etc.



A few obvious things:
-I'm looking for the right wheels & tires. Latest up is a custom made set.
-The front end needs to settle in. Probably won't drop untill it's driven around a bit.
-If it doesn't settle, drop springs are next.
-Sanding is not my favorite sport. I will conduct one killer body prep session, when the time is right.



I think I'll make another front hood, with a bit wider extractors. The first one I made was based on the width of the fan shroud opening. I think a bit wider, and maybe extending the back edge of the ramp a bit more too, will look nice.

I made this front airdam so it could be used on a body without the wheel flares. I'm going to widen the flare of the lower lip, where it transitions from the front edge to the wheel flare. Just enough to make the lines flow.

I've sanded about three different shapes of side scoops. Getting tired of that. One or another will eventually surface.

The door skins were ridiculously easy to fit.

Everywhere I have attached something, like the front air dam or the wheel wells, and anywhere I have modified the body, like changing the rear clip to fit the 4" chop of the roof.....I added an extra layer of 2oz mat, so I'd have plenty of leeway to acheve the nice sharp lines associated with the Pantera design.

Enjoy.















David Breeze


More pics please!



rjblaze (rjblaze@verizon.net) MSG #479, 02-06-2008 07:32 PM
      WOW! I just saw this thread for the first time......OMG! These are a work of art. Any idea if/when a kit will be available and for how much? I did see something like $4000.00 + for the first couple kits and then......

I just need to know how much I need to start stuffing in my piggy bank! (or just loan myself from my rather healthy 401K!)

Another thought....would it be possible to have a rear hatch (like blackrams or smaller AND the tilt rear). One would aid in trunk access and the other in engine access.....just a thought (probably already in here somewhere...I apologize if it is)


Mr.PBody (paniccia008@aol.com) MSG #480, 02-06-2008 07:38 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:






How big is the exhuast tubing? It looks like the flow on that curve is awful. Got any more pics of the rear? Car looks awesome, hopefully I will make it to a bluegrass meeting one day.


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #481, 02-07-2008 08:59 PM
      Warhammer, It's really hard to show good pics right now, the entire car is disassembled for final detail items. Hopefully some of the following will help

Mr.PBody, good eye, and by all means get with us at a Bluegrass Fieros meet. Email or pm Ron aka Blackrams. The LT1 is using stock headers, which feed 2 1/4" pipes that feen into a 3" pipe in their stock form. So, I used 2 1/4" aluminized pipe to fabricate the exhaust system you see.

It has "true duals", that is each side feeds into a totally seperate exhaust system. I used Mandrel Bending Solutions in PA ( I think) as a source, and purchased a few of their multiple angle bend pieces. You get a chunk of pipe with a 45 bend, a 180 bend and various straight pieces....great for parting a system together.

I route all of the exhaust so that it does not run underneath the engine or cradle, and so I had to come up with the extreme reversal which you saw. In almost all cases, I was able to use the mandrel bent curves, so exhaust flow was not a concern. When I got to that particular area though, I was able to increase the cross section of the pipe, hopefully enough to not create a significant backpressure.

Both pipes ran to a 2 1/4" in/out dual chambered glasspack muffler from MBS. This was to reproduce the Pantera style of exhaust, as far as looks go. Turns out that those are really sweet glasspacs. They have a real mellow sound, not at all like your average Cherry Bomb. Both Blackrams and Scrabblegod have heard it, and both remarked on the mellow note.



Also, I plan to eventually replace the glasspacks with Supertrapps, but for now we're in the "let's see" stage



Also, the entire exhaust system is situated so that the rear clip can pivot back, with no interfearance. Works out real neat with the electric actuators. And again, many thanks to the forum members who helped me understand the relay circuts that control the actuators. You've really got to see these things, they are a hoot!



BTW, that's a tarp on the Pantero. We've had some wild a$$ed winds around here of late.

As I mentioned, the choptop Pantera is undergoing final details. The exhaust will be finished this weekend. Here you see the system. 2" pipes feed off the manifolds, stock crossover pipe. Both sides run as true duals untill they come together in the 2 1/2" pipe that crosses the backside of the cradle. The turnouts are where the Supertrapps attach.



I started out by attaching the Supertrapps where they needed to be on the body, and fabricated the 2 1/2" pipe, mostly to set and keep the proper angle of the Supertrapps. I had planned to then cut the pipe in half and run two seperate true dual exhausts. But it occured to me to do it as you see here, letting the 2 1/2" pipe also act as a balance tube. We will see.

In the above pic you may have noticed the wheels



These are Axis Widebody rims. 18x8 front and 18x9 rear both et20. I have mounted 55 series rubber, because I wanted to maintain the "retro" look as much as I could, plus I'm just not a big fan of 35 or 40 series tires.

235/55 front and 285/55 rear. I'm really pleased with these rims, they fit the wheel flares perfectly. Back when I sculpted and molded the flares, I didn't have wheels to work out to....I just took a shot in the dark. Lucky I guess, these are off the shelf rims and quite affordable. They have a cool spoke design and a nice deep lip that gives them a deep dish look. Just right for a Pantera.

These pics jsut don't do the rims justice. The front will recieve the lowering springs from the Fierostore, this weekend, and they should look just right. The rears are up on stock suspension, and look great.



Rjblaze, kits are available at those same prices, nothing has changed. If your at Carlisle or the 25 Show in Detroit this summer, you are welcome to check 'em out.

David Breeze


Mr.PBody (paniccia008@aol.com) MSG #482, 02-07-2008 11:35 PM
      I was tempted to say the wheels on the choptop didn't look right... but no need now. Those will be bad ass. I figured the Pantero exhuast was function over form and performance but I decided to ask anyways. Lemme get a car running and lets get these damn winds to stop (I swear my dog flew across the yard today) and I'll get with ron about the next meeting. I still get you guy's emails so I am sort of in the loop.

War Hammer (oldsouthphoto@yahoo.com) MSG #483, 03-15-2008 12:54 AM
      Any updates?

motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #484, 03-15-2008 02:54 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:


These are Axis Widebody rims. 18x8 front and 18x9 rear both et20. I have mounted 55 series rubber, because I wanted to maintain the "retro" look as much as I could, plus I'm just not a big fan of 35 or 40 series tires.



David Breeze


Dave, don't tease us like this. get those wheels and tires on the car and give us a nice shot of it, from that point I'm sure that somebody will photoshop it to completion.

BTW lookin' good.

When you turn on your car,
does it return the favor. Joe



DL10 (dl10@frontier.com) MSG #485, 03-15-2008 05:17 PM
      Man that car is going to look great, can't wait to see it when your done.



DL10 (dl10@frontier.com) MSG #486, 03-15-2008 05:18 PM
      sorry double post........or I was trying to edit my spelling in the above post and hit quote instead.................don't post when drinking

[This message has been edited by DL10 (edited 03-15-2008).]

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #487, 03-17-2008 09:16 PM
      Warhammer,
About those updates...To be honest, the recent "climate" on this forum has made me hesitant to post. I've seen 'em come and seen 'em go in twenty years of Fiero ownership. The petty bickering is one thing (it will go). But some of the recent aditudes seen regarding the French kitbuilders, and replica builders in general...well.

On a positive note, a couple of Pantera owners have recently contacted me. Somehow they found this thread, and they have expressed a suprising level of enthusiasm and support. In light of the above, it's really good to be so well recieved by the Pantera community.

So, DL10, it's up to us to preserve the species, I guess. I appreciate your kudos, and look forward to seeing you in Detroit this year. I know what a super job you do with your cars, and I just hope I can raise to the bar.

Joe, about those wheels. The "meat" was such that I could only get a pinky finger between the tire and the stock spring. So:



These are 12" springs and 7" sleeves. The stock ride height seemed perfect with those 18"x285 tires. I just didn't want to accidently blow out a tire and ruin a rim. BTW, I didn't like the way the top of the spring was free to move, so I welded a sleeve to the underside of the top part. You can just get a peek in this pic:



One problem I encountered was finding the correct poly bushings for the rear swaybar. One kit I got had both a 7/8" and a 23mm bushing in the same kit. The 7/8" fit great, and I simply filed down an edge on the 23 till it had the same fit. When they are bolted up they fit fine.



I finally solved the windshield wiper situation. After moving the entire assembly over by 5 1/2", the driver's side post sat too low. I finally found this post in a Chevy truck. identical lever arm, but the two ball joints were situated upside down. I ground out the welds from the backside, center punched them out, repositioned and then welded back. Now we're in business.



Other than that, the entire chassis has now been scrubbed, wire brushed, and repainted. Right now I'm doing final fit and routing checks of the engine bay. Most of the firewalls got a layer of aluminized fiberglass cloth, and all of the hoses are getting a firesleeve.





David Breeze


rjblaze (rjblaze@verizon.net) MSG #488, 03-17-2008 09:29 PM
      This thing is looking great. I have been a Pantera fan since I got to drive one when I was in college in the early 80's. Keep up the good work. If you don't mind me asking, what rate rear spring did you use? I would love to build one of these in the future!

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #489, 03-18-2008 04:53 AM
      rjblaze, I know the feeling. The first time I saw a Pantera, I was a 15 year old kid, riding around one night with some pals on bicycles. We stopped into a gas station for a Coke, and these two Panteras pulled in for a fill up. We were all over those cars! It made a very lasting impression.

The above springs are 275#, and they came from Speedway. Obviously, they are working with a 4.9/Allante/4t60e conversion. And of course, I haven't had them out on the road yet

The coilovers on the yellow Pantera are 10" 300#. The entire coilover kit is a Held kit I got years ago. And, those springs are working with an LT1/thm325 conversion.....both a heavier and a tail-heavier conversion. I have had this set on the road, and it seems fine. To get what I considered the right stance or wheel well clearance, the adjusters are past the midway point on the sleeves, about the upper 2/3 position. That's why I went with 12" & 7" on the 4.9 set.

David Breeze


DL10 (dl10@frontier.com) MSG #490, 03-20-2008 08:51 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:


So, DL10, it's up to us to preserve the species, I guess. I appreciate your kudos, and look forward to seeing you in Detroit this year. I know what a super job you do with your cars, and I just hope I can raise to the bar.

David Breeze


I think you will raise the bar several notches before you are done..

All I ever did was keep them clean. ÖÖÖ.I donít have the skills it takes to build a car like yours. I havenít done much with the Predator for several years. Priorities change. Iím not sure if I will be able to make it the 25th..



Custom2M4 (custom2m4@hotmail.com) MSG #491, 03-21-2008 12:17 AM
      I think I speak for everyone when I say we need more rim pictures!

bubbajoexxx (bubbajoexx@sympatico.ca) MSG #492, 04-12-2008 02:01 PM
      please feed me I need to see more on the proto type

please


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #493, 04-13-2008 09:01 PM
      As it's getting warmer, the time to give the prototype a fresh paint job approaches. I like the current yellow, which is a PPG Subaru Yellow. Meanwhile, I got some new shoes for it, General Altimax HP 50 profile. After I lay into the wheels with Mother's, and the paint job is finished, I'll mount these.



The LT1 is running nicely. Things I'd like to get done before the 25th Show are
1. relocate battery to front
2. relocate the c500 and associated wiring to inside the cab
3. relocate the air/water seperator to where the battery is now
4. temporarily replace the AC pump with a delete idler
5. fabricate a delete idler for the power steering pumpf

I have the AC delete pully. It's actually a stock item.



Not using the PS pump, I've been geting by just running a couple of hoses to a remote fill tank, and I think the pump has been running wide open since there's obviously nothing for it to be controlled by. I think a similar delete pully can be contrived, or perhaps somehow use the existing pump as a pully mount. Warmer weather will tell.

David Breeze


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #494, 04-13-2008 09:21 PM
      The real work on the prototype has centered almost entirely around the axles.

I've based thie entire drivetrain build mostly on Joe Wynman's CD . And of course what I could glean from other builders and folks like Rockcrawl. There is precious little other info out there. If you've ever read JW's CD, you will know what I mean when I say there are many mistakes and omissions in it, it's like a nice first rough draft.

JW's premise was that you could use the stock Eldo/Riv/Toro axles, and the knuckle and hub bearing, and disc brakes of a '91 Oldsmobile Calais. You got a 115mm bolt pattern was the only drawback. And that did work, as far as fitting and fabricating things went. But all along, I was leary of how the outer cv of the axle abutted the bearings.

First trip to the junkyard revealed that there was no such thing as a Calais with a 115 bolt pattern. But there was a '91 Ciera, so I thought mabey JW had printed another mistake. So this shows a '91 Ciera knuckle and brakes. It fits the Fiero control arm just fine, and you get a bit larger brakes, something like Beretta brakes. The difference is the massive size of the bearing, it really is nice.



And this is the bearing, a 513016K. The splines accept the Toro axle great. Problem is the "shoulder" of the outer cv does not butt up against the bearing when torqued down.



And here is a Ciera axle on top, Toro axle below.



A bit of a close up of the outer cv's. When torqued into the bearing, the shoulder never contacted the bearing. The two sets of splines would begin to draw up against each other. I verified this when I torqued down the junkyard bearings, the first time, and about a mile down the road they began to sing, because the were being pressed apart.

.

David Breeze




opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #495, 04-13-2008 09:45 PM
      So after fighting this for a couple of years, I gave in and called a reputable cv axle specialty shop, somewhere in the eastern US. I won't say their name. Their tech guy said he had made up axles for 13 of these particular conversions. He said to send him my axles and one bearing, and he would swap out whatever it took to make it fit.

I did, and he called me saying " you know what you sent me fits perfectly, I'll test run your axles and measure the fitments, but your a-ok." I made sure he understood about the splines being the only point of contact, and he swore that that was the way it should be. "If the shoulder of the cv butts up to the bearing, it will destroy the bearing".

Ok, I got my axles back and put them into a brand new set of bearings, and prompltly pressed them apart, right there.

So I gave up. Well, not completely, I did buy the Ciera axle you saw, just to se how it fit the bearing. Right into the splines, and smack up against the shoulders and bearings, just like whenever you've put a Fiero axle into it's bearing.

There may be a way to transplant a Ciera outer onto a Toro axle, I tried and they are different sizes. Some day, when I'm feeling rich and famous, I may ask some cv specialty axle shop to look into it. Baloney.

So I'm now in the process of building axles like Rockcrawl, Buildamonster, and others have done. Not quite as elegant as cross-fitting parts, but extremely functional.

This involves taking the Toro inner and having a machine shop make 1" thick plates with the correct bolt pattern to duplicat this.



This becomes the innermost side of the new inner cv. The bolt pattern bolts up to the output shaft of the differential.



Next, the Fiero inner cv from a manual trans, driver's side (left) is provided to the machine shop, and the splines are turned down to yield a smooth shaft. A hole a few thousands larger is drilled in the center of the 1" plates, to accept the Fiero "tulip".

This is a new Cardone (Autozone) axle. I am using new to avoid the possability of wierd sizing with reman axle parts. Notice how much more robust the new tulip is? I guess that's nice.



Along the way, I did try and see if by chance the Fiero axle would just fit into the Toro tulip, and make life easier. Nope, slightly bigger. Toro on left, Fiero on right.



So then I'll take the plate & tulip assembly and dry fit it to locate how far out of the plate the tulip should extend to achieve the mid-point of axle travel in the tulip. Then back to the machine shop for final welding and remachining if necessary.

What we're doing is putting these three parts together



Believe me, when it's done, I'll update you.

David Breeze

[This message has been edited by opm2000 (edited 04-13-2008).]

RCR (rcrabine@comcast.net) MSG #496, 04-15-2008 12:14 PM
      David,
You probably thought of this, but can you take the Fiero rollers off the tulip end and fit it to the Toro axle? How about the other end? Disassemble the axle end totally and swap the parts. That's what I'm doing to mix and match my Aurora axles with my Celebrity hubs.

Bob


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #497, 04-16-2008 10:34 AM
      RCR,
Your point is well taken, and yes, that's pretty much what I've been trying. I've tried measuring and/or swaping the various components of axles to see if I can come up with a proper fit. But no luck yet.

