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Discussion Starter #1
I want to run a wire from a switch on the dash to the rear on my 03 Bean on the driver's side. This is to turn on/off the rear dash cam. When the car is parked in my garage I don't need the cam running, but would like to keep it on when in parking lots. My front Garmin has parking mode and I installed a switch on the dash to turn that on and off. My rear cam is a simple Mobius that doesn't have the GPS and all the other stuff that the Garmin cam has as I don't need that. I will plug the Mobius into a power pack that charges from the rear power outlet on the driver's side when the car is running, but I need a way to turn off the power pack when it's parked in the garage. Currently the Mobius is plugged directly into the rear power outlet and automatically shuts off when the car is turned off.

Is there a wiring harness that runs from front to back above the door sills along the floor on the driver's side? Has anybody taken the sill covers off? How much of a pain is it?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Holy ship! I did a lot of poking around and found that there's supposed to be a trailer wiring harness running back on the passenger side. I don't have/need a tow hitch so I never thought about that. I looked it up on the wiring diagram (found in a post here) and it's there.

I could perhaps hijack a couple of those wires at the fuse block and run them to a switch then run the wires at the other end to the power pack. Alternatively, maybe I could find a 12v to 5v converter and just do away with the battery pack if I can find constant power in the hitch connector.

Wish there was a better, more detailed wiring schematic, but this could definitely work.

Thanks!
 

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Wish there was a better, more detailed wiring schematic, but this could definitely work.
Not sure what schematic you found, so here's the one from the FSM that details the trailer connector. It's connector #R79, which is 6-pins/wires. (This is the connector "found" in the video.) The BW (black with white stripe) wire to pin 1 of the connector is an "always on" supply. It comes from fuse #10 (15 A) in the cabin fuse box. (See pages 12-5/6 in the Owners Manual.) Fuse #10 supplies only this connection for the trailer adapter.

Here's one approach to your goal (there might be others, even better/easier):

Find a mating connector for R79, then wire an accessory power socket (cigarette lighter socket) to pins 1 (power) and 6 (ground) of that mating connector. Plug it into the car's trailer connector, and plug the camera adapter into the power socket. That leaves the car wiring in original condition (no wires cut/tapped), and allows for disconnecting the camera system if needed.

With that, there's still always 12 V at pin 1 of R79. However, that power comes from fuse #10. To have that switchable, the fuse can be removed and an on/off switch (SPST) with an in-line fuse holder can be connected between the two fuse #10 blade sockets in the fuse panel. One way to do this is to use a blown fuse and attach wires to its two blades (at the back, plastic case end). Then mount the switch on the dash, with a suitable amperage fuse in the holder.

The in-line fuse probably could be far less than the original 15 A, if all it's handling is the camera. The camera power requirement rating would be a guide. This would also dictate the size of wire that would be needed when wiring in the switch.

With this, the line to R79 is switched, and fused. Moreover, at any time the "blown" fuse can be removed from the fuse panel and the original 15 A fuse installed to restore the system to the original set up.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Wow. I didn't expect this much detailed help.

Using the video Texan supplied, I found the harness after some struggling. It seems that right above it is another harness which probably runs everything in the back end. Deep down and hard to reach as my hands aren't small I found another one. When I got it out the plastic connector (R79) was a mess. Parts of the plastic had fused across some of the connector openings after about 17 years down there and the others were full of crud.

The schematic you attached is the same one I have, but you're much better at reading it. What I was thinking of was one that showed the physical path of the wires to see if I could intercept the always hot wire beneath the dash and wire in a simple rocker switch. I'm going to have to cut off the R79 connector anyway as it's in too poor condition to use.

I found this 12V to 5V adapter here (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071W4VCQX/?coliid=I17EBIGTHRCH9D&colid=2B775U2T7BX9&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it). Since the Mobius only draws 0.3A, this just might work.

