Brand new member and new to the Pantera world. I have a 72. It has been I s storage. I drive it every few months to just make sure all is good. I just tried to start it and it will only run if the ignition switch is held in the start position. If I release it to the on position it immediately dies. Any help would be awesome.
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Not sure if anyone has messed with the wiring on your Pantera or changed the ignition system to HEI but here's my hypothesis.
When your ignition switch is in the start position, there should be a wire from the starter relay on the firewall in the engine bay behind the passenger seat that goes to the positive side of the coil and provides 12v to give the ignition extra power to start.
When you let the key return from start to run, the coil should be getting less voltage (around 7 volts). You should be able to get in and see if you're getting voltage by using a test light on the coil with the key in different positions.
I'm guessing you aren't getting voltage at the coil in the run position.
Possible causes could be
1 - Blown ignition fuse -- check all the fuse connections and power to both sides of the fuse in the panel on the passenger's kick panel for a pre-L
2 - Bad ballast resistor - Check voltage coming to balast resistor and voltage leaving ballast resistor (located next to starter relay an firewall
3 - Bad ignition switch - Drop the steering column and there is a four terminal connector that you should be able to test with your volt meter or test light and confirm that your switch is sending power when it's in the run position.
Hope this helps you zero in on the issue
Here is a simple diagnostic. With the ignition switch in the RUN position, use a test light to see if there is power to the coil on the + terminal and let us know.
If Steve’s test fails, it can point to a couple of things.
One would be a failure in the ignition switch (in the run position).
A second possibility (also discussed above) is a failure in the ballast resistor circuit. You can troubleshoot the resistor easily, by putting a jumper across the two terminals of the ballast resistor, and again look for voltage at the plus side of the coil…
If still no voltage at the plus side of the coil, you’ll have to trace wires…
As suggested above, do the power test at the coil's plus terminal. Use a test light, not a multimeter. If you do not have power at the coil, use the test light to test for power at both sides of the ballast resistor.
Do the gauges respond to turning the key to the run position?
If so, then the problem is most likely anywhere between the four terminal terminal block that is located just above the steering column and the ignition coil.
If the gauges do not respond to the key in the run position, then it's either in the terminal block connection or the ignition switch.
Also, there is not a fuse in the ignition circuit, unless someone has added a fuse.