A couple of resources I've been plowing thru are the catalogues or listings available at

http://www.interparts.com

and

http://empius.com

lots of good info there. And many thanks to Blackrams for supplying "donor" cv axles which I've disassembled, tried fitting, and put back together, and returned to the store. Hmmm.

The tech guy at the cv shop I had mentioned can put a Fiero outer onto a Toro axle. He uses what he called a special cage that compensates for the two size differences between the fiero cage and the Toro axle. I may go that route one day, but you are still left with the smaller Fiero outer and Fiero bearing. That, plus I just don't know what to think about the advice he gave me after our last exchange.

The comparatively massive size of the Toro outer and the Ciera bearing are Nice, just what you'd like to use for a high hp application.

For now, fabricating a Fiero axle that will mount to the 325 differential will have to do.

But the quest is by no means over.

David Breeze


355Fiero MSG #498, 05-03-2008 12:49 AM
      David;

I had a guy over on the kitcar website build a set of axles that used an S-10?? outer hub and CV housing mating up to a Fiero inner setup.

Look under "Funnywheels goes topless" in the technical section over there and I am pretty sure he explains what he has done. I remember reading it somewhere over there anway. If not, PM or email me and I will pass you on to him as he will be very willing to explain what he did to mate everything up.

I also saw another guy use a Corvette outer hub and CV housing mated to the Fiero shaft but I can't remember where I saw that one.

Cheers
Don


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #499, 05-15-2008 05:39 AM
      An update, of sorts:

First, the Yellow prototype :

- the machine shop guy took a weeks vacation, but he's back and called late yesterday that the axle bases were ready to be picked. These will require dry fitting with the cv axles in place to locate the relation of the bases & cv tulips. Then back to the machine shop where they will be preheated, welded, post heated, and re-machined.

- I'd noticed a squeal from the engine at mid rpms, and just asumed it was the power steering pump, since it was not in use and allways circulating a wee bit of fluid thru itself. At first I planned to remove it and fabricate a delete idler.

In the proccess, I had to remove the alternator, and a quick hand-spin of it revealed that it was the squealing culprit, and had to be replaced.

Long story short, I removed this stuff



- also removed but not shown above were the alternator and the electric air pump and bracket. This stuff weighed in well over 50 pounds.

- and I looked at what was available on ebay, and just made my own set of low mount alternator brackets. Took only a short while to figure out the actual brackets & bushings, but a while longer to figure out the right alternator, belt and balancer pulley.



- to make all this work, I had to switch from the shorter Camaro balancer, to the taller Corvette balancer.





- If any LT1 guys want to make their own brackets, I can send a xeroxed tracing of the brackets with dimensions.....sorry, no cad files.

- while I was in there, I addressed the occasionally damp water pump weep hole, which I was trying to ignore. Good thing - I found the pump bearings totally shot. So I replaced the pump with a reman unit. Since my optispark seems to be just fine, keeping the water pump in good health is very important. It's an LT1 thing

David Breeze


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #500, 05-15-2008 06:14 AM
      And the Choptop Pantera:

- I had mechanically & electrically installed the engine and wanted to proceed on to the final bits of bodywork. But I wanted to make sure the engine was going to work first. So I fired it up. Boy was that fun. ( is there a symbol for chagrin or intense saracasim ? )

- It ran, and quite well. Considering I'm no electrical genius at all, that in itself is really quite amazing. And absolutely no leaks anywhere, and a nice smooth idle.

- But it clacked like the dickens. I only ran it for a few 10 second intervals. I listened to it with a stethascoope, had my redneck neighbor listen to it, and consulted with good buddies John Stricker and Jean aka Scrabblegod.

- This is a crate engine, so it may have been just setting for about 16 years or so. After consulting all around, I pulled the noisy side valve cover. It was dry inside, and only the red assembly lube was visible, which I had used when I installed the Allante intake.



- Removing the upper intake and then the other valve cover, I found the same thing. Very close inspection of pushrods, rockers, springs, valves, bridges, etc. revealled no apparent wear, breaks, or clues.

- Removing the distributor and running the oil pump with a drill made the drill turn slowly, and start to smoke and heat up. Hmmmm.





- Removing the lower manifold exposed the lifters. All of the pushrods came out with a bit of oil in them, but nowhere near their full amount. And the lifters came right out, they were externally well oiled, and looked like they were machined yesterday. I rolled the pushrods on a plate of glass, and none were bent.

- Trying the electric drill again, but with the lifters out was quite different. The oil pump spun like mad, circulating oil everywhere.



- So a quick reconsult, and the verdict/hope is: the engine didn't have time to pump up the lifters.

- Before reassembly, I'm taking each lifter apart to verify it is not internally stuck, blocked or damaged.



- Each unit is taken down to this point and enough pblaster shot into the plunger to allow verifying that the spring & ball valve works and is clear. Then refilled with oil in and the air purged out, and put back into the block. I'll pre-fill the pushrods, and use lavish amounts of assembly lube again. Fun, fun.

David Breeze


71Pantera MSG #501, 05-23-2008 03:54 PM
      This is a big Thank you to OPM2000 !!!!

I found this site while researching how to do fiberglass projects and have been lurking here for the past four months....

I have learned more about working with fiberglass in this thread than anywhere else. OPM200, your pictures and descriptions have been so helpful...So thanks.

Here is the project I started in February.....It is a cargo box I designed to work with the trailer hitch on the Plymouth Prowler.



I started with sheets of foam insulation from Home Depot that I hot glued into a large block. I carved that into shape, and covered it in fiberglass mat, and then finished the shape and smoothed it out with bondo. It took me about 200 hours just to get the plug done.
I made moldes from the plug and the picture above is the first box I pulled from those moldes....
This is the first time I've made anything from fiberglass and I am very happy with the outcome.

The funny thing is, the reason I stumbled across this thread was because I also own a Pantera..




I've really enjoyed seeing your replica come alive!! Thanks again,
Brian in CT


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #502, 05-26-2008 07:03 AM
      Brian, welcome to the forum. And I'm glad this thread has been of some help to you.

It certianly looks like you did a great job with the Prowler luggage box. It looks perfectly styled for the Prowler's lines. Way to go.

BTW, your other roller looks pretty cool, too. It's interesting how a few other true Pantera owners have found this thread. They have all been quite interested, appreciative, and helpfull. Something of a different note, compared to Ferrari owners and such. Ken Green and Kirk Evans of Amerisport are a couple of your fellow Pantera owners following this thread.

Well, a short update.

I finally got the axle base plates back from the machine shop.



These are made to bolt to the tranny output shafts, and are center drilled to accept the cv axle inner tulip joint. I have to determine how deep the tulip sets in the base plate. I spent a whole week measuring and remeasuring axle lengths, as the entire suspension travels thru it's full range.



I removed the Ciera knuckles and bearings, and the coilovers. On went the stock Fiero knuckles and bearings, and a worn out set of oem shocks, drilled with two vent holes to allow easy up/down movement of the suspension.

Now I could get a dead measure of required axle length at any point of the travel of the controll arm. The idea is to position the tulip at a mid point of the axle length values, so it has room to compress or lengthen.


And thanks to Paul up in Cincy. He tipped Blackrams to a 91 Allante, at a local Pick & Pull. Blackrams couldn't move on it, so i snagged it. Turns out they were having a buy one, get one free day, so for $72 I got the entire conversion.





David Breeze

[This message has been edited by opm2000 (edited 05-26-2008).]

355Fiero MSG #503, 06-26-2008 01:24 AM
      David;

I just sent you an email about your Pantero.

BTW: How is the project going?

Cheers
Don


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #504, 06-26-2008 02:40 PM
      Hey Don,
I responded to your email.

Both Panteras are progressing nicely.
I don't plan to show any pics or updates untill just before the 25th Aniversary Show.
Plans are to have both cars at the 25th.

David Breeze


madcurl (madcurl@fiero-performance.com) MSG #505, 08-06-2008 06:51 PM
      Bump for actuator pics.



blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #506, 08-06-2008 09:29 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by madcurl:

Bump for actuator pics.



Yeah, I remember you saying you like those. Actually, they were the hit of our display. One kid, (I think it was Jonathan's son) was going to ride the deck lid up till I told him the last kid that did it landed on the other side of the big Marriot sign as in catapult. His eyes went very wide.

Ron

[This message has been edited by blackrams (edited 08-07-2008).]

madcurl (madcurl@fiero-performance.com) MSG #507, 08-06-2008 09:34 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by blackrams:


Yeah, I remember you saying you like those. Actually, they were the hit of our display. One kid, (I think it was Jonathan's son) was going to ride the deck lid up till I told him the last kid that did it landed on the other side of the big Marriot sign. His eyes went very wide.

Ron


Yes. I like anything that is tweaked and this guys Fiero is tweaked to the max! I was looking for the pics on my camera, but I somehow lost them. The operation of them would be very helpful for I'm wanting a set for my rear 350Z hatch. I did take notice of its operations. I already have a set for the fronts, but I'm wanting another for the rear and need to see the mounting locations.


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #508, 08-06-2008 09:41 PM
      I'm sure Dave will be happy to assist you in any way he can. The cars are at his place otherwise, I'd go out and take some pics for you.

Ron


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #509, 08-06-2008 10:07 PM
      Hey Curly,

Check out this link for a primer discussion on wiring.

http://www.fiero.nl/forum/A...060811-2-073239.html

The yellow Pantera is wired with a simple switch thru two relays, as suggested by most actuator vendor info sheets.

The Choptop Pantera (although just direct connected to a battery at the 25th) is wired into the shaved door controller. The above link is a good intro into understanding how that circut works. End result is a key fob with an up button & down button, and a manual sitch located on the dash, or maybey outside, somewhere.


The mechanical end is really simple, once you locate your mounting points.

I'll try to snag some pics tomorrow morning, and give a brief rundown on how to locate your mounting points.

BTW, I really enjoyed the 25th show. I had about the second and third worst looking cars on the field, so I felt somewhat humbled. But I really got a kick out of meeting all the folks I've met on Pennock's and online. Great bunch of Fiero folks.

David Breeze


madcurl (madcurl@fiero-performance.com) MSG #510, 08-07-2008 01:11 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:

Hey Curly,

Check out this link for a primer discussion on wiring.

http://www.fiero.nl/forum/A...060811-2-073239.html
The Choptop Pantera (although just direct connected to a battery at the 25th) is wired into the shaved door controller. The above link is a good intro into understanding how that circut works. End result is a key fob with an up button & down button, and a manual sitch located on the dash, or maybey outside, somewhere.

I'll try to snag some pics tomorrow morning, and give a brief rundown on how to locate your mounting points.
David Breeze


Yes. Mine too has dual controllers aided by two auto position settings.



Vernon8360 MSG #511, 08-07-2008 02:28 PM
      I just found this thread. An impressive project to say the least. Any pictures of the final product available?

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #512, 08-07-2008 03:11 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Vernon8360:

I just found this thread. An impressive project to say the least. Any pictures of the final product available?


Just spoke with Dave, he's trying to put something together but, I'm not sure we know exactly what the final product is going to be.

I know that next is the roadster project, assuming nothing else happens and that's still the designer's concept or vision, nothing on paper yet. I can't draw worth a darn.

Ron


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #513, 08-07-2008 09:37 PM
      The first of several videos.
Should be all up loaded by sunrise :>













After they are uploaded, I'll add some still pics with better detail & info.

David Breeze

edit: I still haven't figured out how to embed these , somebody help out ;>

[This message has been edited by opm2000 (edited 08-08-2008).]

madcurl (madcurl@fiero-performance.com) MSG #514, 08-07-2008 10:08 PM
      Thanks for the video David.

http://www.youtube.com/v/52m5TVgsIkM&hl=en&fs=1

Edit: I forgot to ask. How long are your actuators, over-all weight of the hatch back, and the lenght of the actuators? 12"?

[This message has been edited by madcurl (edited 08-07-2008).]

Jake_Dragon MSG #515, 08-07-2008 10:09 PM
      Looks great!

[This message has been edited by Jake_Dragon (edited 08-08-2008).]

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #516, 08-08-2008 12:56 PM
      About those Linear Actuators...

I'm using Spal # LACT12 in all cases. Choice was highly driven by cost factors.

These units have a 12" stroke
collapsed length = 16.26"
extended length = 28.07"
average speed = 0.5"/second
dynamic load = 110 lbs

most similar types will show some sort of table, comparing most of these values.

Many are available with adjustable stopping points of some type, such as potentiometers, but mine are strictly on/off.

There is a clutch between the motor & shaft, and at least when closing, it will pull up snug and stop.


To install something like this, you need to look for an area where gas struts could be installed.
Measure the closed distance and the open distance between your proposed mounting points.

I then made up a sliding or adjustable measuring device, using two long paint stirring paddles.
mark them with the collapsed length, and again with the extended length.
You can now similate the relative movement of the actuator and come close to finding your ideal mounting points.

David breeze


madcurl (madcurl@fiero-performance.com) MSG #517, 08-08-2008 06:44 PM
      Thank you. You information will become useful in mounting the actuator on #020. I too have 12" but the load max is 150 pounds each.

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #518, 08-09-2008 05:20 AM
      If your looking for unusually strong or perhaps custom made actuators, Firgelli Automations may be of interest. They list up to 400#+ on some units.

They also have the tubular type actuator (the motor is inline). I'm trying out a set of these on the doors or the Choptop Pantera.

http://www.firgelliauto.com/default.php

David Breeze


madcurl (madcurl@fiero-performance.com) MSG #519, 08-09-2008 09:08 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:

If your looking for unusually strong or perhaps custom made actuators, Firgelli Automations may be of interest. They list up to 400#+ on some units.

They also have the tubular type actuator (the motor is inline). I'm trying out a set of these on the doors or the Choptop Pantera.

http://www.firgelliauto.com/default.php

David Breeze


I think the ones that I have should do the job. Thanks for showing me at th 25th, the videos, and how it works on your Fiero.


JPW (james_wellman@hotmail.com) MSG #520, 12-01-2008 10:26 PM
      So did this car ever get finished. I just read the whole thread and wanted to see the final product. I talked to Ron last night and he told me about this car and your great work. Hope to see both soon.

James


Philero (phantdyn@hotmail.com) MSG #521, 12-01-2008 11:37 PM
      I about wet myself when i watched those videos!!! Brilliant work my friend.



blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #522, 12-02-2008 11:58 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by JPW:

So did this car ever get finished. I just read the whole thread and wanted to see the final product. I talked to Ron last night and he told me about this car and your great work. Hope to see both soon.

James


James,
The Pantero is a work in progress. Dave is traveiling right now but, upon his return, I'll gladly take you over to the shop. Dave is very creative but doesn't answer the phone much.
My Pantero Roadster is just about ready to go into the shop for the body part of my project. I haven't and won't post any build threads on it till I see a light at the end of the tunnel.
BTW, enjoyed our conversation the other night. You seem way to lucid to be into Fieros.

Ron


madcurl (madcurl@fiero-performance.com) MSG #523, 12-02-2008 06:58 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Philero:

I about wet myself when i watched those videos!!! Brilliant work my friend.



I saw them in action at the 25th. The info helped me with my ride.


JPW (james_wellman@hotmail.com) MSG #524, 12-02-2008 07:35 PM
      I am working on my "honey-do" list fast and furious so I can keep mama happy and spend some time with the car and checking out some of the other cars you told me about. It was great talking to you to and my wife would argue about the lucidity.

Just looking at the work and skill that he has put into the molds and parts is amazing. Please let me know when he is back and a good time to see the car.

James



motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #525, 01-09-2009 02:35 AM
      New years bump.

Joe


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #526, 01-09-2009 04:27 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by JPW:

I am working on my "honey-do" list fast and furious so I can keep mama happy and spend some time with the car and checking out some of the other cars you told me about. It was great talking to you to and my wife would argue about the lucidity.

