tunnel panels and USB charger

With a weekend trip planned with the car next month, i thought it would helpful to have a way to charge our phones along the way. I picked up a cheap dual USB charger on Amazon, and figured out i could wire it to the same power circuit as the radio, since it's switched power and i rarely use the radio anyway.

After looking at different options, i thought the easiest location for the port would be on the center panels of the car, where i could easily hide the wiring and it would be out of the way. Mine were missing, so i decided to make a set.

panel construction

This is the stack of parts: thin hardboard, some thin foam and black vinyl. The vinyl was just trimmed and glued around the back.

finished panel

The panel mounts with a clip into the center brace and a screw into a tab on the forward part of the gearbox tunnel. The clip is just an angled piece of steel, bent from some scrap sheet stock and riveted on. 

panel mount clip

Here's the finished panel on the driver side:

driver kidney panel

And with a little wiring, the passenger panel with USB port

passenger kidney panel

The charger works great, and the center console looks more finished with the panels in place.