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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I just finished making illuminated cup holders for my car, and I decided to put together a little DIY for those of you who want to play along at home.
I also installed a LED for the cubby so it would be blue, so this is included in the DIY. If you don't want to do this, I will make a post at the end of this DIY and just describe the things you would do if you didn't want the cubby LED.
First of all, here are the supplies you will need.

Supplies
Plexiglass

LEDs- I bought the 3 pack of blue LEDs from Pep Boys and used the third LED to replace the green light in the cubby. You can use whatever you want though.

Bought at RadioShack
momentary tact switches- I got a pack of 4. Part number: 275-0003 It's nice to have 4 in case you screw one up.

mini toggle switch- Part number: 275-634

crimp-on disconnects- Pack of 10 (5 male, 5 female). Part number: 63-3131.

tap-in squeeze connectors- Pack of 7. Part number: 64-3053
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Prep work

Cutting the plexiglass is the hardest part of this project, so I would get that done first before you go out and buy everything else.
The diameters of my pieces ended up being about 2 7/8" and 3 1/4". I used a 77mm filter to trace the shape of the smaller piece, and I cut up an arrowhead 700ml (from Costco) sport top bottle to trace the shape of the larger piece.
Once you get those cut, breathe a sigh of relief, because the rest is easier.


Next up; sanding down the LEDs. The ones from Pep Boys come with a little holder, so I sanded mine down flush with the holder.


Now we move on to the tact switches. I sanded mine down, trying to make them more flush in the end, and I regret it. I should have just left it alone. It wasn't too big of a deal. I fixed it by taping pieces of cardboard under the plexiglass so it would hit the switch. I would really recommend just leaving the switches alone though.

Alright, now we will start to wire everything together, so get your soldering iron warmed up and skip the coffee so you have a steady hand.
A picture is worth a thousand words, so I will just put up some pictures of my wired setup with notes of what I did in each picture.


Alright, so this is the first step. You will want to cut the red wire a few inches from the LED and solder that end to one terminal on the switch. Then take the other end of the red wire and solder it to the other terminal on the switch (note: you want to make sure both wire are on the same side of the switch like they are in the picture)


Now that that's done, you can take the 2 black wires from the LEDs and crimp them together in a male disconnect. Similarly, take the red wires and crimp them together in a female disconnect.



Now, if you have extra wire laying around that you want to use, great. I just took my 3rd LED and the cut wires about 6" down from the LED. I then pulled the wires apart.

In the picture, you will notice I only show the red wire. That's because I already further cut up the black wire, which we will get to soon. You might also notice the disconnect on one end.
Go ahead and put a male disconnect on one end of your wire. That will be the end that goes to that female end with the 2 red wires from the LEDs.

Now grab the black wire and cut off about 8-10" of it. On one end, crimp on a female disconnect. This will connect to the male end with the 2 black wires from the LEDs.

Take the other end and combine it with the black wire from the 3rd LED (the cubby light) and crimp those together in a female disconnect.


Now you should still have that other longer piece of the black wire. Go ahead and crimp on a male disconnect to that. That will go with the female disconnect that has the cubby wire+the combined ground.

Note- you don't need to strip the other end of the black wire. It will be put into the squeeze connector anyways.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Alright, now our entire ground is complete!


Next, take out your cubby so we can start working with that. I've had mine sitting out for 4 days now, so it isn't a big deal to keep it out while you work on this project.
I'm sure theres a bunch of places to put the switch for the LEDs, but personally I wanted mine to be in the cubby so it would be out of sight.
I used a 1/8" bit and stuck the drill inside the cubby. That way I could see where the pilot hole would be. If you want to just try to drill from the back of the cubby, go for it. I'm a cautious person though.
After drilling the 1/8" pilot hole, I got a 7/32" bit and now I drilled from the back of the cubby, since it is obviously much easier. The switch still won't quite fit, so I used a rat-tail file to make the hole just a fraction larger.
Here's where I drilled my hole:


Here's the rat-tail file I used:


Alright, now we will solder on the red wires to the switch.

