Figure 1. Location of Parking
The rear view from inside a Gallardo when parking or reversing can
sometimes be a little challenging - particularly at night. While
far better than a Diablo or Murciélago there are times when I have had
some close shaves when backing up against walls or sidewalk curbs.
Many modern cars have integrated into their rear bumper (some the front
also) an ultrasonic device that detects something close by and emits an
(annoying) beep sound depending on how far away it is. After a recent
close encounter in my Gallardo I decided to do something about it.
Fortunately these devices today can be purchased separately and
relatively easily installed in your car. There are a number of types
available. Some just emit an increasing tone as you back up closer to an
object. Others come with a LED display that gives the position and
distance of the object. Since I already have a rear view camera in
my car (I just forget to look sometimes!), I opted for the former
types. I decided upon one called "Park-Pilot". It comes with a
sealed "control box" a beeper and either 2 or 4 sensors. I opted for
just two sensors. This short article describes how to install them in a
Gallardo. The process would be very similar for other cars and is
The "Park-Pilot" package I used is shown in figure 2. I obtained it
Imports LLC, However there are many other types and sources
available on the web or in stores. Figure 3 below shows in a simple
diagram how the unit is hooked up. The diagram is actually for a 4
sensor setup. I decided to use only 2 on the Gallardo. Properly placed
(see below) this is more than enough. The only tricky part is that
you have to locate the positive wire going to the reverse light at the
back of the car. Just locate one of the two
leads going to one of the reverse lights in the rear fender of the car.
One lead is ground, the other will go to +12Volts when you put the car
in reverse. Sorry I don't have a good picture for this, but to get
to this light you need to remove the grill directly below the lights, remove the two screws
that hold the light assembly to the frame and gently push the lights up
to get you hand in to grasp the light wires, Fig 4.
Splice the +12V wire to the power input of the
Park-Pilot control unit (see below).
|Fig 2. Sensor System
||Fig 3. Diagram of Sensor System Setup
||Fig 4. Backup light 12V
The only real challenge was deciding where to
actually place the sensors. I did not want to cut into the bumper
assembly itself. At first I tried attaching them to the frame under the
car. However this was too close to the ground. They actually worked fine
as long as the car was on flat ground but my driveway is sloped and they
would go off each time I reversed out of my house. After A bit of
experimentation I decided to attach them below the rear license plate of
my car as shown in figure 1 above. I should say that I have not
used the standard Lamborghini license plate holder because I have a rear
view camera set into the frame of the license plate itself. This was an
extension of a project I did way back when I installed my
Eclipse NAV system.
However the sensor support frame I use here would be almost the same as
for a license plate with the OEM frame support.
One of the two sensors
are shown in figure 5. Two of these units are attached to an aluminum
frame shown in figures 6,7 that I crafted. They are attached to the rear
bumper as shown in figure 7. The wires going to the control unit
(see below) go through a hole in the bumper behind the license plate.
This hole also has a lead going to the rear view camera. The
sensors (and camera) leads have a convenient disconnect socket (fig 8)
so you can remove the bumper from the car to work on the engine
etc. each sensor is attached to the frame via two screws.
Park-Pilot supplies a number of rubber pads that sit between the sensor
and the frame. They are cut at various angles to allow the sensor to sit
completely horizontally. You need to fool around with these to get
them this way. If they are pointing down they will false alarm. If
pointing upwards sensitivity will not be good.
The actual control box
for the sensor unit can be placed anywhere. It appears to be completely
sealed and waterproof. I placed it along the side of the engine frame as
shown in figure 9. It is unseen when the engine side panel is
reinstalled. I placed the actual buzzer behind the passenger seat.
This requires one to run a wire from the engine compartment area through
the engine firewall into the passenger compartment. Fortunately there is
a Lamborghini supplied hole to do this. It is the same hole I used to
string my rear radar detector cables through and is described