Archive for the ‘Cars’ Category
Work in progress still…Will add pics as I finish this up over the next week.
Firstly, I take no responsibility if you screw something up. Use this guide at your own risk. Its pretty fiddly but if you are patient enough you should be able to get through without breaking..much..
Since so many guides online regarding Reverse Camera installations are for the W204 Sedan (Which only half applies to the Wagon or Estate) I’ve decided to make the internet’s life easier and post my own estate-based guide. Hopefully this will assist you if you’re looking to retrofit a reverse camera or even change your license plate globes on your MB Wagon.
I carried this out on my C63 Estate but it should be similar for other W204/S204 estates as well.
Right Angle Fakra to RCA cable
Plastic trim removal tools
W204 License plate light camera or alternatively you can this tailgate handle camera. (This guide focuses on the license plate camera though)
2.4ghz Wireless reverse camera kit
Kobalt 24pc Right Angle Torx kit – This one I found on Amazon lets you get on a 90 degree angle – I wish I had this….
A few words before starting.
The wagon/tailgate is a pain to get a cable into. You would need to run something via the rubber boots that connect between the body of the car and tailgate. This is the reason I have chosen to use the wireless sender kit. Unlike the sedan – There is no easy way to route a cable into the tailgate.
The tailgate trim is a pain in the ass to remove. You need to be pretty forceful to get the thing off. Also the fact that you HAVE to take all this off to change a license plate bulb is nuts.
There are two screws holding in the rear license plate trim on the outside. They are an absolute shit to access, unless you have a right angle torx kit I linked above. Even then you’d still probably need to undo the wiper motor bolts.
Tailgate trim removal
- Pull off the handle trim covers. They will reveal 2 torx screws on each side. Unscrew these and remove the plastic trim that was being held in. Set aside.
- The whole rear plastic is now held in by metal clips and plastic guides. The outer edges are easier to pry down first. Carefully using a trim tool pry the outside edges out. They will come out diagonally from the tailgate.
- The next two clips are on each side of the catch mechanism. These were REALLY tight to come out. The clips actually popped out of the trim piece as opposed to the clip popping out of the tailgate. This was the most annoying part to remove. Be careful as there are plastic guides – so as you pull – you need to come outwards away from the tailgate.
- Disconnect the 3 wiring harnesses – 2 from each side light and one from the automatic tailgate close button (if you have it)
- Next to come off is the carpeted trim piece in the center of the tailgate. These are held on only by orange trim clips. Use your trim tool to get in to each of the ones closest to the locking mechanism and slowly pry them out. Once you get the outer edge, there are another 5 clips holding the panel in the middle. You should have enough leverage to carefully pop the remaining out as you pull the piece down. There are 4 metal clips that should pop out as well near the glass edge.
License plate trim removal (Outside)
- Remove 2x torx screws next to license plate lights.
Undo 3x 10mm bolts holding in rear wiper motor. Once undone you can swing the motor out of the way (It will still be attached to the arm on the outside – Be careful not to swing it into the paintwork and scratch it)
Undo the 2x torx screws just behind the motor next to the tailgate release mechanism.
On the outside of the tailgate, use a pry tool to pop off the 4x plastic clips, be careful when sliding it out as there will be a small clip holding the left side in (where the factory camera position is) – You need to release this from the inside and then license plate trim should come off.
- Use pry tool and pop out center airvents. You should be able to get it from the sides. Once one side is out, the other should pop. Unclip 3x wire harnesses for popup screen control, hazards, etc.
Unscrew 2x Torx screws on each top side of the headunit. There will be little plastic tabs (The screws held them down) that you can now pull upwards.
- Put a cloth or something on your gearstick and then pull out the unit. It comes diagonally upward and then out (there are guides to make sure it comes out the right way, just feel and follow). Rest the unit on the gear stick/dash.
- If you have Video Aux (Via MDI Cable in the globebox) there will already be a FAKRA cable plugged into the port you need. I just unplugged it and put it aside since I never use Video Aux.
- Attach your Right Angled FAKRA cable to the plug. See below as to why you need a right angle. It will hit that thicker plug behind it otherwise.
- Attach your Wireless transmitter to the other end of the FAKRA cable.
- Depending on your headunit – Find a 12v switched (Only on when car is on) power source and tap that for transmitter power.
Rear Camera Install/License Plate globe change
- Unclip license plate light (I used the right side) and remove.
- Push through light globe (I used an extra rubber O-ring as my globe didnt seat into to the camera holder snug) and install into camera.
- Insert camera/light and clip into place, with wires running back into inside of tailgate.
- Power up your Wireless sender – The wiper motor has 12v that is easy enough to tap into. Black = 12V, Brown = Ground. I just unplugged the connector and pushed the wires into the female pin connections, and pushed the connector back in. Use a Multimeter to check before hand if you aren’t sure. Tape up the wires and secure with a cable tie.
- Since the sender will pass on 12v to the camera as well, all that is needed now is to plug in the RCA Yellow plug and also the power plug.
Headunit Setup – Engineering mode
- Hold the Red Hangup, No.1 and Hash for 5 seconds.
