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AndyM

DIY retrofit reversing camera - COMPLETE

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Now completed! Information regarding installation starts in this post;

 

******************************************************

I'd quite like to retrofit a reversing camera to my LCI F11, it's about the only option that it doesn't have (along with upgraded HiFi) that I would have liked. I've seen a few options available from various suppliers, which seem to be a (non-OEM) camera, wiring loom and control box and presumably some coding to activate. They're available fitted for varying prices from £450 to £650 or so.

 

I'm handy with gap openers and wiring so reckon I could fit a kit myself, but I need to know what bits to buy - I'd prefer OEM equipment if possible although as long as it appears in the same way as OEM on the screen with dynamic guidelines and a decent quality camera then that's fine. The camera definitely needs to be integrated into the boot handle, I don't want to be cutting into bodywork, or have anything stuck on.

 

Has anyone done this themselves and can list the bits that are needed, or offer any advice?

Edited by AndyM
now completed

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I have it, c£300 option when new and I find it invaluable when reversing against a tight spot. 

Personally, I would find it a retrograde step if my next DD did not have one.

However, £1k plus fitting/coding is an eye opener. Must be third party options...

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I have the bimmertech kit on mine, I guess the only difference once you got the wiring in would be pushing it through the wire grommet/hose which links the main body of the car to the tailgate.

 

It really is quite easy and straightforward.

 

A single cable runs from the camera mounted in the handle through the lid, through the hose, I then ran mine along the floor of the car tucking it under the plastic sill cover, along the underside of the dash on the driver's side and into the loom behind the head unit...

 

The hardest bit about it I found was removing the original trunk handle as it's in there quite snug!

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The Kufatec kit is a non-starter for that money! Presumably that's a kit of OEM parts, with a coding dongle (I have experience of Kufatec items in the past and the coding dongle worked well) but what are the parts? If I could get hold of them used then presumably it could be done DIY using OEM for a lot less - I've seen a few listings on Ebay with possibilities but not sure which bits are actually required. I'm assuming; camera, replacement boot handle with cutout, camera cable and control module at the very least. How does the control module interface with idrive and steering angle input etc?

 

What's the difference in performance between the non OEM kits (like Bimmertech) and OEM? A few videos on youtube show various types but they're often a bit shy on the actual performance. This one shows a fitted kit but there's a flicker between the displayed screen when going into reverse, almost like it's switching the idrive video out through another box then adding the reversing window and it looks awful; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rllzGTlQzEQ

Here's another example of a kit that appears to function OK quality-wise, but still looks like an overlay as the original overview image appears squashed in a separate window; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nvTESWuM4I

 

Then there's this that looks like a complete retrofit of OEM, so it must be possible with the right bits; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEOuCZbZc98

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For proper OEM you'll need the following

 

Camera

Handle with cutout

Control module

Wiring loom

 

The module interacts with the idrive over the can bus so you'll need to tap into canbus somewhere

 

The bimmertech OEM style one sits between the main loom for the head unit and the unit itself essentially acting as a bypass, I have this version and comparing it to the factory fit my brother has in his F10 they're practically identical, the colour on the guide lines is a little off but that's it

 

The OEM retrofit is available from emtronika on ebay relatively cheap

 

The loom is about £100 from eBay, worth seeing if u can pickup the other bits cheaper than a complete kit

 

 

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The emtronika ebay listings are interesting, thanks for that. It looks like the full kit including loom is available for £479 https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/TRSVC-BMW-Reversing-backup-camera-retrofit-3AG-x3-1-3-5-7-F10-F25-F07-F01F30-F20-/262689576506 and would just need coding to activate. I'll drop them an email to confirm. If possible, that makes it OEM for less than a Bimmertech kit.

 

Looking at used items on ebay a control module can be had for £110 or so (some are more like £200+ though), a handle with camera is £125 or so. A new loom is £89 from Kufatec (would prefer that as the chances of one being damaged in removal are high) so as long as that loom fits it could be done for around £325 in bits. Kufatec also sell a coding dongle for £85 if needed.

