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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,
I have a 16 PRO-4X (if that wasnt obvious) and since it has the luxury package there's no open switch spots. I'm planning to add a light bar or couple of lights and trying to figure out where to put the switches to control them. Wondering where folks have theirs mounted, creative solutions and pix.
Thanks!
 

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2015 Pro-4X (same package) here... I was able to find a couple places that worked well for additional switches.

My internal and external lighting are on the overhead console. I was able to get a button left of the Bluetooth mic for my garage door and five switches to the right for lights and such.



My radar detector (power/reset) and antenna motor controls are mounted on the side of the console, near the parking brake. Easy access through the cup holder...

 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was thinking about the overhead where you have your switches. Where/how did you route the wires?

Also a related but slightly off topic question, do I need special wiring or anything with the lights when I get them beyond the standard harnesses? Where are you drawing power for your lights?
 

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This is on the side of my console .... the 3 gang switch plate and all my switches are from OTRATTW (great to deal with)



I know that you said that your dash openings were full but .... here are the switches on my dash as well ... All are lit on top when the ignition key is on and top and bottom when in use. I have run all my non factory items, lights, radios, usb outlet, etc. thru a Blue Seas auxiliary fuse block mounted under the dash

 

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I was thinking about the overhead where you have your switches. Where/how did you route the wires?

Also a related but slightly off topic question, do I need special wiring or anything with the lights when I get them beyond the standard harnesses? Where are you drawing power for your lights?
I tend to go a little over the top when it comes to wiring... 4 Gauge wire off the positive battery terminal through 2 30A fuses, then distribution blocks to get power to everything else. The switches control relays under the dash (drivers-side) that do the switching of the high power stuff.





As for the switches, I installed connectors so I could separate parts for repair. The cabling runs in the headliner then down the drivers front A pillar and connects to a relay panel mounted in the driver footwell. Power comes through the firewall in that same area with plenty of mounting room above the left side kick panel.





 

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Discussion Starter #6
I tend to go a little over the top when it comes to wiring... 4 Gauge wire off the positive battery terminal through 2 30A fuses, then distribution blocks to get power to everything else. The switches control relays under the dash (drivers-side) that do the switching of the high power stuff.





As for the switches, I installed connectors so I could separate parts for repair. The cabling runs in the headliner then down the drivers front A pillar and connects to a relay panel mounted in the driver footwell. Power comes through the firewall in that same area with plenty of mounting room above the left side kick panel.





WOW :surprise: Can I have you make me the whole set up lol. This is awesome.
 

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Very Nice!!!!!!
 

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I tend to go a little over the top when it comes to wiring... 4 Gauge wire off the positive battery terminal through 2 30A fuses, then distribution blocks to get power to everything else. The switches control relays under the dash (drivers-side) that do the switching of the high power stuff.





As for the switches, I installed connectors so I could separate parts for repair. The cabling runs in the headliner then down the drivers front A pillar and connects to a relay panel mounted in the driver footwell. Power comes through the firewall in that same area with plenty of mounting room above the left side kick panel.





That's a pretty clean looking wiring job. Either you're a professional in that, or you've worked in aviation haha
 

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Hey Geek,

VERY clean install! Im loving how tidy the wiring is for the switches! Good job!:thumbsup: Where are your main fuses located? Looks as tho they're on top of one of the relay boxes behind the battery?

Im abit over-the-top about my wiring as well. I also installed several switches in the same location as you did, however, I opted to go with OTRATTW switches as others have done. Here's a few pics of my auxiliary power system install:


These are the switches in the overhead area. I haven't ever used the blue-tooth mic so I decided to get rid of it to have extra space. I would've liked to have used a 5 switch holder since I only have 5 relayed circuits, but a 6 switch holder was all I could find in a single piece.




Here's the backside of the switches all wired up. The single wire on the left is from a switched power source to activate the relays when I flip one of the switches. The bundle in the middle are the trigger wires. And, the wires on the right are the positive & ground wires for the LEDs of the switches.



This is a Bussmann RTMR (rear terminal mini relay). This is what all the switches are connected to & where the power is split into individual circuits.



I had to make a bracket to mount the RTMR then I installed it behind the ABS brick. The main power & ground wires for it follow the stock primary loom over to the battery. The wires coming out the bottom of the ABS brick are the pigtails for each circuit.



This is the main circuit breaker that protects the setup. Its completely sealed & rated at either 80 or 100 amps (I forget the exact rating). You can also push the red button on top of it & kill power to the entire system.



