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2011 CTS Coupe FE3, 2003 Thunderbird, Gone 2013 ATS, 02 Deville
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1,873 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Instructions for Replacing Back Up Camera or Chrome Trim Plate
Tools needed;
Two flat blade screw drivers
Needle nose pliers or plastic holder remover
¼” drive ratchet or electric driver
¼” drive 6” extension
¼” drive sockets, 5/32”, 9/32”, 10MM
¼” drive U joint
Sealant, small amount maybe needed.
REMOVAL:
Open deck lid to remove bottom half of inner trunk interior upholstery trim. Note: you do not need to fully remove this trim.
Unscrew the two rubber bumpers left and right on the deck lid. Remove inner deck lid pull down handle by unscrewing two small bolts with 9/32” socket.
Remove six of the plastic push in holders. I use two screw drivers to start the holders out and pull them out with needle nose plyers.
Remove cable from emergency trunk opening handle. Remove plastic cover over deck lid lock.
Pull down the bottom half of the inner trunk interior upholstery trim to expose the holding nuts of the Chrome Trim Plate.
Disconnect the two black plastic electrical plugs that work the deck lid release, back up lights and the back-up camera.
(There are four nuts and two bolts that hold the Chrome Trim Plate on)
There are four nuts with 10MM heads located on the back side off the chrome trim plate that holds the camera and back up lights. Two are accessed easily from left and right side under deck lid. The two in the center access are hard to see. Look around and you will find them. This is where I use the U joint on the ¼” drive extension to get to those nuts. NOTE; the Chrome Trim Plate is still held on by two more bolts.
After removing the four nuts you NOW need to remove the back-up lights by pushing them side ways to pull them out. NOTE: they will only push one way. Twist the light socket and remove the light assy. This will get you access to the last two bolts that hold the chrome trim plate on. Remove those two bolts under the back-up lights using the 9/32” socket.
NOW you can remove the Chrome trim plate assembly and pull the wire harness thru the small hole in the deck lid.
To replace the camera; remove the two bolts/screws that hold the deck lid release switch in place, using a 5/32” socket or a good pair of pliers. Unplug the electrical connections and pull the harness away. There are two plastic clips on the camera, push in the clips and pull out the camera with the wiring.

REPLACING; replace parts in reverse order
NOTE: EXCEPT when you get to the holding nuts and bolts for the Chrome Trim Plate. These four nuts have weather sealant on them to keep water from getting into trunk. You may need to add sealant to the nuts.
Install all four inner trunk nuts then tighten the middle nuts first, then tighten the outer edge nuts. After they are tight then install the two bolts located behind the back-up lights and tighten them. Install the light bulb socket in the back-up light Assy and install the light Assy in the chrome trim plate. Pull the rubber grommet in place for the electrical harness thru the deck lid. Connect the two black plastic electrical plugs that work the deck lid release, back up lights and the back-up camera.

WITH the deck lid open TEST the back-up lights, camera and deck lid release. When they all work install the inner trunk interior upholstery trim. BE SURE to put the emergency trunk release cable thru the hole and attach the plastic handle. Install, the pull down handle with the two small screws, the six plastic push in buttons and the plastic cover over the deck lid lock. Those rubber bumpers that screw in are a little strange to screw in if you have never none it before, but keep trying and you will get them in.
 

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Go ahead, blame me. Everybody does 🙄
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10,102 Posts
Excellent write up with great pics, Flash! :2thumbs:
 

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2013 Black Diamond CTS4 Premium Coupe (sold-09 CTS4 DI Black Raven/Ebony)
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4,381 Posts
I like the arrows. You know exactly what you are looking for.
Reminds me of a local weatherman many years ago. His first shift on weather, he steps out and begins taking about the day, then he wants to show some features on the weathermap. He drops his right arm to his side, which is away from the camera, and raises his arm to point at part of the map. On his index finger is a big red arrow. It was a howl! It may have looked silly, but it was effective, no doubt. After pointing out a few things on the map, he drops the arm to his side and the arrow was gone as he finished the forecast.
 

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2009 CTS4 DI
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14 Posts
Excellent write up. I do have a question for you. I've tried to find the answer in the forums, and it appears the post that may say whether or not I can do this no longer works. I get the "Oops" error message.

So, on the 09 CTS with Nav, is the wiring harness in the trunk already set up for the backup camera? If I were to purchase the trim piece with the backup camera in it, can I replace my trim piece (which has the chrome bubbling anyway) and add a backup camera to my car? I would prefer to do that then to add an aftermarket.
 

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2011 CTS Coupe FE3, 2003 Thunderbird, Gone 2013 ATS, 02 Deville
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1,873 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I do not know if all cars are pre wired for cameras.

Now mine was for a coupe and they are different than sedans.

Well I found the entire "new" assembly on line some where and it came with the chrome outside trim, and all items mounted with wiring harness, back up lights, camera. all I needed was a camera but that was going to cost more than the new assy.
So I bought the entire assy at a small price.

It did not come with the electric button or gasket that opens the trunk. and no key lock. So I had to take all the items off to get the truck release button off and reassemble.

I then sold the old chrome trim that was in excellent condition (las vegas car) to one of our forum members.
 

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2013 Black Diamond CTS4 Premium Coupe (sold-09 CTS4 DI Black Raven/Ebony)
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4,381 Posts
And I still have that piece on my car. Looks as good as the day I put it on.
 

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2009 CTS 3.6L DI rebuilt to FE3 J55 G80 3.42:1
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999 Posts
I will add the chrome trunk trim and third brake light are known locations for rain water leaks to occur. They utilize foam gaskets that are easily compressed and lose their seal. Unfortunately these gaskets don't appear to be sold separately, but only come with a new third brake light - which is expensive and typically not in need of replacement.

If you dig in there you definitely want to replace the rubberized electric trunk switch as it is exposed to weather. Wires must be cut and spliced with adhesive-lined heat-shrink butt connectors. It is possible the license plate light plastic tabs will break, because . . . plastic. So be prepared to buy a few $25 items from the dealer to really do this job right so you don't have to revisit.

A specific sealant is recommended, Kent® High-Tech Seam Sealer, which in my experience is the right goop for the job. I wouldn't use bathroom silicone from your local Home Cheapo. Here is a link to my experiences if it helps.
 

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2009 CTS 3.6L DI rebuilt to FE3 J55 G80 3.42:1
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999 Posts
Sealant, small amount maybe needed.
In my opinion you will leak eventually if you don't thoroughly seal all penetrations (license plate inserts, brake light, chrome trim) through the deck lid with the correct product.
 

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2013 Black Diamond CTS4 Premium Coupe (sold-09 CTS4 DI Black Raven/Ebony)
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4,381 Posts
I used 3M 08578 Black Strip Caulk, worked perfectly. It was designed for this purpose.
 

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2009 CTS 3.6L DI rebuilt to FE3 J55 G80 3.42:1
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999 Posts
The Cadillac trunk leak TSB specified Kent. No doubt there is more than one working product.
 
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