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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ive read numerous threads of how members have installed auxiliary power systems in their trucks in order to power their accessories. The consensus I came to is that most people tend to use the 'Blue Seas' systems. Theres nothing wrong with this setup, it just wasn't quite what I was looking for. I wanted something that I could easily access incase of a blown fuse or other issue, but I also wanted something of an 'all inclusive' setup. In other words, I wanted a system where the relays werent in another area of the truck or that id have to make a bracket to attach them to then have to run all the wiring to each of them, plus trying to weatherproof all of it as well. So, off to the internet I went.

I started reading about what the Toyota, Jeep, Raptor, & several other owners were all using. Two systems kept popping up; one was the 'S-Pod' system which is really nice but REALLY expensive & the other was the Bussmann RTMR. The thing that drew me towards the Bussmann is that it comes in many different configurations to match whatever your needs might be. AND, best of all, the whole thing is completely weather proof! Since that seemed to be the perfect match to what I wanted I started looking at how to install it in our particular trucks.

Well, as luck would have it, I came across a website called Bodenzord. Go to his 'older posts' & look for 'DIY Bussmann RTMR Part 1' then follow along with his instructions. This guy shows you how to build the RTMR step-by-step. One word of advise though, make the pigtails MUCH longer than what he instructs to make them, as in anywhere from 14" to 22" long. That way you can maneuver the pigtails around the engine bay to connect your accessories rather than having them bunched up in a big mess.

This guy has EVERYTHING on how to build a Bussmann RTMR. He explains the different types of RTMRs there are & why you should build it a certain way. He explains what tools to use, how to use them & even where to get them. He also goes on to show you how to build the harnesses which are needed to install the Bussmann into your truck. However, there is a catch. Its geared towards the Tacoma guys rather than us. BUT, the information this guy gives is astounding & by the time its all said & done with, youll have a VERY good understanding of how it all works & have built your very own auxiliary power system! AND, this is where I come in, I will (hopefully) get you the rest of the way with completely installing it into your vehicle. So, without any more delays, lets get this thing going. NOTE: to help keep this 'how to' from being 10 pages of instructions, Im going to assume you read the link I provided & have finished building the RTMR & are now at the stage to install it into your truck.


The 1st thing is to find a place to install it. I looked & looked for a place & finally picked the gap by the brake booster & behind the ABS system. Seeing as I was going to be running wires into & out of the cab for switches & whatnot, I figured this would be the best place for it. Plus, at least on my truck, theres a 10mm threaded bolt hole along the wall directly across from the booster. That's how I mounted it. Now, we need to make a bracket for it. I used an old street sign that I had & cut it up. Its light, easy to work with, & fairly strong metal. Heres what I came up with...
The different notches around the bracket are; right side-brake line coming out of ABS system / bottom-so it can fit around brake booster itself / left-so it can fit under bottom side of cowl / inside-so it can fit around RTMR lid snaps



Heres a pic of just the bracket installed showing what I mean about the different notches around the bracket that need to be made & also where the 10mm bolt hole location is.



This is a pic of my RTMR with extended pigtails. Note that I wrapped zip-ties around the pigtails so as to help keep them straight when I pushed them under the ABS system. Theyre about 4" apart.



This is a pic of the harness that connects to the RTMR then goes into the cab & then connects to your switches. I terminated the wire, ran it through the grommet, then finished terminating it once I ran it to my switches.



This is the backside of the grommet where the harness comes into the cabin & then up into the dash & over to the switch location.



This is where I ran the harness in order to secure them before going to the center stack & eventually connecting to the switches.



Heres a couple pics showing the backside of the lower portion of the center stack where the harness from the RTMR connects. Since all the connections are inside & not in the weather I made all the terminations with molex connectors. I used the .093" sized terminals since they have a higher amp capacity. I also added abit of dynomat foam to help keep the wires & connectors from rattling around & driving me nuts.


Note: the small wire in the middle of the foam is for a small led light i installed to light up the cubby hole area under the switches. I pulled power for it from one of the power outlets.



This is a pic of the harnesses connected to the switches. I have a backup camera on my truck & I wasn't sure what would happen if I got rid of the alarm cancel switch so I reconnected it & secured it behind the console. You can also the connection for the led light for the cubby area as well as the wires for my ATF gauge. I also extended the wires for the VDC switch & moved it next to the mirror controls.



