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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 12-08-2008, 02:54 PM   #1
JSanders
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DIY: Center console power outlet

Disclaimer: I am not responsible If you mess up your electronics in your car. I am just sharing what I found works and did to my car. Attempt at your own risk.

This is extremely easy to do, as long as you can turn a screwdriver and crimp a wire. I would rate this at a 2 if a 1 was putting gas in your car.

It took me about an hour and a half to do, It could probably be done in 30-45 minutes.

Items needed:
Wire strippers/crimpers
Phillips head screw driver
Pliers
Scissors
22-18-gauge quick splice connectors ($1.99 @ Radioshack)
Auxiliary 12v Female Cigarette lighter plug-in ($3.99 @ O'reillys)
Small zip ties

Total cost: ~$7.00

Prep work:
The cigarette plug I bought was to plug into a trailer wiring harness, to plug in a spot light or something of the sort I guess. I cut the plug off of the end, stripped the wire back about 1/3", and crimped the appropriate quick splice connector end on the bare wire. Do this for each side. You could skip the cigarette lighter and hard wire your power. I choose the cigarette lighter to be able to pop my euro tray off and plug in a different charger if I get a new phone.

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Start out taking your center console apart. Once you get that out of the way, in front of your armrest should be a wiring harness bundled together. This is the pre-wiring for the BMW cellular phone. Cut the tape holding it together.

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In the wires, find the purple wire with a white stripe (this is your 12v switched power) and a brown wire (this is your ground wire). It might be necessary to cut some of the black material holding the wires together to get to the wires. Take the appropriate quick splice connectors and and clamp them onto these wires. I pressed them together with pliers to ensure a good connection.

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On the cigarette lighter wires, find the positive wire. On mine, it was the one with print. It could be different depending what brand you get. Plug the positive wire into the quick splice connector on the purple/white wire, and the ground into the brown wire.

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Turn the ignition to the Accessory On position. Plug in your cell phone/Ipod/GPS charger and make sure its getting power.

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I used zip ties to re bundle the wiring harness I pulled apart. This makes it easier when stuffing all the wires in the console.

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Now, begin piecing your console back together. I wanted my phone charger to be in the eurotray, which the end of my charger slit through a slit in the back. Depending on what/where you are running, you may need a dremel tool to make a hole for your wire.

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Pop your eurotray back in and you are good to go!

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The wire can also be tucked away when not in use.

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Enjoy!
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Last edited by JSanders; 12-08-2008 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 12-09-2008, 09:22 AM   #2
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The dude loves smoothies! Good one, I was toying with the idea of wiring in an inverter and putting it in there.
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Old 12-09-2008, 09:24 AM   #3
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holy crap thats awesome...great DIY!!! do they sell that console in tan color i never seen it
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Old 12-09-2008, 09:53 AM   #4
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nice, i would suggest to solder the connections if you can. if not, then that's fine.
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Old 12-09-2008, 11:58 AM   #5
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The dude loves smoothies! Good one, I was toying with the idea of wiring in an inverter and putting it in there.
Smoothie King FTW

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holy crap thats awesome...great DIY!!! do they sell that console in tan color i never seen it
They do, I THINK modbargains used to sell them, if not you can get it from any OEM supplier, realoem.com and the like.

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nice, i would suggest to solder the connections if you can. if not, then that's fine.
You could solder them if you wanted to. Personally, I hate soldering. These quick splice connectors were a much easy alternative for me.
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Old 12-09-2008, 12:06 PM   #6
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lol i'm the opposite, i hate the connectors. over time they loosen up then you have to go redo the job again.
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Old 12-09-2008, 12:21 PM   #7
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That sucks. This is the first time I've used them. I guess when that happens I'll have to try and solder it together.
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Old 12-09-2008, 12:39 PM   #8
CzarStav
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DIY: Center console power outlet

Noice. I will be doing this in some sort of fashion. Great DIY!
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Old 12-19-2008, 07:37 PM   #9
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any point in putting an inline fuse for the power wire?
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Old 12-19-2008, 07:41 PM   #10
Mike@F1 AutohaŘs
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Hell yeah!

This is a great DIY
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Old 12-22-2008, 02:16 PM   #11
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No, the phone charger has a build in fuse already.
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Old 12-22-2008, 02:26 PM   #12
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Very Nice, I've wanted to do this for some time now but wasn't sure how to do it...now i can
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Old 12-22-2008, 03:42 PM   #13
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I did it last weekend, for some reason I didn't have the pre-wiring (anyone know why???) so instead I spliced in to the main cigerette lighter cables
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Old 12-22-2008, 03:59 PM   #14
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it could be that your car is a base model? or for european cars it's just different.

do you have a switch for the cigarette lighter? cause power for that is on all the time.
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Old 12-23-2008, 05:29 PM   #15
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this is fantastic.... i could charge my blackberry and listen to music from it (dice cables are in the eurotray unit) ... well done sir!
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Old 12-23-2008, 09:00 PM   #16
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Very Nice, I've wanted to do this for some time now but wasn't sure how to do it...now i can
Let me know how it goes!

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Originally Posted by Saj View Post
I did it last weekend, for some reason I didn't have the pre-wiring (anyone know why???) so instead I spliced in to the main cigerette lighter cables
Does your car have the "Pre-wired for BMW cellular" button in the trunk? I thought all of our cars were pre wired for it. Anyway good to know that there is another way to wire it!

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this is fantastic.... i could charge my blackberry and listen to music from it (dice cables are in the eurotray unit) ... well done sir!
Exactly my plan for the future!
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Old 12-24-2008, 04:23 AM   #17
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It seems that European models are only wired for the accessories/options that you ordered from the factory. None of the "Pre-wired for ..." harnesses are in our cars.
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Old 12-24-2008, 07:44 AM   #18
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Interesting...I was always wondering what that bundle of wires was for.

Great work! I'll have to do this. For something like this, the t-taps should be fine unless you plan on pulling on the wires or something.
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Old 12-24-2008, 07:57 AM   #19
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Awesome! Thanks, I'll probably build in a 90W inverter for full Euro Voltage!
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Old 12-24-2008, 01:33 PM   #20
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Does your car have the "Pre-wired for BMW cellular" button in the trunk? I thought all of our cars were pre wired for it. Anyway good to know that there is another way to wire it!
No, dont think i have that button in the truck. I think pre-wiring is a chargeable option on UK Bmw's.

I still need to put a relay and find a "switch" wire somewhere near there, otherwise I could flatten my battery as the ciggy lighting is always "on"
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