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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Goal: I wanted a backup camera on my 4C. The Pioneer foldout screen unit that other forum members have paired with backup cameras seemed like a nice display option so I purchased both Pioneer head unit AVHX7800DT and camera NDBC8. While I was at it, a navigation system seemed reasonable as I have a horrible sense of direction so Pioneer AVIC V280 was added to the cart.

Background: My car stereo experience is limited to tinkering with my parents’ cars decades ago in my late teens when lack of funds precluded other options. As such, there is no chance that I would have been brave enough to carefully disassemble / tear apart my still new car in order to install the equipment except for all of the extremely useful information kindly shared on this forum by Docron, prophizee, kmarei and others. I hope that some will find my write-up of what went according to plan, and what did not, helpful.

Disclaimer: As stated above, I have no real qualifications to tell anyone how to do anything to their car so please take what I say as a general guide, at best. As always, proceed with care and caution. If anyone sees something below that makes me a danger to myself or others, please let everyone know.

General note: Removing the passenger seat would likely have made my life a lot easier. Live and learn. http://4c-forums.com/15-interior/7218-seat-elevation-adjustment.html

Alpine head unit removal: After removing the faceplate, the black rectangular plastic trim piece pulled off without much effort. I found the “keys” to release the head unit from the mounting sleeve in the box for the faceplate. Problem #1: I had a heck of a time releasing the head unit. It took multiple attempts before I was able to get the keys to free the head unit, and I am still not sure why I had such trouble. If I were to do it again, I might have an assistant put the keys in while I pushed the head unit out from behind as there is not much to grab onto on the front of the unit once the faceplate is off. It is also possible that I had trouble because some wires were trapped behind the dash so there was not much play in them. Once I did succeed in getting the head unit released, I had to disconnect some connections from behind before I could completely remove the Alpine from the sleeve. The Pioneer head unit is secured with screws to an included Pioneer sleeve so the stock Alpine sleeve needs to be removed by bending up the tabs which have been bent down to hold the sleeve in place.

Wiring: I purchased the Pioneer to ISO harness recommended on the forum (http://4c-forums.com/13-electronics/33689-what-harness.html). The ISO connectors on the harness plug directly into the cars connectors without alteration. However as described by others here previously, some minor work is required on the Pioneer end. All wires are color coded so one can look at the stock Pioneer harness and move things to the proper position on the aftermarket harness. Blue / white wire had to be moved one slot over, reverse signal wire was removed from stock harness and added to where the blue / white wire previously was on the aftermarket harness and handbrake ground wire was also removed from stock Pioneer harness and added to the aftermarket harness. Problem #2: I did not know how to remove the wires from the harness so reconfiguring the Pioneer end of the aftermarket harness was actually much more easily said than done. I butchered the stock Pioneer harness until I figured things out. The underside (along the horizontal long axis of the Pioneer harness) of the metal connector on the wires has a rectangular cutout (picture attached) that a lever arm on the harness fits into in order to lock the wire in place. The wires are released by using a miniature screwdriver or similar tool to depress the arm. The wires are reattached by simply pushing them back into the harness slot with the correct orientation. For equipment connections, I tapped the yellow power wire from the harness to supply the navigation and the red power wire from the harness to supply the backup camera. Handbrake bypass (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B019ERHBA6/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 ) was tapped into the blue / white harness wire and connected to the green handbrake wires of the harness. Navigation, camera and handbrake bypass were all grounded to the harness ground wire. I made liberal use of positap connectors (https://www.amazon.com/Lockitt-Posi...?srs=2598779011&ie=UTF8&qid=1477440314&sr=8-8) as well as https://www.amazon.com/Posi-Lock-Co...?srs=2598779011&ie=UTF8&qid=1477440314&sr=8-5) that I saw recommended by Docron. The only stock wire that needed to be molested was the gray / green backup wire in the trunk, which is tapped into with a separately purchased wire (I used 16 gauge) which is run to the head unit harness reverse camera wire; more on that later. Plenty of Tesa tape (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B016ZMXLEI/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 as well as https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EH6IZ6Y/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 ) and generic zip ties gave there all for the greater good in the wiring effort. The Pioneer head unit is a perfect fit in the dash opening.

