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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 01-19-2010, 02:10 PM   #1
bcrouse1
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 30
My Ride: 2004 330 CI
12V Power Supply for GPS / Cell Phone charger etc.

Mod Name: Extra Power Source

Mod Cost: 5.99 – 10.00 (depending on what you already have)

Mod Benefit: Cleaner looking dash, additional 12V power source

Mod Description: Additional 12V power outlet for GPS, Car Charger. I was tired of seeing the cords hanging in front of my radio / center dash, and ashtray flap open all the time. Put power outlet low on passenger side, out of the way, hardly noticeable.

Pics a little blurry, taken from iphone. Sorry. Looks really nice IMO

Before


After



Tools:
12V Power Outlet – 5.99. I got mine on Amazon. In a pinch you could go to Kragen Auto Parts or store like it. Just a little more expensive there. DON’T GET JUST A SOCKET. I had a spare socket lying around, tried it, it would have stuck out. You need one that turns to a 90 degree angle so that it stays out of the way. Plus you don’t want exposed circuits attachments hanging out. Best to just get an enclosed unit like mine.

Wire T Taps – 0.00. I had some on hand. If you’re doing mods all the time it’s a good idea to get some. The blue ones that fit 14-18 gauge wires, with adapters.

Spare 14 gauge wires – 0.00 again had some on hand. Need about 4-6 feet total.

Electrical Tape – 0.00

Phillips head screw driver

Utility Knife

Mod:

Step 1 – Remove sunglasses tray from center dash. Pop open flap, pull out towards you. Should pop right out. Optional to remove ashtray.


Step 2 – Put shifter in neutral. Lift up shift boot / cloth. Pinch both sides and wiggle up. Then pull the boot up like you’re taking off a girls shirt. No need to remove all the way.


Step 3 – Pull out foam surrounding shifter. Should come out freely. Just move around until you can wiggle it up and away from the shifter. Remove entirely.

Step 4 – Remove the 2 screws holding housing surrounding the shifter.

Step 5 – Pull housing up a little bit, disconnect the power window connectors on each side. The quick disconnects should be in the front away from you. Once disconnected slide the housing all the way up and remove entirely.


Step 6 – Place shifter in 2nd gear. This will give you more room to work. Remove the 4 screws holding the lower center console. There are two on the bottom and two up top in the sunglasses tray housing.



Step 7 – Should now be able to remove the lower center console. Pull it towards you and down and it should pop out. I didn’t undo all the connections in the back. Just left everything connected and turned it on its side so I had access to the wires.

Step 8 – Find the red& black wires connecting to the back of the cigarette lighter. This is your power. Tap in to it using the blue T taps. May need to use pliers to get it to snap tight. Find the brown wire also going to the back of the cigarette lighter. This is the ground. Tap in to it using the blue T tap and pliers.


Step 9 – Get the 12V power socket. Make connections to the power socket using the extra 14 gauge wires, thus extending the cords. Connected via male / female connections. Red to power. White to black ground. Connect those wires to the T tap with the adapters. Crimp adapters to ensure snug fit.




Step 10 – Plug devices in to check to see if power is working. Viola! GPS and LED lights up. Power is running.


Step 11 – Electrical tape around the open male / female connections.


Step 12 –Disconnect the wires at the T taps.

Step 13 – Cut hole in desired location. Start with a little circular hole about a half an inch in diameter. Start small. You can always enlarge the hole, but you can’t make it smaller. Then make two horizontal cuts extending out from the hole about 1 inch. Again, start small and slowly make the cuts longer if you cant get the socket in. Should look like this ----O-----


Step 14 – Check out the pic to see where you should thread the wires through the hole you cut out and up through the slit next to the shifter. There should be some wires already sitting in the crevice. If you have small enough hands you can slide your hands down there, reaching the wires and pull them up and out. Once you threaded the wires through the hole and up to the shifter, install the 12V power socket all the way in so it sits like the last pictures.




PIC18

Step 15 – Connect the wires back to the power T taps, checking your GPS / charging device to make sure power still works. Then zip tie or twist tie the extra wire together to keep everything nice and tidy. KEEP YOUR UNIT ON just in case a wire slips out while you are putting the center console back together.


Step 16 – Replace the lower center console, screwing in the 4 screws (2 on top, 2 on bottom), slide the shifter housing back over the shifter, connecting to power window connections. Screw the two screws back in to place. Replace the foam padding around the shifter. Slide the shift boot back down pinching in and locking back in to place. Replace the sunglass tray and ashtray. You’re good to go!
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Old 04-10-2010, 02:23 PM   #2
delmarco
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Can't you run that cable behind the dash instead of infront?
Also where did you buy the 12v adapter?
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Old 04-11-2010, 10:49 AM   #3
bcrouse1
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@delmarco - I really want to be able to run the wire behind the dash and and pop out somewhere near the unit but I was unable to find a way to do. I could run it down along the floor, up the A pillar, along the front windshield but the cord isn't nearly long enough. Have you figured out a way to place wires behind the dash and up to that general GPS location? I believe that I got that 12V power outlet at Amazon.com but you could get it at a general automotive store like Kragen Auto parts or Pep Boys. I'll look for the reciept and send it to you if I find it. It should be in the electrical section. However, in order to have the outlet sit there you hve to buy one that sits at a 90 degree angle (like in the pic) otherwise it won't fit!

Last edited by bcrouse1; 04-11-2010 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 04-11-2010, 03:38 PM   #4
rsxstock
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is that 12v always on or on with ignition?
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Old 04-11-2010, 05:23 PM   #5
ZZen330
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Oh man, you tap/spliced wires and drilled a hole through the side of your console area??

You could've just plugged your cig lighter power adapor that you bought directly into an empty spot in your fuse box (you could even choose from always on, or on with ignition). Then super easy to run the wire from the fuse box through an opening into the console area (hide the adaptor inside the console around the shift area, there's plenty of space) and then feed the charging cable out where the console meets the carpet and run it up to your device. Way easier AND cleaner than what you did.

You had the right idea with getting the extra cig lighter power socket though.

Last edited by ZZen330; 04-11-2010 at 05:30 PM.
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Old 04-11-2010, 05:24 PM   #6
ZZen330
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsxstock View Post
is that 12v always on or on with ignition?
Since he spliced into existing cig lighter wiring it will be always on.
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Old 04-11-2010, 07:35 PM   #7
delmarco
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcrouse1 View Post
@delmarco - I really want to be able to run the wire behind the dash and and pop out somewhere near the unit but I was unable to find a way to do. I could run it down along the floor, up the A pillar, along the front windshield but the cord isn't nearly long enough. Have you figured out a way to place wires behind the dash and up to that general GPS location? I believe that I got that 12V power outlet at Amazon.com but you could get it at a general automotive store like Kragen Auto parts or Pep Boys. I'll look for the reciept and send it to you if I find it. It should be in the electrical section. However, in order to have the outlet sit there you hve to buy one that sits at a 90 degree angle (like in the pic) otherwise it won't fit!
See any of my DIYs: My Bluetooth in particular where I just run the mic wire behind the glovebox and up along the side to the A p!llar.

Also on my Heated Steering Wheel DIY you will see that you can also tap 12v power safely and directly from the fuse box. This power also turns off with the ignition off.

That said, I really like what you've done here and will attempt to copy it since I also use a windshield mounted GPS unit in my car.
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12v, cell phone charger, gps, hidden power supply, power supply

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