Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-13-2015, 05:30 PM
carls540i carls540i is offline
Registered User
Location: atlanta
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 84
Mein Auto: BMW 540i
reverse camera

Installing a reverse camera in my 02 540i and wiring it to the license plate light which has 2wires,one Brown with a black stipe and the othr gray with black stripe.which one is the power wire? The camera has standard red power wire and black ground. Thanks
Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2015, 05:54 PM
Alika808 Alika808 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: 21 18' N, 157 51' W
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,761
Mein Auto: X5/330/Range Rover HSE
Usually brown wire is the ground wire, but to be certain use a voltmeter to verify.
Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2015, 05:57 PM
eburnz's Avatar
eburnz eburnz is offline
Location: DC
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,336
Mein Auto: Dirty 530i
Use the grey and black stripe wire for power.
2004 BMW 530i (Prod: 7/2004)
Sports package | Prem package | Prem sound package | Cold weather package | Light package | 18x8 Matte Black / 20mm spacers: 15mm offset | Carbon Fiber: Grill, Side mirrors, M5 trunk spoiler, LED gear shift knob, Interior trim | Mtech v3 AE | M5 front bumper | Interior white LEDs | Smoked side markers | Muffler delete | Dual exhaust gun metal tips

RIP Selina - 2001 BMW 525i (Prod: 10/2000)

"Call it what you want, it's a BMW"
Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2015, 09:02 PM
sealbeach740 sealbeach740 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Seal Beach, CA.
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 996
Mein Auto: 2000 740iS, 2003 540iS
Are you saying you want to wire a backup camera to the license plate light?
Wouldn't this imply that you could only use the backup camera when your lights are on?
Doesn't sound like the right way to go.
While the brown (ground) wire is fine to tap into, I think you should be looking for a switched power wire that's hot when the key is in position 1 or 2 or higher, depending on your preference.
I wired mine to a position 1 switched wire so I can have the camera on with the key in position 1. My preference.

2000 740iS. MKIV, 16x9, DDEs controlled by Euro fog light switch, reversed steptronic +/- pattern, paddle shifters, clear corners, Basslink, iPod video with stereo audio, TV tuner, gauge rings, ///M pedals, backup camera with 'on demand' switch, quad brake lights, Dinan engine & tranny software, windows/sunroof close via remote.

2003 540iS. MKIV, 16x9, PDC, CWP, TV tuner, backup camera with 'on demand' switch, paddle shifters, windows/sunroof close via remote, iPod video & audio.
Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2015, 11:28 PM
E39Hoon E39Hoon is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: San Diego
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 370
Mein Auto: 97 528i+00 540it+89 325i
Brown is ground and the other is power. As sealbeach stated, you should get power elsewhere or else your lights would have to be on for it to work. I tapped into one of the reverse lights for mine.
Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2015, 05:18 AM
carls540i carls540i is offline
Registered User
Location: atlanta
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 84
Mein Auto: BMW 540i
Reverse Camera

Thanks all for the replies. Installing an aftermarket radio with backup camera feature so the camera will only power on once the car is shifted into reverse. I'll need to connect the other side of the cameras power wire to the green/black reverse light wire to trigger.

Reply With Quote

See More Related BMW Stories

Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:36 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2015 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms