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4th Gen Outback Rear Hatch dis-assembly. (For Back-up Camera)

The one thing I noticed that lacked on this website was instructions for the installation of a backup camera and thus the rather FULL dis-assembly of the Tailgate. I have done my best to document the progress of my own installation.

The camera: for my BU camera I used a "OEM look camera" that replaces one of the number plate illumination lamps. It can be bought on ebay for about 25 dollars shipped. I bought mine from WOW.Cosmos, they were good to deal with. This style Camera should work with most 2005-2012 models. Please note that the OEM camera for the 2012 at least is not this kind of replacement it is a small camera mounted to the left side of the underlip to the left of the plate illumination lamp. but this works better IMO.

Overview: This took a little longer than i expected once i realized that the whole upper body part on the outside of the tail gate needed to be removed. So this write up will cover removal of all interior trim pieces and outside upper body trim panel. additionally we will look at removal of the headliner (enough to route wires) and "d" pillar to left rear internal quarter panel for wire routing and camera power.

Remove the inside upper trim piece along the top of the tailgate window, It should just snap off with three easily removed clips that are actually snapped into the metal underneath so the trip panel looks like this when un-cliped.

Trim panel side:



Car Side, note the built in wire clip.



Next remove the two side panels they un-clip the same way.

Now for the large bottom piece you will need to remove three fasteners. The first two are underneath the side trim panels and are simple plastic fasteners that unscrew to relieve pressure, once they are out pull the whole thing out.

The next one is a little trickier, its under the handle in the underside of the gate. use a small screwdriver of pick to pry the cover off and remove the screw. The cover only comes out one way because it is attached inside on a hinge. But once the screw is out the whole thing is free and does not require you to remove the whole assembly




The large Trim panel is now ready to be removed. There are a whole bunch of clips holding this sucker on so start at one end and move to the other it should remove pretty easily. Mine came right off with no broken clips. But my car is fairly new so they have not had time to harden. If you do run into trouble try to get a panel popper in there to remove it at the source.

Ok now that all the Trim pieces are off, we need to get to the business of removing the upper exterior panel from the car so we can access the plate lights. If you are going to mount under the lip you will need to access this area as well. To illustrate the part we are going to remove I have circled it here:



This panel is connected via 14 or 15 Nuts(not sure one needs to come off but we did anyway) securing the panel and four Green Snap Type clips(they can be seen behind the forward panel) holding it on, 11 of the nuts that need to be removed are in the area we just exposed, the only two that are obvious are circled here and the center one we weren't quite sure if it need to come off but it didn't hurt so we took it off in case.



Note the camera wire is already run in this picture, keep in mind for later in the write up.

The majority of the nuts are accessed through holes in the stamped metal. here is an example:



The other four nuts are hidden under small trip panels in the sides of the gate near the lights. Just pull them right off:



Remove the two nuts that are not connected to the lights, the ones that hold on the lights can stay.



remove the two wiring harnesses and remove the grommet leading to the outer panel, just push it out from the inside. The opaque connect will require a small flat head to pry up a clip while pulling out. Also there is a wire hanging out in my picture where the arrow is thats actually the camera wires i took the picture after running it through, so it wont be there yet.



NOW the hardest part, IMO. You need to remove the panel. This can be difficult, so some help might be in order. The idea is that the only thing left holding on the panel is four snap clips they are green and two can be seen under the stamped metal. However, there is still the matter of the 14 dowels that are stuck in various holes all along the panel. The best policy is to CAREFULLY work the panel off from one side first removing the edge then trying to slide your hand between the window and the panel to pop the green snaps. once the first one goes the rest are easier. The thing is that it is plastic so it bends, but its painted so you don't want to bend too much.

Once you get the sucker free, find a large area with a soft surface to place the panel while you work on it.

pics of the panel once it is off:





Now you can install your camera easily and run your wires. Subaru does not have connectors at the individual lamp enclosures so I had to cut the wires and test for positive/negative, then solder in my wiring for the plate lamps that is integrated into my camera. I made the wiring as factory as possible with loom and had to end up cutting a pass through in the grommet to run the Video/power wiring. here are some pictures of the Camera going in and the plate lamp wiring.



Be sure you put your camera in with the lens facing OUT. I know this sounds silly but with the panel not on the car it can be missleading which way is out.





Once your all installed route the wires back though their holes and replace the grommet, might want to do this from the other side this time. replace the outer panel be sure to line up all the holes and give the panel a nice firm fist to pop the green clips in if needed. Replace all the nuts on their dowels and reinstall the side panel covers.

Now its time to route the wiring to the head unit. at this point In my install I was switching over to my RCA wire and Power Connector so I connected them and ran them in a single Loom for a clean install. I suggest following other wiring in the car to avoid push clip holes and to take advantage of the factory insulation for rattle control, I added my own foam to certain areas to help keep everything quiet.

In my car the left side had empty cable clips so we took advantage of those. I have this picture of the run and the picture from earlier in the write up, but you get the idea:



Also in this picture you can see where the wiring will go to access the cable chase to access the headliner. careful of the sharp edges on exposed metal, it can cut right through wire insulation.

To get the RCA plug through the rubber cable chase I stuck it in as far as I could then used a small screwdriver to push it in further and finally a pair of needle nose pliers to pull it all the way out. Use caution not to damage the RCA if you use this method.

I was able to use loom all the way to the cable case and then continue the loom on the other side. I'm a big supporter of wire loom, not only is it clean looking but really helps protect the wires.

