Dashcam Routing Cables

Faults and Technical chat for the Volvo XC40
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Post by ak888 »

Just wondered how and which route you use to route cables for their dashcams. I have a Viofo A129 dual with a rear camera. consisting of a main camera unit for the front and a smaller camera unit for the read connected via a cable. I have placed the front dashcam on the left side (RHD car) passenger side of the safety cluster.

Power Cable:
The power cable is nice and thin and I have routed this along the top of the windscreen tucked into the headliner, then to the A pillar and across it, tucked behind the top of the A pillar cover piece, then tucked into the rubber door seal until the bottom of the dashboard. Here it it routed under the edge of the dashboard (above where the bonnet lever is, above and behind the footwell until the center dash console and then routed to the lower centre where the USB and 12V socket is. I may hardwire later so route to he passenger seat fuse area.

Rear Cable:
This is quite thick - thicker than the power cable. I had originally had this follow the power to the top of the A pillar, but from here I had this tucked along the top of the roof lining area (push back the seal and pry the headlining edge out to push the cable in), fished this across the B pillar still under the lining and had this all the way the back pass the doors, under the edge of the lining always. Used a fish tape to pull this from around the rear doors to the top of the rear hatch boot lining and I routed this to the centre. My rear dashcam is stuck to a piece of metal I used to clamp to the rear of the headlining (a Z shaped money clip I bent to shape).

However, on reading something online, I realised edge of the head lining where it meets the doors was where the curtain air bags were located and not wanting to interfere I need to find another way. Currently thinking of rather than tucking into the headlining, to tuck it into the rubber door seals - this should not interfere.

Posting this to see if anyone has a better route for the front to back cable? My original path was perfect aesthetically, being out of sight but for the worry about the curtain air bags. Any other better ideas?

Ano Nimouse
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Post by Ano Nimouse »

Personally I wouldn't install a dash cam. I've tried but failed. There are too many issues with obscuring the various safety sensors that read the road ahead. And as you have found with the other safety features, such as air bags.

And also, in my opinion, you don't really need a dash cam. It's like a screen protector on a smartphone - not needed 😀
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Post by WelshRobin »

I moved my dashcam from near the safety cluster because there were warnings about potential interference. It is now located bottom left corner of the windscreen {RHD car} where the tax disk was once located and it appears to work well. I ran the lead down the left side of the dashboard assembly, fixed with black electrical tape, and under the glove compartment, so it is invisible for most of its length. I don’t have a rear camera.
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Post by jamie307 »

I thought about this for a while as I didn't want to risk interfering with any airbags.

In the end I mounted a single front and rear facing camera unit to the ceiling above the rear passenger seat. Gets a decent view in both directions and the cable can be plugged into the 12V socket in be boot.
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Post by Dermottdog »

Ano Nimouse wrote: Sat Dec 12, 2020 9:06 pm Personally I wouldn't install a dash cam. I've tried but failed. There are too many issues with obscuring the various safety sensors that read the road ahead. And as you have found with the other safety features, such as air bags.

And also, in my opinion, you don't really need a dash cam. It's like a screen protector on a smartphone - not needed 😀
I can’t comment on dash cams as I haven’t got one. I do however think you’re wrong regarding screen savers for mobile phones. There’s a reason the screen saver glass cracks before the main screen if a screen saver is fitted. I don’t know the technology behind how or why the protective glass fractures first but it does. It’s saved my main phone glass half a dozen times. A pack of two Iphone Gorilla glass protectors can be had for £12. Far cheaper than a new main screen.
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Post by mr.vladis »

Ano Nimouse wrote: Sat Dec 12, 2020 9:06 pm And also, in my opinion, you don't really need a dash cam. It's like a screen protector on a smartphone - not needed 😀
Hehe, same could be said about backups and / or insurance. You hope you don't need it, till it is too late :)
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Post by abby606 »

My cables go from the camera, down the A pillar, under the interior plastic (under the carpet the plastic piece covers in front of the door sill), to the fuse box under the passenger seat. I have a dashcam battery so its this fusebox where I pick up power and collect the power cable so I now have three cables (camera power input, rear camera connection, fusebox power output).

