Heated Rearview Mirrors Finished

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Apr 10, 2003
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Chester, NH
I had seen other boards do this for their vehicles, I searched and did not see it done for the bruiser. I was actually quite easy to do - and cheap. If you have some wire, conduit and silicone around you could do it for about $15 US. I did not have any of the ingredients so it cost me about $40 US with spare material.

Supplies:

2 Heating pads.
20 ft of 18 AWG stranded wire.
10 ft 1/4 inch electrical conduit or equivalent.
Mirror mastic or another bonding agent like silicone.

I started by investigating the heating pads. You can get these at any auto glass supplier. The ones you would most likely get are: Heating pads: Burco Redi Heat #3801
(size 3 ¼” x 5 ¾”) Users have reported on getting them as cheap as $8 - but most are paying upwards of $30 US each for them. You can see this on the following thread:
HEATED MIRRORS: Modification & installation - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum

I decided to go a different way. On eBay there is a listing for "HEATED MIRRORS IN YOUR FORD ? _____NOW YOU CAN HAVE IT!"
eBay Motors: HEATED MIRRORS IN YOUR FORD ? _____NOW YOU CAN HAVE IT! (item 130284537662 end time Feb-28-09 06:53:35 PST) ...it is a guy from Poland who is selling these. The best part? $6 US ea plus $3 US shipping. So, for $15 and about a week and a half wait the pads arrived in the mail.

I also ordered the Mirror mastic as I have heard that silicone will blacken mirrors over time - that was just seen on the internets I have not confirmed on my own. Most seem to use silicone for this.
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Joined
Apr 10, 2003
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560
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Chester, NH
Mirror Removal

I started by taking off the passenger side mirror. To do this you tilt the mirror all the way skyward and remove the screw through the hole in the bottom of the mirror. You then push upwards the glass, backing plate and mirror motors until you can pull the unit out. The thread from the FAQ handles this nicely and should be studied before attempting this:

https://forum.ih8mud.com/80-series-tech/83177-shakey-sideview-mirror-fix.html

...the only thing I will add is that I left the mirror motor on the vehicle and removed the pin that holds the mirror and backing plate to the pivot from the back of the motor assembly and separated the mirror and backing plate from the motor leaving the motor behind - still connected electrically to the truck.

Mirror glass removal. I went my own direction on this - and I am glad I did because it was very easy to do the way I did it. I placed the mirror adhered to the backing on top of my space heater for about half an hour while I remove the drivers side mirror. The assembly was warm to the touch when I removed it and the black plastic was very pliable. I simply peeled it back off of the mirror (there is a lip that actually holds the glass in place) until I could see the mounting material and then slipped a plain hack saw blade with with one end taped to protext the mirror from scratches in there and sawed out the foam tape that held it. I then cleaned everything up meticulously. I found "Oops!" did the best job - better than "goo gone." I rubbed until I got a mirror like finish on the back of the mirror.
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Joined
Apr 10, 2003
Messages
560
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Chester, NH
Heating pad added

In order to place the heating pad on I first bent up the tabs to a 90 degree angle from the plain of the heating pad. Pressing it against the back it seemed to align to the two depressions on the backing plate. After some matching up I drilled out the holes as shown in the pic below. I then laid the heating pad on the backing plate with the tabs through the newly drilled holes and placed the mirror on top of it. Through the pivot hole I pushed the heating pad so that it adhered to the mirror (the pad is like a sticker - so I first peeled off the backing material.) This located the pad on the mirror, I then separated the two again and firmly rubbed the pad onto the mirror. Once this was done I put the backing plate back on the space heater to soften it again. I added several blobs of the mirror mastic as described in the instructions and carefully placed the mirror back into the backing plate - double checking that the tabs came through the holes I created for them AND making sure that the pivot was in place. The lip that holds in the mirror works greatly to your advantage here as it holds it in place for the mastic to dry. I then reassembled the mirrors to the mirror motors on the truck.
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Joined
Apr 10, 2003
Messages
560
Location
Chester, NH
Door wiring

Now came the fun part. I removed the panel on the inside of the mirror and then I removed the door panel - essentially three screws in the arm rest, one in the door handle, remove the light and window controls - and then popped out all of the clips. I then put the panel to the side. I also removed the speaker in the door. You do not need to peel back the plastic.

I then unscrewed the three bolts holding the mirror to the door and carefully pulled out the mirror still electrically connected to the electronic mirror controls. I was unable to get the two new wires through Where the standard mirror control wires go - so I drilled a hole right next to it and passed through the wires to the bottom of the mirror (plastic plate had been pried out) from there I put the wired up through the pivot and into the mirror body leaving about 6 inches of wire to spare in there. I then temporarily taped off the wires to the mirror housing. The wires were each about three feet long.

