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Dash Cam Hardwired Install


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Mrs -Error- has recently started a new job which now requires a sporadic 30+ mile commute. I have decided to give her a piece of mind and install a dashcam in case the unfortunate happens.

I have noticed a lack of up-to-date information on how to hardwire a dashcam into these so I thought I'll take a few pictures and share my experience whilst at it.

Materials:

  • Nextbase 380GW - decided on the least distracting and proven camera. They have not got the best reliability reputation but produce very decent footage, have a broad network of users ensuring app compatibility with most recent smartphones and most importantly really are the best looking cameras out there IMO.
  • Nextbase hardwire kit - yes you can just get any amazon special which will set you back anything between £10-£15, but this kit will be designed to output the specific power for your camera and I'd argue it's of much better quality (just look at the wire thickness in both.
  • 128GB SD Card
  • Replacement Fuse(more on this later)
  • Plastic Tie-wraps/Zip Ties/Cable Ties
  • Electrical Tape

Tools:

  • Plastic Trim Removers - not a necessity, can be done by hand.
  • Side Cutters
  • Long Nose Pliers
  • 10mm Spanner/Socket

Okay, here we go.

  1. Start with disconnecting the 12V Auxiliary Battery (this can be found in the boot on the right hand side, unlike some other Lexus models this one you have to really go on a treasure hunt to discover without referring to the manual). Always remember - disconnect the negative BLACK first, remove red shrouding, then positive RED. Tuck your wiring away safely. Work your way back connecting RED first, replace plastic shrouding, connect BLACK.
     
  2. Open the front passenger door. Start by removing the door sill trim that holds the rubber seal in place. The whole trim just unclips, try to gently apply more and more upward pressure until the four clips give way. Too fast and you may snap them.
     
  3. Remove footwell cover that will provide access to the fusebox as well as removal of further pieces. This is held in by three metal retention clips and will come off with gentle persuasion. Apply downward force until they clip out, try starting from the right. Once the clips let go remove it by pulling towards the seat, they sit in two locating holes which you will use later to align it for replacement.
    1202846825_FootwellTrimReplacement.thumb.jpg.4abeb95e280f483ce278efca7589f793.jpg
  4. Remove the plastic trim/wiring loom shield that sits between the footwell and the door. To remove it - unscrew a thumb screw inside the footwell(Pictured) and then pull outward. This will also start the process of removing the seal, pull the whole seal out if you fancy it, or enough to comfortably rest the trim piece outside of the car and exposing the entire A pillar trim - your choice. WARNING - Seal is applied with sealing grease - this stuff loves to get on your fingers and make everything less clean than before.
    148885329_TrimpieceThumbScrew.thumb.jpg.6e0383eda2d37053402bbafebb4cc6d8.jpg
  5. Next is the A pillar trim - be careful here as it houses the curtain airbag and is the reason why we disconnected the 12V Battery previously.
    There are two clips holding it in place, start by slowly pulling the trim piece towards the middle of the windscreen, hold the upper part and wait for the first clip in the middle to come out. Second clip is the safety retention clip designed to enable the airbag to deploy without the whole piece flying into your face during a crash, use long nose pliers to twist it 90 degrees and free it from the trim piece, this clip stays in the A pillar. This is the trickiest moment but also the last piece to be removed. Once the clip is out it is very easy to remove the piece. WARNING - Sealing grease is still around - careful where you put your hands.
    1187584861_SafetyRetainer.thumb.jpg.6a026e7d9d612398b93c6014c742ffa1.jpg1782233436_APillarTrim.thumb.jpg.62edd08691225b8be792f55adc99ebfd.jpg
  6. Start by taping up the positive & negative wires together and poke them down through the opening in the dash, you will find these wires loose around the fusebox you uncovered in the footwell.
    1589620486_CableEntry.thumb.jpg.811c581ae311a85aa82d4f3a7fc413c9.jpg

  7. Once you have done that, start by measuring out your perfect camera placement - I used a portable Battery bank connected to the camera via USB to get a live feed and ensure I am 100% happy with the placement - no need for re-sticking later! Camera base could be then stuck to the windscreen.
     