This is a crummy pic of where I pulled power to light up the switches so Im able to control them with my dimmer switch in the instrument cluster. I split off from the red & brown wires of the VDC switch (the led light positive & ground wires for the switch) then terminated them into a pigtail jumper for the switches themselves. All the switches dim along with the rest of controls in the truck.



I pulled power from this location of the fuse panel. This connects to the switches then sends power out to the RTMR & activates the relays which in turn powers whatever accessory you have connected.



SUCCESS!! It ALL works!!



Heres everything all lit up. If you look closely you can see the cubby area under the switches lit up by the little led I installed.



And heres everything all put back together.



This is an 80 amp sealed breaker. Push the red button & it kills the power to the system. A small metal plate under the breaker is used to secure it to the fuse box which keeps it from breaking the plastic if it gets bumped around. Don't worry, the bolts I used are juuust long enough to put a lock nut on.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I reached the 10k limit & had to start another section of the thread. DOH! Anyways, where was I?? Oh yeah.

And here is the system all installed & ready to go to have something connected to it!



Heres another pic showing how it sits in the location I chose to install it in.



And heres one more showing how easy it is to gain access to the relays & fuses if need be.



I wanted to do a real in depth 'how to' on this but just doing this much took me the better part of several hours. I have plenty more pictures of the install if anyone wants/needs a different angle or better quality pics. And just so everyone knows, I work straight nights so if I take awhile to respond to any questions please bear with me. This complete install took me the better part of several months! It ranged from having to gather all the parts, putting them all together, then a LOT of trial & error. Hopefully someone will take on this endeavor & this 'how to' will GREATLY cut down on their installation time. I am DEEPLY proud of myself as to accomplishing this feat seeing how when I started this I wasn't sure even how a relay worked. So, with time & determination, if I can do it then I know for a fact that many MANY of you on this forum can do it as well.

Thank you for looking!
 

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I like this, nice and clean. Well done. Thanks for sharing what you did and also providing the links.
 

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THAT is very impressive! Great job.

I've been working on my truck for the last month or so too. Hoping to finish
up "phase one" tomorrow and finally post some pics to the forum. But this
is making me think I might want to redo some things in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you so much to all of you for all the kind words & compliments!! I greatly appreciate it!! I apologize for taking so long to reply but I ended up catching the 'crud' that has been going around my area & have been laid up for the past several days. Anyways, I have several more pics I wanted to share with everyone about some of the problems I encountered during the course of this install & show how I overcame them. The one thing I'll tell everyone to do is to get the RTMR that has TWO posts on it. One post is for the internal positive buss & the other is for the internal ground buss. My RTMR only came with the post for the positive side. I didn't think this would make much of a difference but by the time I figured out that extra post is what I needed in order to build it the way I wanted it was already too late. I was so far along with this project there was NO WAY I was going to tear it apart & start over. So, here are several pics of what I did to overcome my dilemma & make it work as closely as the way I wanted it to.

The main thing for me in this project is that I wanted all the circuits to have a common ground. I didn't want to have to look for a chassis or body ground point for every accessory I installed. In a nutshell, I wanted to plug in my accessory to the RTMR pigtails & go. So, what I did was I got two 'Blue Seas 5 gang common buss' & used my Dremel tool to make them fit in the void spaces on the underside of my RTMR. I also scuffed-up the void space to give it some 'grip' then mixed-up some JB-Weld to hold it all together & let it sit for several days to cure. As a side note; the IPDM reads the load on the negative side of the battery. If I'm running several of my accessories at the same time, the IPDM will read the extra draw & tell the voltage regulator to increase its output to compensate.


This pic shows where I installed one of the 5 gang buss'. (You can also just see the other gang buss on the bottom of the RTMR if you follow the big wire with the yellow connectors.) The blue things are heat shrink ring terminals that attach the ground wires to the common buss. I used 10awg MTW (machine tool wire) to connect the two buss' together then ran a 6awg to the negative terminal of the battery to give it all a common & solid ground point. (the two bolts at the top is where I originally planned to mount the main circuit breaker, but it took too much room & I decided to move it to the top of the relay box behind the battery)



I bent the ring terminals down so I could run the ground wire along the positive lead. I then covered both wires in expandable tech-flex, secured the tech-flex with adhesive lined heat shrink, installed the terminals at the end of the wires, & finally put the Metri-Pak connector on to complete the pigtail. As a side note= all the ground wires are 14awg MTW & all the positive leads are 14awg GXL automotive grade wiring.



