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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
2002-2009 Dodge Ram 1500, 2003-2009 Dodge Ram 2500/3500

How to retrofit the mopar OEM tailgate spoiler found on 2007 and newer Dodge Rams with a Back-Up camera integrated in. If your truck already has the tailgate spoiler you can remove your spoiler and follow the camera installation information later on.

First you will need to track down all of the supplies needed for this mod. If you don't already have one, you will need a Tailgate spoiler. Dodge dealers sell this as an add on accessory with attachment hardware for over $100. I found mine second hand from someone on Kijiji for about $75.



If you don't get the Mopar kit, you will need some threaded inserts. I found mine at Home Depot in the nuts and bolts section. They come with an installation tool and instructions on how to install them. Don't forget to grab cap screws while you're there. I got 1/4-20 in 1" length. They seemed to be perfect, maybe a little on the long side, but they work fine.



You need some narrow double sided body molding tape. The narrowest I could find is 1/2", don't get any wider than that. I got mine from Napa.

[no pic yet]

While you're there, grab some wire grommets. I got a variety pack because I wasn't sure what size I'd need.

[no pic yet]

You will also need a Back-Up camera. I found one on eBay, It comes with the proper sized hole saw, is a flush mount style, and had the highest resolution and viewing angle that I could find. When I tested it I found that it also projects a guide scale onto the image to help you back up (I didn't know this when I bought it, don't know if it's going to be useful or not yet.). Mine cost about $30 shipped from Hong Kong.



Now that you've got everything, Lets get started.

On the backside of the tailgate spoiler are a bunch of fins for structural support. Locate the center one and remove it. I used a utility knife and removed it in two pieces by slitting it right where it joins the rest of the tailgate spoiler. You could also use a dremel for this, but it's not very thick plastic and the utility knife seems to work just fine.




Determine where your camera hole needs to be located. Don't put it too low or there won't be enough clearance on the backside to get it mounted to the tailgate. Mark and drill your hole once you've found the perfect spot. Afterwards using a file, clean up the hole slightly. Don't be too aggressive or the camera may not stay put.

Here's a diagram to help you determine the placement. Note, in the next couple pictures the tailgate spoiler is upside down on my work bench.

Red is the tailgate profile, Black is the spoiler, Blue is the camera (your size will vary depending which model you buy)




Now, you'll probably have to go inside and hook the camera up to your TV. I don't have any pictures of this process, but it's pretty straight forward. You need to install the camera and make sure it's level. I don't trust the markings on the camera to determine which way is "up" that's why I recommend this step. You'll need an RCA type input on your TV and a 12V power source to power up the camera. I used the battery off of my 12V cordless drill to power up the camera. Install the camera in the hole that you drilled (mine is a simple friction fit push in, there are some that have a retaining nut on the backside). Now get your tailgate spoiler somewhere level (mine was sitting on my coffee table) and power up the camera. You should be able to see it's image on the screen. Adjust the rotation of the camera so the image is level. Once you are done, use a marker or grease pencil on the inside of the tailgate spoiler to mark the relation of the camera to the spoiler, this way if you happen to rotate it later by accident you don't need to hook it up to the TV again to get it aligned.




Now that the camera is installed, it's time to install the spoiler.

If you got a used spoiler like me, you'll need to clean off all of the old adhesive tape from the front edge (box side) of the tailgate spoiler. Once it's cleaned off apply a new strip of double sided molding tape. I had to use two strips stacked up because the tape I got was too thin.

If your truck had a tailgate spoiler from the factory you can skip this next part.

After you have the new tape installed, MAKE SURE YOU LEAVE THE BACKING ON for now. Put the tailgate spoiler on top of your tailgate and center it. The easiest way to center it is to measure the edges. Mine centered out at 3/8" on each side. Make sure your wires aren't caught anywhere that will affect fitment. Having a helper at this stage was useful. Have your helper hold the tailgate spoiler tight in place (pushing down on) while you trace all four holes onto the tailgate.



Mine had 3 oval holes and one round one. The most critical one to get lined up perfectly is the round one, the others will have a little bit of play. Once you have all 4 holes marked, remove the tailgate spoiler. Center punch and drill your 4 holes. Use the drill size recommended by the threaded insert installation instructions.