  8. Starting from the same dash opening, grab the USB end of the power supply cable and loosely run it around the airbag wiring looms ensuring it will not stand in the way in any place. The wiring surprisingly flies right underneath the roof lining - something I didn't foresee as an easy task. Connect the cable to the base and work your way back, leaving minimum slack in the wire and fastening the cable to the existing looms with cable ties. All slack will be lost down in the footwell.
    727995880_APillar.thumb.jpg.84bf8a69c7c7d76a97b9777bafda8f16.jpg
     

  9. Tea break.
     

  10. Use the free estate around the footwell to lose your extra cable length. Opt to make as few loops as possible, it's not good for electronics. Using my technique as example, beware, the door sill trim has little plastic pillars that sit on the metalwork, I carefully bent and secured the wiring there to ensure those tiny pillars do not directly sit on the wiring once everything is back in its place. The DC converter itself(small black module with wires coming out of it) can sit behind the plastic trim piece around the wiring loom sockets, there's ample space there for heat dissipation.
     902165258_DCConverter.thumb.jpg.68850adf36f45cfdd30bd513f40ca9e0.jpg
     

  11. Open up the fusebox and use a fuse piggyback for hassle free and interference free install. This is the reason I decided not to use the overhead wiring as supply - it allows me to perform intrusion free installation where all OEM wiring remains intact and untapped. It's much less hassle and there's a smaller room for errors and fire.
    Fuseboard.thumb.jpg.05894a0619686bd50a76b44c5993ea6e.jpg

  12. Choose an appropriate power source to piggy back off - I decided to go with the 15A Power Outlet 2 in the top right corner of the fuseboard - it is switched by ignition and is not a safety critical feature. Should the piggy back become loose during driving as it sits dangling down it will not disrupt critical parts of the working systems in the car. This is where the replacement fuses go into play - the piggyback fuse pack does not cater for replacing the existing fuse which will be too short to be placed in the holder of the Nextbase Hardwire Kit. Halfrauds will stock them for above average price, eBay businesses will sort you out with a cheap set.
    Your local motorist specialist will have the exact part at competitive prices and you're helping them stay afloat whilst sticking it to the man!

  13. I used the M8 bolt near the wiring loom socket for my -GND connection, ideally I would've drilled and tapped a part of the chassis not to interfere with anything structural, but it was perfectly placed and I was out of tap&dye so it did me perfectly. It doesn't interfere with much and can be neatly tucked away. I might come back to this and relocate, but probably won't.
    804251592_NeutralConnection.thumb.jpg.899a1e9a7ff84c137299b939036b569d.jpg

  14. LOOSE WIRES CAUSE FIRES, cable ties are your friends - use as many as you like to secure your wiring, I like to use the existing looms as anchorage. Use flush cut pliers to snip your ends and ensure whoever works on these wires in the future doesn't cut themselves on sharp edges, a little pet hate of mine.2041088788_FlushCut.thumb.jpg.5b36f4e2c90f7c9bb570a2aa5e4da948.jpgLooming.thumb.jpg.5284bfc3e7b480021e1a301957506b3e.jpg

  15. Once your wiring is all secure, time to start replacing your trim pieces, start with the A pillar and for Pete's sake mind the grease. Everything works in reverse. Position your trim piece on the dash first, ensuring you have chosen the right slot for the mounting, then use your pliers to reinstate the safety retention clip. Push the trim back into place until you hear a satisfying click of the last clip.

  16. Replace the rubber seal together with the plastic trim still attached, locate that thumb screw and secure the piece again.

  17. Footwell fuse cover can go back on, use two guide plastic bits to slot them into the back of the footwell and push back until three clicks secure it firmly in place.

