Whoa! Long title.
Ok… Where to begin. Everyone has done this, at least those who are fortunate to own a MINI. Two immediate mods one attempts is the Euro Parcel Shelf, and installing an Aux In. The Euro Shelf sits below the steering wheel, and replaces the knee bolster. It adds a tiny bit of room to hold small items. Perfect for a CD, garage door opener, or any other such item that is small in height. The Aux Input provides a mini stereo jack (1/8″) input for an iPod or any audio device with a headphone port (or line out).
Many people install the aux input in the shelf - this is a simple as:
Drilling three 2mm pilot holes
Drilling a 10mm hole in the middle
Mounting the plate with the two screws provided, and then attaching the aux input to the plate - NOT to the plastic. The input was designed to fit on the metal plate provided, not plastic - a 10mm hole is larger than the Aux Input input end. Therefore, the Aux Input should pass completely through the plastic if the plate is off.
However, I decided to step it up one level further, as some people have ventured, and installed my garage door opener into the shelf. Why? Coolness factor. Plus I was not about to spend $200.00 for something I could put together in an hour.
To install the garage door opener, I needed parts:
Misc stranded wire (22 AWG)
Automotive fully insulated quick disconnects
Garage door opener
SPST NO Momentary Pushbutton switch
Misc heat shrink tubing
Zip ties galore, and those sticky mounting plates
I purchased the switch at the local electronics store, Purchase Radio. I doubt they do mail order, and I’m sure it’s not worth the time trying to order a switch from them. You could always call and ask.
Made by NTE
Momentary, Normally Open
Part number: 54-385
Data Sheet (for some reason, the switch is grey, but the description says red, probably placed a grayscale image in the PDF):
The pushbutton required a .72″ diameter hole! Very close to the edges of the blanking plate. I was tempted to use a vandal proof switch, but they cost around 15.00 a switch! And didn’t come in red.
Why an Orange LED? The MINI has Orange/Amber interior lighting, and an orange LED matches it perfectly. I used a 3mm ORANGE LED, but could have used a 5mm LED. I stuck with the smaller size of the original door opener. I purchased the LED from:
who are not terribly expensive when you consider Radio Shack and Digikey per LED pricing plus tax. Shipping was fast and professional. The only regret I have is not sanding the LED so it was diffused. If I have to take the blanking plate out in the near future, I will sand the LED. I may even upgrade to a 5mm.
If I were to redo it, I’d put the LED at top (I may just flip the panel next time I’m doing some work inside the MINI) so I could see it when I press the button! It looks cool at night, and amazingly works very very well.