We all usually come across a point in time when we need an extra electrical hook up inside the Jeep. Of course, we can always use the cigarette lighter socket that Chrysler put in the dash, but for me, keeping something permanently plugged into that usually results in a cord running to some other place that gets in the way of things. Besides, I like to keep the cigarette lighter socket available for those unexpected situations when I need to plug in a 12V something or the other during a trip.
I had been running my Garmin GPS receiver off of the lighter socket but as mentioned, the cord was always getting in the way. Plus, as most of us already know, the lighter socket has no power to it when the ignition is turned off. I read on a Jeep forum that there were a couple of +12V wires tucked back behind the glove box. One was switched on and off with the ignition while the other had power applied constantly. With that in mind, I stopped by the local electronics store (might have been Radio Shack, I don’t remember now) and picked up a 12V cigarette lighter socket.
You see, I didn’t want to cut the plug off of my Garmin GPS power cable on account of that would render it pretty much useless when I decided to use it in another vehicle (not too likely, but none the less a possibility). Also, those power cords are too costly to slice and dice with a wire cutter. My solution was to put a permanent 12V lighter socket behind the glove box and run the GPS power cord to it. Out of sight, out of mind, but always available for use and NO cutting of expensive power cords.
Here is a picture of the finished product, hooked up and ready to go. The GPS power cord is already plugged in. The 12V power socket tucks nicely out of the way and can used to power up a variety of low current electrical devices. If your gizmo comes with a 12V cigarette plug on the end of the cord, this little mod will certainly do the trick. I ran my GPS power cord down the back side of the dash (the GPS receiver is mounted on top of the dash in front of the driver) and over to the power socket. You could easily run a cord from the center console area up to the power socket too.
A last note….the two wires that are available for use have a 3 amp and 10 amp current limit (I believe the un-switched wire has the higher rating). Be sure you do not exceed the current limit. You don’t want to start any fires or blow any fuses in your vehicle.
NOTE: I have been told that these two “free” wires are not available in the ’03 and newer TJs. I guess DC decided to save a nickel and left them out.