Wiring problem

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Wiring problem

Post by Chasman2952 »

Hi all! I have a 1963 convertible with PG that I bought in February. All we planned to do was to clean it up and wait for spring to drive it as I live in Indiana. With the virus happening I decided to do some repairs on it. One of the things I happened upon is the dreaded cigar lighter terminal melted and taped hanging down. I’ve read several post on it and I was planning to add a inline fuse to it as I’d like it to be a used as a phone charger. I also thought of putting a toggle switch in to turn it on and off. While working on the dash, I had it out, I found the red wire on the light switch that has its own terminal to be loose and has tape on it. Looking at the wiring diagram I noticed that wire joins a junction that connects with the cigar lighter, ignition switch, fuse panel, steering wheel, (all red wires) and a black wire to the rear engine harness. Any possible connection of something heating both wires? Disassembled the dash panel, cleaned terminals and glass added new bulbs and reinstalled. Hooked up the lighter and tested everything out but the lighter. Later I smelled something and disconnected the battery then checked the lighter. It was too hot but I pulled it out. The element wasn’t glowing and it didn’t pop out. I don’t think it is supposed to. I changed the lighter and the element housing out as the original ones were quite rusty. I replaced them with used ones that were very clean and rust free. As it’s been called a controlled short I’m not sure how it is suppose to work. I’ve ordered a separate cigar wire that will run directly from the fuse box to it. Is that the way to fix it? Do I need to replace the complete cigar lighter for a new two wire one?
There is an orange and white connector that doesn’t seem to mate up with anything on the left side of the dash. Could that be for the dome lights and as I have a convertible they didn’t change the wiring harnesses?
Is there a ground I missed that will make the instrument light brighter? It has a new headlight switch.
What would make the headlights flicker? Bad hi beam switch? I think I read something about rust in the switch.
Any thoughts and suggestions are most appreciated.

Last edited by Chasman2952 on Mon May 18, 2020 8:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Wiring problem

Post by bbodie52 »

:wave: :welcome2: ::-): Welcome to the Corvair Forum!

The Cigar Lighter is a simple unfused circuit that should not draw any current unless the lighter is activated (by pushing it in). When active current flows via the power wire to chassis ground, provided by the fastening hardware to the dashboard/instrument panel. Since it draws significant current when the lighter is activated, a poor ground (loose, dirty, or corroded connection) could conceivably cause a heat buildup, Does the socket get hot whenever the battery is connected, or only when the lighter is activated? If it gets hot even when no lighter is in the socket, there could be a short in the socket.

When you replaced the lighter and lighter socket with a unit that was cleaner and in better condition, did you clean the instrument panel mounting surface before installing the newer components? The instrument panel itself could still be dirty and corroded, possibly causing a poor ground connection even after replacing the older parts.

There does appear to be orange wiring associated with the dome light or under-dash interior lights (for convertibles). The same attachment point on the light switch leads to the brake pedal stop light switch.


Weight: 0 lbs 2 oz
Catalog Page(s): 93,98A,294(RM19),295A
Price: $ 19.50


If the instrument panel lights are also dim, this too could be the result of a poor instrument panel ground return.You may need to inspect the mounting points and hardware for the instrument panel to ensure a solid ground. Some owners have had success with installing brighter panel lights by substituting LED bulbs for standard bulbs.
Corvair Bulb Specifications
Corvair Bulb Specifications
Image :link: https://www.superbrightleds.com/?gclid= ... gLDU_D_BwE

Left-click the image to enlarge it for better viewing or "Pan & Scan". Click a second time for maximum enlargement...
1963 Corvair Passenger Car Combined Schematic
1963 Corvair Passenger Car Combined Schematic

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Weight: 0 lbs 6 oz
Catalog Page(s): 128
Price: $ 75.95


:link: http://www.corvair.com/user-cgi/catalog ... w_page=98B

Part number C12048: 60-69 CIGARETTE LIGHTER WIRE

Weight: 0 lbs 4 oz
Catalog Page(s): 98B
Price: $ 13.95

The headlights might flicker due to poor grounding in the trunk, a bad floor dimmer switch or wiring harness connector, or dirty/corroded contacts in the multi-connector between the interior of the vehicle and the trunk.

