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2020 8 Seat Limited (Crystal White Pearl)
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
In case anyone has wondered whether or not 8 seater Ascents can be upgraded to a 21 cup holder capacity (with OEM equipment), it is do-able.

I swapped in the center console back side from a 7 passenger console and now have 21 cup holders.

The part labeled 92113B in the parts diagram is interchangeable from the 7 passenger (with cup holder) to 8 passenger (no cup holder) consoles.


The actual part number for the console rear with the cup holders is 92136XC01A.

I also bought a couple of blue LED bulbs to put a blue one in the footwell light of the console rear (it comes with an amber bulb) and to change the cubby light up in front of the shifter to blue (it comes amber as well). The bulb is labeled 66237C*B in the diagram and the part number is
66237AJ07A.

I have installed the console rear but haven't connected the footwell bulb yet - will likely tap into the center console cup holder illumination circuit.

The console rear piece pries right off and the rear climate control panel and USB chargers pop out and pop into the 7 passenger console rear.

Very easy upgrade/mod- a little pricey but well worth it to me - to join the 21 cup holder club and add blue footwell lighting in the rear.

Even though I like the novelty of saying that my Ascent has 21 cup holders, the real reason I did the upgrade is to transport always over filled and messy take home/drive thru beverages - the cup holders have spring-loaded clamps and it is easily serviceable after leaks. And, I am not as concerned about leaks and spills in the second row - the WeatherTechs will do their job and catch & hold them.

If this upgrade has been done and posted somewhere already, I apologize - I searched 21 cup holders and didn't find anything.
 

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Is this the cup holders that flip out the rear bottom of the front center armrest? Mine broke and I need a new one. Looks like I have to spend $70 just to get the part.
 

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2020 8 Seat Limited (Crystal White Pearl)
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Is this the cup holders that flip out the rear bottom of the front center armrest?
Yes - that's the one.

You might be able to find it cheaper if you scour the many online Subaru parts dealers.
 

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I was thinking of doing this, but didn't know the part number - thanks!
Would you happen to have any pics of the install (or post-install pics)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Would you happen to have any pics of the install (or post-install pics)?
I did not shoot images of the process - just the before and after shots. It's such a simple and quick swap in, I should be able to pop it apart and take a few images when I get a chance.

For now, here are the before and after images. Note that the after pick shows the AC power plug installed - confession, it ain't really installed. I bought the plug and popped it in because I have this weird hatred of "blanks" - no shaming please - I already know it is weird. I may buy the power inverter and harness and actually connect it some day.

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3931

3932
 

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I did not shoot images of the process - just the before and after shots. It's such a simple and quick swap in, I should be able to pop it apart and take a few images when I get a chance.

For now, here are the before and after images. Note that the after pick shows the AC power plug installed - confession, it ain't really installed. I bought the plug and popped it in because I have this weird hatred of "blanks" - no shaming please - I already know it is weird. I may buy the power inverter and harness and actually connect it some day.

View attachment 3930

View attachment 3931
View attachment 3932
Were you able to swap out the two amber interior bulbs with blue bulbs? I am wanting to do the same thing but can't find any instructions.
 

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2021 Ascent Limited Abyss Blue Pearl
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This looks like a really neat idea, and I'd like to try this. Can you describe a little bit more about "pops right off"? Where do you begin, and do I need a trim removal tool?

Also, did it come with a blank for the 120V insert hole, covers for the USB ports? I don't particularly mind putting the 120V cover in place but I don't want a hole, so I'm trying to understand what parts I need to buy... :)

Even the USB ports are better positioned for the front seat passenger if they need an extra place to plug in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Were you able to swap out the two amber interior bulbs with blue bulbs? I am wanting to do the same thing but can't find any instructions.
Yes, I did swap out the 2nd row console light as well as the front console cubby light. I did the glove box as well - I swapped it to white - I want maximum illumination for rifling thru the glovebox in the dark.

The bulbs are actually LEDs with snap-on color filters on them - they twist into their sockets with about an 8th (or quarter) turn. I show 2 left over bulbs and filters - you can see the "twist in ears" on the color filters. The color filters can be easily pried off and interchanged by pulling the 2 tabs away from the ears and pulling them off. The LED on the right has the grey filter removed for reference.

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Now, as for actually getting to the bulbs...