These cables then travel together under the interior sill plastic toward the back seat, then under the back seat to where I have my dashcam battery pack. I have the foldable load floor so it lives under there, right at the back on the left hand side.You can see under the back seat from this area inside the boot.

Once into the boot, I connect to the battery and the rear camera cable then travels up behind the side panel on the left in the boot and up the D pillar. I really wanted to fish the cable through the rubber conduit in the centre that connects the inside of the car to the boot itself but I just couldn't get it disconnected and didn't want to push my luck. Instead the cable hangs "loose" but is clipped to relieve the strain.

I spent a lot of time removing panels properly, wrapping the cables in a tesa tape and routing and fixing the cables properly because I did not want any visible cables at all. It was nerve wracking on a brand new car and some parts were difficult but it was definitely worth it. By removing panels I could secure the cables behind the A pillar airbag and from there avoided any other airbags or safety bits and bobs. It did feel like I'd taken the whole left side interior apart though, because I pretty much had.

I think you could probably tuck the cable in most of the way, once you get to the back seat, the back seat was easy to remove (mine had no sensor cables). The side panel in the boot was an absolute nightmare to get back together though as there is a lot going on there. There are Volvo instruction manuals for fitting other accessories that show the process which was somewhat helpful but only a guide.

P.S. I used adhesive clips where possible with 3M VHB pads but if you need to tape cables down to something, I recommend an automotive tape designed for the purpose or something like gaffer tape. I found in a previous car that electrical tape just didn't have the longevity and it eventually caused rattles. Wrapping the cables in a tesa felt tape also aids with this if the tape does fail.
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Post by agilefrog »

Just a word of warning re routing cables across the top of the A pillar. I installed the dashcam in my new XC40 last week, and found that the curtain airbag is a long roll that runs from the top of the dash up the A pillar and across the top of the headlining above the passenger window to the rear of the car. Any cable routed across the top of the A pillar would thus obstruct the bag if it inflated. I would guess it wouldnt stop the bag working, but would rip the cable free and propel it and the dashcam towards your passengers if it ever went off. Its actually not that hard to remove the A pillar trim (pop off the airbag switch panel on the passenger side, pop off the trim panel from there to the floor. Then at the top of the A pillar trim remove the SRS AIrbag logo plate, and under you will find a bolt, remove that and the A pillar trim can be wiggled free) once you have got that off you will see an existing cable route down the pillar behind the airbag that you can use to cable tie the dashcam power lead to. Sounds worse than it is, really quite an easy job and will save issues with the airbag should you ever need it. HTH.
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Post by ak888 »

Fortunate post agilefrog. This has been nagging me a while now, so I looked up the curtain airbag information, but its not quite informative. So I googled the part and it seems the curtain airbag stretches from around the upper half of the A pillar and runs along the whole length to the C pillar. So was worried about the crossing of the cable.

I have been trying to google 'XC40 A Pillar Removal' to zero hits, no images, no videos etc. Your post confirms the A Pillar being similar to the XC60 with a bolt behind the tab and then prying popping off. Haven't had a chance to have a proper look myself.

With your post I think I think run the power down the A Pillar inside to not cross the air bag. The rear cable I plan to run from the A Pillar tucked under the headlining and route it to the back within/inside of the curtain airbags following along the same path without crossing it (think the difficult part is getting it from the from edge of the windscreen to the headlining (once pass the A pillar, using a wire tape/snake is quite easy to route it to the back of the hatch). Here I can keep my current position with the camera clipped into the headlining. But ideally I would like to route the cable via the black rubber cable run and have it pop out where the hatch is and out the plastic edge trim on the hatch itself.

agilefrog - again thanks for the post, really helpful for me and I am sure for anyone else in a similar position and start trying to google any solid information.
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Post by ak888 »

@agilefrog - you made it sound easy! Any tips for removing the trim? I undid the 8mm bolt and tried to pull off. No luck - stuck tight and not sure if further strength will break any catches or trim. Are the catches simple resistance based plugs or is there a slide and pull? Start at the top and pull?

Any help or tips appreciated.
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