I also installed several 'break points' along the way so that if I ever have to take it or the truck apart I don't have to remove the entire thing. That would really suck. This wasn't an easy or short install by any means, but I built it with the mindset of trying to make it easier to install future accessories without having to worry about how to power them.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Do any of you have a wiring diagram and parts list of what I'd need to do this? I want the wiring to be clean like this and not a "hack job" since I want everything to be reliable but I'm not an electrician by any mean and all the info I can get will be extremely helpful.
 

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@ geekmyride and GB Frontiersman - that's the way it should be done. Nice work there, both of you
 

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Hey Geek,

VERY clean install! Im loving how tidy the wiring is for the switches! Good job!:thumbsup: Where are your main fuses located? Looks as tho they're on top of one of the relay boxes behind the battery?

Im abit over-the-top about my wiring as well. I also installed several switches in the same location as you did, however, I opted to go with OTRATTW switches as others have done. Here's a few pics of my auxiliary power system install:


These are the switches in the overhead area. I haven't ever used the blue-tooth mic so I decided to get rid of it to have extra space. I would've liked to have used a 5 switch holder since I only have 5 relayed circuits, but a 6 switch holder was all I could find in a single piece.




Here's the backside of the switches all wired up. The single wire on the left is from a switched power source to activate the relays when I flip one of the switches. The bundle in the middle are the trigger wires. And, the wires on the right are the positive & ground wires for the LEDs of the switches.



This is a Bussmann RTMR (rear terminal mini relay). This is what all the switches are connected to & where the power is split into individual circuits.



I had to make a bracket to mount the RTMR then I installed it behind the ABS brick. The main power & ground wires for it follow the stock primary loom over to the battery. The wires coming out the bottom of the ABS brick are the pigtails for each circuit.



This is the main circuit breaker that protects the setup. Its completely sealed & rated at either 80 or 100 amps (I forget the exact rating). You can also push the red button on top of it & kill power to the entire system.



I also installed several 'break points' along the way so that if I ever have to take it or the truck apart I don't have to remove the entire thing. That would really suck. This wasn't an easy or short install by any means, but I built it with the mindset of trying to make it easier to install future accessories without having to worry about how to power them.

Alright... you guys are making me feel inferior. I used to do detailed work like this and
my coworkers and friends accused me of being OCD. So I lowered my standards and just used
spade connectors and a little wire loom here and there.

The quality of y'alls work is so good that I'm thinking I'd rather be like you and be
labeled OCD than be like "them" and doubt my abilities.

Your wiring is very impressive and has caused me to embrace my inner perfectionist.
 

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Do any of you have a wiring diagram and parts list of what I'd need to do this? I want the wiring to be clean like this and not a "hack job" since I want everything to be reliable but I'm not an electrician by any mean and all the info I can get will be extremely helpful.

Im by no means an electrician either. Before I did this build I only had a very basic understanding of how to do electrical work. Now, not only has this build given me a sense of pride & accomplishment, but I've also learned quite a lot in the process that I now use on many other things. The best advise I can give you, or anyone else, is to take your time & to not rush it. If you don't like the way something looks or how its connected, then do it again. That might be a more expensive point of view, but you'll be much happier with what you've done in the end.

As far as a wiring diagram or parts list goes, I can actually do better than that. Go to bodenzord.com, then scroll to the bottom of the page & look for his past or previous blogs. Keep going until you find one labled 'How to build a bussmann RTMR'. It's split into 6 different sections. He breaks it down into VERY detailed instructions on how to build it, what tools to use & where to buy them. His blog was a HUGE help to me during my build. It's setup more so for a Tacoma rather than a Frontier, but his instructions can be converted to our trucks fairly easily. Hope this helps you in building something similar to what Geek & I have.

@ geekmyride and GB Frontiersman - that's the way it should be done. Nice work there, both of you
Thank you very much for the compliment, Raine! I very much appreciate it! :smile:
 

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Alright... you guys are making me feel inferior. I used to do detailed work like this and
my coworkers and friends accused me of being OCD. So I lowered my standards and just used
spade connectors and a little wire loom here and there.

The quality of y'alls work is so good that I'm thinking I'd rather be like you and be
labeled OCD than be like "them" and doubt my abilities.

Your wiring is very impressive and has caused me to embrace my inner perfectionist.

