My 1973 Pantera has decided to throw another curveball at me. We installed a new Edelbrock intake manifold and Holley Sniper EFI system in the car. After some significant effort, we finally had the car idling smoothly when it just died entirely. There is no longer any power when turning the ignition. The EFI system has been wired separately, directly to the battery as directed and none of the fuses or relays on the EFI harness are bad. We are getting 12v to the harness as expected and all wires added in have been soldered and/or using weatherproof connectors.

We did have to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to crank the car while adjusting the distributor, which entailed many repeated attempts with the ignition switch. I do catch a whiff of burnt ozone but I am not able to locate any burnt wiring and none of the fuses are popped behind the passenger outboard kick panel. I did not notice any smoke.

I am at a complete loss as to what happened here. The car idled smoothly and the EFI system entered closed loop mode for a minute or so before everything died. I can see no other wiring issues but I have yet to get under the dash. My plan is to remove the ignition switch and check overall cleanliness of the contacts, but I am curious what other folks have to say about what else could possibly be wrong. I have the wiring diagram for the original car wiring but I can’t seem to locate where main power comes into the car or where any other fuses or fusible links are located. The only thing that I know of now is that absolutely nothing happens when you turn the key. It’s just dead. Any input would be appreciated.

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I had a similar problem recently,
The fix was to drop the steering column there is a screwed terminal block connecting the ignition switch and other wires to the rest of the loom, it was partly melted and 1 screw was loose
but they all needed tightening.
wires that were hot i cleaned the oxides from with a wire brush before refitting making sure contact is 100 %
hopes this helps.

@gazoz I’ll be dropping the steering column today to check ignition wiring. I’m really hoping no wires are melted.

@rrs1 The starter solenoid seems OK. I haven’t had a chance to test it yet. Would this cause the engine to die completely and the key to no longer do anything? Rolling the key to on position no longer does anything at all. No lights, no gauge activity, nothing.

I appreciate the responses and I’ll be sure to order some wire harness smoke.

For now, I bypassed the ammeter to get the car running and the now dead gauge is occupying the hole. I installed a 100 amp waterproof automotive circuit breaker where the ammeter used to be. I’ll relocate the breaker to the passenger kick panel area at some point as part of an ever increasing laundry list of things to do with the car. I’m not sure if I’m going to remove the original gauges and replace them all with some classic looking Autometers yet, or just order the voltmeter from Hall. 

 

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