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6 Series DIY
6 Series Do It Yourself (DIY) forum.

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  #1  
Old 05-30-2009, 08:02 AM
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TopDownInFL TopDownInFL is offline
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Reverse Mod Installation - a Pictorial

When I got my car, it was CPO and had no PDC (which I had in my last 3 cars) so I was a little uneasy about reversing when a) I rarely pull forward into a parking space b) I have 2 little ones that can't be seen behind the boot and c) I have two older kids, one of which will be driving in a few years. So I looked first into a PDC retrofit, but it was $3K ($1800 of which is just the 8 sensors @ $150 each). So instead, I found a more reasonable solution with some added cool factor - reverse sensors and a reverse camera.

Here's the breakdown of the items used and the costs:

The installer is an independant guy local to South Florida and has over 18 years of experience. I highly recommend him, as his attention to detail and perfection were demonstrated throughout the job (which was done in my garage and I watched all of it).

PM me for his info as he is always looking for additional work.

Here goes the pictorial:

Here's the car before any work was done:



The camera with painted cover to match the car:



The Sensor Kit (with painted sensors):



Now for the installation:

First, the license plate and all items in the trunk were removed, including necessary panels, etc.




Next, the bumper was taped up to minimize any drilling damage.



We measured about 4 times to ensure the placement of the sensors was both level and appropriately spaced across the bumper. I used pics of OEM sensor placement as guides and got it pretty close. Once we were both satisfied, drilling commenced:





Next came the installation of the sensors. We had to find a way into the trunk and found it through an opening with a rubber stopper. The cables were pulled through using a fish tape.



(this pic is taken standing at the left side of the trunk looking down at the rear wall of the trunk closest to the bumper)


At this point, the sensors were all installed into the bumper (but still not working yet):



The sensor brain was tucked neatly away in a space that will be hidden by the driver's side trunk panel. Power was pulled from the reverse lights so the sensors (and, therefore, the beeping, are only engaged when in Reverse)



A hole for the camera was drilled behind the license plate (forgot to take pics) and the cable for it was fed into the car along with the sensor cables. The cables for the camera video and from the reverse sensor brain to its speaker were fed through to the front of the car where the speaker for the sensors and the camera brain would be installed. They were ran through an existing opening for cables on the driver's side under the rear seat. (You can see the long white plastic fish tape used to pull the wires through from the back. This pic is the rear seat with the cushion removed).



An accessory channel exists under the driver's side doorsill. The wires were run along that.



The reverse speaker was installed inside the panel just under the steering wheel. The remaining cables for the video camera and power pulled from the reverse lights were fed across to under the passenger side behind the glove box.



The iDrive screen was removed to include the interface for the video camera.




Frank, my installer, connected the camera, video interface, power and the iDrive screen (I told him I wanted to include a pic of him - he says everyone tells him "we always see your work but you're never in the pics..." so noone believes him ).



The iDrive was reinstalled, the panels put back, etc.



I did have some issues with the video interface from NavVideo - it was set to use CAN video (where you can call up the video on demand, used for watching videos, etc.) Since I only needed a reverse camera application, they had to tweak it. Tony at NavVideo is the guy to talk to - he is passionate about these devices and knows EVERYTHING about them.

Here is a pic of the finished product (the camera is seen just above the license plate):



Here is a pic of the reverse camera in action. When engaged, it takes over the section of the screen that hosts the navigation. This particular camera has lines to show distance and alignment with a parking spot. It was very flexible to be configured my car.

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Nick / TopDownInFL (sans the "top down")

2012 650 Coupe - Alpine White / Black Interior / M Package / Premium Sound
Previous Bimmers:
2008 650i Convertible - Monaco Blue / Saddle Brown Pearl Leather / Premium Sound / Sport / Cold / Comfort Access / Lane Departure / HD Radio / Sat Radio
2004 645Ci Convertible - Reverse Sensors / Reverse Camera / Retro iPod
2005 545i Sedan
2003 330Ci Convertible
2001 330Ci Coupe
1998 323i Convertible
1995 318i Sedan
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  #2  
Old 05-30-2009, 10:22 AM
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ky2970 ky2970 is offline
Oorah!
Location: SoCal
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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Mein Auto: 2007 BMW 650i
That's a nice mod!
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  #3  
Old 05-30-2009, 11:46 AM
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BlaZinMJ3 BlaZinMJ3 is online now
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really nice, i dont think i could ever drill holes in my bumper and watch it lol
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  #4  
Old 05-30-2009, 02:08 PM
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TopDownInFL TopDownInFL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlaZinMJ3 View Post
really nice, i dont think i could ever drill holes in my bumper and watch it lol
+1 I winced when he drilled the first hole!
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Nick / TopDownInFL (sans the "top down")