  18. Replace the door sill cover, be careful that if you have placed your wiring there it does not get in the way of those tiny plastic pillars, you will hear if there's anything stopping it from clipping back in place.

  19. 12V Battery back on just like we spoke earlier. RED, SHROUD, BLACK.

  20. Et Voila! Switch the ignition on when you're ready and embrace your new camera!

 

PS. To remove seal stains use a good All Purpose Cleaner such as this one at a 1:10 dilution ratio with water. Apply using a spray bottle directly onto affected areas and agitate with a soft bristle brush, remove with a microfibre cloth. It will all come out, see?
2063032272_StainAfter.thumb.jpg.87f643621b0ea1d8c05994de7639faa5.jpg886150056_StainBefore.thumb.jpg.8a231e87ae7ecf97254d14384afc5bd4.jpg

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Fantastic write up! Would've helped me a lot last year when I wired my dashcam in and had to figure all this out by trial and error 😄 Thanks for being the better person and actually writing it up for others to benefit from, unlike selfish me!

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Great write-up and photos. I got so wrapped up in the job that I forgot to take any photos when I installed cameras into my RX.

One question though - if you didn't fit a rear cam why did you go to the trouble of removing the door sill/scuff plate? Oh, and the footwell cover? Surely they don't expect folks to remove the footwell cover to replace a fuse on a cold and wet night?

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1 hour ago, -Error- said:

Mrs -Error- has recently started a new job which now requires a sporadic 30+ mile commute. I have decided to give her a piece of mind and install a dashcam in case the unfortunate happens.

I have noticed a lack of up-to-date information on how to hardwire a dashcam into these so I thought I'll take a few pictures and share my experience whilst at it.

Materials:

  • Nextbase 380GW - decided on the least distracting and proven camera. They have not got the best reliability reputation but produce very decent footage, have a broad network of users ensuring app compatibility with most recent smartphones and most importantly really are the best looking cameras out there IMO.
  • Nextbase hardwire kit - yes you can just get any amazon special which will set you back anything between £10-£15, but this kit will be designed to output the specific power for your camera and I'd argue it's of much better quality (just look at the wire thickness in both.
  • 128GB SD Card
  • Replacement Fuse(more on this later)
  • Plastic Tie-wraps/Zip Ties/Cable Ties
  • Electrical Tape

Tools:

  • Plastic Trim Removers - not a necessity, can be done by hand.
  • Side Cutters
  • Long Nose Pliers
  • 10mm Spanner/Socket

Okay, here we go.

  1. Start with disconnecting the 12V Auxiliary Battery (this can be found in the boot on the right hand side, unlike some other Lexus models this one you have to really go on a treasure hunt to discover without referring to the manual). Always remember - disconnect the negative BLACK first, remove red shrouding, then positive RED. Tuck your wiring away safely. Work your way back connecting RED first, replace plastic shrouding, connect BLACK.
     
  2. Open the front passenger door. Start by removing the door sill trim that holds the rubber seal in place. The whole trim just unclips, try to gently apply more and more upward pressure until the four clips give way. Too fast and you may snap them.
     
