VR3 Backup Camera Install

Tuono

New member
Just completed the install (the rear door part) on my '07 passenger wagon. I understand why you went with the license plate lights instead of the backup lights. The backup lights are about 6 miles of wire from the license plate, and routing the wire would be a huge hassle.

Next I'll look into permanent installation of the video display.

I'll post some photos soon. Thanks for the idea and the writeup.
Cool.

My camera is still working well. The signal does seem to be affected by humidity and moisture, as others noted, but it hasn't ever been bad enough so far that I can't see what's behind me clearly.
 

anomaly

New member
Some photos of my project

Thought I'd add some photos of the process to install my camera. I have not decided where to mount up front yet. May go with on the dash to the right of the steering wheel - the unit fits well there, and my wife likes it lower rather than up high.

More to come.

big_inside_door.jpg
Some notable items:
routing the wiring to the backup lights would be a ROYAL pain - snake up through the door channel and into the rubber conduit, then out of the conduit to the light fixture? I went with the license plate lights. Much simpler. Good suggestion!

Also, note that not all of the panel clips came out of the door when removing the panel. Glad I had a trim tool like this one!



Finally, note the holes to access the nuts that hold the light bar on the outside of the door. You'll need a 10mm socket for that job and an extension....

bottom_door_wiring.jpg
A better shot showing the bolt access holes. This shows the completed wiring for the backup camera, so I guess I'm getting ahead of myself. :bounce:

bracket.jpg
Here's the bracket for the license plate, showing the T15 screws which hold it to the door. I noticed *after* taking the photos that the license plate screws used by the dealer actually cut through the paint on the door. Cleaned those spots and then painted over them with hobby paint (never be seen, so color match is not as big a deal) then covered the paint with a couple of layers of electrical tape so that future screws won't cut into the paint!

Note that I ran the wiring between the license plate and the bracket - then up behind the bracket in the hopes of moisture dripping beneath the whole assembly.

close_show_harness.jpg
This is what the harness looked like before I started.



close_installed_wiring.jpg

Here's a shot of the wiring up close. I zip tied the wires tightly so that I could avoid rattles. I did go chintzy with the taps - I used the ones that came in the kit. Kind of a hassle. The connectors in the taps were fine for the factory wires, but too %$*%($ small for the wires in the silly kit. I ended up soldering the kit wires to the kit taps. Who planned that?
 

anomaly

New member
More photos of my camera install

This shows the light bar. Note that there are three panel clips and two bolts holding the thing to the door! I was not careful when removing it and the threads scraped the paint off of the screw holes. A little nail polish later, all was well again. I HATE rust!
license_bracket_clips_and_bolt.jpg

Here's a view of the inside of the door with the panel clips and access hole for the bolts. Also highlighted is the grommet where the wiring enters the car.
panel_clips_license_lights.jpg

Here's where I pulled the wiring into the door. Note that to see this I removed the light bar from the door.
grommet.jpg

Take a look at the back side of the door panel. The green dots are the locations of the panel clips. I took this shot before pulling the last four clips out of the door. Move the clips to the panel to re-attach the panel to the door.
inside_panel.jpg


Here's a shot of the inside of the door when I was getting ready to tap into the harness. The green wire is +12V, brown is ground.inside_door.jpg

Finally, the license plate screws in the kit were almost an inch too long. I ended up measuring the right length and then attempted to cut them down to size. In principle this should have worked, but in practice I ended up cutting one of the screws just a hair too short. I neglected to account for the width of the saw kerf when measuring. Thankfully it was *just a hair* too short, and I was able to cut a little bit out of the plastic mounting bracket to make up the difference.

Don't forget when you're cutting screws to length that you can clean up the rough edge with a grinder or a hand file. :)
 
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Scott_Mc

Sprintering Since Aug/02
Nice write up Tuouno(and anomoly), I like the rear view rework mount in particular!



I do not like the factory camera mount however. My problem with this type of mount is that you are obscuring your tags. In MA you would have to remove it to get an inspection sticker(once a year I guess that's no a big deal:smilewink:) and would have a readily available excuse for any law officer to pull you over.
 

anomaly

New member
I do not like the factory camera mount however. My problem with this type of mount is that you are obscuring your tags. In MA you would have to remove it to get an inspection sticker(once a year I guess that's no a big deal:smilewink:) and would have a readily available excuse for any law officer to pull you over.
The mount covers less than the license plate frame installed by the dealer advertising their dealership. It really only covers "Maryland" on my tags and does not obscure the license expiration tags on the top left and right of the plate. Would you really be risking a ticket in MA for that?
 