2012 650 Coupe - Alpine White / Black Interior / M Package / Premium Sound
Previous Bimmers:
2008 650i Convertible - Monaco Blue / Saddle Brown Pearl Leather / Premium Sound / Sport / Cold / Comfort Access / Lane Departure / HD Radio / Sat Radio
2004 645Ci Convertible - Reverse Sensors / Reverse Camera / Retro iPod
2005 545i Sedan
2003 330Ci Convertible
2001 330Ci Coupe
1998 323i Convertible
1995 318i Sedan
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  #5  
Old 05-30-2009, 06:19 PM
SMG650TY SMG650TY is offline
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Very Nice Mod . I wish my 650 had the same back-up cam from my Infiniti M45X. Once you get use to it, its hard to imagine parking in tight spaces with-out it.
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  #6  
Old 05-31-2009, 08:00 AM
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Jagular Jagular is offline
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Nice! I'd love to do the same.
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  #7  
Old 05-31-2009, 08:36 PM
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JESMAL JESMAL is offline
Makin Lotsa Noise
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Mein Auto: ACS e64 650i SMG S.Black
Love it! It's TONS better than the farked up PDC in my e64 650i. Love the line guiding system. That reminds me, my PDC just failed on me and could not be revived. Looks like I'm gonna take it down to the stealership, or join you with this mod.
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  #8  
Old 05-31-2009, 09:02 PM
RF10 RF10 is offline
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EXcellent! Well done!!
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  #9  
Old 05-31-2009, 09:24 PM
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jalo jalo is offline
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i wish we had access to a highly skilled installer around here. nice work man.
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  #10  
Old 06-02-2009, 06:45 AM
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Jagular Jagular is offline
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Quick question, do the sensors work just like the OEM PDCs through the iDrive interface or is it just sound? I'm assuming it must just be sound as the video feed is what I'm seeing.
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'04 645Ci, Saphirschwarz Pearl/Black, auto, sport, cold-weather, 19" chromes, Logic 7, 7k white angels, MP3 retro, iPod retro, black grills/gills, Bluetooth retro, upgraded microphones, piano black interior trim
'12 Nissan LEAF, Cayenne Red
'10 Victory Cross Country, Black, too much to list
'01 Honda Magna, Black, too much to list
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  #11  
Old 06-02-2009, 06:52 AM
650dude 650dude is offline
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That set up looks nice..............seems like there was someone on here that had some type of OEM camera set up as well.
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  #12  
Old 06-02-2009, 08:03 AM
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TopDownInFL TopDownInFL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jagular View Post
Quick question, do the sensors work just like the OEM PDCs through the iDrive interface or is it just sound? I'm assuming it must just be sound as the video feed is what I'm seeing.
Some sensor kits have a visual aspect to them and can integrate with the camera to work somewhat like PDC. My install is just sound (with the speaker under the dash at my knees) and the camera output (the camera is what puts the lines on the screen.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by 650dude View Post
That set up looks nice..............seems like there was someone on here that had some type of OEM camera set up as well.
Stratus650.
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Nick / TopDownInFL (sans the "top down")

