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Old 02-14-2011, 06:04 PM   #1
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Cigarette Lighter Wiring

Anyone know how to change from switched to unswitched on a 96 4runner
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Old 02-15-2011, 04:18 PM   #2
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Well essentially you need to run a power source to the lighter you want to be "hot" all the time. A simple 12 or 14 gauge wire from the battery positive lead will work. Use a fuse of course...

Curious why you feel the need to do this?-this will give you the ability to drain your battery-but if you leave it switched as it is now- then of course the power cuts out when you turn off the ingnition key.
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:15 PM   #3
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Ron laid it all out pretty clear. What is most important is that you run an in-line fuse. You'll just never know what sort of appliance gets plugged in and you don't want to risk any trouble in this regard.

I converted my cig lighter to constant on so I can power appliances without having to also power unneeded vehicle circuits by utilizing the ignition. Or maybe I need to take the key out for some other reason and I don't want to interrupt chargers and whatnot.

Click the image to open in full size.

There are only 2 wires on a cig lighter: 1 Ground and 1 Power source. I happened to already have a fused, constant on power source near my cig lighter that I just tapped into (I use this power source to power my E-Lockers and my CB radio). So this was about a 10 min job for me

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Old 02-24-2011, 03:06 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMike View Post
Ron laid it all out pretty clear. What is most important is that you run an in-line fuse. You'll just never know what sort of appliance gets plugged in and you don't want to risk any trouble in this regard.

I converted my cig lighter to constant on so I can power appliances without having to also power unneeded vehicle circuits by utilizing the ignition. Or maybe I need to take the key out for some other reason and I don't want to interrupt chargers and whatnot.

There are only 2 wires on a cig lighter: 1 Ground and 1 Power source. I happened to already have a fused, constant on power source near my cig lighter that I just tapped into (I use this power source to power my E-Lockers and my CB radio). So this was about a 10 min job for me.
I learned this the hard way with my cigarette lighters. I made my dash lighter always hot and added one one in back off the same circuit. The wire went over the e-brake and was worn into with the movement of the e-brake. I didn't have it fused, so the whole wire burned. If my girlfriend had not realized my truck was smoking when she did, it would have kept shorting and started a fire. It made enough of a scene right before school for everyone to see as it is as I had white smoke streams coming from under my hood and inside. Best electrical advice for the type of thing would definitely be to fuse it.

I did my conversion mainly for my cell phone so I could leave it charging without having to drain my battery by having the key turned "on" which would cause for much more stuff to be turned on and waste the battery.


Like Mike said, 2 wired. One is attached on the side (the ground) and the other comes right off the back in the center of the lighter (the hot). Just snip the (switched) hot wire, protect the wire you just cut so it doesn't possibly short while the key is "on," and run a perma-hot, fused wire to the back of the cig lighter. Honestly, easy as cake.
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Old 02-24-2011, 08:32 AM   #5
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I learned this the hard way with my cigarette lighters.
hahaha cool story! Who would have thought it would be the e-brake mechanism!! I learned the hard way about not using fuses with my 1987 Supercharged MR2. I had my under-the-passenger's-seat subwoofer amp running on a switched power supply but without a fuse, and after enough people had sat in the seat, the wire shorted to the bottom of the seat filling my entire cab with white stinky smoke. Fortunately the power was on my ignition circuit & my first instinct was to turn the engine off which killed the power. HAHAHA I pretty much still get teased for that one today lol

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One is attached on the side (the ground) and the other comes right off the back in the center of the lighter (the hot).....
Great explanation

I suppose the only thing missing from this thread is what size fuse to use. Stock should be a 15 amp, which is plenty more than you should ever need. 15 Amps will provide a little over 200 watts of continuous power (Power = Current X Voltage = 15Amps X 14Volts = 210), which is enough to almost run 4 full size head lights on high beam! Be careful if you run a larger fuse, like 25+ Amps, because you also need to take into consideration the amount of resistance that will build up in the wires. The stock ground wire may only be a 16 gauge, which is only rated to carry around 20 amps. Check with an amperage/load table (similar to this one) before you start stepping up the ante.

I'm sure the majority of devices you use will hardly even draw 40 watts of power, which would only necessitate a 3 Amp fuse LOL

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Last edited by BigMike; 02-24-2011 at 08:35 AM.
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Who would have thought it would be the e-brake mechanism!!

I had my under-the-passenger's-seat subwoofer amp running on a switched power supply but without a fuse...
I know, right! I just had my hot cig wire running snugly over the e-brake tunnel, or whatever you would like to call the thing that the handle slides in and out of. But apparently, it's not 100% completely enclosed. So when the e-brake would twist and go in and out, the metal lip of the tunnel slowly dug into the wire.

Hmm, sounds exactly like me! My sub is under my driver's seat in my truck and it is completely unfused. I know I should fuse it, but it's never going to bother me until something does actually happen.

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Apparently you're not a "car guy" because no one can "explain it" you just have to "feel" it.
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If all goes well, and according to plan, we'll all end up with nice rigs. Now, let's get to work so we can go hit some trails!
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Old 02-24-2011, 01:06 PM   #7
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Woooohooooo! Don't fix it if it ain't broke!!
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Old 02-24-2011, 01:06 PM
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