  3. Remove footwell cover that will provide access to the fusebox as well as removal of further pieces. This is held in by three metal retention clips and will come off with gentle persuasion. Apply downward force until they clip out, try starting from the right. Once the clips let go remove it by pulling towards the seat, they sit in two locating holes which you will use later to align it for replacement.
    1202846825_FootwellTrimReplacement.thumb.jpg.4abeb95e280f483ce278efca7589f793.jpg
  4. Remove the plastic trim/wiring loom shield that sits between the footwell and the door. To remove it - unscrew a thumb screw inside the footwell(Pictured) and then pull outward. This will also start the process of removing the seal, pull the whole seal out if you fancy it, or enough to comfortably rest the trim piece outside of the car and exposing the entire A pillar trim - your choice. WARNING - Seal is applied with sealing grease - this stuff loves to get on your fingers and make everything less clean than before.
    148885329_TrimpieceThumbScrew.thumb.jpg.6e0383eda2d37053402bbafebb4cc6d8.jpg
  5. Next is the A pillar trim - be careful here as it houses the curtain airbag and is the reason why we disconnected the 12V battery previously.
    There are two clips holding it in place, start by slowly pulling the trim piece towards the middle of the windscreen, hold the upper part and wait for the first clip in the middle to come out. Second clip is the safety retention clip designed to enable the airbag to deploy without the whole piece flying into your face during a crash, use long nose pliers to twist it 90 degrees and free it from the trim piece, this clip stays in the A pillar. This is the trickiest moment but also the last piece to be removed. Once the clip is out it is very easy to remove the piece. WARNING - Sealing grease is still around - careful where you put your hands.
    1187584861_SafetyRetainer.thumb.jpg.6a026e7d9d612398b93c6014c742ffa1.jpg1782233436_APillarTrim.thumb.jpg.62edd08691225b8be792f55adc99ebfd.jpg
  6. Start by taping up the positive & negative wires together and poke them down through the opening in the dash, you will find these wires loose around the fusebox you uncovered in the footwell.
    1589620486_CableEntry.thumb.jpg.811c581ae311a85aa82d4f3a7fc413c9.jpg

  7. Once you have done that, start by measuring out your perfect camera placement - I used a portable battery bank connected to the camera via USB to get a live feed and ensure I am 100% happy with the placement - no need for re-sticking later! Camera base could be then stuck to the windscreen.
     

  8. Starting from the same dash opening, grab the USB end of the power supply cable and loosely run it around the airbag wiring looms ensuring it will not stand in the way in any place. The wiring surprisingly flies right underneath the roof lining - something I didn't foresee as an easy task. Connect the cable to the base and work your way back, leaving minimum slack in the wire and fastening the cable to the existing looms with cable ties. All slack will be lost down in the footwell.
    727995880_APillar.thumb.jpg.84bf8a69c7c7d76a97b9777bafda8f16.jpg
     

  9. Tea break.
     

  10. Use the free estate around the footwell to lose your extra cable length. Opt to make as few loops as possible, it's not good for electronics. Using my technique as example, beware, the door sill trim has little plastic pillars that sit on the metalwork, I carefully bent and secured the wiring there to ensure those tiny pillars do not directly sit on the wiring once everything is back in its place. The DC converter itself(small black module with wires coming out of it) can sit behind the plastic trim piece around the wiring loom sockets, there's ample space there for heat dissipation.
     902165258_DCConverter.thumb.jpg.68850adf36f45cfdd30bd513f40ca9e0.jpg
     

  11. Open up the fusebox and use a fuse piggyback for hassle free and interference free install. This is the reason I decided not to use the overhead wiring as supply - it allows me to perform intrusion free installation where all OEM wiring remains intact and untapped. It's much less hassle and there's a smaller room for errors and fire.
    Fuseboard.thumb.jpg.05894a0619686bd50a76b44c5993ea6e.jpg

  12. Choose an appropriate power source to piggy back off - I decided to go with the 15A Power Outlet 2 in the top right corner of the fuseboard - it is switched by ignition and is not a safety critical feature. Should the piggy back become loose during driving as it sits dangling down it will not disrupt critical parts of the working systems in the car. This is where the replacement fuses go into play - the piggyback fuse pack does not cater for replacing the existing fuse which will be too short to be placed in the holder of the Nextbase Hardwire Kit. Halfrauds will stock them for above average price, eBay businesses will sort you out with a cheap set.
    Your local motorist specialist will have the exact part at competitive prices and you're helping them stay afloat whilst sticking it to the man!

