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First of all, disconnect the wire from it. It's a lot easier to get at with the gauge cluster out. Try wedging your thumb in the socket to hold it still, and twisting the retainer behind the dash. If it's too corroded you might need to use some pliers. The tricky part is keeping the whole assembly from spinning. In theory it's pretty simple, the end of the socket is threaded, and the retainer screws on from the rear and presses up against the dash. Should just spin off. Unfortunately, it's rarely that easy.
 

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I have a 68, and I took out my heater control to get better access.

And I don't even smoke....hate when stuff doesn't work :D
 

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Discussion Starter #6
i finally got it out, cut and scratched up my arm reachin up to turn it.
thats what i get for being to lazy to remove the gauge panel or heater controls.

thanks for the help though
 

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You got very lucky. I had to split the retainer with my dremel to remove it. It was corroded in place. I don't smoke either but I too wanted it to be functional.
 

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I got mine to work too, dont smoke, but it keeps the cell phone charged on long tours.
 

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If I may suggest....

Last year at Hotchkis Track Day Craig Boone and I were standing at front of my car early in the morning discussing the fun we were going to have. We both smelled this funny electrical burning smell at the same time. The interior of my car was filled with smoke.

The smoke was coming from the cigar lighter. I pulled the smoldering element out (burned fingers) and shoved my arm under the dash to pull the wire (scars on forearm). What caused it? I must have touched the element when turning off the ignition and caused it to engage. The last time I used the lighter (in 1999, when the car was restored) it did function properly, but how often do I use the lighter? Never. I was lucky to be standing next to the car since this could have happened anywhere.

The new element has the guts removed so it's non-functional. The lighter can still be used to power cell phones, etc. but now there's no chance of the element catching on fire.

Food for thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
i was wondering how i could wire up my new cigarette lighter, the previous owner cut the original wire to hook up an after market cd player. could i just run a new wire from the fuse box to the lighter? or is there another way?
any suggestions would be awesome
 

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Thanks for the tip Carl. I don't smoke but I wanted the lighter to work. I'll take your advice and remove the element. Excellent tip.
 

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I also had the same thing happen to me with the lighter. I was driving my car and started smelling plastic burning. My cigarette lighter had vibrated down and then stayed down and didnt pop up. It was all brand new. The handle for the lighter had melted. Luckily I was in the car. I just lay mine in the ash tray now but Carlc has a good tip about removing the center element.
 

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i guess we all get to have fun with that one. i actually had it fall off inside the slot. Meaning the little circle knob came out but the core did not. so while i got my 1/4 drive set and half inch socket, by buddy thought he could get it out with a screw driver in my glove box. Put the screwdriver in and shorts the thing and shoots sparks everywhere. Then smoke starts creeping up the dash and i freak out. I wanted disconnect the battary because one night the wire fell off and grounded on the pedal which scared the **** out of me. You know when your driving down the road and sparks start shooting from underneath your feet. Back to the story i had to reach up and but my arm like all you guys and grapped the smoldering wire. OUCH!!!! its been a few months and no scars but you know accidently brushing into a hot header leaves a much better beauty mark. Anyways to help me get the crapped out one out i used my ignition bezel removal tool that i had bought for the ignition a few weeks earlier. Works like a charm. Its the GM part that has the three prongs sticking out. well anyways that and reaching behind did the trick. Oh and i smoke but i dont use the cigerette lighter. But i do have a g-tech and radar detector(Like its matters in a blueish purple 68). Oh and there are no cigerettes being smoke in my car ;)
 

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if i had gotten to the battary before my friend got to the screwdriver none of this would have happened...
 

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If the element had made a direct short then the fuse should have blown. It just sat there getting hotter and hotter since it did not release from the housing. The housing also became very hot since it is so close to the hot element. Best guesstimate, the ligher was "on" for 5+ minutes.

The wire, plug, and housing were undamaged. I re-attached the wire to the housing and it works fine.
 

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Tip: Wrap a little tape around a 15mm socket (deep well worked for me) and jam it the lighter socket... then when you are behind the dash just hold the back side of the lighter housing and either tighten or loosen with your ratchet on the front side of the dash.. This is much easier than trying to spin the housing inside the dash. I hope this helps.. it helped me make quick work of the loose housing issue that I was experiencing.. and it was rusty but it didn't matter. Oh, 0 scratches on my arm too!
 

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If I may suggest....

Last year at Hotchkis Track Day Craig Boone and I were standing at front of my car early in the morning discussing the fun we were going to have. We both smelled this funny electrical burning smell at the same time. The interior of my car was filled with smoke.

The smoke was coming from the cigar lighter. I pulled the smoldering element out (burned fingers) and shoved my arm under the dash to pull the wire (scars on forearm). What caused it? I must have touched the element when turning off the ignition and caused it to engage. The last time I used the lighter (in 1999, when the car was restored) it did function properly, but how often do I use the lighter? Never. I was lucky to be standing next to the car since this could have happened anywhere.

The new element has the guts removed so it's non-functional. The lighter can still be used to power cell phones, etc. but now there's no chance of the element catching on fire.

Food for thought.
Something similar happened to a friend of mine.

He had just gotten his back from a $70,000 restoration. This was the third drive out with it. We had cruised up together to a local meet about 45 minutes away from home. At the time we lived across the street from each other. I pulled into my driveway and got a phone call from him. He said his lighter started to smoke. Luckily he pulled over and flicked his main disconnect switch at the battery.

I showed up. His wife was PISSED! First off she wasn't keen on his spending on the car. Then the car, since it was restored to factory original, didn't have A/C and it was warm out. Then this happened.

So I disconnected it. He never did connect it back in again. What did it was the lighter was pushed in and didn't pop back out like it should. It had to have been smoldering for quite some time to get as hot as it did! Melted a bit of plastic even.


All that aside mine is working just fine. I use it all the time to charge my phone.
 
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