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I'm trying to remove the cigar lighter socket from the dash panel of my '62 Skylark. I want to strip the dash panel down so that I can refinish it. I've got everything cleaned off except for the cigar lighter socket. Clearly there must be a trick, the obvious like turning what appears to be a round nut does not work. If anyone can help me out, I would really appreciate it

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The ones I removed have the socket screwed into the bezel you see, on your side of the dashboard.  You have to find something that holds the bezel and then twist the socket from the back side of the dash to unscrew it.  It isn't on with a lot of torque but it can be damaged if it is rusted together. 

If you have a flexible pair of needle nose pliers you may be able to insert them into the socket and then expand them to hold the bezel. I know this sounds crazy but the point is you need something that expands to hold the bezel to get it loose.  Once loose it will come off pretty easy

Edited by JohnD1956 (see edit history)
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Once you remove the 12v plug on the end,  try some long nose plies in the inside.  On the older cars there were some tabs sticking out that held the lighter in place, and the long nose pliers can catch on those.

Unfortunately, sometimes that screw on sleeve is really tough to get off and you may end up destroying the unit.

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As these guys have said, that socket can get stuck on pretty good.  It's a coarse thread that's stamped rather than cut, so it's not the smoothest operation in the best of times (think: jar lid or light bulb). Heat can help (not a torch; a hair dryer ;) ), as might PB blaster.  You might also be able to shove a cork into the lighter to hold the bezel.  You could also try the old light bulb trick and use a potato. 

 

This is apples and oranges, but I had a refrigerator bulb that was stuck and wouldn't move for nuthin'.  I hit it with a hair dryer for about a minute and it spun right out.

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Here is a generic picture of the assembly....the threads are where you can probably get some lube on them.

The other common problem is the contacts inside are badly corroded and will not make contact with the devices we use today

It may need to be replaced after inspection anyway 

outlet.jpg

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