I'm not interested in making this Outback resellable. I bought it with 4 miles on it and it just recently hit 100K. It lives in a garage and should last me another 100K or so. My independent mechanic keeps wanting me to buy a new one and he wants to buy this one. He also wants my wife's 2002 Camry with 32K on it.

Thanks!
 

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When I got it out the plastic connector (R79) was a mess. Parts of the plastic had fused across some of the connector openings after about 17 years down there and the others were full of crud.
Photo? I can understand crud, but fused (melted)? Interesting.

Keep in mind that other than the ground wire, all the others are "live" at some point Ie.g. when the brake lights, tail lights or turn signal lights are being used.) If the connector is damaged, and that could lead to a wire shorting to a ground or to another wire, best to stabilize them to prevent any movement in that direction.

What I was thinking of was one that showed the physical path of the wires to see if I could intercept the always hot wire beneath the dash and wire in a simple rocker switch.
The attached diagrams (rear 1 and rear 2) show the path of the rear wiring harness from under the right side of the dash to your objective, connector R79.

The hot wire coming from the "downside" of fuse #10 goes into the "Bulkhead harness" under the dash. It has a lot of branches, one of which crosses over to the right side of the dash area, where 32 of the wires in the harness, including the hot one from the fuse, branch off to a connector (B99) which connects to R3 (also 32 spaces). R3 is part of the "rear harness". (Rear 1) From there it's another wrapped bundle that heads back in the car along the right side floor/rocker with more branches along the way. The wires of the trailer connector branch off and end up where you found it. (Rear 2)

Because of the way the harnesses are bundled and located, the most likely place to reasonably access wires where they come out of the wrapped bundle, and that's usually at connectors. Substituting for the fuse in the fuse panel, along the lines I had suggested, I thought might be simpler than cutting into the hot wire somewhere in the bulkhead harness under the dash.
 

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I don't believe any of the trailer wiring will have a dedicated wire that runs to the front of the car, as that's all shared with tail-light wiring.

I'd just run a wire under the carpet, there are a number of holes under seats, and it probably wouldn't be hard to pass something from one to the next. Or pull the sill trim in each of the door openings along one side, and tuck it under the edge of the carpet along that way.
 

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I don't believe any of the trailer wiring will have a dedicated wire that runs to the front of the car, as that's all shared with tail-light wiring.
Not so on the ones equipped with a trailer connector. The wire is clearly shown in the wiring diagram attached in post #5 above (highlighted, coming down from FB-12 at the top).

Subaru (other makes as well) requires a trailer adapter to connect to trailers. Two reasons. First, Subaru uses separate bulbs for the stop lights and the turn signals. Many trailers are wired so that the same bulb is used for both functions, i.e., when the brake pedal is pressed, the two stop lights on the trailer come on, but if the turn signal is activated, the stop light on that side will flash. So a conversion is needed. If you look at the "converter" box near the bottom of the wiring diagram, there's separate brake, left turn and right turn inputs at the top, but only right turn and left turn going out.

Second, trailers often develop wiring faults, including shorts. When a trailer is connected directly to the car's wiring, a short at the trailer will disable that circuit in the car. E.g., if there's a short in the brake/turn signal wire of a trailer, and that circuit is connected directly to the car's brake light wiring, when the brake pedal is pressed the car's brake light circuit fuse will blow. Driver might not know it, but the car has no brake lights, and, ABS will not work.

When the trailer adapter is used, it's has it's own power supply from the cabin fuse box. When the brakes are applied in the car, the separate 12 V coming into the adapter ("converter") from the car's brake light circuit doesn't go to the trailer; instead, the adapter turns on the trailer brake lights but uses that separate power source. A short in the trailer will blow the fuse in that separate trailer supply, but the car's own lighting will not be affected. In other words, the adapter isolates the car's lighting wiring from that of the trailer.
 

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All the wagons have the trailer connector. I didn't realize it's a powered adapter. I've wired in generic adapters into several cars that just piggyback off the bulb power. Most vehicles have the brake light power shared with something else (Automatics won't come out of Park if that fuse blows, when pulling boats out this winter, we plugged in a trailer to my uncles FZJ80 Land Cruiser, and then it wouldn't come out of park).