Come on over to the OCD side. We've cleaned out a place for ya & have the AC set juuuuust right. :laugh:

Thank you for the compliment, Little Bull! I appreciate yours, as well as everyone else's, kind words! I know exactly what you're talking about. My friends & co-workers used to give me all sorts of crap about how it takes anyone else 20 minutes to do something compared to my full hour...or more. However, after they saw what I had been working on for soooo long finally start to come together & how all my effort had paid off, they began to ask me how long it would take to make another one for them!!:rofl:

As I told 16Pro4X, if you make something & don't like it then do it again. If it still doesn't come out the way you want it, take a step back, figure out why it isn't coming out the way you want & go back at it. That may sometimes be an fairly expensive approach, but you gain a sense of accomplishment from overcoming adversity & learn something new at the same time. Trust me, there were quite a few times I wanted to take this whole project & throw it all in the freaking trash! I started to get burned out because of one setback after another kept popping up. But, I would step away from it for awhile, then all of a sudden 'DING' the light goes off! I'm sure Geek would back me up on this, that these type of projects aren't completed in a couple of hours but rather in days or even weeks of planning & trial & error. These projects can also be very frustrating & can sometimes become quite expensive, however the payoff of standing back & admiring your work is worth much, much more than anything else.:smile:
 

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Good morning all,

Been 'off the grid' for a couple days and haven't been able to post. I will give a little more detail about the install and hopefully address the questions that have been posted...

My 'day job' consists of providing technical support and planning for a group of 30+ public school districts. I am an extra-class amateur radio operator that enjoys building my own equipment. I am also a Navy veteran with missile guidance and an avionics experience (good guess SparkyBD).

I embrace my OCD :)... Too many times I have been given crap from someone that just wanted to throw something together, only to have their install fail when needed most because they cut some corner. It really doesn't take much more time (and cost) to do something right the first time. Take your time, think through your needs and design it out in advance.

Enough about me... Here are the install details:

Under the hood...

About a foot of 4 gauge wire to get from the battery to the the top of the relay/fuse box near the firewall (passenger side). There are 2x 30 primary fuses that split into 2x 8 gauge wires. One goes through a 40A relay (controlled by the ignition). Both 8 gauge wires (Battery and Ignition) run through wire loom and into the cab near the drivers feet.

Everything is mounted on its own plate and held to the top of the relay/fuse box with 4 nuts. There is enough slack in cabling to access the box if needed.

In the drivers footwell area...

Power hits distribution blocks and then to a control box I designed. The box has 10 switches on it. Switches 1-5 determine whether the 5 switches in the overhead console are fed by battery (available all the time) or only when the ignition is on. Switches 6-10 determine if the switch should sound an alarm if left on when the ignition is off. There is also a reset button to silence the alarm. This gives me the ability to reconfigure how the switches operate without having to rewire and warns me if I leave something on after turning off the ignition.

The box outputs to 5x 30A relays to power whatever device/light/etc that I want to run. Power to each relay is separately fused to protect each circuit. Mostly just diodes and relays to make it happen. I will post a completed schematic sometime this weekend.

In the overhead console...

5 toggle switches with LED indicators to control various items (Footwell LED's, LED Bed Lighting, Power Inverter, Light Bar (future), and a spare). The pushbutton to the left goes to a gutted garage door opener mounted above the overhead console. I modified the opener to work with 12v (from the truck) instead of a 9v battery. I really like the look of the OTTRAW switches, but use the bluetooth mic all the time, so needed a solution that worked around it.

In the center console...

One toggle switch provides power (and reset) to a radar detector mounted (somewhat hidden) by the overhead console. I wanted a way to discretely silence/turn it off when necessary :). The other switch controls my motorized amateur radio antennas mounted to the roof rack. They can be raised and lowered when needed with the flip of a switch. I had to design a timer based control for that. When the antennas are down they are barely noticeable.

I am in the process of installing in the console (facing the back seat) a switch for rear footwell LED lighting and jacks for 12v and USB connections. Just not quite there yet

To tie everything up...

Each area is wired with connectors to make disassembly, repair, and upgrade easier. I have pulled the control box several times to add functionality. Wires are run in wire loom or attached with cable ties. Whenever possible, all wiring is hidden from view.

I looked at the Bussman system. It is a nice setup. I just had some specific needs that were going to require a custom solution. Also, as I said earlier... I am OCD and like to build my own stuff. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Im by no means an electrician either. Before I did this build I only had a very basic understanding of how to do electrical work. Now, not only has this build given me a sense of pride & accomplishment, but I've also learned quite a lot in the process that I now use on many other things. The best advise I can give you, or anyone else, is to take your time & to not rush it. If you don't like the way something looks or how its connected, then do it again. That might be a more expensive point of view, but you'll be much happier with what you've done in the end.

As far as a wiring diagram or parts list goes, I can actually do better than that. Go to bodenzord.com, then scroll to the bottom of the page & look for his past or previous blogs. Keep going until you find one labled 'How to build a bussmann RTMR'. It's split into 6 different sections. He breaks it down into VERY detailed instructions on how to build it, what tools to use & where to buy them. His blog was a HUGE help to me during my build. It's setup more so for a Tacoma rather than a Frontier, but his instructions can be converted to our trucks fairly easily. Hope this helps you in building something similar to what Geek & I have.