Navigation: I was surprised how straightforward this was. I mounted the navigation unit on the top side of the passenger foot well “shelf” that the pocket with the USB and auxiliary wires are stored in (pic attached). Using Docron’s a-pillar removal DIY ( http://4c-forums.com/15-interior/24633-diy-pillar-removal.html ), I ran the TMC antenna up to the roof. The TMC antenna did not want to stick to the underside of the roof so I secured it with Velcro to the underside of the headliner (picture attached still shows it on the roof). I positioned the GPS antenna in the center of the dash (picture attached). If you ever find yourself looking skyward from the passenger side foot well of your car, you will see a gap between the windshield glass and dash (picture attached) which is large enough to pass the GPS antenna wire through. I first put a wire up from below to see the general vicinity I was interested in and then probed with the antenna wire from above until I got it to pass. A long set of pliers used from below might help with getting the wire through. TMC antenna and GPS antenna wires are then attached to the navigation unit. Navigation power, ground and plug are then run to the aftermarket harness and head unit.

The initial point of all this, backup camera, to follow…..
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Apology #1: Two of the previously attached photos are not displaying correctly: The nav photo is upside down (unit is sitting on shelf rather than hanging from it) and photo of head unit with GPS antenna on dash is malrotated 90 degrees. Sorry.

Backup camera: I removed the trunk bucket using Docron’s DIY ( http://4c-forums.com/12-appearance-body/23122-diy-trunk-removal.html ). Problem #2: The piece for the trunk support arm took a lot of cursing and long screwdriver for some leverage to pry open the release as there is not much room to work on it. Out of frustration, I briefly tried removing the entire assembly like Docron initially did but was worried that I would break the plastic piece or bend the metal to which it was attached so I perservered and ultimately succeeded. Docron tapped into the gray / green reverse wire under the car as he ran the camera wiring along the underside of his car. I ran my wires through the opening in the tub where the storage pocket is attached, similar to prophizee, so I followed the wiring loom back into the trunk and tapped the gray / green wire there (picture attached). I removed the center console using Docron’s DIY ( http://4c-forums.com/15-interior/24433-diy-center-console-disassembly.html#post412857 ). Problem #3: The 10 mm bolt installed below the DNA selector switch. Access to it is pretty limited but it was not on too tight (I think factory might have had the same problem) so I was able to loosen it with pliers and then unscrew it by hand. Problem #4: The small wiring harnesses of the DNA selector switch and hazard lights. I am harness challenged and these harnesses are small with limited access so it took me some time to figure out how to release them. Attached picture of the harnesses shows an opening / window below the points where the two harnesses attach to their mates. You will be looking at them from the opposite side, but put a small screwdriver or similar tool into the opening and pull down slightly to release these two harnesses. Once the storage pocket is removed from between the seats by removing four torx bolts, there is an opening between the compartment behind the seats into the engine compartment. Wires for the camera were run from the head unit down along the center console (picture attached). If you zip tie the camera wiring to the pre-existing wire bundle along the center of the console, everything should fit under the arches of the metal pieces which secure the front section of the console to the car (picture attached). I then ran the wiring through the pocket opening and back into the engine bay (picture attached). I was worried that the wire bundle composed of the camera power, ground, image wire and reverse signal wire might be crimped once the pocket was put back in place but neither the pocket or the wire bundle seemed to bother each other in the least as there is a little foam gasket around the pocket. Once everything was put back together, the wire bundle is essentially invisible on its brief journey from top of console to bottom of pocket (pictures attached). I am currently working on running the camera wiring bundle along the battery side of the engine compartment along pre-existing wiring looms into the trunk area. I wrapped all the wiring outside the passenger compartment with heat resistant Tesa tape and am waiting on some split loom ( https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00063021I/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 ) to put around the bundle for a little extra protection. Once I’ve got that done, plan is to drill hole in bumper as per Docron’s DIY ( http://4c-forums.com/13-electronics/24002-diy-pioneer-rearview-camera.html ), attach camera wiring harness end from camera to camera wiring harness end from head unit, secure any extra length of wire under trunk tub and put the tub back in. Hopefully should be done this weekend….
 

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This is so awesome! Congrats on tackling this project/upgrade. Take pride in doing it all yourself. The little challenges you confronted but overcame should give you a great sense of accomplishment.