- Go to HW Setting, HU Parameter and then go to Page 3 – Rearview Camera. Choose SRVC. Back out to the main menu and go to END to exit.
Navigating the engineering screen – You can only go to the next page if you rotate to the last line, then push the Comand knob DOWN. Same to go back a page, but push UP.
- IMPORTANT – Shut the car off, pull the key out. Wait a few mins.
- Turn car back on (Put it into ON) and the hold the brake and shift into Reverse (Make sure the handbrake is on) and you should see the screen switch to the Reverse Camera mode.
Here’s some shots from my first VicDrift event. Lots of throwaways as I like the car in each shot to be sharp (most of the time anyway) and at slower shutter speeds it gets a bit spray and pray. A forgiving part of digital I guess. I’m not worried too much about framing each shot, I do try to place the subject in the general quarter of the frame that I’m wanting but typically I’ll just crop it the way I want after.
Full set is here, a few extra details on some images shown below.
Canon 5DmkII | Canon 400mm(ƒ/2.8) | ƒ/5 | ISO 50 | 1/125s
I’ve known Jarrod from JRM Photography for awhile now and he had his beast 400mm 2.8 II out there.
Canon 5DmkII | Canon 400mm(ƒ/2.8) | ƒ/10 | ISO 50 | 1/60s
Gave it a crack and I can see why its the mother of motorsport lenses. Would love to try this lens panning from a further distance. Super sharp shots!
Canon 5DmkII | Canon 24-70mm (ƒ/2.8) | ƒ/9 | ISO 50 | 1/60s
Threw on the 24-70 for a bit of a wider view and catch both cars in frame. Could have probably cropped it a bit better now that I look at it.
MelbS15 is a forum that I started for car enthusiasts, mostly owners of the Nissan 200SX/Silvia S15. A fellow member,
Manny Su – Had arranged with Tampered Motorsport to have a bunch of us go up there and battle it out on the track.
3:45AM – Alarm goes off… Yep must be another track day. Lucky I’m not driving this time around! I had the luxury of being a passenger in the back seat of an STi.
Stayed until the last session, didn’t leave till around 5pm which is pretty late. Was unfortunate to hear about all the Highway cops out on the way back pulling people over.
Top 10 S15 lap times:
1. evilsub – 1:37.767
2. PhoenixGSR – 1:37.8260
3. Sheng – 1:43.205
4. Bobi_t – 1:43.376
5. gmr – 1:44.844
6. phuongz – 1:47.430
7. projekt – 1:48.072
8. aussieBaller – 1:49.873
9. [S15GT] – 1:49.985
10. sabbadin – 1:50.106
All are available for purchase – Print or Digital files available. If you’re interested in buying a shot or two, drop me an email or hit me up via the Facebook page with the name of the image you’re interested in.
Took a bunch of photos throughout the day, and they speak louder than words..so let’s get onto it. One some of the shots I’ll write a little Behind The Scenes (BTS) blurb with a little bit on the why’s and how’s.
Winton veterans Vu (Gold/Black S15) and Manny (Cherry Red Chasers S15) battling it out.
BTS: 1/60 @ f9, ISO 125 – Since these two are always pushing each other, I was looking for some different angles to try and get a shot with both of them in it..esp when panning.
BTS: 1/640 @ f2.8, ISO 250 – Not panning this time, so upped shutter speed to try and catch some cool little details. In this shot, you can see the outside rear tyre sidewall flexing through the corner and the car’s lean throughout the corner.
Vu in his track beast with a very unique gold/black paint job. Passenger using the rollcage as jesus bar..
BTS: 1/125 @ f4, ISO 100 – Mixing up where you stand is important to try and get different angles. There were basically no one at this part of the track. Due to the location, didn’t need that slow a shutter speed so panning wise its actually quite fast.
Ian having a little run in with the dirt.
BTS: 1/40 @ f8, ISO 100 – Gotta make sure that finger is ready to up your shutter speed if you see an ‘incident’ – In this instance I decided to leave it super slow and see what I could grab of this car coming off and kicking dust/dirt up everywhere!
It has been a busy few days. I was at Federation Square today shooting for MS Australia’s Kiss Goodbye to MS Campaign which was awesome – Got to meet and have a chat to comedian Tim Ferguson, 2011 Australian of the Year Simon McKeon and DJ/Model/TV Personality Georgia Sinclair! Donated my time for the cause and it was a great day (and a long one… was there from 730am to 3pm snapping away!)
Big thanks to Elfreda @ Scarlet Media for the hookup!
Saturday was spent down at Sandown Raceway for the WRX Club Trackday. Lots of awesome cars and got to speak with a few of the owners. Handed out some cards as well so, if you are reading this and have one of my cards – Make sure to go read this Sandown update for photos from the day and purchasing information!
Huge meet at the Essendon DFO tonight. A couple of hundred cars at least? Either way, impressive! I organised a bit of an MelbS15 premeet and we all rocked up in there to find most of the space packed already.
Not many photos for this, I was honestly stuffed from shooting at Sandown all day. Here’s what I did get.