Just looking at the work and skill that he has put into the molds and parts is amazing. Please let me know when he is back and a good time to see the car.

James


James,
When ever you're ready, give me a shout, you've got the number.

Ron


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #527, 01-09-2009 08:34 PM
      Hey Joe,
I guess we missed you at the 25th. Let's get together at the 30th.

After the 25th I had to deal with why my crate 4.9 was ticking. I wound up pulling it and putting the donor Allante engine back together. Man! Does it run smooth. I really look forward to completing it and having a cool daily driver.

In that process, I managed to pick up a second Allante intake, manifold, and all parts needed. I had initally installed the fuel rail from the second donor, but found that it's fuel pressure regulator was ruptured. So I had to pull it and swap in the original fuel rail. All runs well now. But, if anyone knows anything about the fuel pressure regulator, and where to find a replacement, let me know. Frankly, I'm not sure I couldn't use one like used on a 2.8/3.4 conversion, you know, they adjustable Holley unit?

Updates...At the 25th I drove the yellow pantera a wee bit, but not much, because the shift points were way off. I wound up horsetrading a 425 trans to buildamonster just so I could have his 325...so I could take it apart and understand how the kickdown cable worked. Then I tried a fewe different settings and got it to shift just about right. I still need to hook up a pressure guage and read the line pressure values. But...just then the starter and optispark both went way south. I've got a new starter, and am just deciding which optispark replacement to go with.

One thing I'v e got to say about the LT1 and the 325 trans. It obviously isn't going to be an autocrosser due to aft weight considerations, but for daily driving or straightline racing, it's a hoot. I get scared s###less somewhere after hitting 3rd gear and start easing off. Never have found the top end yet.

On the choptop pantera, I've straightened out the drivetrain, and next will spend a few months making the wires and plumbing disappear. I've been seriously impressed by how Fieroguru cleaned up his engine bay on his blue ramjet, and thats where I want to go next.

I also installed a set of 1" drop springs to the front end, and have what I consider a nice stance, now. I may switch from 50 to 40 profile tires on the front, but not untill after it is painted.

Body work is 99% finished. Sanding and final paint prep is next, and seriously just waiting for warmer weather.

Last couple of weekends spent building a dash, center console and gills for a builder up in Wisconson. Hope to see his project soon.



In case you haven't seen them, here are a couple of walkarounds






David Breeze

[This message has been edited by opm2000 (edited 01-09-2009).]

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #528, 01-09-2009 08:47 PM
     

Ron


motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #529, 02-10-2009 10:31 PM
      Bump.

War Hammer (oldsouthphoto@yahoo.com) MSG #530, 02-18-2009 06:26 PM
      pm sent

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #531, 02-20-2009 07:35 PM
      One would wonder exactly what OPM2000 has been up to lately?

Ron


motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #532, 02-21-2009 11:00 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by blackrams:

One would wonder exactly what OPM2000 has been up to lately?

Ron


So Ron, just what is Dave up to anyway???

Of all the things I've lost,
I miss my mind the most. Joe


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #533, 02-22-2009 08:44 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:

seriously just waiting for warmer weather.




Guys, guys,
I'm waiting for spring, and warmer weather. Heck, I'm still chainsawing up downed trees from the ice storm, and throwing them in the creek. I've run out of firewood twice this winter, and had to go forth and harvest/split more........

The only thing I've really been up to is paneling the upstairs of my barn, and that is going pretty slow, given the extra activities of this winter.

See ya in the spring,
David Breeze



blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #534, 02-23-2009 02:36 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:
The only thing I've really been up to is paneling the upstairs of my barn, and that is going pretty slow, given the extra activities of this winter.

See ya in the spring,
David Breeze


We'll need some pics as proof of that activity.

Ron


The_Ikon MSG #535, 03-10-2009 12:08 AM
      TTT Kool Pantera!!!

Totty (jtotty@palmernet.com) MSG #536, 03-24-2009 08:42 PM
      Hey David. Man that kit is looking good. I need to get out to your place sometime soon and help you with some of that, aka, learn how to fiberglass. haha, hope to see you soon out and about. I am going to head down to the track this weekend if it doesn't rain. It'd be nice to see some more fieros there.

later,
Jon


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #537, 03-26-2009 11:28 AM
      Totty,
If I ever get the optispark replaced, I may come and chase you around on the track

BTW, come over anytime. I still have a practice front hood awaiting your touch.

David Breeze


madcurl (madcurl@fiero-performance.com) MSG #538, 04-08-2009 08:39 PM
      I don't know if you have a set, but here's one. http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymot...QQitemZ130298009358Q QptZMotorsQ5fCarQ5fTruckQ5fPartsQ5fAccessories#ht_893wt_725



motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #539, 04-11-2009 10:55 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:


Guys, guys,
I'm waiting for spring, and warmer weather. Heck, I'm still chainsawing up downed trees from the ice storm, and throwing them in the creek. I've run out of firewood twice this winter, and had to go forth and harvest/split more........

The only thing I've really been up to is paneling the upstairs of my barn, and that is going pretty slow, given the extra activities of this winter.

See ya in the spring,
David Breeze


It's spring, we're still waiting.

Joe


Dennis LaGrua (dlagrua@comcast.net) MSG #540, 04-25-2009 10:40 PM
      Very nice job but you'll need some engine vents to prevent overheating. Engine compartment heat without ventillation can go to over 300* Just a suggestion.



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #541, 05-03-2009 05:39 PM
      Ok, Joe, I guess it's time to come out of hibernation.

This winter I started, but got nowhere near finishing, insulating and paneling the upstairs of my barn. Plan is to move all the good stuff stored downstairs up, creating a more usable floor space downstairs. Somehow I thought Ron would come by and finish things up for me. Oh well

Dennis, your more than likely correct.


The radiator opening is equal to if not larger than on a stock Fiero nose. The LT1 Yellow Pantera still has a radiator for a manual trans. A new radiator equiped for auto tranny is coming, but it's way down on the list. I did install a lower temp thermostat, and disconected the computer controlling the fan motors. I installed an adjustable thermostat controlled fan motor relay, and set it at the same temp as the thermostat. Seems to work so far.



The Pantera opening over the engine compartment sets @ 10" back from the rear window, and I assume functions the same as the stock Fiero ventelation set up. I've never done tuft tests to see whats going on when driving. Might be interesting. It does seem to allow the "chimney effect" to work quite well when just setting still.



Not a real good pic, but this Pantera is equipped with small scoops where the stock Pantera has "gills". I'm sure they at least contribute to air turbulance when on the road. Looks like tuft tests are due.

I don't have a pic right now, but on the choptop Pantera I tried to maximize the available opening for scoops, and tried to create a scoop that looked more like the Gills, but functioned as a scoop. You may have seen these at the 25th if you were there. On that Pantera, I also located the radiators for both the engine oil and the tranny oil directly behind the scoop opening. I'll get some pics soon.

To get things started, I had to replace the evil optispark on the LT1.


Mine is a '94, and so is blessed with the pin driven unvented optispark. Here you can see three small weep holes at the base. Also, unexpectedly, my ebay replacement came with one of the two required vent fittings, seen just below the weep holes...


So....


I plugged two of the weep holes and fitted a vacum line in the third hole. We will see.

Whenever you hear an LT1 owner talking about replacing their optispark, they usually have nothing good to say about the water pump. It is located just above the optispark and of course it also has a weep hole. GM, what can I say?



Anyhow, I tried a similar fix here as well...





Just for clarification, the clear hose is only a drain hose, no vacum source involved. I used clear tubing because there is such a small amount that actually weeps, I wanted to be able to see it. The tubing is routed so that it loops once, again so that I can see any trace of weepage.

The LT1 Pantera is a low bucks ( cough, gag ) project. I just put it together to see if it runs. If I can fix whatever is needed without removing the engine cradle, I will. But if I have to pull the cradle, then I'll do things like clean up the engine, valve covers, intake, make a lot of the plumbing and wiring disappear, put the battery up front, etc. If the new optispark fails, I will switch the timing cover & cam to accept a ventillated optispark, and replace the water pump with either an electric unit or try talking Darth into a set of his adapters to remote the water pump alltogether. But for now, it's down & dirty.

I fired up the LT1 and it runs. It has a miss, and hopefully this is just a mis-routed sparkplug wire or a loose sparkplug wire, a dying coil, or maybey a stuck injector. This could lead to the big teardown, but honestly I hope not.

The important thing is to gear up to get on with the choptop Pantera. A few more weekends of rearranging the barn and I'll be trying to finish it up.

See you in a few weeks, months, whatever.

David Breeze

[This message has been edited by opm2000 (edited 05-04-2009).]

motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #542, 05-03-2009 09:54 PM
      Optispark, not one of GM's better ideas.

Stop messin' with the yellow one and get back to work already.

Cheers Beers n Gearz. Joe


motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #543, 06-28-2009 12:14 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:


To get things started, I had to replace the evil optispark on the LT1.


Mine is a '94, and so is blessed with the pin driven unvented optispark. Here you can see three small weep holes at the base. Also, unexpectedly, my ebay replacement came with one of the two required vent fittings, seen just below the weep holes...


So....


I plugged two of the weep holes and fitted a vacum line in the third hole. We will see.

Whenever you hear an LT1 owner talking about replacing their optispark, they usually have nothing good to say about the water pump. It is located just above the optispark and of course it also has a weep hole. GM, what can I say?



Anyhow, I tried a similar fix here as well...





Just for clarification, the clear hose is only a drain hose, no vacum source involved. I used clear tubing because there is such a small amount that actually weeps, I wanted to be able to see it. The tubing is routed so that it loops once, again so that I can see any trace of weepage.

The LT1 Pantera is a low bucks ( cough, gag ) project. I just put it together to see if it runs. If I can fix whatever is needed without removing the engine cradle, I will. But if I have to pull the cradle, then I'll do things like clean up the engine, valve covers, intake, make a lot of the plumbing and wiring disappear, put the battery up front, etc. If the new optispark fails, I will switch the timing cover & cam to accept a ventillated optispark, and replace the water pump with either an electric unit or try talking Darth into a set of his adapters to remote the water pump alltogether. But for now, it's down & dirty.


See you in a few weeks, months, whatever.

David Breeze



Dave, when you get tired of messin' with the opti(no)spark ignition, these guy's have a much better idea.

http://www.eficonnection.co...nection/default.aspx

LS-1 pcm and dis on earlier sbc's, I'm planning on using their system on an LT-1 I'm putting in a '71 chev p-u.

BTW your long overdue for an update on the Pantero.

Joe



opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #544, 06-30-2009 12:25 PM
      Joe, that EFI system looks like the berries. My el-cheapo ebay optispark replacement seems to be working....but we all know it's days are numbered

Regarding an update:

Alas, my son announced he is to be wed in late August, and the wedding is to be at my house. Well, wonderful news, but then the war dept. (aka wife Patty) went into overdrive. I now have a 46 item "to do" list, including things such as a 600sq.ft. patio, several retaining walls, re-landscaping, ( I do these things for a living), painting, etc......I've been looking on the internet to see if they have a Honey Do Abuse Hot Line

Needless to say, my time is totally taken. Looks like nothing will take place untill the first days of September.

Then, I've got to refurbish a set of wheel flares and front air dam for a Pantera owner who lives in Columbus. This work is to include making a set of molds for said pieces as well. It will be interesting comparing the flares & airdam from a real Pantera with those I've created for the kit version.

I know that Blackrams & Fieroguru have almost got Ron's engine completed, and it will move on to some interesting work to convert it into a roadster version.

Good things take time.

David Breeze


motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #545, 07-01-2009 01:00 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:

Joe, that EFI system looks like the berries. My el-cheapo ebay optispark replacement seems to be working....but we all know it's days are numbered

Regarding an update:

Alas, my son announced he is to be wed in late August, and the wedding is to be at my house. Well, wonderful news, but then the war dept. (aka wife Patty) went into overdrive. I now have a 46 item "to do" list, including things such as a 600sq.ft. patio, several retaining walls, re-landscaping, ( I do these things for a living), painting, etc......I've been looking on the internet to see if they have a Honey Do Abuse Hot Line

Needless to say, my time is totally taken. Looks like nothing will take place untill the first days of September.

Then, I've got to refurbish a set of wheel flares and front air dam for a Pantera owner who lives in Columbus. This work is to include making a set of molds for said pieces as well. It will be interesting comparing the flares & airdam from a real Pantera with those I've created for the kit version.

I know that Blackrams & Fieroguru have almost got Ron's engine completed, and it will move on to some interesting work to convert it into a roadster version.

Good things take time.

David Breeze


You know what they say, "life is what happens while your making plans for the future"

Joe


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #546, 07-29-2009 03:45 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:

I know that Blackrams & Fieroguru have almost got Ron's engine completed, and it will move on to some interesting work to convert it into a roadster version.

Good things take time.

David Breeze


Tell me about it. Yeah, before Fieroguru stepped in, I didn't think this was ever gonna get going. Well, he has finished his part and the Roadster "wanta be" is sitting in my shop where I'll pull the drive-train back out along with the gas tank and put her on a rotisserie, flip it upside down to start the re-enforcing phase. Then, the top will be removed and we'll start trying to modify and hang a Pantero body on it. Time and money are the only things holding this project back. Life is like that some times.

Ron


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #547, 08-10-2009 11:49 AM
      Any recent activity on the Pantero?

Letting small things like a wedding hold you back?

Ron


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #548, 08-10-2009 05:38 PM
      Ron, shhhh !, the War Dept might hear you calling it a small thing.

It started with a small retaining wall & shrubbery to keep traffic off the lawn


Then I had to redo the parking lot bed, give it a wall, make it look decent


The roses were Mother's Day gift, guess I over inspired ms Patty


I had to edge everything, and mulch it, still need 4 more truck loads of mulch


And plant lots of new stuff


I took up the slate sidewalk and relaid it to "high heel" standards, for guests, I reckon


I pulled the old top off the well and built a 12'x12' deck over it, and replaced the pump with a new one


I built a retaining wall along the creekside of this level, and then built this 20'x30' patio up against the wall


I'm still not thru putting up lattice work everywhere


But I did get to redo the staircase and slate walk going up to the shop


I truly apologise to those true "car nuts" who don't care to see my recent trials. I can only say that after the wedding I'm installing my outdoor wood boiler furnace, primarily to heat the house, but also to heat the shop. I may just put a cot up there and stay the winter, working on Panteras.

David Breeze

[This message has been edited by opm2000 (edited 08-10-2009).]

motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #549, 08-10-2009 08:38 PM
      Wow, I didn't know that this was the Home & Gardens forum , when can you come out to Colorado and do my yard, I'll trade it out for fiberglass work!

you might be a king or a little street sweeper,
but sooner or latter, you'll dance with the reaper. Joe


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #550, 08-10-2009 09:38 PM
      I know Joe, I know.

This stuff just tears at my soul.

BTW, I am looking for the throttle body from a 1993 LT1 w/auto trans. Seems it is the only one made with the trans kickdown lever.
I made up a bracket and used the 1994 throttle body on the yellow Pantera, and it works, but it would be nice to get the right gear in place.

David Breeze


fieroguru MSG #551, 08-10-2009 09:44 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:

But I did get to redo the staircase and slate walk going up to the shop




White staircase to the garage... there is no way it would last a day at my house before covered in greasy fingerprints!

I will make it a point to NEVER take Sara to your house! She would come back with ideas and there is no way I can match your level of quality for landscaping. Very good job with all the upgrades (now get back to working on the pantero)



blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #552, 08-11-2009 11:32 AM
      Dave,
Nice work but you aint' fool'n me, you got Morgan to do all that work while you napped on the couch.

Ron


Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #553, 08-14-2009 07:16 PM
      Hey, Dave !
When you get done with the honey-do list, and have a minute or two, please fire off an email or pm to me regarding the dash, console, and gills for my pantero. The summer is half gone now, and my warm working days up here near the arctic circle are numbered ! Thanks !

