Has anyone replaced the OEM rear view mirror with an aftermarket backup mirror?
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    1. #1
      Junior Member billshoff's Avatar
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      Has anyone replaced the OEM rear view mirror with an aftermarket backup mirror?

      I drive a 2012 C70 and it's difficult to backup because I can't see what's behind it. It has backup sensors and they work but I don't trust them to see small objects. Has anyone replaced their OEM rear view mirror and an aftermarket rear view/backup LCD like this:
      https://www.amazon.com/AUTO-VOX-Inpu...+backup+camera

      Do all Volvos have electronics embedded in the OEM mirror that control door locks, etc? I don't want to delete any OEM features by removing the factory mirror. I wonder if the electronics could be relocated so the aftermarket backup mirror could be installed.

      I asked my Volvo dealer but he simply didn't know the answers. Anyone???

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    3. #2
      Global Moderator MyNameIdeasWereTaken's Avatar
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      For P1 Vovos, there were 3 different mirror options. A basic mirror, an auto dimming mirror, and an auto dimming mirror with compass.

      Because of this, all P1 Volvos have electronic wires running to the mirror, but it's nothing more than a power source for the auto dimming sensor and the compass.
      As far as I know, there's nothing in the mirror that is connected to door locks or anything else, so you should be fine. If you want to test it out, just unplug the wiring clip from the back of mirror and go for a few drives to confirm everything else in the car still functions normally.

      Now, I'm not sure if the auto dimming mirror's power source will be enough to power an LCD screen, but it wouldn't be hard to feed another power line up there. Just run it off the center console and behind the A-pillar. The only challenge you'll really face is finding a way to mount this mirror to the windshield. The Volvo mirrors have a little bracket. The mirror you linked might be able to be retrofitted to this bracket, or you may need to figure another way of mounting it in place.

    4. #3
      Junior Member billshoff's Avatar
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      Good idea to unplug the two plugs and see what doesn't work. So I did that and everything seems to work except the automatic dimmer and the compass ... so far. Now I need to remove the mirror stem from the button that is glued to the windshield. I found a thread that explains how to do it but I guess I don't understand it or maybe I don't have the right tool.
      accessories.volvocars.com/en-mx/C30/InstallationInstruction/Pdf/...397489-1/2013

      Do I just turn the stem to the right? It doesn't want to turn. Help!
      Last edited by billshoff; 10-08-2016 at 10:33 PM.

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    6. #4
      Global Moderator MyNameIdeasWereTaken's Avatar
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      No tools necessary, it just takes a bit of force to rotate it. Definitely don't push it to the point you think you're going to break something, but don't be afraid to put some force into it.

      Good luck!

    7. #5
      Junior Member billshoff's Avatar
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      2012 Volvo C70:
      A small diameter screw driver will fit thru the OEM stem and then you just twist the screwdriver to release the mirror and the stem. If you look at the stem's left or right side you'll see a slot near the window button where a long, but small diameter, screwdriver can slide thru. Insert the screwdriver and twist the screwdriver's shaft clockwise; not much force is needed to release the mount from the window. I have pictures but can't figure out a way to attach them.

      Unfortunately, the Auto-Vox stem does not fit the OEM mirror mount/button so I'll have to do one of two things:
      1) order an adapter from Auto-Vox, or
      2) remove the factory mount/button and glue on the mount/button that came in the Auto-Vox kit. (I might get an auto glass shop to do that for me. Can't cost much, right?)

      Update to Post #3 above: The two electrical plugs that I unplugged from the OEM mirror's stem provide power for the compass and the auto-dimmer. No other accessories seem to be effected.

    8. #6
      Junior Member billshoff's Avatar
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      I contacted Auto-Vox about an adapter for the stem and no adapter is available. However they do have a #32 stem with the correct connection in their kit that was made for a Volvo. Let me try to explain: when I ordered the new mirror from Amazon it was shipped with the default mount and a #19 stem which doesn't fit a Volvo's OEM mount. The mount is the metal piece that is glued to the windshield; the stem is the piece that attaches to the mount on one end and the mirror on the other. If I had emailed a picture of my Volvo's OEM mount to Auto-Vox when I ordered the mirror then they would have shipped the correct kit from China (rather than the default kit from Amazon's warehouse) with the correct #32 stem for a Volvo. I didn't order mine that way but I should have. Call it a senior moment.

      I took my car to a local auto glass shop and they removed the OEM mount from the windshield and glued the correct mount on for me. It took 15 minutes and cost $25. BTW, the correct mount is included in the Auto-Vox mirror kit but I didn't have the guts to heat the OEM mount with a torch and risk breaking the windshield myself. Remember, if I had ordered the correct kit then I could have skipped this step.

      Still with me? Ok, so now I'm waiting for the rear view camera to arrive from China and I got a notice today that it has arrived at the USPS sorting center 20 miles away so it should be here tomorrow. There are a zillion cameras that would work but I bought this camera on ebay for $12.
      http://www.ebay.com/itm/171606848314...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

      Sorry there are no pictures that I could easily attach to this thread. The next chapter on installing the camera will appear in a view days.
      Last edited by billshoff; 09-29-2016 at 03:08 PM.

    9. #7
      Global Moderator MyNameIdeasWereTaken's Avatar
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      Seems to be working out in the end. Excited to see your final result! Especially with my Sparco, it can be a bit hard to turn in my seat to see out the back window when reversing.

