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LX150: Installing a 12V Power Outlet
The following are step by step photos of my installation of a Radio Shack 12V DC Power Outlet on my Vespa LX 150. These instructions are for informational use only. If you break something, don't blame me.

Here is a gallery of the images in various sizes, in case you want to see the original huge (2.5 MB) image.
http://smorris.smugmug.com/gallery/1369843/1/64620434


Part I
Here's the product (RS #270-1556 $7.49) : http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062272&cp



Begin by removing the Horn Cover. Carefully pry off the Piaggio emblem by inserting a screwdriver in the slot on the right (as you look at the emblem.) Protect the paint with a rag.




Then tilt the Piaggio emblem until the tab on the left side disengages.




Using a #2 (medium) Phillips screwdriver, remove the screw that is behind the Piaggio emblem. Then lift the horn cover straight up and pull it toward you to remove.




Here's what it looks like behind the horn cover. That's the horn at the bottom and a fuse block at the top.




Using a #3, or preferably #4 (large) phillips screwdriver, remove the top two screws under the horn cover. These hold the top of the glove box/legshield liner against the backside of the legshield. Be careful to hold the screwdriver tight against the screws, as they are quite tight and prone to stripping. That's why you need to use the largest screwdriver that will fit in the slot. Keep track of which screws go where.




Then remove the three screws on the inside of the glove box. These are especially prone to stripping the head, as they are at a difficult angle to access. These three screws are "shoulder screws." They have a shank (or shoulder) that is smaller than the head, yet larger than the thread. This is so that when the screw is tightened into place, the shoulder tightens against the stop rather than the head against the plastic. This keeps the plastic from cracking when the screw is tightened. Keep these separate from the two screws used on the front of the legshield.




Here is a photo showing the glove box/legshield liner just as it is being removed. You sort of have to wiggle and shake it to get it loose. Pull out at the bottom first, and then slide it down so the top can get around the underside of the headlight housing. Be sure to manually disengage the metal lever that latches the glove box closed. The other end of this lever is behind the ignition switch, and if you forget and jus start yanking, you will be attempting to pull the ignition switch out! As you disengage this lever, look at how it is engaged with the ignition switch so you will know how to reinstall it.




Here's what's behind the glove box/legshield liner looking at it from the left side. (To see a larger version for more detail, look at the gallery linked at the top of this thread.)




Here's what's behind the glove box/legshield liner looking at it from the right side. (To see a larger version for more detail, look at the gallery linked at the top of this thread.)




Here's what the inside looks like. You can see the mechanism that opens the glove box when pushing in the ingition lock. This is the lever you need to disengage in the removal step above. by lifting the exposed latch in the previous step, you move this end of the lever from behind the ignition switch.




Then figure out where you want to locate the 12V power outlet. I wanted mine in the "roof" of the glove box on the left side (as looking from the rider's point of view.) There is less obstruction behind this area, and my GPS is on the left side. I chose the roof because the power outlet will not be visible with the glove box door open, making it less obvious that I've cut a big hole in the expensive scooter. (Especially if I screwed up!)




The Radio Shack power outlet requires a hole 1-3/32" (1.09") diameter. This is not a normal size for a drill or hole saw. I bought a 1" hole saw to use to drill the hole, and will then enlarge it to fit.




However, after I got home, I found that the 1" hole saw did not fit my hole saw arbor (which is apparently made only for larger sizes I already have.) So rather than go back to Home Depot and buy an appropriate arbor, I used a 1" Forstner bit, which is a specialty woodworking drill, and not really applicable for this use. It tended to grab as it broke through, and I had to be careful not to break out any pieces on the far side. A proper hole saw would probably work better. Also, putting masking tape on the other side might help avoid cracking the paint. Sears had hole saws with abrasive grit instead of saw teeth. I figured these would leave rough edges, and the grit was larger than the desired hole in some places.




Here's the rough hole as cut with the drill.




I then used a 3/4" sanding drum to enlarge and smooth the hole.




Work at it slowly, checking for size and roundness. You will have a tendency to remove more at the top and bottom because you have more leverage that way than on the sides. Measure often!



Using whatever measuring tool you have, finish when the hole size is 1-3/32" (1.09") or very slightly larger. The lip on the outlet is only about 3/32" wide, so there is not a lot of room for error. I would think if you got the hole as large as 1-1/8" (1.125") you would have trouble keeping the outlet in place. Measure often!




The power outlet has a key (rib) molded on the side to keep it from rotating, as shown in this too dark image...




Decide which way you want the cap to open, and cut a slot in the mounting hole on the appropriate side. I used a hacksaw blade for the initial cut, and then widened it a little with a tiny file. Again, trial fit the outlet and remove a little at a time.




Here's the power outlet in place, as shown from the back side. Trial fit it to make sure it fits in place. Remember, when it is time to wire the outlet, the red wire is attached to the center terminal, and the black to the outer terminal.




