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BMW F07N Top View Retro fit+ Front Camera upgrade?.

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Has anyone retrofitted top view (SA3HA?) or surround view (SA5DL?) to their BMW?

 

Having treated my expensive 20" style 303 rims to a dose of kerb rash, all round, I figure that this might be a worthwhile investment.  I am not keen on the full 5DL upgrade, as reports from the forums on the side view cameras, suggest they are vulnerable to corrosion, cameras and wiring.  There is also the wiring and the routing of the two cables through the firewall.  There is a route for the OSF side, through a 20mm grommet utilised for the front fog lamp upgrade I recently completed.  The NS of the firewall is more of a problem as I am not keen on removing the A/C evaporator assembly and front fuse box to see if i can find an aperture for the NS camera wiring.

 

The top view option is more appealing as this will give me a side view of the car, which will assist when parking.  I am sure that there are bound to be comments about learning to park properly to avoid doing expensive retrofits to compensate for lacking perfect parking skills, but judging by the amount of road rash on alloy wheels across numerous brands, I am clearly a) not alone, or b) in the minority.  For those of you with zero road rash on your rims, I salute your superior parking abilities.

 

At the the present time I have the TRSVC ECU module installed and purchased a centre console PDC/Camera/ride selector switch ready to replace the existing  PDC/ride selector switch.  As far as I can tell, there are no additional wiring modifications required apart from wiring in the cameras and the cameras as well.  I have not been able to source a BMW retrofit guide for 5DL, so assume that no other changes are required apart from Wing mirrors/cameras and interconnecting HSD wiring.

 

Now the tricky part .  In my initial naivety, I assumed that I could retrofit the top view cameras to the existing wing mirrors, by swapping out the wing mirror bottom plate (There is a special version that has a hole for the camera and a mounting bracket to replace the existing non camera versions) and fitting the new HSD wire.  I thought that this was a single wire from ECU straight to the camera through the body and door.  Well it isn't.  The wiring comprises 3 discrete sections. The first, from the Camera in the wing mirror to the Wing Mirror connector that mates to the car door  -  I'll call this the octopus connector, as it resembles a suction cup on an octopus and comes in different colours.  I have seen Black, Blue and Yellow Connectors.  All of them appear to have a preformed aperture for a 4 Pin HSD wire as well as between 1 and 3 separate terminal connections, variously referred to as 3, 5 or 7 pin, excluding the HSD connector ( I am also only talking about the F07N, other models have different pin layouts and connections).  I am reliably informed that all the F07Ns (LCI models) have a minimum of 5 pins (Power fold/heated/auto dimming), with some models having an extra two pins if they have blind spot detection.  So seriously difficult to mod an existing wing mirror.

 

In order to overcome this complication, I am exploring swapping out the non camera mirrors for versions with cameras.  Online investigation hasn't yet provided me with a source of 5 pin RHD mirrors for an F07.  I also thought that I could use versions from say an F10, but I have been informed that the baseplates are different and can't be swapped.  As of writing, I am not sure if the baseplates on the wing mirrors are unique to the F07N or share the same baseplates with the F01 or F02 ( the F07 is a hybrid of Series 7 and Series 5 parts.....it is referred to as a 7 series hatchback.......so I got lucky getting a 7 series for 5 series money....).  This doesn't really help as I haven't come across a source of any 7 series camera wing  mirrors either!  So the only option at the moment is BMW.  Non Camera wing mirrors for my F07N are £560 each.  The versions with cameras, but not blind spot indicators are £650 each ( 51167459555 and 51167352366 - this needs checking) and the all singing versions with everything are £700+ each.  So I am looking at £1300 just for the wing mirrors.  I also need 4 HSD wires, wing mirror to body and body to ECU module for the LH and RH.  I haven't found the codes for the door HSD wires (these would be between 30-70cm long) and no idea of costs. I have the following references  for the body HSD wires (61119327526 & 61119327527 - needs checking) with an official cost of circa £345 for the pair (that puts the component cost, new from a stealer at £1642 and still two HSD cables short, never mind what I don't know about). 

 

I am assuming that the door HSD wiring can be routed from the Wing mirror through the door via the existing umbilical to the large connector on the body.  Sods law would suggest that this connector would need replacing with a new one with a suitable receptacle for the HSD wire.  So this upgrade is going nowhere presently if I have to fork out £1350+ for the Cameras, so I am on the look out for 'used' options (no rush, I plan to keep the Car for 10 years +  so have time).  Taking the door cards off to remove the existing wing mirrors and route the wiring will be a major pain.  I'm not concerned about routing the wiring within the body (done that for the 3AG retrofit) or dashboard.  So whilst this is on hold pending sourcing some affordable wing mirrors. Below might be the next upgrade.

 

BEYOND THE TOP VIEW RETROFIT..................

 

Now for the really interesting part of this upgrade.  I think that the Car should have a front Camera.  It doesn't have a factory option version, but there are plenty of 3rd party front cameras that interface to a screen (although not the BMW screen natively).  So I am planning a factory version upgrade, using OEM parts.  I propose to take a side view camera and mount it on the front bumper between the two grilles.  This will then connect to the TRSVC module using OEM HSD wiring.  Remember there is room in the 20mm aperture on the drivers side to route an HSD camera for the OS bumper (6.5m HSD cable).  All that is required is an additional HSD wire to run an extra 1m-1.5m. from where the 6.5m cable terminates to cover the shortfall to the sideview camera installed in the front bumper.  I am assuming that the extra 1-1.5m of cable won't degrade the signal quality of transmitted video from camera to TRSVC module.

 

My current TRSVC module is coded for 3AG (reverse camera) which works.  I do have error codes for the 4 cameras that are missing (From ISTA/Carly) but it doesn't flag any faults that the stealers have raised when it went in for its last service and these error codes are confined to the TRSVC module, so not critical or safety errors.  SO in theory, this should work.  The 'new' front camera would be activated by operation of the camera switch on the centre console.  Some views would be blank, due to the missing cameras, but I have a hunch that there would be a view from the retasked side view camera.  This can be tested before full installation by jury rigging a camera to a cable connected to the TRSVC white connector (RH bumper camera connection) and the PDC/Camera/Ride selector switch fitted.  If this works then the installation could be undertaken properly (I don't want to  drill a hole in an £800-1000 MSport bumper if it isn't going to work........).  Anyone got a camera and cable that they could lend to test this option?

 

If the test proves valid, then the only upgrade to this version would be a software hack to the TRSVC ECU to update the code to reflect only 4 views required as opposed to 5.  This is feasible if the code is in an eprom as opposed to a PROM or IC.  I couldn't do the coding, but I am sure that I could find a bright spark who would relish the challenge to reverse engineer the code and then tweak it for a 4 view display.  Coding wise it shouldn't be that difficult.  Reverse engineering the code in the TRSVC module is the hard part, especially if it is encrypted.  The guys at XDA forum are brilliant at this sort of coding challenge.  They have accessed encrypted partitions on phones, etc.to change BIOS, OS, etc.

 

Any comments/suggestions?  If anyone has a PDF copy of a 5DL retrofit, I would appreciate a copy.....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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