This is a shot showing the pigtails stretched out from the RTMR (& why its a good idea to make them much longer) with the Metri-Pak plugs connected on the ends. To install any accessory you just splice on the opposite terminals to your accessory harness, run your wiring how ya like it, pick a circuit to connect your accessory to, plug it in, then off ya go! Easy peasy!!



And just so everyone knows, the RTMR is setup to where you can run 10 different circuits off this one box. 5 of the circuits are fused only (20 amp max/circuit). The other 5 circuits are fused AND relayed (30 amp max/circuit). Now, the max amp rating for the entire system is 80-100 amps. However, you'd have to be running quite a few things all at the same time plus you would have to have some pretty high powered stuff to draw that much amperage to get to its max capacity. As far as running a roof mounted LED bar, a few high powered spot lights, rock lights, CB, & even a decent stereo system, I think this one box would be more than capable of handling the power requirements. You don't have to use all 10 circuits either. You can set it up to use only the 5 relayed circuits or only the 5 fused or a combo of the two. To me, this is a very versatile system in a very compact size & with plenty of room for expansion later on down the road. And, the biggest bonus is its all weatherproof!!

This started out as one of those "it doesn't look to bad, how hard could it be??" type things. Boy, did I miss the mark on that one. Although, looking back on it, I have learned so much about something I didn't have hardly any experience with at all. Of course, there were plenty of times I wanted to take the whole thing & just throw it all in the trash & say "screw it!" However, when people look at what I've done & give me the type of compliments as all of you have, it makes me proud to be a member of this forum & makes me happy that I stayed with it & saw it through to the end. Thank you all again for all the compliments & if you have any questions about it I'll do my best to answer them in as timely manner as I can. Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
You're more than welcome for the info & link, shizzy! Don't get me wrong about the Blue Seas systems though. Ive seen some really nice setups that people have done using the Blue Seas systems, not only on this site but other forums as well. However, it just wasn't what I was looking for. Along with the setup being small/compact, having the relays & fuses as part of the circuit, & it being weatherproof, I set several other goals for myself & this install.

1) I wanted it to look as though it was an upgraded item that actually came from Nissan (meaning it HAD to not only function correctly, but it also HAD to look good to)
2) I didn't want to have to look for separate ground points for my accessories all over the chassis or body. I wanted it to be a 'run the wiring, plug it in, & go' type of setup.
3) IF, for whatever reason I had to remove the RTMR or any other parts of the vehicle to do maintenance or other mods, I wanted to be able to take it apart a section at a time just like all of the factory stuff
4) I wanted to make it 'user friendly', as in when connecting any aftermarket stuff that I had working room & choices of where/how I could run the wiring without it ending up in a huge rats nest
5) I wanted to make it as 'bullet proof' as I possibly could. As long as it took me to research everything, gather all the parts, put it all together, then all the trial & error I went thru, I wanted to install this one time & one time ONLY

All of these goals sound great, until you start actually getting into the build & realize just how much of a freakin PITA accomplishing these goals is going to be. And, I have to be completely honest here, if it wasn't for 'Bodenzords' website & his step-by-step guide I'm not sure it would've came out the way it did. A big, BIG, BIG thank you goes out to him & his tutorial!! I know Im the one that did the work & installed it into my truck, but he laid the foundation in order for me, & anybody else, to be able to have this type of a system.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I used the same fuse/relay block and OTRATTW switches but a little different placement. Check my build thread.

I actually took a look at your build thread & originally tried installing my RTMR in the same location you did. But, after getting a little ways into my build I opted not to go for your location & chose behind the ABS brick instead. The primary reasons is so I wouldn't have to run the harnesses for the switches along the firewall of the engine compartment & also so I'd have more room for all the pigtails. I admit it was still a PITA running everything to the switches from behind the ABS brick tho. I did, however, steal one idea from you.