David in Wisconsin
S/N - 003


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #554, 08-18-2009 04:16 PM
      For those that don't know, Dave was kind enough to loan me his grill this past weekend. He even hauled it over to my house, (What a guy!). Regardless, Sunday PM I took the grill back to him. I thought he had a nice place before Morgan and Patti did all the landscaping and new construction. I have to say, the girls did one hell of a job. Now, if Dave would just finish up that little list he had we could get back to building the Panteros.

Ron


IVANNATINKLE (seanmiller063@gmail.com) MSG #555, 08-20-2009 12:03 AM
      BTW, this is a dash plug I'm working on for Blackram's convertable :>



David Breeze

[/QUOTE]

did you ever finish this dash? if so would you post some pictures


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #556, 08-30-2009 09:12 PM
      OK,
I was at Dave's son's wedding on Friday, it was a remarkable event. Dave and Patti did it right. Beautiful ceremony, great location and fun was had by all. I have no questions about what Dave has been working on these last few months. Just imagine his posted pics filled in with lots of guests, a bride and groom and everyone smiling. Wonderful time was had by all. Well Done Dave.

Now it's time to get back to work. The Panteros have been lurking in the dark, it's time for them to see some daylight.

Ron


motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #557, 09-24-2009 09:13 PM
      Fall bump.

Dave, if you don't get busy, the next thing you know it'll be winter and you'll be telling us that it's too cold to work on it, and that you'll have to wait 'till spring (again )

You might be a king or a little street sweeper,
but sooner or later you'll dance with the reaper. Joe


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #558, 09-30-2009 07:10 AM
      Dave,
I know you survived the wedding, I've seen you walking around vertical.

Ron


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #559, 10-03-2009 08:24 AM
      Well, I have been working a bit on getting the center console, dash & gills ready for Fastfocusguy. He has been an incredibly patient guy.







About the coming of winter, Joe, your quite right.

To that end, my real efforts have been in "de-landscaping" much of what was built this summer.



To install my new outdoor wood boiler, I have to run six pex pipes about 200' , all buried 2' deep.



One nice thing will be finally getting decent heat on demand in the shop this winter.

So once this project is finished, be carefull what you ask for

David Breeze


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #560, 10-12-2009 02:21 PM
      Surely this little heating project has been completed by now hasn't it? Someone needs to get back to building Panteros.

Ron


whadeduck (richardjborton@gmail.com) MSG #561, 10-12-2009 07:26 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by blackrams:

Surely this little heating project has been completed by now hasn't it?

Ron


It probably has. Now stop calling him Shirley.



blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #562, 10-26-2009 03:10 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by whadeduck:


It probably has. Now stop calling him Shirley.



Hey, if he answers to it....................

Ron


motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #563, 12-21-2009 01:00 PM
      Hey Dave, do you know what time it is???
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Wait for it!
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That's right.
Winter bump, I heard that you were working on heat for the garage, so don't tell me (in a whiny voice) "it's too cold".

Cheers Beers n Gearz. Joe


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #564, 12-23-2009 03:55 PM
      Dave is so busy cutting firewood to feed that furnace, we'll be lucky to see him here till Spring.

Ron


motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #565, 12-24-2009 02:24 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by blackrams:

Dave is so busy cutting firewood to feed that furnace, we'll be lucky to see him here till Spring.

Ron


LOL, why am I not suprised???

Ron, how ya doin'??? Merry Christmas.

Joe



jetsnvettes2000 MSG #566, 12-24-2009 11:51 PM
      hi guys hey cool pantera kit and well im intrested i tried to email but aparently my server dosent like this computer so anyway do you have some kind of website or way of marketing this kit yet? and or what is your email so i can email direct to find out about the kits as they come avalible and prices etc. thanks!!

rob


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #567, 01-14-2010 01:15 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by jetsnvettes2000:

hi guys hey cool pantera kit and well im intrested i tried to email but aparently my server dosent like this computer so anyway do you have some kind of website or way of marketing this kit yet? and or what is your email so i can email direct to find out about the kits as they come avalible and prices etc. thanks!!

rob


Rob,

Check your PMs.

Ron


jetsnvettes2000 MSG #568, 01-14-2010 10:49 PM
      thanks I just did sory if it took awile for a reply I also havent been getting all of my email messeges tellin me I have messeges from here

jetsnvettes2000 MSG #569, 01-14-2010 10:52 PM
      one more thing I forgot to say in the messege I sent, will you be bringing up one of the cars to the dells? I have not been their yet it may be a good reason to go!

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #570, 01-18-2010 11:28 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by jetsnvettes2000:

one more thing I forgot to say in the messege I sent, will you be bringing up one of the cars to the dells? I have not been their yet it may be a good reason to go!


I can't speak for Dave but, my project won't be far enough along to bring it anywhere. Currently it's sitting on a rotissery being prepped for it's "moidifications",
I want mine to be different.

Ron


exoticse (exoticse@netzero.com) MSG #571, 02-11-2010 07:00 PM
     
Hey Dave and Ron,

I was heading home after getting a haircut the other day and spotted something out of the corner of my eye that made me do a u-turn and go back for a looksee,..this is what i saw.

Enjoy !





It was a little rough but still looked very good. It was at a little repair shop that was very busy at the time. I will try to get some better pics the next time i am over that way if it is still there.


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #572, 02-15-2010 03:47 PM
      Thanks for posting those pics. You don't see Panteras much any more. Most seem to have developed swiss cheese bodies.

They were ahead of their time in many ways.

Ron


motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #573, 03-20-2010 09:08 AM
      Hey Dave, you know what time it is, don't you???
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.Yeah, that's right.
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It's spring break, err ah, I mean bump.

How about throwin' us a bone.

Cheers Beers n Gearz. Joe


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #574, 03-20-2010 07:29 PM
      Eh?
What was that?





Spring is here, and I'm on a mission to stock up on so much firewood behind my barn that you can't see daylight
Whatever.

Actually, I am taking tomorrow to clean up the shop in preperation for the onslaught;
1. finish the choptop Pantera
2. begin Ron's project ( which he will reveal whenever the time is right. What he has done so far is the bomb )

I did get out to the hanger and get it cleaned up for my mechanic to come in and have his way.
I just put in my order for a new engine, a mere $30K



More to come.

David Breeze

BTW I won the second place McGuiver Award. HeHeHe




motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #575, 03-26-2010 08:14 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:

Eh?
What was that?





Spring is here, and I'm on a mission to stock up on so much firewood behind my barn that you can't see daylight
Whatever.
David Breeze

BTW I won the second place McGuiver Award. HeHeHe



He he,

he's got WOOD!!!

Cheers Beers n Gearz. Joe


aeffertz (alex@bikeguide.org) MSG #576, 03-27-2010 06:07 PM
      Awesome work so far!
Keep us updated.


Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #577, 04-02-2010 01:39 PM
      Hey Dave,
you forgot to list your #1 priority project!
I need a dash, center console, and gills, remember ??
Let me know if you need the shipping address again!
Thanks a bunch,
Dave is wisconsin

ps. should I bring the Pantero to the Dells run ??


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #578, 04-03-2010 09:24 PM
      Fastfocusguy,
By all means, I think you should bring your Pantera to the Dells. From what I know of your attention to detail and having seen evidence of some of your previous projects, i think you will be well recieved.

Dave, I have your gills, center console, and dash ready to go. They have been ready for some time. The only problem I have is shipping. It's rediculous. Almost $200- $300 to ship. I've just been waiting for an equitable ride for the parts to ship them to you.

Anybody travelling north to south , anywhere near Kentucky, going anywhere near Wisconson?

David Breeze

FWIW, by late summer/fall I will have the Bellanca airworthy and will make the run.

[This message has been edited by opm2000 (edited 04-03-2010).]

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #579, 04-09-2010 05:55 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:

FWIW, by late summer/fall I will have the Bellanca airworthy and will make the run.



Well, now that's a ride that might interest me.

Ron


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #580, 04-09-2010 07:56 PM
      Ron,
Well, it's out there. I think the proposed bird hunting trip out at J Strickers' followed immediately by a 3 day fishing trip to Rainey Lake would be more exciting, but whatever. BTW, Fastfocusguy has tenatively scheduled an equitable rendevous for his remaining parts, so all is well.

David Breeze


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #581, 04-11-2010 09:31 PM
      An Update, of sorts,

Today I had the first quality free time to myself. I determined that the choptop pantera needs either a whole new distributor, a new coil, or something associated. It has the crank but no fire syndrome.

On to better things.

The yellow pantera has been languishing with an untuned transmission problem. It would not upshift or downshift, and burbled horribly when the accelerator was pressed. I replaced the water pump, optispark, and alternator last year. Things got a bit better, but not much. I took Blackrams & Fieroguru for quick spins and got various responses from "this is going to be fun" to "change the torque convertor".

So, back in the winter Blackrams horsetraded an '88 shifter & cables for a Lokar shift bracket. Being the frugal builder I am, I had tried making my own kickdown cable bracket, instead of buying the $50 bracket from Lokar. My LT1 is a '94, made with no provision for a kickdown cable. Only '93 LT1's have this option. But Lokar makes this neat little add on bracket.

Since I'm having a problem with PIP, this is a stock pic of the bracket. I'll post installed pics later.



PIP is up, so here is the harsh reality



My homemade bracket is the rusty plate with the hole in it. I had tried mounting the kickdown cable from the front of the throttle body, and attached it to the existing cruise control stud. That really didn't work too well.

But the Lokar bracket kit has this neat little arm with just the right geometry. It bolts directly onto the throttle body and has the proper rotation.

You can see the black bracket to the right, which both the throttle cable and the kickdown cable attach to. This is an aftermarket bracket, sold on ebay to accomodate transmissions requiring kickdown cables with the LT1.

So, I had time to install this gem today, light a candle and say a prayer....and fired her up.

Wow! I thought the LT1 was cool, but suddenly the trans is acting right. It upshifts, down shifts, kicks into passing gear, and goes full throttle whenever you smash the pedal. And it felt like there was a second or third engine in there.

Big grins.

Later on in the day I ran into town for gas & cigars, and got accosted by three different groups of people wondering what it was and really getting into it. Lots of fun.

Things are looking up.

David Breeze

[This message has been edited by opm2000 (edited 04-12-2010).]

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #582, 04-11-2010 09:55 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:
Later on in the day I ran into town for gas & cigars, and got accosted by three different groups of people wondering what it was and really getting into it. Lots of fun.

Things are looking up.

David Breeze


So, apparently, the Nuns have figured out where you hiding now?

Ron


madcurl (madcurl@fiero-performance.com) MSG #583, 05-12-2010 02:50 PM
     

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #584, 05-21-2010 08:58 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by madcurl:



Normally I'll take every opportunity to give Dave a hard time about being distracted in a friendly way, he's always got 10 different things going on.
But, he's been addressing some estate issues for a passing family member so please be patient.

Ron


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #585, 05-21-2010 10:38 PM
      Thank You Ron,

( BTW, how is the welding coming on your project? )

Actually, things are heating up.

The gills are shipped to Fastfocus Guy. I think you can look for his project at the Dells Show. Maybe he will update us here.

And Shaw has returned from his travels and is continuing the rebuilding of his DeTomasso Pantera. I am picking up his airdam and wheel flares in a couple of weeks to effect repairs, create molds, and run a new set for him. So those of you with a real Pantera will know where to get them for a reasonable price. Maybe I should run an ad in the Mall section .

And I have a firm date with my AI/AP mechanic for the Bellanca. New engine install begins August 1.

More to come.

David Breeze


motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #586, 05-21-2010 10:39 PM
      Dave, Ron, I've gotta tell ya'll about the bolt of inspration that hit me today out of the blue. Try this on for size.

3" strech ( side affect, room for a longitudinal sbc w/ Audi transaxle. ) ROADSTER w/ the windshield laid back a bit. running these wheels and tires





The rears are 15 X 12, the fronts are 15 X 8 weld racing 5 hole wheels w/ Pirelli P-7's 345-35 and 225-50-15, I'm thinking I would need to make a new set of flares, this gives a couple of options, flares simmilar to yours or do I go to the next level, puff the fenders out to cerate a WIDEBODY!!!

Wow, the mind reels.

I think I need to build this, can anybody out there photochop this???

Cheers Beers n Gearz. Joe


motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #587, 05-21-2010 10:56 PM
      Dave, you have a PM.

Joe


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #588, 05-22-2010 08:11 PM
      Joe,
PM returned.
Such is the stuff of inspiration. I'll be glad to work with you, sounds like fun.
BTW, you might want to touch base with Ron ( Blackrams) and Paul ( Fieroguru) as they are preping Ron's 4.9 for a non-stretch version of a Roadster Pantera ( Ron, hope I didn't let the cat out of the bag ).

BTW, a fellow who used to work for me contacted me today. Seems he just purchased a Rotoway for a song & a dance and wants some help.

Things are indeed heating up.

David Breeze


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #589, 05-22-2010 08:31 PM
      BTW,
I'm about to attack the LT1 in the Yellow Pantera with a cure for the notorious LT1 Intake Manifold Leak. This means removing & resealing the intake manifold. It may well cure the only remaing " burble" I'm experiencing with this set up, who knows? It's also a great time to replace the injectors and install new showy valve covers.

So, have any of you done this and can you lend some sage advice?

Like, it's a good time to powdercoat the intake manifold....Whatever.

David Breeze


bubbajoexxx (bubbajoexx@sympatico.ca) MSG #590, 05-22-2010 08:58 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by motoracer838:

Dave, Ron, I've gotta tell ya'll about the bolt of inspration that hit me today out of the blue. Try this on for size.

3" strech ( side affect, room for a longitudinal sbc w/ Audi transaxle. ) ROADSTER w/ the windshield laid back a bit. running these wheels and tires





The rears are 15 X 12, the fronts are 15 X 8 weld racing 5 hole wheels w/ Pirelli P-7's 345-35 and 225-50-15, I'm thinking I would need to make a new set of flares, this gives a couple of options, flares simmilar to yours or do I go to the next level, puff the fenders out to cerate a WIDEBODY!!!

Wow, the mind reels.

I think I need to build this, can anybody out there photochop this???

Cheers Beers n Gearz. Joe


3 inch stretch will not give you room for engine and transaxle min 10 inch needed


Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #591, 06-04-2010 05:19 PM
      Update Time ! Pantero #003 will be putting in an appearance Saturday at the Dells show, ( barring any calamities ! )

Not nearly as complete as I had been striving for, but life is a - - - well, you know the rest !

Anyhow, I am looking forward to meeting some of you -

Hope you are looking forward to getting a hands-on look at the OPM2000 kit as it nears the half way point !

all the best,
David B.
columbus, WI


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #592, 06-05-2010 08:54 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:

( Ron, hope I didn't let the cat out of the bag ).

David Breeze


Well,
I guess it was eventually going to get out.

Ron


Tony Kania MSG #593, 06-05-2010 09:29 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:







As always, I am so very impressed with your cars. Loved the videos late last year.

I promise you that I am not telling you what to do, but only a suggestion. The bottom cable comes out at about a 25* angle from the bracket mount. It doesn't look like it would bind, but very close. I know I am only looking at one pic, from one angle, but I just see it wearing at the point where the cable slides in the plastic sheath. I think that if you were to remove the bracket, and give it a little bend, it would guarantee no future issue in that area.

If I am off base, please disregard. If not, glad to be of help.

Tony


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #594, 06-06-2010 08:57 PM
      Tony,
I think you may well have a point. I'm all about trying the simple things first, and believe me, I'll try your suggestion right off. As proven by simply switching to this bracket & lever arm, the shifting actually works. As you have pointed out, it does seem to be in a bit of a bind.

Fast Focus Guy,
Wish I could be there. Have fun and enjoy the day. fiero folks, especially the imaginative ones, are the Best

Blackrams,
Oops, I let the cat out of the bag? So how about it? Whatsup?

