Here we go again. Since my last attempt at greatness fell flat (wrong size LED tails from Japan) I decided to redeem myself with these nifty blinker mirrors. Got one side painted and ready to go for tomorrow install.
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The covers look good when the car is all worked over...that VIP style image. If the cover gap is filled, it looks If going that route, put LED lights on the bottom of the mirror and in the door handle pulls so that when you unlock the car, they come on to illuminate the exterior in those spots. Should work with the circuit that turns on the interior courtesy lights.
Once I got one of the OEM covers off I noticed the size and shape difference. The replacement covers (pictured on the right) are about .5 inch wider and more "rounded"? Makes sense since there has to be extra room for the light fixtures.
The first obvious step is to disconnect the battery and remove the door panels. This is pretty straight-forward and is covered in other threads. One surprise I will mention is that the panels have an extra "hidden" screw (look under the door handle to the upper right) which nearly caused me to break it off with too much pulling. This photo shows the panel removed and if you look to the right of the tweeter, you see a wad of rubber foam covering the electric clip and the three bolts holding the mirror to the door.
Another obvious tip; once you loosen that last bolt be ready to catch the mirror in case it drops - although I really had to wiggle mine back and forth in order to break free 16 years of grime and dried sealant on the gasket.
Now that you got the original mirror off, find a clean flat surface to work on cause it's surgery time! Before you begin I recommend using some painters tape to cover the mirror glass and the body of the replacement cover. The reason: as soon as you take the OEM mirror apart your hands will be dirty and sticky with sealant and tape residue, grease, grime, etc. I learned this the hard way with the first side and then spent 30 minutes carefully cleaning off the finished mirror which was no longer nicely painted and clean.
Now the part that will make you cringe...popping off the mirror glass. Use your thumbs and with even pressure push the top edges of the mirror all the way in (angled away from you). Next, hold your nerve and with your flathead screwdriver placed roughly in the middle of the bottom edge, pry upward until it pops off the clips. It really was no big deal but in your mind the glass is shattering. Hinge the mirror upward and it will slide out of the upper clips.
Set the glass aside (it will still be attached via the motor wiring) and remove the motor from the housing with four screws while leaving the white plastic backing plate on. Next, flip the mirror over and remove the 3 screws holding the folding mounting bracket to the housing.
Pull the motor and mounting bracket out from the bottom hole of the mirror housing. It looks like it won't go, but it will - just takes some "finessing". You should now have the mirror glass, the motor, and the mounting bracket all strung together by the motor wiring. Are your hands sticky enough yet?