Fuse kills battery when left in.

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#1
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MAKE: Chevrolet
MODEL: Impala
YEAR: 1967
MILES: 88K
ENGINE: 5.3L 327 V8

When I purchased the car I noticed that the fuse for the cigarette lighter was only halfway in so I inserted it fully in to the fuse box and noticed an under dash light came on. This light never goes off and has an orange wire running directly to the "batt. fused" port. If I leave the cigarette lighter fuse plugged in, the battery dies. If I take it out, I have no cigarette lighter, radio, or hazard lights.

My first question is, should the under dash bulb be there? It doesn't make sense why there would be a bulb under the dash that never turns off.

My second question is, why does the battery die when the cigarette lighter fuse is left plugged in? Is the light bulb drawing enough power to kill the battery?

Note - the battery is a brand new Optima 8022-091-FFP RedTop, the cigarette lighter is brand new and the stereo is currently disconnected but the battery still dies when the fuse is plugged in.
 

billr

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#3
An "under dash" light isn't unusual, but I'm thinking it should be controlled by the door-open switches, same as a dome light. Let's hope somebody has a schematic of this old beast. I'm thinking that there have probably been wiring mods after this many years, so lots of inspection for non-stock splices and connectors is a good start. How about a photo of that fuse block, with the ORG wire connected directly? That definitely sounds like it is "non stock".
 

nickb2

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#4
I found a 65 wiring, should be the same. Only orange wire I am seeing for interior lighting is for the roof rail lights and dome light. Courtesy lights and door switches use black and orange.

In no way should the cigarette lighter be in any way connected to the interior lighting.

Here is a link to the 65 impala wiring I found, may prove useful.

http://www.oldcarmanualproject.com/...ng diagrams/Chevrolet/MWireChev65_3WD-076.jpg
 

billr

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#6
My '69 manual shows the cig lighter powered with an ORG wire. It seems like wiring changed from '65 to '69, so no telling from those what '67 was...
 
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#7
Thanks for all the input and the link to the wiring diagram.

Below are pictures of the fuse box and the light. The green arrows point to the orange wire running from the light to the fuse box.


 

jd

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#8
Well... That fuse position is marked CTSY (Courtesy Lights like the one you pictured) and Lighter. Has a previous owner fooled around there and maybe added something over all those years? I had a '59 Impala, Convertible, RED, 348, Powerglide (NOT one of those awful Turboglides!) It had a panel light for Parking Brake On. Thought it'd be nice if I wired that light to come on when I stepped on the brakes. OK, did it, that worked. Back then, cars didn't have four-way flashers so I added a kit to provide them. Why the story? Well, one day, I was sitting in the car, no key in the ignition, parking brake was on. Turned the four-way flashers on, and I hear the Radio going on and off, same beat as the four-ways.
There's no electronics to blow out in those cars, but cobbed-up wiring can cause odd things to happen. In your case, it seems the lighter is completing a circuit for the courtesy lights.
 
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#9
Thanks for the input. From what I was told, there were only two other owners and they left the car in its original condition. Though I can't confirm what I was told is true.

I purchased the assembly manual for the '67, which includes the wiring diagram. The next chance I get, I'm going to match up all the wires with the diagram and see what's not where it's supposed to be. It's not going to be fun but I hate losing the settings on my radio every time I turn the car off :-(
 

nickb2

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#11
Well, if your losing all your settings once the car is turned off, then someone did not properly wire this radio which is obviously not stock.

I would not have thought it to be stock anyway. But the memory wire is hooked up wrong and is wired to a run/accesory only hot wire when it should be hooked up to a hot at all times.

Who wired this radio, and what power source did they use.

Most radios that are aftermarket are all pretty much the same. A 12 volts constant for memory for the clock and the digital tuner etc. A switched ignition to power the unit, and a wire for illumination usually from a dash light source and a radio chassis ground. The rest is for speakers.

Check out that wiring, I am sure someone hooked that up wrong.
 
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#12
I believe there is a misunderstanding, the problem is the power to the dash light is always on (it turns out, which I just noticed, all interior lights are always on) whether the car is on or not and whether the doors are closed or not. In order to prevent the battery from dying, I need to unplug the cigarette lighter fuse (which controls the stereo) so I lose all my settings. I hooked up the stereo and know it's correct; this issue existed before I put the stereo in.
 

billr

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#13
Can you post that '67 schematic? Then we would all have (maybe!) the proper wiring and colors to talk about. I would start tracing back from the radio power wire, it should not end up tied in with the cig lighter. Or, same with the under-dash light, it should not end up tied with the cig lighter. That old beast has *fairly* simple wiring, simple visual inspection should turn up a suspicious splice or bulge in the harness. Usually people making those kind of mods aren't skillful or diligent enough to hide where the changes have been made...

Hey, I forgot to ask: What color is the wire feeding the cig lighter (right at the lighter)? If it is ORG, maybe my '69 info is pretty close.
 

jd

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#14
I think you'll find the courtesy lighting circuit is always HOT, and that grounding at least one point (door post switch) causes it to light. On some older vehicles, turning the headlight switch knob all the way to the left (CCW) would light the courtesies, but I just don't remember how it was on that 59 Impala.

Hot all the time makes sense for the lighter too. I remember nothing had to be ON for it to work.
 

billr

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#15
Yes, my mistake. The courtesy lights were "always hot" and turned on by grounding at the door switches. In fact, my '69 schematic shows it is an ORG wire tied into the cig lighter; probably just as shown in the photos posted. Focus, then, on tracking the radio feed. That should lead to some non-stock wiring.