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Volvo Dash Power Port Mod


trimster
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Got really tired of hitting those power plug adapter for the GPS, XM, DashCam, etc. when moving in and out of the cab. And there's not enough of them to start with. Soooo, I decided to figure this out and fix it.

First off, I found that all the plugged in stuff I have runs on 5v DC. Exactly what comes out of USB power port. Nice.

Some digging around on Amazon and eBay uncovered some nice power socket replacements that will fit into the existing holes with just a 'titch' (...that's a technical term) of enlarging. I used a dremel but sandpaper would work just fine.

I ordered a new, standard power port and 3 power port replacements that have 3 USB ports, on-off switch, and one reads out the truck voltage. All glow blue so easy to see at night. And I found USB cables with the proper ends on them for the Garmin, Dash Cam and XM radio.

I pulled off the top dash cover that reveals the main fuse and relay blocks. With a few screws and clips the front center of the dash comes off.

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After enlarging the two existing holes and hole-sawing the third one.... you can install the new ports.

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I decided that I did not want to vampire clamp onto the existing wires in the dash to interface with the new plugs, so I cut the wiring that came with the plugs and added new spade connectors, that would fit nicely into the existing truck plugs.

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I had to make a pigtail that would service two power ports with the addition of the third port.

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Double checking that the hot leads were proper (in this case RED is B+)...

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Things were coming together. I did replace the stock 20amp fuse for the dash plugs with a 25 amp just to give this a bit of headroom. If all sockets USB sockets were in use, it would be 18 amps under full load.

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Snapped the lower plastic in place. It's held in by the two clips on the top, like most of the dash things are.

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And wa-la, new ports with a fairly clean install.

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That should clean things up nicely. One can never have too many power pluggy-things.

This was a 2 hr project.

 

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Just a note of input Bob.  Not sure why you increased the fuse size BUT with electrical devices, the fuse or breakers are sized to protect the load AND the wire size.  People will at times change those to a higher amperage but that will cause potential issues as in the wire is only sized to carry a 20A load and then a 25A fuse is installed which will not trip at the correct load and CAN allow the wire to encounter resistance(read heat caused by that resistance) and a fire can ensue.  On DC loads, that is less risky BUT on AC can become very problematic. 

Clearly you did the math required to be safe but even a 20A fuse has some safety margin.

Not intending to cause you any distress but rather only to educate and encourage safety in your truck.

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1 minute ago, rpsinc said:

Just a note of input Bob.  Not sure why you increased the fuse size BUT with electrical devices, the fuse or breakers are sized to protect the load AND the wire size.  People will at times change those to a higher amperage but that will cause potential issues as in the wire is only sized to carry a 20A load and then a 25A fuse is installed which will not trip at the correct load and CAN allow the wire to encounter resistance(read heat caused by that resistance) and a fire can ensue.  On DC loads, that is less risky BUT on AC can become very problematic. 

Clearly you did the math required to be safe but even a 20A fuse has some safety margin.

Not intending to cause you any distress but rather only to educate and encourage safety in your truck.

Understand and appreciate the input. The actual load from before mentioned items + 2 phones charging will be 14 amps. So the stock 20 amp fuse could handle the load, no problem. 

I will keep an eye on it. Again, thanks.

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Nice job.  I have those sockets in my Amazon cart right now.  I was going to add a Painless ignition controlled fusebox as well.  Did you just use the existing wires from the cig lighter and power port for power?  I've got a USB distributor connected to the lighter socket right now, but it's not ignition controlled, so if I forget to unplug it, it will drain the battery over the course of 7-10 days of parking.

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The battery drain was the reason I bought the plugs with the on-off switch. 

Yes on the wires. I cut the wires that came with the new sockets and put on male/spade ends which slide right into the factory female plugs. Didn't want to alter the truck side or use vampire clamps.

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Just now, rickeieio said:

Good for you for not using "vampire clamps".  I'd never heard them referred to as that before, but it's certainly appropriate.

I cringe when I open a compartment or slide under a vehicle and see those.

Yup. How many trailer wiring problems have we fixed for people only to find these things all over the wiring, under the bumper or inside a tail light. So many waisted hours....

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On 1/21/2022 at 7:34 PM, rickeieio said:

Good for you for not using "vampire clamps".  I'd never heard them referred to as that before, but it's certainly appropriate.

I cringe when I open a compartment or slide under a vehicle and see those.

Scotch Locks, the scourge of trailer wiring!  May the inventor of these cursed things burn in ...

 

Edited by Av8r3400
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  • 2 weeks later...

OEM Volvo builders were not very particular about the actual AWG for lower current devices with "short" runs of wire from the fuse to the device as you possibly noted if you unscrewed and lifted your upper fuse/relay panel to look underneath.  In your case up-sizing to a 25 amp from a 20 amp fuse for the power ports to become USB power ports is nothing to be concerned about.  But, the warning or advice from rspinc IS something that should be followed when wire length is over the 12" or so used on your power ports.  You can also purchase a 20 amp automatic resetting circuit breaker that plugs in place of the one-shot fuse if you want to keep everything "as is" (or a 20 or 30 for compatible fused circuits).  I am curious as to why you selected USB 3.0 ports just to power a device.  Not that there is anything wrong with that other than the "blue plastic" separator inside has proven to be rather prone to breaking on some of the Asian made USB ports I've used.  Overall, very nice job all the way around.  Those big 12 volt ports came about from the days of cigar lighters, ash trays and radar detectors 🙂.

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No real thought about usb3 choice . More interested in the ability to shut them off at the port, blue glow, and quantity of ports. The voltage readout on the one is just for the cool factor.

Didn't know about the auto-resetting breakers. Hmmmm.

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