DIY: Integrate your battery-free garage door opener into your dash! - 8th Generation Honda Civic Forum
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Old 08-10-2007, 05:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation DIY: Integrate your battery-free garage door opener into your dash!

Hot off the press for you!

Note: You can also find an easier-to-read and printable version of this DIY here.

Integrate your garage door clicker into the dashboard
For 2006-2007 Honda Civic models (without fog lights*)

by TigerDave


*If you have fog lights, just install the button somewhere else

Disclaimer:
This DIY guide is only for informational purpose and the author or the website owner is not responsible for any malfunctions, damages, property loss, injuries or accidents or liabilities of any kind. Proceed at your own risk. There. Now with that said...


Details:
This guide walks you through the steps I took to install my garage door opener (clicker) inside my dashboard to be powered by the car itself and operated by a push button installed into a blank panel on the dash. Read this guide thoroughly before starting.

Background:
I could never find a suitable place to store my Genie brand garage clicker in my 2006 Civic Si. I always felt the sun visor was obtrusive and made it a bit to easy to break into my garage should I park the car outside one night. So I was storing it in the center console under the armrest, but found it cumbersome to have to dig it out twice per day. It didn't take long for me to notice the blank plate next to the side mirror controls on my dash. I then figured I should just hack the opener, hotwire a button to it and install it. So I searched online for a suitable button where I found one at Radio Shack in minutes.

I then Googled the web to see if anyone else had posted instructions on this. Sure enough, someone had. In fact, they were using the exact same button that I had decided to use. So I read the instructions the author posted for his Porsche Boxster and figured I would document my install as well since I'd already documented two installs for my BMW M3.

Then I thought to myself, "I wonder how much voltage the opener uses. Because if it's 12V, I can wire it up to the car's electrical system and never need a battery!" Sure enough, the battery inside the opener said "12V" and I was on my way.

This took me a few hours to accomplish. Partially because I like to take my time when I'm learning the car's assembly as I go, and partially because I started this little project at 7pm on a weeknight and had to take photos every step of the way.

Total cost of this "hack": $2.49 + tax

Finally, I apologize for some of the grainy shots. I had to up the ISO in order to eliminate "camera-shake" due to the insufficient lighting in my garage.

Here's what I used:
  • 1 x Radio Shack Momentary Push Button Part # 275-644
  • 1 x 3M Quick Connect for 22-16 gauge wire (I got mine from Wal-Mart a year ago)
  • 4 X 12 inch wires (two red, one blue and one white for demonstration and clarity purposes)
  • Soldering iron
  • Solder
  • Wire cutters
  • Wire strippers
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Regular pliers
  • Xacto, OLFA or similar knife
  • Drill and various bits up to 1/2"
  • Dremel 400 series XPR Rotary Tool with 1/4" sanding band
  • Electrical Tape
  • Velcro
  • Blank panel from left side of dash next to the mirror controls

Note: The Porsche Boxster author used the following in his installation:
  • female connectors
  • male bullet connectors
You're definitely going to want to get some as well. I didn't have any on hand and so I was forced to solder the wires to the clicker after feeding it through the dash opening. Quite a pain. So get some of those bullet connectors before you start! It will make sense after you read this guide.

--------------------

Go to your nearest Radio Shack and buy one of these buttons for $2.49.
Or go online and order one here.
They also have them in red, if you prefer.

You can use other buttons, but make sure they are "momentary" buttons (meaning it's spring-loaded and doesn't stay "in" when you press it).



Here's the pack of 3M Quick Connects.
I only needed to use one.


The button out of the package. Notice the two metal contacts on the end.


Remove the floor kick panel by turning the fastener 90 degrees.
It only turns one way.


Pull the panel down.
I've highlighted the location of the clips so you know where it attaches.


Remove the panel below the steering wheel.


It attaches with 8 more clips as shown here.
Caution: You might have to pull hard to get this thing off. I sure did. And be sure to pull straight out, not at an angle or else you will bend the soft black plastic and a white crease will show. Not good.
The clip shown on the lower left was the biggest pain for me to remove. It will be on your lower-right when you are facing the panel while trying to remove it.
If one or more clips break, you'll have to make a trip to your local Honda dealer. Luckily, mine were all intact.


With the panel removed, carefully reach up into the dash and pop out the blank panel.
Then remove the wires that lead to the side mirror controls. More detailed photos are below.


Looking up into the dashboard, you can see where the mirror controls are connected.


