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Hello all,

New to the forum as I have recently become a Pantera owner through family. In my possession is a mostly stock '72 Pantera 351C 4V. The car has run reasonably well for the 20 years it has been in the family, however it sat in a hangar for several years while my father was ill.

I was driving it the other day and it just quit! After coasting into the CVS parking lot I figured I'd get a couple gallons of gas, figuring the gauge might be shot. no help, wouldn't even kick even with starting fluid.

At some point in this process I noticed a little smoke from the dash. Pulled the gauges and noticed that with ignition on, the two big power wires to the ammeter were hot and the protective boots were smoking. troubleshooting ended, towed on a flatbed...

In garage decided to trouble shoot the ammeter for a short and disconnected the power wires and attach together. When I turned the ignition on more smoke, and noticed that it was mainly coming from engine compartment...

puled battery cable off and upon inspection noticed the 4-cable spur off the wiring harness to the ballast resistor was what was smoking, with one of the wires burned to bare...

any ideas? looks like it's going to be a big job..

thanks, Jason
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I removed my ammeter and replaced it with a Veglia volt meter. Looks good.

I bought the meter new from this person:

The gauge listed IS NOT what you want. Email him and ask if he still has any of the Veglia 12 volt meters like he advertised on Ebay, for the Pantera. It takes about 3-4 weeks to receive the meter. (I think about $45-55)

Here is the Ammeter artice by SOBill Taylor, found at Pantera Place:

Here is a write up from SOBill explaing how to convert the ammeter to the volt meter:

"Disconnect the two cables from the back of the ammeter. Bolt the two cables together and cover with insulation.

Install the voltmeter where the ammeter was. Connect the meter positive lead to Fuse #12 and the negative lead to chassis ground."

(SOBill Taylor

Regarding the ballest resistor, i don't know. Try emailing, he is a great help, electrical Pantera guru.
At this point, time to find out where that bare wire runs to, either by physically tracing it or using a wiring diagram. Either way, since the wire is bare, I would replace the wire completely, who knows what other wire is compromised that may be laying next to it as it was melting. As you remove the wire by default you will most likely run into the shorting culpret.

Welcome to the forum and Pantera wiring!

...I'am with jb1490! Sounds like the Ballast Resister has Burned-Up and Shorted; or broken Continuity. And/Or the Coil has failed/shorted inside, or broken Continuity. That would explain why it was running, and now, won't even 'Kick-Over'. Disconnect ALL wires going to the Resister and the Coil, and do a 'OHMS Check' of both componants! If there are 'Shorts' the OHMS Reading will be at or near Zero! If the componant IS Burned-Up, the Reading will be at 'Infinity', and this can also be checked with a 'Continuity Test'!

And YES!! Label all the wires for easy replacement. If You do Not know how to use a 'Multi-Meter'; find someone who does!...
Hi Nick,
Welcome to the forum.
A picture says a thousand works so this may help in the diagnosis.
Have a look at PanteraPlacefor great information. Look in the Technical section and electrical diagrams for your car.
Be carefull during your 'check for smoke' testing as full battery voltage is supplied via the ignition switch / amp meter and either are quite expensive to replace if damaged by excess current. Replacing damaged wires in the loom would be a real pain.
I suggest using an ohm meter to see what you have for resitance to a good ground. Look at which wire is burnt and remove one wire at a time to help find the culprit. The wiring may have been altered at some time in your Pantera's life so manually check for where the wires are going.
Let us know what you find and post some pictures of your car.
Thanks all for the posts!

After looking at it more it looks like it is the the first red wire coming out of the quick disconnect at the resistor. With good eyes and a straight edge traced that it goes to the black block then ignition switch. Sign of heat where the wire joins at the block... Attached a photo if it works.

Will try to pull ballast and coil tomorrow (if the wife doesn't have too many other things on the list).

Happy Thanksgiving to all, thanks Jason


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