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Discussion Starter #1
So I opened up the dash for the first time today. Now a previous owner had a satellite radio installed most likely by the :angry5:"professionals":angry5: at best buy. Is this some thing I need to fix? Yes you are seeing that correctly... That is a cigarette lighter plug, electrical tape, and wires...




So thoughts? Is this safe for me to be driving around with aka how badly do I need to fix it? I would have thought that it would have been spliced in but I know very little about electricity and wiring
 

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There are better ways of doing that. Not sure if the Best Buy folks would do that though, you would think they would have acquired a proper step down transformer hardwire kit instead or at least put a female lighter socket in there. I would be curious if the fuse is still inside that plug and where they tapped the power for it.

Only big problem leaving it like that is if there is not a fuse on it. I would spend the $5 or so and get a socket and wire it to the same power wire if it’s fused somewhere. That is of course if you are still using the satellite radio.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The real trick is that I want to hard wire in my GPS as well so I was hoping I could split the wires they used and splice in both...
 

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You could but that would depend on where the power is coming from and how many amps that wire can handle in addition to whatever it was powering already from the factory.

I added 2 fuse blocks with heavy gauge wire directly to the battery for all the stuff I have added so I don’t have to worry about overloading any of the factory wiring. There are some pics of that in my build thread.

For just the satellite radio and a GPS you could use the wire on the back of the in dash power outlet. Those are going to draw about an amp each (if working and wired properly) and that circuit can support 20amps. Just keep in mind those are drawing power when you plug something else into it later that draws more.

Look for something like this.


Cut the plug off, add an inline fuse to the positive lead and tap that in the dash to the power outlet or where ever else you chose to get power. Put a ground ring on the other end and put it on a bolt in the dash somewhere.
 

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I added 2 fuse blocks with heavy gauge wire directly to the battery for all the stuff I have added so I don’t have to worry about overloading any of the factory wiring. There are some pics of that in my build thread.
Can you throw me a link? :salute:
 

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Wow thats a mess, although it also looks like a home install job by someone clueless and how to install stuff. Its probably fine to leave alone but if that were mine I would clean that mess up.
 

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I started doing car stereo installations for friends when I was 16 back in 1976. By age 18 I was working 30-50 hours a week doing them professionally for a local mom-n-pop place. You wouldn't believe the rotten jobs I saw. My stuff had a lifetime guarantee and I only got paid my base salary of minimum wage doing reworks rather than my $40-$80 an hour (that was bucks back in the late 1970!) doing installations. I likely did 1200-1500 installations in the years before joining the Navy and can't recall ever having to do much rework. An occasional swap of a dead headend or amplifier or a re-tweak of a CB antenna maybe.

When another shop opened up from us a half a mile away and they started to eat away at my installation jobs it sucked. Within a few months we had people coming to us with their crappy installations looking for help - we charged them full price for the repairs. My boss put ads in the paper advertizing our installation repairs and we got even more business. People would save $20 only to have to spend $60-$80 to get the work redone correctly.

Worst case was where I saw the carpet of a car burned in a nice snake pattern. The idiot who installed made three mistakes. He put the fuse way close to the radio rather than close to the fuse box where he tapped. Second rather than cutting the extra wire he had he just tossed it under the carpet ... right under the driver's heel. Finally he didn't lock the fuse case well enough because it came loose, found a ground and started the carpet ... and nearly the driver, on fire.

On my truck today I have likely somewhere close to two dozen added circuits on my Xterra and none of them have caused me any trouble in the last 8 years. You have to do 100% high-end work to keep that many things running right that long. Soldier, shrink wrap, European terminal blocks, split loom tubing, proper crimping, proper temperature wires ... there's a bit of art that goes along with the experience.

Always inspect any work done by an installer at the shop before paying for it. Climb up under there and looking with a flashlight. Ask to see the work before the dash is sealed. Electrical tape should NOT be used for insulating splices - that's what heat shrink is for. It should be used to wrap wire looms to prevent them from rattling and to help keep non-locking connectors locked in place.

Go by word-of-mouth from your friends who have had work done.

Ask about the labor warranty - a quality shop ought to stay behind their stuff for the life of the vehicle.
 
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