I then added about 20 inches of conduit to the wires hanging out of the mirror assembly and then routed them into the door where the existing wiring went. Now came the fun part...
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Joined
Apr 10, 2003
Messages
560
Location
Chester, NH
Getting the wiring from the door to the cab

This was one of the toughest parts of the job as there is very little room to work and I didn't feel like removing the doors from the truck. The wires that pass from the door to the cab basically consists of the rubber grommet and boots on the door and frame and then the wires passing through them and wrapped in electrical tape. I carefully removed the tape, and used a wire hanger with a tight loop on one end to push through the grommet/boots. This took many tries and in a couple of cases one way was easier than the other - so in some cases I pulled a "dummy" wire through and then tied it to the real wire and pulled it back through. Inside the cab I placed quick connects on the wires so that if the doors ever had to be removed - the wires would not have to be cut. I then wrapped up the harness with electrical tape again.
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Joined
Apr 10, 2003
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560
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Chester, NH
Interior wiring

Please see post #19 for wiring instructions - this did not work out...

With the wires now inside the cab I first needed to determine the way to wire them. My goal was to simply connect them to the existing defrost switch - and that worked out well.

The first thing I determined was if the circuit could handle the new heating elements. The elements have printed right on them - 12Volts 12 Watts. Ohms law says that this equals 1 Amp of current. Next I determined what the defroster was using - I removed the fuse and connected my ammeter to the two sides of the fuse and turned on the defroster. It registered only 2.2 amps - the defroster uses a 20 Amp fuse. Figuring it could easily handle 4.2 amps - the circuit is well suited to this. Now to the defroster switch... After some testing with a volt meter I determined that the defroster element is tied to +12 Volts and turned on and off by grounding it trough the switch. In effect I was going to connect the grounds to the switch and the positive leads to the fused wire from the defroster circuit in the fuse panel. Oddly enough both of the wires I tapped into seemed to be the same color code: blue wire orange stripe. The heating element does not need specific polarity - but I used red and black wires just to keep it straight in my head. The red wire went to the fuse box and the black to the switch. All interior wires were run with conduit and placed away from any moving parts like the steering wheel.

Sorry I didn't get any pics here as it was getting late.
 
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Joined
Apr 10, 2003
Messages
560
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Chester, NH
The rest of the story...

OK, there was a lot more trail and error than I wrote above including stupidly assembling the mirrors to the backing plates without putting the pivot in which meant that they had to be reassembled again. I got them apart again - but on reassembly of the drivers mirror - I put too much stress on it and cracked it. I should have completely started over but instead tried to use the existing mastic which had semi hardened. This was a $30 mistake but the glass shop had one by the end of the day. I also started the wiring assuming that the switch connected the +12 volt line to the defroster circuit and not the ground. I had initially grounded the element inside the door only to find out the it was ground switched and I needed to run both wires all the way. Upon the second time opening up the passenger door I cracked the trim panel - the one that goes opposite of the mirror. I guess that is the price of pioneering.

I also got a few scratches in the passenger side mirror when the electrical tape slipped off the hack saw blade - they are barely visible in the assembled unit.

There is no pics of the completed product because there is quite frankly nothing to see here folks - everything looks the same as before I started. Well except the one piece of cracked plastic trim for the mirror on the passenger side - if anyone has an extra would you help a brother out?

I will also mention that the heating element is about half the area of the mirror and if I were in a much colder climate I would consider mounting two vertically on the mirror instead of one horizontally - two will indeed fit side by side.

I used the defroster circuit because a) it was easy b) it did not take up any extra switch space and c) because it is already on a timer and won't continually heat the elements so there was no burn out or melt issues.

I also tested the elements attached to the mirror surface to see how well they heated up and they got quite warm indeed.

I am sure that this means that there will be no more frost in the North East this year so that I can give it a real test - that is usually how my luck runs :)
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chford

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Jul 29, 2007
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Cincinnati, OH
Let me be the first to congratulate you! That's a fantastic mod and something even a talentless hack like me can do.

I'm interested in the durability in a hot summer though. But you seem to have anticipated that with the use of the Mastic. Looking forward to hearing how it hangs in your first blizzard!

Well done!
 
Joined
Apr 10, 2003
Messages
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Chester, NH
Thanks guys - It has been a goal to add something back to the community (other than silver star) - I have a few more in the works.

Let me be the first to congratulate you! That's a fantastic mod and something even a talentless hack like me can do.

I'm interested in the durability in a hot summer though. But you seem to have anticipated that with the use of the Mastic. Looking forward to hearing how it hangs in your first blizzard!

Well done!
I am not too concerned with the heat of the summer as the mirror is mechanically held in by the backing plate as well as having adhesive on it. The passenger side mirror was held in by foam tape - and the bond was pretty weak. I didn't post the drivers side - it had obviously been replaced at some point more than 7 years ago when I got the cruiser. It had some sort of adhesive on it that was still very sticky even after all of these years. The mirror mastic is also supposed to never completely harden. Should any issue arise I will certainly post back.
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e9999

You want to do what...?
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very nice job! great mod!

Or you could move to So. California...!



On the cutting with the blade bit, though, could try with a very thin metal or nylon wire, or even floss?


And an amazing tribute to globalization. Funny. The polish guy really got a good one going, cuz the postage is probably the same as for a letter.
 

