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Mod: Adding 12v power outlets to the center console w/ pics

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by rmaddy, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. Mar 24, 2015 at 1:13 AM
    #1
    rmaddy

    rmaddy [OP] Active Member

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    Note: This is long with lots of pictures. Please, if you reply, do not quote the entire post. Thanks.

    The following documents how I added a pair of 12 volt power outlets and a pair of USB charging plugs to the back of the center console. This was done on a '15 DCSB to allow rear seat passengers to charge various devices such as phones or e-readers.

    The power outlets are setup to only provide power when the key is in the ACC position or the truck is running just like the standard 12 volt power outlets for the front seats. I see no need to provide unswitched power for rear seat passengers.

    Parts:
    • Power outlets
    • Add-a-circuit
    • Fuses
    • Wire
    • Various connectors

    There are many possible power outlets. I wanted a pair of regular 12 volt power outlets as well as USB charging plugs. I ended up buying two of the following items from ebay:

    Dual USB Charger and Socket Panel Mount Marine 12 V Blue Boat Sea Panel Outlet

    These are made by 12vtechnology.

    The Add-a-curcuit I used is the Littlefuse MINI Add-a-circuit that I picked up at a local Pep boys.

    Note: Ideally you should obtain a low-profile mini Add-a-circuit if your truck uses low-profile mini fuses instead of "regular" mini fuses. Newer trucks use the low-profile mini fuses. Research indicates that a regular mini Add-a-circuit should be fine but one poster below warned of a problem caused by using a regular mini Add-a-circuit instead of a low-profile one.

    To start I removed the little tray near the driver's left knee.
    [​IMG]

    Once removed you can access the inside fuse panel. The circled fuse is the #4 ACC fuse. This is a 7.5A fuse switched to the ignition.
    [​IMG]

    Next I setup the Add-a-circuit. It comes with various fuses. The first step is to plug in the supplied 7.5A fuse to replace the one that will be removed from the panel. Note that the mini fuses in the panel don't fit in the Add-a-circuit. Then I added a 10A fuse to the Add-a-circuit for the new power outlets.
    [​IMG]

    Now remove the 7.5A fuse from the fuse box and plug in the Add-a-circuit in its place.
    [​IMG]

    The Add-a-circuit provides the power wire. Now we need a ground. There is a bolt below the fuse box that works well for this.
    [​IMG]

    Using 14 gauge wire (black for ground, red for power), I cut two lengths of wire that would reach from the fuse box to the back of the center console. I added a 1/4" ring terminal to one end of the ground wire and attached it to the ground bolt. It's a 10mm bolt but there isn't enough room for a ratchet and I didn't have a regular 10mm wrench. So a simple twist with needle-nose pliers loosened the bolt enough to remove it by hand.
    [​IMG]

    I then added a male butt connector to one end of the red wire to connect to the Add-a-circuit. It turned out the two ends were different sizes. So I cut off the supplied female butt connector from the Add-a-circuit and crimped on a new one that matched the male connector. I then added a female quick disconnect connector to the other end of both wires. These will attach to the power outlets.

    Now is a good time to test the wiring before taking parts of the truck apart. I plugged the two wires to one of the power outlets and I then connected the butt connectors on the power wire. No sparks or smoke - good. I put the key in the ignition and turned it to ACC. Still no sparks or smoke. Now the real test. I grabbed an old iPod and a USB cable and plugged it into the power outlet. The iPod happily showed it was getting power - yeah! I turned the key to off and the iPod showed no power. Back to ACC and it was charging again. Perfect. The Add-a-circuit and ground wires appear to be working.

    After the test I disconnected the power wire at the butt connector. This ensures I don't accidentally short anything out while completing the job.
    [​IMG]

    Now that I know the wiring is setup it's time to pull out the center console. Open the center console and remove everything.
    [​IMG]

    Lift out the fuzzy bottom piece to expose two 10mm bolts. Remove the two bolts.
    [​IMG]

    The next step is to remove the panel around the gear shift. This is for an automatic. I imagine a manual transmission would be similar. Start by unscrewing the gear shift handle. Then simply lift off the panel. It's held in place by 6 straight tabs - one in each corner and two centered on the left and right sides. It takes a little force to lift off. Try to lift up evenly to avoid the possibility of breaking any of the tabs. Here's the underside of the panel once removed.
    [​IMG]

    With the cover removed you can see two screws holding the rear of the center console. Remove these two screws and you can then remove the rear half of the center console.
    [​IMG]

    Once removed you can see the inverter and some other wiring. At this time I ran my new wires from the fuse box to the rear of the center console. There are some metal brackets with sharp edges in the rear portion of the center console area. Given this I added some wire wrap to the two new wires to help protect them.
    [​IMG]

