This photo blog will show how we installed a BlackVue DR770X-2CH in a 2012 BMW M3. This installation took place at our office in Richmond, BC. Mention this and receive 15% off your next installation with us! You can book an installation with us here.
Dash Cam Installation: 2012 BMW M3 x BlackVue DR770X-2CH + CM100G LTE + PowerCell 8 Battery Pack
For this installation, we’ll be using a PowerCell 8 Battery Pack for a Power Supply. No surprises there for this BMW, we always recommend a Battery Pack for BMWs to avoid their finicky electrical systems. Read more about battery discharge errors in BMWs here.
It’s also no surprise that this BMW’s owner has decided to go with one of BlackVue’s new models, the BlackVue DR770X-2CH! This model features a new touch sensor, improved ISP tuning for better image quality, and 1080p image quality at 60fps for the front unit, and 1080p at 30fps for the rear.
We’ll also be installing this model with a CM100G LTE. With this device, the DR770X can stay connected to the BlackVue Cloud at all times once a SIM card is inserted into the module. This will allow for real-time notifications if an event happens at your vehicle while you are away, and the ability to check in on your vehicle remotely
If you are upgrading from previous BlackVue models, this camera will use the same front/rear cable as previous DR750 and DR900 models, along with the same power cabling as other X series models.
Step 1: Dash Cam Placement and Mounting
The first step is to decide where you want to install your dash cam. The ideal location for the front camera is behind the rearview mirror, with the lens centered on the windshield. This placement allows for a clear view of the road ahead without obstructing your view while driving.
We recommend powering the camera temporarily with the cigarette lighter adapter and pairing the camera with your phone. Through the BlackVue app, you can live-view the camera, which will feature horizontal and vertical mounting lines which you can use to find the ideal mounting position and viewing angle for your camera!
Step 2: Wiring to the vehicle’s fusebox
Since this is a BMW M3, this next step is going to vary a fair bit from normal. Normally, the fusebox would be by the footwell on the driver or passenger’s side. However, for this BMW M3 2012 the fusebox is actually buried in the glove box of this vehicle.
Let’s get started with wiring that power cable. To wire the BlackVue camera to the battery pack, we’ll use the camera’s cigarette lighter adapter to the output cigarette socket of the battery.
We can start with the easy part, which is wiring the CM100G LTE module. This module is recommended to be put on the windshield alongside the camera, mainly on the passenger side in the top right corner. The CM100G LTE is rather small, and should take up as much space as your phone. You’ll want to run the wire along the headliner to get there.
This means we wired from the headliner of the passenger side of the windshield, down the passenger side A-Pillar. When going down the A-pillar, we ensured to wire the cable behind the airbag. The next part is where things got a little difficult, as we need to find a way to get the power cable into the glovebox, without drilling or leaving a cable sticking out. For this, we had to take off the side panelling of the vehicle/glove box. Allowing us to route the cable around the back of the glovebox, fishing the cable through.
Step 3: Hardwiring in the fusebox
Now that the cable is at the fusebox, we can focus on getting it connected!
This cigarette lighter adapter for the BlackVue camera won’t need to be connected to the fusebox. Instead, we’ll connect that to the output socket for the battery, and get the battery connected to the fusebox with its 2-wire hardwire kit. This hardwire kit requires a ground connection, and an ACC connection. The ground is simple enough and finding an unpainted bolt will do, but finding a proper ACC connection is a bit more challenging. We’ll be using a Voltmeter to test these fuses, but feel free to use a Circuit tester which is included in our essential installation package!
Note: Watch out for delayed ACC fuses in BMW fuseboxes! Some fuses will stay on for 15~ minutes after the vehicle has been turned off, and will be reactivated by triggering the BMWs electrical systems, such as pressing a button on the keys. We recommend leaving access to the fusebox open for 15~ minutes before testing the connections in your fusebox for a true ACC connection.
Once we’ve found a proper ACC fuse and wired it to it, we’ll connect that hardwire kit to the input of the battery, and the cigarette socket to the output. The battery pack itself can rest inside of the glovebox here, right in front of the fusebox. We used the included velcro adhesives to hold it in place once the battery was installed.
Step 4: Run the rear connecting cable to the rear windshield
Now, the front camera should be powering up properly! But we still need to get the rear camera in place.
Connect the rear camera cable to the front camera. We’ll route the rear coaxial cable along the headliner, past the A, B, and C pillars on the passenger side. Thankfully, this part is more straightforward, though a bit more challenging with European vehicle’s thin trim. Using a Trim Tool or other device to get in there can prove helpful, and BlackVue’s thin coaxial cabling is a blessing.
Following from here, we’ll eventually reach the rear windshield, which thankfully has no liftgate like more difficult hatchbacks, as the BMW M3 is a standard Sedan. Still, there is a spot of difficulty, as the BMW M3 does have a large brake light at the center of the rear windshield.
With BlackVue’s wide-angle viewing, you could mount the rear unit to either side of this brake light. But for ideal coverage, we opted to mount it right at the bottom center of the brake light. This means we had to follow the cable along the trim of the vehicle, and carefully run it along the trim of the brake light itself.
Same as the front camera, you’ll want to check the live-view of the rear camera before mounting, making sure it’s up and running, and using the positioning lines accordingly.
Step 5: Test the Dash Cam
Before hitting the road, test the dash cam to make sure it's working properly. Turn on the car and check if the dash cam turns on automatically. If it doesn't, check the power connections and make sure the dash cam is properly mounted.
Step 6: Clean it up
Now that our cameras are installed and the wires are well-kept, let's return to the fuse box to clean up the wires. You can use electrical tapes or cable clips to keep the cables bundled up, close them and put the cover back.
That's it! With these simple steps, you can easily install a BlackVue DR770X-2CH Dash Cam in your 2012 BMW M3. The dash cam will provide you with peace of mind knowing that you have a reliable witness in case of any accidents or incidents on the road.
Hardwire dash cam installation guide
Planning on installing a dash cam in a different car? Check out our Step-by-Step Dash Cam Installation Guide and our selection of handy installation accessories. And if you ever need a hand during the installation process, just call us; our dash cam specialists are available to help!
Looking to have your dash cam professionally installed, we do offer installation services at our Richmond BC location. Mention this and receive 15% off! Book here.
Please see some of our other dash cam installations in the BlackboxMyCar Dash Cam Installation Gallery.