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Easy DIY dash cam install

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by rhaekar, May 18, 2018.

  1. rhaekar

    rhaekar Member

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    I was worried about routing the wiring but it was actually super easy the way I did it and fairly inconspicuous. I bought the Aukey DR02 4k camera since Amazon was having a sale for $70. I didn't really feel like investing that much money on a Blackvue since there isn't any solution to hardwiring it yet for motion detection aside from an expensive external battery.

    I mounted the camera to the front camera/rear view mirror mount so it wasn't as obvious from the outside, I still get a perfect view from the camera.
    dash cam.jpg

    mirror wiring.jpg
    Then I just ran the wiring inside the headliner, there's a gap so you can just tuck it in the top until you get to the side. This is the only really visible cabling that you see. If I tucked the cable in more it would create a big gap between the liners so I decided this was good enough.
    liner.jpg


    I just ran the wire through the weather seals to the door jam. I need to figure out a better way to secure the wire against the inside but when you close the door there is a small gap so the wire doesn't get pinched.
    door jam.jpg

    I secured the cable in the footwell with some of the supplied clips. (Extra bright footwell light supplied by AO)
    footwell.jpg

    From the footwell I used another clip and then ran the wire on the side of the center console. Next is where we'll have to actually do a little work. The side center console trim will need to come off. It's held on by several clips so just get your fingers underneath and pry it until it pops out. It takes a little force but you won't break it, they're metal clips. I had a plastic spudger from AO that I used to installed my LED lights so it helped get it off but you don't really need it. It does help with getting the wire under the trim in the headliner though.
    footwell2.jpg

    Once you have the side trim off you'll need a torx screw driver to remove the metal clip holder. I believe it was a T10. You don't have to take the whole thing off, I just removed the last 4 to get the wire underneath it.
    trim.jpg


    Then just run the wire underneath the metal and screw it back up.
    trim wiring.jpg


    I thought I would have to trim the plastic center console a bit to get the wire to fit and still close the armrest but there is actually a small gap so no modification necessary. The only real problem is that the 12v adapter sticks out a bit and when you connect the power cable the little armrest tray will push the 12 adapter down. I just flipped the tray 180 degrees and it gave me enough room to close the armrest. I plan on getting a 90 degree adapter so I don't really have any issues.
    console plug.jpg

    So all in all, it took about 30 minutes. I'll clean up the wiring in the door jamb but I'm really happy with how it looks and didn't take any modification at all. The dash cam was really cheap and it's a nice piece of mind to have it in case something happens.
     
    • Like x 5
    • Informative x 2
  2. Pkmmte

    Pkmmte Le meow

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    What do you mean by this? I thought people were already bypassing the need for an external battery by connecting it directly to their Model 3's 12V battery?
     
  3. drewbaumann

    drewbaumann Member

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    Location:
    Santa Monica, CA
    This has resulted in a warning that their battery needs to be serviced and results in needing the battery swapped. Basically no good way to hardwire at the moment.
     
    • Informative x 1
  4. Pkmmte

    Pkmmte Le meow

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    Crap. I had ordered my BlackVue dashcams thinking I'd be able to install directly. Looks like I'll have to purchase an external battery as well now. :/
     
  5. SDKoala

    SDKoala RWD LR

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    San Diego
    Thanks for the photos. I'm going to tackle my Blackvue this weekend. Have you noticed any rattles from the wire tapping against things?
     
  6. rhaekar

    rhaekar Member

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    No rattles at all. The headliner, side console, and weather seals have a ton of space to hide a wire in it. The only tight fit is on the A pillar but it's really snug in there.
     
  7. SDKoala

    SDKoala RWD LR

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    I installed my BlackVue cameras today, running wire to the battery pack, which I put in the in center console. I opted not to try to direct wire to the 12V battery given the possible issues people have been seeing when doing that. Anything to avoid the service center.

    The molding on the side of the center console was a real pain to remove. A couple of the clips really didn't want to let go and I was afraid of breaking something. There are a few small plastic clips among the large metal ones, so it still pays off to be careful. Running the wire behind the metal bracket and into the gap for the rubber bumper in the center console works well. The power adapter for the BlackVue camera and the battery pack do not interfere with the center console tray and it fits fine in its intended orientation.

