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Hopkins Smart Hitch Backup Camera Installation - 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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How to Install the Hopkins Smart Hitch Backup Camera on a 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Today on this 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee, we're going to review and install the Hopkins Smart Hitch Backup Camera and Hitch Aligner System, part number HM50002. This is what the monitor of the system looks like when installed in the vehicle in its typical location. Right now we have it in reverse and we see we have the hitch lines on our display. As we back up to our trailer, you'll notice that the green lines will start flashing and then the yellow lines will start flashing as we get closer and so forth, until we hit the red lines. You also hear a tone to let you know how close you are. You start hearing the alerts and the visual alerts as well. Now I'll go ahead and try it in a situation like in a parking lot. I have it in reverse.

I want to remove the hitch lines and go with the regular guide lines. See here, we can switch between the two with the hitch line on and off. We can use this in a situation where you need to back up. We can use the control on the side to control the volume of the audio alerts. Go up to make it louder, down to make it quieter. If we push in on it we can control the brightness and do the same thing up or down.

And the contrast. Also the color and sharpness. If you get completely lost and you want to start over, you can hit the reset. The display measures three and a half inches, attached to your dashboard as shown here but you can also use it on your center console or your windshield as well. Also if you wanted to mount the monitor in an upside-down fashion, you can take the mount behind it and undo the screw and also rotate it that way as well. A Smart Hitch is designed to be easily installed with vehicles that have a US car connector, basically any vehicle that has a factory tow package on it will have a US car connector we'll just splice into. Next, I'll go ahead and show you how we install the Hopkins Smart Hitch Backup Camera on our Jeep.

To start off our install of the backup camera, what we need to do is get the vehicle ready. Since our camera mounts on the back hatch I'm going to open it up and remove the cover for the back hatch so we have easy access to run the wires on the inside. This is the panel we need to remove out of the way. First off, we need to remove the fasteners that go all the way around the perimeter using a Phillips head screwdriver. Don't forget on the inside edge of the glass edge here by the third brake light there's a couple more screws we have to remove. There will be some snap fasteners behind the panel as well.

