Trail Install: Switch-Pros 9100 / PowerTray Install on 5th Gen 4Runner
Complete Step by Step Install of the Switch-Pros 9100 with PowerTray: How to Wire a Switch-Pros In Detail
Electrical organization will come into play for most builds, mild to wild. For some it will include a light bar and an additional USB plug, for others, it will be a whole system that can power and manage all of their electrical needs. In a lot of cases, owners will start by adding a few things here and there until their engine compartment and battery terminals look something like a rats nest of wiring and in-line fuses.
At some point enough is enough, and something must be done to harness all of those errant wires into an organized and functional system. Enter the PowerTray electrical main panel. It bolts in place on the driver’s side of the vehicle to provide a sturdy and functional platform that a variety of different electrical components can be bolted to, specifically tailored to the vehicle it is installed in.
Made with ⅛” brushed aluminum and stainless hardware, it is built to withstand the harsh environment under the hood.
This installation will be showcasing their “Switch-Pros PowerTray” which is optimized for a Switch-Pros 8100 or 9100, a Blue Sea 6-circuit fuse block, a Blue Sea 8 slot terminal block and their “stubby” cables. All of the components and the associated hardware, other than the Switch-Pro itself, can be purchased directly through the PowerTray website. The basic installation of this tray will be the same with any of their configurations.
Parts / Tools Needed
- Switch-Pros SP9100: Check Today’s Price
- Switch-Pros Vertical Mount PowerTray / hardware
- Blue Sea 6-circuit fuse block (#5025)
- Blue Sea 30A, 8 slot terminal block (#2508)
- Blue Sea 10 screw BUS bar (#2301)
- Blue Sea 100A 285-series circuit breaker (#7187)
- PowerTray Stubby Cables/hardware
- Shrink tubing (with adhesive), various sizes
- Battery wire and ring ends
- 3M fastener
- #10 fork terminals, marine grade
- Allen Wrenches – 3mm, 2.5mm
- Wrenches / sockets – 7mm, 8mm, ½”, ⅜”
- ⅜” Ratchet with extensions and universal joint
- Electrical Pliers
- Crimping tool
- Heat gun
- Blue Loctite
Step by Step Installation
All of the components, unboxed and laid out
Start by laying out your accessories on their designated cutouts, making sure that you have them all facing the correct direction. Then, using the supplied hardware, install the accessories on the tray.
The terminal block uses 4-M8 bolts/nuts, the bus bar uses 2-M8 nuts/bolts, the fuse block uses 4-M7 bolts/nuts and the Switch-Pro uses 2-M4 bolts/nuts. It’s a pretty straightforward procedure, the holes will only line up in one combination.
This will be the same with any of their pre-configured trays. The blank tray will need to be customized at this point to suit the buyer’s specific needs.
Terminal bar (left), Fuse Block (center), BUS bar (right)
Laying out the Blue Sea components
Components on the PowerTray and fastened
NOTE (02/05/2019): Switch-Pros have specified in their instructions that the SP9100 power module is designed to be installed either vertically or facing down. This is to keep moisture from building up on the wiring harness and potentially getting past the plug seals and into the corrodible connection pins. I confirmed this with a phone call to their tech support. Mounting it horizontally as instructed by PowerTrays can potentially void your Switch-Pros warranty if water causes a problem with the connections.
NOTE (o3/03/2020): PowerTrays has released an updated version of the Switch-Pros PowerTray that mounts the unit vertically along the back of the tray. This new orientation satisfies the Switch-Pros warranty disclaimer mentioned above. The new product can be found here or in the parts list above.
Wiring the Switch-Pro out of the vehicle
The Switch-Pro comes with individual leads for each of the 8 outputs it has. This can get messy in the engine bay with wires being connected and no real way to organize them.
With the use of the Blue Sea terminal block, these leads can be organized and easily arranged to suit the customer’s needs. It’s best to wire the Switch-Pro to the terminal block outside the vehicle so you aren’t leaning over the fender for an hour trying to make everything equal.
Start by separating the output leads from the input leads of the Switch-Pro, ordering them from one to eight. Start with output lead number one, cut it to length with a little extra slack for good measure.
Be sure to strip the end ¼”. Slide a ½” piece of 1/4″ shrink tubing over the wire, then use the crimping tool to secure a #10 fork terminal on the end of the wire. With the heat gun, apply heat to the terminal to seal the end.
Next, slide the shrink tubing over the cooled terminal end and apply heat to finish off the lead. Attach the lead to the designated screw on the terminal block to secure it. Repeat for leads two through eight for a clean finished product.
