Many Dino owners have been cautioned to keep their Ammeter gauge terminals secured or fire can break out. Well known and widely checked, double nutted and insulated beyond factory install all in the name of safety. Rightly so, but we're not talking about that under dash fire hazard here.
The other fire under the dash is the electrical ignition module behind the Neiman key cylinder where all the current for the starter and running of the car passes through. John Corbani had written about this type of failure and a year ago on a Cascade loop trip I had a momentary non-start issue. No response to the key turning after 1.5 hr run and health break stop. Recalling Corbani's saga I reached under the dash and pushed inward on the module, and was able to restart.
All seemed fine for a year with no issues, then days before I was to lead this FCA event I went in to get some fine tune carb setting for over the high mountain passes of the North Cascades, (trip photos here: http://www.ferrarilife.com/forums/us...rari-club.html
While tuning the carbs smoke started appearing from under the dash and I immediately shut off the master battery power cutoff switch. These are essential devices in vintage cars.
The usual suspect is the ammeter, but investigating by feeling around the gauge and face and backing showed all was cool to the touch. As my hand passed down from behind the ammeter gauge is brushed past the rear electrical contacts for the ignition keyswitch and felt heat. I then recalled Corbani's saga on these failing and knew I was done for.
Investigating further I confirmed that as I found the electrical ignition module had shorted. The smell is pervasivec bakelite, phenoyl-based smell tthat is unmistakable.
The photos show the original burned one next to the new one I bought from Dennis McCann (USD $75.00 p/n 70000707 http://www.allferrariparts.com/parts_list.php
I was able to and carry on to lead the FCA trip by swapping the unit from my other Dino. Simply removing the two slot head screws that hold it in and disconnecting the electrical spade connections and it is out. Reverse to install.
I now carry a spare of these in my road kit so that I won't be stranded should it happen again, but you know Murphy's law...