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  1. #1

    Default Permanent Power Inverter Install

    A new project I got the idea for today - a permanently mounted power inverter in the blank panel above the passenger airbag switch. I bought a compact sized 100W power inverter with one household outlet and one USB charging outlet. once i got home, i opened it out and figured it out.

    My plan - cut a hole in the truck's blank panel and use epoxy to mount the faceplate into the panel. To make everything match, I will probably have to fill, smooth, and paint this front panel afterward.

    I will then use some epoxy and whatever else i might need to mount the internal components behind the faceplate.

    It has a power switch with a blue LED behind (will match my blue LED dash lights). I will route this switch to the small panel beside the airbag switch and cut a hole out. I will mount it using epoxy and whatever small hardware i might need.

    For the wiring, I will wire another 12V outlet hidden behind the dash. I will power it by a relay switched by accessory power wiring on my remote start (works at all running times) and powered by a splice from one of the 3 existing 12v outlets.

    The end result - I will have permanently mounted 120v and USB power in the dash that looks like it came with the truck. For those who haven't noticed, i like things to look like they belong in the truck.

    2008 FORD F350. My new all-around truck.
    2001 Silverado Reg. Cab Not-So-Base -- SOLD
    2003 Avalanche Z71. No Cladding. Check out my Mod thread. - Crashed. Will be rebuilt soon.
    1974 Triumph Spitfire 1500 - Work in Progress
    2003 Sierra 3500 Duramax. The Newer, Better Work Truck -- FOR SALE

  2. #2


    Before you go to all the trouble of doing that...make sure it powers what you want to power. I got a 100W inverter for my laptop and it kept faulting about every 6 seconds because you actually only get about 90W out of them and when the fan on my laptop came on it was just over 90W. So I went back out and got a 400W inverter and i get it home and realize you still only get about 90W if you power it though a 12V outlet, and a true 400W if you hardwire it to the battery. Well, I used to have an amp under my back seat so I already had wires run under my back seat from the battery that were already fused. I wired it up, bolted it down and it works great!

    I like your idea, but if I were you I would consider upgrading to a 400W inverter that is hardwired to its own circuit. That way you could power pretty much anything you want. The 400W is not much bigger and doesn't cost much more. You will get many more watts out of it and it has two outlets. Put one on the dash and one somewhere else.

    Just my opinion.
    Current Daily Driver:
    2003 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 - 4WD - 4.8L V8 - True Dual Exhaust Setup, Cat Delete, Cherry Bomb Glass Packs

  3. #3
    Jr. Engineer
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada


    yes ^^ I agree. this is your first problem. you need to hard wire anything that is solidly located.

    secondly... don't mess with your airbag unless you're prepared to replace it.

    im just speaking from experience.

    1993 K1500 Suburban 350TBI, 378,486KMS on frame, 49,000KMS on Drivetrain. Lots of mods, built for haulin trailers and haulin @$$ :)

    2000 K2500 Yukon XL 6.0L Vortec 252000KMS custom CAI, and exhaust...but not done yet.

    "If you are dumb enough to do something you don't know how to do, and can't do it safely then WHEN you get hurt its your own fault...BONEHEAD"

  4. #4


    Thanks. I already bought the thing (and wanted it more for the built-in usb charging than anything. I won't be running my laptop - its too big to put in the truck and too much of a danger to use. - Damn laptop runs 120W. The only time i need it in my truck is running OBD2 programs. And that i do at home and can use an extension cord for. I really just want the usb to charge my phone and the plug for whatever other small things might need to be plugged in. I don't need anything insane.

    I might hardwire it. I would just have to cut the end off the outlet plug and connect the wires. - And find the right fuse to put in line - I just hate running wires from the engine bay to the cab, and i don't want to tap into my amp wiring.

    i still have time to sort out details. like i said, im heading to bc for the weekend. driving my truck 3 hours (half way). For this trip im just going to use it for the usb for my phone and plug it in like it was designed for.

    any more suggestions are always welcome.

  5. #5


    Great idea !!! I say it cause i did this mod a few months ago n it work great , but i didnt wire it up to always be on ( gotta look into dat ) i just tapped into the wire from the inverter n ran it to the dash ( the plug and the switch ) and i hard wired it to the batterie w/ fuse , the only con i got with this modd was that the inverter make a lil humming noise when on ( i guess its the fan ) but looking around i found a dc to dc converter which makes no noise !! Lol n if your only gonna use the usb port then u should be good to go , but i plug everything i need to it i put a playstation , dremel tool, flood light,etc.. Anything i need power for lol this is a very convenant modd for the diy's lol im in my car most of the day so why not make it fit my needs lol ..
    Here are some pics of my install
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails apartment pics 006.jpg  

  6. #6


    Thats sweet. I like your double-din too - in your 2002 or earlier tahoe/suburban/yukon or avalanche, right?

    Mine would/will be similar if i get around to it - i will mount the inverter where your onstar is, and the power button from the top of my inverter where your switch is.

  7. #7
    Master Mechanic zubbiez's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Eagle Mountain Utah


    Looks good! great to have a power supply handy!
    2000 Silverado Z71 Whipple Supercharger, JBA Headers,3" cat back Flowmaster Exhaust, Volant cai, Pioneer Preimer deck,Orion subwoofer,03 signal light mirrors,03 taililghts

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