Dome Light Bypass Switch

6/30/04

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After three years of removing a fuse every time I put the soft top down, I was ready for a better solution to shutting off the dome light circuit when the doors were removed.  Every time I wanted to remove the doors, I had to remove the glove box, remove the lower right-hand fuse (not always easy) and find a place to store the fuse until it was time to put the doors on, when I would repeat the exercise in reverse....

Fuse Panel

There are a few commercial products on the market that will do this..  One is a clamp that holds the door switches in.  Close, but no cigar.  Another product comes ready to install and consists of some wire, a fuse holder, and a toggle switch.  This is a good solution but the price ($25) was about double the cost of the materials, and the design is about as easy as it gets.  And I thought I could improve on the design.

Basically, the fuse outlet on the vehicle becomes the power plug, the fuse is relocated to a fuse holder on the wiring, and a switch is put in to make it possible to switch off the circuit instead of removing the fuse.  It took me two minutes to decide I could build this with materials and tools I already had on hand, and with a few things I would buy.  So I sketched out the plan.

Basic Circuit

The fuse taps are placed over the two pins on the blown 10a fuse.  (I "blew" the fuse by touching it to the battery terminals.)  Mine had slots that the pins fit through, and then the fuse tap sort of snaps onto the fuse.

Dummy fuse with fuse taps - Click to EnlargeDummy fuse with fuse taps - Click to Enlarge

The spade connectors are attached to the fuse taps.   I taped, with electrical tape, the fuse taps and female disconnects to the dead fuse to keep everything all as one unit.  A dead fuse was used to provide the retainer for the fuse socket, but to leave the circuit open (off) so that it can be controlled by the toggle switch.

The fuse holder is filled with a good 10-amp fuse to protect the circuit.

The 20-amp toggle switch is added to the loop to provide the On/Off control.

I used 14-gauge wire to connect the fuse holder to the toggle switch, and the toggle switch to a fuse tap.

Very basic.  The dead fuse with fuse taps is inserted into the fuse box.  The wires are routed behind the glove box in the fuse panel area.  The toggle switch is placed in a holder that is then screwed to the underside of the dash near the passenger side courtesy light using an existing screw there.

Switch location (On) - Click to EnlargeSwitch location (Off) - Click to Enlarge

And that is all there is to it!  To disable the circuit, just turn the toggle switch off.  To re-enable the circuit, turn it back on.  This also makes it possible to disable the dome light when the doors are on so you can open the door without the light or buzzers coming on.

Fuse Panel - Click to Enlarge

When I finished crimping up the connectors (I put spade connectors on one end for the fuse taps and ring connectors for the toggle switch), I put a good 10 amp fuse in the fuse holder.  I connected the toggle switch to the fuse holder using a crimp connector and a piece of wire.  I placed the fuse taps onto the contacts of the dead fuse, the spade terminals onto the fuse tap, then taped the whole assembly with electrical tape to prevent the to sides from making contact with each other or something else.  I spent about $10 and half an hour.  Saved $15 that I spent taking the kids to dinner after we went Geo-Caching...

Parts

Dead 10a fuse - I just touched it to the jumper cables to force it to pop, any dead fuse that fits the socket will work.

10a Fuse (Dead)

Fuse taps - I got a package of four from Pep Boys.  I have two left over for another project.

Fuse Tap

Fuse Holder - I got a fuse holder that would handle 20 amps even though the circuit only calls for 10 amps.

Fuse Holder

Toggle Switch with mounting plate (not shown) - I got a 20 amp switch even though the circuit only calls for 10 amps.

Switch

Good 10a fuse - To place in the fuse holder.

10a Fuse (Good)

Parallel Splice Crimp Connectors (fuse holder to extension wire, toggle switch to fuse tap spade connector)

Parallel Splice Connector

Ring Connectors (wires to toggle switch)

Ring Terminal

Female Disconnects (wires to fuse taps)

Female Disconnect

Electrical Tape (wrap bare connectors on dummy fuse)

 

Wire Cutter/Crimper Tool and Screw driver (Philips)

 

 


 

 

 

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