    With the rear console out of the truck it's time to do some surgery. The back panel can be removed from the rest of the console making this a lot easier.
    [​IMG]

    The next part took some time to be sure it was right. The power outlets I used stick out a bit and with the wire plugged in end up taking about 2.5". This means the power outlets can't go just anywhere. When looking at the back of the console from the rear seats, the bottom left area can't really be used due to interference with other parts of the console. Due to this I ended up installing one pair of outlets down the right side and the other pair along the top. After lots of careful planning, measuring, aligning, triple checking, and some finger crossing, I finally drilled the 1 1/8" diameter holes for the four outlets. Happily it all came out perfect.
    [​IMG]

    With the four big holes cut I put the outlets in place and added the face plates. Using the plates as a guide I drilled 3/16" holes for the mounting bolts. These outlets come with screws which won't work for this install. I purchased eight black #10-24 allen head machine screws and some matching nuts. I then mounted the plates in place.
    [​IMG]

    Here's the other side of the panel showing how it's all mounted.
    [​IMG]

    Each pair of power outlets comes with a jumper cable to connect one outlet to the other. I used the two and created a third to connect the four outlets together in a chain. To make the third jumper cable I needed two piggyback quick disconnect terminals which I found on ebay. This leaves a pair of connections for the wires I ran from the fuse panel. After adding all of the jumper wires I double checked all the + terminals were connected to each other and all of the - terminals were connected properly.
    [​IMG]

    At this point I did one last test. I connected the two wires from the fuse panel to the newly wired outlets and verified all of the power outlets worked properly. With everything working it was time to put everything back together.

    With the rear place still off of the center console I put the center console back in place, put the two screws back in place, added the panel back over the gear shift, screwed the gear shift knob back one, and added the two bolts inside the storage bin.

    All that was left was reinstalling the rear panel of the console with the power outlets and then adding a couple of zip ties to the wires from the fuse panel to ensure the wires stay put.
    [​IMG]

    With everything put back together and verifying there were no extra parts laying around, I did one last test of the new power outlets. All is working as expected.

    I hope others fine this helpful. Enjoy.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2015
    stvhwrd, Biscuits, Pirhett and 5 others like this.
  2. Mar 24, 2015 at 1:42 AM
    #2
    JimBob

    JimBob Twice retired

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    You used an incorrect size "Add-a-circuit" that can cause a rather expensive repair. My ECU had to be replaced due to just this problem (caused by an upholstery company that installed my seat heaters).
    The correct size of fuse for current model Tacomas is the "Low profile mini fuse". Amazon carries the fuses and the "Add-a-circuit" (named "ADD CIRCUIT BLADE STYLE ATM APS ATT LOW PROFILE MINI FUSE HOLDER FUSE TAP + FUSE SET 5, 7.5, 10, 15, 20 AMPS"). I don't know what model year that Toyota changed the fuse style, but my '14 is the new one. I still have not seen any of these new fuses for sale at any of the local auto parts stores in my area and had to search on the internet to even find out what their new name is.
     
    Biscuits likes this.
  3. Mar 24, 2015 at 2:27 AM
    #3
    mach1man001

    mach1man001 eh whatever

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    Nice write up.
     
  4. Mar 24, 2015 at 3:13 AM
    #4
    Aztecs

    Aztecs Well-Known Member

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    I like this mod better than the other one.
     
  5. Mar 24, 2015 at 3:22 AM
    #5
    POOLGUY

    POOLGUY Well-Known Member

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    Nice job.
     
  6. Mar 24, 2015 at 4:46 AM
    #6
    REDdawn6

    REDdawn6 Well-Known Member

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    Excellent job. Next in line... :)
     
  7. Mar 24, 2015 at 5:55 AM
    #7
    UssMoGn

    UssMoGn That Vegas dude

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    Good job, I like it! ill have to do this when I do my center console addition switches.
     
  8. Mar 24, 2015 at 6:37 AM
    #8
    CrookSkull

    CrookSkull Dreaming of a LT

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    Sub'd, adding this to the list of things to do when i get home. Great write up.
     
  9. Mar 24, 2015 at 7:30 AM
    #9
    XPOTRON

    XPOTRON Is LIVE on the GRID.

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    Blue sea makes some pretty solid stuff! I like this idea and am long overdue for some interior mods! Similar concept, but I have the 12v sockets mounted in the bed
    [​IMG]
     
    Biscuits, ready6delta and Pirhett like this.
  10. Mar 24, 2015 at 7:42 AM
    #10
    rmaddy

    rmaddy [OP] Active Member

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    Thanks for the warning. The low profile add-a-circuit does look more correct.

