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Built-In Garage Door Opener Switch


Abell02TJ

Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2020
Messages
58
Location
Ohio
This is my first DIY on the Forum so I hope people find it instructive and useful! I was tired of getting home only to realize my garage door opener was still locked in my console, so I decided I needed a better solution. I found a nice video on YouTube by KipKay that covered the basics, but I thought I could add some more detail and also share what I did a little differently. It took me probably 20 minutes from start to finish.

I also put my switch for the garage door in the knee bolster - the plastic trim piece underneath the steering column. You could do this pretty much anywhere you wanted to that had the space, but the knee bolster was a super easy and logical place for me.

Materials:
  • Functional garage door opener - I bought a cheap one for Genie openers on Amazon but just about any opener should work
  • Electrical wire - I used leftover speaker wire from a Kicker upgrade but again any small gauge wire should work
  • 2 position momentary switch - I used a momentary toggle from MGI Speedware, but once again any momentary switch should work. Like the button in your opener, you want the circuit to close only when you have the button/switch held in the ON position. The switch functions should be coded (ON)/OFF with the parentheses indicating the momentary position.
  • Tape/zip-ties/fasteners
Tools:
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Soldering iron
  • Multimeter
Skills:
  • Basic mechanical (can you operate a drill)
  • Basic soldering (can you make simple solder connections)
I chose a non-illuminated switch in order to keep everything simple. The entire system is contained on my knee bolster and has no connection to any other part of my Jeep. If you wanted to use an illuminated switch you could easily tap into a 12V power connection to illuminate the switch. I also put it on the right side of the knee bolster but there's plenty of room on either side. Once you have your supplies and know where you want the switch, it's time to get started!

Step 1: Adding your wire leads to your remote circuit (this is literally the only tricky part so if you can do this, you're golden!)
  • First you want to open up your remote and remove the circuit board - mine just pried apart with a flathead but you might need to undo some screws. You want to get the circuit board out of the opener
  • Remove the battery and put it aside - you don't want to be triggering your garage door over and over while you do this
  • Now you need to find the right connections to solder your wires to in order to add your switch loop
    • Locate the switch on your circuit board - if you have multiple switches, make sure you pick the one that corresponds to the door you wish to open
    • Using your multimeter, test for continuity between the switch connection that closes when you push the button
      • Your switch will have 4 connections - as an example see the 4 on the picture below
      • Your switch might be through hole mounted, in which case it is easier to test from the back of the board (the switch in this photo is surface mounted)
      • Test each connection pair to see which gives continuity only when the button is pressed
        • Your multimeter should beep in continuity mode only when the button is pressed
        • switch_contacts1.jpg
  • Solder a wire lead onto the connections you identified in the previous step being careful not to create a solder bridge between them
    • In the above photo, it's connections 3 and 4
    • As you can see my solder job is super ugly, but it works - this isn't a soldering contest so as long as it works and holds firm you're good!
Step 2: Replace the battery and put your circuit board and lead wires into an enclosure

In the video he uses a plastic candy tin but I didn't like this idea​
I simply used my "donor" remote as the enclosure and used my Dremel to cut two spaces for my soldered wires​
  • switch_enclosure.jpg

Step 3: Quick test

You can quickly test your progress by touching your wire leads together briefly and see if your garage door opens. If it does, great! If not, go back and start troubleshooting or ask for help and I'm happy to help however I can.​
Step 4: Add your switch to the wire leads

Because this is only a 2 pole switch, you do not need to worry about which wire goes to which contact on the switch​
Secure your leads to your switch and test it again by pushing the switch to make sure it completes the circuit momentarily to send the signal​
20200811_193435.jpg
Step 5: Remove your knee bolster

If you want to locate your switch elsewhere of course feel free​
Your knee bolster is held in by 2 screws (green arrows), 3 slotted tabs (blue arrows) and 2 friction clips (red arrows)​
Remove the 2 screws and give a firm tug at the top and it should come loose fairly easily​
20200811_192237.jpg
Step 6: Drill a hole and mount your switch

My switch required a 1/2" hole but you should be able to easily find the appropriate size for your switch without much issue​
When drilling it is helpful to start with smaller holes and work up to the final size​
20200811_194617.jpg
Step 7: Secure your opener on the knee bolster

I used some simple double-sided tap to secure the opener to my knee bolster​
20200811_195133.jpg
Step 8: Remount your knee bolster, test, and enjoy!

20200811_195829.jpg


Hope everyone finds this helpful and I am always happy to help if anyone has questions I am happy to help!

20200811_193032.jpg


1597262324870.png


20200811_192237.jpg
 
Last edited:

MountaineerTom

LJ Enthusiast, Retired USAF Weapons Loader
Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2018
Messages
3,015
Location
Sumter, SC
I have mine connected to a momentary pushbutton switch on the side of the center console next to the parking brake. Easy to reach but not very obvious. And yeah, I know I need a new shifter bezel...

View attachment 216452
I have something similar under the dash, where the center console meets the dash. I had it on a home made mount, out of sight and just wired to one of the spare openers I had. It only opened a single door though. I recently got two new openers on the house plus I added an opener to my workshop. I didn’t want to try and hide 2 more switches, so I just went with the homelink setup.
 
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BlueChip

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2021
Messages
59
Location
CT
I would love to do this but added it to the ashtray areas with the normal switches. anyone know where to get those swtiches?

Chris