Now for everyone playing along, drill another hole for your camera wires. I used the biggest drill bit I had (1/2") and the fit was a little bit tight for my wires. I made it work, but I wouldn't recommend any smaller. I put mine just down from the flat-ish spot on top of the tailgate, centered above the handle. After all of the holes are drilled, prime the bare metal you exposed so it won't rust in the future.



Once the primer is dry, install the threaded inserts as the instructions say. Now's the fun part. Make sure the access panel is removed from the back of the tailgate. Find the grommet that will fit the big hole you drilled. Figure out how to get the wires through the hole and the grommet installed. For me it was easier to put the grommet onto the wires (I could stretch it a bit to fit) and then shove the wires through the hole and install the grommet once they're through. The connectors are the hardest part, after they're through you have lots of room.

Before you put the spoiler on top of the tailgate, start peeling back the molding tape backing off on both ends. Don't peel it all off (this will allow you to adjust it slightly before sticking it down). Put the spoiler on and line up the holes on the backside. Start all of your cap screws, but don't tighten them. Next, while holding the spoiler tight to the top of the tailgate, peel off the remaining tape (you should have the bit you started hanging down and easy to grab) and stick the front edge to the inside of the tailgate. I had to clean the edge to make sure I had a good surface to stick to. Tighten all of your screws snug and the installation is 90% done.







You may notice that I changed the black screws out for silver ones. I did this to match the style of my Bushwacker Pocket style fender flares I still need to install.

Finishing up the wiring is all that's left to do. You will want to get some stick on wire clips so that you can route the cables safely through the tailgate and keep them away from moving parts. I found mine in some left over car audio parts I had laying around, but any hardware store should have something that you can use. I haven't finished up the wiring on mine yet, but I'll add that in once it's done. There is a hole in the bottom of the tailgate, and a matching one on the bed of the truck, I plan to use wire loom to conceal and protect the wires and run them alongside a factory loom along the frame all the way to the cab. As for where to get your power from there is a few options. You can hook it up to constant power so the camera is always powered up (not a good idea, could drain battery), parking lights so the camera has power when your lights are on, reverse lights so the camera turns on when you're backing up, or what I plan on doing, using the remote out wire from my deck so that the camera is active whenever the stereo is on, that way I can view the back up camera image whenever I want even if I'm moving forward (for checking on a trailer, etc).

I'll post the updates once I make some progress on the wiring.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited by Moderator)
CONTINUED

Running the wiring:

You will need:
Split loom wiring (I used 20ft of 1/4" and it was JUST enough)
Zip Ties
Heat shrink tubing (maybe)
Power/Ground wires (the camera I used needed more than what was provided)
Wire for reverse sense.
RCA coupler and extension cable (Maybe, Mine was about 10ft too short, you could just start with a 25' cable and that should be sufficient)

To complete the camera install, all that's left is to run the wires to your head unit. Starting in the tailgate I attached the cables that came with the back up camera to the camera's leads and taped up the connections(so they don't rattle loose).


At the point where the wires pass through the inner tailgate support wrap lots of extra tape around the wire to protect it from the sharp edge.

Next I lengthened the power lead from the camera and added a short extension (12" approx) to the ground. The camera harness had about 4' of power wire attached to it, if yours has less you will want to make sure that you extend the ground at least long enough to get out of the tailgate and under the box. The RCA cable that was provided with mine was too short, but I only found this out after half installing it. To fix this I bought an RCA cable that was about 12' and a coupler. After connecting the two cables with the coupler I used heat shrink tubing to seal the connection. For your reverse sense wiring there are two options. First (which I chose) is to tap into the reverse wire at the taillight harness. If you are going to do this you will want to run an extra wire in your bundle of wires which you are about to wrap with the split loom. The taillight comes out with two torx screws in the tailgate opening and two clips on the other side, remove the screws and pull towards the rear to disengage the clips. The proper wire is the white with light green tracer(shown in pic).


