Mazda MX-5: Rear View Camera Installation Update (Rewire!)

My eBay “Made in China” reverse camera paired with the Pioneer  AVH-X2700BS has been rewired today and is in perfect working order… YaY!

So I initially installed my backup camera back in January when I tackled the touch-screen head unit install. It was freaking cold and freezing but being on a high from the Southeast Asia MX-5 Road Trip I decided to go ahead and do it because the guys really inspired me at all three places I visited: Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, everyone wanted to show their’s, and everyone’s looked different.

The issue was, my cheap eBay china-made camera came with the wrong wire. It was missing the bit that connects to a wire on a head unit labeled “Reverse Input” which is meant to be spliced into the reverse light in the tail light to activate the display on the head unit.

I went ahead and ordered the $3 wire (and another $2 bux shipping from China) in March, it arrived in April but I’ve been putting the install away until the weather got warm and pleasant. Today was exactly such a day. Armed with the correct video cable that has the extra power wire built in, I tackled the re-routing job this time starting from the trunk, rear of the car, and working my way up forward along the sidewall and into the dash, the back of the unit. It was far easier to do now than the initial install!

First I melted away the soldering I did originally (I built a far bigger blob than was required) added an additional wire and re-soldered it in place making things nice and neat. Then I wrapped the whole thing with a good amount of electrical tape and worked my way forward threading the cable from the trunk, along the side of the rear quarter panel (having to open the PRHT top to do it) down along the side sill, under the glove box and into the area behind the unit. Easy Peasy!

Here’s some photos of the re-route:

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The soldering job.

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The insulation job.

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Nice and Neat!

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Along the right rear quarter panel opening PRHT for access.

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This little bugger with the extra wire (besides video) for power to the “Reverse Input” on the back of the head unit harness was all that was needed to make things work perfectly!

I also took the opportunity to clean out the area on the back of the tail lights. The way the car is designed water drains out from the hole between the trunk and the quarter panels under the tail light and behind the rear bumper. The back of the tail lights were filthy!

So I went ahead and cleaned them out… very easy job.

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Notice how dirty that right tail light is towards the bottom of the pic

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Also cleaned the dust build up on the bumper surrounding the light.

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Looks perfect!

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To shake things down I took the car for a spin on a ride to Walmart to pick up another jug of Pennzoil full synthetic 5W20 which slickdeals alerted me was on sale for under $8 bux! There’s a $10 manufacturer rebate from Pennzoil and another $5 rebate from another app that works with Walmart. Everything worked well. Except for the damn rattle that comes from the hood around the speedometer cluster. I added a bit of electrical tape to dampen the rattle but it’s still there. So when I got home I stuck a little bit more electrical tape, hopefully it works better this time.

The reverse image comes on as soon as I put the car in reverse, and unlike last time, it turns off when I shift out of “R”!  Perfect!

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I bought three more of these backup cameras to take as gifts on my trip to Australia and New Zealand. And my buddy Guy who requested one of these from me installed his camera under the trunk lid which is what I initially wanted to do. But after a little bit more thought I think I’ll keep it exactly where it is now.