Thank you very much for the compliment, Raine! I very much appreciate it! :smile:
Good morning all,

Been 'off the grid' for a couple days and haven't been able to post. I will give a little more detail about the install and hopefully address the questions that have been posted...

My 'day job' consists of providing technical support and planning for a group of 30+ public school districts. I am an extra-class amateur radio operator that enjoys building my own equipment. I am also a Navy veteran with missile guidance and an avionics experience (good guess SparkyBD).

I embrace my OCD :)... Too many times I have been given crap from someone that just wanted to throw something together, only to have their install fail when needed most because they cut some corner. It really doesn't take much more time (and cost) to do something right the first time. Take your time, think through your needs and design it out in advance.

Enough about me... Here are the install details:

Under the hood...

About a foot of 4 gauge wire to get from the battery to the the top of the relay/fuse box near the firewall (passenger side). There are 2x 30 primary fuses that split into 2x 8 gauge wires. One goes through a 40A relay (controlled by the ignition). Both 8 gauge wires (Battery and Ignition) run through wire loom and into the cab near the drivers feet.

Everything is mounted on its own plate and held to the top of the relay/fuse box with 4 nuts. There is enough slack in cabling to access the box if needed.

In the drivers footwell area...

Power hits distribution blocks and then to a control box I designed. The box has 10 switches on it. Switches 1-5 determine whether the 5 switches in the overhead console are fed by battery (available all the time) or only when the ignition is on. Switches 6-10 determine if the switch should sound an alarm if left on when the ignition is off. There is also a reset button to silence the alarm. This gives me the ability to reconfigure how the switches operate without having to rewire and warns me if I leave something on after turning off the ignition.

The box outputs to 5x 30A relays to power whatever device/light/etc that I want to run. Power to each relay is separately fused to protect each circuit. Mostly just diodes and relays to make it happen. I will post a completed schematic sometime this weekend.

In the overhead console...

5 toggle switches with LED indicators to control various items (Footwell LED's, LED Bed Lighting, Power Inverter, Light Bar (future), and a spare). The pushbutton to the left goes to a gutted garage door opener mounted above the overhead console. I modified the opener to work with 12v (from the truck) instead of a 9v battery. I really like the look of the OTTRAW switches, but use the bluetooth mic all the time, so needed a solution that worked around it.

In the center console...

One toggle switch provides power (and reset) to a radar detector mounted (somewhat hidden) by the overhead console. I wanted a way to discretely silence/turn it off when necessary :). The other switch controls my motorized amateur radio antennas mounted to the roof rack. They can be raised and lowered when needed with the flip of a switch. I had to design a timer based control for that. When the antennas are down they are barely noticeable.

I am in the process of installing in the console (facing the back seat) a switch for rear footwell LED lighting and jacks for 12v and USB connections. Just not quite there yet

To tie everything up...

Each area is wired with connectors to make disassembly, repair, and upgrade easier. I have pulled the control box several times to add functionality. Wires are run in wire loom or attached with cable ties. Whenever possible, all wiring is hidden from view.

I looked at the Bussman system. It is a nice setup. I just had some specific needs that were going to require a custom solution. Also, as I said earlier... I am OCD and like to build my own stuff. :)
All of this is very helpful. I got my steel yesterday to make my light bar. As soon as that's done I'll order the first couple of Hella lights and various bits of wires, connectors, fuses and relays and start building this. The info you both provided has been hugely helpful.

Another question I had was how do you figure out what rating relay and fuses I'd need?
 

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I have the 6 gang panel by the BT mic, but will probably be updating my set up to Switch Pros - a little pricey but would keep things simple, easy to mount, plus has Bluetooth functions from your phone.
 

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When sizing fuses (individual circuits under my dash), I try to fuse around 25% to 50% above the rated current of the device being controlled. Example: One of my radios is rated at 10A. I would fuse that at 15A. It gives enough headroom that the radio won't pop the fuse if it surges a little, but will pop if anything significant happens. Things that have motors will generally have a higher startup current then back off once they are up to speed. They need to be fused at the higher rating.

As for the primary fuses under the hood... They need to be able to handle the total load of everything connected. These fuses primarily to serve as a safety in case one of the feed wires would short. Without the fuses, you could have a serious fire. In addition, it provides a convenient way to disconnect all the power when you need to work on it.
 

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All I have to say about your set up, Geek, is WOW! :thumbsup:

Im not too bad at taking an idea or something that's meant for a different application then putting my own spin on it to suit my needs, but what you've created is just :awesome:!! I wouldn't have the faintest idea of even where to begin in order to make a 'smart' power system the way you have done.

You are the Grand Master & I am but a humble servant. :bow:
 
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