Honda Ridgeline Backup Camera Installation (with video)
If you have 2006-2008, chances are you don’t have a factory back up camera system. If you do have a factory backup system, it will likely be an ugly knob installed on the tailgate. Honda Ridgeline started making a nice looking back up camera on models 2009 and up. If you have an older Ridgeline and want to have a nice looking back up camera, this article is for you. Overall the installation is not hard, it does require a lot of labor, but nothing is really complicated. To do this job, you’ll need to get a factory tailgate handle with back up camera hole in it. You’ll also need to get an aftermarket back up camera. There are plenty of options online, but I used TopTierPro 18.5mm diameter camera.
The camera fits perfectly in the tailgate handle. Whatever camera you’ll get, make sure it will fit in the handle. If the camera will be a bit wider, you may have to create a bigger hole in the handle. If camera will be a bit smaller, you’ll have to put something else between the camera and the hole.
OEM tailgate handle with camera hole cost about $30-$40. I got the camera on Amazon for about $22. If you choose to go factory route with factory camera, cost would be about $200-$400. But if your Ridgeline is 2006-2008, probably your camera won’t be on handle, but instead on the tailgate, which looks ugly in my opinion and you’ll have to drill several holes on the tailgate.
Installation in my opinion is fairly simple, but can be time consuming. First thing you’ll have to do is remove rear seats. To get to bolts, you’ll have to remove plastic trim pieces under the seats. Once you remove the plastic trim, there will be about 8 bolts you’ll have to remove. Keep in mind, if some of the plastic clips remained in the truck’s body, you’ll have to remove them and attach to the plastic trims prior to reinstallation.
Once that is removed, there will also be a long trim piece above rear seats. Remove that piece as well. Now you can remove rear seats.
You’ll also have to remove a C pillar in order to push camera wire from bed of the truck to the interior (Look at the video to know what exactly you need to remove). You’ll have to remove couple bolts. Unfortunately, I don’t have all details here how to remove interior pieces, but I’ve seen several videos online with detailed instructions.
Now it’s time to work on the outside of the truck. First step is to remove the plastic piece on the driver’s side bed. I used flat screwdriver to remove that small piece and then Philips head screwdriver to remove the bolt. Once bolt is removed, the plastic piece will slide out.
Now you’ll have to remove 2 bed covers. Make sure you start with the one that is facing interior. You will not able to remove them in another order. You’ll also have to remove first the plastic piece with light on.
Again, I apologize for not including many details on the trim removal. To remove the covers, make sure you have Torx bits.
Now you’ll have to open up tailgate contents. I opened the tailgate and let it rest in horizonal position, it was easier for me to work on it like that. There are 4 Philips head screws on the top of the tailgate. Remove those and then slide the top cover off. I messed up on that one and broke many tabs, so be careful. Even though I broke most of the tabs, I was able to reinstall it.
You’ll have now a lot of torx bolts to remove, keep going until all of them are off. Now you’ll be able to lift the tailgate cover off.
Also remove driver’s side tail light. You’ll need to connect camera wires to a backup light. If you don’t know how to remove tail light, you can find instructions here.
Now you have a clear view of what you need to replace. You need to remove the tailgate handle. It is secured only by two bolts, remove them. You’ll also have to detach the metal rod going into the handle. Make sure you move the plastic tab, which is a must for the rod removal.
My advice is to install the camera into the handle before actually installing the handle into the tailgate, but leave some room to rotate camera if needed, unless your camera body will show you exactly where its center is.
Pretty much install the camera loosely and then install the handle into the tailgate. Push metal rod in and secure it with plastic tab. You don’t have to secure the handle with bolts right away. At this time, I’d recommend you to do a trial run. Connect wires from camera to your stereo and to back up light. First of all, make sure everything works. Once you are sure that the camera is working as needed, then it’s time to aim the camera. It’s a lot easier to do with 2 people, one person can sit behind the wheel, reverse, and look at the stereo back up view and will have another person rotate the camera until they reach a perfect angle.
If you are doing it yourself, I suppose you can get the car to the ignition mode where you don’t have to start the truck and have all accessories run, switch to reverse gear, engage foot brake, and slide out rear window. If you do that, you may be able to play with the camera outside and watch the stereo camera view. Just make sure you use caution and make sure truck wont’ back on you.
Once you found perfect angle, make sure your camera is secure and won’t move around. You can use clear caulk if needed. I did not need to use anything else. Now you can secure the handle with two bolts and now it’s time to wire everything.
Now trial run is over, disconnect all the wiring you’ve done to test the system and connect everything the right way. I used a lot of zip tides to make sure I’ll have secure connection. I wired two wires to the tail light and two wires to the interior. I used plastic wrap where tailgate connects to the body and I’d recommend you to use something like that as well. You don’t want to have wires sticking out at that location.
As I said before, try to use zip ties when possible. I used posi connectors to connect camera to back up light. It’s up to you what connection you would prefer there. And wires that are going to interior, I ran them through the taillight housing and then along the driver’s side body. You’ll see a rubber cap between the bed and interior, I made a small hole there and wired wires through that cap.
Once you have wires in the interior, you may notice that the wire is too short. I had a spare camera wiring available and just had to order adapter to connect two camera wires together.
Also, on this specific camera, I had to cut small loop wire in the rear of the camera so that the camera to flip the image and use it as a backup camera. I believe I had to cut the white wire, but make sure you read camera’s instruction to see what you need to do. The camera I have also have an option to have distance lines. I choose to keep the option disabled as I have the option on my stereo. If you want the camera to have the option enabled, you’ll have to cut off green wire loop.
That’s all. We are all set. Again, I apologize for not including all needed instructions, sometimes while I am working on the installation, I forget to take a picture or record a video and that’s why some information may be missing. But if you have any questions, feel free to post here and I’ll try to respond soon as possible.
I did make a video as well. Unfortunately I do not have lots of information on it too, but it may be more helpful.