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Backup cams & dash cams, mirrors with LCDs

Clever Idiot

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Does anyone have any experience with aftermarket backup cameras and/or dash cams? Or rearview mirrors that have an integral LCD display for the camera?

I want to add dash/backup cams and not cut my dash for a double-DIN receiver. I rented a Ford Transit from U-Haul some time ago and it had a screen integrated into the mirror, and it blew me away. I've also been impressed by GM's current rear-mirror screens.

Difficulty is the rabbit hole of how many aftermarket options there, and none of the names sounding familiar to me.

Ideally I'm looking for a mirror with an integrated dashcam, and a screen that turns off. Some options I've seen look great but they're video-only and never function as just a dumb mirror, and I'd rather have the mirror available if I want to peek into the back seat.

Any opinions are welcome! Thanks.

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My main challenge is finding a quality mirror LCD, ideally with an integrated dashcam. Car is currently gutted so wiring isn’t an issue at this point. 
edit: I skimmed and missed the part where you said the screen plugs into the lighter. Whoopsie. 

I’m thinking of installing the camera behind the plate and motorizing the plate to lower in reverse (as well as via a switch for fueling). 

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For anyone who finds this thread and is curious, I learned that Gentex makes the OEM mirrors with the LCDs for GM.

I decided to go with OEM because they tend to be higher quality with better longevity, IMO, and plus it makes it easier to get parts and pieces if needed. It doesn't have a dashcam, but maybe I can figure out a front-cam option later. I opted for a full-width display mirror out of a 2019 Silverado (eBay for about half the price of a new one from Crutchfield). Now I just need to get a camera and wiring. Once I have it installed/working I'll post about it so others have a go-by if they want one.

Update Edit: Bought a rear backup camera from a 2015 Camaro, again from eBay. Bless bad/unlucky drivers providing us cheaper parts to newer cars. I had a 2014 and saw how the camera performed in all lighting and how much it saw in its mounting position. My intention is to mount above the license plate on the horizontal lip of the bumper just above the plate if possible - which is the same location/orientation as the Camaro camera that year. Sticking with GM OEM for easy (easier, hopefully) compatibility and again, replaceable parts. It comes with the bracket so fingers crossed the bracket angle will work at the Monte plate height like it did on the Camaro. Also has the factory connector, so I just need to get the pinout diagram and put its factory connector mate on my wiring harness.

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Contacted the wonderful folks at Gen5DIY for wiring help, they informed me that the camera from a Gen5 Camaro will not work with the live-view mirror from the newer truck. They have different communication protocols, apparently. They told me I needed a camera from a Gen6 Camaro or from the same generation truck that has the mirror.

They also informed me that the mirror is not set up to take two inputs where it might switch between a live-view and a backup camera view. It's designed such that its camera is switched with the ignition in the 'on' position, and you switch to the camera view with the switch on the bottom of the mirror. They said I could set it up so that it's switched with the reverse lights, but suggested that the live-view is very handy to have. So I decided to go with the live-view camera setup, since it's better than nothing, the Monte has those big sail panels, and I like the full-display mirror. The other option would have been to get an older generation mirror (which looks pretty chunky to me) to match the older camera protocols, or get one with a 3.5" inlaid LCD (Gentex 657) that I've seen installed on the Camaro5 forum. A much more economical option, honestly - that mirror is about $100-$200 and the Gen5 Camaro camera is around $100.

SO, now I've got a Silverado/Sierra 3rd brake light with camera on the way, that as far as I can tell is the rear live-view mirror camera. Assembly is GM part number 84487008. According to this eBay listing that's the assembly for a truck "w/o Cargo Camera w/ Video Display Mirror".

All told, even with the super deals I found on the mirror and the brake light assembly, I think I'm going to still be $200-$300 shy of the Crutchfield kit that comes with everything, but that mirror has the capability of adding a backup camera and switching between.

Edited by Clever Idiot
Add clarity to comparison of OEM setup to Crutchfield setup
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Camera assembly arrived today and I did more digging online while I waited. Y'all it's super simple.

The mirror is auto-dimming, and only requires power and camera signal. Everything else is handled in the mirror factory programming.

Gen5DIY sold me a power pigtail with the mirror connector on it. Switched 12VDC+ goes to pin 2, Common goes to pin 5. If you hook up the reverse lights 12VDC+ to pin 1, the auto-dim is disabled in reverse. I didn't ask for that wire because I didn't fully understand what did what, at the time. Gen5DIY listed the part number as #900000 on the invoice but that could just be a generic number, I don't know. I can't verify it on their website; they send me an invoice via the email thread where I was asking all my questions.

The also sold me the camera cable - that cable is on their website. Part #220609 for a 9' cable (I got that one) or part #220621 for a 21' cable. The two cables are for a Silverado upgrade (3rd brake light to mirror), and a Camaro upgrade (rear spoiler to mirror).

There are other pins used on the Silverados with auto-dimming side mirrors - the dimming of the side mirrors gets signal from the rearview mirror (pins 8 & 9), but that doesn't apply here. There is a great thread on gm-trucks.com that walks through the addition of an auto-dimming mirror on a Silverado. It doesn't cover the camera either, just auto-dimming. So it doesn't all apply but he lists part numbers for making your own connectors and crimps and goes into great detail with wiring diagrams that still apply to the mirror requirements. I also found this pdf that has the wiring schematic, if you're curious to verify. Jump to sheet 68. I also saved the PDF so if they stop hosting it or change something, let me know and I'll put it up on my Drive public.

From what I could tell in videos showing this installed on Silverados, the mirror is fused at 15A. The wiring schematic looks like it's 10A. I bench tested it with my power supply set to 12.5VDC and 2A, and it worked fine. My LCD ended up being partially non-functional, but that's a different issue. I did buy it off eBay, after all.

So, the hardest part is mounting the camera and routing the cables. Probably have to pull the headliner. Mine's currently gutted so it's not an issue for me. But it's a hurdle for drivers.

To summarize:

  • Mirror from 2019 generation Silverado/Sierra. Should look like what I have pictured above, with a connector for camera (small round coax, looks like) and a connector for power, etc (square connector)
  • 3rd brake light assembly for camera - GM #84487008
  • Camera signal cable - Gen5DIY #220609 or #220621
  • Mirror power connector to splice to your wiring harness - Gen5DIY will make/sell the power pigtail
  • Provide switched 12VDC fused at 10A (or maybe 15A) to the mirror connector
  • Provide reverse lights 12VDC+ to mirror connector
  • Duct tape the camera to the rear window or something, I don't know. Make sure you match orientation that was in the brake light assembly so it looks right in the screen. If no assembly, bench test it before hand to determine proper orientation.
  • Run camera cable from camera to mirror
  • Wave magic wand and put all the interior back together

Reference video of a Silverado upgrade. Gives an idea of what the connectors and pieces look like.

In case embeds break or something:
GM-trucks thread: https://www.gm-trucks.com/forums/topic/192050-how-to-a10-inside-rearview-auto-dimming-mirror-conversion-dd8/
PDF with schematic: https://www.gmupfitter.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/19_Silverado_1500_Body_Builder_2019.pdf
Installation video: https://youtu.be/FedbYeRalrs


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