Wow, I have a Pantera in the garage. This will attract lots of attention, mostly good and on very few occasions, not so good. On the good side, I was soon to meet Mr. Richard Greenblum, who had a beautiful silver 74 GTS that he had gotten when in college! He knew a *lot* about these cars and immediately he was able to help me with mine. After a brief inspection, we found the rear wheel bearings were in poor shape. I wasn't real happy about it, but I found out that Pantera Performance Center run by Dennis Quella had a solution that solved many futures problems with the original design. The plan for the car at this point was to get the suspension and braking system upgraded and upgrade horsepower last. A car that can corner well is so much fun!
Before I tackled that problem the rear wheel bearings, I wanted to get the engine running right. I checked the plugs and did a 'dry/wet' compression check.
Nothing terrible (or great). I found the carburetor was leaking gas, so I rebuilt it. Someone else had already been into the carb before me because the secondary throttle plates were loose, and they are staked at the factory which makes it very difficult to get loose. I fixed all that and it ran better but still had a miss at higher RPMs and had fairly low power under 2500 rpms. The ignition system still had points in it and I thought that it might run more reliably with a newer distributor that had electronics instead of points. I purchased one and after installation tried to time the motor. I couldn't find the timing marks! I'll admit it had been many years since I had to time an engine, but not finding the timing marks?? By removing #1 plug and putting my thumb over #1 spark plug hole and feeling the compression stroke, I found Top Dead Center , but the timing marks were not there! After 25 years, the rubber on the front dampener had de-bonded and the outer ring had moved. Yikes! That certainly explained why the timing marks weren't where I expected them. I'm glad I caught that before the outer ring became fully detached at speed! Guess I need to order a new dampener. This was to become a pattern for years to come. Fix some things, discover some more problems, and wait for parts. Still smiling.