Even still, I would just string a wire under the carpet. Locating wires in the harness can be a pain, and it doesn't sound like Leo is terribly comfortable reading a wiring diagram.
 

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Alternatively, one could remove the headliner and run wires up/down the front and rear pillars.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Photo? I can understand crud, but fused (melted)? Interesting.

Keep in mind that other than the ground wire, all the others are "live" at some point Ie.g. when the brake lights, tail lights or turn signal lights are being used.) If the connector is damaged, and that could lead to a wire shorting to a ground or to another wire, best to stabilize them to prevent any movement in that direction.
R79 connector.jpg


This is what the connector looks like after I blasted it with compressed air to get all the schmutz out of it. A lot of the plastic is deformed.

After I confirm the wire colors with the pins according to the schematic, I'll disconnect the battery and then cut each wire just behind the connector and tape each one. I'll use the always hot and the ground to connect to the 12V to 5V USB converter.

THANKS for all the help.
 

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This is what the connector looks like
Is the white material a grease of some type? It might have been used to protect the connector contacts from corrosion until first use. That would have accumulated dirt over the past 16 or so years. I would probably clean the connector with electronic contact cleaner. That would provide a better view of the contacts and plastic housing.

I can't clearly see the deformation. Looks like something on the right side. The main thing to consider is whether or not the pins inside the connector are being held firmly, and the plastic between them is intact and not malformed, so that the pins are kept away from each other. If the connector is doing it's job, then I'd try to avoid cutting and taping all the wires, as that will leave loose ends and risk shorting if the tape comes off. If a mating trailer adapter connector cannot fit due to the deformation, then perhaps cut only the two wires needed to hook up to the 12-5 V adapter, and leave the others in place.

The always-on wire, Black with White stripe, will be in one corner (pin 1) and the ground, all Black wire, will be in the diagonally opposite corner (pin 6) of the rectangle formed by the two rows and three columns.
 

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Is the white material a grease of some type? It might have been used to protect the connector contacts from corrosion until first use.
The connector felt very dry when I first took it out. After I blew it out with compressed air, I took a needle and probed some of the deformed slots. The deformed areas are solid and not susceptible to chipping off as if it were hardened grease. Also, on the right side in the photo the worst deformed areas are exactly the same color as the outside of the connector.
 

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The connector felt very dry when I first took it out. After I blew it out with compressed air, I took a needle and probed some of the deformed slots. . . .
Thanks.

I just came back from having a closer look at the connector on my 07. I think it's the same physical connector type, it's on the left rear side of the cargo area (changed with the 2005+) and some wire colors are different. But, the electrical functions at each pin are the same. (I compared the 2003 and 2007 wiring diagrams.) Here's what I have (just as background for others, as there are those differences).

Here's the connector, face on, locking tab at the top, with the pins numbers, wire colors, and functions:

trailer connector 1.JPG

And here's photos of the back top and bottom of the connector, showing the wires and colors:

trailer connector rear, upper.JPG trailer connector rear bottom.JPG

Those flat, female contacts in the connector are amenable to using (i.e., pushing in) individual male flat contacts to connect to the wires, especially if only one or two connections are needed. This is what I would try. (After each contact is set in, I'd put a dab of Goop on it to prevent it from coming out and to provide insulation. (Again, just some ideas.) But I cut-and-connect route will do.

In regard to the 12-5 V adapter, I see the 5 V output is a USB connector. Is that what the camera uses for it's power input?

Look forward to your updates, and also how you make the always-on supply switchable.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
could this harness also be used to make an always on power socket?
That is what I'm going to do, but I think it depends on how much current you expect to draw. These wires are only supplying current for lights. The camera I'll use only draws 0.3 amps. If you were thinking of using anything that draws any real amperage. then the wiring may not be able to handle it.
 
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