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USB & AUX port to replace cigarette lighter

JoshT

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City, State
Middle Georgia
Year, Model & Trim Level
1999 Ranger
Putting the stereo in my 99 Ranger. The headunit does not have front USB and AUX ports, only on the rear. I want to have them easily acessable on the dash. I've seen people replace the cigarette lighter with a USB & Aux extension before. I like that solution and want to copy it on mine.

I purchased a USB/AUX extension plug deal on Amazon. Ended up being too big, but that was ok since my radio bezel has gotten brittle and cracked around the hole. I kind of had to enlarge it anyway so it wasn't an issue to open it on up for the port I got. It didn't end up looking quite how I wanted ,but it would do for now. That is until I got everything buttoned up and found out that port/extension cable wouldn't play nice with android auto. I'm going to have to pull the bexel and find another extension. I don't think the bezel is going to survive many more removals, so I'm going to get another bezel. I'd like to get a port that both fits well in the cigarette lighter location and works with Android Auto pass through. I'd prefer not having to enlarge the hole in the bezel that much again if it can be avoided.

Any of you done something like this? If so what did you use (link please), how does it work, and how does it fit?

Something like this image that stole from Reddit, but better fitting if possible, with AUX/USB instead of USB/USB, and I don't care about (or want) the volt meter.

-lLOCC0VlL_T1ajwJ0qGDoYji9fx7vi822b17oFmJK8.jpg
 






J_C

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What is "Aux"? Is that two RCA jacks -OR- a 1/8" headphone jack?

To fix the bezel hole, I would rough up the area around it (on the back of course), and lay down a layer of epoxy, then fiberglass/etc matting, then another layer of epoxy. use the slow set epoxy, 5 minute type sets too fast. One of the bezel studs that clips to the dash also cracked on mine at the base near the main bezel plate and I also fortified that with epoxy.

I didn't already know of any such products and since I don't know exactly what you mean, here are two token links:

Amazon product


Then there's the DIY option, buy a regular front mount usb extension dongle, then you can cut a hole for it anywhere you want, or make a plug out of wood/whatever and mount in the lighter socket hole. Example:


There are various sources for the 3.5mm stereo jack too, though I don't know if that's what you mean by "Aux".


Neither of these ports are very big, wouldn't even need to put them in the bezel, could use another placement on the dash or the center console (if the Ranger has one?), or if you had to, just bend a piece of aluminum into an L-angle and mount to the bottom of the dash. Personally, I'd prefer things sticking out to be further right and down towards the floor anyway. The lighter outlet placement could get in the way of adjusting the HVAC controls, bump it wrong when not looking and it could break the port.
 






JoshT

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City, State
Middle Georgia
Year, Model & Trim Level
1999 Ranger
This one has the 3.5mm (1/8"?) headphone jack style aux port input.

Being somewhat of an IT guy, I'm pretty familiar with the style of panel mount usb and 3.5mm ports you pictured. In vehicles I don't like adding holes for stuff like that. I would prefer reusing an existing hole like where the lighter socket sits. I don't smoke and there's another 12V port on the other side if I need it, that makes it a perfect spot to locate these for me. I don't find having things in that location to be any obstruction to the HVAC controls at all.

I hate fiberglass and for the hole around the lighter port it wouldn't be a good option. Even if it were, the entire bezel is brittle and cracking apart. I might be able to fix some parts with a plastic welder, but there comes a point where replacement is the better option. I think I'm there with this one.

I may hold off with fixing all this for a little while. I've temporarily run the USB cable for the radio out under the dash by the cup holders. My long term plans for the truck actually call for getting rid of the 4x4 switch and installing a 2wd radio bezel, along with a full length Explorer center console. When that happens I may return to having the lighter socket and locate the USB and AUX connectors somewhere in the console. Not much point in purchasing a replacement 4x4 bezel when it's going to get replaced again anyway.
 






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