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Hal Mercier

Reversing 'radar' do's & Don'ts

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As France is on 24 hour semi lock-down at the moment I decided to finish fitting my reversing 'radar' system. It's not radar of course, all those giant metal things spinning around and dangerous EM waves frying anyone living nearby, it's the much nicer system used by bats, compact, light, and eco friendly....geddit?

Echo friendly? 

I like bats, they often fly around in the Mill if I leave windows open. I also have owls in the attic, and just the other morning a cheeky red squirrel attempted to crash in through the glass of my South facing bedroom. It looked a little surprised when it bounced off....stunned, even.

I seem to have drifted off topic a bit.

So, I think I mentioned somewhere that I'd drilled the holes in the plastic 'bumper' a lot higher up than where Toyota recommend, causing it to be impossible to fit the two central sensors.

So to make life a lot easier I removed the bumper today, and was amazed by the buildup of fine agricultural mud between the Shell and the plastic. I'm absolutely not joking, there was stuff growing in it, in one area, little seedlings of unknown origin. So I blasted it all with a hosepipe and sent time cleaning everything....I reckon the car's lost at least a kilo....

It's not a difficult job, but if you try it yourself it's well worth buying a couple of things before you start, as they will almost certainly need replacing.

 

1/ The plastic tang bars which the front of the bumper fits into....mine had two tangs missing on one side and I think one or two on the other. I doubt they are expensive and the rear wing to bumper joint looks neater if all tangs are there.

 

2/ The useless 'seal" around the cabin air exits, which seal against water ingress into the boot and prevent the otherwise loose fitting ducts rattling. These are invisible under the plastic bumper.

 

Mine were so FUBAR I threw them away and duct taped the ducts into place, making a good rattle proof and waterproof (!?) seal.

This proves my superb reversing ability....nuff said...

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This is the bolt-on 'tang strip'..... several tangs were missing on my 2010 car. Worth replacing.

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and here are the completely knackered so called seals on the extractor ducts  This is what duct tape was invented for....

 

The seals weren't exactly doing the job so I slung them and used duct-tape.

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Clean again....

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duct and tape

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Control box & speaker right rear

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Finished job looks better than the official placement I reckon. A more normal height anyway.

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Looks a nice neat job, fitted couple sets of these to previous motorhomes we had and they proved very useful, were your sensors pre-painted white?, ones I got were and for the price were very good and considering price they lasted very well. Does your one have the dash display or just the beeping variety.  

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I am surprised that you had to remove the bumper. I have done it without removing the bumper. There is enough space between the bumper and the horizontal metal beam behind the plastic bumper. That space is easily seen and measured if you remove the two rear number plate lights first and look down the two holes.

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There is a thread started by Aygomalta in 2011 where I have explained in minut detail how to do a diy with photos. You could have saved yourself a lot of time and trouble of taking out the bumper and all questions regarding connections would have been answered. I never start a project without searching the webb and planning.

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18 hours ago, rajivrattna said:

There is a thread started by Aygomalta in 2011 where I have explained in minut detail how to do a diy with photos. You could have saved yourself a lot of time and trouble of taking out the bumper and all questions regarding connections would have been answered. I never start a project without searching the webb and planning.

I didn't see your post, sadly.  Just blundered in and made a few silly mistakes, but I learned what NOT to do in the process!

 

Plus, I prefer the placement of the sensors, which I hit with grey primer and the correct white Aygo paint.

I've only ever fitted these on a LWB Citroen Jumper van before....and am now fully convinced by them. My system has no dash  indicator, it simply gives a warning beep when reverse is selected to tell you it's still working though, and cost under 5 euros on eBay. I dread to thing how much a pro would charge to fit it!

 

I once smashed the rear clam on a Lotus Elise 111S which I still have, so that's the next in line for the treatment, and it'll be by far the easiest as the rear clam is still off the car since I had to remove it in 2018 as it proved quite impossible to re-set the vernier pulleys on the cams, after a mechanic here foolishly tried to change the cambelt without the sprocket locking tool. He knew this was essential, I thought I'd put it in the box with the belt, pump and tensioner....which I had, but for some unknown reason I'd later removed it....I realised this within the hour but when I brought it in, he'd already changed the belt using white marker.

 

This is fatal on these engines, and this is/was a highly tuned one, over 200bhp.  So after trailering it down to the ex president of the UK Lotus Seven Club, and expert engine builder, and spending 8 hours trying to set the verniers via the horrible body-on access, I removed the rear body....nice, now I can fit the bat sensor system easily! Silver lining!

 

I haven't driven the car since 2014....high time I fired it up again. It also needs a respray after I hit my wife's car while reversing, graunching the rear right wheelarch.

I also put a jack right through the right side sill at a race meet.....etc. It looks a little care-worn.

 

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19 hours ago, rajivrattna said:

I am surprised that you had to remove the bumper. I have done it without removing the bumper. There is enough space between the bumper and the horizontal metal beam behind the plastic bumper. That space is easily seen and measured if you remove the two rear number plate lights first and look down the two holes.

I'm sure you don't have to if you bother reading the instructions, I only did as it was the only way of modifying that metal reinforcement bar...I couldn't get the central sensors in otherwise!

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If ever anything needed reversing sonar it's the 111S Elise. Apart from it's normally very marginal rear view, it has a rear wing which blocks what little vision there is, leaving a huge black-spot. I was turning in a hotel car park in Arcachon on new year's eve 2007 and did a surprising amount of damage to the rear bodywork on a 18" high rectangular concrete shrub containment, totally hidden below the visibility slot.   Most embarrassing....

I fixed it all myself though, and not a hairline crack has reappeared since despite a bit of competition use. I don't enjoy GRP work but have done a fair bit, mould-making included.

A local lass in traditional peasant costume acts as navigator.

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I do wonder where to place the sensors, the badges seem to be in the way...?

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