Project Ford E350 Tow Rig: Part 4 – Calling for backup!

Edge Products backup camera

Project Ford E350 Tow Rig: Part 4 – Calling for backup!

by Erik Jacobs

It’s been a minute since we’ve last seen Project E350, but it’s still very much around, and still doing diesel-y van things. You know, trailering horses, pulling race cars, handing out candy — the good things in life. And you can clearly see we’ve been trailering horses by looking at all the hay in the back of the van.

But with all that trailering, sometimes it was hard to figure out just how to hitch up. With a pickup, you can kind of see where the trailer is once you get close to it. With the van and the rear doors, you can’t see anything below the windows once you get close. For the horse trailer, which is tall, that works out OK. For my open trailer, which is low to the ground, you pretty much lose sight of it through the rearview when you’re far away.

Modern trucks and cars all come equipped with a backup camera. Fortunately for us, the Edge Insight CTS2 also supports the use of a backup camera, and they happen to make a license plate frame camera to go with it!

 

edge license plate frame backup camera package contents laid out on van floor with hay in background
The backup camera shows Edge’s typical attention to detail, as it includes all of the trappings you’d expect.

Surprisingly, there was no sticker included! I felt a little letdown.

 

looking in van rear door hinge area at wiring protector
The license plate for the van is in the rear passenger-side door. Getting wires to that location means fishing them through this rubber protector.

Yes, that is a piece of Cat5 looking cable running through there. Much of the previously existing wiring on the van was ghetto to the max. A mixture of Cat5 and household extension cords were used as “wiring” in various places. Sigh. At least Cat5 has several pairs of conductors…

You also have to pop off the entire cardboard door panel to get access behind the license plate holder.

 

rear passenger van door with license plate removed
This is the license plate holder, with the plate removed. It secures to the door from the back, which is why removing the door panel is required.

Note that this would be an excellent time to replace the ends of the door latch cables. Ford used plastic ends on all door latch cables on E- and F- series vehicles in this era, and the plastic becomes brittle and disintegrates. When that happens, you can’t open the doors using whichever latch was connected to whichever cable disintegrated. You definitely want to replace them before this happens.

Just go on eBay Motors and search for “f150 door latch cable repair kit” or similar. You’ll find little machined aluminum ends. You can use a utility knife to practically scrape the old plastic end on, and then jam these aluminum ends back on in their place.

2 comments

    1. Yeah I realized I forgot to blur some of them a little bit late, and the way our photo system is set up I can’t delete photos, and it’s not hard for someone to just go to the whole photo gallery, so even if I added new blurred photos the old ones would still be there for now, so I just left them.

      Thanks for noticing, though! =)

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