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I've had

2 hours ago, apples12 said:

Don't bother with the coding dongle - get yourself an esys/enet cable

 

All the 'coding' thats required is adding 3ag to vo code and coding the head unit module, and I think fem too

 

 

Yeah, was just pointing out that the dongle is available if needed.

 

I had a couple of emails back and forth with Emtronika and seems positive, that kit I linked to is all OEM. I've asked Kufatec also whether the loom they sell is compatible as from the picture the cables/connectors look different.

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From what I remember about kufatec from my vw days their looms are all made in house using grey wire, the emtronika ones seem to be using OEM colours...

 

Ive not looked at the kufatec loom, is it much cheaper than the emtronika one? 

 

I'm planning on taking my bimmertech one out and replacing with OEM

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1 hour ago, apples12 said:

From what I remember about kufatec from my vw days their looms are all made in house using grey wire, the emtronika ones seem to be using OEM colours...

 

Ive not looked at the kufatec loom, is it much cheaper than the emtronika one? 

 

I'm planning on taking my bimmertech one out and replacing with OEM

The Kufatec loom is £89 (+£7.50 shipping), the Emtronika loom on ebay is £119 (+£4 shipping).

I've sent Kufatec an email asking for clarification on the OEM parts that their loom is designed for as the item pictured on their website shows different connectors as well as cables.

 

Can I ask why you are swapping your Bimmer Tech kit? Emtronika sell another kit which looks like it operates in the same was as the Bimmer Tech one for much less money; https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BMW-dynamic-backup-camera-retrofit-3AG-x3-1-3-5-7-F10-F25-F30-F31-F34-F22-NBT-/262689576512 and they told me this is a video of it in operation; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLyo1eGP2wU&t=3s (skip to 19:48 to see it working).

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Well, I'm going ahead with the purchase of bits...

Camera control module £110

Wiring loom £98

Just waiting on a camera and boot handle which I'm hoping to get for less than £60 (on ebay auction ending in a few days)

 

All OEM parts required for under £300 would be perfect, my time to fit is free and I'll make or buy an ENET cable to code as I only have Carly at the moment and its limited to modifying existing functions rather than adding new ones.

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On 25/04/2018 at 10:05 AM, AndyM said:

The Kufatec loom is £89 (+£7.50 shipping), the Emtronika loom on ebay is £119 (+£4 shipping).

I've sent Kufatec an email asking for clarification on the OEM parts that their loom is designed for as the item pictured on their website shows different connectors as well as cables.

 

Can I ask why you are swapping your Bimmer Tech kit? Emtronika sell another kit which looks like it operates in the same was as the Bimmer Tech one for much less money; https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BMW-dynamic-backup-camera-retrofit-3AG-x3-1-3-5-7-F10-F25-F30-F31-F34-F22-NBT-/262689576512 and they told me this is a video of it in operation; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLyo1eGP2wU&t=3s (skip to 19:48 to see it working).

 

It's been working great, I remove it when it goes in for warranty work and I've found (may be totally coincidental) that the DAB works better without the camera module in the middle (I know it works as a 'can filter' so may be something to do with this) but I got the bimmertech kit stupidly cheap and I want to just go OEM with it

 

 

Would appreciate an update/real feedback on the kufatec loom

 

 

 

 

Edited by apples12

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52 minutes ago, apples12 said:

 

It's been working great, I remove it when it goes in for warranty work and I've found (may be totally coincidental) that the DAB works better without the camera module in the middle (I know it works as a 'can filter' so may be something to do with this) but I got the bimmertech kit stupidly cheap and I want to just go OEM with it

 

 

Would appreciate an update/real feedback on the kufatec loom

 

 

 

 

 

I eventually badgered Kufatec enough that they told me that their loom is only suitable for CIC idrive, not NBT. Originally they were just saying that it was for the factory fit OEM camera kit and it would work, so I got specific and asked directly.