2012 650 Coupe - Alpine White / Black Interior / M Package / Premium Sound
Previous Bimmers:
2008 650i Convertible - Monaco Blue / Saddle Brown Pearl Leather / Premium Sound / Sport / Cold / Comfort Access / Lane Departure / HD Radio / Sat Radio
2004 645Ci Convertible - Reverse Sensors / Reverse Camera / Retro iPod
2005 545i Sedan
2003 330Ci Convertible
2001 330Ci Coupe
1998 323i Convertible
1995 318i Sedan
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  #13  
Old 06-02-2009, 08:04 AM
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Jagular Jagular is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 650dude View Post
That set up looks nice..............seems like there was someone on here that had some type of OEM camera set up as well.
I looked into this, as well. The OEM is veeeeeery expensive.
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'04 645Ci, Saphirschwarz Pearl/Black, auto, sport, cold-weather, 19" chromes, Logic 7, 7k white angels, MP3 retro, iPod retro, black grills/gills, Bluetooth retro, upgraded microphones, piano black interior trim
'12 Nissan LEAF, Cayenne Red
'10 Victory Cross Country, Black, too much to list
'01 Honda Magna, Black, too much to list
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  #14  
Old 06-02-2009, 08:18 AM
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TopDownInFL TopDownInFL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jagular View Post
I looked into this, as well. The OEM is veeeeeery expensive.
Also the angle (the OEM points downward at about a 30-40 degree angle from horizontal) from such a low vantage point on the 6 makes the OEM worse. In my case, the horizontal placement gives me a better view, but I sacrifice a "less clean" install in that you can clearly see the camera on my car. My installed offered to put the camera behind the license plate and drill a hole through that. Also, you can go with a license plate embedded camera (last camera on this page - http://www.navvideo.com/backup-cameras.asp) would make for a cleaner install. i chose the Pioneer for the distance lines.
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Nick / TopDownInFL (sans the "top down")

2012 650 Coupe - Alpine White / Black Interior / M Package / Premium Sound
Previous Bimmers:
2008 650i Convertible - Monaco Blue / Saddle Brown Pearl Leather / Premium Sound / Sport / Cold / Comfort Access / Lane Departure / HD Radio / Sat Radio
2004 645Ci Convertible - Reverse Sensors / Reverse Camera / Retro iPod
2005 545i Sedan
2003 330Ci Convertible
2001 330Ci Coupe
1998 323i Convertible
1995 318i Sedan
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  #15  
Old 06-12-2009, 11:56 PM
sfbaron sfbaron is offline
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That's a nice mod.
So the backup camera only activates only when the car is in reverse? What happens to the video screen when you engage park or drive? Thanks.
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  #16  
Old 06-14-2009, 05:50 AM
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TopDownInFL TopDownInFL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfbaron View Post
That's a nice mod.
So the backup camera only activates only when the car is in reverse? What happens to the video screen when you engage park or drive? Thanks.
Yes - only in reverse. The video goes back to normal (nav is there currently). The idea is the video input box interrupts the BMW video and superimposes the camera video onto the iDrive screen. When not engaged, it allows teh BMW video to flow to the screen as normal.
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Nick / TopDownInFL (sans the "top down")

2012 650 Coupe - Alpine White / Black Interior / M Package / Premium Sound
Previous Bimmers:
2008 650i Convertible - Monaco Blue / Saddle Brown Pearl Leather / Premium Sound / Sport / Cold / Comfort Access / Lane Departure / HD Radio / Sat Radio
2004 645Ci Convertible - Reverse Sensors / Reverse Camera / Retro iPod
2005 545i Sedan
2003 330Ci Convertible
2001 330Ci Coupe
1998 323i Convertible
1995 318i Sedan
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  #17  
Old 06-14-2009, 09:00 AM
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mike6auto mike6auto is offline
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Mein Auto: 05 645,97 xk8,01 cl600
very nice upgrade
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  #18  
Old 06-18-2009, 07:40 PM
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csmeance csmeance is offline
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quick question, does the nav-video send video only to that small portion on the screen for backup, and full screen for DVD's or is it just displayed on that little section all the time?
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  #19  
Old 06-19-2009, 05:39 AM
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TopDownInFL TopDownInFL is offline
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Originally Posted by csmeance View Post
quick question, does the nav-video send video only to that small portion on the screen for backup, and full screen for DVD's or is it just displayed on that little section all the time?
According to Tony @ NavVideo, it displays over the navigation. So if you have the nav covering the entire screen, it should cover the entire screen. I was never able to change the nav to full screen (anyone know how???) and test. If someone can tell me how to set the nav to full screen, I'll test.
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Nick / TopDownInFL (sans the "top down")

