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Installing head unit and backup camera in 2004-2008 F-150


Old 06-12-2016, 01:57 PM
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Default Installing head unit and backup camera in 2004-2008 F-150

I have a 2005 F-150 and decided to upgrade to a CarPlay enabled head unit. I decided on the Pioneer AVH-4200NEX. The installation wasn't totally without frustration, and I wanted to highlight a few things I ran into here in case anyone else hits them.

First off, I always hit YouTube to get a good overview of the process. I found a lot of videos on installing the head unit and most of them were not very helpful. I eventually found one that was the best of all when doing the camera install, and it doesn't have a lot of views so posting links here.

Backup Camera:

Head Unit:

Here are some things I ran into:

Couldn't get the dash plate back on - The fascia plate that has the AC controls on it pops off pretty easily if you start buy pulling the ashtray out, and then gently pry the plate up starting at the bottom. I found it impossible to get it reattached. I couldn't find any video anywhere or any posts on how to get this to go back on. My problem was that the white clips that attach the two had all come off the plate and were stuck in the holes in the dash. They are supposed to be on the plate. You will never get the plate on if they are in the dash because its impossible to line them up. Since they had all come off, I didn't realize this. I had to take pliers and yank them pretty hard to get them out of the holes in the dash, then put them where they were supposed to be on the plate, and the plate popped back on very easily.

CarPlay Wouldn't Work at All on my iPhone - After getting the head unit install, I couldn't get CarPlay to start at all. It should happen automatically. I made sure I was plugged into USB Port 1, which is required for this unit, and directly connected without an extension cable. Still nothing. After quite a while of fussing with it I tried my daughter's iPhone and it worked fine. I discovered that my iPhone had Parental Controls turned on, and this apparently restricts CarPlay. I don't remember ever setting it, so didn't know the restrictions passcode, and there is no way to reset it. End result was I had to reset my iPhone as new and then it worked fine.

Bypass of Parking Brake - I originally just left the parking brake wire unattached and things seemed to be working OK. I didn't have any intention of watching DVDs while driving so didn't think it was an issue. Then I discovered that some of the settings on the Pioneer head unit were grayed out unless the parking brake was set. In particular the brightness and contrast. These are set from the factory in a way that the music artwork in Now Playing doesn't show and appears just black. So I ultimately had to do a bypass of the parking brake. This is different for each head unit, but on mine I bought a small devices from MicroBypass via Amazon. It has three wires that attach to the head unit and you are done. Works very well and was simple to install.

Running the wires from the backup camera - I bought a license plate attached backup camera. It works fine, but looks kind of crappy so I will probably eventually replace the camera with one that is built into the tailgate latch. It is an Esky 180 degree model... daytime picture is great but at night its almost useless. Will need to research how to do the cables for the tailgate latch, but running them the length is the same. I saw some videos that suggested bringing the cable into the cab through the firewall under the hood. The video I linked to above has you come in on the floor at the door... just have to pop the plate off at the floor of the drivers door and the grommet is right there you can come through. Worked very well and is a shorter distance than getting up into the firewall area. I got the cable tubing with the slit in it at Home Depot... was pretty cheap. I used 18 gauge stranded wire to run the positive reverse light cable back up to the head unit to trigger the camera. I bought a 40' spool and used most of it.
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Old 06-15-2017, 02:45 PM
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Hey convergent.

I ran into the same problem hating the license plate cam. If you have the patience, you might be able to pick up an OEM cam with handle from eBay for about 50.00. I ended up buying one off of an f250, so don't forget to search there. There are diagrams online and even in here to see what you'll have to do. You should be able to use the same video +- cable, and trigger wire you've already run, you'll just have to do some splicing. The OEM Cam is sooo much better, and the grid lines match up. I broke down and ordered a color matched handle with the cam hole form Ford for 100.00.
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