 

I bought an Emtronika loom via Make an Offer on ebay, had £94 accepted down from £119, and £4 postage - plus it comes with instructions.

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I now have the camera, handle, loom and control module along with some gap openers and an ENET-OBD cable. Just need to get going with the physical install, although I want to connect it all up and test first before doing the final install.

 

Can anyone PM with a heads up for the coding software?

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4 minutes ago, AndyM said:

I now have the camera, handle, loom and control module along with some gap openers and an ENET-OBD cable. Just need to get going with the physical install, although I want to connect it all up and test first before doing the final install.

 

Can anyone PM with a heads up for the coding software?

 

PM Sent

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I started installing this afternoon, but had to stop before it was all connected up as it started to rain and I was going out anyway, but so far have spent 4 hours on physical work which includes at least an hour of trying to fathom the BMW retrofit instructions which (while full of info) are unnecessarily confusing.

 

The essentials;

A77B2FF9-52BE-480C-B3FB-11B9480B1F25.thumb.jpeg.7932f9a8d5fed0acb744ad8b77d3013e.jpeg

C4D5CEC5-7914-4666-9DAC-51B53C7A88C3.thumb.jpeg.b750370b41cf11bad7e47c87f5602b98.jpeg

 

I spent far longer than expected getting to the boot release handle, mainly actually getting the trim away from inside the tailgate. I've watched videos of the retrofit on saloons and it seems easier to get the trim off than a touring, which involves four screws and six clips but is held in place by another piece of trim around the glass which I can only presume the whole car is built around as it does not come away. Actually getting the handle out is also a pain in the arse as it's held in with clips on both sides as well as top & bottom made worse by the fact that you cannot get directly to the back of it, even when the tailgate trim is off. I ended up sacrificing some of the clips on the old boot release using a gap opener from outside in order to get some leverage, but the whole thing gets replaced anyway so no big deal.

 

Cabling from the camera is relatively simple, across the tailgate to the passenger side and down through the hinge cover, there are no grommets to try and squeeze the cable or connector through, but you need to make sure that where the cable turns back and goes down the rear pillar it has enough slack to allow for the tailgate to close without snapping. From there it runs down the C pillar with some other cables, using the conveniently positioned ground and pops out behind the left hand removable boot panel.

 

I mounted the camera module behind the left of the removable boot panels, apparently there's a proper bracket that fits there but there are other fixing points available as long as you don't mind it not being stacked with the other modules. I've just cable tied it in securely for now but will get it fixed in place with some brackets once I know it's all working.

 

Running the main loom down the passenger side of the car is straightforward, from the camera module to the head unit. The loom easily pops out from the boot behind the rear seats (the seat base and side bolster just pull off) and from then you follow existing cabling, including down a tunnel past the B pillar, up at the A pillar and behind the glove box - remove this to make it easier to access - to the back of the head unit.

 

This is where I'm up to, I haven't fitted the pins into the head unit connector yet, or worked out where the power is to come from, but since the fuse box is there that shouldn't be a problem.

 

 

The confusing bit of the BMW document (attached) is where it talks about vehicles with a video switch if they have DVD, TV, Night Vision or Apps. I have Apps - I believe all LCI cars do - but how do I know if I have a video switch? And why would Apps need a video switch? I have a module already fitted behind the left boot vanity panel which has an IMEI number on the label so I believe this is the vehicle SIM but it has exactly the same connector as the camera (blue fakra) which made me think the wiring might already be in place and this was the video switch. Anyway, I spent time trying to work this bit out because it just isn't clear from the instructions what this looks like or any identifying marks.

 

Thanks to Matthew also for the coding software heads up. So far I have modified the VO to include 3AG and written the code to the PDC and NBT module and when in reverse I now get the camera options appearing on the screen although no video display as yet - will see what tomorrow brings once I've get the TRSV module recognised and coded as well.