To access under the headliner, First pull the D pillar off it has three pop clips and a few holding it to the panel below it. it should come off fairly easily, going back on will be another story! once its off, just pull the plastic trim piece down and the headliner should un-clip and hang:





your wires will come out here:



Before running the wires you will need to get access to the side quarter panel. This looks like a big panel to get off but it actually quite easy. however it requires a lot of other work.

1.Remove the rear seat for future access and ease. it just pops up on the front lip and then pulls forward.

2.Remove the cargo cover if needed.

3.remove the sil panel, it just pops up.

4.Remove the spare tire access lid and the two side pieces.

5.Remove the large foam tray

6.Remove the left Foam piece, remove two plastic pins to release.

7.Remove the foam piece in the back of the cargo area, the one with the carpet from the seat backs attached to it. There are two pins similar to the piece in number 6. They are kinda hidden under the carpet but if you just push the carpet aside you can find them. To remove I just lifted the thing up and the pins broke free, Then I found them and set aside to put back in. They go in easier than out.

now you are ready to remove the side panel. Remove four screws from the circled areas. You will need to remove covers with a flat head, except for the grocery hook that one is just inside the opened hook.



Now if you look at the picture, it looks as if there are three different panels, but they are all one panel. just start from the rear and unsnap all the pop clips it should come right off once its started.

now you are ready to run your wire down the D pillar and forward allong the bottom of the quarter panel.



I stopped at the rear of the quarter panel to plug in my power wires to the Power Outlet wiring. This is a good place for me because it offered 12VDC only when the car is on. This way Ican use my camera in motion as the AVIC z140bh has this option in navigation mode.



You can run the video wire easily down the quarter panel and down to the back seat area, then up to the Head Unit area via under the carpet and routed under the center console or along the driverside sil plates and around the dash, its up to you. I will stop here though and continue in my Navigation Write up instead.

As far as reinstalling the quarter panel it really is just going backwards from the removal. The only PIA is that "D" pillar panel, it doesnt like to go back on at all, best advice i would give is try to look and line up the clips best you can then hope the others follow suit.

I can answer any questions you guys have and hopefully the pictures helped, i tried to be as detailed as possible but of course after the fact and in doing this write up I find myself wishing I had a few more pictures and such.

hope you all find this helpful!
 

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2000 Legacy Outback Classic 4 Cylinder
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That is a great tutorial and accessory. Can you post pics of the display? Is the camera always on, on when in reverse, does it have an "HOA" switch?

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The camera is always (when the car is) on because it is wired to the power socket in the rear. I have a rear view map mode so didn't see the need for a switch. Sorry I didn't post pictures of the screen I had not installed it when I did the camera. So here you are:



 

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Discussion Starter #8
I actually did a test today because my wife was concerned sight the camera being "deceptive" because she would back up close to a car and it would be really close to the eye but look far on the camera. So I decided to do an actual test and found that when the red line is more or less lined up with an obstical at ground level then The bumper is About 7 to 8 inches away. So IMO pretty good. I'm very happy with it. Just missing ultra sonics and path prediction. But hey it's a Subaru not an infinity.
 

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'13 Outback 3.6R Limited
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Thanks for the great write up! I'm trying to decide wether I want to install backup sensors or the camera setup.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Why not both. Good sensors are only 50 to 60 bucks. And a camera can be had for 25.


Sent from my Autoguide iPhone app
 

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Wow! Good write up! If I lived in a big city I would have gotten the camera.
 

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2012 2.5i Premium CVT
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Thanks for the awesome walkthrough. I just did this for myself today and it's not as scary as it looks. Your pics of the 4 green clips from the exterior panel helped me a lot. I was afraid to pull after I had all the nuts off, but I was able to know where to pull thanks to your pics.

I spliced into the back up lamp for power.


Here are the holes I made to mount the camera:


I got this camera on Amazon for $18! This is definitely a bargain!


 

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2015 Outback 2.5i Limited w/eyesight
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Camera Install

Thanks for all of the info everyone provided here. It made my install very easy. Camera and monitor from Ebay.... total $44.98. About three hours of work. The 6m cable that came with the camera also has a DC chaser wire built in, although, I did not use it due to reverse power being easily available at both ends. Did not want to lose the Homelink nor spend the Big Bucks to replace the mirror....so the monitor was a great compromise for me and cheap!! It also is in a natural viewing location, does not interfere with the mirror, and due to the blackout area on the windshield, is difficult to see from the outside. The trailer hitch gives a good perspective of the location of the guidelines.
 

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Very nice job. How did you attach the monitor?
 

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I believe that the open connector (black or green one) in this pic is the connector for the factory backup camera. (From looking at the wiring diagrams.)



I am trying to locate a tailgate for a gen 4 in a junkyard to see if I can pull the parts. Does anyone know if the factory mirror with the screen can plug into the factory wiring on the windshield? I haven't looked at that part of the wiring diagrams yet.

According to the FSM is should be a square 4 conductor connector.

-Mike
 

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2011 Outback 2.5 CVT
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I believe that the open connector (black or green one) in this pic is the connector for the factory backup camera. (From looking at the wiring diagrams.)



-Mike
Thanks for the tip, Mike! I can confirm that the black open connector in the lower left portion of this picture IS for the factory backup camera. It is the R330 connector of the wiring diagrams in the service manual. I just removed the panel and verified the connector. It has four wires connected to it :White/Blue, Blue/Yellow, Blue/Orange and Yellow, just like the service manual says it should.

Now I need to figure out where it's connected to in the front.
 
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