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How To: Install a USB Charger/Connection Port in a Factory Blank

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Old 10-18-2009, 09:05 PM   #1
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How To: Install a USB Charger/Connection Port in a Factory Blank

The following install was performed on a 2009 Tacoma. Be forewarned, there are a lot of parts that need to be removed. This was a lot of work, without a lot of gain. I did this for a future stereo installs and I did it because I can't stand for something to not look like a factory installation. At first I had no intentions of documenting the install, as I thought it was a trivial matter, after I got dug in I thought some might benefit from the pictures. I missed some pictures during the disassembly, so I had to substitute with post-install pictures as I put it back together.

Enjoy and please let me know if you have any questions.

Supplies:

Electrical Tape
18 ga wire
USB Extension Cord


Griffin PowerJolt Duo 12v to USB/5v inverter



The Process:


Preparing the USB extension Cord:
The USB extension cord will be used to connect the vehicles bland to the USB power inverter. The extension cord I used was a lot like the one I have pictured above.

Using a pocket knife, razer, etc. remove the rubber casing from the female end of the cord. This should be an easy step as the casing should easily peel away once cut.

One the casing has been removed, cut the cord in half and set aside for later use.

Preparing the USB power inverter:


I wish I took some pictures of this process but I did not .
The USB power inverter is prepared by adding a 12v wire and Ground wire for permanent installation. The inverter is house in a black clam shell that can be opened with a knife. Once open, I removed the 12v post and ground post from the PCB using soldering wick. In their place I soldered in a red and black 18 ga wire.


Vehicle disassembly:

1) Remove all of your junk from the center console/armrest and remove the carpet lining on the bottom.



2) Carpet removal, will expose two 10mm bolts as pictured. The two bolts will need to be removed.



3) Remove the cupholders by prying your fingers under the rear leading edge and pull upward.



4) Remove shift knob and shift gate cover. This can be tricky as the cover doesn't have a lot of grab points. I ended up wedging my fingers under a corner and prying up.



5) Removal of the gear shift gate cover will expose two phillips head screws. Remove the two screws and slide the arm rest backward to disengage it from the forward console cover.



6) Remove coin tray located to the bottom right of the steering column. Just pull like heck straight towards you and it will pop out.



7) Remove two screws located just behind the gear shift gate. These two screws hold the forward console piece in place.



8) The forward console piece is now ready for removal. The cover is removed from the lower dash panel by pulling towards the rear of the vehicle. You will probably need to place the vehicle temporarily in neutral to removed the cover completely.

9) Remove the side sill cover by pulling straight up. 4-5 clips engage into the sill.



10) Remove the foot rest. This thing is in there tight. Brute force is the key, just pull straight back.



11) Removal of the kick panel is accomplished by first removing by screw cap (I didn't realize at first that this was a threaded piece and chose the 'man' way of removing it) located in the footwell of the vehicle and then pulling the panel towards the rear of the vehicle to disengage the clips.



12) Remove the lower driver side dash panel by first removing two 10mm bolts in the pictured locations.





13) The the lower driver side dash panel can now be disengaged by pulling towards the rear of the vehicle. There are about 5-6 clips that hold this piece. Remove electrical switches, tire pressure monitoring switch, and hood release latch for complete panel removal.



14) Located below the steering column is a black metal bracket. The bracket is held by three 10 mm bolts. Remove the screws and brackets.



15) Remove the gauge bezel and upper dash panel. First remove the two plastic retaining screws and pull the panel towards the rear of the vehicle. Be careful not to scratch your steering column cover during this process. There are a few electrical connections as well, fog lights, power inverter, and dimmer.





16) Remove Climate Control switches by gently prying outwards from a bottom corner to disengage the retaining clips. Take care when removing this piece as it will like to pop out and slam into the now exposed gear shift post. Ask me how I know



17) Radio removal time!! The radio is held in by four 10 mm bolts hidden behind the climate control panel. Remove the four bolts and pop the radio out towards the rear of the vehicle. Remove electrical connections.



18) Remove glove box by disconnecting assist 'shock' and lifting the glove box off the hinges.

19) Remove the plastic cover located above the glove box. The plastic piece is held in place by a single 10 mm bolt located inside the latch.



20) Remove radio bezel/center finish panel by pulling towards the rear of the vehicle and disengaging the 10 clips that secure it to the vehicle.



21) Remove the lower dash cover/12v accessory outlet piece by removing one 10 mm bolt located toward the bottom right of the piece (The bolt location can be seen in the picture below). Remove the piece by pulling towards the rear of the vehicle to disengage 5 clips.




22) The blank accessory plug may now be modified to fit the female USB plug from the preparation steps. To perform this step I used a pencil and traces the plug on the face of the blank. Then using a dremel tool, I slowly carved out a rough rectangular hole. Final fitment was accomplished with a pocket knife as I did not want to remove too much material.



23) The USB extension cord was threaded through the accessory blank and re soldered to it's male have from the previous preparation step. USB cables consist if 4 wires and braided shield. The four wires and shield were re soldered. In order to charge a device, not all of the wires needed to be re soldered. I went ahead and re soldered the wires in the event of a future USB capable radio install.



24) The modified USB 12v power inverter.



25) The modified USB 12v power inverter was then soldered into the factory 12v outlet opposite the cigarette lighter.



26) The modified USB 12v power inverter was wrapped in weather stripping foam to prevent rattles. I hate rattles and this was such a PITA I wasn't taking any chances. I then wedged the power inverter next to the SRS ecu, this location seemed very secure.




27) The panel was replaced and I tested the power connection using my iPhone. IT WORKS!!!



28) Reassemble in the reverse order.