  13. I used the M8 bolt near the wiring loom socket for my -GND connection, ideally I would've drilled and tapped a part of the chassis not to interfere with anything structural, but it was perfectly placed and I was out of tap&dye so it did me perfectly. It doesn't interfere with much and can be neatly tucked away. I might come back to this and relocate, but probably won't.
    804251592_NeutralConnection.thumb.jpg.899a1e9a7ff84c137299b939036b569d.jpg

  14. LOOSE WIRES CAUSE FIRES, cable ties are your friends - use as many as you like to secure your wiring, I like to use the existing looms as anchorage. Use flush cut pliers to snip your ends and ensure whoever works on these wires in the future doesn't cut themselves on sharp edges, a little pet hate of mine.2041088788_FlushCut.thumb.jpg.5b36f4e2c90f7c9bb570a2aa5e4da948.jpgLooming.thumb.jpg.5284bfc3e7b480021e1a301957506b3e.jpg

  15. Once your wiring is all secure, time to start replacing your trim pieces, start with the A pillar and for Pete's sake mind the grease. Everything works in reverse. Position your trim piece on the dash first, ensuring you have chosen the right slot for the mounting, then use your pliers to reinstate the safety retention clip. Push the trim back into place until you hear a satisfying click of the last clip.

  16. Replace the rubber seal together with the plastic trim still attached, locate that thumb screw and secure the piece again.

  17. Footwell fuse cover can go back on, use two guide plastic bits to slot them into the back of the footwell and push back until three clicks secure it firmly in place.

  18. Replace the door sill cover, be careful that if you have placed your wiring there it does not get in the way of those tiny plastic pillars, you will hear if there's anything stopping it from clipping back in place.

  19. 12V Battery back on just like we spoke earlier. RED, SHROUD, BLACK.

  20. Et Voila! Switch the ignition on when you're ready and embrace your new camera!

 

PS. To remove seal stains use a good All Purpose Cleaner such as this one at a 1:10 dilution ratio with water. Apply using a spray bottle directly onto affected areas and agitate with a soft bristle brush, remove with a microfibre cloth. It will all come out, see?
2063032272_StainAfter.thumb.jpg.87f643621b0ea1d8c05994de7639faa5.jpg886150056_StainBefore.thumb.jpg.8a231e87ae7ecf97254d14384afc5bd4.jpg

I don't have a practical bone in my body but recognise people who do, thank you for spending an inordinate amount of time not on the job but being kind enough to share your experience with us all 🍾

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An excellent write up, thank you for taking the time and effort to do it.

I noticed you used the quote “Loose wires cause fires” and ensuring cable ties were correctly trimmed to prevent injury, could I ask if you work in the utilities sector involved in electric meter fitting?

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Thank you all for your kind replies!

 

10 hours ago, Herbie said:

(...) One question though - if you didn't fit a rear cam why did you go to the trouble of removing the door sill/scuff plate? Oh, and the footwell cover? Surely they don't expect folks to remove the footwell cover to replace a fuse on a cold and wet night?

Not a necessary step, however I wanted to remove the seal completely during the install and be able to hide the wires somewhere out of the way. Alternatively there's enough room around the glovebox but you have to get creative with finding a good connection for the neutral wire. What's hidden underneath the trim pieces will not need to be touched again unless the DC converter fails.

You can get to the fuses by simply removing the one plastic piece sitting underneath the glovebox, including the piggyback fuse installed for this. I should have attached a picture of that in situ actually.

9 hours ago, steve2006 said:

An excellent write up, thank you for taking the time and effort to do it.

I noticed you used the quote “Loose wires cause fires” and ensuring cable ties were correctly trimmed to prevent injury, could I ask if you work in the utilities sector involved in electric meter fitting?

Pretty much, I work in the High Voltage world and picked up the line during my apprenticeship up north. The pet peeve comes from my old weekend job during school as an aeroplane seat fitter, you put your hands where you eyes can't see and 9/10 times cut them on a badly cut tie. 

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