|Rover 800 820 825 827 Reverse Parking Sensors|
Car: 1999 Rover 800 820 Auto Fastback
Colour: Charcoal Grey / Black
Although we are all experts when it comes to reverse parking or reversing in general, and we would never ever of considered ever fitting any sort of additional reversing aid to any of our vehicles, buying a vehicle with some reversing sensors fitted to it, changed our opinion on them completely!
When the Rover 800 Coupe was purchased, the previous owner had had a set of aftermarket reversing sensors fitted to it, and we had actually enjoyed the extra confidence and safety that can be gained from their use, plus they were actually helping to get such a large car into even smaller gaps than normal, great fun.
Electronic reversing systems are now a very cheap universal mass market product, and with Maplins doing a £20 special offer on them, we decided to purchase a similar 2 sensor kit to that on the coupe, for this fastback 800.
The kit is a fairly easy one to install, the power is fed from the reversing light so that the unit only operates when reverse gear is selected. The hardest part can be finding the reversing light circuit, and deciding (and drilling if necessary) where the sensors will be fitted!
We would not be drilling the bumper in this case, because we were choosing to fit the alternative stick-on sensors.
Although we tested the unit out of the box, prior to installing it. When we fitted it 1 of the sensors to the car, it was not working correctly, as it would cause the unit to give out a constant beep, as though an object was present. We initially thought this was because we had mounted the sensor to low and the ultrasonic signals were being affected by the rear bumper being underneath the sensor.
We removed the sensor, but with a bit of further testing it was definitely a faulty sensor. It seemed that it would work off the vehicle but as soon as the sensor was mounted to anywhere on it (even onto the bumper itself), then it would give out a constant buzz.
As we had already gone to the trouble of fitting the kit to the vehicle we decided we would still use the reversing kit it even if it was just with 1 sensor connected and the other unplugged.
We emailed Maplin to see if we could get a replacement sensor, but have so far been ignored by them.
So after a bit of perseverance, we managed to work out that the small amount of flex in the ultrasonic sensor as it was being stuck onto the vehicle was enough to cause it to work incorrectly! We removed the cover from the sensor, and tried to smooth the rough edges a little with some sand paper, this improved things a little, but still, this was not good enough.
In the end after trying to pad the adhesive in different places as we stuck it, we decided that the padding was needed underneath the plastic back of the sensor. So we removed the 2 screws, from the rear of the sensor, worked out where we needed to pad the inside of the holder and screwed the unit back up. (The ultrasonic sensor itself must have a bad connection inside, but as this is a waterproof sealed unit, we did not want to dismantle the sensor itself and lose the waterproof seal).
Result! - we finally achieved the correct amount of counter-flex to stop the sensor functioning incorrectly when pressed onto the car, but come on Maplin, most of your normal customers would not be able to do this (and you should not expect them to). Hmmm, maybe this is why you seem to have discontinued this particular item. We could of just chucked another £20at them for another set, but we did not want to do,this as they would not of learnt from it, better that they replace and take notice of such faulty goods!
p.s. we do like Maplins and their products normally, but just feel they let us down on this item.
Apart from the unconventional fine tuning, we would recommend this is quite an easy install, for most vehicle owners to attempt.
Rear pic of the Rover 800 Fastback prior to installation of reversing system. The reversing lights on the Rover 800 are incorporated into the boot, so the rear light circuit wiring will have to be found inside the car. If your rear lights are within the main rear cluster, fitting a reversing kit is made far simpler, as you can just tap the wires into the connector that goes onto the rear light on whichever side of the car you choose to.
This 2 sensor reverse parking kit comes with a choice of installing 2 stick-on or 2 in-bumper parking sensors for universal fit to any car. Installation is quite straightforward because the individual parts all plug into the main control unit.
We were going to mount the stick-on sensors, just below the rear light cluster, and so the boot interior was removed from the rear light area.
Here the rear lights have been removed ready for fitting the stick-on sensors.
The stick on sensors should be placed as symmetrical as possible on either side of the rear of the car, so that they look better and to make them less noticable.
The wire was looped into the gap and then up into the car to keep it looser to prevent it from any possible damage as the rear cluster was refitted.
As we would be fitting the control unit on this side of the car (this was because we had a place we could quite easily and neatly mount it), we brought the wires from the sensors through holes in the bodywork to this point. This would keep things as neat as possible.
With the reversing light bulbs being located in the hatch section of the car, we had to locate a wire or connection somewhere else within the car.
After looking at the colours of the wires from the reversing lights we were unable to find similar coloured wires in the wiring loom under in the rear passenger seat (which we had lifted up anyway for wiring the buzzer through to the front of the car).
Eventually we found the bottom right hand wire of the top connector above the fuses and relays in the opposite rear wing was the live wire we required. We connected to the wire and to an earth wire to the same connector (although you can simply use any good earth to the car body if you want), with a long piece of 2-core red and black wire that we had handy, which would just happened to match the wire that was attached to the unit.
We brought our new power wires through the same way as we had brought the sensor wires, and then joined this long wire to the control units wires.
Then we added some double sided adhesive tape to the control unit, so that we would be able to mount it where we required it to go. All we had to do now was install the buzzer.
The warning buzzer has a small on-off switch on it to switch the buzzer on or off if required. We would just keep it switched to 'on' normally, but because we had had some problems with 1 of the sensors giving a faulty signal/reading, we decided that we may want/need to be able to switch the unit off at some point!
The device also has an illuminated flashing warning, but we did not want to be able to see this really, as you really should be paying attention to what's happening outside the car when reversing!
We found this place under the fuse box cover was an ideal location, where we would still be able to switch the buzzer on/off as required, but without it entering and spoiling the look of the passenger cabin.
With the fuse box cover back in place, this was a very easy location to feel to if required. Should the double sided sticky pad ever fail the wiring was routed in such a way that none of it or the buzzer will fall into the way of the driver's feet.
The buzzer cable was then taken down the length of the car installing it through the trunking that the existing wiring loom passes through.
The trim was all refitted as we went along.
Here the wire was taped to those other that go upwards to enter the rear wing section. A piece of curtain wire with loops on the end had been pushed through to the rear wing first, then the buzzer wire was attached and pulled through.
The wires were all kept very neat & tidy, so that they look like they are all meant to be there with the others.
The unit was stuck up, on the inside the driver's side rear wing. Although the tape was having trouble holding to the waxoil type coating that there seemed to be, and so 2 holes were drilled and a cable tie was fitted around the unit to make sure it would be permanently secure. The wires from the sensors and buzzer simply clip straight into the relevant slots on the control unit.
Here is a photo of the rear of the car with the rear parking sensors fitted. They do not look too out of place on this colour car, and being the stick-on ones can always be removed by any possible future owners. Although like we said earlier, they like us, may grow to appreciate them.