Final Product:







Final Thoughts:

Did I really need a hardwired USB power inverter? No And was the time spent worth the outcome? Probably not now. But, the install is super clean and it wasn't all that hard as much as it was time consuming. Approximately 5 hours were spent on the project. A majority of that time was used removing interior panels and trying to keep up with bolts and tools. It took an unbelievable amount of part removal to just access the accessory plugs (I was getting some odd looks from the wife as the truck came apart). I would recommend the project to anyone that is competent with a screw driver and a soldering iron.

Hopefully I have educated and inspired others with this project. Again, please let me know if you have any questions.
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Old 10-18-2009, 09:14 PM   #2
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looks good, you have inspired me to preform this mod
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Old 10-18-2009, 10:38 PM   #4
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Wow. Nice job!
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Old 10-18-2009, 10:40 PM   #5
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Whoa! Awesome idea!
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Old 10-19-2009, 10:45 AM   #6
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Many thanks for this write up, I had been looking for ways to access those blank accessory plugs in the center to just add a light switch without having to dis-assemble the whole middle console. Once you got access to those blanks, did you see anyway other than complete dis-assembly of the console to be able to even get at those suckers? Putting your hand behind the console to try and push them forward results in you running into what feels like a wall back there and a pry tool didn't seem to do much in pulling one of those blanks out either!
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Old 10-19-2009, 12:57 PM   #7
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22) The blank accessory plug may now be modified to fit the female USB plug from the preparation steps. To perform this step I used a pencil and traces the plug on the face of the blank. Then using a dremel tool, I slowly carved out a rough rectangular hole. Final fitment was accomplished with a pocket knife as I did not want to remove too much material.

How was the USB plug attached to the blank plug?
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Old 10-19-2009, 05:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spearhead View Post
Many thanks for this write up, I had been looking for ways to access those blank accessory plugs in the center to just add a light switch without having to dis-assemble the whole middle console. Once you got access to those blanks, did you see anyway other than complete dis-assembly of the console to be able to even get at those suckers? Putting your hand behind the console to try and push them forward results in you running into what feels like a wall back there and a pry tool didn't seem to do much in pulling one of those blanks out either!
Unfortunately there is no easy way around this. And I TRIED. Over, under, around, nothing worked. It's just too tight. I could reach the top of the blanks through the climate control hole with the tips of my fingers. The blanks are held in by a clip top and bottom. I was only able to access one of the clips this way and I couldn't manage to push the blank out.

Quote:
22) The blank accessory plug may now be modified to fit the female USB plug from the preparation steps. To perform this step I used a pencil and traces the plug on the face of the blank. Then using a dremel tool, I slowly carved out a rough rectangular hole. Final fitment was accomplished with a pocket knife as I did not want to remove too much material.

How was the USB plug attached to the blank plug?
The plug is held in my friction. I trimmed the hole, JUST enough to slide the female USB plug into.
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Old 11-18-2009, 10:35 PM   #9
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"did I really need a hard wired USB power inverter? No"

can you elaborate on what else you could have done? I want to do this and was wondering, can the USB cable be wired directly to the factory inverter?

Great write up
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Old 11-18-2009, 11:22 PM   #10
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Great write up and very professional looking! Makes my attempt look like a 5 minute hack job. I did the same mod only took a different approach. (Located here: http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/2nd...-write-up.html) I'm a bit confused as to why you took out the radio, door slit, and glove box as well; unless you were installing multiple items while documenting this install.

MyToyTaco: Inverter is the incorrect term as an inverter converts DC to AC current. The USB converter simply takes the 12v in the vehicle and turns it in to 5v for USB devices. So no, a USB cable can not be connected to the factory inverter.
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:42 AM   #12
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Quote:
I did the same mod only took a different approach.
EEtaco - How did you go about removing the black plastic blank from the dash?
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Old 11-19-2009, 11:54 AM   #13
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You should have bought a USB adapter port from the 2010 tundra...and wired it to power?? way less work...
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Old 11-19-2009, 12:07 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SportyTuRD View Post
You should have bought a USB adapter port from the 2010 tundra...and wired it to power?? way less work...
Any idea where to get one? I called Toyota and they told me they aren't available to buy separate.
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Old 11-20-2009, 04:46 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyToyTaco View Post
Any idea where to get one? I called Toyota and they told me they aren't available to buy separate.
If you find one of those OEM parts stores online that have the full microfishe you could probably order it...by finding the right part number...
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Old 11-20-2009, 04:50 AM   #16
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maybe not...i just checked a few sites and they dont even have anythign for 2010...or radios at all on there?
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Old 11-20-2009, 07:54 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SportyTuRD View Post
maybe not...i just checked a few sites and they dont even have anythign for 2010...or radios at all on there?

Hey guys, i have been interested in this mod also since i am getting the 9140 in dec, so i have been in communication with a dealership in myrtle beach (sparks toyota) and they were kind enought to go ahead and order that part and once it arrives they will take a picture of it and send it to me. if it is the part that you all are talking about, i will get the part number and a price. Right now he quoted me about 26.00 for that part, which is not a bad price. I will keep everyone updated.
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Old 11-20-2009, 08:33 AM   #18
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I am thinking of the AUX/USB insert for the tundra looks like this...

[/quote]

$26 sounds about right...make sure they give you a cable as well...this would be great if we can make it work.
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Old 11-20-2009, 08:42 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SportyTuRD View Post
I am thinking of the AUX/USB insert for the tundra looks like this...

$26 sounds about right...make sure they give you a cable as well...this would be great if we can make it work.[/quote]

Is that going to fit our grey factory blanks? U dont want to buy it if it doesnt fit.
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Old 11-20-2009, 09:06 AM   #20
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they should usually a manufacture will make blanks fit for all vehicles...if you look at the Aux in the pics in the 1st post they look to be the same...The big question woudl be where to plug teh cable on the back of the radio...if possible.
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