David Breeze


BTW, I'm in need of raising a wee bit of cash to complete the Choptop Pantera project. As it happens, I have a Lambo Diablo GT body kit which I will sell for a song & a dance. Any serious enquiries should just email davidbreeze@windstream.net.



blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #595, 06-06-2010 11:04 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:
I have a Lambo Diablo GT body kit which I will sell for a song & a dance. Any serious enquiries should just email davidbreeze@windstream.net.


I'd suggest putting it in the Mall if you haven't already done so.

Edited: I see you've placed that ad in the Mall, good luck in that. I always hoped we'd have the time, money and opportunity to finsh that project. They are really cool rebodies.

The welding on my Pantero is just about done, just have to weld in the center support that we built and installed surrounding the "tunnel". My expert welding technique seems to burn holes in the Fiero sheet metal while leaving the heavy support metal intact. Gonna have to work on that technique a bit I'm told.

Ron

[This message has been edited by blackrams (edited 06-07-2010).]

Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #596, 06-08-2010 07:05 PM
      Pantero at the Dells went well, right up to the point where the clouds dumped on us !

will take days for the car to dry out again - -

Photos from the sunny, happy part coming soon !!

Dave


fieroguru MSG #597, 06-08-2010 07:07 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by blackrams:

My expert welding technique seems to burn holes in the Fiero sheet metal while leaving the heavy support metal intact. Gonna have to work on that technique a bit I'm told.


Normally, I make holes with a drill and fill holes with a welder... your going to have to show me some of your tricks!


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #598, 06-08-2010 11:11 PM
      Paul,
Is this a polite way of saying that Ron has reinvented the rosette weld?
I'll throw in for some .025 wire, he's proably been using .035 flux-core

Dave,
Glad to here you made it to the Dells.
Seems weather is allways a factor at certian shows.
Post Pics when you can !

David Breeze


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #599, 06-09-2010 09:07 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by fieroguru:


Normally, I make holes with a drill and fill holes with a welder... your going to have to show me some of your tricks!


 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:

Paul,
Is this a polite way of saying that Ron has reinvented the rosette weld?
I'll throw in for some .025 wire, he's proably been using .035 flux-core

David Breeze


Although Paul is one of the most "polite" people I know, his continous laughter and pointing at my attempts to wield these two light and heavy materials together was somewhat distracting.
I can handle a little critisism but, his daughter really made me feel bad when she put on my wielding helmet and made the wields stronger than mine. She is what, 4 years old?

Ron


motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #600, 06-24-2010 07:38 PM
      Hey Dave, know what time it is???
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(Yeah, I know I'm late with it.)
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Summer bump.

Joe


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #601, 06-25-2010 08:33 PM
      Hi Joe,
...............well it's time to take Ms Patty down to 'ol Cabo San Lucas and do the Cabo Wabo. We depart Monday morning, 0 dark thirty.

After a week of that we return, and I am promised a few days to rearrange the shop & get it back into production shape.

Then it's up to you & Ron, as to who will produce the first roadster Pantera. Should be interesting.
BTW, whoever is first, I have a rear clip ready, laid up with iso-grade resin, at a very reduced price

The rest of that week is split between helping #1 Son learn how to trailer, unload, load, run, etc the 18' Wellcraft we are partners in.
It gets reupholstered & repainted this winter.

I just turned down another offer to sell the yellow Pantera. This guy bicycles by every weekend ( I live out in the countryside where folks go biking) and he has flat fallen in love with it. I offered to sell him a kit or build one for him. But one short ride has convinced him he wants this one. After selling the first Baby Ace I built, I know I would dearly regret selling the yellow Pantera, and it just ain't going to happen.

Wish I was a-workin' on the choptop Pantera right now.

David Breeze

[This message has been edited by opm2000 (edited 06-25-2010).]

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #602, 06-27-2010 06:19 AM
      Based on the current and foreseeable future economic issues, Joe is most surely gonna take that title.

Ron


motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #603, 06-27-2010 09:15 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by blackrams:

Based on the current and foreseeable future economic issues, Joe is most surely gonna take that title.

Ron


Ron, have you seen the progress on my current projects??? It looks like it'll be a slow race!!!

Joe


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #604, 07-31-2010 09:06 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by motoracer838:


Ron, have you seen the progress on my current projects??? It looks like it'll be a slow race!!!

Joe


OK, the race is on! It'll be like two turtles mud racing backwards I fear.

Ron


motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #605, 08-01-2010 05:14 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by blackrams:


OK, the race is on! It'll be like two turtles mud racing backwards I fear.

Ron

It might be more like a couple dinosaurs in the tar pits!!!

The fact that I can't seem to sell my last Countach body to save my life, (the last ebay listing had over 400 page views and 13 watchers, and it still didn't sell at $2,000) isn't helping.

Cheers Beers n Gearz. Joe

[This message has been edited by motoracer838 (edited 08-01-2010).]

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #606, 08-01-2010 08:58 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:

Wish I was a-workin' on the choptop Pantera right now.

David Breeze



Well, we can make that happen. Just stop by and show us your excellent welding skills. Shouldn't take long at all.

Ron


Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #607, 09-02-2010 05:32 PM
      Hello to Dave and all the other followers of this thread!

yes, I still have not got round to posting the pix of Fantera/Pantero #003 as she appeared at the Dells Run show back in june -

however, I have now solved the nagging problem of How to make a 1972 DeTomaso Pantera Speedometer work in a 1985 Fiero GT -

and actually have it read accurately ! ! ! For all of the gory details, please read my thread in tech discussion & questions titled Speedo-drive ratio Info Needed !!!

or use this link : http://www.fiero.nl/forum/F...111219.html#lastpost

Now I must accomplish the same mission for the Pantera Tachometer ! !! !!!


Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #608, 09-02-2010 06:33 PM
      Here we go!
I will now try to use PIP to post the pix of my Pantero at the Dells Show earlier this summer !!

















[This message has been edited by Fastfocusguy (edited 09-02-2010).]

Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #609, 09-07-2010 12:27 PM
      Here are the Original Equipment Veglia Instruments from Bonafide Panteras, to go into my dash ! ( still looking for fuel gauge ! )




opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #610, 09-07-2010 01:01 PM
      Hi Dave,
Looks great!

BTW, are those wheels real Campagnolo?

David Breeze



Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #611, 09-08-2010 12:38 AM
      Thank you!

and, yes, they are the real deal !

15 X 7 in front

15 X 8 in the rear

- had them professionally sand blasted, primed, painted, and clear coated first.

- then the new tires installed and balanced.

- mounted to the car with Aircraft grade billet aluminum wheel adapters

- I have a set of four factory pantera center caps for them, but did not get them on in time for the dells run

- but, as you can see, now I need some modest fender flares to make them look Kosher !!

- see the photo that shows the inside of the front trunk, and you can see how far the stick out of the wheel wells ;0

[This message has been edited by Fastfocusguy (edited 09-08-2010).]

motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #612, 09-22-2010 08:02 PM
      Hey Dave,

guess what, yea it's that time again, you should know whats coming by now.
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Fall bump

Joe


opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #613, 10-03-2010 07:59 PM
      Well, I did some welding on Ron's Pantera project. Honestly, he & FieroGuru have done some outstanding work. They need to share.

And on my way back from the airport I met yet another Fiero guy. Didn't get the contact info, though.

Other than that, I've been up to my eyeballs in the Bellanca:


Out with the old


In with the new




I could have had a V8 ???

David Breeze


motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #614, 10-03-2010 08:17 PM
      Great, just great. It seems that we've gone from better home & gardens to american pilot without much Fiero in between (and I thought I was bad at getting sidetracked)

Cheers Beers n Gearz. Joe


Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #615, 10-04-2010 05:17 PM
      Look at the bright side !! At least it is not a North American P-51D Mustang !!!





Here is two photos of MY little old plane ! ( 1966 Mooney Super 21 ) - - -

yeah, it is a fixer - upper !

[This message has been edited by Fastfocusguy (edited 10-07-2010).]

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #616, 10-30-2010 11:18 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:

Well, I did some welding on Ron's Pantera project. Honestly, he & FieroGuru have done some outstanding work. They need to share.

David Breeze


And splendid demonstration of welding he did.

Eventually, there will be a build thread but, it will be when the "project" is nearer to completion. Though, I do agree, Paul, Fieroguru did an outstanding job on his part of the project.

BTW Dave, we need to talk about those strakes.

Ron


motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #617, 12-21-2010 05:02 PM
      Winter bump, come on Dave, throw us a bone , will ya .

Joe


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #618, 01-07-2011 08:28 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by motoracer838:

Winter bump, come on Dave, throw us a bone , will ya .

Joe


Yeah Dave, what's happening?

Ron


VF1Skullangel (vf1skullangel@gmail.com) MSG #619, 01-08-2011 12:27 AM
      I would love to build one of these. It looks simple but I'm sure its not easy.

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #620, 01-08-2011 08:58 AM
      Well Guys,
Seems there are only so many hours in a day...The Bellanca is almost airworthy, and the kitchen renovation is begining.

None the less, the undercover roadster project is ready to begin body work. I just have to create space in the shop.

For your consideration, I'm trying to convince the owner to follow these guidelines to build a roadster



The overhead pic shows the later body style, and my molds are obviously of the earlier body styles.
But, it's the way the body was modified to create an open top that I like.
Essentially the roof portion has been removed.
What I particularly like is that the rear "strakes" are left in place.
To me they represent a large part of the Pantera design signature.
The also would lend themselves to the posability of building in a rollbar protection system.
It looks like it might be easy to fabricate a removable roof and a removable rear window if the strakes are intact.

Here are a few more close ups of the same car:






David Breeze



motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #621, 01-09-2011 01:27 PM
     

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #622, 01-10-2011 10:43 AM
      Oh Man, that's not fair! Trying to use public opinion to stifle my creative thought process. What's the world coming to.

When the time is right, you can judge for yourselves.

Ron


fieroguru MSG #623, 01-10-2011 11:07 AM
      You just need a good side profile picture of the Yellow or Gray Panteros and then have it photoshopped both ways. Then you can see how each would work before the fiberglass work begins.

Or... do the first one Dave's way and if you do not like it, give it to me and do the 2nd one your way.

[This message has been edited by fieroguru (edited 01-10-2011).]

opm2000 (davidbreeze@windstream.net) MSG #624, 01-10-2011 07:59 PM
      >>Or... do the first one Dave's way and if you do not like it, give it to me and do the 2nd one your way.<<

There you go. I like the way you think :>

David Breeze


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #625, 01-22-2011 10:43 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:

>>Or... do the first one Dave's way and if you do not like it, give it to me and do the 2nd one your way.<<

There you go. I like the way you think :>

David Breeze


We both know he's crazy, besides that, he got to do the engine install exactly the way he wanted to. I'm think'n his vote don't count on the body.

Ron


boxter (billz1@bellsouth.net) MSG #626, 01-30-2011 12:05 PM
      I've been away for years, so could someone update on the Fantera without me reading hundreda of posts. I was interested in one years ago, but the kit never came? What ever happened? Hasn't it been 10 or 15 years now?

[This message has been edited by boxter (edited 01-30-2011).]

Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #627, 01-30-2011 02:15 PM
      Well, I may not have all the details correct, but here is my understanding of how it went down. The fellow out West who started the whole Fantera kit got tired of it, and Put the whole shebang up for sale, including the prototype car. OPM2000 purchased the package and had it braught back east. He has re-worked all of the original molds to near perfection. Now he is making additional molds, for parts that were not offered with the original kit, to give us even more options! He is also prototyping a 'chop-top' version which has the roof line lowered by several inches. He is also experimenting with various engine swaps, while debating the merits of a roadster version of the car. ( all while working a day job, and performing the duties of husband and father ! ) If you are thinking of getting a kit, you should use the PM feature to contact him to find out current lead times and prices. I am not sure if he is "Officially" in production mode yet, so be prepared to be patient. Hope this helps ! ! !

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #628, 01-30-2011 04:46 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Fastfocusguy:

Well, I may not have all the details correct, but here is my understanding of how it went down. The fellow out West who started the whole Fantera kit got tired of it, and Put the whole shebang up for sale, including the prototype car. OPM2000 purchased the package and had it braught back east. He has re-worked all of the original molds to near perfection. Now he is making additional molds, for parts that were not offered with the original kit, to give us even more options! He is also prototyping a 'chop-top' version which has the roof line lowered by several inches. He is also experimenting with various engine swaps, while debating the merits of a roadster version of the car. ( all while working a day job, and performing the duties of husband and father ! ) If you are thinking of getting a kit, you should use the PM feature to contact him to find out current lead times and prices. I am not sure if he is "Officially" in production mode yet, so be prepared to be patient. Hope this helps ! ! !


Pretty much correct and good information but, let me make a few very slight corrections. First, the Fantera name is not being applied to the Pantera/Pantero body but, I guess if you buy one, you can call it what you want. Secondly, Dave and I loaded up in my truck/trailer and hauled our asses out to CA where Dave bought the car and the molds. We then hauled our asses and the goods back to KY. This was done in about 4.25 days. (If you'll note, check out the trip from Versailles, KY to San Diego, CA or there abouts. Yes, we did haul ass.) Some of the molds have be reworked or refined.

Now to the most important part, Dave was never, ever even remotely interested in a Roadster version until I decided that was how my Pantero would be finished. He has found the version (red car) and suggested that mine should be similar to the one pictured. Although the one pictured is beautiful, it still is not the idea or vision I have in my head. Dave believes certain things about the Pantera body are untouchable and I don't. I don't want to go into what my version is, it will come out eventually. Heck, I wasn't even going to tell anyone that mine was to be a Roadster but somehow the word leaked out. Oh well, it is what it is.

Dave has completed a couple of engine installs but, I'll let him discuss them. My Pantero will be a Roadster, we're hoping a roadster with a removeable hard top but, that depends on some other creative changes that are being made. My Pantero (R) will be powered by a 4.9 coupled to a five speed. The engine swap has been completed and is unique to what most 4.9 are. Fieroguru did the swap for me. I like what he did.

According to our plan, my Pantero (R) will go into the shop for the body this Spring. Of course, everything is flexible on that but, our hope is to have at least two Panteros in Indy for the 30th Celebration.



fieroguru MSG #629, 01-30-2011 06:01 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by blackrams:
... our hope is to have at least two Panteros in Indy for the 30th Celebration.



Only two... where's mine?

I think I have the pefect drivetrain for a Pantero Chop Top sitting on my cradle fixture...


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #630, 01-30-2011 10:21 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by fieroguru:


Only two... where's mine?

I think I have the pefect drivetrain for a Pantero Chop Top sitting on my cradle fixture...


I happen to agree with that. Now, you just need to convince Dave to produce one. I'll be happy to help but, Dave is the key to making body components pop out of those molds.


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #631, 02-16-2011 08:30 PM
      Anyone seen or heard from Mr. OPM2000 lately?

Dave, you out there somewhere?



motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #632, 02-17-2011 07:52 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by blackrams:

Anyone seen or heard from Mr. OPM2000 lately?

Dave, you out there somewhere?



Hell, if you haven't heard form him lately, what chance do you think we have???

Joe


fiero al MSG #633, 02-23-2011 05:46 PM
      i have been a fan of these kind of cars since i first seen them. if i had the chance [ and the money] i would like to make my fiero look something like it. the pic below is the one that i think would be nice to use [its from a game but it is still based off the real car]
This images is larger than 153600 bytes. Click to view.


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #634, 02-24-2011 09:45 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by motoracer838:


Hell, if you haven't heard form him lately, what chance do you think we have???

Joe


Joe,
Actually, I have seen and spoken with the chosen one. He is alive and doing well. He just has some other things going on that he is addressing. My post was really meant to spur him on to get done what he needs to do and let's get back to building Panteros



blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #635, 02-24-2011 09:48 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by fiero al:

i have been a fan of these kind of cars since i first seen them. if i had the chance [ and the money] i would like to make my fiero look something like it. the pic below is the one that i think would be nice to use [its from a game but it is still based off the real car]
This images is larger than 153600 bytes. Click to view.


