[GUIDE] VDC Shut-Off Switch Using OEM Buttons

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Thread: [GUIDE] VDC Shut-Off Switch Using OEM Buttons

  1. #1

    Post[GUIDE] VDC Shut-Off Switch Using OEM Buttons

    NOTE: Obviously, I can't guarantee anything will actually 100% work. But follow this guide, use a little common sense, and you should be fine. Everything in this guide is completely reversible to stock except for one cut of a pair of redundant and unimportant wires.

    Table of Contents:
    Post 2: Parts/Tools Needed
    Post 3: Removing the Dash
    Post 4: Wiring the Buttons for Illumination
    Post 5: "Nanny Fuse" Switch
    Post 6: Adding Extra Accessories

    It took me a long while and a lot of trial and error to figure this out on my own, and I have had a few people ask me about it since I have finished. I hope you all will find this guide comprehensive and helpful.

    In this thread I will go step-by-step on how to install OEM buttons from other Subaru vehicles on the XV's lower driver-side dash that will illuminate and fade like the stock VDC switch. I will then explain how to utilize these new buttons to turn off the Crosstrek's "nanny fuse" (ie: VDC, ABS, Cruise Control, & Hill Holder systems). In the end, you will have 2 extra buttons available for whatever functions you wish them to have. (Offroad lights, cop flashers, train horn, 007 ejector seat, nuclear launch sequence, etc.)

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  3. #2
    Table of Contents:
    Post 1: Introduction
    Post 3: Removing the Dash
    Post 4: Wiring the Buttons for Illumination
    Post 5: "Nanny Fuse" Switch
    Post 6: Adding Extra Accessories

    You will need the following tools and supplies:
    Wire Cutter/Stripper
    Electrical Tape
    Twist-On Wire Connectors (Wire Nuts, Wing Nuts, whatever you usually call them)
    10mm socket and socket wrench
    Phillip's Head Screwdriver
    Tiny Glasses Flathead Screwdriver



    The first things you'll need to get your hands on are some parts you can source from your local Subaru dealer. All-in, this will cost just shy of $100. Talk to your parts guy; mine was very helpful and incredibly friendly. He ended up helping me out on the price.

    Forester Switch Panel
    Part Number: 83472FJ010VH
    Price: ~$13.00
    Notes: This is part of a fog light installation kit meant for the base-model Forester, which does not come with fog lights. You shouldn't have any trouble special ordering JUST this part number. IMPORTANT: Make sure you do NOT order part number: 83472FJ000VH. This part number is the same switch panel our Crosstreks have, and does not have the cutouts we need for this project.

    Impreza Fog Light Switch
    Part Number: H4510FJ000
    Price: ~$30.00
    Notes: This is a locking on/off style switch. It will remain "on" after you push it the first time. It will take a second press to turn "off". (like a light switch)

    Forester VDC/Tailgate Switches
    Part Number: 83002SG010
    Price: ~$50.00
    Notes: These switches come as one unit and are wired together. Both of them are momentary style switches. They will be "on" only for the period of time that they are being depressed. When you stop pushing them, they turn "off". (like the horn on our cars)



    Custom Fuse
    Source: Amazon Link
    Price: ~$10.00

    In-Line Fuse
    Source: Electrical Supply Shop, Auto Parts Shop (got mine from Pep Boys)
    Price: ~$3.00

    Fuse Tap
    Source: Electrical Supply Shop, Auto Parts Shop (got mine from Pep Boys)
    Price: ~$5.00

    12V NC [Normally Closed] Relay & Wiring Harness
    Source: Electrical Supply Shop, Auto Parts Shop (got mine from Orvac)
    Price: ~$5.00

    2-Pin Quick Disconnect Harness
    Source: Electrical Supply Shop, Auto Parts Shop (got mine from Orvac)
    Price: ~$2.00
    Note: You will need 3 of these.

