Chevrolet Volt DIY Illuminated Charging Port

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Introduction: Chevrolet Volt DIY Illuminated Charging Port

Chevrolet Volt has an optiona l illuminated charging portThis is a costly accessory especially in Canada costing around CAD$300.

Which led me to seek a more affordable solution.
I managed to build this using stock Angel Eye Halo COB LED for a fraction of the price.

I think the end result is even better looking and more functional than the original accessory.

Use the original accessory installation manual as reference for this DIY installation: volt_illum_ charge_port.pdf

Parts:

Tools:

Step 1: Threading Wires From Charging Port to Engine Compartment

  1. Use plastic trim removal tool to pry off housing bezel from charge port housing, from the bottom left hand corner and move to lower right hand corner to release bezel.
  2. Gently pry the bezel outward and disengage the bezel from the charge port housing assembly
  3. Bend 14 AWG Romex Wire into half moon shape.
  4. Fish the wire through charge port drain hole and route until it is visible between quarter panel outer and upper rail. (see dashed line in photo above for routing behind the fender panel).
  5. Since the drain hole is pretty narrow, attach one 18 AWG wire to the routing aid with electrical tape. Then attach second 18 AWG wire to first 18 AWG wire. Staggering them this way will reduce the overall diameter of the bundle of wires.
  6. Pull the routeing aid up whilst feeding the wires through the drain hole, until the wires emerge in the engine compartment.

Step 2: Attaching Current Driver

  1. Cut the wires between current river and the COB LED connector.
  2. Use terminal crimping tool to attach butt splices to the wires that were cut on the current driver.
  3. For strain relief for wires, attach butt splices to rear of current driver with a zip tie.
  4. Estimate 1/4" loom length by following wire routeing behind fender panel accommodating a little extra and cut to length.
  5. Insert 18 AWG wires into 1/4" loom then feed loom and wires down back behind fender panel down to drain hole.
  6. Attach current driver to harness above charging port in engine compartment using zip tie.
  7. Reattach the COB LED connector to 18 AWG wires in the charging port using butt splices that emerge through drain hole.

Step 3: Solder Terminals

  1. Solder 18 AWG red wire to the Yazaki YESC 2.8mm Female Terminal.
  2. Solder 18 AWG black wire to the Molex MX150 2.0mm Female Terminal.
  3. Crimp terminal wings onto the wires using pliers (or crimping tool).

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Step 4: Routing Harness Terminals to Current Driver

  1. Estimate length of 1/4" loom and 18 AWG wires attached to 2.0mm and 2.8mm terminals, following the routing in engine compartment highlighted in yellow in photo above, starting at harness connector between fuse box and brake fluid reservoir, to current driver.
  2. Attach loom with zip ties, as shown in photos above, following the highlighted route.
  3. In order to fit butt splices in loom next to current driver, stagger 18 AWG wire length so the butt splices fit one after the other in the loom, rather than side by side.
  4. Use crimping tool to attach current driver input wires to the wires in the loom with butt splicers.
  5. Fit wires and butt splicers into the loom.

Step 5: Attach Harness Terminals Into the Harness

  1. Detach male and female harness connectors from one another, the red button lever on the side of the harness will need to be pulled back first.
  2. Use small precision screw driver to gently pry out female connector white face, using the housing as a pivot point, until it reaches pre-lock position about 1/4" travel. Caution: It should never be fully removed from the connector housing! Excessive force may damage it!
  3. Use needle nose pliers to pull out the blue silicone plug from the large terminal cavity. If its grip slips when trying to pull out the plug, use can also use the precision screw driver through cavity from opposite side of pliers, to help push out the plug.
  4. Use precision screw driver to pry off rear connector face, then use needle nose pliers to pull off black plastic cavity plug. Then reattach rear connector face.
  5. Feed 2.8mm terminal with red wire into large cavity. Feed 2.0mm terminal with black wire into adjacent cavity.
  6. Push female connector white face back into harness.
  7. Reattach Male and female connectors and lock them in place by pushing red lever back into place.

Step 6: Attach COB LED

  1. Verify fit of COB LED around the larger diameter round base of the charging port. If it's a tight fit you can use sandpaper to lightly sand the inner diameter of the COB LED or very lightly and carefully use a Dremel tool making sure not to damage the COB LED module.
  2. Place a bead of silicone around the larger round base of the charge port which will serve as an adhesive to keep COB LED in place.
  3. Place some of the silicone over the attachment points of the wires on the rear of the COB LED module, to help keep them sealed rain.
  4. Push COB LED module back into the charging port base, whilst keeping wire attachment point on back of COB LED module at "10 o'clock" so that it's not sitting in a pool of water in case drain hole gets clogged.
  5. Attach COB LED connector to the current driver connector.
  6. Attach Charge Port Bezel, that was removed in step #2 making sure wires aren't pinched and are concealed behind the bezel.
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    33 Comments

    1
    akkhandelwal
    akkhandelwal

    9 months ago

    I have finished the wiring as per the new schematic, as can be seen in the picture, and, for those, who have newer models should check the location of the black wire on the body side of the connector. The LED ring I ordered came in a pair and I still have the spare one, if someone wants, can PM me.

