Preparing the vehicle for a SharpZ3 hardmounted installation - SharpZ3 | SharpOS 13.0

AutoVu SharpZ3 Deployment Guide 13.0

Applies to
SharpZ3 | SharpOS 13.0
Last updated
Content type
Guides > Deployment guides

Before installing SharpZ3 camera units on the roof of the patrol vehicle, you must perform some pre-installation steps to prepare the vehicle.

What you should know

  • To complete these steps, you need the following:
    Panel removal tool
    Use the correct panel removal tools to ensure that the vehicle panels are not damaged during the installation.
    NOTE: You might also need a Philips, Torx, or flat blade screwdriver.
    Grease pencil
    Used to mark support locations on the roof of the vehicle.
    Center punch
    Used to mark drilling locations on the roof of the vehicle.
    Electric or battery powered drill and drill bits
    Required when running cables through the vehicle roof or body panels.
  • The camera mounting base has four parts: the threaded base block, two rubber gaskets, and the upper mounting block. The upper and lower mounting blocks are installed above and below the roof with the rubber gasket in between to prevent water leaks and reduce vibration.
  • Before drilling holes in any part of the vehicle body always check for hidden electrical wires or fuel lines.
  • Cameras are usually mounted near the tops of the “A pillars” or on the top corners of the windshield. However, you must be careful to avoid drilling through any support bracing that supports the roof.
  • Ensure that the roof is stable enough not to vibrate when the camera is installed. If the roof is not stable, install support brackets.
  • To seal camera cable holes drilled into the roof of the vehicle, use weatherproof cable glands or weatherproof, non-corrosive sealant such as butyl tape.
    WARNING: Do not run more than one cable through a cable gland.


  1. Disconnect the negative (typically black) cable from the vehicle's battery. This is important for your safety and to prevent accidental deployment of the airbags.
  2. Lower the vehicle headliner to gain access to the underside of the roof. Depending on the vehicle, you might also need to remove trim panels, sun visors, handles, and door gaskets to access the mounting location.
    • You do not need to completely remove the headliner, but you must gain access to the underside of the mounting location and to the area and locations where you will route the camera cables.
  3. Identify any supports, braces, airbags, or wiring that might interfere with hardware installation and mark their locations on the top of the vehicle roof.
    As it is difficult to know what is directly under the mounting location, we suggest using the "tapping method" to identify obstructions. With one hand on the roof, and your other hand on the under-side of the roof, tap the roof and feel for a solid tap on the under-side. Using this method, you will be able to find any obstructions and mark their location on the roof using a grease pencil.
  4. Place the upper mounting blocks on the vehicle roof where you intend to install the cameras.
    NOTE: To reduce the chance of the vehicle roof being visible in the license plate images, select locations that are as close as possible to the corners of the roof.
  5. Measure approximately 15 cm (6 in.) back from the corner of the upper mounting block and make a mark for the camera cable hole. Use the tapping method to verify that there are no roof supports that will interfere with the location.
  6. Using a center punch, mark the mounting holes (B) in the upper mounting block (A).
    WARNING: Do not drill the holes (C) that secure the camera to the mount.
  7. Drill the mounting holes (B) using a 3.18 cm (⅛ in.) drill bit.
    NOTE: Although the final hole size is 6.35 cm (¼ in.), it is recommended that you drill with a smaller drill bit – for example a ⅛ in. bit first. Drilling with a smaller bit allows you to make sure that the placement of the lower block is not impacted by the roof bracing. If you must adjust the mounting position, the small hole can be easily sealed.
  8. Using the drill bit as a guide, put the threaded base block in place and verify the location is not impacted by the roof bracing.
  9. If the mounting block location is not obstructed, switch to the 6.35 cm (¼ in.) drill bit and re-drill all the holes for the mounting block.
  10. Deburr the holes to remove any metal shards or remnants.