For the 2nd row console, once you pull the face of the console off the console unit, getting to the bulb is easy - it is right there - twist it out and replace it with a blue bulb/filter set. To pull the console face away from the console, I found it easiest to do by getting 3 or 4 fingers of both hands into the space created by using nylon/plastic trim pulling tools. See images below and note the angle and direction of retention clips (6) and tabs (2). I suppose it could be pulled from the bottom without trim tools if you got your fingers or some type of hook tool underneath the bottom edge, but I started by inserting my trim tool up near the top along the sides and leveraged a small gap - then pulled rearward (and upward) with both hands and it comes right off. Careful not to yank-pull it because the wiring harnesses to the AC control panel and the light only have a short amount of slack.

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Now, the front console cubby. A totally different scenario in terms of level of difficulty and work involved. In fact, I don't recommend doing this one DIY unless you the DIY-er has some experience pulling plastic interior panels, garnishes and trim pieces. :(

Here's why - you have to gain access into the space above the cubby and the rear of it. To do that, I first had to remove aforementioned trim pieces, garnishes and the AC control unit - I pretty much had to take the whole console apart (minus the head unit). In the image below, I arrowed the pieces that had to be pulled. Not rocket surgery by any means but lots of delicate retention clips and tabs and a bit nerve-wracking thinking about scratching or breaking trim pieces that are in the most visible place in the car - if you do it, I highly recommend trim tools, patience and a gentle touch - and, as I mentioned, experience pulling trim is helpful. The AC control module is just bolted to the console frame but you have to remove the trim pieces to get to the bolts.

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Once I removed those parts, there was just barely enough of a space for me to get my average-sized hand into the space below the AC module cutout to twist the bulb out. I should have worn a thin glove because the bottom of the AC control module cutout is sharp(ish) and drew a little blood during the wrestling match with the bulb in the tight space.

I should have taken time to snap pictures en process but I was in a hurry and to be honest, while I was working on it, I was not 100% sure how this would turn out. For me it was worth the time and labor - I wanted the cubby light and the 2nd row console light to be blue (like the overhead console light and the front footwell lights, etc. instead of amber - for others it might not be worth it.

All the part numbers specified above.

My apologies for the delayed reply - work has been crazy AND I've been teetering on the fence regarding the lurchy low speed/light accelerator annoyance. I am a light gas pedal operator, (from my city bus driving days in an earlier life) and some days it drives me nuts, other days, I force myself to be OK with heavy & steady gas pedal application from stops. Oh well - no car is perfect... I do wish Subaru would eliminate this ridiculously annoying CVT mapping (or whatever is responsible for it). :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
...did it come with a blank for the 120V insert hole, covers for the USB ports? I don't particularly mind putting the 120V cover in place but I don't want a hole, so I'm trying to understand what parts I need to buy... :)

Even the USB ports are better positioned for the front seat passenger if they need an extra place to plug in.
I had to buy the 120V power port - wasn't too expensive. Yes, I totally agree about the USB port locations - it is the latent bonus for this upgrade. :)

here is the link to the parts page with diagram and part numbers:

CONSOLE BOX. CONSOLE BOX.. Subaru | Byers Airport Subaru, Columbus OH

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2021 Ascent Limited Abyss Blue Pearl
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Thank you for all the details. I checked with my local Subaru parts store and they stock the parts. He wants me to check back with him if I install it because he thought it was a neat idea...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You're welcome tempecarlson - I am very happy with the "upgrade" - it is nice to have the additional 2 because of their location and design. I like to use the extra 2 cup holders to transport big/messy fountain drinks that have been filled too full (or sloppily) so that if there is leakage, these 2 cup holders are super easy to clean up. The spring loaded arms hold HUGE containers as well.

The upgrade is easy and quick but feel free to message me if I can help.
 

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The upgrade is easy and quick but feel free to message me if I can help.
I ordered the alternate rear console cover and installed it today. I'm very satisfied with the idea. Everything works now that I put it back together. If anyone else wants to do this and doesn't have much experience with internal trim work (see me? I'm raising my hand here), I learned a couple of things.

First, I did buy a trim tool kit. Worth it. The nylon tools are much less prone to serious scratching on the plastic pieces. Even so I nicked things just a bit. Made me a bit disappointed but it will not be noticed by anyone but me.

Second, I learned how to disconnect the wiring harnesses. There is a flange on the top of the connector between the guides that you can depress with a small screw driver, or very narrow trim tool (from memory here). This cover has two electrical connectors, one for the rear fan control and one for the USB charging ports. Disconnect these to finish removing the rear cover.