The Switch-Pro wiring harness plugged in
Arranging the wires by type to make arranging them easier
Wires are cut to length, shrink wrap in position
Wires are cut to length, 1/4″ shrink wrap in position, and connector crimped. Don’t use the heat gun yet until everything is test fit.
All wires test fit and in position. Everything looks ok for final fit.
Apply heat with a heat gun to the connector
Apply heat with a heat gun to the connector first, then slide the shrink wrap over the connector and apply heat again until sealed.
The final product with the Switch-Pro wires connected
Stubby or No Stubby
These are the PowerTray Stubby Cables. For my installation, I used the negative cable shown, but changed the positive cable to dedicated runs. One for the fuse block, one for the Switch-Pro.
PowerTrays offers what they call their “Stubby Cables” for this setup and essentially the kit is a set of short cables that connect the positive leads from the Switch-Pro and the fuse block together and the negative leads from the fuse block and the BUS bar. In theory, by using cables, you eliminate the need to have separate positive cables for the Switch-Pro and the fuse block leading to the battery making for a cleaner installation.
You use the provided positive cable (with 125A fuse) from the Switch-Pro to connect to the battery, and the power is then split at the Switch-Pro positive terminal to power the Blue Sea fuse block. PowerTray mentions on their website that as long as you will not be consuming more than 125A between both the Switch Pro and the fuse block, this arrangement works just fine.
However, on the Switch-Pro installation sheet at the top of page one, they note: “3. Do not connect any other power feeds to the power module’s power stud.”
With that noted, I opted to separate the positive leads so that the Switch-Pro and the fuse block would have their own battery connections. (note: photos of the initial configuration show the positive stubby cables before I switched it) I did leave the negative stubby cable connecting the fuse block and the BUS bar intact as there was no noted reason to change it. It attaches to the negative terminal on the fuse block and the closest terminal on the BUS bar using the supplied hardware for each unit.
Installing the PowerTray
Now that the tray is configured with all of its parts, loosely attach the leg to the tray using the supplied hardware and grab the two M10 bolts that will be used to attach the tray to the fender using the stock tapped holes.
First, I needed to remove my Slee Offroad compressor bracket and ARB compressor to make room for the PowerTray. Once it was removed, and the existing wires from other accessories were disconnected from the battery and pulled aside, I positioned the PowerTray.
I positioned my tray as forward as possible to allow for the most future access behind the tray to the firewall grommet, making future wiring less cumbersome. There are two slots on the tray edge facing the fender, and when positioned as forward as possible, both of the fender holes line up in the slot closest to the firewall (see photo).
You will need to configure your ratchet with extensions and a universal joint to tighten these bolts as the access underneath is limited.
Once the fender bolts are snug, you can position the support leg to align with an existing non-threaded hole in the lower wheel well sheet metal.
Here you will use the supplied bolt, washer and nut to fix the support arm to the hole. Blue Loctite should be applied to all of these bolts to reduce the risk of vibrational loosening. With that, the tray is installed.
The engine bay as it was before this upgrade
Compressor removed, and wires disconnected
Laying out hardware for the PowerTray
Laying out the hardware for the PowerTray on my platform slide out
Thread the fender bolts into positions
With the PowerTray in position, lightly thread the fender bolts into their designated positions. Be sure to use Loctite.
Note the position of the bolts
Note the position of the bolts on the back slot of the tray, allowing for the tray to be as forward as possible.
Add the support bracket
Add the support bracket and line it up with the hole in the fender. Loosely install hardware to allow for movement and alignment. Remember to add Loctite.
Bolt through fender
This shows where the bolt comes through on the other side of the fender.
Universal socket joint – tighten the bolt
Use a universal socket joint to allow for easier tightening of the bolt.
Check for final fitment and tighten all bolts.
The installed PowerTray and components.
Wiring the Switch-Pro in the vehicle
The Switch-Pro requires a few wire inputs for proper function:
The blue wire must be connected to a source that only comes on when the vehicle is in the “ON” or “ignition” position. This tells the unit when the vehicle is on, allowing for accessories that have been programmed to be on only when the car is running to function.
The white wire connects to a source that signals the vehicle’s lights are on. This allows the control panel to dim when the lights are turned on. A handy feature at night. Both the white and blue wires can be run through the firewall to the fuse panel under the dash on the driver’s side near the emergency brake pedal. Using an Add-A-Fuse, connect the blue wire to the vacant slot fifth down from the top on the right side. This is an ignition triggered fuse. Using another Add-A-Fuse, connect the white wire with the “tail light” fuse, bottom on the left. Since the tail lights come on with both the parking lights and the headlights, this is an optimal one to use. Use 2.5A fuses for both.
