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The Amp gauge on my 71 Pantera is getting really hot- to the point of melting the electrical tape on the backside of the two largest terminals. It still seems to be reading properly.... any ideas? I have installed a new alternator and the charging system along with the electricals seem to be working fine otherwise. Is this a sign the gauge needs replaced or something else causing the heat build up on the backside. I noticed faint smoke coming from the instrument panel that caused me to investigate. Any ideas on what to expect to pay for a stock appearing replacement? Could I disconnect the gauge and cap off the connecting wires in the meantime (or will this cause other issues?
Any ideas greatly appreciated.


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  • amp_rear
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You may be able to solve the problem by stripping the wires, cleaning the ends and putting new connectors on the wire ends and re-attaching the connections

I had the same problem two Sundays ago and solved it with the help of a fellow club member in just the manner described above. I have not had any problems whatsoever since.
Mark, This gauge is poorly designed, but can be repaired if it is not damaged by excessive heat which may have happened to your guage. The terminals on the back extend into the housing and are bridged by a brass shunt or plate. There aren't any lockwashers that reatain the nuts that maintain pressure on the shunt. This causes an increase in resistance and the shunt begins to heat. The heat futher ruins the connection and increases in heating until there is a fire. I have been able to to tighten and solder the shunt which is a permanet fix but it's not an easy task if your unfamiliar instruments.

2 easier opitions; replace the entire guage with an improved one from the Pantera vendors, or remove the guage and connect the 2 large cables together. Then a voltmeter can be added with the "-" lead to ground and the "+" to the 2 large cable junction.

You must do something, or there could be a fire in you future.
Thank you all for the advise. I'd like to salvage the stock guage if I can since all other guages are stock are functioning properly. I think I'll start with 'DJEZC''s suggestion (but keep the three mounting bolts off the instrument plate till I'm sure it's fixed). Burnt car would suck!
Hopefully I'll be able to contribute to these forums some day instead of sponge info off of others.
Thanks again everyone,
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