Start by grabbing that long piece of red wire with the male disconnect.
Before:

Now cut it about in half.
After:

Look closely at the switch and you will see numbers 1 2 3 on one side of the switch, and on the other side you will see on and off.
Grab the half of the red wire with the male disconnect on it. Solder it onto the 2 terminal (aka the taller one and the middle one). This will put the LEDs on the switch.
Now take the other half and take one end and twist it together with the red wire from the cubby LED. Solder these two on the 1 terminal (aka the shorter one). This will mean the cubby will always get power, and the "other half of the red wire" will be the wire that taps into the car's 12v wire.

Note: If you want the cubby to be on the switch, you would just put it with the other wire on the taller terminal and just have the main power wire by itself on the shorter terminal.

Here are a few extra pictures so you can make sure you are on the right track:


 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Now we are getting close to the end!
Take the switch and install it to the back of the cubby. You will want to take off both of the washers that were included. I used a ratchet with a 5/16" socket to tighten the nut onto the switch on the inside of the cubby.
Now the switch is on and everything is coming together. The end is nigh, so hang in there!




Note: I just realized I didn't really talk about how I did the cubby LED, and I didn't take any pictures of it. It was really simple though. I basically did the same thing that you would do for the footwell lighting. I sanded the LED on all sides to disperse light. Then I cut a piece of plastic off the LED packaging and made a rectangle that fit over the cubby light hole (you will know what I'm talking about when you get the cubby light fixture off). I sanded up that plastic piece to help disperse the light even more. Then I just used tape to tape the LED to the plastic, and put tape over all of it to hold it down)
Now we will add in a disconnect on the main power, so we can disconnect the entire cubby and still be able to pull it out completely.
Cut the wire in half. Now add a female disconnect to the half that is still attached to the switch. Then add a male disconnect to the now loose piece.


Alright, so last bit of prep work that I did was something extra that I thought of right before I wanted to start installing.
Instead of using glue or epoxy on the switch to attach it to the bottom of the cup holder, I decided to make a little holder for it.
Started off by cutting a strip of plexiglass and sanded it on both sides, just to rough it up so the epoxy will adhere better. Then cut 4 small squares and 2 larger rectangles. The squares will go on either side of the switch to keep it in place, and the rectangle will be epoxied to the squares and that will hold the switch in. If that doesn't make sense, the pictures should clarify =]

If you notice, there are grooves in the rectangles. The plexiglass squares weren't taller than the switch, so I filed down the middle of the rectangle so the switch would sit in there and the outside parts would contact the squares.

Alright, that's all the prep work, now we move onto the installation!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Installation- day 1

First, you need to pull out the plastic piece around the shifter so you can remove the cup holder.
Once you have it out, there are 5 screws that hold the cup holder on.
Now that we have the cup holder by itself, we can get to work.
Start off by removing the padding on the bottom. It's easy to pull off most, then I used a razor blade to scrape off as much as I could. Then I just poured a bit of goo-gone on it and let it sit for a few seconds. Just wipe it off with a paper towel. Should look like this:

Time to drill some holes!
I used 3 different bits for this. I used a 1/8" for the pilot holes, 1/4" for the LED holes, and 9/64" for the tact switch holes.
Obviously you want to center the LEDs. The holes for the switches can be anywhere I suppose; however, I put them towards the outside of the cup holder.
I used the rat-tail file again to make sure everything fit nicely. Be careful not to make the holes too big, especially when you file the holes for the LEDs.

With the holes drilled, we can glue on the plexiglass squares that will help hold on the switches. I used an epoxy to get the job done.

Now put epoxy on the rectangle and put it in place. With those two on, the cup holder is officially done! Congratulations!



It's all downhill from here. Just tap into the cubby light, or if you have footwell lighting like I do, you can just tap into that.

Everything is all set to go, so just let the epoxy dry overnight before you mess with the switches and try everything out. All that is left tomorrow is putting everything back together and connecting all the wires!

Installation- day 2
Now that the epoxy is dry, you can go ahead and test everything. Once you are sure that everything is solid, you can reattach the cup holder to the plastic piece that surround the shifter.
I removed "not an ashtray" so I could run the wires under. Pretty simple procedure. Plug in all the wires, and then turn on your parking lights and do a final test of everything. Make sure you check your seat heater buttons, because those lights are quite fragile. If one doesn't light up, they are easy to replace, and there is already a DIY out there for it.
If everything lights up and you are satisfied, go ahead and reinstall "not an ashtray" (you have to do that before you snap in the plastic piece that surrounds the shifter). Then snap in the plastic piece, and last but not least, put the cubby back in place.
Congratulations on a job well done and enjoy your illuminated cup holders!

