Installing a Dash Cam

by a_v

Here's how I installed a new dashcam:

First the easy bit: mounting and framing the unit. I was hoping it would fit behind the rear view mirror, but the mirror is very close to the windshield. I deliberately stuck the adhesive on that black bit to hide the adhesive from outside view. I wish they would have supplied black adhesive instead of grey for this reason. I drove around for a week with it here before deciding to hardwire it in place.

The most common way to run the power cable is up through the roof liner, down the A-pillar and in to the footwell area. Be careful if your A-pillar has an airbag in it!

Here's where I'll be tapping the power from. The crash panel comes off with 2 10mm bolts and 2 philips-head screws; those are hidden behind the side trim (the side trim prys out). The A-pillar is held in with 3 push clips and just prys off. Pull the weather stripping down and start prying.

After feeding the wire up from under the footwell and up through the A-pillar hole, I had to decide where to mount the cigarette lighter socket and power adaptor. I went with this harness behind the steering wheel.

Up top now, the wire can be tucked in to the gap in the roof liner. I didn't need anything to hold it in place, but you could stuff some foam in there.

Run the wire to check it doesn't interfere with the A-pillar trim. I only used Blu-Tack here temporarily!

I was able to run the wire up and back inside the A-pillar without problem. The more slack you can take up in here the better. Also, you can never have too many cable ties!

I ran some double-sided tape to hold the wire in place, then laid some adhesive foam along it to eliminate any chance of rattles developing.

At this point, the A-pillar trim can go back on. The push clips that came originally break easily, so I had some replacements on hand.

There was this much slack left in the power cable after tying it up in the A-pillar.

I had to think about where to run the wire after the A-pillar. There's plenty of opportunity for it to rattle and catch on the metal holding the dash on-it's sharp in a few places. I tied it to this yellow conduit and routed it behind the fuse box. That was a very tricky cable tie to attach!

I decided to use an Add-A-Circuit to get my power. Fuse 18 is used for the cigarette lighter so it was perfect for powering this. Fuse 9 will work as well. My dashcam turns on and off with the accesories power, but some have additional features that require constant power. Fuses 4, 6, 7, 14, 15, 16, and 25 supply constant power. Wires have been soldered to the cigarette lighter socket and the positive wire run has been worked out.

After working out where I was going to get ground from, I cut the black wire to size and soldered on a fork connector. Just have to plug this in now and the electricals are done!

Electrical all done. The cigarette lighter socket is taped to the wire loom I picked earlier, the slack in the dashcam power cable is tied up (you can see it next to that yellow bit of tape), power and ground cable connected and tied up. I got my ground connection from the bolt holding the small metal mount holding the lower part of the dash in the footwell. Near where my second cigarette lighter socket is installed, which you can see in the next photo.

After testing that everything powers on, put it all back together! Then we can go have sandwiches.

A few hours work. Fair bit of that time was going to Jaycar to get the Add-A-Circuit and fuses, and waiting for the rain to stop...
The instructions here are specifically for my Australian XD Elantra, but will apply more or less to most cars. Be mindful of running power wire in the A-pillar if it has an airbag in it; I strongly recommend a professional install if you're not 100% in that case.

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