Where do the +/- for the Cig Lighter terminate? (Fuse/wires melted)

Phreaktor

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Mar 28, 2022
29
3
New Jersey
82 Monte. Scary sh*t. I found the cause of a short in the lighter and replaced the fuse with a 25A. I put in an aftermarket lighter module and it fired right up without popping the fuse. Two seconds later I have smoke from the radio area and under the glove box.

I disconnected the neg battery cable and saw the orange constant and the black ground for the lighter were both toasted almost into the main harness. The ground is bundled with the other grounds and seems to run upward in to the cluster area as do the small orange wires.

I’ve pulled the fuse box and inspected it for damage. Nothing looks melted in the front or back. I’m nervous to hook the battery back up but if something were still shorted it wouldn’t have stopped burning so I’m thinking one of the wires must have opened up somewhere in the circuit.

That fuse also serves the horn and maybe a couple other things. My buddy says we need to reconnect the battery and use a test light to check for shorts. Question- if I check for continuity across ground and constant, I should see continuity normally right? This isn’t the right way to check for a short is it? What should I do next? I want to eliminate those two wires completely and then check for shorts. Thanks for any help from anyone that’s awake because it’s 3AM and I’m stuck at my buddy’s place.

Edit- it was a 25A not a 20A which is the stock value.
 
Last edited:
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g0thiac

G-Body Guru
Sep 6, 2020
757
63
82 Monte. Scary sh*t. I found the cause of a short in the lighter and replaced the fuse with a 20A. I put in an aftermarket lighter module and it fired right up without popping the fuse. Two seconds later I have smoke from the radio area and under the glove box.

I disconnected the neg battery cable and saw the orange constant and the black ground for the lighter were both toasted almost into the main harness. The ground is bundled with the other grounds and seems to run upward in to the cluster area as do the small orange wires.

I’ve pulled the fuse box and inspected it for damage. Nothing looks melted in the front or back. I’m nervous to hook the battery back up but if something were still shorted it wouldn’t have stopped burning so I’m thinking one of the wires must have opened up somewhere in the circuit.

That fuse also serves the horn and maybe a couple other things. My buddy says we need to reconnect the battery and use a test light to check for shorts. Question- if I check for continuity across ground and constant, I should see continuity normally right? This isn’t the right way to check for a short is it? What should I do next? I want to eliminate those two wires completely and then check for shorts. Thanks for any help from anyone that’s awake because it’s 3AM and I’m stuck at my buddy’s place.
You can just disconnect the fuse and run the car, until the repairs needed are done.

Yes a test light can work. Send an update when you have tried so.
 

airboatgreg

Comic Book Super Hero
Oct 2, 2016
2,735
113
That circuit feeds a lot of stuff. interior lights, clock, glove box light etc. I would disconnect the lighter and see if you have a short. Disconnect the glove box light also. Then its a matter of just good old fashioned detective work. I am sure someone here has a wiring diagram. Use a test light with a real bulb so you don't fall in a rabbit hole.
 

Phreaktor

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Thread starter
Mar 28, 2022
29
3
New Jersey
Problem resolved. I figured out that it wasn’t so much a short as it was me holding the aftermarket lighter in for too long (8-10 seconds). I forgot to mention that the fuse for that circuit was MELTED, but did not pop. This means the heat travelled up the wire far enough to do that but the current generated stayed under the fuses threshold.

Thankfully the orange leads and the grounds are separately bundled in the main harness. I. cut out the the visible smoked sections of orange and black leads, reconnected the battery with a 5A fuse in place of the 25A while monitoring battery voltage and observing inside for any issues, then checked for shorts. No issues at all and everything is working as it should, so I got VERY lucky.

One thing is bugging me though. The inside of the lighter receptacle looks like the one clip is touching the ground shell. I definitely pushed it in too far as well as held it on too long. Word to the wise- do NOT use an aftermarket lighter if you insist on having a functional cigarette lighter. They aren’t all the same design.

Still spent about 12 hours outside and haven’t been to bed yet. I’m lucky I work for myself and this happened at my buddies workshop so I had all the tools and lights I needed. Thanks for your replies.
 
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Phreaktor

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Thread starter
Mar 28, 2022
29
3
New Jersey
Off topic- What’s this module and disconnected green harness for on the inner passenger fender well? I’m starting to realize the previous own seriously ghetto rigged some sh*t in this car, despite it being low miles and very clean .
 

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g0thiac

G-Body Guru
Sep 6, 2020
757
63
Problem resolved. I figured out that it wasn’t so much a short as it was me holding the aftermarket lighter in for too long (8-10 seconds). I forgot to mention that the fuse for that circuit was MELTED, but did not pop. This means the heat travelled up the wire far enough to do that but the current generated stayed under the fuses threshold.

Thankfully the orange leads and the grounds are separately bundled in the main harness. I. cut out the the visible smoked sections of orange and black leads, reconnected the battery with a 5A fuse in place of the 25A while monitoring battery voltage and observing inside for any issues, then checked for shorts. No issues at all and everything is working as it should, so I got VERY lucky.

One thing is bugging me though. The inside of the lighter receptacle looks like the one clip is touching the ground shell. I definitely pushed it in too far as well as held it on too long. Word to the wise- do NOT use an aftermarket lighter if you insist on having a functional cigarette lighter. They aren’t all the same design.

Still spent about 12 hours outside and haven’t been to bed yet. I’m lucky I work for myself and this happened at my buddies workshop so I had all the tools and lights I needed. Thanks for your replies.
Hmm, I have held the lighter in both my cars for over 10 seconds with no issue.

Glad you were able to have it solved man :)
 
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scarborough

Master Mechanic
Sep 30, 2016
255
28
Hmm, I have held the lighter in both my cars for over 10 seconds with no issue.

Glad you were able to have it solved man :)
Hmm, I have held the lighter in both my cars for over 10 seconds with no issue.

Glad you were able to have it solved man :)
i see you own a couple of Pontiacs, i have a 84 Pontiac Parisienne wagon that I'm looking to get rid of. it will make a nice project car. I just don't have a place to keep another car it's a little rough but not that bad for a Wisconsin car it can be saved.
 
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g0thiac

G-Body Guru
Sep 6, 2020
757
63
i see you own a couple of Pontiacs, i have a 84 Pontiac Parisienne wagon that I'm looking to get rid of. it will make a nice project car. I just don't have a place to keep another car it's a little rough but not that bad for a Wisconsin car it can be saved.
For sure man. I might be interested. Where are you located? I’m in Ontario, Canada.
 

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