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MG MGA - early 60s cig lighter

I have a 61 mga 1600 and was given a period cig lighter accessory by a good friend of mine. He said it was definitely early 60s. I'd like to use it for cell phone recharging.

My lighter came in a bag totally disassembled. I don

glenn johnson


Is you car posiitve or negative earth? If positive and you mount it on your dashboard you will not be able to use it as a cell phone charger etc. You would have to mount it on an insulated plinth and wire it for modern negative earth appliances.

Steve Gyles

hi - sorry for not including that - it is negative ground.
glenn johnson

I think the lighter doesn't care about polarity.

I had an aftermarket lighter in my MGA in 1960 installed by the dealer. It was mounted in a box with ashtray between the armrest and the shifter. I kept it until someone riding in the middle seat sat on it and burned up the wiring and part of the carpet.

I put a fused lighter (power) socket behind the seat on my current MGA.

Jim Ferguson

The lighter does not care about polarity but the cell phone battery being charged does.

M F Anderson

Mine is going into the dash - if anyone could take some pics, that would be great - especially from behind where the hot lead is connected
glenn johnson


I ran my hot wire through the bulkhead to terminal A4 on the fuse block.

Before you 'destroy' your instrument panel with a hole, there are other places the cigarette lighter could be mounted. I placed a wooden plinth between 2 of the dashboard supporting struts, using existing holes on the struts to secure. The plinth is on the passenger side, so wires for the sat nav/mob charger are out of the way of the driver. This wooden plinth would also solve the problem for those with positively earthed cars allowing the 'isolated' unit to be wired up accordingly.

Picture attached of my setup. The other switch is for my electric windscreen wash. Something for the passenger to play with!

Steve Gyles

very nice Steve - mine is going into an auxiliary dash - sitting just below the heater fascia
glenn johnson

If you are going to "float" the case of the lighter and still maintain the positive ground, MAKE SURE that the case of any device you plug in is electrically isolated from both wires of the power cord. This way if the case contacts other car metal, no short circuit is created.

All electrical devices that plug into a cigarette lighter socket (now called an accessory outlet) presume that the center pin is positive and the shroud is negative.

If your car is converted to negative ground, go ahead and mount the lighter socket to sheet metal somewhere if you'd like.
Chuck Schaefer

This thread was discussed between 20/11/2010 and 22/11/2010

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