Al,
The opportunity is here. I won't talk money but, Dave has the molds and can build you one. Just check with him. You can get the next one, right after mine pops out of the molds.



motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #636, 02-25-2011 07:20 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by blackrams:


Joe,
Actually, I have seen and spoken with the chosen one. He is alive and doing well. He just has some other things going on that he is addressing. My post was really meant to spur him on to get done what he needs to do and let's get back to building Panteros



That was meant to be joke. ( I gotta remember to add some )

Joe


Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #637, 02-25-2011 09:09 PM
      Hopefully OPM2000 is busy planning his maiden flight in the now re-engined Bellanca up to the frozen tundra west of lake michigan !! ?? !! ??

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #638, 02-25-2011 09:53 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Fastfocusguy:

Hopefully OPM2000 is busy planning his maiden flight in the now re-engined Bellanca up to the frozen tundra west of lake michigan !! ?? !! ??


I spoke with Dave about this just the other day. They are just waiting for a little warmer day to wrap up the small stuff, have a ferry pilot take the plane over to renew it's annual and then Dave will be getting some hours with a CFI to get back to where he was. After that, I would assume he will be back to building Panteros and most likely fishing. Currently, he's got his hands full with other stuff.



motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #639, 03-20-2011 09:55 AM
      Spring bump.

Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #640, 05-16-2011 02:19 PM
      Anyone planning to bring their OPM2000 Pantera to the Dells Run in Wisconsin next month ? ?? ??? ????

motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #641, 06-21-2011 05:18 PM
      Summer bump

Joe


mid engine monsters (midenginemonsters@live.com) MSG #642, 06-30-2011 03:06 PM
      bump........... for awesome looking body lines

Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #643, 09-07-2011 11:55 AM
      Indian Summer Bump ! ! ! :O

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #644, 10-24-2011 09:28 PM
      Dave's last post in this thread was in January of 2010.



Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #645, 10-24-2011 11:30 PM
      So - - - Anyone interested in seeing pictures showing how to fit OEM DeTomaso Pantera Headlight Buckets into the Pantero kit front clip ? ? ?

Hint, hint, hint - -


motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #646, 10-25-2011 12:43 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by blackrams:

Dave's last post in this thread was in January of 2010.


Ron, just what is up with Dave anyway???

Joe


Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #647, 10-29-2011 12:05 PM
      Well, based on the underwhelming response to my offer, I begin to wonder if I am wasting my time with this. However, I did tell Dave that I would post milestones like this, so I am going to go ahead and post these photos.

I will apologize for the poor quality of the pix in advance. My helper had an inexpensive film camera, so the prints came out dark and gloomy.
I have scanned them, and done my best to photoshop them to where you can see what is going on, but they are still not very good.
Next time I will make sure I have my 7.2 mp Sony DSC on hand !!!


Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #648, 10-31-2011 08:34 AM
      sorry, all. I am having issues with my Pennocks Image Poster program, and then my internet crashed, also.
So please be patient, and I will get the photos posted soon !! Honest !! :0


blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #649, 10-31-2011 10:37 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Fastfocusguy:

sorry, all. I am having issues with my Pennocks Image Poster program, and then my internet crashed, also.
So please be patient, and I will get the photos posted soon !! Honest !! :0


Well, I'm waiting.



Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #650, 11-05-2011 09:30 AM
      Ok. Here is yours truly test fitting the prototype pivot brackets into the Pantero front clip - - -



Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #651, 11-05-2011 09:34 AM
      Now you can see both brackets, as well as the forty year old pantera OEM headlight bucket ( in pale green primer) and the OEM pantera lifting/pivot (in white primer)
Note where the fiberglass has been sanded away from the clip to insure a good bond for the new fiberglass to be applied -



Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #652, 11-05-2011 09:36 AM
      two shots showing the brackets being fiberglassed onto the inner surface of the Pantero clip -





Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #653, 11-05-2011 09:38 AM
      and here is the passengers side brackets being fitted





Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #654, 11-05-2011 09:45 AM
      Next it is necessary to surgically remove some of the Fiero structure, to allow room for the Pantera light buckets to swing down, and also to allow room for the pivot brackets.
My trusty harbor freight saws-all made amazingly quick work of this part.
first picture is me holding the severed section up where it used to be.
second picture is the Fiero with both corners "clipped"
third picture is the clips sitting on the floor of my shop







Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #655, 11-05-2011 09:47 AM
      Now you can see we have re-mounted the front clip onto the Fiero again.
You can see me holding the bucket in the Raised and Parked positions in the following photos.
I am hoping to use the OEM Fiero lift motors to raise and lower the Pantera light buckets.
I will keep you posted as this I research linkage issues !! Hopefully I will post a Youtube video
showing the buckets opening and closing under power ( soon )





[This message has been edited by Fastfocusguy (edited 11-05-2011).]

War Hammer (oldsouthphoto@yahoo.com) MSG #656, 11-06-2011 09:56 AM
      Looking good


Bloozberry MSG #657, 11-06-2011 12:39 PM
      I've been following along in the background on this for a while now. It's got the potential to be a really nice looking car when it's done.

I do have some experience you can "take or leave" regarding how you attached your headlight pod hinges though. If you you don't plan on driving your car at night much, then the way you've attached the headlight pods to the underside of the hood will probably be fine. My experience though is that your mounting system probably won't be rigid enough to keep the fender skins from flexing under the weight of the cantilevered pods, headlight buckets, and headlights as you go over bumps. Even a very slight amount of flexing will cause the headlight beam to giggle up and down several degrees making it very annoying to on-coming traffic, and giving the appearance of questionable quality. I know this from first hand experience when I first attempted to design a headlight pod system for my Ferrari 308 Stinger kit, which required exactly the same frame modifications as you've done (ie, the pods were set wider apart and further forward than OEM Fiero).

I know it's probably late at this stage for you to consider this, but you would be better off fabricating a suitably braced metal pivot support structure that's attached to the metal chassis of the car like the original Fiero design. That's ultimately how I did it because I just couldn't stand the jittery headlights. For what it's worth...

[This message has been edited by Bloozberry (edited 11-07-2011).]

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #658, 11-07-2011 04:42 AM
      Gosh, it's been too long since I helped Dave on his Pantero with his headlights but, as I remember, we cut out the front corners and then fabricated metal to hang the headlights from but, we didn't use the original Pantera headlights, we used original Fiero headlights. I haven't seen Dave's car in quite a while but, as I remember the headlights worked very well. Not saying what you're doing isn't good, just different that the way Dave did his.

Love seeing this project move forward. There won't be many on the road or at car shows to compete with. Definately an interesting project.



Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #659, 11-07-2011 09:26 AM
      Well, the real point here was to NOT use the Fiero lights, since they are rectangular, and do not look 'correct' for a Pantera.
I wanted to use Genuine Pantera headlight buckets, so that when they are open it looks like factory pantera, and not 'replica'.
So this is maybe the first Pantero to get Real live OEM Pantera buckets ( perhaps ).

As far as the "wiggles" go, I am not losing sleep over it. For one, I will very seldom drive her after dark.
Secondly, if they bobble a bit, so be it !
Thirdly, my front clip is attached to Fiero framework pretty securely, and also fairly close to the points where pivots are attached.
Therefore, I expect very little flex in that area, so, very little "wiggle" in the lights.

And thanks to all for the constructive comments. That is what makes this forum better than the average bear !!

[This message has been edited by Fastfocusguy (edited 11-07-2011).]

blackrams (blackrams7@aol.com) MSG #660, 11-13-2011 07:39 AM
      Keeping this dream alive is what you're doing and you're doing a great job. Keep up the good work.



Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #661, 11-14-2011 12:17 PM
      and hopefully Dave will be delivering my dashboard and center console very soon, so I will be able to work on installing the pantera gauges over the winter !! :O

exoticse (exoticse@netzero.com) MSG #662, 04-30-2012 10:12 PM
     

Bump for a great project.


Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #663, 05-16-2012 10:36 AM
      Hey Dave -
Any chance you will be making that Dashboard Delivery Flight this month or next ?
Please give me a call and lets get this sorted out !! Thanks,
David in Columbus, WI

[This message has been edited by Fastfocusguy (edited 05-17-2012).]

CETICARS MSG #664, 06-06-2012 01:42 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by opm2000:




These are door panels from a Diablo kit I have. I made a mold so I could start resizing the panels to fit a stock Fiero, I kinda like their shape.

I have this dash and center console from the same Diablo. I'm working on either resizing to fit a stock Fiero, or modifying the pod to get a more realistic Pantera dash look.


Both of these are very back burner projects. I've been playing around with them for my own use, only. When they are finished, and if folks like them, I'll have made molds so they would be available.

David Breeze



pm me a price for a pair of inside diablo door cards in White

[This message has been edited by CETICARS (edited 06-06-2012).]

Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #665, 07-04-2012 11:06 PM
      I spent most of the day designing and building a support structure from steel tube and angle iron,
which bolts to the front of the fiero ( where the bumper used to mount ). The angle iron struts
extend forward and have holes which line up with the bolt holes for the Hinges upon which
the front Hood raises and lowers. This way the weight of the hood is partially supported by the steel
frame of the fiero, and not just the fiberglass pantera nose. It is now tack-welded together.
Tomorrow I will have to carefully take it out of the car and use my new wire-welder to
weld up all of the seams completely, to make it solid and secure. Then it will need priming
and paint, to keep it from rusting. I will try to get some photos tomorrow, after it is welded up !


Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #666, 07-06-2012 07:58 PM
      here are a few pix of the tack-welded assembly.
now I need to get it out of the car, and weld up all the seams.
Then, clean it up for primer and paint !











Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #667, 07-06-2012 08:00 PM
      Well, it is now completely welded up !
I think I am starting to get the hang of this wire-feed welder gizmo !
Now I must clean up all of the weld splatter, and grind off a few BLOBs -
then get it ready for primer - I am thinking the self-etching sort !

[This message has been edited by Fastfocusguy (edited 07-07-2012).]

Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #668, 07-09-2012 02:32 PM
      as promised! here is a photo showing it welded up.



and here it is all cleaned up !



and here it is all primed up with self etching primer -



and here we see it with 2 coats of Duplicolor Ford Red -
In honor of the Ford engine used in real panteras -



and finally , two shots with the finished part completely installed and
all fasteners torqued down securely !








Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #669, 09-04-2012 03:17 PM
      First up is Yesterday's mission : reinforce the connection from fiero frame to fiero front bumper support structure.
This was weakened when I had to cut out the front corners to clear the pantera headlight pods,
so some new structure is needed to strengthen things up again.
Lucky for me the stock front hood hinge supports are no longer used, and they are strategically located.
So my stiffener brackets will go under the upper hood hinge attachment stud with washer and nut,
and then be welded to the front bumper support structure !
Picture is worth a thousand words ! Enjoy ! !














Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #670, 09-04-2012 03:26 PM
      Secondly, is todays misson : relocate the petrol filler neck assembly !
It is not practical to locate it in the correct Pantera Location,
since the Fiero back window structure is blocking that spot for the most part.
So I chose to locate the filler cap right where the Stock Air Filter used to live !
No scoundrels can syphon my petrol tank without first jimmying the Engine Lid !
( And I plan to lift said lid the same way Dave/OPM2000 lifts his = Linear Actuators )
So all I really did was slice and dice the stock filler neck parts until they fit where I wanted them,
and then fabricated a couple support tubes from Aluminum Tubing, which got bolted on
with stainless steel socket head cap screws and nylock lock-nuts,
and then bolt to the existing stock air filter cannister mounting points !
Again, pictures follow to show you the results - - -













infinitewill MSG #671, 09-04-2012 05:45 PM
      .

[This message has been edited by infinitewill (edited 01-05-2016).]

Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #672, 09-06-2012 07:19 PM
      Next I decided that the rear clip ( body clamshell ) needed a little more support and stiffening !
The first photos show the angle brackets in primer -
The other three show them bolted into the car -
They connect the steel tubing of the rear clip to the unibody structure of the Fiero,
using existing tapped holes in the Fiero unibody.
Also note the color-coordinated Zippy-Ties holding the electrical plugs that connect the taillight
assemblies to to Fiero wiring harness - so I can literally unplug them if I need to remove the rear clip !





passengers side - - -



drivers side - - -



both ! ! !

[This message has been edited by Fastfocusguy (edited 09-06-2012).]

Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #673, 09-06-2012 07:34 PM
      somehow I managed to post the same reply twice, so I am editing this one down to minimize clutter -
apologies for the wasted post - :S

[This message has been edited by Fastfocusguy (edited 09-06-2012).]

Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #674, 09-06-2012 07:36 PM
      And, while I was shooting paint, I figured it was time the front hood hinges
got a decent coat of paint on them ( finally )
The hood hinges are Vintage, and came from a bonfide ( real ) DeTomaso Pantera !
And of course they fit the openings in the OPM2000 kit perfectly,
as well as fitting the front hood/trunk Lid perfectly ! Yay !







And here they are bolted into the car again ! ! !

[This message has been edited by Fastfocusguy (edited 09-06-2012).]

Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #675, 09-06-2012 08:05 PM
      So, now I need to make those OEM Pantera headlight pods open and close !
And I would prefer to use the original Fiero lift motors/gear boxes for this mission.
So the first step was to make some prototype actuator levers from cardboard,
to get the geometry correct - - -



Once my cardboard mockup was really close, I transferred it to masonite
( high density 'hardboard' ) for further evaluation and testing - - -



then bolted this to the pantera pod pivot bracket with stainless steel bolts.
Once perfected, the masonite part will be traced onto plate steel, in case you are wondering ! ! !



Next I made up a new pushrod, using the dimensions gleaned from testing the cardboard parts -
stock fiero pushrod is shown below the plywood mockup for comparison -



Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #676, 09-06-2012 08:11 PM
      So, once the plywood parts and the pod are installed into the car, it is time for a test !

Here we see the pod in the closed position - - -



and after switching on the lights ( and the lift motor going through its gymnastic routine )
we see the pod in the raised ( night - driving ) position ! ! !



Whee ! Now all I have to do is make the parts from metal ! ! ! :O


Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #677, 09-18-2012 03:59 PM
      More exciting news! I finally found Wiper Arms which match the DeTomaso Pantera Arms !
DeTomaso installed the wiper system "backwards" from conventional systems, making life a challenge for us Pantero Builders!
After trying numerous alternatives, I have stumbled across a Fiat wiper arm which is 'backwards' !
The Rear Hatchback Window Wiper arm from a 79-81 Fiat Strada fits Perfectly ! ! !
As you can see, I have managed to scavenge a second arm ! Matching Pair !
Now I need to modify a fiat wiper drive mech to make them move ! :O
I can try the mech from an X-1/9 and - or from a Strada -
The trick will be to make them 'park' in the proper place !





355Fiero MSG #678, 09-19-2012 05:42 PM
      fastfocusguy;

I would recommend using your Fiero windshield wiper motor. You can take the arm off the wiper motor easily and put it to the position you need for locking at stop. I did a similar operation where I moved my wiper motor to the other side of the front trunk and used the Fiero wiper transmissions and pushed them from the opposite side for my extended windshield application. For your installation, you can use the Fiero transmissions or the Fiat transmissions and work the wiper arm accordingly.

Not hard to do at all.

Good luck. The car is looking good.
Don


Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #679, 09-21-2012 08:13 PM
      Don,
Thank you for your thoughts!
I like your idea of keeping the Fiero motor and gearbox ( already wired in, fused, etc. )
and linking it to the Fiat 'posts' -
I measured the spacing on the Strada posts, as they are installed in the strada,
and then compared that to the spacing on the Pantero - - -

The centers are within a quarter inch of being identical ! :O

So it seems that making them work in the Pantero will be pretty straight forward -

only one custom link to make, from the fiat part over to the Fiero part !

Best Regards,
David


Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #680, 09-23-2012 11:42 PM
      more progress on the wipers project !