You need to push in the small tab to successfully remove this connector.


Here's what the blank panel looks like. You will need to remove some of the plastic in order to install the button which requires a 1/2" hole.
I was hoping it would be blank in the back, but nope, that would be too easy.


Here's the blank from another angle.


I spent about 20 minutes using wire cutters, needle nose pliers, and my OLFA blade to gradually cut and shave the plastic out.
Luckily, the plastic is quite soft and shaves easily.
Use caution when cutting with a blade. Where thick gloves if possible.
And take your time!


Here's the blank all shaved out. The retaining nut for the button can fit in there now.


Using an ice pick (or awl), make a tiny dimple in the center of the blank and then start drilling out the hole with your smallest drill bit gradually working your way up to larger and larger bits.
By the time I was getting close to the 1/2" required for the button, the bit kept grabbing the plastic and spinning it. I tried popping the blank back into the dash and drilling it, but the blank kept getting yanked out by the force of the drill.
This is where owning a Dremel comes in. If you don't own one, start saving up now. It's one of the most valuable tools you can have if you are a modder (car, PC, or otherwise).


Using the 1/4" shaped sanding band, I increased the size of the hole until the button fit.


Ahh, the button fits perfectly now.


Here it is from the rear.


Next, solder a wire to each contact.


Feed the wires through the front of the blank and install the retaining nut to the back of the button to hold it into place.
Since it was a tight squeeze, I used my 14mm deep socket to tighten it up.
Caution: Do not over-tighten, or you will easily strip the plastic threads on the button.
Note: This is where you want to make sure you have the bullet connectors on the wires. You want to be able to separate the new black button from the clicker so you can easily install it into your dash!


My garage door opener uses the Genie brand Intellicode clicker.


Flip it over and remove the single screw.


Here's it is disassembled. Not much to it.
Note how the battery is installed. Use a Sharpie and write a "+" on the circuit board so you know which contact is which.


Using a paper clip, I touched two of the solder spots on the rear of the circuit board where the button is located. I noticed that there were two pairs of contacts which would trigger the garage door.
You can use either. Doesn't matter. There are 4 spots simply because that is how the clicker's button is designed.


Remove the battery.
Solder the other end of the wires going to the button to the contacts on the back of the clicker. Go easy on this solder spot since excessive heat can and will damage components quickly.
Conduct a test at this point. Reconnect your battery in the clicker and press the new black button. Your garage door should respond. If not, check and re-check your connections! If so, you're half-way there!
Note: This is where you want to make sure you have the bullet connectors on the wires. You want to be able to separate the new black button from the clicker so you can easily install it into your dash!


Next, you need to find a wire that gets 12V of power when the car is on. I turned my ignition to the position right before the engine turns over and took out my voltmeter.
I connected one probe of my voltmeter to "ground" (I used the metal support inside the dash as those are always grounded) and then took the other probe and began probing it into each wire in the back of the connector.
I found that the light green wire gave me 12 volts of power when the ignition was on, and nothing when off (which is why you cannot control your side mirrors when the car is off).
And since I did this step, you don't have to!


I soldered a blue wire to the positive (+) end of my clicker and a white wire to the negative (-) end.
At this point, you may want to test your setup.
Hold the unsoldered ends of the blue and white wires to the clicker's battery and press the new black button making sure your garage door responds.


This is where the 3M Quick Connect comes into play. If you have never used one before, they are a great invention. You can leech power of another wire without having to cut or splice anything.
In this example, the existing silver wire has power and we want to give power to the blue wire. You just follow the steps shown on the right and that's all there is to it.


Peel back from existing tape from the mirror control wires and install a 3M Quick Connect to the light green wire. Insert your new wire (ours is blue) and crimp down the metal piece with a pair of pliers.
Make sure you crimp it hard because you are piercing both the existing and new wires at the same time.


You can install your clicker anywhere you wish. I chose to install mine right on top of the metal bracing inside the dash using Velcro.
Caution: The metal bracing in the dash is razor sharp. I sliced open TWO fingers trying to place the clicker into the dash before switching over to gloves. So wear gloves when doing this!
You can see the two red wires running down from the new button (installed, but not shown) and the blue wire providing power to the clicker from the existing light green wire.
All that's left is to connect the white ground wire to something that's grounded. I chose to use the shiny hexagon-shaped bolt next to the fuse box (not shown, but if you look, you'll find it).
Make sure you snap the cover on the 3M Quick Connect!


And there you have it.


