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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my method to a backup camera that outputs a composite video signal that will be displayed on a CR-Z that is equipped with the factory navigation system that has been modified with the NavTool


I want to be very clear - this writeup assumes that you have also completed the NavTool modification found here:

You can adapt these instructions to provide a reverse-camera video signal to any device that provides a video display of an RCA Composite video signal.


The Disclaimers:

1) I am not responsible for damage that you may incur while attempting this DIY.

2) I am not responsible for how you ultimately use this DIY. All items are provided for educational purposes only.

3) Since you are dealing with electronics, you are increasing the fire-risk of your vehicle in the event of a short circuit or ignition created by the heat of added components.

4) My instructions are for the USA-spec CRZ. I am not sure what changes Honda implemented for homologation in other countries.

5) I recommend products from various vendors below. These are for guidance to explain the necessary component. I do not endorse or represent the retail seller or component manufacturers.

6) I am not an electrical engineer by trade, so my approach may not be optimal for an installation. The following instructions are more for a proof of concept than for a long-term in-vehicle installation. That is, I use certain connector types to simply get things working, but you may want to consider using solder to fix wires and finding proper grounding points.

7) Always look with your eyes before reversing; use the camera for assistance when reversing without solely rely solely on the displayed image.

8) I have not tested this on a CR-Z equipped with a manual transmission.



The modification will require that you splice a power cable from one of your white/reverse lights. This spliced wire will power a video camera that is mounted in the rear of the vehicle.

A video cable will be connected from the camera to the front of the vehicle so a video monitor can display the signal captured by the camera. My Navigation screen has been modified with a NavTool which enables it to display the video from the backup camera.

I chose to splice into the passenger (right) side rear light assembly; I would assume the instructions are the similar if you choose the driver-side.

Here is a video showing the backup camera in action at night. Note that the image on the screen switches to the backup image the moment the PRND lever is in the [R]everse position.


Required Equipment:

(1 unit) Backup Camera equipped with Infrared lights that outputs a NTSC signal
$24.99 + shipping BackCam® Car Rearview License Plate Backup Camera 1/4 Inch CMOS NTSC + IR Night Vision + Waterproof + Anti Fog: Electronics
Note: I bought this particular camera but it is horrible. It has a low quality image and rather poor construction. You may want to spend a bit more on a better camera. Have to use a bit of epoxy to just prevent the pivoting camera head from rotating.


Required tools:
some tools will be somewhat specialized – you may need to acquire some of them which may add to the installation cost

Ratchet set with 8mm and 10mm sockets

Wire Stripper & Crimp Tool (I am assuming you know how to use this; you may want to practice on various wires if you’ve never stripped copper wire before) Irwin Industrial Tools 2078317 7-Inch Multi Tool Stripper, Cutter and Crimper with ProTouch Grips: Home Improvement

Interior trim removal kit Astro Pneumatic 4505 5-Piece Fastener and Molding Remover Set: Home Improvement

Wire coat hanger

Clean gloves

Masking tape

Electrical Tape


Step 1: Remove trim, license plage, and brake light on passenger (right) side of vehicle

Open rear hatch door.

Use a small interior trim removal tool to pop out the plastic cover.

Use 10mm socket to remove rear license plate.

Remove small plastic cover on brake light assembly.

Use 8mm socket to remove two screws.

Gently pop out brake light assembly.


Step 2: Run video wire through grommet and connect to NavTool

Gently displace plastic suction/cover that protects wires as they
run through hole from outside of car to inside of car.

Run camera black wire to front of vehicle and connect to Input 2 video source on NavTool


Step 3: Splice backup light wire to power the backup camera

There is a black/green striped wire that provides power to the white/reverse lights when the vehicle gear selector is in [R]everse.

You will want to tap into this wire to run power to the backup camera.

Route the power wire and video signal wire through the hole behind the license plate.

The rear bumper/fascia is hollow so you can climb under the vehicle and try to plug the wires through.

Conversely, you can create a little hook-tool with a coat hanger to grab the wires and pull through the hole.


Step 4: Hookup power wires to camera

The camera comes with a power harness cable. Conncet the +12v wire you ran from the brake light to the Red wire on the harness.

Connect the black wire to a ground that is a metal part of the chassis.


