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Old 12-28-2006, 11:52 AM
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Tow mirror mod...

Has anyone ever modified an OEM non-heated, non-lighted tow mirror with a heat source and extra light? The heated and lighted mirrors are not cheap, and I can't justify that level of expense, but am willing to make some customized changes to get eh same bennies a whole lot cheaper. I'm sure that the light thing can be done, but not sure about the heating for the glass.
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Old 12-28-2006, 12:14 PM
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where can you find the OEM mirrors with heaters and lights?
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Old 12-28-2006, 12:23 PM
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http://www.innerauto.com/store/buy.p...y=1&make_code=

$122 each side, and this doesn't include switches for the cab.
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Old 12-28-2006, 03:09 PM
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ryanerek2 has a nice set-up as far as the lights, this is what I'm going to do.
http://rides.webshots.com/album/549277016GSfxqP

Here is the link for the lights:
http://www.jcwhitney.com/autoparts/...&searchbtn.y=18
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Old 12-28-2006, 04:12 PM
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That's a really good light option, Rampage. now, all we need to do is find a good way to install a defrosting heat element to the existing glass. I found this company that sells most of what we would want, but I'm not sure if we could make it work or not.
http://www.muthco.com/products/kits/220-0042.htm

Only problem is that it looks like the total installed cost is higher than purchasing replacement mirrors.
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Old 12-28-2006, 04:21 PM
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Hey didnt empiretc add the late model mirrors with lights and heater to his truck a few months ago
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Old 12-28-2006, 04:24 PM
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He did... however, I'm trying to keep the total install for both sides at less than $100. I've found the mirrors for $100-120 each, but really can't spend that much.
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Old 12-28-2006, 04:30 PM
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I have been wanting to swap my mirrors but have found way to many other things to put on the list in front of them.
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Old 12-28-2006, 04:35 PM
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That's exactly where I am, too. The light link from Rampage_350 is a good lead on the flasher option, though. There might also be an option for getting just the heated glass replacement, because I've seen several sites that appear to sell just the glass. I assume that the heat strip comes attached to those replacement pieces, but am not sure. I think the glass components were running around 30-40 bucks each.
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Old 12-28-2006, 07:09 PM
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Those lights are a great alternative and also come with a flashing option so they can be used as a turn. The heated mirrors will run more.
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Old 12-28-2006, 07:15 PM
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The add a lite that ryan has is SICK! I want it now, that is way cooler than the stockers and it flashes.
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Old 12-28-2006, 07:56 PM
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Hey Guys,

Like mentioned, I added those lights to my mirrors for the same reason... didn't want to spend $300+ for new mirrors when my existing ones were in perfect shape.

I don't think the link posted earlier worked, so here's the correct link for the lights for anyone who's interested:
http://www.jcwhitney.com/autoparts/S...searchbtn.y=18

These lights actually don't blink unless you set them up that way. They're just ON or OFF. On my truck, they're wired to come on w/ the parking lights, and then I've also got them setup on a circuit with my dually fender lights, to blink on and off w/ the blinkers, and then remain on w/ the parking lights (or off if my lights are off) when I turn the blinker back off. If you want them to serve as both parking lights AND as turn signals, you have to wire them up like I did, using a $12 converter unit:
http://www.jcwhitney.com/autoparts/P...iler+converter
The reason for the converter unit is that these lights are just like dually fender lights or cab lights: they're just a single brightness, On or Off. The front turn signals and tails on our trucks have one brightness for parking lights, and then get brighter for turn signals. The converter converts the dual signals of parking lights and blinkers into one that can be used by the on/off style lights on the mirrors. When your parking lights are Off, and you put the blinker on, the mirror lights blink on/off in phase or in synch with the stock turn signals. Then, when your parking lights are ON and you put the blinker on, the mirror lights blink out of phase, or opposite of, the stock turn signals. I like them that way, myself, as it looks pretty cool and unique. The newer mirrors have one small light for the marker, and then a separate light that comes on as the blinker, so it doesn't have this issue of dual-functionality in a single-function light. Just a heads up....

My favorite thing about these lights is how visible they are compared to the built-in lights in the newer mirrors. They're about twice as tall, wider, and brighter (maybe the individual LEDs are larger?). They also can be seen from directly in front of the truck, from directly behind, and from anywhere in between, whereas it seems the Ford ones are tough to see from behind the truck. Here are a couple pics to show what I mean:
http://rides.webshots.com/photo/2797...86590301OAtYXc
http://rides.webshots.com/photo/2101...86590301aZOEhm
http://rides.webshots.com/photo/2480...86590301CkFCZa

Anyway, I'm real happy with these lights. They work very well for how cheap they are ($34 for the pair, and another $12 for the converter unit to use them as blinkers and markers). One minor downside is they're not quite as clean a look in the day light as the Ford lighted mirrors, of course:
http://rides.webshots.com/photo/2507...86590301Rhdbtz
http://rides.webshots.com/photo/2031...86590301CMSUQB
But they still look fine, to me.

Another downside is there is quite a bit of work and wiring involved to get them setup how I have them. You have to remove the mirrors and fish wiring through the door as you would if you were switching to the newer mirrors, but for these lights you also have to disassemble the mirror partly, so that you can route the wire through the mirror body and telescoping arm. I drilled a tiny hole under the light for the wire to pass into the mirror (so of course the hole is covered by the light). Wiring up the converter unit to utilize the lights as turn signals requires running wires from the front turn signals and tail lights to the unit, and then from the unit to the mirror lights (and whatever else you choose to operate on that circuit, such as dually fender lights... mine serve as parking lights and blinkers, just as the mirror lights).

Whew! Anyway, hope that helps a few folks out. If anyone has any questions or is looking for more details/photos/whatever, just let me know. I'd like to see pics of anyone else's setup if they choose to set these lights up on their trucks, too.

Also, the original credit for this goes to a guy named Dan Dunn, from TDS - I first saw this setup on his truck, and he was immensley helpful to me in figuring these out for my own truck.
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Old 12-28-2006, 08:24 PM
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Thanks Ryan....... got a set on the way.
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Old 12-28-2006, 09:30 PM
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Awesome.

Last edited by ryaneverk2; 12-28-2006 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 12-28-2006, 10:38 PM
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my hat's off to you Ryan.
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