Heated Tow Mirror Swap

You need to have the bases from an 2nd gen. tow mirror equipped truck. Then purchase a set of Power/heated tow mirrors from a 3rd gen truck, you can get them in a kit (which is both mirrors, you will still need to buy a switch, knob and nut)

Once you have all four mirrors, you must disassemble them. For that you’ll need to tack them off the truck (3 nuts behind door panel). On the bottom of the base, you’ll see a round plastic cover, remove this. Inside you’ll see a nut/fastener, this must be removed. Take a small flat screwdriver and pry away the teeth that are in the groove, they are spring steel, so its not simple, but they will move.

Once all the teeth are out of the grove the retainer will “pop” out, there is a compressed spring under it. Then the base will separate from the head. Do this to all 4 mirrors.

Start assembly on the passeger side mirror (it does not require any modifications to assemble); Fish the power wires through the “new” base, then the spring, for the spring to fit, it must be compressed, to do this insert the spring in a vise, compress fully, apply mechanics wire to both sides of spring (to hold it compressed when released), then remove spring from the vise.

Insert spring into the assembly, then the retainer (which you mangled, so you’ll need to reposition the teeth at a 45 degree angle, via hammer and chisel) Install the retainer and tap (hammer/chisel) into the groove, then remove the wire from the spring by gently waken’ it with the hammer/chisel combo.

Now the wires, you’ll have to cut the socket off the wires, (as its different than the one in your truck, and wont fit through the base anywhooo) then fish the wires through the base (they will probably need to be extended) and out, so there will be enough to wire to the truck’s harness.

Install the necessary foam (between all the mirrors you’ll have enough) and install on the truck. Passenger side complete, on to the drivers side.

What I said above applies to the drivers side as well, except for some minor modifications. The first being, on the base of the drives mirror, you’ll see an aluminum “tit”, roughly 1.5″Lx1/8″ thick, remove this with a pair of pliers (wiggle back-n-forth, till it breaks off clean) The second mod, on the head of the new mirror, flip upside down so you see where the base meets it, the round section of aluminum has a additional 1/4″x1.5″ casting protruding from the side, this needs to be removed ,via file/grinder. Then assemble per the passenger side instructions.

Wiring, I was lucky and had the factory harness behind the door panel, If you don’t you on your own form here, sorry. If you do have the harness behind the door, you’ll need to clip the connector from the wires on the harness, then you’ll have 5 wires from the mirror assembly (the 2 black ones are for the heat) and the same from the harness.

This is where I oooopsed, and didn’t write down the which wire goes to which wire, however, it’s not that hard to figure out. Connect the black wires, black/black and black/black, then the 3 other wires are for the power (you’ll need to connect the switch at this time) you have to connect all 3 wires from the mirror to all 3 wires from the harness, in order to get any response from the switch. Then its trial and error, don’t worry about blowing’ fuses cause if they’re connected wrong, the mirror will just operate backwards. Simply connect till the mirror operates correctly.

If you want the factory heat switch, you’ll need to purchase the heat/AC assembly form DC, as you can’t just buy THE switch (its $153 BTW) so I opted to go another route.

I bought a $2 lighted rocker switch, and installed it directly below the power mirror switch (in the door panel, on the horizontal surface) That’s it, you are done now.

Enjoy !!

PS, this is one of the best mods yet, I did on my truck, I love ’em.
[thanks to Rob Thomas & TDR used with permission]

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