    1ft of 16 Gauge Wire
    Source: Almost anywhere (got mine from Home Depot)
    Price: ~$0.50
    Last edited by GeneralRap; 02-19-2015 at 04:44 PM.
    "Khaki" 2014 5-Speed 2.0i Premium

  4. #3
    Table of Contents:
    Post 1: Introduction
    Post 2: Parts/Tools Needed
    Post 4: Wiring the Buttons for Illumination
    Post 5: "Nanny Fuse" Switch
    Post 6: Adding Extra Accessories

    -We'll need to start by taking some of the dash apart. Take the little fuse "door", and pull it towards you when seated in the car. It will come off fairly easy.
    -Now look under the steering column and find the seam between the piece of dash containing the VDC buttons and the piece of dash that moves under the steering wheel and towards the center of the vehicle.
    -Place one thumb on the left side of the seam, and grip the back of the right side with your other hand. Push with your thumb, and the dash should easily start to come apart.
    -Now stick your hand into the fuse door's hole, and push the bottom of the side piece of dash out.
    -Once it has enough of an edge protruding, grab it and pull it off gently. Alternatively, you can use a trim removal tool if you have one.
    -There will now be a screw you will need to undo.
    -Once it is taken care of, push the hook directly above the screw in the image in, and loosen its grip so you can free the dash trim.
    -Now pull the dash STRAIGHT off. Do not pull it down, up, or sideways. Do not rotate it. Do not pull one side farther than the other. PULL STRAIGHT. Anything but straight, and you risk breaking some of the tabs.
    -Disconnect the illumination dimmer and VDC button. No need to mark them, they only fit in their respective switches. You should now have the entire dash in your hand. Go take it somewhere easier to work; most of the wiring can be done outside of the car.

    -Now we need to take the switch panel off of the dash and remove the buttons. You will need to undo another screw.
    -After the screw is out, push the small tabs holding the panel in, and the panel will pop off of the dash trim after you get it just right.
    -Remove the VDC button and illumination switch. The illumination switch might require some creative use of a tiny flat head screwdriver. You effectively need to get this tab out of it's hidey-hole.

    Installation is the exact reverse of this process. When you are putting the dash back on, be very careful and make sure you are not catching and/or bending any of the tabs on the rear. Exactly like when it was removed, push it back on STRAIGHT.
    Last edited by GeneralRap; 02-19-2015 at 04:51 PM.
    "Khaki" 2014 5-Speed 2.0i Premium

  5. #4
    Table of Contents:
    Post 1: Introduction
    Post 2: Parts/Tools Needed
    Post 3: Removing the Dash
    Post 5: "Nanny Fuse" Switch
    Post 6: Adding Extra Accessories

    We now have the dash and stock buttons off the car, as well as the additional OEM pieces we special ordered.

    -We will be using the redundant wiring for the fog lights in the car for our switch's illumination. This wiring was left over from the Impreza, and will be very useful for us. Don't worry too much about cutting this, as it is not being used by anything in the first place.
    -Cut the harness for the fog light switch , but make sure to leave enough wiring in place on both sides so that you can strip the tips and otherwise work with them.
    ^This what you will be working to accomplish.

    -Take the harness that you just cut to your work area and plug it in to the back of the Impreza fog light button. There are 4 wires coming out of the harness. The outer two wires are used for illumination. The center two wires are for the switch's signal. Ignore those and cap them so they don't short anything, we'll come back to them. Blue is positive, black with a stripe is negative. Strip these wires and strip the wires of one of your 2-pin quick disconnects.
    [NOTE: I am assuming you have a basic knowledge of how to connect two bare wires using electrical tape and a twist-on connector. If you don't, no worries! Do a quick Google search and come back here. If you like to solder, by all means, go for it!]
    [ALSO: We'll make it simple for ourselves; connect the positive leads from the car/elsewhere to the red wires of your 2-pin connectors, and the negative leads to the black wires. You'll thank yourselves later.]
    -Connect the blue wire and the black striped wire to their respective wires in your first 2-pin harness. Your end product should look like this:


