The video above will give you a quick walk-through of the finished product, and I’m quite happy with how it turned out. Since this car doesn’t have side mirrors, nor a rear window, you need to be a bit creative to be able to make the car street legal and safe. In my case, I’ll be using rear view cameras that also have infrared to able to see at night.
First step was to create some brackets that could be used to bolt the video cameras in place. I cut up some of my 1/8″ steel and made a couple of “U” shaped brackets by using a spare piece of 2 x 2 tube as a template.
After I had the brackets made I needed to cut out the port hole windows so that I could figure out what angles were needed to get the view I’m looking for.
I slid the bracket in place and marked the holes. Then it was just a matter of drilling out the holes and sliding through a bolt to hold it all in place.
I cut a piece of steel that was long enough to mount the video camera and drilled some bolt holes. The camera mounting plate has the ability to slide back and forth on a couple of bolts and were designed to be used on a license plate. After I had the camera bolted to the piece of steel I was able to position it in the window and see how things were going to look.
I connected up the camera and LCD display using a PC power supply that gave me the 12volts I needed. This saved me trying to hook up a car battery.
I taped a piece of 1/4″ clear plexiglass to the port holes to make sure that I gave enough clearance for my camera when the window was put in place.
To get the right angle I held the piece of steel that the camera was mounted to against the bracket that I created. Once I had it set with the right angle and clearance I tack welded it just enough to hold the position but not melt the plastic 🙂
To support the structure I cut and welded in a piece of 1/8″ steel, welded the nuts to the back of the mounting plate, and cut the excess length off the bolts. After letting it cool down I cleaned it up with the grinder and attached the camera.
After performing the same procedure on the passenger side I bolted the cameras into place and checked out how they looked on the LCD monitors. The cool thing about the monitors is that you can flip the picture around so that you get the same reflective angle as if you were looking in a side mirror.
Looking over the driver’s left shoulder:
And looking over your right shoulder’s blind spot:
The final touch will be hooking up the rear camera that will be connected to the license plate to give a full rear view as well as a wide angle look of what’s approaching from both sides.
Once the rear of the cabin is all sealed up and it’s totally dark in there it will be hard to see the cameras. I may also put a bit of tint on the glass 🙂