    I'm curious though how the non-low-profile Add-a-cicuit could actually cause a problem though. The blade's length, size, and spacing on both types of fuses are exactly the same. It's just that the low-profile version has the plastic starting much lower down so the whole fuse isn't as tall.
     
  11. Mar 24, 2015 at 7:45 AM
    #11
    pudge151

    pudge151 Well-Known Member

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    im also curious because I used the same add a fuse as you did. I could assume if it pulls out a little and something makes it short out that would cause a problem but that seems like a slim chance. I will order a new one either way I guess

     
  12. Mar 24, 2015 at 7:50 AM
    #12
    rmaddy

    rmaddy [OP] Active Member

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    I looked at the Blue Sea outlets. I think one reason I chose the ones I used over Blue Sea is that Blue Sea didn't have the exact setup I wanted. Lots of USB plugs I saw had an LED I didn't want or one of the two USB plugs was 1A and the other was 2.1A. With the plugs I bought, both are 2.1A. But obviously with all of the possible options, people should choose the outlets that suits their needs.

    One of these days I may add one of these outlets in the bed near the 110v outlet. If I do that, it will be powered directly from the battery for the times I want to charge my phone or other gadget without needing to put the key in such as when camping.
     
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  13. Mar 24, 2015 at 7:55 AM
    #13
    XPOTRON

    XPOTRON Is LIVE on the GRID.

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    Oh gotcha I assumed you used all blue sea haha but for sure I never noticed the power differences. Yes exactly what I did with mine and some in line fuses. They're mainly for my RTT accessories :cool:
     
  14. Mar 24, 2015 at 8:09 AM
    #14
    rmaddy

    rmaddy [OP] Active Member

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    I just did a bunch of searching here on TW and found many references indicating that it is perfectly fine to use regular mini fuses in place of the low-profile mini fuses. This includes the use of a regular mini add-a-circuit over a low profile one.

    I didn't find any references to there being any problems.

    But having said that, I will edit my post suggesting the use of a low-profile add-a-circuit just to be safe. And I will likely order a low-profile mini Add-a-circuit to replace mine.
     
  15. Mar 24, 2015 at 6:48 PM
    #15
    tacoma4

    tacoma4 Well-Known Member

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    I don't see any reason why you can't use the ATM add a fuse with the low profiles. But the add a fuse is directional. It looks like yours is backwards/upsidedown. Did you install per the instructions that tell you to leave the main fuse out and see if the accessory works when its plugged in? If it does, then you're good, but if it doesn't then it's backwards. That would mean you're pulling current for both circuits thru the main fuse and more likely to overload it.
     
  16. Mar 24, 2015 at 8:24 PM
    #16
    rmaddy

    rmaddy [OP] Active Member

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    Thanks for the confirmation about using a non-low-profile Add-a-circuit. I couldn't find any reference on TW that indicated it was a problem. In fact I found many posts that said it was fine.

    I just double checked my Add-a-circuit install and it is fine. Which picture leads you to think it might be backwards? And backwards in what way? Having it face the wrong way or having the two fuses swapped?

    I did miss the step of testing with just the new fuse during my install but I just did that test and everything works fine. I followed the following thread for doing the Add-a-circuit - it was very helpful:

    http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/2nd-gen-tacomas/296758-add-circuit-fuse-panel-image-heavy.html

    Thanks for the sanity check.
     
  17. Mar 25, 2015 at 3:03 AM
    #17
    JimBob

    JimBob Twice retired

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    When the upholstery shop used the size of fuse holder that you used, I had multiple dash lights activate and lost several functions (power windows, AC, fan, etc.). The Toyota dealer found that pushing the longer bladed fuse into my panel caused the blades to extend into the ECU, ruining it. I never saw the removed parts, and had no idea that the ECU is in that location, but, as I understand it, the damage was a result of pushing the longer fuse blades too far into the fuse panel. I know that looking at the difference in the fuses, the new low profile fuses don't have blades that extend anywhere near as long as the new style.

    Once I got my truck back with the new fuse panel and ECU, I ordered the correct size "Add-a-circuit" and connected the seat heater hot wire to it myself and have had no problems since.
     
  18. Mar 25, 2015 at 3:10 AM
    #18
    Kolunatic

    Kolunatic Broke ass

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    Good info.
     
  19. Mar 25, 2015 at 6:31 AM
    #19
    odomandr

    odomandr Well-Known Member

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    Funny I see this thread today. Here is what I built yesterday one 12 volt, one dual usb 2.1 amps, both blue sea. Gotta fab up some clips today to have it hold where the stock net in the console goes. I don't want to drill anything.
     
  20. Mar 25, 2015 at 7:01 AM
    #20
    ramonortiz55

    ramonortiz55 Not A Well-Known Member

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    stock

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