The pink wire can be wired with another non-Switch-Pro switch to power a light. For example, you could wire your stock high beams to the pink lead on the Switch-Pro to control an auxiliary light bar that you would want to turn on with the high beams. I did not use this feature yet, so I zip tied the wire under the PowerTray for future use.
The black wire is the negative lead that should be wired to the negative terminal of the battery or in my case, the negative BUS bar on the PowerTray.
Finally, the red power lead gets connected from the stud terminal on the Switch-Pro unit to the positive terminal of the battery. I was able to route mine under the PowerTray for a clean appearance while still being able to access the fuse if needed.
The add-a-fuses connected to the blue and white wires from the Switch-Pro, powered at the fuse panel on the driver’s side.
OEM fuse panel
The OEM fuse panel cover showing the locations of the tail fuse (lower left) and the blank fuse (5th from top on the right)
Main power lead for the Switch-Pro
The main power lead for the Switch-Pro can be seen attached to the battery terminal routed to the left of the OEM fuse box.
The Switch-Pro Control Panel
Where you wire the Switch-Pro control panel, it’s entirely up to the user. For me the key factor for the location was simple. I wanted to have the panel in sight but out of sight, meaning I wanted them to be a quick glance from the road or trail, but not in my face to distract me when I am not looking at them.
I wanted them to be in a “natural reflex” zone in the same way that your high beams are so that I can quickly turn accessories on or off without having to look for the switch. I wanted to have it out of the way so that I don’t compromise usable space in the vehicle. And lastly, I wanted to have it as discreet as possible because there are enough reasons for someone to break into a vehicle as it is.
With all of those factors in mind, I chose to mount the control panel below the leftmost dash vent on a panel that fits the unit perfectly. I mounted mine directly using the supplied hardware, and the supplied drill template. A step drill bit will allow for a clean hole in the OEM trim panel.
SDHQ does sell a replacement trim panel that has the Switch-Pro cut out, allowing it to mount completely flush. I was okay with saving a little extra mod money and having a not so flush (but pretty darn close) finish.
The last step is installing the stickers that correspond to your chosen accessories from the sticker sheets that they provide. Make sure to use the blacked out blanks for any unused switches to keep the backlight from being exposed and too bright to the eye.
Following the Switch-Pro instructions, remove the plug coming from the Switch-Pro unit, and pass the wires through the firewall grommet. Once on the other side, reinstall the plug end and attach it to the control panel plug, securing the wire with zip ties.
The Shelf on 4Runner
This “shelf” above the mirror controls is where the control panel will be installed.
Template provided by Switch-Pro
Using the template provided by Switch-Pro to line up where the panel will be installed.
Remove the panel for drilling
It’s easier to remove the panel for drilling than to do it in the vehicle. You are less likely to nick another panel.
Switch-Pro panel installed – no labels
The Switch-Pro panel installed without the labels installed.
Final installation including labels
Wiring the Fuse Block and BUS bar
To complete the circuit for the auxiliary power on the PowerTray, you will need to connect to a positive and negative source. First, you must choose how you would like to isolate your auxiliary power.
The two most common ways are using a fuse which when overloaded will blow and must be replaced. The other option is using a circuit breaker, which will also blow when overloaded but can be reset once the overload is isolated and fixed.
I decided to install the breaker to allow for an easy disconnect if I need to work on the electrical system, as well as it makes field fixes easier because you don’t need to bring a spare fuse. I installed the breaker a short distance from the battery terminal, attaching it to the top of the OEM fuse block with a strip of 3M fastener.
Using an appropriately sized wire, I cut and attached two eyelets to create the positive lead from the breaker to the stud on the fuse block. I used red shrink wrap on the ends to show that it is a positive lead. I used the same wire for the negative connection, attaching it to the stud terminal on the BUS bar on one side and the negative battery terminal on the other.
It’s always best to ground to the battery directly when possible because not all “body grounds” can guarantee a good ground.
Blue Sea circuit breaker
The Blue Sea circuit breaker for the fuse panel attached to the OEM fuse lid using 3M fasteners.
BUS bar to the negative terminal on the battery
Note the black negative wire attaching the negative BUS bar to the negative terminal on the battery.
With that, your installation is done. You can now connect your switched accessories to the Switch-Pro and your constant supply accessories to the fuse block using the same wiring techniques as when you wired the Switch-Pro leads in the beginning and appropriate fuses on the fuse block. Enjoy the cleanliness of the engine bay as you power all of your vehicle add-ons in style.