At first I tried to remove the front trim of the fan control package. Nope. That's where I nicked the trim, but fortunately didn't break anything. The control assembly for the rear fan control is screwed in from the back and you need to remove the USB charging ports through the front of the cover. Disconnect the wiring harnesses, swap the blocks, then reconnect. The whole assembly snaps back into place.

@MSCM, There isn't an electrical harness for the rear cover light that I could find. Did you come up with something to make that functional?

Also, I can see why you bought the 12V connector block. I reused the blank from the Limited rear cover, but it's not quite the right size. It seems like there's probably a better blank somewhere in the parts list to fit that hole. I couldn't spot any on the dash but maybe someone else will have some ideas. Otherwise, I'll probably by the 12V connector and wire it in someday.

I didn't know what I was doing and it took me about 20-30 minutes. It gives me some confidence for the next project, installing the factory footwell lights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
That's great news tempecarlson - glad you got it done and that you like it.

My apologies - I forgot to include the part where I tapped into the power of the front console cup holder light to get power to the light. I had to pry up the trim pieces around the gear shifter, etc. to tap & run the wire back to the light - it is a tight space but with patience, it isn't too bad.

I love this mod/upgrade - definitely worth it to me...
 

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My apologies - I forgot to include the part where I tapped into the power of the front console cup holder light to get power to the light. I had to pry up the trim pieces around the gear shifter, etc. to tap & run the wire back to the light - it is a tight space but with patience, it isn't too bad.

I love this mod/upgrade - definitely worth it to me...
I also purchased the footwell kit. I think I have to take the console apart a bit and could probably add the harness for the rear console light then.

Again displaying my lack of experience here, can you give me a bit of coaching for a part I could use for the lighting harness? Are there any good instructions for "tapping in"?

Thank you for patience! I appreciate the help and encouragement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Absolutely - I'd be glad to help out. But I have to insert the obligatory disclaimer - I am not a mechanic nor an electrician - however, I have a pretty good base of understanding and experience with properly tapping automotive electircal circuits.

There are several methods for tapping circuits. There is the cut, strip, twist & cap method, (old school), the cut, strip, solder & heat shrink method, (very durable & neat), and also the method I assume lots of people use these days, the quick splice connector method. I have used a variety of all of these over the years - they each have their benefits. I would start by Googling / YouTubing each method and decide what you feel most comfortable with.

You'll need a a couple of feet of thin gauge wire (I believe 20 or 22 gauge) and wire strippers / crimpers depending on which tap method you use. If my memory isn't failing me, I am pretty sure I used small terminal connector spades to connect to the actual light fixture pins to avoid paying a dealer for a harness.

I will be pulling my shifter console trim as soon as my Touring trim pieces arrive (hopefully in the next couple of days) so I can snap an image of my tap job to show you not only the method but the amount of space and harness slack you'll be dealing with (not a lot in either case) - even so, it's still very doable.
 

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I ordered some quick splice and spade connectors and wire. Can anyone point me in the direction of instructions to access the cup holder LED so that I can tap off of that for the new rear floor LED in the rear console cover? Thx!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I ordered some quick splice and spade connectors and wire. Can anyone point me in the direction of instructions to access the cup holder LED so that I can tap off of that for the new rear floor LED in the rear console cover? Thx!
My apologies for not getting back to this tempecarlson - I have yet to get back in and around my cupholder due to the Touring woodgrain shifter console piece being on back order.

Nonetheless, the LED for the front cup holder illumination is at the front underside of the cup holder. Once you pry the parking brake switch trim piece up and away (and disconnect the parking brake harness), you will see the harness that goes to cup holder LED.

A heads up - the harness that goes to the cup holder LED, does not have a lot of slack - but a tap is do-able. Also, depending on where you are, you may want to warm the interior of the car before pulling the trim to help the retention clips be less brittle.
 

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My apologies for not getting back to this tempecarlson - I have yet to get back in and around my cupholder due to the Touring woodgrain shifter console piece being on back order.

Nonetheless, the LED for the front cup holder illumination is at the front underside of the cup holder. Once you pry the parking brake switch trim piece up and away (and disconnect the parking brake harness), you will see the harness that goes to cup holder LED.

A heads up - the harness that goes to the cup holder LED, does not have a lot of slack - but a tap is do-able.
Sounds like you went top down. Thx!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Sounds like you went top down. Thx!
Umm, guilty... the manifestation of my affliction would probably not be as bad had Subaru decided to offer the Touring with black interior a year sooner. :confused:
 
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