    Now on to the Forester VDC/Tailgate switch.
    -You need to cut the wires to the harness. Cut it as close as you can to the harness, as you do not need it at all; it will give you more room to work with.
    From left to right: (I am slightly colorblind, forgive any wrong colors below)
    1 Pink: Tailgate Momentary Lead
    2 Purple: Tailgate Momentary Lead
    3 Green: VDC Momentary Lead
    4 White: Positive Illumination
    5 Black: VDC Momentary Lead
    6 Tan: Negative Illumination

    -Connect the white wire (wire #4) to the positive side of your 2nd 2-pin connector, and the tan wire (wire #6) to the negative side. You should will end up with this:

    -Now you will need to go back to the car. We will be working with the exposed wires that you cut earlier in order to get the harness for the Impreza fog light free. You will also need the other halves of the 1st and 2nd 2-pin harnesses that you used for the Impreza fog light and Forester VDC/Tailgate switches.
    -Connect both of the positive leads from both of the harnesses to the blue wire.
    -Connect both of the negative leads from the harnesses to the black and stripe wire.
    -Make sure to cap the 2 remaining wires from the redundant fog light wiring and stash them somewhere; they are not needed for anything, but could potential short something if left exposed.You should end up with this:


    -Now you can test your system! Plug the 2-pin harnesses together (it is best to uniquely mark both sides of each 2-pin harness so you can easily match them in the future), and put your dash and buttons together (This time using the new switch panel that you bought).
    -Plug everything into the car, and test your illumination. Play with the dimmer and make sure everything responds in kind.
    -You may need to find, or create, a dark area to do this. You cannot see the illumination in the day time, or a well-lit area. This is what you should end up with:

    If everything is working properly, take it all apart and we will move on.
    Last edited by GeneralRap; 02-19-2015 at 04:52 PM.
    "Khaki" 2014 5-Speed 2.0i Premium

  6. #5
    Table of Contents:
    Post 1: Introduction
    Post 2: Parts/Tools Needed
    Post 3: Removing the Dash
    Post 4: Wiring the Buttons for Illumination
    Post 6: Adding Extra Accessories

    We will now be wiring the Forester's VDC switch to power the nanny fuse on and off at will. The following will be the wiring guide you will need to follow using your fuse tap, in-line fuse, normally-closed relay and the harness you bought for it.

    -Take the Forester VDC/Tailgate switch and take the green wire (wire #3 from the previous post) and connect it to the positive wire of your 3rd 2-pin harness.
    -Take the black wire (wire #5 from the previous post) and connect it to the negative wire of the same 2-pin.
    -You should now have wires #1 & #2 (pink and purple) left over. We will not need these right now, so cap them to make sure they don't short anything.
    -Insert the fuse tap into any open fuse in your dash (there are 2 in the bottom center of the fuse panel). Plug a 7.5 amp fuse into it.
    (In the following photo, I have a 2nd fuse tap installed for my CB radio)
    -Take the other side of the 3rd 2-pin you are currently working with, and plug the positive side into the fuse tap's positive lead. (NOTE: you may need to flip the fuse tap around to make it produce a positive current; it can only be plugged in two different ways, figure out which is the way you need)
    -Take the negative wire of the 3rd 2-pin, and connect it to the relay's harness wire for terminal 85.
    -Take the wire from the relay harness associated with terminal 86, and connect it to some of the 16 gauge wiring you got from Home Depot. Strip the end of this wire a few inches, and find the following bolt near the steering column.
    -Wrap the bare wire tightly around the bolt, and tighten the nut over the wire so that it squeezes it and secures it. This setup is grounding the relay switch to the frame.


    Now we will test the relay. Plug the 3rd 2-pin harness' sides together, and with the car on, press the Forester VDC button. You should hear an audible "click" come from the relay, and another when you let go of the Forester VDC button. If you hear this, everything is working properly. If you do not, check the orientation of the fuse tap. If it STILL does not work, double check your wiring and make sure the ground wire is making good contact to the bolt you wrapped it around.