Dielectric-Tune-Up-Grease can sometimes improve the electrical connection in older metal connectors...
All rear circuits route through the engine compartment multi-connector (below the voltage regulator, near the firewall). The number of metal connector pins inside depend on the Corvair model year, ranging from 8-12 pins. This rear multi-connector is a common source of trouble, as it is subjected to age, vibration, heat, and moisture for many years. Even when the outer plastic shell halves appear to be tightly connected, the internal metal pins may not be providing good electrical connectivity, as they may be loose, dirty, corroded, or bent.

:link: https://www.amazon.com/Permatex-22058-D ... ric+grease
Permatex 22058 Dielectric Tune-Up Grease, 3 oz. Tube

:dontknow: I would like to encourage you to expand on your post and tell us more about yourself, as well as about your Corvair. Your personal assessment of your mechanical skills and abilities would help a lot. Members of the Corvair Forum love to be helpful in assisting other Corvair owners with technical support and advice, but it helps if we have some understanding of your technical background and mechanical abilities, your Corvair-related knowledge, etc. Helping us to know more about you, your Corvair, and you plans for your Corvair will help us to write comments to you that are tailored to your needs and experience. Knowing where you live also helps, as your location may suggest some possibilities or solutions. Detailed photographs of your Corvair, including interior, trunk, and engine compartment would be great!

The link below will provide you with a list of useful websites that are Corvair-related. Some of the links will lead you to an extensive technical library that will allow you to download shop manuals and other technical references in Adobe Reader (.pdf) format at no cost. There is also a link that will help you to locate nearby CORSA (Corvair Society of America) club chapters. While the Corvair Forum can be very helpful as you work on your Corvair, having local friends and contacts in your region who are knowledgeable about the Corvair can also be very helpful. These family-friendly CORSA club chapters often offer picnics, group scenic drives, technical training and assistance, car shows, and competition events that can greatly enhance your enjoyment of Corvair ownership. You will also find a list of essential Corvair parts suppliers.

Common and Useful Corvair Websites

:link: viewtopic.php?f=225&t=6007

:welcome: :tongue:
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Re: Wiring problem

Post by 66vairguy »

I recall it was 1967 when the Corvair finally got a cigarette lighter fuse. Before then the thinking was the cigarette lighter was a "thermal breaker". Once it got hot it popped out and opened the circuit. Anybody that's older knows the cigarette lighter eventually sticks. More than one person got burnt finger yanking out the lighter when they noticed smoke coming out of it. Replace BOTH the lighter and socket with new.

Note the cigarette lighter can still over heat if it sticks in and not blow the fuse. The fuse was added because even in 1967 folks were using the lighter socket as a power port, usually for a light or small tire air pump back then.

If you decide to add an inline fuse then you want to limit the current to the wire gauge amperage rating.

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Re: Wiring problem

Post by Chasman2952 »

Is the stock 63 lighter made to pop out? I thought I read there are two types and mine doesn’t seem to be collapsable. It’s ridged but wouldn’t it pop out to let you know it’s ready for use? I plan to use a 5amp fuse for my charging devices.

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Re: Wiring problem

Post by joelsplace »

I've never bothered to check but I've read early Corvairs did not pop out but at some point they changed. I don't remember when.
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Re: Wiring problem

Post by erco »

Lighter removal on my 1967 Monza.

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Re: Wiring problem

Post by terribleted »

They all pop out when working properly. The solid element ones come out weakly and the "pop out" ones pop vigorously when they are hot.
Corvair guy since 1982. I have personally restored at least 20 Vairs, many of them restored ground up.
Currently working full time repairing Corvairs and restoring old cars.

Located in Snellville, Georgia

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