Installing a lighted rearview mirror

SirRobyn0

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Not really a question here, but if you have ever wanted more interior light this could be an option.

I've always thought that the interior lighting was lacking in the square. Pretty much forget about being able to read anything without straining with just the single dome light. So I've had this lighted rearview mirror hanging around from a late 80's GM car. I actually think it might be out of my 1988 Olds Delta 88 I use to own. Anyhow I could never figure out how to run the wiring in a square with no headliner. I tried tucking it into the windshield seal but it didn't want to stay. I'm sure there is something that could be done but i never got around it. Well about a week ago I built a home make version of a shelf-it, out of wood, and wrapped it in carpet. So with that in I knew running the wiring would now be simple.

Below the shelf after installation so you know what I'm talking about
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Below the lighted mirror after wiring it up.
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The wiring for the lighted mirror, I attached to the back part of the shelf. It's just three strands of trailer wiring so it would all stay together neatly.


Finally for the wiring, so the way these mirrors work is one wire goes to + hot all the time, one goes to ground, and the third wire goes to the dome light ground on the headlight switch. So the way that works is the 2 bulbs in the mirror are feed 12 volts all the time, opening the door or turning the knob on the headlight switch completes the ground and turns on the lights. Flipping the switch on either light on the mirror completes the ground for which ever light you choose and turns it on.

The wires that come off the mirror are all black, only the wires on the harness side of the car are color coded, but a few minutes of playing multiple guess with a 9 volt battery and I knew which wires did what.
 

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Grit dog

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Nice work!
FWIW, I put a LED bulb in the dome light on the '86, before I figured out why it was randomly staying on, so it wouldn't get too hot or drain the battery quickly if it come on by itself. The takeaway is that it's VERY bright, if you're still in need of more light.
 

WP29P4A

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We did that on my son's truck, the LED dome light, it was only about 80% brighter. LOL The under dash light makes a big difference too.
 

SirRobyn0

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Nice work!
FWIW, I put a LED bulb in the dome light on the '86, before I figured out why it was randomly staying on, so it wouldn't get too hot or drain the battery quickly if it come on by itself. The takeaway is that it's VERY bright, if you're still in need of more light.
Thanks! I've thought about putting an LED bulb in the dome light. The thing is I'm just not much a fan of aftermarket LED lights in general, and they feel a little out of place in older rigs to me. So I'm holding off on that, unless I decide it's absolutely necessary.

You did give me another idea. My 1996 Grand Cherokee has a BCM that is failing. They are no longer available and I'm not really feeling like spending the money to have it rebuilt yet. So what happens is it'll switch the dome lights on and they will stay on until I pull the BCM fuse to reset it, or the battery is drained. I might just swap those dome bulbs with LED's so it can't drain the battery as fast.
 

WP29P4A

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Not really a question here, but if you have ever wanted more interior light this could be an option.

I've always thought that the interior lighting was lacking in the square. Pretty much forget about being able to read anything without straining with just the single dome light. So I've had this lighted rearview mirror hanging around from a late 80's GM car. I actually think it might be out of my 1988 Olds Delta 88 I use to own. Anyhow I could never figure out how to run the wiring in a square with no headliner. I tried tucking it into the windshield seal but it didn't want to stay. I'm sure there is something that could be done but i never got around it. Well about a week ago I built a home make version of a shelf-it, out of wood, and wrapped it in carpet. So with that in I knew running the wiring would now be simple.

Below the shelf after installation so you know what I'm talking about
You must be registered for see images attach


Below the lighted mirror after wiring it up.
You must be registered for see images attach


Below, the wiring for the lighted mirror, just setting in on the shelf, I did attach it to the back part of the shelf. It's just three strands of trailer wiring so it would all stay together neatly.


Finally for the wiring, so the way these mirrors work is one wire goes to + hot all the time, one goes to ground, and the third wire goes to the dome light ground on the headlight switch. So the way that works is the 2 bulbs in the mirror are feed 12 volts all the time, opening the door or turning the knob on the headlight switch completes the ground and turns on the lights. Flipping the switch on either light on the mirror completes the ground for which ever light you choose and turns it on.

The wires that come off the mirror are all black, only the wires on the harness side of the car are color coded, but a few minutes of playing multiple guess with a 9 volt battery and I knew which wires did what.
Very nice, the lighted mirror is a great idea. You might have started a trend.
 