Looks factory installed, doesn't it?
If you have any questions, just send me a Private Message.

Update: Just repeated this install with my girl's 2007 Civic EX last weekend. Took me less than an hour the 2nd time around. And I used wire nuts to keep the red wires together after installation.


Last edited by TigerDave; 08-14-2007 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 08-10-2007, 05:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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not bad man. good idea

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Old 08-10-2007, 05:31 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Sweet. Too bad I don't have a garage
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Old 08-10-2007, 06:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Nice write up!
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Old 08-10-2007, 06:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I can't see your link. If you can post the DIY in this thread, that would help me. Thanks.
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Old 08-10-2007, 10:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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nice write up for sure

what if u moved then u'd have to change it...lol

definetley looks nice though
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Old 08-10-2007, 10:49 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeezerSi
I can't see your link. If you can post the DIY in this thread, that would help me. Thanks.
Same here.
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Old 08-10-2007, 11:16 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Very nice DIY, I may be mistaken... but if you ave the OEM Fog Lights installed you would not thave that space available as that is where the on/off button for the fog lights is located.

@ Person who wondered about moving... if you moved, you sould just have to remove/re-solder/reconnect the circuitboard from your new garage door opener... i think.
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Old 08-10-2007, 12:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhalanX
Very nice DIY, I may be mistaken... but if you have the OEM Fog Lights installed you would not have that space available as that is where the on/off button for the fog lights is located.

@ Person who wondered about moving... if you moved, you could just have to remove/re-solder/reconnect the circuitboard from your new garage door opener... i think.
You are correct. If you have fog lights installed, find another spot for the button. This guy found a good spot:

https://www.8thcivic.com/forums/showthread.php?t=52000

If you move, just take your garage door opener with you (kidding). Just repeat the process with the new opener. It's not that difficult to do.

I will post the steps and photos in the original post soon.
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Old 08-10-2007, 01:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Awsome!! That is grewat I like these little gadget things.
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Old 08-10-2007, 02:10 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerDave
You are correct. If you have fog lights installed, find another spot for the button. This guy found a good spot:

https://www.8thcivic.com/forums/showthread.php?t=52000

If you move, just take your garage door opener with you (kidding). Just repeat the process with the new opener. It's not that difficult to do.

I will post the steps and photos in the original post soon.
I took a look at the OP int he thread you linked... but the images arent showing up for it. I read through the DIY and still couldnt decipher where he put the button. Im very interested in doing this mod... I just need to find a good spot for it because I do have the fog lights installed.
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Old 08-10-2007, 02:45 PM   #12 (permalink)
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He installed the button here:


Can you see it? It's in the roof of the small storage pocket located beneath the side mirror controls. You cannot see it from the driving position but you can feel it.
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Old 08-10-2007, 02:50 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerDave
He installed the button here:


Can you see it? It's in the roof of the small storage pocket located beneath the side mirror controls. You cannot see it from the driving position but you can feel it.
I think my company's firewall is blocking the images. Oh well. I do know what you are talking about though. In the roof of the little money tray. Thats a good spot for it.

Thanks

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Old 08-10-2007, 03:27 PM   #14 (permalink)


 
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Added to DIY Sticky + repped! Great stuff.



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Old 08-10-2007, 03:52 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Nice. Going with the Homelink mirror myself so I can remote control the garage and my house alarm.
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Old 08-14-2007, 07:36 PM   #16 (permalink)
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are you sure that was a 12v battery? i thought those small ones were like 1.5 volts. I have a garage opener with a similar battery and it is 1.5 volts.
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Old 08-15-2007, 03:43 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
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are you sure that was a 12v battery? i thought those small ones were like 1.5 volts. I have a garage opener with a similar battery and it is 1.5 volts.
Yup, I'm sure. It's an Energizer A23 that says "12V" right on it. I also tested it with my voltmeter to confirm. It's quite a bit smaller than your typical 1.5V "AAA' battery as you can see.

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Old 08-15-2007, 02:05 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Great DIY dude, I have that exact garage door opener, I gotta try this
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Old 08-15-2007, 04:02 PM   #19 (permalink)
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wow excellent work man!!!! Great DIY I think that I might just do that this weekend!!! I really do get tired of having to change my battery...
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Old 08-15-2007, 05:11 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I did something similar, but instead of using my actual garage door opener, I purchased a homelink transmitter from a seller on ebay and installed the entire thing. Power comes from the cigarette lighter.
The entire unit is hidden.

I know - this is useless without pictures...

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