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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)

I got the idea to put a USB port in one of the blanks after a lengthy home search for a cigar lighter adapter and cord to plug my phone in.

After dropping the Glove Box and the passenger console panel. . .
(If you are not comfortable doing this part, STOP and find another project)

I pulled the blank that I wanted to use out of the dash. I traced an outline of the female end of the USB extension onto the face of the blank, careful to center it. This gave me the approximate area of plastic to cut out. I used a tiny drill and drilled a lot of holes inside the lines of the outline. I proceeded to clip the junk plastic away from the back side of the blank using small wire snips or dykes being careful not to mess up the two tabs that hold the blank into the opening. Once I got the excess plastic removed I used the small drill to carve (or maybe melt) the rough opening shape. I am either real good or real lucky but by staying inside the traced lines I got a very good press fit of the USB extension cord from the front side. A couple of swipes with a small file cleaned it up and gave me the exact fit. My female connector has rounded corners, so a small round file gave me the radius I needed for that. Pretty easy stuff.

Making sure I had the female connector flush with the front side, I jammed a couple of the junk scrap plastic pieces into the back side and mixed up an inch or so of the J-B Weld and slopped it in to the back of the blank with a small screwdriver. I let that set up (6 minutes) and mixed up some MORE J-B Weld and used couple more pieces of scrap plastic to finish solidifying the female connector into the blank. I used the J-B Weld liberally.

I put this aside to dry. I’ve learned that J-B Weld is amazing stuff and sets up quick BUT it takes 24 hours to cure to full strength. *

The Radio Shack 12 VDC Power outlet included a crimp connector for ease of install. I crimped the red wire lead to the red wire from the cigar lighter. Then attached the black wire lead to ground (I used the stud and nut holding the amplifier). Then I plugged the USB cigar lighter adapter into the power outlet and wrapped it in electrical tape so it couldn’t wiggle loose. I plugged the USB extension cord into the adapter (make sure you feed it in through the dash) and wrapped it in tape so it wouldn’t vibrate out. I taped all the extra wire length to the 12 V power outlet to tidy things up and buttoned up the kick panel and glove box.
I think the BIG find was the 6 inch bendable USB to Micro Cord. This holds my phone securely to the open ashtray, out of the way but visible if I am using GPS navigation.

I hope this fills in the blanks (not sorry for the pun).
If I had it to do over I would go with the device from Amazon and save a few bucks and eliminate some components. I didn’t see that when I put my USB port in.

Parts list and my sources.

Radio Shack Enercell™ 12VDC Vehicle Power Accessory Outlet $8

Home Depot Cetech Bendable 6 inch Cord USB to micro $5 0000-231-327

Amazon USB extension (the shortest available) $5 AmazonBasics USB 2.0 A-Male to A-Female Extension Cable (3.3 Feet/1.0 Meter): Computers & Accessories

Amazon Universal Mini USB Car lighter adapter $1 Universal Mini USB Car Charger Adapter, Black: Electronics

IF I HAD IT TO DO OVER I WOULD USE THIS AMAZON unit @ $12 DROK USB Interface 18-22V 12V to 5V DC Car Power Supply Voltage converter Water Proof: Electronics

Advance Auto or any auto parts store JB Weld $7

* After I repaired the retractable covers for my convertible top arms TWICE. . .
I learned to let J-B Weld cure for at least 24 hours before putting any stress on joined parts.


244 Posts
I considered this too but couldnt source a bulkhead female usb port. Did you just glue one in place on the backside of the blank? If so do you feel it is strong enough?
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