Zach Woods

New member
The mount covers less than the license plate frame installed by the dealer advertising their dealership. It really only covers "Maryland" on my tags and does not obscure the license expiration tags on the top left and right of the plate. Would you really be risking a ticket in MA for that?
Howdy anomaly -

I also live in MA and can imagine getting a ticket (or not getting an inspection sticker) for the minor obscuring that you describe above. I am not sure if this is peculiar to MA but I would guess that most states have regulations that could be used by a "by-the-book" police officer or inspection agent to make anyone's life just a little bit less pleasant!

Zach
 

Scott_Mc

Sprintering Since Aug/02
...It really only covers "Maryland" .... Would you really be risking a ticket in MA for that?
Yes. The state the vehicle is registered in I'd guess is pertinant information:smilewink:!! Here in MA the bottom of (some) plates say "The Spirit of America" and covering it is a ticketable offence:thinking:.


and about these dealers who put plate frames on, and stickers...Um no. I'm not a billboard for your company! I did relinquish my peeve with Boston Feightliner though because they treat me well and I feel that I've done much better there than any Dodge dealer, who I've dealt with in the past.
 

anomaly

New member
Mounted the camera!

Today was a big project day for me. I got the display mounted.

I poked around a bit before doing the installation. I pulled the cover off of the console.
overhead_console.jpg

There's an insert which can be removed by slipping a trim tool across the bottom, then across the top.

This lets you slide the insert out, and gives you more room to work.
console_insert2.jpg

console_insert.jpg

I found a wire already in place. What could that be? Apparently NOTHING in the US for that DIN opening, but outside the US, it's used for installation of a Digital Tachograph which is mandatory for commercial drivers in Europe.

I experimented a bit and determined that I could get switched power from the harness - perfect since I plan to install the backup camera above the rear-view mirror.

wiring_in_console.jpg

Here's a shot of the wiretaps in place to get switched power. If you look closely you can see what I was a dope and tapped the wrong wire before getting it right. :) Don't do it wrong - use the black/pink wire and the brown wire!
cable_taps.jpg
This provides power for the backup camera. All that I need to do now is route the wire to the new mount, then secure the excess wire.
 

anomaly

New member
Mounting the wiring

I ended up pulling out the overhead console with the lights. The unit is secured to the head liner with clips on the passenger side, and fixed tabs on the driver's side.

Clips
console_clips.jpg

Tabs
console_tabs.jpg

Here's what it looks like with the console pulled out.
console_opening.jpg

Found a convenient place to ziptie the excess wires
wiring_zipped.jpg

wiring_zipped2.jpg
 

anomaly

New member
Mounting the display

I decided to follow Tuono's lead and convert a rear-view mirror for my mount.

I had water in my camera after only 6 days on the van, so I'm reluctant to void my warranty. Roadmaster sent me a replacement - actually they sent me two - if this one leaks too, I've already got a replacement. :)

I decided to attach the display to the stem using velcro. I modified the mirror mount by cutting off a couple of tabs, then used the self-adhesive velcro to attach to the mount. I did the same with the display as well.
stem_velcro.jpg

Here's the display on the stem
stem_on_back_of_display.jpg

I bought some adhesive for attaching the mirror to the windshield. Irritatingly, though I followed the instructions religiously, the mount would not hold to the glass. I ended up going with super glue. I hope that holds!

Here are a couple of shots of the display mounted.
mounted_display.jpg
mounted_display2.jpg
 

Tuono

New member
Really nice tips in your write up, Anomaly!

I had tried to find switched power from that connector in the overhead but failed. Good to know it's there. I must not have had everything switched on when I did my testing.

By the way, my camera has now seen quite a bit of mileage and time in wet weather and has suffered no internal moisture. Just make sure the wire leaves the camera running down to keep gravity from pulling water into the unit (either as I did it or Anomaly nicely illustrated).
 

bikerjoe

New member
I wonder how long it will be, before some cop pulls you over to remind you that covering up the "Oregon" state designation is illegal. Hopefully they'll always have something more important to chase.
 

Goliath

New member
Can you see your trailer hitch with this camera?

Nathan
 

unimog

Member
It is the original MB backup camera and since the van had the wiring option it is plug and play
 

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