You still haven't told me what the problem is, but I'm guessing you have tail lights but no head lights. If the tail lights also don't work, you probably don't have dash lights either. Those don't draw much current but they tap off the tail light circuit, so if the tail lights quit, the dash lights would too.
Usually the connector is only melted around two terminals corresponding to the one pair of contacts that overheated inside the switch. By that time you'll see the terminals on the switch have charcoal around them. The main thing to remember when you run into this in headlight, ignition, and heater fan switches, is it doesn't matter if the high resistance and heat build-up started on the switch contacts or between a terminal in the connector and its mate on the switch, you must replace the switch and both terminals in the connector, otherwise the degraded part will just continue the overheating and within a couple of months you'll have the same problem. If you get a used switch from a salvage yard, examine the terminals for any hint of discoloration. Most of them will be a shiny brass color. When two of them start to overheat, they'll have a dull pinkish color. That's the first sign that overheating of the contacts has been taking place. Try to find a different switch and / or connector.
If the connector body is melted really badly, snip one off a similar car in a salvage yard. Chrysler has always been famous for good parts interchangeability between years and car models but in this case don't use parts from a New Yorker or Imperial. They have motorized hidden head lights so I'm pretty sure the switch will be different. You might find the same connector in a Shadow, Sundance, Spirit, or Acclaim.
The terminals will have a little finger that springs out and locks them into the body. Popping them out is real easy, ... Once you get the hang of it. You have to push the wire in, then go in from the switch side with a special flat tool to bend that finger, then pull the wire and terminal out. Those terminals are big enough that you may be able to use a small pick or a stretched-out paper clip. Don't tug real hard on the wire unless it's one of the two that were overheated. They're going to be replaced anyway.
Obviously, remember where each color wire goes. I draw a picture with the colors. By the way, if you do snip off a connector in the salvage yard, take a good 6" of wire with it so you have something to hang onto when you pull the terminals out. If you can't figure out how to get them out, and your old connector has to be replaced, you can cut the plastic away on that old one until the terminal falls out, then you can see where that little tab is that holds them in.
Transfer each wire on the car to its spot in the new connector body, except for the two that were black. For those, and any others that were black, leave those wires in the replacement connector body. You'll need 4" of wire. That's why I suggested leaving 6" of wire if you cut the plug off at a salvage yard. The repair for those two, (or more) wires is the same as the next paragraph.
If the connector body is only melted around two terminals, the whole thing does not have to be replaced. Cut the plastic enough to allow those terminals to be removed, and cut any additional parts away that might interfere with sliding new terminals onto the switch. You will feel those two wires are real hard and inflexible for the first 4". The copper has become hard from being hot. Solder will not adhere to it well, and the copper needs to be soft for replacement crimp-on terminals to grab tightly. To solve both problems, cut off that four inches of wire and discard it, along with the terminal. If you got a used connector from the salvage yard, use two of those wires with their terminals. If they also look like they may have been getting hot, you can use any other wires from that connector as long as they're the same gauge or fatter. So what if the colors are different.
If you don't have a replacement connector, you can use new solderless terminals and a piece of new wire. I always have old wire harnesses laying around that I can cut something off of, otherwise hardware stores and auto parts stores have them in little boxes. You'll probably get ten of 'em for a couple of bucks. Take an old terminal along to match up the size and the wire gauge it fits. Crimp one onto that 4" piece of new wire, but then solder it too. You've seen how much damage that heat can do. Crimp-on terminals are designed to not need to be soldered, but after seeing too many high-resistance connections in high-current circuits, and the resulting problems, I always solder the terminals whether I crimp them or not.
Slide a piece of heat-shrink tubing onto the wire, then splice that new 4" section to the car's original wire. Don't twist them together like we do with house wiring that gets a wire nut. Push the strands straight into each other. You only need to strip off 1/4" of insulation from each wire to do this. Be sure no sharp ends of the strands are sticking up because they could poke through the heat-shrink tubing later. Solder that joint, then seal it with the heat-shrink tubing. Don't use electrical tape because that will unravel into a gooey mess on a hot day.
Plug the connector back onto the switch, then plug the new terminal in on its spot on the switch separately. It should need pretty good force to get it to slide on to insure a solid contact that won't build up heat again. If it slides on really easily, remove it and use a small pair of pliers to squeeze it closed so it fits tighter. Do the same repair for the second wire and any others that may need to be replaced.
Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 AT 5:32 PM