First, I removed the pivots from the Fiat Strada -



Then I unbolted the Pantero front clip and shifted it forward about 18 inches -



Next I used the air cut-off wheel to trim some annoying Pontiac sheet metal !





This allowed easy access to the fiero wiper mech, which I removed .
Then I bolted the Fiat pivots into the holes I drilled in the Pantero nose clip,
using photos from various books and internet souces to position them correctly.



I also trimmed off some of the Fiero connecting / driving linkage,
which I can weld to my new cobbled linkage, to drive the Fiat pivots -



Then the fun of getting the nose clip back into its normal position,
and re bolting it . The removed sheet metal seen earlier lets the Fiat
system fit down into the Fiero 'canyon' when the clip is lowered into position -



then I positioned and attached the Fiat wiper arms with blades !



Now all that remains is to fabricate the new link to go from
Fiero motor to Fiat pivots, prime & paint, and then install !


Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #681, 09-24-2012 02:18 PM
      - - - But the REAL accomplishment over the weekend was that I FINALLY managed to fit a Door Skin ! ! !
Granted, this is not hard to do - but it is time consuming and nerve wracking, since you REALLY do NOT
want to sand off too much material, since putting it Back is hard to do, and then it has a 'tender' spot, too -
which is not good for a door ( since doors magnetically attract grocery carts and other car doors ! )
Since I am without a helper at the moment ( My German Shepherd has no opposable thumbs, he claims )
So you will see the numerous strips of duct-tape used to hold the skin in position while I worked the seams
with my magic marker, identifying which bits needed how much more material sanded off !
so, without further delay, I present, drivers side door skin !










Now the fun part begins. Deciding where and how to attach the skin to the Fiero Door Skeleton ! ! ! :O

[This message has been edited by Fastfocusguy (edited 11-14-2012).]

Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #682, 09-28-2012 12:46 AM
      Tuesday evening I was running late so I picked an easy task:
a few little brackets in the front compartment were showing surface rust,
so I pulled them out, cleaned them up, primed and painted them.



then, reinstalled them !




[This message has been edited by Fastfocusguy (edited 09-28-2012).]

Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #683, 09-28-2012 01:01 AM
      Wednesday evening was still a bit busy, so I decided to paint the brackets I had fabricated,
back when I first mounted the rear clip onto the car. The section of the body between the rear wheel
well and the door opening did not seem to have enough support ( for my tastes = sherman tank )
So I made these braces from some 3/16 High Tensile steel strap I had left over from another project.
It is very hard, and eats saw blades and drill bits ! But should last forever on my car !
The Long one has two bolts that attach to the fiberglass clip and one thru the pinch weld of the Fiero Rocker.
The little short one goes behind the rocker pinch weld, sort of like a giant custom washer,
to help spread out the load when I torque the daylights out of the poor fasteners.
BTW if you squint hard enough you may be able to notice that the bolts are TORX heads !
I had a box of them collecting dust, so I am using them on the Pantero in places where the bolt will
be visible to critics. Makes them more attractive and exotic, don't you agree ? ?? :P



Mounted to the car before painting - sort of gold annodized looking parts -



here they are removed from the car , ready for clean up -



freshly painted with Rust Converter ( rustoleum brand ) [ dries flat black ]



and now bolted back to the car.
( FYI - did passenger side also, if you were wondering ! )


Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #684, 09-28-2012 01:15 AM
      ah, but this evening time was on my side.
Time to Re-Bond the inner and outer skins that make up the trunk lid ( hood )
They were bonded originally with PL premium construction adhesive -
All was well for 18 months, then delamination began
So, THIS time I purchased the GOOD stuff !
West Sytems Six 10 Thickened Epoxy ! expensive, but NASA approved ( JK )



outer skin, glue-side facing up - - -



inner skin, glue-side facing up - - -



D. A. Sander with 80 grit paper. had to sand off remains of the old PL glop,
and make sure I created a good surface for the new epoxy to bond to - - -



two tubes of Six10 and a zillion spring clamps later ! ! !





Now I just have to wait for a day or so. Normally this material cures faster,
but we are having a chilly fall season here, and the cool temperature is
going to slow down the curing process a bit. Tomorrow afternoon we are
supposed to get some Sunshine, and the garage should warm up,
finishing up the curing process by supper time, I hope !



Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #685, 10-01-2012 08:21 PM
      Finally took the clamps off today !
Seems to be one monolithic structure now !
I also got lucky with my power sanders,
as now the two skins fit together much better
than previously! No gap at all in many areas,
and very small gaps in a few spots,
easily filled with a mix of epoxy and micro-balloons!


Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #686, 10-06-2012 02:25 PM
      Busy week, so I only had time to do a few more detail parts.
I chose the Ventilation Fan and the little resistor pack that gives it different speeds !










Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #687, 10-14-2012 10:23 PM
      News Flash! I have figured out what to do with that gaping hole in the rear end of my Pantero !

The Pantera had its A/C condenser mounted in back, right below the license plate holder,
which is how the gaping hole came to be there. It has a nice factory grill mesh over it, even.

But my Pantero does not have the evil power-robbing A/C system any more. so, no A/C
condenser to deal with.

So my brilliant idea is : Why not put a nice aftermarket engine Oil-Cooler in that same opening !

Use a sandwich style adapter, WITH the built in thermostat, so oil will never Over-Cool -

And use an in-line thermo-switch on the outlet of the cooler to activate the electric booster fan,
in case I am stuck in Los Angeles Rush Hour Traffic !

We all know our mid-engined cars tend to run hot, especially in stop n go traffic.

So, surely it must be a wise move to give my "big block" ( J K ) 3.4 Liter engine a bit of extra cooling !

At this point my only 'boggle' is how to route these two oil lines from the oil filter area, back to the
rear mounted cooler in such a way that they don't get cut, pinched, kinked, or otherwise mangled in
the normal course of driving around. And also NOT get Toasted by any exhaust pipes !

Perhaps it will be best to run two 'conduits' through the rear trunk, welded to the trunk metal at each end,
and then pass the oil lines through the conduits ? ? ?

Something for you engine swap guys to chime in on, perhaps ? All ideas are welcome !


Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #688, 10-19-2012 06:54 PM
      Here are the home-made mounting brackets for the new oil cooler kit ( see next post )

Once the primer has dried, they will get the same Ford Red Engine Paint as the other parts you have seen !





[This message has been edited by Fastfocusguy (edited 10-19-2012).]

Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #689, 10-19-2012 06:56 PM
      The Cooler Kit is here ! ( Sounds of celebration taking place in background )
Here are a few pictures showing all the goodies that came with the kit -
The adapter has a built in thermostat, so oil only goes to cooler when it gets over 185 degrees F.








Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #690, 10-24-2012 10:34 PM
      oil cooler - part 2

Once primer dried, then the obligatory Ford Red engine paint is applied -



so here is a close up shot of how the mounts fit on the moulding of the cooler -




and an overall view of the mounts on the cooler. Sticky back felt lines the slots for padding -




Next I used my cardboard to make a preliminary version of my Fan shroud.
This is sized for a 7 inch fan, as the cooler is just a fuzz over 7 inches "tall"



and here is the fan I have ordered for this mission -




Next, to contol said fan, I am using a thermostatic switch. Goes on at 185 degrees,
and off at 170 degrees. Will be mounted in the line returning from the cooler,
so that Fan will only run if the cooler alone is not doing the job with ambient air flow -




I also had to solder on a ground lug, since the thermo switch has no dedicated ground lug of its own -




The sandwich adapter has its own internal thermostat, so oil only goes to cooler when hot enough -
Naturally, it also got a few coats of Ford Red engine enamel, for Corrosion Prevention, you see !



smooth side goes towards oil filter, O-ring groove mates up with engine block surface ( instead of filter itself ) -



Next Post we will 'blast' a hole in the rear body clip for this cooler, so stay tuned, Pantero Fans ! ! !

[This message has been edited by Fastfocusguy (edited 10-24-2012).]

Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #691, 10-26-2012 11:02 PM
      As promised, more progress !

so here is photo of the rear end of said Pantero, with my fakey temporary grillwork bolted on -



and here is the temporary grillework all by itself -



This next one shows the oil cooler sitting in its new home while I measure and locate where to drill and where to saw ! :O



Here we can see I have laid out the opening with my sharpie - - -




and HERE it is after a bit of noise and dust from the trusty Sawzall ! !







Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #692, 10-27-2012 06:37 PM
      photos showing the cooler in place, with the screws going through the body clip & into the mounting blocks !





coming next; installing the 'sandwich adapter' !
( somebody grab the floor jack and some jack stands ! )


Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #693, 10-28-2012 03:21 PM
      Hmm - a few cob-webs under the old chassis I see !

but first, here is the adapter being test fitted to the filter -
Kit comes with 5 or 6 threaded sleeves, and installer has to select correct one
who knew filters have so many different thread options !






then it was time to grab the torque wrench and the creeper and
figure out how we want to orient the hose connections.
All threaded fittings were given the teflon tape pipe thread seal treatment, BTW.








drat - the hose supplied in the kit is only long enough to make one run,
not both. Guess I will have to stop by the auto parts store this week - :S


Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #694, 10-30-2012 01:49 PM
      Ok - ordered an additional length of oil hose ( golly, that stuff is NOT cheap ! )
Will pick that up from O'Reilly's to morrow -
In the mean time I am trying to re-design my cooling fan mount
The eBay seller sent a fan which RESEMBLES the one in their listing,
but the one I received has many fewer mounting points,
and is NOT a 7 inch fan, but is in fact an Eight and one quarter inch Fan !
( Insert your favorite expletive here )
But at least it IS the pretty red color, so it will coordinate with my all red & black color scheme !



Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #695, 10-30-2012 10:08 PM
      Temporary Topic Shift !
I have been sanding and priming and resanding and painting my new / used center console
and finally tonight I test fitted the gauges into it to see how it will look ! Sweeeeeeet !!

so here is the part as I purchased it on eBay -



and then after much sanding and priming and sanding and painting with Duplicolor Trim Black -



an now this evening with the four Veglia Gauges installed for a photo shoot !







now all I need is the rocker switches which fill all those rectangular holes !


Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #696, 11-03-2012 04:15 PM
      Next I have been wrestling with the issue of how to drive the vintage Veglia Oil pressure gauge,
and the old school "low oil pressure" red light, and still retain the "fuel pump on" feature of the stock Fiero Sender -
( Please see my thread on this subject in the technical questions page for the gory details ! )

so, here is what I have ended up doing :



here is a wide angle shot so you can see the entire flexy hose ( 5k psi max pressure !




This way I have the veglia sender for the gauge,
the little 6 psi switch for the red idiot light
and still have the fiero sender connected to the factory fiero harness.

the flex line will let me mount this sender-pack to a bracket bolted to the fiero frame,
since the flex line will allow for engine movement.



Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #697, 11-03-2012 04:25 PM
      So the next logical issue to tackle was the Veglia Pantera Temperature gauge -
While looking for the various senders and sensors on my engine, using color codes in Haynes manual,
I finally gave up and asked the other members for help ( See my thread in the technical questions section for the exciting details )
Turns out my temp switch for the cooling fans was broken, and the sensor which feeds the ECM was damaged , as was its wiring connector.
It was also determined that the fiero sender for the fiero gauge and light could be eliminated, and that port used to drive the Veglia Pantera gauge.
Finding a sender that would match the requirements of the 40 year old Veglia gauge turned out to be a Hideously time consuming and frustrating job.
But the good news is that I have tested the sensor that seemed to be the best electrical "fit" with a pot of water on my stove and a meat thermometer,
and it is deffinitely "close enough for government work" !
So here are a couple pix showing the new sensors/senders I bought this week to solve the above issues !






Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #698, 11-04-2012 04:21 PM
      Meanwhile, back to that rear mounted oil cooler and the eBay fan that turned out to be 8 inches, not 7 !

So I had to re-design my fan mounts. But I am very pleased with what I came up with -
The vertical studs are #8 bolts, and I simply tapped the holes in the four Tabs,
screwed the bolts in from the bottom with a dollop of Red Locktite to make them Permanent.



top view and two from angles for better perspective - - -






and now we fit the fan mounting lugs down over the #8 studs,
and Viola' ! Instant cooling fan ! Four washers and four lock-nuts will secure the fan to the tabs -



notice the 30 amp relay to control the fan !



the thermo-switch kicks the fan on at 185 degrees F.
and will be located on the outlet port of the cooler,
so wires will be short and simple ( other than the two "Hot" wires coming from up front )

[This message has been edited by Fastfocusguy (edited 11-04-2012).]

fieroguru MSG #699, 11-04-2012 06:46 PM
      It looks like that fan is about 1/2" away from the oil cooler.

It will pull more air through the cooler vs. through the open 1/2" gap if the fan shroud went all the way to the oil cooler.


Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #700, 11-05-2012 11:52 AM
      Hmmm - a valid point my friend! Perhaps a rubber seal of some sort is in order here.

I did look at mounting the fan directly to the cooler core, but was concerned vibration from the fan would
cause the edges of the shroud / housing to slowly 'chew' into the somewhat delicate fins of the cooler over time -

Also, since the cooler is mounted in the Rear of the car, I am toying with the notion that the fan should be PUSHING
air through the cooler , since it is technically in front of the cooler core.

an engineer friend of mine and I had a long and lively debate on this subject last week !

These are the things that keep me awake at night ! :S

[This message has been edited by Fastfocusguy (edited 11-06-2012).]

Bloozberry MSG #701, 11-07-2012 04:03 PM
      Looks like you're doing a great job. I'd like to point out one thing that might interest you. A number of years ago I installed an oil cooler in my 308 replica that looked just like the one you have pictured. After about two years one of the inlet pipes fatigue failed, which then sprayed engine oil onto my exhaust system and caught fire. I would have lost the entire car if it weren't for the fact that the fire dept was in the vicinity when it happened. It still caused over $16K in damage. I can look up the manufacturer of the one I bought if it interests you, but the point I wanted to make is that you should make sure you mount the cooler in such a way that you can inspect it on a semi-regular basis.

Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #702, 11-07-2012 05:28 PM
      Thank you for the 'heads up', Bloozberry!
The brand name of my cooler kit is Derale. ( hoping yours was not )
Either way, You have given me three excellent ideas !
1. - Have a good quality Automotive Fire Extinguisher mounted in the cockpit in an easy to reach location!
2. - Add some mounting points close to the cooler inlet & outlet where the hose assembly will be clamped and supported.

In theory if I support the hoses well enough, that will drastically reduce the movement, and in turn, minimize fatigue of the pipes where the enter the cooler.
3. - Have an easy to remove "hatch cover" over the cooler area for "pre-flight inspection" as well as Fast and Easy access if said fire extinguisher is ever needed !

For what it is worth, my cooler sort of " Floats " in the mounting blocks since the notches in said blocks are lined with felt
so that free floating will also hopefully help minimize stresses on the inlet and outlet pipes - I hope !

:S



Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #703, 11-08-2012 03:51 PM
      I did my testing last night with a regulator and air hose connected to the package in the photo above,
and then wired the Napa sender to the Veglia gauge. Napa part number is OP6091 ( brand is ECH )
Mixed results I guess -

From zero to ten psi the sender remains an open circuit, so no gauge reading until 10 psi is achieved. ( goofy )

but -

when the Pantera Gauge showed 17.5 psi, the mechanical air gauge on my regulator was showing 15 psi
when the Pantera Gauge showed 35.0 psi, the mechanical air gauge on my regulator was showing 30 psi
when the Pantera Gauge showed 52.5 psi, the mechanical air gauge on my regulator was showing 58 psi
when the Pantera Gauge showed 70.0 psi, the mechanical air gauge on my regulator was showing 94 psi

all readings relative, since the mechanical gauge is probably not super accurate either ! ! !










But as long as I am aware of these limitations, then I can decipher my gauge fairly well
and I will have my trusty red idiot light to back it up,
and best of all, my Vintage Antique Pantera Gauge will be functional !


Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #704, 11-09-2012 11:26 PM
      minor topic shift !
Going back a few posts to the photos showing all the little gauges in the new/used center console panel - - -

Today the mail-carrier delivered the new upholstery for the center console !