    IMG_20180519_151241.jpg IMG_20180519_145918.jpg IMG_20180519_145636.jpg

    It's easy to get the wire completely behind all the trim pieces, even that space between the glove box and the passenger door. Trim removal tools are very helpful. I ran the wire for the front cam along the front of the passenger footwell and tucked it in under the bottom part of the dash molding. No clips needed.

    IMG_20180519_172240.jpg IMG_20180519_172325.jpg

    Removing the housing for the rear-view mirror, built-in front camera, and interior camera would make for a cleaner install. I didn't want to deal with it and settled on just having them go straight into the headliner. A clip on the housing or on the glass in the corner where the housing and headliner meet might help, but it's okay for now.

    IMG_20180519_172206.jpg IMG_20180519_172215.jpg

    There's a bit of wire showing for the rear cam, but because of how acute the angle is between the rear deck and the window, it's really difficult to work in that space and I couldn't get the wire to go behind the trim there. I was kind of fed up with it by that time because it was painful finding the right height for the rear cam to avoid installing the adhesive on a defroster line while also trying to avoid defroster lines in the camera view. Where I put it accomplishes both.

    IMG_20180519_171959.jpg IMG_20180519_172005.jpg
     
    • Like x 2
  8. cmaster

    cmaster Member

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    There are tutorials to remove the adhesive from the defrost lines. Works well if you are patient.
     
  9. SDKoala

    SDKoala RWD LR

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    That's good to know if someone makes a mistake. Better to just avoid the lines in the first place instead of having to fix something later.
     
  10. Jpjpjp

    Jpjpjp Member

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    Los Angeles
    This is great. I ordered the same camera and will be receiving it soon. Unfortunately my car is still at the service center so I’ll have to wait!
     
  11. rhaekar

    rhaekar Member

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    How did you route the wire at the passenger door jamb? Not sure which trim pieces come off and how to get them off. Any pictures of it removed?
     
    • Like x 1
  12. SDKoala

    SDKoala RWD LR

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    It's run in the same path as your picture. I didn't take any trim pieces off. The black trim between the glovebox and the door seal can be loosened in place. Pull it at the bottom edge near in the direction of the door seal. I think I did it with the glovebox open, which made a little more room at the bottom. It should pop loose without becoming detached completely. You can loosen it more going upward toward the A-pillar trim and make enough of a gap vertically between the glovebox and the trim to push the wire in. You can also make enough of a gap on the top edge to tuck the wire in by the A-pillar. Push on it to get it to snap back in place.
     
    • Helpful x 1
  13. bbcop

    bbcop Member

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    any good "parking mode" dashcam solutions?
     
  14. bayarea_joe

    bayarea_joe Member

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    Bay Area
    Does this only happen to the model 3 or model S/X as well? I heard there is an always on 12v connector hidden in the mic compartment.
     
  15. rhaekar

    rhaekar Member

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    Right now, I think it's only possible with a back up battery with thermal monitoring like Blackvue's or a Cellink battery which is about $220.
     
  16. Twincam23

    Twincam23 Member

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    los angeles
    how many feet of wire did you need to get power to the front camera? And how many for the rear? thanks
     
  17. SDKoala

    SDKoala RWD LR

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    Location:
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    With the BlackVue, the coxial wire for the rear camera had about a 6-8 inches to spare with the rear cam at the bottom center of window and the front camera just under the rear view mirror housing. The website says it's 20 feet. I mounted the rear camera at the bottom of the window and ran the wire under the bottom trim along the driver's side the up the A-pillar into the headliner. There's would be more slack running along the top trim but I wanted to avoid the airbags. I figure an accident bad enough to deploy the airbags is one where I'd want to give the cameras the best chance to keep recording. Running the wire along the top risks it getting disconnected from the rear camera if the airbags deploy.

    Plenty of extra wire for the front camera running down the passenger A-pillar, deep into the passenger footwell, and under the removable center console trim. I didn't measure how much wire I had left. Maybe about 2-3 feet out of ~15 feet.
     
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  18. rhaekar

    rhaekar Member

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    I didn't do the rear the front camera had about another extra foot or so of wiring with the route I took.
     
  19. rhaekar

    rhaekar Member

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    Thanks! Worked perfectly. Now you don't see any wiring at all except at the rear view mirror going into the head liner.
     
    • Like x 2
  20. dralusion

    dralusion Member

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    May 11, 2018
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    Location:
    SoCal
    anyone know how to remove the rearview mirror cover?
     

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