Tag Archives: backup camera

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.

Mazda MX-5: Back-Up Camera Installed

Today’s project was to install a back-up camera in my little red sports car… and I almost finished it. Almost!

I know I said I was going to put off the back-up camera install until warmer weather, but I had nothing better to do. So today I tore up the passenger side of the interior and pulled out all the panels from the trunk to get access to the wiring, so I could connect my camera.

The interior was easy and so was the trunk. I managed to route the wire perfectly from under the dash all the way to the trunk. The most difficult part was going from behind the passenger seat to the actual trunk. I found the best way was to raise the PRHT top as if I were to retract it, and then it exposed the area where the car wiring goes. I gently zip tied the backup video camera wire to it, and finally dropped the camera wire down into the trunk. I soldered the power source for the camera to the back-up light. Tested it by taping the camera to the spot I wanted to mount it, and everything worked.

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Looks perfect!

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Now I did run into a few problems.

When testing the camera I noticed that when I put the car in reverse, nothing happens!  That was unexpected… I was hoping the back-up image would come up. It doesn’t. Something is off with the settings, or I plugged the yellow RCA jack into the wrong slot on the back of the radio. It’s something I still need to figure out.

The other problem was, the way I wanted to mount the camera, resulted in a terrible image. So I had to re-design the bracket to mount it. At which point I ran out of day light, and didn’t finish the install. The bracket though will mount to the license plate, but unlike those license plate mounted cameras, mine will be hidden by the license plate and only the lip that holds the camera will show, but at the same time be hidden by the lip of the trunk lid. I chose not to mount the camera under the trunk lid lip because people on Miata.net said that the lip blocks the view from the camera, which kind of defeats the purpose of having that camera.

Will post an update when I’m done with the install. It’s easy peasy from here on out.

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UPDATE January 11:

Today was a good day to mount the DIY aluminum bracket my father and I made for the back-up camera. I found it easiest to access the grommet behind the bumper by removing the driver’s side tail light and having plenty of room to work with there.

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At this point everything was plug and play, I just insulated things, zip tied them so the wires don’t bounce around, and put some silicone into the grommet so the water doesn’t seep in from the outside.

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I like the way it looks a lot. The install feels factory from the outside, though you can see the camera once the trunk is open. But I can live with that. I plugged the video wire to the correct slot in the back of the Pioneer head unit and the picture comes on when car is in reverse but for some reason the screen doesn’t go back to whatever setting it was before shifting the car in reverse. Something I must still figure out.

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For the time being I’m quite happy with this!