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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So here's the story. The Cigarette lighter socket in my dashboard came off. I had to yank the cigarette lighter out because it was very stuck and now I can't put it back in. So I spent a good hour using wires as hooks to try and realign the socket with the green plastic piece when, voila! one of my hooks fell through one of the square holes and is now resting somewhere inside the dash and will probably cause an absolutely mind numbing rattle every time I drive it. Might even be a fire hazard. I don't know.
So here's what I am dreading. Is this a dash out job? I can't see any other way. I've never done anything like it either. I would really hate to pull out the dash just to fix my cigarette lighter and fix an idiotic mistake I made. But I don't see another way.

If it is a dash out job I have no clue where to start, whether it is simple or not, special tricks or tools needed or anything like that.

I quit messing with it cause I'm about ready to pull my hair out.

As always any help is appreciated. Thank you guys for all the help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Yeah. That is how it is supposed to look. But the socket is detached and is further inside the dash around those wires. Maybe those vents will give me access. I hope so.

EDIT: Judging from this Ebay picture I doubt removing the vents would help much assuming they come off that way. Looks like it's a solid piece of plastic.
1661707
 

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Can't you just pull the negative from the battery first, then reach in there with some needle nose pliers, grab the connector and pull it through the hole? Then you can connect it and feed it back through there.. Not enough wire to pull it through? Or am I missing something?

For the wire, after you pull the negative, might be easier to go poking around for the wire you dropped. If it was magnetic, go spelunking with a magnet and see if you can fish it out.

Hope something helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah. the connector is not what I am after, it's the metal socket it's feeding through. It connects to the green plastic piece witch connects to the dashboard. You can see it in the 3rd pic. It's the piece of metal behind the connector that I can't get at. I tried fishing with it for like an hour but I could never get it to seat in the plastic bit. And on top of that, there is a metal ring that is disconnected from the socket that is hanging loose as well. It's a bit of the mess. You can see the ring on the ebay pic it's the ridged thicker part at the opposite end of the plastic part where the wires are.
 

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Can you pull the radio up and go through that hole and get up there? You'll probably have to pull out the metal housing it slides into as well but that is usually only a few bent metal tabs holding it in.

Kevin
 

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Its been a bit since I have been in there. I'd start by pulling the ash tray and ARC that is right above it. Look and see if you can get there from here. May need to pull the gage pod, but that is easy too. Hidden screws behind the cubby to the left of the steering column and the defrost / flasher switches - both the cubby and the switch set snap out (careful with the switches)

Other option may be through the "secret compartment" above the glove box - not sure if that passes through to that area.

Never had much luck at coming up from the bottom.
 

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If you will not be able to access after removal of the vents, you will be able to get there by removing the ashtray and ARC. You don't need the dash removal, nor the removal of the upper cluster.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I got it! So I started by removing the arc and ashtray but it did not let me get to the piece that I dropped. However, I had recently purchased a flexible magnet and was able to fish it through the ac vents and grabbed the piece from somewhere below that. I wasn't able to completely put the cigarette lighter assembly back together, but I got it to look like I did. As long as I don't touch it, it looks like there is nothing out of the ordinary. Thank you guys so much for the help. Don't know what I'd do without your help!
 

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Whew.. Disaster thwarted. At least one of us got something done. It was too cold to go out to work on my Milano..
 

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It was in the high 20's and by time I sort of warmed up the garage I would have lost the will, lol.
 
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