Carefully chosen to match the leather seat upholstery I am planning to order from Mister Mike's ! ! !

Somewhere a Cow is shivering in the cold ! ( Lol )

is it just me, or does real leather have the most wonderful aroma ? ? ?





Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #705, 12-07-2012 02:11 PM
      Okay - we had a few warm days last month, and some progress was made !

first I welded the two long threaded studs to my little home-made mounting bracket - - - -





Then the oil senders "package" and the new bracket were bolted into the Car !







next I need to 'extend' the wiring harness so the connector for the Fiero oil sender
will be long enough to reach its new location!

Then I will need to make up wiring harness from scratch to connect the two Pantera
senders to the dashboard quadrant -

But once the sender pack was properly connected to the oil tube,
I was able to fire her up and check for oil leaks
since the cooler connections, sandwich adapter, and pressure sender plumbing is all new,
there were a few moments of tension when I first cranked her up.

but the Force was with us, and no drips were detected from any of the new connections !!



Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #706, 09-10-2013 05:43 PM
      Ebay has now provided me with the much desired OEM Pantera dashboard ! :O

wonder how well or how poorly it will fit in a 1985 Fiero ? ? ?

Wish me luck ! ! !

UPDATE : I had to trim 1.5 inches off each end of the pantera dash to make it fit the fiero -

now I must mate it up with the front edge of the fiero dash, to make a perfect fit !

[This message has been edited by Fastfocusguy (edited 01-08-2014).]

Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #707, 01-08-2014 01:57 PM
      Anyone know where OPM2000 is gotten off to ? He does not reply to email , nor will he answer his telephone ?
I need to get my dashboard and center console from him, but can not reach him.
Blackrams, have you any info to share ? ? ?
I have also tried his email but it comes back as undeliverable ?!?!
Any recommendations or suggestions ?

[This message has been edited by Fastfocusguy (edited 01-21-2014).]

Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #708, 02-18-2014 03:03 PM
      I am also re upholstering my fiero seats with leathers from Mr. Mikes !
black bolsters, with red insterts to match planned paint job !
The new covers also have the De Tomaso Isis logo embroidered into
them, right about where my shoulder blades touch the seat.

[This message has been edited by Fastfocusguy (edited 02-18-2014).]

Diamond Dave MSG #709, 03-02-2014 04:30 AM
      Fastfocusguy. I have a few questions. I hope you don't take the wrong way. I love what you are doing. I had a choice one time to buy a brand new Pantera or a new 900Z1 Kawasaki, a Gt 500 67 Mustang Shelby, and a kick high end custom stereo with Sansui speakers. I sidewas 19. The later 3 won out for less money. No real regrets except the Shelby is gone. . Anyway just a few questions. Since the fiero is not a wide as the pantera, when you follow the fairly flat side body panels why did you not flair the wheels wells innthe beginning? Are you planning that upgrade to your future builds offered. Also I was wondering why you didn't use plastic for you oil radiator mounting blocks as the wood ones won't last long and will be sloppy soon? They can print these now out of good materials. Don't think they would cost much. Again man great idea. I love the looks of that car.



JayinMI MSG #710, 03-02-2014 07:55 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Diamond Dave:
Also I was wondering why you didn't use plastic for you oil radiator mounting blocks as the wood ones won't last long and will be sloppy soon? They can print these now out of good materials. Don't think they would cost much. Again man great idea. I love the looks of that car.



I had emailed him some time ago in regards to the same thing. I had suggested using King Starboard, as it is pretty easy to work with using normal wood working tools. I pointed him to a guy on eBay (Acesany - Cesany Plastics) who sells it in smaller sections up to 1.5" thick and in various colors (including Red, IIRC)
Jay


zzzhuh MSG #711, 07-06-2014 09:31 PM
      I simply typed in "Pantera vs fiero" and I see this thread come up. I am starting to fall in love with the pantera and wonder were the similarities between these two are. Is it even possible to mount a pantera engine into the fiero? I imagine you wouldn't want to because of the gas mileage but who care's about that right?

[This message has been edited by zzzhuh (edited 07-06-2014).]

jb1 (james.brown.20107@gmail.com) MSG #712, 07-07-2014 03:29 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by zzzhuh:

I simply typed in "Pantera vs fiero" and I see this thread come up. I am starting to fall in love with the pantera and wonder were the similarities between these two are. Is it even possible to mount a pantera engine into the fiero? I imagine you wouldn't want to because of the gas mileage but who care's about that right?



Pantera used a ford 351 transverse to a ZF trans. Many other engines I would prefer,



JayinMI MSG #713, 07-08-2014 09:34 PM
      Pretty sure the Pantera motor was longitudinal, behind the driver's seats.

jb1 (james.brown.20107@gmail.com) MSG #714, 07-21-2014 12:36 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by JayinMI:

Pretty sure the Pantera motor was longitudinal, behind the driver's seats.


i stated that wrong no idea why, you are correct. the ZF is longitude trans, the engine is a ford 351c
There is a Gt5 replica with molds for sale located in Nashville. It was on ebay for a bit.


Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #715, 08-06-2014 03:47 PM
      Diamond Dave :
The manufacturer did not offer the body kit with fender flares, so I just bought a set of fiberglass flares from Hall Pantera !
They fit perfectly on the kit body panels ! ! Will post photos soon ! !
I may upgrade the oil cooler mounts to some sort of plastic material at some point.
I work in wood a lot, and since the car is and will be garaged, and only driven in nice weather,
the wood will last a while ( since I did seal it rather thoroughly ! )

Sad to hear that Dave in Kentucky has lost interest in the Pantero business

Wish I had the cash to buy up the molds and run the business here ! :P


jb1 (james.brown.20107@gmail.com) MSG #716, 08-07-2014 03:30 AM
      is Dave in Kentucky where the GT5 replica come from? it would make a great project.,
Last time i seen it on-line the frame body and molds were around $7k....without zf trans or engine..


Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #717, 10-15-2014 04:17 PM
      News Update for those of you still following my build !
My apologies for little news and no photos lately - working on getting
back on line SOON !
In the mean time I am busy building the center console assemblies,
and mating up the Pantera Dashboard to the front portion of the Fiero Dashboard !
tons of fun ! and frustration ! haha
Reupholstered seats look great in red and black leather from Mr. Mikes !!
new carpet from Fierostore looks fantastic, too !
starting to look good in there !
Will keep you posted !


davylong86 MSG #718, 10-15-2014 05:58 PM
      Nice to know your still on the project. I do like this car you building.

Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #719, 02-17-2015 03:55 PM
      Good News! My internet is supposed to be back up and running by mid March ! Yahoo !
So I can soon resume posting photos, and get you all caught up with progress !
Have made huge progress on Dash and center console, and other interior trim !
Naturally lots of wiring with console and dash ! Multicolor spaghetti !
We are locked in arctic freeze, so only parts small enough to fit into my house
and basement are getting worked on at the moment ! hehe
More soon ! David


Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #720, 03-23-2015 01:39 PM
      Ok - My home internet is up and running againg, as promised.
So, now I can get busy and post pix showing what has been
accomplished in the last 24 months, more or less ! hehehe
Hope you enjoy !
Regards,
David


2.5 MSG #721, 03-23-2015 02:24 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Fastfocusguy:

Ok - My home internet is up and running againg, as promised.
So, now I can get busy and post pix showing what has been
accomplished in the last 24 months, more or less ! hehehe
Hope you enjoy !
Regards,
David


I'm ready!


Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #722, 04-05-2015 10:40 AM
      So - where to begin ? Just looked back through my pix and chose two topics to start with.
First I want to show you how my door panels turned out.
The map pouch and carpeting were removed from the lower part of the door panel-
Then that area was reupholstered with black vinyl from JoAnn's fabric store -
Finally the upper portion of the door panel was prepped and sprayed with commercial
automotive grade vinyl dye ( this stuff is NOT cheap ! )
This product was also used to recolor the arm rests and other bits you see in these pix !







I used photo shop to attempt to lighten these up, since black is hard to photograph !!!


Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #723, 04-05-2015 10:56 AM
      The second item I will share today is my shift gate.
I wanted to use a real Pantera shift gate, but the price is high,
and the pattern is not correct for my muncie four speed -
So I copied the Pantera part, but modified it with the correct shift pattern.
You can see in the pix I did a prototype in masonite ( sprayed silver )
to make sure it would not interfere with the movement of my shift lever !
Then paid a shop up in Green Bay to cut the real deal out of stainless steel
I think they used a high pressure water jet machine !!
The bezel it is screwed to is just 3/4 inch pine, which I upholstered using
the same "Pleather" I have been using for all of my manufactured interior parts.
Compare it to photos of real pantera interiors, and you will see it is amazingly convincing !!








ps - yes, my 2nd and 3rdpix are upside down- so the shift pattern looks goofy ! :S

[This message has been edited by Fastfocusguy (edited 04-05-2015).]

Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #724, 04-05-2015 10:24 PM
      Figured this might be another good one to post -
as a preface to the pix I plan to post next - - -



Here is the "cockpit" of a 1985 Fiero GT with virtually all of the goodies removed !
You can see the new Pantera-Look GT steering wheel, and the foundation of my
new center console - Notice the framing around shifter - this is where the shift
gate shown above will eventually mount.


Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #725, 04-06-2015 10:53 PM
      Now a shameless plug for Mr. Mikes, down in Florida, who made the awesome
install them myself seat re-upholstery kit which you see in the pix below.
He patiently listened to my wants and needs, helped me select all the correct
options, and even had the DeTomaso ISIS logo ebroidered onto to leather for me!
Yes, I could not resist the Lure of real leather ! Not cheap, but worth it !
The aroma alone is enough to make visions of Lamborghini's dance in my head !





Did anyone notice the DeTomaso logo on my HAT ? ? ? :O


Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #726, 04-06-2015 10:59 PM
      What's that ? ?
You want to see pix of the seats IN the Fiero/Pantera ? ?
No problemo ! Your wish is granted !









I will also point out here that the gorgeous new carpet kit you are seeing
is available from Fierostore dot com, and fits amazingly well ,
considering one must locate and cut your own holes for the
seat belt bolts and seat track bolts, and the wiring harness to the seat.


Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #727, 04-06-2015 11:18 PM
      In case you were wondering -
The 'covers' which fit over the seat recline mechanisms
are simply slightly modified Fiero parts -
I removed the "horn" or "hook", and then used PE resin
and a skim coat of bondo, to build back the area where the
"horn" was formerly located.
Primer and semi-gloss black enamel for styrene followed,
yielding a color correct pantero part, which looks 'right',
and still bolts right up to the fiero seat frame / mechanism !





Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #728, 10-27-2015 06:12 PM
      I also wanted to mention the seat belts you see in the pictures.
The complete seat belt 'sets' were salvaged from a 1982 Lancia Zagato Spyder
So not only are they color correct Black,
they are of Italian manufacture, and therefor suitable for a
Italian De Tomaso replica !
They also bolted up rather conveniently to the pre threaded bolt holes
in the Fiero tub, using the Factory Pontiac Bolts !

[This message has been edited by Fastfocusguy (edited 10-27-2015).]

wftb (danjesso@bmts.com) MSG #729, 10-27-2015 10:33 PM
      I have enjoyed this thread for ever .Thanks for keeping it going and love the seats !

Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #730, 10-29-2015 08:13 AM
      Thank you! I am glad to know you are enjoying and following my slow but methodical build !



So here are those pesky and mysterious "access" holes with the horribly rusted out factory "plugs"
At least the floor pans themselves were not rusted, as you can see. I chose to fiberglass these shut permanently,
and inluded some steel cross braces that tie into the slots in the pan, with glass both above and below !



and this shows the totally cool replica/repro builders plate ( sans VIN number, of course ) which will help lend more
credibility to my "clone" ! I plan to insert the Fiero Vin Number into the appropriate box, of course !
I firmly believe that building a believeable replica is all in the details! don't you agree ?? ??


Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #731, 10-30-2015 08:39 PM
      Ready for the GOOD stuff?
I have been working on this part for many months now,
and it is time to unveil the nearly complete results !
I have already mentioned getting my hands on an actual
Pantera Dashboard, as well as all the Gauges, and switches -
I think I even made a comment about grafting the forward 9 inches
of the Fiero Dash onto the DeTomaso dash, so I could re-use the
Fiero Defroster vents, and the dash mounted speakers,
as well as the factory mounting points at the base of the windshield.
So, here are a half dozen photos of the dash propped up on the
center console I constructed, including DeTomaso ventilation lever pod.
The radio-cassette unit is from the early eighties, and suits the theme well.
Please feel free to use image search on the net to see some Actual Pantera
interior shots to compare against my results !!


Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #732, 10-30-2015 08:48 PM
     







three overall views !


Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #733, 10-30-2015 08:49 PM
     







and three close - up shots from different angles -

[This message has been edited by Fastfocusguy (edited 10-30-2015).]

Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #734, 09-14-2016 04:02 PM
      Hello? Is this thing on? Can anybody hear me ? LOL

News update for those of you still following my build of the Pantero / Fantera -

I have finally acquired the Holy Grail of Pantera parts : the coveted Carello
license plate light fixture.These were used on two models of FERRARI ,
thereby making spare parts cost 10 times normal prices !! :O
I will post pictures of the part soon !

I have been totally busy this summer taking my 1984 Lancia Delta GT
to car shows every weekend, so the poor Pantero has been largely neglected
these last few months. Hoping that as show season winds down I can get back
to building the perfect Pantera Clone !

[This message has been edited by Fastfocusguy (edited 09-14-2016).]

Neils88 (nellerin@dal.ca) MSG #735, 09-14-2016 05:50 PM
      Love the dash! Great idea to incorporate the front part of the Fiero dash...that'll give a nice finish and as you mentioned, give the defrost vents in the right spot.

steve308 MSG #736, 09-14-2016 08:31 PM
      Holy Lazarus Effect!

Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #737, 09-14-2016 08:41 PM
      and so, as promised, here are four pictures of the un-obtainium License plate light assembly.
Prices on flea-bay ranged from 400 all the way up to 999 dollars for this part ! :O

I got very lucky and obtained this one for under 200 dinero !!!

It fits into the moulded in recess, above the license plate, below the keyhole for engine cover latch.

Guess I should fix it in position and snap a photo for ya'll to show you how it fits in so neatly !










Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #738, 09-15-2016 09:22 PM
      so I have three pictures for you, showing the light in position.
I just stuck it on with clear tape for the photo shoot !



and then I added a blank plastic plate, - - -



and then the Euro Plate from my old German Focus !





PS - what do you think of the keyhole? Looks pretty factory, IMHO - - -
( Nothing holding it in at the moment except for friction! ) LOL

[This message has been edited by Fastfocusguy (edited 09-15-2016).]

motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #739, 09-17-2016 12:47 PM
      It's good to see your still at it, lookin' good.

Joe


Fastfocusguy (davidb@gdinet.com) MSG #740, 09-17-2016 09:32 PM
      so I have been wondering how the dash will look
in the cockpit of the Pantero - so here it is,
propped up on a spray-can ! LOL







now for 2 views in through the driver's door - - -



I sure do love those big Veglia Gauges ! ! !



and best of all , here is one of my Supervisor, Supervising the Pantero build !




RCR (rcrabine@comcast.net) MSG #741, 09-18-2016 09:28 AM
      Great to see some progress. Dash looks great.


Bob


Sage (sgwfiberglass@gmail.com) MSG #742, 09-18-2016 09:50 AM
      That dash is beautiful! Very nice work indeed.

The longevity of this thread (and build) gives those of us who have similar projects a BIG shot in the arm.

Congrats on the light assembly....yea, that "Ferrari tax" is even steeper than the "Corvette tax" one usually encounters when rounding up parts for a Vette.

Be rest assured, there are more than a few folks who love to see your progress and appreciate your taking the time to update and let us know you're still determined to "get er' done".

Keep up the great work and let us know what you're up to from time to time.


HAGO!