My new Ford Transit cargo van comes with two 12V Power Outlets in the center console. These outdated power sources must be exchanged for USB outlets that allow you to charge your electronic gadgets.
For me, this project entails a bit more. As the first real mod of this Van Conversion, I’ll be trying out a few new techniques to record it all and make it available at a later time. A couple of months ago, I started testing LIVE chatting with some of my readers and last week I introduced a LIVE video feed (in combination with a chatroom). While this testing has been successful, I’m still busy assembling the right equipment to make it all happen.
This means that I will broadcast this project via Youtube LIVE to you, enabling viewers/readers to follow step-by-step what is involved and to ask questions as the installation progresses. You will see me take extra recordings and photo’s which will be incorporated in the final video, that will will be posted after the project has finished.
The modification itself is quite simple. We have to remove part of the console, take out the 12V outlet and replace it with the USB connector. I’ll show you which tools to use, how to disassemble and how to solve any unexpected difficulties.
The outlet is on a 20Amp fuse and when the engine is OFF, it’s connected to the car battery saver system, which will switch off after 30 minutes. If you would like to be able to charge your gadgets at ANY time, you will have to find a source for 12V that is not switched. A second battery should be installed to prevent emptying your battery and to avoid engine starting issues.
One of the two outlets is placed vertically in the console, the other horizontal. The first seems best suited for conversion, yet I will choose the one at the bottom, because it’s easier to access. The drawbacks are that it is located close to where you put your drink and you have to be careful not to spill any fluids.
Another issue is that the existing 12V outlet is connected through a T-shaped Molex connector, while the new USB outlet has two parallel pins. I’ll prepare a small self-made extension cable to take care of that.
Dual USB Outlet
- USB Outlet.
- 14/16 AWG wire.
- Electrical tester.
- Heat shrink.
- Wire ties.
- Heat gun.
- Needle nose pliers.