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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 11-12-2010, 05:43 AM   #1
carguy61
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Backup camera

I saw a backup camera that replaces a license plate light on Ebay. Has anyone used one?
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Old 11-12-2010, 06:24 AM   #2
relentlessone
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I have one of these. Make sure you get the shallow one, the tall one will not fit our cars even though the sellers claim they do. Even the shallow one requires slight modification to fit, but fits well once complete. I'll post a pic later when I'm on my computer.
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Old 11-12-2010, 06:57 AM   #3
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Carguy - I have one of the shallow ones (that Relentlessone noted is needed) I purchased off ebay but never got around to installing. PM me and I'll send it your way.
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:11 AM   #4
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I have to say, I always thought backup cameras were gimmicky and useless... until we got the R-Class with one... and then the Odyssey Touring... and now, I'm a huge fan. Miss it in our other cars without one...
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Old 11-12-2010, 08:02 AM   #5
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check out the ICE forum as well. some good info and pics in there.
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Old 11-12-2010, 08:20 AM   #6
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As you can see, it's almost invisible


Close up


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Old 11-12-2010, 08:49 AM   #7
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nice chase!
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:18 AM   #8
relentlessone
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This is the one I got:



Hey Chase did you have to modify yours to fit at all? I had to grind down the tabs that hold it in place to fit over the thick plastic, and then cut part of the trunk handle where the camera mounts.
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessone View Post
Hey Chase did you have to modify yours to fit at all? I had to grind down the tabs that hold it in place to fit over the thick plastic, and then cut part of the trunk handle where the camera mounts.
Yep, had to dremel is a good bit to get it to fit. Was a bit of a pain but well worth it. The only issue I have had is that it didn't fit super snug so there is a little big of room for water and other cr@p to get in there... giong to have to figure out how to create a seal around it.
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:32 AM   #10
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giong to have to figure out how to create a seal around it.
Translucent bathroom silicone sealant.
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:40 AM   #11
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is that tiny replacement light bright enough for the plates? or will it look bright on one side (where the original light is) and dim on the side where the camera and replacement light is?
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Last edited by delmarco; 11-12-2010 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:49 AM   #12
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^^^good question and is there a way to record (which will be cool) or are people just using it to back up (which is why its called a backup cam)
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:54 AM   #13
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^^^good question and is there a way to record (which will be cool) or are people just using it to back up (which is why its called a backup cam)
why would u want to record the pavement behind your car as it is reversing.
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:56 AM   #14
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Yes, there is a way to record. See recording in post #6.
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Old 11-12-2010, 10:35 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoingNuts View Post
Translucent bathroom silicone sealant.
Great suggestion
Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarco View Post
is that tiny replacement light bright enough for the plates? or will it look bright on one side (where the original light is) and dim on the side where the camera and replacement light is?
Good question.

The LED in the backup camera side is about as bright as the OEM halogen in the other side... and they look about the same color and intensity.

I was running a hyperwhite led in both housings prior to the backup camera but, for some reason, the LEDs started acting up and i just replaced it with a cheap halogen.

LED hyperwhite license plate bulbs are FTW but I would rather have camera and slightly less sexy license plate lights.
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why would u want to record the pavement behind your car as it is reversing.
This. I suppose people may want to have the reverse camera on while driving and maybe record idiots tailing them or something... but this seems stupid.
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Old 11-12-2010, 10:42 AM   #16
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I would not say its stupid chase. we are always trying to get more out of something simple. I would like to have recordings of like a caravan to a meet, etc.
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Old 11-12-2010, 10:43 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2000_328CI View Post
Yep, had to dremel is a good bit to get it to fit. Was a bit of a pain but well worth it. The only issue I have had is that it didn't fit super snug so there is a little big of room for water and other cr@p to get in there... giong to have to figure out how to create a seal around it.
OK good, just wanted to make sure I didn't do anything unnecessary. Yeah I have a gap between the camera and trunk handle. I think I might stick a piece of foam weatherstripping in there to block any water. The back of the camera is sealed, but it would still be possible for water to reach the license plate light connection. I'm just going to avoid spraying it directly with the pressure washer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoingNuts View Post
Translucent bathroom silicone sealant.
Only problem with the silicone is that it's not really convenient to remove the camera. Not that you really need to remove it, but just in case. I'm going to experiment with some foam weatherstripping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarco View Post
is that tiny replacement light bright enough for the plates? or will it look bright on one side (where the original light is) and dim on the side where the camera and replacement light is?
I'd say it's of equal brightness to the stock light, but a shade or two whiter. I think there are three LEDs in there. Doesn't bother me enough to change it.
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Old 11-12-2010, 10:56 AM   #18
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I've got one that is in place of the keyhole. Works good, but I like the one 2000_328Ci has..Like the distance lines in it and you get to keep the keyhole.
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Old 11-12-2010, 01:10 PM   #19
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can you get these to work with oem nav.?
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Old 11-12-2010, 01:34 PM   #20
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I want to get one if itll work with oem nav but i have the 4:3 screen
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