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I installed a 12V power outlet today.88 Reatta

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I needed an extra power outlet and found one at my local Wal Mart.  Cost was under $10.  I had already removed my ash tray and the cigarette  lighter as I do not smoke.

Wal Mart has several styles of these auxiliary plugs so I chose a small one that included 2 USB outlets.  It fit the hole where the ash tray used to be with the help of my Dremel to remove the small front  plastic ledge that supported the ash tray itself.

 

I first removed the transmission shift knob by pulling the U clip at the lower front of the knob and then just pulled the knob up and off.  I then flipped the arm rest cover back out of the way for more room.  It helps to put a thick towel down for an elbow rest.

I then removed the shift console.  It is held down by 4 clips.  I used a wide, flat screw driver to push inward and pry upward carefully.  I then let it flop off to the passenger side and did not remove the attached wire harness.

I then removed the console itself.  It is secured with 2  phillips screws at the front and 2 15 Torx at the rear.  The same wide, flat screwdriver was used to carefully pry it up.  I also left the wiring harnesses plugged in and let it hang over the passenger side.

I then removed the positive wire from the battery.  I used the 15 Torx to remover the passenger side panel from the console so I could have more room to work and more light.

Before removing the positive cable I tested the cigarette lighter outlet and found that it has power all the time - it is always live.  I spliced the positive wire from my new outlet into the cigarette lighter positive wire and the negative wire I bolted to a hole in the lower metal portion of the shifter.

I bought a toggle switch at AutoZone but brought it back and purchased a small rocker switch instead.  The reason I did this is that the underpinnings of the toggle switch hung down too far.  It actually hit the rear mount where the rear of the console attaches.

I wired the much smaller rocker switch into the ground wire so that I could either leave it on or off and not cause the battery to die over night..  The WalMart outlet has a bright red light to let me know when it is on.  

The nice part about this mod is that the new power outlet just jams into the space where the ash tray used to be.  I was going to Velcro it in but there is no need to.  I can easily plug and unplug me cell charger  with no movement.  I can also close the ash tray lid!

I left the panel off the side of the console and tomorrow I am going to go in with some white lithium and lube up the moving parts of the shift mechanism.

On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 involving setting the car on fire and rolling it down a mountain) this job was about a 3 due to the confined space I had to work in.

If you have any questions I will be glad to help.

 

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I added on to the 1990-1991 style console .... you see in the photo there is a white stain on the lining because I used a junk yard liner (didn't want to modify my original)

There is a little step or shelf at the back of the storage compartment and the aftermarket power outlet fit quite nice.    Mounted it with screws from underside and ran the power cord

down and came forward ....tapped into the lighter cable.

12V outlet.jpg

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