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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I need help before I make the plunge on a promising AliExpress front facing camera. The Ali camera (specs linked below) sits inside of a replacement part for the interior rear view mirror "cover" (Step 3, "Unclip cover" part #8 in the headliner instructions attached) i.e., the plastic surround vertically above the mirror. The attached factory manual says to use a long wedge to remove it, but I am wondering whether any of you who have completely removed the front headliner (I didn't need to remove it fully when I insulated and routed the ignition sense to my DC-DC charger), have any practical advice on how to pop it off easily.

The camera, shown below, looks like exactly what I want -- hard to detect, very sanitary install (zero visible wire and virtually no loss of windshield space) with just a power lead and a pretty straight shot down the passenger A-pillar to the EK1, video viewing by built-in WiFi (assuming I can find a working Android 12 app). Anyway, it's about $112 with a memory card, but I do not want to destroy the factory cover.

CORRECTION BELOW BASED ON MEASUREMENTS

Help! The unit is linked to the pic. Also on Ebay here. The Ebay model matches the width of my existing cover at 245 mm. Ali says the width is 332 mm, but who knows.

Thanks in advance.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Use a credit card, or similar, slip it in the gap and push straight up.
Thank you -- you mean the gap to the rear of the cover? I am not referring to the overhead control panel which is aft of the rear view mirror cover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Looks like a nice piece of plastic to use if the guts don't work out.

Do you want the camera while driving or when parked?
Hopefully both. I am interested in recording live collisions and/or damaged while parked. AFAICT, the cam has a motion sensor which I assume turns on if you get bumped while parked, assuming power is available.

I'm OK with the WiFi connection only as I don't intend to use it for sight seeing or personal video.

BTW, the Ebay listing has a app reference to "FinalCam" which I Dl'd and appears to be legit.
 

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My Kenwood has a park feature. It's only pointing forward so it doesn't capture the soccer moms or idjits with trucks that like to swing the doors and hit anything that doesn't have rust spots on it. I have it wired hot and it has a motion sensor. I'd like to have the 360 camera installed so I can get side shots, but I'm waiting for our good friend Finisher to show me the magic on doing the side mirrors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My Kenwood has a park feature. It's only pointing forward so it doesn't capture the soccer moms or idjits with trucks that like to swing the doors and hit anything that doesn't have rust spots on it. I have it wired hot and it has a motion sensor. I'd like to have the 360 camera installed so I can get side shots, but I'm waiting for our good friend Finisher to show me the magic on doing the side mirrors.
I feel you. I'm sitting on my Rydeen side view mirror cams too, although I think this unit should do the trick as I am not going to replace the head unit:

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Use a credit card, or similar, slip it in the gap and push straight up.
BTW, when I was insulating I tried the factory recommended "long wedge" and stopped because it was going to shred the headliner to overhead console interface. I tried a credit card (actually Costco card because it is smooth) and it worked like a charm, thank you!
 

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@Firemancjr also helped me with the credit card trick. It was one swipe that didn't cost me too much. Thanks again!

That camera looks interesting and is very sleek. I had my front headliner nearly entirely removed. The one thing that is tricky if you want the headliner entirely out of the car is the oem factory microphone attachment, which is attached to the control panel (the one you need the credit card or loyalty/membership card for). I didn't figure out how to detach so I just supported the headliner while I did my insulation and l-track ceiling work.

Like @Firemancjr said, you may not need to remove the control panel at all, but just the cover with a tug.

I added a preliminary 360 camera, side mirror camera guide to the electronics section. I haven't finalized but it should give you some ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
OK, if you're interested, more research. On my cargo, the mirror cover measures very close to 245 mm, not exactly but close. I was hoping someone might measure their mirror cover?

I don't have anti-theft, but I do have the overhead control panel and illuminated vanity mirrors. The Ali product in my first post measures 332 mm, so I was confused. I finally found the 245mm model on Ali here. I have a question into the Ebay seller (50-50 it's the same as Ali?) to confirm fit. I sent them these pix of my mirror and cover, as their Ebay listing says to do.

Shoe Hood Automotive lighting Automotive tire Automotive design
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Product Font Screenshot Bumper Electronic device

This is from the Ebay listing

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Deed is done, I bought it. I'll post when I install!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, to their credit, the AliExpress seller messaged me to send pictures to confirm proper fitment. I invited them to submit a promo on this forum in the event I like the product.
 

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If it we're me I would run a second unused video and power line from under the dash to the mirror area while I was at it. There are so many good options these days for cams. Some have GPS so the video can align in space.

You may decide later you might want a digital rear view mirror. Some of these are dashcams on the back side and take a camera feed for the rear view.

Sadly, I have had one instance already where pointing to my obvious dashcam from outside the van ended a conflict. I actually don't see the cam while driving. It does have a red led light when the van is off and a blue light when on.
 
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