2012 650 Coupe - Alpine White / Black Interior / M Package / Premium Sound
Previous Bimmers:
2008 650i Convertible - Monaco Blue / Saddle Brown Pearl Leather / Premium Sound / Sport / Cold / Comfort Access / Lane Departure / HD Radio / Sat Radio
2004 645Ci Convertible - Reverse Sensors / Reverse Camera / Retro iPod
2005 545i Sedan
2003 330Ci Convertible
2001 330Ci Coupe
1998 323i Convertible
1995 318i Sedan
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  #20  
Old 06-19-2009, 07:08 PM
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csmeance csmeance is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TopDownInFL View Post
According to Tony @ NavVideo, it displays over the navigation. So if you have the nav covering the entire screen, it should cover the entire screen. I was never able to change the nav to full screen (anyone know how???) and test. If someone can tell me how to set the nav to full screen, I'll test.
So if you switch the navi to the other side, you get video in the other side? I think its just the matter of how it was hooked up... I think... If you hooked it up to the navigation dvd drive, then it will just cut off the map and display there. However if you tap the screen itself, it takes up the whole thing... Just my random thoughts...
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  #21  
Old 06-19-2009, 07:46 PM
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TopDownInFL TopDownInFL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csmeance View Post
So if you switch the navi to the other side, you get video in the other side? I think its just the matter of how it was hooked up... I think... If you hooked it up to the navigation dvd drive, then it will just cut off the map and display there. However if you tap the screen itself, it takes up the whole thing... Just my random thoughts...
Doesn't work that way - the video device from navvideo has one input that is normally the plug that goes into the iDrive screen and an output cable the plugs back into the screen so it can interrupt the video signal and superimpose whatever it wants (a movie, the reverse camera, etc). Tony @ NavVideo was the one saying it is based on how the car itself sends the nav signal. I wouldn't mind the full screen, but can certainly live with the smaller version.
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Nick / TopDownInFL (sans the "top down")

2012 650 Coupe - Alpine White / Black Interior / M Package / Premium Sound
Previous Bimmers:
2008 650i Convertible - Monaco Blue / Saddle Brown Pearl Leather / Premium Sound / Sport / Cold / Comfort Access / Lane Departure / HD Radio / Sat Radio
2004 645Ci Convertible - Reverse Sensors / Reverse Camera / Retro iPod
2005 545i Sedan
2003 330Ci Convertible
2001 330Ci Coupe
1998 323i Convertible
1995 318i Sedan
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  #22  
Old 09-04-2009, 07:06 AM
SMG-6 SMG-6 is offline
6 fo fizzle!!
Location: Atlanta, Ga
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 101
Mein Auto: BMW 645ci SMG
Thank you for this. Already got the factory sensors, but I will be getting that camera. lol

Does the camera have the Distance sensor built into it, or does it work in conjunction with the other sensors?
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  #23  
Old 09-04-2009, 07:23 AM
Snakebit05 Snakebit05 is offline
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Location: Dallas, TX
 
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Mein Auto: 2005 e63
Nice job looks great. Hey were did u get the 650 trunk I see the light so I'm guessing that's what you did.
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  #24  
Old 09-04-2009, 08:31 AM
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TopDownInFL TopDownInFL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SMG-6 View Post
Does the camera have the Distance sensor built into it, or does it work in conjunction with the other sensors?
It has the lines representing the distance. Generally, the red line is 12" from the rear of the car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snakebit05 View Post
Nice job looks great. Hey were did u get the 650 trunk I see the light so I'm guessing that's what you did.
Thanks. Not sure what you mean. as far as I know I have the original 645 trunk.
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Nick / TopDownInFL (sans the "top down")

2012 650 Coupe - Alpine White / Black Interior / M Package / Premium Sound
Previous Bimmers:
2008 650i Convertible - Monaco Blue / Saddle Brown Pearl Leather / Premium Sound / Sport / Cold / Comfort Access / Lane Departure / HD Radio / Sat Radio
2004 645Ci Convertible - Reverse Sensors / Reverse Camera / Retro iPod
2005 545i Sedan
2003 330Ci Convertible
2001 330Ci Coupe
1998 323i Convertible
1995 318i Sedan
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  #25  
Old 11-21-2009, 10:19 AM
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AB AB is offline
Don't worry, be happy
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 11,677
Mein Auto: '05 645Cic
I am just seeing this for the first time. VERY impressive! Frank definitely did a great job for you.
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