Backup Camera

Being able to see directly behind you is a bit of a challenge in a C4 Corvette. Side visibility is actually great but as low as the driver sits compared to the tall rear end of the car it can make it difficult to know exactly how close you are to things or what might be back there.

I solved this by installing a backup camera. There are several types available so deciding what setup to go with depends on how far you have modded your cars stereo or other interior parts.

One solution is to replace the rearview mirror with an embedded screen mirror. These come in three flavors.

First is the always visible screen section. The first generation of these mirrors used this. You loose a portion of the usable mirror area to the screen since the screen doesn’t reflect like the mirror does.  Which looked like this :

Old Style Backup Mirror


The second generation of these looks like a regular mirror when the backup function is off. Like this :

Backup Mirror Off

When you put the car in reverse it looks like this :

Backup Mirror On


The third generation of the rear view mirrors with backup camera features takes it to the max. The entire rear view mirror is the backup camera screen also. These go from normal mirrored view to replacing the entire screen with the image from the backup camera.

Other options for a screen include dedicated monitors you can put somewhere in the car. These range from clip on types to small stands. A popular method when using the clip on type is to attach it to the back of the drivers side sun visor. Flip it down to use the screen and then flip the visor back up when done.

Corvette forum members flip down visor screen


The final way of providing a screen for the rear view camera involves using your stereo’s head unit. This is the method I use in all my cars and trucks. I upgraded the stereo in my 87 Corvette Convertible to a Pioneer double din unit. This has the reverse camera functions built in. So its just a matter of plugging the video cable from the rear view camera into the head unit and providing a signal to the radio to let it know when you have the car in reverse.


The Install – Finding a signal wire

Lets start with finding a signal for the head unit to know when the car is in reverse. This will be required for pretty much any type of setup you choose to go with.

The wire you want is light green. Sticks out great so no problem identifying it.

Its in the plug that goes into the huge switch on the side of the automatic shifter. Remove the console lid and lift it up as far as you can (which isn’t far enough because of the shifter knob which I didn’t feel like trying to remove).

The plug has several wires in it but the light green is so bright in color its easy to spot. Seeing it is EASY, doing anything with it is a royal PAIN.

But that’s the wire you need to tap for the reverse signal. It goes 12volt hot aka positive when the cars in reverse.

Again sorry for no pictures but there just wasn’t anyway for me to get the camera on it.

Once the wire has been tapped and connected to the signal lead from the head unit you then need to mount the reverse camera.


The Install – Choosing and mounting the camera

There are literally hundreds of different styles of reverse cameras available. Most look pretty bad on the back of a Corvette. Ranging from dangling mounts to large bars that cover part of the license plate. I have the bar types on some of my trucks since I wanted the function but didn’t car about the looks on the trucks as much. But my Corvette needed something better looking.

I chose to go the stealth route. I wanted the camera to be as invisible as possible.

I think I succeeded 🙂


Stealth Mount Reverse Camera

Stealth Mount Reverse Camera


The Install – Wiring the camera

When wiring the camera I recommend powering it from the reverse lights themselves. This will ensure the camera is off when the car is not in reverse. I have wired camera up before to run when the ignition is on. This is handy because you can fire up the backup camera anytime you want but it has a drawback. Running the camera all the time burns it out eventually. So I highly recommend wiring it to the reverse light socket since its right beside the camera and will make the camera last longer.

The video cable was a pain to run because of all the tucking under involved but luckily it is the only cable you have to run to the front of the car. I started at the rear bumper and brought the wire through where the power antenna grommet is at on the drivers side. After getting the cable inside I ran the wire across the rear cargo area under the carpet to the passenger side. Then I removed the passenger door sill and ran the wire under the carpet along the sill till I reached the front floorboard area. I then ran the wire across the floorboard area under the carpet to the center console area then up into the area behind the stereo. Being a single cable with RCA ends I simply plugged it into the back of the stereo.

The camera I went with was a SallyBest® Waterproof Night Vision High Definition. It cost me $ 15.99 from amazon.

Corvette Backup Camera

SallyBest® Waterproof Night Vision High Definition Rear View Camera with 170 Degree Viewing Angle


One last tid bit I wanted to mention. Whenever I do a backup camera I always make sure I have an extension cable handy for the rca video cable. 99% of the time you can work your butt off making sure to get the cable to reach by carefully running it a particular way. But trust me it is far easier to just have an extension cable handy in case how you ran the cable is going to come up short.

Your choice but after all the backup cameras I’ve done I consider one of these a must have.


SF Cable, 6ft RCA M/F Extension Cable


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