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Thread: Re-routing the cigar lighter circuit (and making it useful)

  1. #1
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    Re-routing the cigar lighter circuit (and making it useful)

    Nancy Drew came with a genuine BMW phone, about as useful as a Conestoga wheel wrench. That's in the rear compartment of the console.

    Now, then: In the console cubby next to the driver, there is a lighter socket. The car may be maintained by a battery tender using this socket, since the circuit is always live (but a dedicated line to the battery is probably better). You may also run a Valentine or other accessories from this socketóbut that means that the cubby door must remain open, which is (literally) a pain in the elbow.

    Before a recent trip to Santa Fe, I resolved to tap into the lighter circuit. It is possible to do this by removing the brake-lever boot and unscrewing the + terminal from the bottom of the lighter socket: wrap a Torx 10 (it may be smaller than that, even) screwdriver with electrical tape and unscrew the eentsy-beentsy screw in the socket; the terminal will fall clear. Coax the + wire (red) into view; don't let it touch any ground source, or you'll blow Fuse #10. (Guess how I know.) Wrap it with tape or cut off the brass terminal and fetch the ground wire (brown). I think I jiggered it loose with a thin screwdriver.

    I spliced these wires to a common bullet-connector leadómine was about three feet longómaking sure that the female side is the + side. This line was routed out from under the console to run along the floor between the passenger seat and the console. I then wired a multiple-socket socket connector to a bullet lead (this time the male pin is +). I plugged this socket assembly into the bullet connector and there I had it: three sockets on the floor in front of the passenger seat. This was fine: The Valentine used one socket, and a two-USB adapter used another, so I could power my iPhone (which fits perfectly in the radio opening). And Party A was not annoyed by the open cubby, plus she had a place to put her Chapstick.

    However...

    The circuit is always live, so you have to remember to unplug it (at floor level) if there's anything drawing power. So I thought, "Maybe I could put in a switch....

    (to be inevitably continued)

  2. #2
    Sounds like a fun project. Could you post a picture of the multi-socket outlet?
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

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    Here's the accessories-sockets thingie stretched out on the carpet. I will probably Velcro it to the front of the seat frame.
     

  4. #4
    Are you planning on the Z8 becoming your very stylish "office on wheels"?

    Bill

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    Yeah, I figure the fax machine and printer come next...

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