This is my 5th attempt at a guide and a photo heavy one at that. This time, it's on how to wire in a reverse parking camera
If you've seen my guide to installing an aftermarket head unit, you'll know I recently fitted a touch screen head unit.
I'll now show you how to wire in a backup camera to make the most of having a touch screen.
There are various types of backup cameras available, just look on ebay and you'll see what I mean
The main ones being something like these that you can mount anywhere
But will require drilling holes into your boot lid
Something like this that has the camera built into a number plate light unit
Or even things like this
Which is a number plate holder with a built in camera. This will still require a hole drilling but it'll be hidden behind the plate holder. I reckon this will be the best camera as it positions the camera in the middle of the boot lid for optimum results.
Personally though, I went for the camera built into a number plate light, as it requires no drilling, and makes for a very neat install and looks as close as you'll get to an OEM number plate light and looks tidy.
Whatever camera you go for though, the installation will be pretty much the same once you've mounted it to the boot lid.
Whatever you get should also come in 3 parts
And 2 lots of wires, a 6metre video wire with a yellow plug either end, and a 1.5metre twin core red and black wire
The first step of the installation, is to remove the inner boot lid trim. This is a simple job of unscrewing these 2 screws
From each of the handles of the trim
Next job is to simply unclip the trim, so get a flat blade screwdriver under the trim and pop it out.
It will then be easy to simply pull the trim away from the boot lid
Next bit of trim you need to remove is this bit at the top of the boot lid
Just grab a hold of it and it'll pull off easily
Next step for me, which only applies to this type of camera was to remove a stock number plate light
2 screws then pull it out
Then it simply pull the wires from the prong things
You can now just put this aside as a spare should you ever need to revert back to the stock light, or sell it on if you want to.
Next job is to wire the built in light of the camera
Into the old number lights live and earth feeds
Most people use splice blocks for this, but I personally think as long as you well insulate it, you can just splice the wires straight together.
So first I got my stanley and peeled back some of the plastic coating behind the plug of the earth wire to expose some of the copper wire inside
I then tightly wrapped the copper wire of the new number plate light around it
I then taped it heavily in insulation tape
And also taped up the plug itself
Then for extra insulation I cocooned it in fabric loom tape also
Next I repeated the process for splicing the live wires together
At this point I turned my side lights on to check the built in number plate light of the camera actually worked
It's hard to see in this photo but it is lit up so I then repeated the process of heavily insulating the live wire
Now it's time to thread all the wiring, including the other wires if the camera
Up through the hole for the number plate
You can now screw the camera/number plate light in place
Now depending which type of camera you went for, be it a universal one or the number plate holder, the rest of the guide will be the same whatever camera you have
Next job is to route the wiring around the boot lid, so what I did is tape it to the existing wiring already in the boot lid for neatness to keep it all together
Once you get to here
It's time to plug the long 6 metre video cable with yellow plugs either end, into the yellow plug of the camera
It's this wire that will route all through the car and plug into the headunit/monitor
The next trim piece doesn't need to be removed at all as you can simply took it in around the edges
Trace the wire round round the edge of the trim piece, tucking it in all the way round till it comes out the bottom (top of the boot lid)
Repeat the process for the short 1.5metre black and red wire
It's this wire that will go to the reverse light so the image will be displayed when reverse gear is selected
Now you have to remove the trim pieces in the boot, starting with this big piece
It's held in by 4 of these poppers
Simply get a flat blade screw driver under the edge and pop em out. Once all 4 are out the way, just grap a hold of the trim piece and pull to unclip it
Next there is a smaller trim piece either side of the boot
Again, simply pull to unclip
And the other side
Also the 2 screws of the top trim piece
Once all that lot's out of the way, you'll be able to pull and unclip the trim piece around the top edge of the boot
Now you need to locate the rubber conduit joining the boot lid to the car
And pull it out
Now pull the long video wire through it's hole in the boot lid
Now pull the other end of the conduit out the car
You now need to pull the video wire through the conduit. This is known to be !Removed! hard
To make it easier, get a section of wire coat hanger and slide it in one end of the conduit
Route it right the way through and out the other end
Now you need to tape the video wire tightly to the end of the coat hanger
Thing is, I don't see any way of pulling the video wire through the conduit with the plug intact as it's just way too tight.
Either that or I just haven't got the patience. I did try but it just wouldn't happen and it just kept pulling off the coat hanger
So what I did was cut the plug off completely, leaving a few inches of wire on the end of it. And look what wiring was inside the black video wire
I found 3 different colour coded thin wires
By cutting the plug off, I taped the wire to the coat hanger and pulled it through the conduit with ease
It's now time to repeat the process with the reverse light wire
Thing is, the length of the reverse light wire provided with the camera is nowhere near long enough and will need extending by a couple metres. So you will require an additional length of twin core wire.