After I snapped the power outlet into place, I decided that the wall of the glovebox was slightly thicker than the intended thickness of the panel the outlet was designed for. A little wiggling caused it to pop out too easily, and I thought this would probably happen when plugging something into it. I took the power outlet back out, applied a liberal application of Krazy Glue around the body and locking tabs of the outlet where it would contact the glove box wall, and reinstalled it. Make sure you are really done with any fitting or trimming at this time. It will be permanent!




Here is a photo showing the power outlet all finished and installed back on the scooter.




Reassembly is, as they say, the reverse of disassembly. When putting the glove box/legshield liner back in, be sure to manually release the latch again so that the lever can engage on the back of the ignition switch. You also need to make sure that the edges of the liner engage in the clear vivyl gasket that runs around the edge of the legshield. The handlebar needs to be centered, and you sort of work your way forward and upward to get it into position. Be patient and work at it. It will fit!

Be very careful when reinstalling the screws that you don't strip the heads. If you plan to get back in there for more work like I do, you can just snug them up for now.

Part II
I purchased the following from Radio Shack for the wiring: 12 gauge wire (red and black) a waterproof automotive fuse block with an assortment of fuses, a relay (not shown), some ring terminals appropriately sized for the wire and battery terminals, and a terminal strip, which I ended up not using



[EDIT] I neglected to include information on the relay when this was first published. Here is the relay I purchased from Radio Shack

In part I, we had the inside of the legshield removed, but I couldn't get the floor panel off. Here's what it looked like.




To remove the floor panel, remove the two screws at the front edge as shown above. Then remove the two lower cowl trim. The two screws are in these vents. Make sure you know which ones go where, because one screw is a different size. Then pull the trim away from the scoot (front to back) and remove the rear tab from the back end. Then remove the two rear footrest screws.




pull out the front of the two center rubber foot rails, and remove the screws underneath. You can now remove the floor panel. Make sure you know where things fit when you put them back together!




Here's what it looks like without the legshield liner and the floor panel. The black cylinder on the left side is the air intake to cool the variator.






I made a bundle of the red and black 12 gauge wire and wrapped it with spiral insulation to keep it from wearing through if it rubs anywhere. I also added a red and black 24 gauge wire in case I ever wanted to move the power connections of the Tiny Tach to a switched line. I didn't connect them, and will ignore them throughout the remainder of this tutorial.

I ran the wire bundle along side the scooter's wiring harness, and clamped it in place with the original clamps.








I used a wire tie to bundle all of the excess wire and the fuse that are on the power outlet. I wanted to be able to remove the legshield liner and set it aside without removing any wires.




I used double sided tape to attach the relay to the inside of the legshield. One heavy red wire is the 12 gauge wire in the above bundle that will eventually be connected to the battery. The other heavy red wire gets connected to the power outlet (as shown in another photo further along in this tutorial. The small red wire is connected to the left running light wire, and the black connects to the black wire from the battery for ground.




Here is where I connected the small red relay wire to the running light. I stripped back the yellow/black wire, wrapped my red wire around it, soldered the connection, and used electrical tape to close it back up.




Now these next couple of photos might get confusing, because I also installed a replacement horn and wired it in at the same time. That's what the extra wires shown are for. (See Tutorial: Installing a louder horn on an LX-150)

Instead of using the terminal strip I bought, I simply used a wire nut and electrical tape to make my wiring connections. Make sure to use the appropriately sized wire nut. Here are the red wires all connected together. One goes to the new power outlet, one to the new horn relay, and the third is the heavy wire connected to the relay, above.




Same with the ground wire: One goes to the power outlet, one to the new horn relay, and one to the bundle of wires going back to the battery. One of the small black wires is the ground for the control side of the relay shown above, and the other is a ground for that pair of wires I said to ignore.




Back inside the engine compartment, I ran the wire bundle up along the right side, behind the scoot's wiring harness. It then will go through the large grommet seen on the right to the battery area.




The black 12 gauge wire gets a ring terminal crimped onto the end of it, and attached to the negative battery terminal. The red 12 gauge wire is spliced into the new fuse box, soldered, and wrapped with electrical tape. The other end of the fuse box has a rig terminal crimped on, and it is attached to the positive side of the battery. Don't put a fuse in the fuse box until all wires are attached, so that you don't cause a short.




That's it. Check your connections with a multi-meter if you have one. If not, plug something with a light into the 12V power outlet and make sure it works. Remember not to use anything drawing more current than the two fuses you've used. I used a 10A fast blow fuse back by the battery, and a 5A slow-blow in the power outlet.



See LX150: Installing a Tiny Tach for details on how to get to the battery, and LX-150: Installing a Stebel Nautilus Air Horn for what the extra wires shown in this article are used for.
Last Updated Sat Jun 07, 2008 6:31 pm
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