Great job!!!! :)

Btw, my car AV background is very similar to yours....very little in mom's 1985 Toyota Corolla and dad's 1989 Mazda 323....lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for the very kind comments. I am glad that some people will find this useful.

Apology #2: Another attached image issue: the picture of the wire bundle passing from back of the center console to the cubby hole is upside down. The image definitely uploaded properly so I think there must be some random glitch which occurs after one hits the submit reply button....

Head unit image: I was able to upload a personalized screen image via USB, my only progress today. Per an online video tutorial for some different Pioneer models, I believe the image must be 16 x 9 format and 800 x 480 pixels. It might also be true that the image you want to upload should be the only thing on the USB. Problem 4: I had trouble getting the head unit to recognize my USBs despite multiple attempts. I think it might have been because I picked bluetooth for phone during initial setup. I eventually decided to try connecting my phone by USB. After I did that, I tried my USBs again and the first USB I tried was magically recognized on the first attempt. A USB icon will appear on the menu screen. When you press on the USB icon, the image stored on the USB will appear and there will be an on-screen icon indicating download. I hit the download icon and the unit offered two options for when the image will be displayed. I picked both and after a few seconds the image was saved and displayed. Image of outcome is attached, fingers crossed for correct orientation. I think it is pretty cool!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Apology # 3: I neglected to give some information on how I tapped the head unit ground wire. I cut four lengths of 16 gauge stranded wire, twisted the free ends on one side of the four lengths together and then made things permanent with a crimp connector. One of the four remaining free ends was then connected to the head unit harness ground wire with end to side positap. The other three remaining free ends were connected with end to end posilock to reverse camera, navigation, and handbrake bypass grounds. I also just noticed that TMC antenna picture in first post is plagued by incorrect orientation (it is upside down) though it does not matter much.

Reverse camera wiring bundle run from point enters into engine bay from compartment behind seats to the rear of the trunk: I had previously wrapped all of the reverse camera wiring bundle from head unit (composed of ground, red power and image wires which came with camera plus extra 16 gauge stranded wire to be connected to gray / green reverse wire in trunk) which was to be located outside of the passenger compartment with heat resistant tesa tape. Additionally I put the portion of the wiring bundle in the engine bay in ¼ inch plastic split loom and then zip tied the split loom together at somewhat regular intervals. At the front of the engine bay where the wiring exits the area behind the passenger compartment, I routed the wire so as to form a small “U” in the hope that this will prevent any water which might get back there from wicking into the compartment behind the seats. I then ran the wiring bundle as in pictures below along the left side of the engine and trunk. As I made my way to the back of the engine bay, in the area where the wiring is passing under the coolant reservoir, I jumped the bundle from one loom to an adjacent loom which passes into the left side of the trunk (marked with bluye tape in attached picture). From there, I routed the bundle along the left side of the trunk along wiring looms which are there and then to the center of the back of the trunk following the same looms. I think the routing I used is safe but if anything melts or catches fire, folks on the forum will be the second to know. Once running the wiring was done, I drilled a hole in bumper as per Docron’s DIY ( http://4c-forums.com/13-electronics/24002-diy-pioneer-rearview-camera.html ). I centered the hole as best I could left to right which for my US spec car was 6.5 inches from side to center plus / minus a touch or 2 inches in from inner portion of license plate bulb housing plus / minus a touch. I positioned the hole back to front so that it was about ½ inch forward of the very back of the recessed license plate area. As Docron suggested, I started with a small drill bit and then progressed to bigger bits to prevent the bits from walking along the bumper until I got the hole to 5/16, just large enough to pass the harness end from the camera through (hole picture attached). I placed a rubber grommet onto the wire bundle attached to the camera as per Docron’s DIY and then passed the camera harness through the drilled hole and secured the grommet into the drilled hole. After that ,I connected wiring harness from head unit bundle to harness from camera bundle and connected 16 gauge wire connected to head unit harness reverse wire to gray / white reverse wire in right rear of trunk which I had previously put a Positap on. Extra length of wire was secured in rear of trunk with ziplocks.