 

I''ll do another update tomorrow, hopefully with a working camera...

BMW F10 3AG retrofit camera NBT.pdf

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I got back to work this morning and fitted the loom into the head unit and found a power source from the fuse box behind the glovebox (more below), connected the vehicle battery back and tested. Initially I was getting a picture & dynamic guidelines, visual PDC etc but a 'Rear View Camera Failure' error when activating, but at least I knew it was all functioning & would just be programming to tweak, so started to put the car back together.

 

The job isn't really for the faint-hearted and you definitely need gap openers and patience, it can't be rushed. A few pics;

Midway through, all required trim off and head unit out etc

FD265180-1927-473E-BAC3-AB908BDB6CCE.thumb.jpeg.e2d88c6ad4802b744f6d2cbc5ab60e3a.jpeg\

 

34AE232B-509F-4B54-91AF-2A9712CF0A4C.thumb.jpeg.1465ad54981279b0726403c0aad449fb.jpeg

B0DF793F-190A-47EC-B31B-960096C25054.thumb.jpeg.00662919096f30baa1bdd4b7241670fa.jpeg

0C68A24F-72C4-4118-8E8A-C746F2615CEC.thumb.jpeg.692f69ac06d317cb7e293edd20b76b6d.jpeg

8362A632-9BC7-4603-A071-B3A242251265.thumb.jpeg.9e0b4712d91d04ffd6e93754dee711c0.jpeg

 

I installed the module here;

313F3766-7F89-41AC-BAFF-2B6595A98F6A.thumb.jpeg.96acf4897efa0eb96c7eec782e88881d.jpeg

 

 

To continue on from yesterday, all I really had left to do was connect it all up, test then put the car back together. Inserting the pins into the head unit was easy - finding power was not. The Emtronika loom that I bought had the ground (brown wire) at the module end and the +12V cable at the head unit. I'm not sure why, because the BMW instructions state that the power comes from the fuse box in the boot so the cable ends up at the wrong end of the car. If I was to do the job again, I'd split the single power cable out of the loom and run it across to the other side of the boot where the fuse box is. While there is a fuse box behind the glovebox, it's not easy to get to and you certainly can't get to the back of it to add the power cable. I ended up using a fuse tap for an ignition-switched feed (fuse 24).

 

Putting the trim back together is easy, as long as the holes are all lined up with the panel clips and you use gap openers to run the weather strip over.

 

Programming requires E-SYS to modify the VO to add 3AG, then coding (in my case) the NBT and PDC module. Some other instructions I saw on other forums say that you need to code the TRSVC module as well, but I didn't have that option available to me.

 

The 'Rear View Camera Failure' error I was getting when activating the camera is due to the module needing calibrating using ISTA - thanks to Matthew for pointing that out to me, I wasn't aware of that part of it.

 

Anyway, the end result is a fully-functional OEM rear view camera, just like it should have been specified when new and the parts cost me less than the £300 option...

7F186CE4-6032-4D54-B90F-A76EAE68234A.thumb.jpeg.8133f37ec1cf7642c01c56f40b673c0e.jpeg

55006F6F-D19D-4CBC-A0AC-C5D050C97F6D.thumb.jpeg.6e6b55f4db56acc79f1d3b774fafb223.jpeg

 

 

Edited by AndyM

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13 minutes ago, AndyM said:

I got back to work this morning and fitted the loom into the head unit and found a power source from the fuse box behind the glovebox (more below), connected the vehicle battery back and tested. Initially I was getting a picture & dynamic guidelines, visual PDC etc but a 'Rear View Camera Failure' error when activating, but at least I knew it was all functioning & would just be programming to tweak, so started to put the car back together.