It helps to have a trim panel tool to get in there and release them. Once we have it loose enough, we'll go ahead and disconnect the electrical going to this light. There will be a small tab you'll have to push and then you can pull out the connection point. Now to release the wire harness there's a little tab that you can pry out, like this, and then you can pull it up and out. We'll loosen up the rest of our fasteners then we can pop it loose and remove the cover. Now will be a good time to take out the fasteners that don't come off with the covering. Just take them off and put them back into their slots. Next, we're going to loosen this flexible covering right here. Take my trim panel tool or you can use a screwdriver, and catch the edge of it you can pop it loose. We'll also do the same thing on the bottom. Next, this panel here we need to loosen up as well and get out of the way. There's a different series of snaps in there. Again a wide screwdriver or a trim panel tool will help get it started. Same thing with this panel right here. You'll peel it back and loosen up the fasteners. Now we'll loosen up this side panel here. There's another Phillips head screw. Just work it loose. Under this edge here there's a couple more snaps. We'll just use our trim panel tool to help loosen it up. If you need more room to work with and peel this back, you can also pop up this threshold cover here too. Now we'll remove our taillight using a T25 Torx Bit at these two fasteners. Kind of work the light loose. We'll go ahead and loosen up the wiring from the light. We'll squeeze on the blue plastic lock here. Just use some needle nose pliers, work just fine. We'll do a disconnect right here, pushing down on this tab and then pull it apart. There. Eventually our wire has got to run through here to back behind our taillight. We can get access to it, however it's right next to our snap here so we're going to drill a hole big enough just to run our wires through. This patch right here, you can either remove it or poke a hole through it and try to work your wires through as well. With the path almost cleared, we can remove this license plate and install our camera. The original screws here will not be reused. They'll be replaced with longer screws. This is our camera. We'll go ahead and unfold the sensors, take the license plate, run it up underneath the sensors and the camera. This will be a tight fit with the wires as well so you want to make sure you don't push them out of the way. Try not to damage them. Put this whole assembly with the newer, longer screws, back into the original location. We'll loosely install it for now. The end of our camera here has a cable. This can be routed to the inside so we'll drill a hole through our sheet metal approximately right here. You can make a mark and then take the hole camera off if you'd like and drill it out. Made the mark. I'll take this back off and drill it out completely. Now we're going to drill our small pilot hole out to a 13/32 hole. Go ahead and put our camera back into place. We can fasten it down for good this time. It comes with a small grommet to run over it and put onto the cable. We'll just roll it over the end and put it into place on your wire. Take this end, run it through the hole we made, run our wire in, and push our grommet into place. This isn't really the best fitting grommet for this application so it's a good idea to run some sealant from the inside to help seal it up. The sealant we're using is part number LT37467. This is Locktite RTV 598 High-Performance Silicone Gasket Maker. Let's go ahead and work with the wire harness that hooks up to our camera. Normally we would get from the power from the reverse light that's located in a tow package. This is part of a US car connector and part of a tow package that has a reverse wire and it uses a ground. We're not going to use this on our vehicle so we'll just simply cut the wires off and discard this part here. So let's take our wire harness. You want the plug that's closer to this junction right here. Plug these to together, line up the two arrows, pushing as tight as possible. We'll go ahead and add some electrical tape to help secure and a little bit of weatherproofing. We shouldn't have a problem with this since this'll be on the inside of the vehicle. Now we take our main two wires. I'm going to route them following the factory wire harness up towards the front. I'm going to use some zip ties to help hold it in place. Zip ties do not come with the kit so it's always a good idea to get some extra zip ties when you're working with some electrical. We'll cut off the tails for zip ties and continue on with our wires. Just go ahead and run our wires through. You notice I've got my black and red wire taped to my big wire here to help pull through. Work this through our grommet here. This part will definitely take some patience. To help pull through the grommet I'm using an old piece of airline tube this could be any piece of material that you can run through. I'm going to tape my connection point to this and pull it on through. I'm also going to spray this down with some spray lubricant to help pull it back through. Go ahead and route it through into the inside of our vehicle. Put everything back together. We do know our wires going to be a little bit short here so I'm actually going to extend the wires out. I'm using extra wire that doesn't come with the kit. You can use a very light gauge wire to extend them with. Let's go ahead and take our wires and hide them behind our plastic. We'll just get them started through here. We'll peel back the patch on the inside here and pull out our wires. It helps to have a little hook to help fish out the wires. After we get our wires running through, we'll go ahead and take our black wire and connect it to ground. Then our red wire will connect to the reverse light signal. To help seal up the hole that we uncovered, I'm going to use a piece of regular, double-sided foam tape. I'm just going to use one side. Clean and pull off the rest of the excess as much as possible. Our brown wire will be our ground. We're going to add a small ring terminal to it. This does not come with the kit either. I'm also using a self-tapping screw to make our attachment to the sheet metal here. Make sure the vehicle's secure with the parking brake on. We'll go ahead and put it in reverse and we'll check to find which wire it is. When we look for a reverse light wire, we noticed it was white with a green stripe. Also, you'll notice that there are two white wires with green stripes. You want the lighter of the two green stripes. We'll take the provided quick splice connector, snap it over the wire we want. We'll take our red wire, slide along side, make sure it goes past the metal clip, then we'll use some pliers to squeeze it down and complete the connection. Flip the cover back over it. We'll protect our connection with some electrical tape. At this point, we can go ahead and reinstall our taillight. Just push the connector back in till it clicks. The little wire clip, we'll put back in as well. Reinstall the screws. Now we'll take our outer cable, we'll route the same way except we'll stay on the inside of the vehicle. Again, I'm going to hide it underneath the plastic as far as possible. Stay away from any connection points where the plastic attaches. We're going to route this cable alongside this edge right here and back up towards the front. To help us do that, we'll go ahead and loosen up this tray. There's two nuts that we have to remove using a 10mm socket. We don't have to take the whole tray out. Just lifting it up where we can take our wire and tuck it up underneath the plastic. You can see this whole tray does come loose. We'll just take our wires, and we'll hide along the tray underneath going up towards the backseat. Let's put our tray back into place and reinstall the fasteners. Let's take our wire and we'll run it beside the seat on the inside. Make sure we stay away from the seat belt so it doesn't get bound up. If we can tuck it behind the seat then once we get down to the floor, we'll go ahead and push it up underneath the threshold. You may have to pry it up a little bit and push it underneath. These little sections of threshold here will also pop up. Kind of makes it a little bit more flexible as well to work with the cable and run it up front. Just make sure when you put it back together the wires don't get in the way of the fasteners. We'll continue the same process going up towards the front of the vehicle. You can see we're at the end of the line here and it's not going to be long enough to reach to our monitor, so we're going to use an extension cable. It just plugs together like last time, line up the arrows, push together. Then we'll take this and run it up to the top of our dashboard. The extension cable is going to be about as long as the cable itself. This is a five-foot extension. Part number's going to be HM3100504060. Just pull the door seal back a little bit. That'll make things a lot easier to route our wire. Now we'll find a place for our monitor. Typically it's going to be installed in this location, but you can put it anywhere you like as long as you have enough cable to go to it. Wherever you put it, go ahead and clean up the plastic. I'm using some rubbing alcohol and a clean towel. Let that sit, and we'll plug our cable together. One more time line up the arrows and push it together. We'll peel off our adhesive on our monitor and put it into place. It doesn't have to be super precise because it's on a ball socket. We'll take our excess wire, tuck it in behind the plastic below then put all out trim pieces back into place. With all our electrical connections made, let's try it out. We'll put the vehicle in reverse and we should get an image on the monitor. It shows that it's operating, so now we'll go ahead and button up our vehicle, replace the rest of our panels inside on the back door. You can also seal up any extra holes that we made for our wires. Our last part of install is to make some adjustments on our sensors measuring from the ground up to the center of the sensor and comparing that to the graph that comes with the instructions, it will tell you where to set the sensor. You can see I have it loosened up right now where you can move it up and down. Along on the side here is a series of numbers. The chart will tell you where to put this little dot along what number. Once you have it in the correct spot, use a small Phillips head screwdriver to tighten down the sensor. You'll do that on both sides. Also, you want to adjust the camera too to the height you want to where it lines up with your hitch when you have a ball mount installed on your vehicle. You'll probably have to adjust this a couple times to get it the way you like it. That'll finish it for Hopkins Smart Hitch Backup Camera and Hitch Aligner System, part number HM50002 on this 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

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