Installing a Power Inverter

by: Beau Johnston

We find ourselves traveling with more and more electronics.  We had been using one of those inexpensive inverters, the kind that plug into the cigarette lighter, to charge our laptop and camera batteries.  The low amperage rating of these inexpensive interters would only allow for one device to be plugged in at a time and they required the 4Runner's key to be in the 'ACC' position to work.  We wanted something we could use while driving or in camp and could safely handle more than one device.  We found a Stanley 800 watt inverter at our local hardware store and I set out to get it installed in the 4Runner.

Materials Used:
  • 800 watt Stanley Inverter
  • 25' of 4AWG wire
  • 2' of 6AWG wire
  • 100amp breaker
  • 6ea 4-6AWG ring terminals
  • 2ea 1/2" rubber grommet
  • Solder
  • 4ea 1-1/2" wood screws

Tools Needed:
  • Drill
  • 1/2" drill bit
  • Soldering torch
  • Cable cutters

The Installation:
I wanted to have easy access to the inverter while we were in camp but still wanted to be able to plug devices in while we were on the road.  I decided to mount it to the rear drawer system, on the driver-side. I drilled a 1/2" hole through the interior panel, inserted a 1/2" grommet, to protect the wires from damage, and ran the wires from the interior to the body.

I terminated the negative wire to the body near where the trailer light module is located and ran the positive wire through a new grommet in the drain hole in the rear quarter panel, over to the frame, through the frame, and up into the engine bay.  I covered the bit of wire running between the body and the frame with corrugated plastic wire loom to protect it from rocks coming off of the rear tire.

I have the wire protected with a 100amp breaker located, for now, next to the factory fuse box. I also ran a new ground strap (4AWG) from the body to the battery.

I soldered the wire ends to the ring terminals by heating the terminals and wire with a soldering torch and feeding the solder in until the cavity was full.