Don't forget to +rep me if you found this DIY useful! :tu:
 

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badass
 

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i'd imagine its a pain to change the bulb when it burns out huh?

more pic! :D
 

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PhisaggiN
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Awesome job!! Wish I thought of the tact switch holders. Thats genius!! Looks like its time to buy a couple more tact switches and do that soon. Id +rep you but it won't let me.


:fro:
 

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not too bad. I already thought about it, and I decided that if a bulb burns out, I will just have to sand down the new one, and I will splice it in to the old LEDs wires :tu:
ahh i see, well thought out then! :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Awesome job!! Wish I thought of the tact switch holders. Thats genius!! Looks like its time to buy a couple more tact switches and do that soon. Id +rep you but it won't let me.


:fro:
Tonight I thought of a new idea that I want to try this summer. I'm going to split the power to the LED into two wires and run both into tact switches, and i will have a tact switch on either side of the LED. Then the plexiglass will just be sitting level on 2 tact switches, and even if the water rocks back and forth, it will always be pressing one of the switches. That's definitely going to be a summer project though.
 

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Jeff
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whew.. i spent like 4 hours on this project today and i got everything to work perfectly, with the clicking tact switches in place and everything, and when I was putting the "not an ashtray" thing back to its place, i got some wires stuck, and i was fiddling around to make the "not an ashtray" fit correctly, and then everything went out. My center console lights, my brake lights, and my footwell+ cupholder lights.

at this point, i was freakin out hard, and i got mad blueballs. I was so close to finishing everything up, and this had to happen.

i guessed it was the infamous "center console light problem" that i just happened to trigger with the wiring inside, and i was planning on visiting the dealership to have it fixed. but later i found that it was the "small light" fuse (15A) that was blown. I replaced it and now the center console lights, brake lights, and footwell lights work again, but the cupholder lights are out now =\ ill look into it tomorrow

great diy writeup btw! i read it like 10x over and studied everythign to make sure i did everything correctly, and it all worked out except for teh fuse blowing =\
 

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Discussion Starter #17
whew.. i spent like 4 hours on this project today and i got everything to work perfectly, with the clicking tact switches in place and everything, and when I was putting the "not an ashtray" thing back to its place, i got some wires stuck, and i was fiddling around to make the "not an ashtray" fit correctly, and then everything went out. My center console lights, my brake lights, and my footwell+ cupholder lights.

at this point, i was freakin out hard, and i got mad blueballs. I was so close to finishing everything up, and this had to happen.

i guessed it was the infamous "center console light problem" that i just happened to trigger with the wiring inside, and i was planning on visiting the dealership to have it fixed. but later i found that it was the "small light" fuse (15A) that was blown. I replaced it and now the center console lights, brake lights, and footwell lights work again, but the cupholder lights are out now =\ ill look into it tomorrow

great diy writeup btw! i read it like 10x over and studied everythign to make sure i did everything correctly, and it all worked out except for teh fuse blowing =\
Doh! Hopefully you get the whole thing working soon, and post up some pics when you do :tu:
 

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The other white meat...
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whew.. i spent like 4 hours on this project today and i got everything to work perfectly, with the clicking tact switches in place and everything, and when I was putting the "not an ashtray" thing back to its place, i got some wires stuck, and i was fiddling around to make the "not an ashtray" fit correctly, and then everything went out. My center console lights, my brake lights, and my footwell+ cupholder lights.

at this point, i was freakin out hard, and i got mad blueballs. I was so close to finishing everything up, and this had to happen.

i guessed it was the infamous "center console light problem" that i just happened to trigger with the wiring inside, and i was planning on visiting the dealership to have it fixed. but later i found that it was the "small light" fuse (15A) that was blown. I replaced it and now the center console lights, brake lights, and footwell lights work again, but the cupholder lights are out now =\ ill look into it tomorrow

great diy writeup btw! i read it like 10x over and studied everythign to make sure i did everything correctly, and it all worked out except for teh fuse blowing =\
Sounds like when you got the wires stuck, it shorted out and by breaking the wire. I'd check to make sure they are still intact.
 
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