    10. #8
      Junior Member billshoff's Avatar
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      Time to mount and wire the camera

      The camera arrived today from China. It's exactly what I ordered and will fit perfectly in the spot where the driver's side license light is presently installed. The OEM license plate light is held in with two torx screws and the new combination license light / backup camera fits in exactly the same space. However. I need to run the camera's wiring into the trunk lid so that it doesn't show and I'm still trying to figure out how to do that without drilling a hole. There seems to be a bracket inside the trunk lid that holds both license plate lights and I'd rather not drill through it because there's lots of electrical stuff in the cavity behind that bracket that isn't visible.
      Here's a picture of the same camera installed on a S60: http://www.ebay.com/itm/hd-cmos-car-...-/291037116434
      If I were working on a sedan or a wagon it might be easier to hide the wiring but the C70 convertible has a smaller trunk lid that is divided into at least two cavities that aren't easy to see into.
      I think I'll quit for tonight and see what I can learn before I try again tomorrow. Stay tuned....
      Last edited by billshoff; 10-01-2016 at 08:16 PM.

    11. #9
      Junior Member billshoff's Avatar
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      Installing the camera

      I've learned a lot since yesterday about installing the new license plate light / backup camera. If you aren't installing this type of light /camera then you can skip this entire post. If you want simplicity this camera ain't it. It's a bear to install so that it looks like a factory job. Here goes...

      1) Remove the plastic cover on the backside of the trunk's lid by popping off two snaps and using an interior fork tool (available at auto parts stores for a couple of bucks) to pop the panel off. There are additional instructions below each picture to help you.
      https://www.flickr.com/photos/696481...etaken-public/
      https://www.flickr.com/photos/696481...etaken-public/

      2) Use the top down button to begin the top down sequence but stop at the point where the rear seat tonneau cover is fully extended above the front edge of the trunk. Remove the fabric cover from the bottom of the trunk's top.
      https://www.flickr.com/photos/696481...etaken-public/

      3) I don't know the name of the body part on the outside edge of the trunk but I'll call it a spoiler in this write-up. This spoiler is the painted body piece with the wide brake light and the chrome letters V_O_L_V_O. There is a red reflector (no bulb inside) on each end of the spoiler. Remove the two reflectors using a torx screwdriver and a long #10 socket. The spoiler has to be removed and the nuts that hold it on can be accessed now that the fabric cover in step 2 above is removed. Use a long #10 socket and don't let the spoiler drop to the pavement. The wide brake light will also fall out when the nuts are off. Your neighbor could catch those parts as you loosen the nuts so you don't scrape the finish.

      4) Decide which OEM license plate light you are going to sacrifice and remove it from the spoiler. Drill a hole in the back of the plastic cavity to allow the new light / camera's wires and RCA plug to pass through. The camera's power and ground wires are short so add a couple more feet of wire now. It will be very difficult to add it later.
      https://www.flickr.com/photos/696481...etaken-public/
      https://www.flickr.com/photos/696481...etaken-public/
      Feed the wires through the holes in the body and re-attach the two reflectors, the spoiler and the wide brake light.

      Tomorrow we'll attach the wires and run the RCA cable to the new backup mirror.
      Last edited by billshoff; 10-03-2016 at 08:19 AM.

    12. #10
      Junior Member billshoff's Avatar
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      Wire management

      Because the trunk is hinged to open in two directions you need to be careful routing the electrical wires. The goal is to get them to the area behind the right rear seat. From there the camera's positive wire and the backup LED's positive wire need to double back to the right tail light. The RCA video cable will be routed to the fuse box in the dash. Use zip ties or existing Volvo wire clips to secure your wiring.

      Route the wires from the camera, the RCA video cable and the LED light (if your new license plate lens has one) along the right edge of the trunk next to the hydraulic lines. There are clips that bind the hydraulics to a black rail and there's enough room under the clips to hold the electrical wires, too. The ground wires can be attached to any available bolt or screw and the the power wires need to be routed to the back edge of the trunk. To describe it a different way, route the wires to the corner where the hinge of a sedan's trunk lid would be; the hinges on a C70 are quite different but you want to be careful that the wiring doesn't get in the way of the convertible tops moving parts.

      The two positive electrical wires need to double back to the tail light and can be hidden under the rubber weather stripping along the top edge of the right rear fender or under the floor mat. Attach the license plate wire to the positive lead of the tail light. The camera's positive wire is attached to the positive wire of the back up light (medium green with black stripe). T-tap electrical connectors work well for this. Now the license light will come on with the tail lights and the camera will activate when the car is in reverse.

      I ran the video wire under the floor to the fuse box and connect it to the video wire from the mirror and hide the connection under the plastic molding under the glove box. I used a Tap-a-fuse to get power for the mirror at the fuse box and pushed the wires behind the A pillar molding.

      I'll add pictures soon. I forgot to take any today. This whole installation would have been much simpler with a bumper mounted camera. I spent hours and hours running wire through the trunk; remember that my car is the C70 convertible and the trunk is hinged to open several ways. But if you have a sedan or a wagon then your camera installation will be much easier.
      Last edited by billshoff; 10-12-2016 at 06:10 PM.

    13. #11
      Junior Member nuge's Avatar
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      Great info.

      Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
      2018 Volvo V60 Polestar
      2015 Audi Allroad

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