Step 5: Affix camera to license plate and test the image

This is an image from the camera with my vehicle 6 inches away from a minivan.


· Registered
11 Posts
Agree, very creative and cool. Hope you inspire Honda to make camera available as a future bundle with Navigation option. Only makes sense that they would for future model year differentiation and to compete with likes of camera-equipped Veloster.

· Registered
91 Posts
I just wanted to thank holeydonut for posting the DIY. I finished the install yesterday. It is a very "fiddley" install with the ribbon cables. If I was to do it over I think I would go with a after market head unit.

thanks holeydonut!!!

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431 Posts
A big thanks to holeydonut for specifying which wire provides power to the reverse lights. That saved me lots of time, I'm sure! I added a backup cam to my Z this weekend in about an hour.

First of all, I didn't buy the navtool. Instead I bought a new mirror because I like having the compass in it. I didn't bother with the temperature sensor because the temp is already on my dash. I used this one:
Rydeen MV311T

Since this mirror is a VSM-A mount, and my Z is a VSM-B, I just glued the new bracket just to the right of my existing bracket. It's fine, and you can't really see it. I wouldn't suggest trying to remove the old bracket because you could damage the expensive-as-hell windshield.

I tucked the wires from the mirror under the front of the headrest along to the A-Pillar on the driver's side. I did not remove the A-Pillar cover, I just pulled the door seal out from the side of it so I could tuck the wiring under the pillar. I could just follow along and easily tuck them under the kick panel by the driver's foot, and up under by the fuse box. I did not remove a single panel, yet you see no wires.

When I got to the fuse box, I got out my voltage tester because I needed to find a spot in the fuse box with power that was only on while the key was turned forward. Rather than piggyback another fuse, I found an unused slot for this. I used a fusetap from AutoZone. To save anyone time, here it is:

There was a screw on the underside of the steering column that worked well as a ground. At this point, I had power to the mirror successfully. Now to install the camera. I used a camera that mounted under the license plate. This one:

It looks good. It doesn't obstruct the plate, and all you see is the little cam over the top of the middle of it.

I routed the wires just as holeydonut described in the first post in this thread. The only difference is that I did my splice a little simpler. This method takes a little patience. I had to take a razor blade, and scrape away the insulation on one side of the wire, and then bend the wire so I could get the new wire behind it and twist it up. Remember, it's the green/black stripe wire. I finished with a glob of hot glue to encase the exposed wires:

For the ground, I attached a grommet to the negative wire from the cam, bent it a little, and crammed it under a gap I found where one plate was welded to another right in the area of the splice. Sorry, no photo, but just look around and you'll find it, or some other suitable ground. Grounding is easy.

I tapped the passenger side reverse light because my car has the subwoofer, so it was easier to access. To get back to the driver's side, I dropped the wires down inside the panel where you access the splice, and into the spare tire well. You have to fish around a little to find the opening. I hot-glued the wire along the bumper side of the well, and up through the same panel on the opposite side.

Here I got a little lazy, but I didn't mind the wire showing just a little bit in the trunk, so I exited the panel and began tucking the wire under the trim. This is the only part of the install that's a little weird, and I may fix it at some point when it's not 90 degrees in the garage:

I've seen the question asked how you go from the back of the car to the front while hiding the wire. Incredibly easy. I just followed the trim and kept tucking the wire under. I put the back "seat" down to continue through there, and just keep tucking it under. All the way along the door sill, and finally up to the fuse box area (where I left my video input plug). I plugged the video feed in, and it works perfectly:

The only thing that I don't like about the new mirror is that it's a little wobbly when you go over bumps. The OEM mirror was constructed tighter, but it's not enough to where it bothers me... I just happened to notice that. You might notice that I also didn't mention hooking up the temperature sensors for the mirror. First of all, there's already an external temp on the dash... and second of all, I don't really care what the internal temperature of the car is. I did plug in the sensors, but I didn't run the external to the outside. So if I check the internal/external temps with the mirror, it has the same temp for both of them. I don't care. I set it to only display the compass because that's what I wanted.

This install took about an hour. It almost is taking longer to write it up than it did to do it!

UPDATE: The mirror is not wobbly. The problem was the plastic mirror mount tab I bought from AutoZone. Use a metal one and some two-part epoxy glue and this model of mirror is just fine.
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