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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Been meaning to put a dashcam in for the last couple of months, just haven't gotten around to it. Had a BlackVue DR900S-2CH with a Power Magic Pro for parking mode from a previous car, so luckily didn't have to go out and buy any new hardware, save for a couple of fuses. There hasn't been much posted about hardwired installs on the e-tron GT compared to most things I've done installs on in the past, so I was mostly flying blind. Figured I'd relay what I found, what fuse slots I chose to use, etc.

First order of business was finding both a constantly powered fuse (for parking mode) and a switched fuse (for driving mode). The driver's side footwell fuse panel seemed to be the best bet there. You have three rows of regular sized ATO fuses. In my testing, it seemed most all of the middle row was powered constantly, while the top and bottom rows were switched. Since I have a Premium Plus (base model) with basically no options, I had a lot of empty fuse slots that may or may not be used in the higher trims/options. In my case, for constant power I chose slot 6 in the middle row, which is actually unlabeled in the fuse diagram in the owner's manual. I chose to use it since it seemed the least impactful to any critical systems since it was actually unoccupied. For the switched fuse, I chose slot 11 on the bottom row, which is actually just very vaguely referred to as "Power supply" along with slot 10 in the manual. I cautiously chose this slot, once again figured it couldn't do much harm considering it was unoccupied. You'll also need to remove the purple covers on the fuse strips and leave them off if you add something like an add-a-circuit fuse tap since it won't fit under the cover. I took mine off and stored them in case I need to reverse the install process down the road before selling the car.

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There are lots of options for a grounding point if you look around, although a lot of them rely on very thick bolts that are too large for your standard ring or fork terminals for such a thin gauge wire typically. I found a smaller bolt under the dash around near where the OBD2 port is that I was able to make work, but it's a very tight fit. It holds the plastic bottom panel to the metal frame, so it seems to make good contact and hasn't caused any issues so far. I wired it up on the inside of the panel rather than the outside of the panel for cleanliness sake. This gap is very tight, so you need to make sure you get it around the bolt and not just wedged up in there. I bet there's a better grounding location I could've used if I'd have looked more, but this has worked fine so far. I actually redid it after I took this picture because on my first attempt it wasn't actually around the bolt, so that's why it's a bit off-center in this photo.

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For routing the power cable to the camera, I started up at the mirror with the plan to route it along the driver's side of the windshield, down the windshield side of the A-pillar, and down towards the fuse panel. Most of that is pretty straightforward and easy if you've ever done a wiring run behind trim pieces before. Tuck what you can, pull off panels if you need to, and be wary of airbags of course. This is the fuse access panel on the driver's side of the dash as well as the a-pillar panel below it removed so I was able to more easily access and run wiring around to the fuse panel in the footwell. The A-pillar panel can be a bit tricky to get back on if you end up removing it because of that white plastic piece you can see exposed below the fabric. That panel clips onto that plastic around both edges, and you have to fight it and the weather-stripping quite a bit to get the clips to engage fully. That was honestly probably the hardest thing to but back together for me. The wire you see dangling in this photo is the power cable from the dashcam. It eventually got routed behind the panel at the bottom of the A-pillar where I zip-tied and tucked everything as neatly as I could.

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Here's where I chose to mount the Power Magic Pro, at the front bottom of the dash panel right in front of the OBD2 port, making sure to leave plenty of clearance for the port if it is needed for any reason of course. This way it's easy to just reach down with my left hand and flick the parking mode switch on or off. I leave it off when I'm parked at home as I don't see any need to put those unnecessary cycles on the 12V battery when I'm parked in a garage after all. It only gets turned on if I've heading into the office to leave my car parked all day or need to use any other type of public parking lot like at a store or something.

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Here's where I mounted the camera behind the rearview mirror. For myself at least, it's almost completely out of my visible area when I'm driving, so there's little impact on my visibility from it being tucked behind the mirror here.

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One thing I have not done yet is hooked up the rear camera. When I was working on it this weekend, it started getting pretty toasty in my garage and I decided to call it a day after finished up the front camera. I messed around with the headliner/glass roof trim a bit to try and figure out where I'd most likely want to route the rear camera cable, but haven't yet figured out the easiest way to get it where I want it. I'll hopefully tackle that with some more time this weekend.

All in all though, I'm pretty satisfied with it. No rattles or anything from where I've had to remove panels or hide away wires. I have my Power Magic Pro set as conservatively as possible with a 12.5V cutoff for parking mode so that hopefully there are no issues with unnecessary strain on the 12V battery. So far I've been able to park it at work for a couple days with the camera running without issue. Basically as long as I can get roughly 8 hours minimum out of it in parking mode, I'll be happy. As I said above, when I'm at home in the garage I leave parking mode off just for the sake of the 12V battery. If for some reason even with this conservative use of parking mode it becomes an issue down the road, my backup plan is to just purchase a battery system for parking mode and wire that up instead. I don't think there will be any issues though. I ran a similar setup on my Model S before Tesla Dashcam and Sentry mode were added and never had issues with it.

Happy to answer any questions or elaborate further on anything since I know when I was researching this project, there are very little details out there about hardwired installs on the e-tron GT.
 
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