SirRobyn0

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Very nice, the lighted mirror is a great idea. You might have started a trend.
I hope so. Back in the 90's when I was running around in 80's cars installing a lighted rearview mirror was always one of the first things I'd do. Besides the added light when opening a door or flipping on the dome light, it's great to be able to just flip on one of the map lights when you need to look at something real quick, at a traffic light or whenever and you don't need everything on.
 

WP29P4A

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Thanks! I've thought about putting an LED bulb in the dome light. The thing is I'm just not much a fan of aftermarket LED lights in general, and they feel a little out of place in older rigs to me. So I'm holding off on that, unless I decide it's absolutely necessary.

You did give me another idea. My 1996 Grand Cherokee has a BCM that is failing. They are no longer available and I'm not really feeling like spending the money to have it rebuilt yet. So what happens is it'll switch the dome lights on and they will stay on until I pull the BCM fuse to reset it, or the battery is drained. I might just swap those dome bulbs with LED's so it can't drain the battery as fast.
I bet if you put a LED bulb in your dome light for one month and then swap back to the old dingy yellow dim light you will put the LED back in because of how much nicer everything in the truck looks, except grandma, she still looks old. I didn't say YOUR Grandma. LOL
 

Turbo4whl

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I installed a lighted mirror years ago in my square. You need to make a snake. Drill one hole in the center of double panel. Remove the driver's side visor. You will see the hole in the "A" pillar.

Start the snake in the mirror hole. Push it to the viser hole, when you see the snake, guide it into the A pillar. Keep pushing the snake. Now you are looking for it when it moves down the pillar. There is a hole in the pillar near the top, of the underside, of the dash. When you see the snake, hook it and guide it out of the hole.

Double pull is best. Hook a piece of 16g primary wire to the snake, drag the snake out. Tape the 16g, (keeping the tapping small in diameter) to the mirror wires. Drag them back down to the dash.

Need to how to make a useful snake? Just ask.
 

AuroraGirl

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not the best for the truck but you can tell a lot is illuminated just from that dome light. my park avenue is cheating sincei th as a lot of lights

Late 80s S10/S15s came with lighted mirror

You can also get the auto day/night mirrors with homelink and lights for not too much (plus compass / temp)

keep in mind i spent like 300$ just to have this for tail lights:
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I think the pontiac vibe/saturn vue or another weirder gm in the 2000s had lights too. my old cutlass calais from 88 had one too
 

Turbo4whl

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Old S10 Blazer's came standard with a no frills lighted mirror too.

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SquareRoot

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Thanks! I've thought about putting an LED bulb in the dome light. The thing is I'm just not much a fan of aftermarket LED lights in general, and they feel a little out of place in older rigs to me. So I'm holding off on that, unless I decide it's absolutely necessary.

You did give me another idea. My 1996 Grand Cherokee has a BCM that is failing. They are no longer available and I'm not really feeling like spending the money to have it rebuilt yet. So what happens is it'll switch the dome lights on and they will stay on until I pull the BCM fuse to reset it, or the battery is drained. I might just swap those dome bulbs with LED's so it can't drain the battery as fast.
Why aftermarket? I went to the parts store a few days ago to get a new courtesy light and every led bulb was a Sylvania. Huge difference.
I also did the mirror thing w/o the reading lights. Mine has the compass, auto dimming and temp readout. Its from a 2001 Silverado. I drilled a 1\4" hole above the mirror thru the inner roof skin. Ran the wires thru a piece of vacuum tubing and into the hole. Very simple and clean. Then you run the wires inside the roof and down the A-pillar completely out of sight.
 

SirRobyn0

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I bet if you put a LED bulb in your dome light for one month and then swap back to the old dingy yellow dim light you will put the LED back in because of how much nicer everything in the truck looks, except grandma, she still looks old. I didn't say YOUR Grandma. LOL
LOL, I like the grandma joke! You might be 100% right on that. This is my hang up on LEDs. At the shop I've seen issues with aftermarket LEDs when used like for example in turn signal bulbs, causing cross circuit bleeding. Obviously I know in a dome light it's not going be a problem. I think they look harsh when drop in LED bulbs are put into dash gauge cluster lights, but on factory LED cluster lights they look great. I've also seen some issues with drop in (bulb style) LED headlight bulbs. I just saying all that so you know why I'm not keen on aftermarket LEDs. Besides you really wanna see what Grandma is doing at night in the truck?!?!?
 

AuroraGirl

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and if you can find one this wide then I want one:
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SquareRoot

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This. Don't pay any attention to the magnetic bottle opener I got in Germany last summer. That's another story.
 

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AuroraGirl

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next on his lsit to swap is a factory HUD from a C/G/H car :)
 

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