 

The job isn't really for the faint-hearted and you definitely need gap openers and patience, it can't be rushed. A few pics;

Midway through, all required trim off and head unit out etc

 

 

I installed the module here;

 

 

 

To continue on from yesterday, all I really had left to do was connect it all up, test then put the car back together. Inserting the pins into the head unit was easy - finding power was not. The Emtronika loom that I bought had the ground (brown wire) at the module end and the +12V cable at the head unit. I'm not sure why, because the BMW instructions state that the power comes from the fuse box in the boot so the cable ends up at the wrong end of the car. If I was to do the job again, I'd split the single power cable out of the loom and run it across to the other side of the boot where the fuse box is. While there is a fuse box behind the glovebox, it's not easy to get to and you certainly can't get to the back of it to add the power cable. I ended up using a fuse tap for an ignition-switched feed (fuse 24).

 

Putting the trim back together is easy, as long as the holes are all lined up with the panel clips and you use gap openers to run the weather strip over.

 

Programming requires E-SYS to modify the VO to add 3AG, then coding (in my case) the NBT and PDC module. Some other instructions I saw on other forums say that you need to code the TRSVC module as well, but I didn't have that option available to me.

 

The 'Rear View Camera Failure' error I was getting when activating the camera is due to the module needing calibrating using ISTA - thanks to Matthew for pointing that out to me, I wasn't aware of that part of it.

 

Anyway, the end result is a fully-functional OEM rear view camera, just like it should have been specified when new and the parts cost me less than the £300 option...

 

 

Hell of an undertaking but nicely done.

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just placed an order for my oem kit and will be attempting this fit over the next couple of weeks on my F10 pending weather

 

running the cabling should be easy enough along the existing bimmertech one I already have fitted which will be removed/picked out

 

Any further advice on how/where to take power? I'm tempted to use an 'add-a-circuit' fuse tap but with everything apart i'd rather do it 'properly'!

 

Also, I have esys and I'm comfortable enough with changing VO coding but what does the calibration involve?

 

And finally, where did you tap the CAN bus? - it looks from the pictures that you ran it all the way across to the FEM module in the passenger footwell?

 

answering some of my own questions here - according to the instructions if the car does not have Apps/tv/dvd etc and does not have the video selector switch then CAN Hi/Lo is to be taken from the IHKA panel (page 7) - 

 

 

 

 

Edited by apples12

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48 minutes ago, apples12 said:

Also, I have esys and I'm comfortable enough with changing VO coding but what does the calibration involve?

 

 

For the calibration, once you have the TRSVC module fitted, fire up ISTA and once it has read all modules in the car, click on the TRSVC module shown on the module tree to highlight it and click on the "Call up ECU Functions" button at the bottom of the screen. This will take you to a series of TRSVC related screens where you can diagnose the module and run the calibration/Learn in process for the new camera.

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4 hours ago, apples12 said:

Any further advice on how/where to take power? I'm tempted to use an 'add-a-circuit' fuse tap but with everything apart i'd rather do it 'properly'!

 

Also, I have esys and I'm comfortable enough with changing VO coding but what does the calibration involve?

 

And finally, where did you tap the CAN bus? - it looks from the pictures that you ran it all the way across to the FEM module in the passenger footwell?

Power is described in the BMW document as coming from the fusebox in the boot, so I presume that the original fit camera module would get its power from the same place - that would naturally be the best place to run the power wire to. However if you use the Emtronika loom you need to strip the power cable all the way back out of this and retape, or find a suitable supply in the front fuse box.

 

The CAN was simple - it taps into High/Low on a connector for the IHKA control panel, the Emtronika kit comes with two mini wire splices which is the same as the BMW retrofit cable and the document. I stripped the Emtronika H/L cables a bit further out of the loom to allow for them to be run with the rest of the cables on that IHKA connector and not cause problems if I need to remove the NBT unit again.

 

I have no idea what the calibration is, the ISTA description shows pictures of the screen with target marks and values but I didn't get any of that, it just started working after I ran the service procedure. The description also says that the camera learns the calibration as the vehicle drives, I don't know what it actually does but all I know is once I ran it the error message and errors reported on the TRSV module went away. :D

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