I wanted to do this review for quite some time now, but never got to it until now. For a while I wanted to install a rear-view camera in my 2009 E92, because in a coupe it can sometimes be difficult to see what's going on in the back, and I wanted to avoid accidents, dents and scratches as much possible, and the rear-view camera is a great prevention against all that (especially because I let my gf take the car sometimes
I had a few options to chose from, but decided to go with Bimmer Retrofit (one of the vendors here, www.bimmerretrofit.com
). There were a few things that were important to me and Bimmer Retrofit met all that criteria:
1. Complete integration with iDrive
- this was an absolute must for me. Although the camera is not OEM, it was important for me that it functions like OEM.
2. Easy installation
- I am DIY guy and wanted to do the installation myself.
3. Single supplier
- it was important for me to get everything, the camera, activation and coding from one place. I want to always deal with the same supplier for everything, especially when it comes to expensive things, like BMW. Only then you can achieve accountability.
4. What really won me over is fantastic customer service
and quick delivery!
5. A nice bonus
: programmable activation module. I am thinking of getting a 4-door and being able to keep the retrofit without any additional activation modules is definitely a PLUS.
Now about the installation itself:
Installation took me about 2.5 hrs
. The key to a successful installation is deciding on two things:
1. Start from the back and work your way to the front or the other way around;
2. Pass the wires on the left side or the right side of the vehicle.
1. I found it easier to start at the front and work my way to the back
. I can't really explain why I chose this option, but it was my gut feeling. So what I did is I started by remove all the plastic trim around the CIC, so I can plug in the PNP activation module.
The easiest way to install the PNP module is behind and to the right of the CIC
. There is a fairly large gap and PNP modules fits right in.
2. Once the PNP cable is in, you should secure the wires using tie wraps
, to make sure everything is solid and will not move during driving.
3. Once the PNP module is in, you should decide whether to pass the wiring along the left or right rocker panel. The wire supplied by Bimmer Retrofit is long enough to go either way, but my personal preference was to go on the left side.
Why? I found it much easier to remove the plastic trim below the steering wheel, rather than remove plastic trim around the glovebox compartment and pass the wires through the glovebox.
4. Once the plastic trim below the steering wheel is removed, you can easily pass the cable below the steering wheel
and all the way to the side to the rocker panel. I do not have any pictures of this because it was dark and the camera couldn't focus.
5. Once you get the cable to the rocker panel, you need to apply gentle pressure on the plastic trim that covers the rocker panel to remove the plastic trim
. The plastic trim stays in place using plastic clips, and these clips will most likely stay in the rocker panel, once you remove the trim. You will need to remove them and place them back in the plastic trim, as shown in the picture.
6. You will then need to tuck in the wire
, so that the plastic trim can safely be reinstalled.
7. You will then need to fold down the rear seats
and to remove the "corner seat"
(not sure what the proper name for this part is), but please refer to the pic below.
8. Once this is done you need to tuck in the wire between the seat and the side of the vehicle
, to get to the corner. (I've got a two-door).
9. Then, you need to tuck in the wire behind the rear seat
and get to the opposite side of the vehicle.
10. Then you just need to pass the wire to right side of the trunk
. I did this behind the decorative lining on the right side of the vehicle.
11. The blue wires need to go to the back-up light. You need to connect the wires to the backup light
. This is easily done using a “splicer”, supplied by Bimmer Retrofit.
12. The thicker black cable needs to go to the trunk handle
. I passed it through the rubber “tunnel”.
13. And this is almost it. Just remove the existing handle, and insert the one with the camera built in
. Bimmer Retrofit has a good instruction for this part. Now just connect the cables and that’s all.
The next step is to book an appointment with Bimmer Retrofit
for coding of the rear-view camera. I did my coding session with Chris. He is extremely knowledgeable and fast. He finished the coding in less than 30 minutes and everything worked like magic.
Highly recommend this retrofit and I hope my mini-DIY will help you in the installation process.