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DonShockley

Added USB Power to Overhead Shelf

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Here's how I added a USB power port to the overhead shelf on my 2015 TC LWB Wagon. I'll break the posts and pictures up for easier reading.

I hate dangling wires so I wanted an overhead power supply for my dash cam. Rather than add yet another cigarette lighter socket for the plug in adapters that come with these type of accessories, I decided to go with a USB power port instead since they almost always use a 5v mini or micro USB plug anyway. Far more flexibility in cabling this way also instead of relying on what the manufacturer decides to supply.

The First step was to remove the overhead shelf. There are four screws on each side, the two at each end of the handholds are under the covers, the other two in each side are readily visible once the visor is flipped down. As it turns out, I likely could have skipped this step since the riser piece in the middle where I wanted the power port mounted has nothing connected to it and the release tabs are all accessible with the shelf installed.

Overhead USB power 5

post-5019-0-17273000-1440209649_thumb.jp

post-5019-0-68583100-1440209656_thumb.jp

Edited by DonShockley

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Running the wiring was fairly straight forward. I did a test run for length with the split loom tubing alone and then cut the wires to length and did all the crimping and other wire work comfortably indoors. I used an 8-1/2 foot length of wire but it was just barely long enough at install once everything was routed neatly. If I were to do it again, I would use at least 9 ft and maybe even 10 ft to make the connection at the shelf easier to reach.

Under the headliner

Overhead USB power 1

Down the A pillar

Overhead USB power 2

Down into the dash

Overhead USB power 3

And connect to the FZ-1 FuzeBlock I added earlier ( Details in this thread: http://fordtransitconnectforum.com/topic/3912-added-my-own-accessory-fuse-box/ )

Overhead USB power 4

Edited by DonShockley

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As easy as it was to install the USB power point, it likely could have been drilled out and installed even without removal if your hands are small enough.

This is the USB power point I installed: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KIIO7GC?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00

But for me, with fat guy sausage fingers, removal was a must. I also decided to drill the hole undersize then enlarge it with a file so that I could match the flat sided shape of the USB power point so it won't twist during use. I used a step bit and drilled the starter hole to 1 inch, the width of the flat sides. Then I used a half round hand file to expand the top and bottoms to fit the 1-1/8" overall diameter of the USB power point. But the single step of using a 1-1/8" hole saw would have worked just as well and is what I would do if trying to do it without removing the overhead shelf.

Overhead USB power 6

If you're wondering about the orange item visible in the photo above, it's a whistle that's stored in the space reserved for the sunglass holder that my TC did not come equipped with. I always keep a glass breaker, seatbelt cutter, and whistle in reach of the driver and this dead space was the perfect size.

Overhead USB power 7

While I had the shelf out, I also added some small dividers (spares from my Erector set collection) to keep items from sliding around.

post-5019-0-17302500-1440210761_thumb.jp

Edited by DonShockley

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And here's the final result with the overhead shelf reinstalled and the power point connected and powered up.

Overhead USB power 8

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great write-up. thanks for sharing

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I got a chance to test the access without removing the shelf.

Unfortunately it was because I forgot to reconnect the microphone cable when I reinstalled the shelf.

The center riser with the USB port installed does come loose fairly easily so the USB port could be installed without removing the shelf. But the access to the wire cutout in the headliner is too tight. But the good news is that you don't need to fully remove the shelf like I did. If you leave the screws installed on both ends (where the grab handles are) and just remove the 4 middle screws (2 under each visor), the center of the shelf drops down far enough to reach in and do any wiring connections needed. Much easier and quicker than removing the shelf entirely.

Edited by DonShockley

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thanks for the write up

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Don, is there any reason NOT to do this USB modification tapping into the courtesy lamp power switch? I'd like to add this but don't feel like pulling all the panels ;)

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The biggest reason I didn't go that route was to minimize the risk of damage to the existing systems. This newer wiring / control system uses a lot of distributed modules and low power signals that are more susceptible to overloading damage. Running power from an unused high power fuse tap ensured that risk of damaging the main CPU or any of the aux modules was minimal.

BTW, I did go back and add a power port too. Haven't needed it yet, but at least it's there now.

20170619_182006.thumb.jpg.c14344d1025a3ef9073a958c6b2c80e0.jpg

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I too wanted to tap into the light module without running a separate wire run...i wonder what the max amps available from this circuit?

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Posted (edited)

Fuse F60, 10 amp, powers all the interior lights (2016 TC). Don S is right about the complexity of this circuit. The body control module has a non-serviceable relay that controls the lights. It also creates the theater lighting effect (ramps up to turn on and slowly dims to turn off). You may damage the module if you draw too much power. Plus the negative (-) lead is not at zero volts. It is held at +12v and the module ramps it down to zero volts to create the theater effect. Who knows how this will affect a USB power supply or device.

Wiring diagram attached.

 

interior lights circuit.pdf

Edited by Don Ridley

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Thank you...separate wiring run for me:)

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I should have thought about that location.  It will allow you to plug in whatever you want to charge, and keep it all hidden in the shelf.  That way, you can leave your computer in the car to charge, and nobody will see it.

 

Back in the dinosaur days, I installed USB ports in the center console of my Transit Connect where the OEM power port is located in front of the cup holders.  A little more "conventional".

KIMG0499.JPG

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On 8/21/2015 at 7:14 PM, DonShockley said:

since the riser piece in the middle where I wanted the power port mounted has nothing connected to it and the release tabs are all accessible with the shelf installed.

 

Any advice on which tabs pop off, in which order, and/or if there is a certain way to pull or wiggle it out?

 

KIMG0500.JPG

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Fifty150: Nothing needs to be disconnected from the bottom side of the shelf shown in your first photo. I've marked the tabs on the top center piece on top of the shelf in your second photo. If you click on the very first thumbnail at the top of this thread, it will pop up a larger version that shows the center piece unclipped and flipped over so you can see how both sides of the tab clips are constructed.

 

Fifty150s closeup.JPG

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My favorite use for the parcel shelf:

ZcvhlZSvbwy1rOKpairt3mnMtWkks_9ACiCeVqa6

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Never thought of that mrtn!

I can see using that for tissues, work towels, latex gloves, twine/rope.. etc...

Tiller

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Actually, it works better for Mk1 which has round perforation. So whenever pulling from a roll of paper you need to be more cautious with the new model so it doesn't rip.

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17 hours ago, mrtn said:

Actually, it works better for Mk1 which has round perforation. So whenever pulling from a roll of paper you need to be more cautious with the new model so it doesn't rip.

It's plastic, it can easily be rounded out.  :-)

Tiller

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On 8/15/2017 at 8:06 AM, DonShockley said:

Much obliged.  Now I can install switches for my oil slick and fog to spray out the back.  I hate being followed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fifty150: Nothing needs to be disconnected from the bottom side of the shelf shown in your first photo. I've marked the tabs on the top center piece on top of the shelf in your second photo. If you click on the very first thumbnail at the top of this thread, it will pop up a larger version that shows the center piece unclipped and flipped over so you can see how both sides of the tab clips are constructed.

 

Fifty150s closeup.JPG

 

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On 8/16/2017 at 4:07 PM, Tiller said:

It's plastic, it can easily be rounded out.  :-)

 

Cutting pieces out of your car? I think I’m gonna be sick.

 

(I know, it’s not normal)

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mrtn again!

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