Trunk tub replacement: Don’t forget that you need to bring wiring harness for trunk light and wire for trunk release handle through openings in the tub (as I almost did) before you start putting all the fasteners back in. I took a photo of where the seem on the weatherstripping was positioned before I took it off, and this helped make sure it was positioned properly when putting it back in. I left pushing the tab which holds the trunk lid support arm as the next to the last step as it was such a pain to release. After everything was OK with the tub, I pushed the tab back in to lock the trunk lid support arm in place and then reattached the weatherstripping.

Damage done: The retaining tab on the trunk light is not as strong as it looks, which I discovered when I was putting the light back in during trunk tub reassembly. It is not a big deal, as light still seems secure even without it. Other than that, in large part thanks to Docron’s DIYs, I did not break anything. Two moments of inattention resulted in a few minor scratches on my driver’s side carbon fiber sill as a result of fumbling a pair of scissors and a tiny scratch to the right of the rear hatch as a result of dropping the trunk support arm when putting the trunk tub back in unassisted (something Docron did advise against). Neither area would be likely to be noticed by anyone other than me but I won’t post photos as proof of my errors makes me feel bad. Assuming you don’t repeat my mistakes, everything is reversible except for the hole drilled in the bumper (which I think would go unnoticed should you leave the rubber grommet in place if you remove the camera) and the tiny hole made in gray / green reverse wire made by the positap (which would be covered with tape and placed back in its plastic loom if you ever remove the camera).

Shopping list:
Pioneer head unit, navigation system and backup camera.
Pioneer to ISO wiring harness.
Backup camera bypass thingy.
16 gauge stranded wire for head unit to backup wire run (25 feet is plenty)
¼ inch split loom for engine bay wiring run (10 feet is plenty)
Tesa tape: standard and heat resistant (for engine bay and trunk run).
Zip ties, various sizes (4 to 8 inch length range).
Velcro with adhesive backing (may not need but I used some for navigation unit and TMC antenna)
Posi-tap end to side and posi-lock end to end blue 16-18 gauge connectors. I used a total of 5 posi-taps and 8 posi-locks.
Crimp connector for ground wires.
Rubber gasket (3/16 x ½ x 7/32 x 5/16 sourced from Lowe’s hardware section as suggested by Docron is perfect).

Tools:
Miniature screwdrivers.
10 mm socket.
Socket wrench (swivel head will help)
Torx bits.
Wire stripper
Scissors
Plastic clip removal tool suc as https://www.amazon.com/uxcell®-Plst...7784535&sr=8-6&keywords=fastener+removal+tool (not necessary but does make taking the things off less painful).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Apology #4: Mid engine bay and rear engine bay jump pics above are sideays while the left trunk picture is upside down.

Final result: A few pictures are attached. I am very happy with things. Having the rear view camera essentially erases fear that something catastrophic is about to occur while reversing. Camera can also be viewed while driving forward by making a menu selection if some would find that useful. The navigation system is functional and invisible except for the GPS antenna, which does not look out of place on the dash. The head unit fits perfectly. The Pioneer screen angle can be adjusted and the entire screen can also be adjusted forward and aft so there is decent clearance from the center HVAC vents. The screen can also be left in closed position if one prefers.

Questions? I will try and answer them and I am sure that if I can’t, more experienced people here likely can.

John
 

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Again....awesome job!!!! :)
 
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Superb, well done. A great resource for when I tackle something similar to install a camera to see out the back!
It's especially good that you've used the ideas (and referenced them) given by other forum members. Well done to all concerned.
 

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Wow cant believe I missed this thread. What a great job brother. Install looks very clean and well thought out. I can confidently say your wire organization supersedes what I did. Me and docron were discussing how it looked like hell where the passenger footwell dash gap is but yours looks amazing. Again great job. If you ever plan on doing a sub let me know

Sent from my LG-H910 using Tapatalk
 
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Hats off to you Frisco! Really really nice job! A little bit of jealousy here for sure!
 

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Very nice job on the install!

This will more than likely be my next DIY project. Thanks for sharing.
FYI for those that are weary of taking the car apart or struggle to find the time to invest in doing the install, I had a very similar setup installed professionally and, it's been a while, but I dont recall the install portion of the bill being very much.

If anyone is debating this I would get at least one quote from a local, reputable shop because the install shouldn't be too expensive and the backup cam is really a valuable addition to the car IMHO

Again though, great work by the OP :grin2: I just dont have the time to take on these types of projects anymore :frown2:
 
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