96r50

 
Joined
Feb 25, 2007
Messages
2,817
Damn, beat me to the punch! :flipoff2: Good job, nice install. I did it pretty much the same way, except I took a few more things apart and did most of it inside (it was a lot colder than it looks in your photos). I found that running the mirror glass and plastic assembly under hot water for a minute or two did a really good job of melting the glue and softening the plastic backing.
I am still stuck on the wiring at this point. I have both sets of wires in the cab but I'm waiting for summertime to do the wiring. You know, just when the heated mirrors will be really useful :rolleyes: I plan on wiring the mirrors with a separate switch and using an OEM relay in the fuseblock in the left kick panel to make sure I can't leave these on when the truck is off. I could just wire them to the rear defrost, but mine is really ineffective and takes forever to heat up the rear glass so I don't want the mirrors to stay on with it.
 
Joined
Apr 10, 2003
Messages
560
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Chester, NH
very nice job! great mod!

Or you could move to So. California...!



On the cutting with the blade bit, though, could try with a very thin metal or nylon wire, or even floss?


And an amazing tribute to globalization. Funny. The polish guy really got a good one going, cuz the postage is probably the same as for a letter.

The wire for cutting is a good idea - I would try that first next time.


Damn, beat me to the punch! :flipoff2: Good job, nice install. I did it pretty much the same way, except I took a few more things apart and did most of it inside (it was a lot colder than it looks in your photos). I found that running the mirror glass and plastic assembly under hot water for a minute or two did a really good job of melting the glue and softening the plastic backing.
I am still stuck on the wiring at this point. I have both sets of wires in the cab but I'm waiting for summertime to do the wiring. You know, just when the heated mirrors will be really useful :rolleyes: I plan on wiring the mirrors with a separate switch and using an OEM relay in the fuseblock in the left kick panel to make sure I can't leave these on when the truck is off. I could just wire them to the rear defrost, but mine is really ineffective and takes forever to heat up the rear glass so I don't want the mirrors to stay on with it.
Burco makes a harness for adding heated mirrors that includes a timer circuit. It might be a good move if you are going to run this on a different switch. Unfortunately it is a little costly at something like $60 US. The OEM relay is a good idea and something I was considering if the defroster circuit would not be sufficient to power them. I was figuring I would try to use a critical relay so that I could use it as a spare in a pinch. ...and yeah - it got warm around here recently - it is a balmy 28-34 degrees F, almost shorts season here in New England.
 

96r50

 
Joined
Feb 25, 2007
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I liked the idea of the Burco harness (from the FJC forum) but $69 is a bit much for me to spend on wires and a timer. I looked for a low amperage 12VDC timer with no luck, so I figure a separate switch and relay will work well. I have a Tacoma rear defrost switch (vertical slot vs the 80's horizontal) and putting it over on the left side of the wheel. The switch has a light so I'll notice if it's on too long, and the relay should keep me from killing the battery.
 
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Pennsyltucky
This is a really cool mod. It may have to go on my list as well. I've gotten used to the heated mirrors on the VW and miss having dry, clear mirrors on the cruiser. Nice work!
 
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Update 1

A sent a quick note to the person who sold me the mirror heating pads telling him of this thread. He replied:

"Very nice manual. I will give you or your forum community 30% discount for my mats."

...so mention ih8mud and you could do this for under $12 US now. :)
 

concretejungle

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Oct 27, 2003
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this is a great upgrade!! I always wondered why the cruisers didn't have this option standard. My Isuzu trooper had heated mirrors and i used them regularly in the winter.
 
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I am still stuck on the wiring at this point. I have both sets of wires in the cab but I'm waiting for summertime to do the wiring. You know, just when the heated mirrors will be really useful :rolleyes: I plan on wiring the mirrors with a separate switch and using an OEM relay in the fuseblock in the left kick panel to make sure I can't leave these on when the truck is off. I could just wire them to the rear defrost, but mine is really ineffective and takes forever to heat up the rear glass so I don't want the mirrors to stay on with it.
FWIW, my 100 series (and my wife's BMW and my daughter's Mini) all have the mirrors wired to the rear defrost. I don't think it would hurt a thing to have the mirrors on longer than necessary....unless you just can't live without one more switch!

Great write-up! Very easy to follow.
 
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Update 2

Warning: The wiring that I did in post #6 caused serious battery drain - follow these directions instead...

So I did what I should have done in the first place and downloaded the EWD. The connection points I used were pre-relay and not wires to the rear defroster element. Even though I tested for current drain - I now believe that some current was getting through the illumination circuit as a result of the connections I made.

So... In the EWD it showed that the relay for the defroster was in the left kick panel. In the schematic - I can see I need to tap off of pin 2 from the defroster relay to make this work. This is a blue wire with a yellow stripe. The ground then can simply be grounded to the body (and possibly inside the door if one so desired - but I would double check the doors ground itself with an ohmmeter if I were to do this)

In a sense - this makes things a little easier as the dashboard does not have to be dismantled to get to the defroster switch anymore.
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96r50

 
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Feb 25, 2007
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How hard was it to get in behind Relay Block #1? I am looking at using the empty relay socket on the bottom right for the heater elements (I already have a relay that fits it). It's still too cold to be pulling on wires and plastic connectors though.
 
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