I have switches on the bottom of the center stack & also overhead in the same location as you. I was going to get five of the individual switch holders (since theres 5 circuits), put them together, then install them overhead. I wasn't real crazy about the individual switch holders as I've read that they sometimes tend to come apart if not installed properly. I looked & looked for a one-piece five circuit switch holder & kept coming up empty. Then I saw that you had gotten the six place switch holder, cut out the area where the blue-tooth mic is & installed it & your switches. Yours came out really nice so I figured since I don't ever use the blue-tooth system then why not do the same. So, I did.:smile:



Heres my switches in the same overhead location as yours. I installed the 'passenger eject' switch in the 6th switch location. I don't have anything connected to any of them...yet. Im building for the future.:)

 

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Nice write up! OP, I just have a quick question- I was curious what year/trim is your Frontier? I'd also like to mount some switches in the lower dash area, but my 15 SV has the 4x4 knob, traction control, and a storage pocket in that location. Was yours blank prior to the installation? I also thought about the overhead option, but I use my Bluetooth pretty regularly. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Nice write up! OP, I just have a quick question- I was curious what year/trim is your Frontier? I'd also like to mount some switches in the lower dash area, but my 15 SV has the 4x4 knob, traction control, and a storage pocket in that location. Was yours blank prior to the installation? I also thought about the overhead option, but I use my Bluetooth pretty regularly. Thanks
My truck is a '13 SV 4x2. It came with the 'value pkg' that included auto AC, bluetooth system, steering wheel controls, & a few other things. My original lower center-stack piece had a blank circle where the 4x4 switch goes, & either 3 or 4 slots for switches. The switches that were in there were the VDC & the reverse alarm cancel button. Its easy enough to move the VDC switch over by the side mirror controls as long as you use good quality butt splices or solder the extension wires onto the original wires so as to get a good signal to the VDC system. Its also a really good idea to use good quality wiring & not the cheap stuff you get from radio shack, wal-mart, or other places like that. I used GXL automotive grade wiring throughout the entire build except for the ground wires which I used MTW (machine tool wire) which I got from Lowes or Home Depot.

As far as how your lower center-stack is configured, you can get the 5 switch piece (like the one I have) & swap it out with your current piece. Once you have the 5 slot piece, you tear everything apart then you simply swap your 4x4 switch from the original piece to the new one, extend the wires & move your VDC switch by the side mirror controls, & then leave the reverse alarm cancel switch secured behind the dash. You'll lose the little storage pocket you have now, but you have the cubby area directly below it that you can put stuff in instead. Don't know what color interior you have, but the part# for the lower center-stack piece with desert colored interior, the hole for the 4x4 switch, & the 5 switch slots is 68245-ZL45A. Nissan calls it a 'lid-cluster, lower center'. Even if you have a different colored interior that will get you close in searching for the correct piece for your truck. And if I remember correctly, I think I paid around $50 or so including shipping for it.

Hope this helps. If you have any other questions, feel free to post them up & I'll reply to them as soon as I can. Thanks for the compliments & thank you for looking!:)
 

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Yes, that helps immensely. When I looked online at the parts fiche it was a little hard to tell how the different variations were laid out. I didn't opt for the "value truck package" (I didn't care for the factory spray-in liner), so I don't have the reverse alarm, just the 4x4 knob and the VDC switch. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Yes, that helps immensely. When I looked online at the parts fiche it was a little hard to tell how the different variations were laid out. I didn't opt for the "value truck package" (I didn't care for the factory spray-in liner), so I don't have the reverse alarm, just the 4x4 knob and the VDC switch. Thanks
Sorry for the late reply. I've been sick recently & now that I'm back on my feet I've been trying to play 'catch-up' with all the stuff I've been wanting/needing to do. Anywho, I'm glad that helps you out. Also, look for a thread entitled '5 switch lower console' (I think that's the title). Several people posted the part numbers for the different interior colors of our trucks in that thread.

And I agree. The the fiche on a lot of the parts websites just have a general picture of what goes into a particular location. They don't have all different pictures with each of the variations of our interiors. However, I've gotten lucky & have found a couple websites that at least have a drawing of the actual part rather than a general picture i.e. the different lower cluster pieces there are. Sadly, I couldn't tell you which site it was seeing how I've looked at no telling how many different parts sites over the years.

Glad I could help you out & if you have any other questions, post it up on the thread or shoot me a PM & Ill answer it as soon as I can. Thanks again for looking & for the compliments!
 

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