Simply splice the extra length of wire to the reverse light wire provided
Black to black
Red to red
Then insulate heavily with fabric tape
You can now tape this wire to the coat hanger and pull it through the conduit with ease
Now you need to pull down the roof liner slightly
And thread both lengths of wire into the car
Now you can refit the conduit
Now you need to sit in the back of the car, push up the roof liner a little bit and pull the wire through
You'll notice in the above photo it's wrapped in loom tape, this is because like an eejit, I some how managed to pull the wire back out the rubber conduit previously, and when pulling it back through again, I managed to pull it too hard and rip the wire in half completely so my video wire is spliced together in three pieces all together. Still working though.
Now for routing the wire around the car, I found a very easy and simple route, is around the door seal. So further removal of the roof liner isn't really required at all making it a nice and easy route
Simply took it in as you go along and you'll never know it's there
Continue routing it right along the edge of the roof liner tucking it behind the door seals and pillars, then right around the passenger side door seal down to the foot well
When you get to this point, you need to partially unclip the trim piece, simply grap a hold of it with your finger tips underneath and gently pull away from the car to unclip it
Then you need to thread the wire behind it
And pull it out the other side
Then you can clip the trim piece back in place
Now you need to remove your glove box, so open it, and there is a total of 7 screws to remove
The whole thing will then simply pull out and you will be looking at this
You then need to thread the wire up through a gap and pull it through
Now in my case, this is when I had to splice the plug back onto the wire
Simply match all the other up and splice the exposed copper wire together
Now wrap in fabric tape
Now you need to remove you head unit, and thread the wire from where the glove box was
And pull it through where the head unit was
Now it's time to go back to the boot
With the extended twin core reverse light wire, Thread it down behind the trim piece
And out the bottom
What I then did was route the wire around the spare wheel well to the other side of the boot, where I lifted up the carpet and located the reverse light live wire among this lot
I removed the black tape holding it all together. It looks like a mass of wires, but it's easy to locate as the reverse light wire is green/orange. There's only 2 green wires in this lot, green/orange and green black.
So the reverse light wire is easily distinguished from the rest.
I looked under the car to confirm this
Crap picture as the flash on my camera distorted the colour lol but it is definitely green/orange
So what I did is splice the earth wire for my camera into one of the 2 earth wires of the mass of wires, then spliced the live wire into the green/orange wire
I then plugged the video wire into the back of the head unit. The camera input should be marked RC IN
At this point I thought my work was over and it was all wired up. I tested it by getting in the car, starting it and put it into reverse gear..
Only to find that it didn't !Removed! work
Didn't get why as I'd definitely spliced into the reverse light live feed, and it was correctly earthed.
I made sure the wires was definitely plugged in properly and it still didn't work
I then undone the taping on the wires I'd spliced on the video wire in case one had pulled apart, only to find they was all definitely spliced together nice and tight
I had a head scratch, undone the splicing in the boot, routing the wire temporarily out of the boot over the bumper, and spliced into the live and earth wires of the reverse light under the car directly behind the bulb holder
Tested it again, and this time it worked perfectly and the image appeared on the head unit screen, so I knew all my wiring was perfect and the camera was working
I then undone this temporary splice, and spliced it back in the boot. Tested it again, and it didn't work
I then though maybe I'd earthed it into the wrong earth wire, didn't get how this would matter as they are all earth, but I tried it anyway and spliced into the other black earth wire of the lot. Tested it again and it still didn't work.
This really confused me, so I spliced into it outside of the car again behind the bulb holder, tested it and it worked normally again.
At this point I got really pee'd off and was running out of time and day light, so I taped back up and insulated the wires I'd partially stripped in the boot
Then located the rubber thing on the passenger side of the boot with no wires going into it
I then pierced a tiny tiny hole in it with my stanley so it's still pretty much water tight, and threaded the wire through it
(the other wire is for my second boot light)
And pulled it through from underneath the car behind the bumper
I then spliced the wire permanently into the reverse light just behind the bulb holder
Then heavily insulated with fabric tape
Photo from underneath the car
Finally it's job done so now just refit all trim pieces in reverse of how you removed em
After a lot of work, here's the results of all your hard work
Took this photo in tesco car park after I went to get food in with the Missus
And here's a little video of it in action (night vision so not a very good one)
Hopefully this very long photo heavy guide will be of use to anyone planning on fitting a reverse parking camera.
May seem like a lot of work involved but it's all relatively straight forward
If you need to know how to install an aftermarket touch screen head unit to connect the camera to, see my other guide which can be found in my signature bellow.
Thanks for reading