    Illuminate Port final wiring.PNG20200903_111451.jpg
    0
    s0cr4t1c
    s0cr4t1c

    Reply 9 months ago

    Looks good! Glad everything came together for you. 😁

    0
    akkhandelwal
    akkhandelwal

    11 months ago

    HI,
    For all those who have 2017 & 2018 models, The wiring is little different, as I found out form GM Publication, the pin 7 is changed to pin 11 as shown in the attached excerpt from GM document.
    I found it out when I noticed there was no pin on the body side connector at Pin 7, whereas pin 11 has a black wire.

    Capture.PNG
    0
    akkhandelwal
    akkhandelwal

    11 months ago

    Hi,
    I like the idea of s0cr4t1c of putting the ring with double sided tape on top of the charger base. The ring is just wide enough to fit between the gap between the upper cover and charger base.

    However, I am struggling to take apart the male and female harness connector. I unlocked the red tab all the way and applied quit a force to separate it, but it won't. Any suggestions ?

    Also, I was wondering, can I connect the black wire to ground instead of connecting it to the harness ?

    Thanks

    1
    akkhandelwal
    akkhandelwal

    Reply 11 months ago

    Hi,

    Again s0cr4t1c came as life savor for me. He sent me a picture explaining one important step I was missing to separate the connectors, as below. I will post that picture here for dumb people like me so they dont break the connectors.

    "After
    you release the red tab, you need to press down on the black ‘lever’ on the
    female side. That will release the harness and you should be able to separate
    the two halves."

    Connector separation.jpg
    0
    s0cr4t1c
    s0cr4t1c

    1 year ago

    Well, it took a lot longer than expected and I encountered several road blocks, but here it is, my DIY illuminated charge port. A few notes:

    The smaller black wire terminal can be a real pain to get seated all the way. Make sure that your solder/crimp doesn’t make the terminal any taller or wider or it won’t slide in all the way. Also, I had to use a stiff, thin wire to push it far enough to click in. The copper wire was just too flimsy to apply any real force and seat the terminal. The larger terminal was a piece of cake.

    The LED ring I purchased was just a hair too narrow to fit around the base of the charge port. Rather than sand it and risk damage, I found that it fit perfectly at the base of the outer bezel. I used a double sided tape ring that came with the halo to attach to the bottom of the bezel.

    197F429B-03BD-4229-86DE-F53E3F2B4FD0.jpeg3978F8B8-F412-4522-B2C3-1C926778389A.jpeg
    0
    Yanis_Sauve
    Yanis_Sauve

    1 year ago

    Was anybody able to source eth connectors in Canada? The links provided would cost 9$ for the connectors, and 40$ shipping. :)

    0
    Yanis_Sauve
    Yanis_Sauve

    Reply 1 year ago

    OMG! Yes, please! I will contact you shortly.

    0
    viccoastdog
    viccoastdog

    2 years ago

    I just received the COB from Amazon. I have yet to source the connectors. I'm thinking of installing the COB ring facing inwards so that it's perhaps not quite as bright as yours appears to be. Thoughts?

    0
    s0cr4t1c
    s0cr4t1c

    Reply 1 year ago

    Which COB led did you purchase from Amazon and did it fit properly? Most of the listings I’m seeing say the 80mm halos have an interior diameter of ~70mm. I think we need 73-75mm to fit around the charge port.

    0
    viccoastdog
    viccoastdog

    Reply 1 year ago

    Furthermore, it looks like I will need to sand the interior of the ring carefully to get the diameter to 73mm, which looks like it will fit

    0
    viccoastdog
    viccoastdog

    Reply 2 years ago

    Excellent and thanks. I will do the same.

    0
    s0cr4t1c
    s0cr4t1c

    Reply 1 year ago

    Did you end up buying this LED Halo? The listing says the internal diameter is only 70mm. I think I need a halo that’s approx 74-75mm internal diameter to fit properly, but I’m having a really hard time sourcing one. Unfortunately, superbrightleds has discontinued the COB led ring used in this instuctable. 😕

    0
    s0cr4t1c
    s0cr4t1c

    1 year ago

    I just purchased 10 pairs of MX150 and YESC connectors due to the minimum purchase requirements. If anyone would like to purchase one pair of connectors for this DIY project, shoot me an email. I can send you a pair for $4.

    christopher.m.rutherford@gmail.com