Don
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Posts: 2865
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 3:55 pm
Location: Biloxi MS

Dash Disassembly - 12v Outlet Access

Tue Apr 02, 2019 2:48 pm

Has anyone ever taken apart the lower portion of the dash? I'd really like to get to the back of the 12 volt outlet to splice in a triple outlet to power an ever increasing array of add ons. In my wife's car there is an aftermarket back-up camera, a dash camera and a 12 volt cord that runs her oxygen concentrator . . . . and, we'd like to add a simple USB charge port for cel phone.

I can get my hand up behind the dash outlet and feel the tiny wires on the back of the socket, but no way can I gain enough access to them to splice in anything. Her O2 concentrator needs 6 or 8 amps, so it needs to be plugged directly into the dash outlet. The total of everything else is just a few amps, so if I could splice a triple outlet pigtail directly onto the factory wiring, we'd be all set, but . . . . the dash in this car appears not to be so simple to take apart

Any advice, experiences, photos or all three welcomed!

Don
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, White
2012 iMiEV SE, White
2017 Chevy Volt Premier
2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT SWB wagon, 14,000 miles
1979 Honda CBX six into six

Don
Site Moderator
Posts: 2865
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 3:55 pm
Location: Biloxi MS

Re: Dash Dissassembly

Fri May 10, 2019 11:58 am

Well, the 'secret' to getting at the wires on the backside of the accessory outlet is to 'pop' open the heater control panel - Once you have that out of the way, the rest is easy. The wires supplying 12 volts to the outlet in the dash are tiny - No more than 18 gauge, which should be a consideration for anyone wanting to draw 10 or 12 amps continuously from that outlet. I tapped into them to power a triple outlet. Could hardly believe how small the conductors were when I stripped the insulation to solder my accessory wires to them

Don
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, White
2012 iMiEV SE, White
2017 Chevy Volt Premier
2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT SWB wagon, 14,000 miles
1979 Honda CBX six into six

JoeS
Site Moderator
Posts: 3727
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:47 am
Location: Silicon Valley, California

Re: Dash Disassembly - 12v Outlet Access

Fri May 10, 2019 1:08 pm

Don, thanks for that as I also have need for multiple12v and USB charging outlets: Cobra dashcam, Garmin GPS, Android tablet (for Canion), iPad charger, and iPhone charger, as well as a small 120vac inverter to feed my MacBook.

On my long Tahoe trip I had (unbeknownst to me) overloaded the multi-outlet adapter which turned out to have a thermal cutout. At 100 miles I lost (depleted the batteries on) the iPad and Android (didn't have an iPhone then) and was freaking out as EV travel without PlugShare is scary. Luckily, there was an EVgo CHAdeMO at the Sacramento WalMart, so, while charging, I loaded up with fresh adapters and life became recharged again.

Sad to hear about the tiny wires at our 12v outlet. When they were true cigarette outlets feeding high-current heating elements they could be counted on being robust. I'll look at the fusebox just above the driver's left foot to see if maybe tapping into that makes more sense. I normally convert all those silly large 'cigarette' plugs into Anderson PowerPole connectors, and can't believe that the industry has not standardized on a modern 12v outlet by now (they were talking about it 30 years ago!).

For my high-power 12v source when installing the trailer lights converter I picked off a really robust wire feeding the audio power amp, which is located behind the side panel behind the rear seat on the driver's side.
EVs: 2 Wht/Blu SE Prem., '13 Tesla MS85, 3 156v CorbinSparrows (2 Li-ion), 24v EcoScoot(LiFePO4)
EV Conv: 156v '86 Ram PU, 144v '65 Saab 96
Hybrids: 48v1kW bike
ICE: '88 Isuzu Trooper. Mothballed: '67 Saab (orig.owner), '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV

JoeS
Site Moderator
Posts: 3727
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:47 am
Location: Silicon Valley, California

Re: Dash Disassembly - 12v Outlet Access

Sat May 11, 2019 10:48 am

Don had made a nice 12v and USB outlet, and I'm posting his photo:

Image

Here's what Don wrote about it:

... It's a cheap piece of Chinese junk I bought on eBay. Should have started with something better. It does have a USB power port, but it's only rated at half an amp. The wires powering this thing make the wires in the car look huge. I would guesstimate them at about 22 gauge . . . . and I may be overly optimistic at that

I epoxied it to a small piece of 1/8th inch plywood, painted it black & screwed it to the side of the console

...we keep one of the cords for an Inogen oxygen concentrator which draws a couple amps plugged into the dash outlet at all times in both cars, so this triple port is just for low draw devices, like GPS's, dash cams and her back up camera screen

Start with a better outlet if you're going to go to the trouble to install something similar


I had made something similar but used Velcro to hold it in place, but in a hot car the Velcro adhesive became gooey and allowed the outlet to sag. I subsequently rested its bottom on the ledge.
EVs: 2 Wht/Blu SE Prem., '13 Tesla MS85, 3 156v CorbinSparrows (2 Li-ion), 24v EcoScoot(LiFePO4)
EV Conv: 156v '86 Ram PU, 144v '65 Saab 96
Hybrids: 48v1kW bike
ICE: '88 Isuzu Trooper. Mothballed: '67 Saab (orig.owner), '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV

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