    Now we will do the final install. Unplug the nanny fuse. In the following image, the nanny fuse has already been replaced with the custom solution we are currently building.
    -Take the smallest "custom fuse" that you bought from Amazon, and plug it into the place of the nanny fuse.
    -Use your voltmeter to determine which side is producing positive current and which side is negative.
    -Connect the in-line fuse wire to the positive side of the custom fuse.
    -Connect the other side of the in-line fuse wire to relay terminal 87.
    -Connect relay terminal 30 to the negative side of the custom fuse.
    [NOTE: I soldered the custom fuse connections and then hot-glued the connections to seal them. You can connect them as you please. Soldering is the best though.]
    -Cap the connection to relay terminal 87a so that it does not short anything; it has no use to us.

    When all the buttons are installed to the dash trim, the back should look like this:


    Time for the final test! Turn on the car. Hold the brake for at least 10 seconds. If nothing unusual lights up on the dash after you have held the brake pedal that long, everything is good. Plug the Forester VDC button in to the relay, and hold the button. After you hear the relay click open, hold the brakes. Your dash should now do its best impression of a Christmas tree. Let go of the brakes and Forester VDC switch. Everything should stay lit up. Turn the car off and restart the engine. The lights should be gone, and everything should be back to normal. If everything I just described happens, you did it! Congratulations!


    [NOTE: You do not need to hold the Forester VDC switch in order to keep the nanny fuse off. Once you have pressed the button AND held the brakes and the lights come on, you can let go of the button. The system will stay shut down until you turn the car off. When you turn the car on again, the system will start up as normal and will not turn off until you repeat the shut-off sequence]

    [CAUTION: I have a 5-speed manual. Even though this does work with the CVT variant of the XV, I have read that it can overheat the CVT if the nanny fuse is off for too long of a period of time. There are plenty of threads discussing this in detail, so search for them if you want more info. I just want to make sure you're aware of this potential issue. The 5-speed manual does not share any of these issues.]

    You can now piece your dash back together and go get yourself a cold one. Congratulations!
    Last edited by GeneralRap; 02-19-2015 at 04:52 PM.
    "Khaki" 2014 5-Speed 2.0i Premium

  7. #6
    Table of Contents:
    Post 1: Introduction
    Post 2: Parts/Tools Needed
    Post 3: Removing the Dash
    Post 4: Wiring the Buttons for Illumination
    Post 5: "Nanny Fuse" Switch

    Now that everything is working properly, you can easily add in two more accessories using the Impreza fog light switch and the Forester Tailgate switch. Like I discussed earlier, the Impreza switch is on/off switched, and the Forester Tailgate is momentary.

    Take the two extra wires that you capped from the Impreza switch, and use them to power another relay.
    You could even use the same fuse tap and ground. You could use these for an LED light bar; the lights would stay on as long as the switch is in the "on" position, and would turn off when the switch is pressed a second time.

    The Forester Tailgate switch can be similarly used. Take the remaining two wires from that switch and hook them up to a relay.
    You could even use the same fuse tap and ground. It will work the same way the Forester VDC switch works. Press the switch, and the relay will activate for as long as the button is depressed. The relay will shut off once the switch is let go. If you put a set of horns behind this switch, you could keep your stock horn, but then activate these hidden horns by holding the tailgate button for as long as you wanted to blast them and let go once you're done.

    I hope you all have enjoyed my walk through, and I hope you have found it useful!
    Last edited by GeneralRap; 02-19-2015 at 04:52 PM.
    "Khaki" 2014 5-Speed 2.0i Premium

  8. #7
    Excellent writeup! May be the most comprehensive that I've seen!

  9. #8
    Haha, thank you! I went through a good 3 weeks of frustration trying to achieve this, mainly because there was such a small amount of mainly piecemeal information out there that wasn't terribly helpful. I figured that writing the guide I WISH I had found while searching for answers hopefully might help someone else out.

  10. #9

    I just uploaded all of the reference photos. The guide is now complete!
    Last edited by GeneralRap; 02-19-2015 at 04:53 PM.
    "Khaki" 2014 5-Speed 2.0i Premium

  11. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Jackson, Wyoming
    You knocked this out of the park. I am finally not scared to attempt this project. Excellent work.

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