The other place to find this wire is near the pcm under the hood on the passenger side. There are a few white with varying shades of green tracers. You will need a multimeter to make sure you have the right one. After you have all of your wires together, wrap them all in the split loom.


You can tape the ends to hold it in place, or zip tie. I like zip ties better. Feed all of your wires down through the hole in the bottom of the tailgate and through the matching hole on the bottom edge of the box floor. Make sure you have enough slack for the tailgate to open and close without pulling on your wires and zip tie it to the wire loom that is running parallel to the bumper under the box.




Run your wires all the way along this wire loom down the driver's side frame rail until you end up in the engine compartment. I don't have pictures of this whole procedure, but there are a few tricky spots. Beside the shock mount you will see that the factory loom turns into a hard plastic housing, make sure that you use enough zip ties on your wires to prevent them from moving and possibly interfering with your suspension. It is a little difficult to run the wires by the gas tank, but with some patience, long arms and a good feel you should be able to make it. Another tight spot is passing where the box meets the cab. Use the same technique as with the gas tank and you should be fine. If you can't get it to follow the same route, just make sure it is secure and not interfering with anything along whatever route you choose. I chose to bring my wires into the cab through the firewall. To get them into the engine bay, follow the factory loom up into the wheel well. I had better luck using a fishing line (another piece of wire, not actual fising line) going from the top down and then pulling the bundle back up with it. If you have an automatic there is a plastic plate where the clutch would normally be installed that is perfect for running wires through. If you have to drill a hole in metal, make sure you use a grommet to protect the wires. Once the wires are under the dash, again route them away from any moving components and up to the stereo area. Make your connections; RCA to back-up camera input on your deck, power to remote wire(check the amperage use of your camera before doing this. Mine was only a couple hundred mA, if the camera has too high of a current draw it can damage your deck) or keyed power (usually red on aftermarket stereo harnesses), and hook up the reverse sense wire to the rear of your deck. To ground the camera use a self drilling/tapping screw through a crimp on ring terminal attached to your wire into a solid metal piece under the box. I used one of the supports under the box to attach mine to. Make sure you have a good solid bare metal connection (remove paint and dirt prior to attaching). After all of your connections are complete and wires safely routed you are done. Test out and enjoy your new back up camera. Spend some time with a helper to learn where the exact viewing area of your camera is before you go using it so that you know exactly how far away things are that you can see. Here is a picture of what mine looks like.


The distance guide came with the camera and is not adjustable, luckily it lines up perfectly with the perspective I have my camera mounted at and the distances look to be fairly accurate. I installed my hitch ball for this shot and you can just see the edge of it at the bottom center of the screen, perfect for hooking up a trailer.

My setup:
Deck: Alpine INA-W900
Camera: eBay http://cgi.ebay.ca/WATERPROOF-CAR-R...ewItem&pt=Car_Audio_Video&hash=item20b08a5182

I am currently having a slight issue with the reverse sense and the Alpine deck. The problem is that every time I step on the brakes the deck quickly flashes into the back-up camera mode. I have figured out that it is the Dodge Lamp Out indicating system. It works by pulsing a low voltage through the bulbs to check if the resistance is proper. Every time I step on the brakes the reverse lights also get checked. As soon as I figure out a fix for this problem I will post it. It may not affect your set-up, but it is affecting my Alpine.

Disclaimer: Attempt this mod at your own risk. I am not responsible or liable for any damages you do to your vehicle, property or persons while following these directions. I have attempted to provide adequate information to allow you to perform this mod as safely as possible. Use common sense when working with power tools and around your vehicle. Always check that holes drilled will not puncture any fluid line or electrical connections. Solder and shrink wrap all electrical connections.

END
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Reserved for update 2
 

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Ok guys, no comments please until he completes this How To.
 

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I know I'm resurrecting an old thread, but the photos have disappeared. I was wondering if the OP would re-add the photos. The write-up is great, but photos would be a really helpful visual. TIA
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I know I'm resurrecting an old thread, but the photos have disappeared. I was wondering if the OP would re-add the photos. The write-up is great, but photos would be a really helpful visual. TIA
I'll see what I can dig up. This one goes way back...
 
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