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Dodge second generation flip-out tow mirror upgrade

Article and photos courtesy of Bob Frobose, AKA "RJF's Red Cummins"


If you are like me, you have been frustrated with the stock plastic round powered mirrors found on most of the later Dodge Ram trucks (1998-2002) when ever going over your pre trip routine before heading down the road. They just don't reach out far enough to see around those wide, long trailers. After coming to the conclusion that the round powered mirrors just weren't going to safely cut it I looked into my options. They included the cheesy plastic slip on extensions that vibrate and fall off Next, there are various aftermarket mirrors available. None of them tickled my fancy though, they were either too skinny and not tall enough to provide an adequate view from the road to the top of the trailer, or they just plain looked out of place for the truck. Many of the aftermarket mirrors were out of my price range anyway. The option I found most pleasing was the factory Dodge flip out towing mirrors that were available, but rarely chosen from the factory since they are non power on our 98-02 trucks.

You have two options, new or used. I called around to many wrecking yards looking for these mirrors used to save money. The people that actually knew what mirror I was talking about didn't have a pair and hardly did. The Mopar part number for these mirrors is 82206157

If you find them used I STRONGLY recommend you are able to see them still on the truck and able to request all the parts required for the swap, not just the mirrors themselves. Or, better yet be able to disassemble them yourself. You need the mirrors, backing plate that sandwiches the door between the mirror and supporting bracket, power mirror switch plug, all nut fasteners, and you will need to take a trip to your local dealer to pick up the one way push in plastic fasteners that hold the door panel in place.

I recommend just buying the whole mirror kit brand new. I found brand new flip out mirror kits on Ebay from Mechanicsville Dodge in Mechanicsville, VA. I received the whole kit brand new for $209 to my door. Shop around a little, I checked my local dealership and they quoted me $500 for the mirrors. You will receive the mirrors, supporting backing plate, required hardware, power mirror switch plug, instructions, and one way plastic fasteners, pictured below.

New flip out mirror kit from Ebay Flip out mirror kit contents

First thing to do is remove three screws on your door panel on the driver side. Two are in the arm rest and one is located near the power mirror switch. Gently pull on the top front corner of the door panel, you will feel the yellow plastic fasteners popping out. You only need about 6" of clearance between the panel and door, so don't pull the panel back too far. Remove the factory foam out of the way so you can access the wires and stud fasteners.

Door panel removed Factory foam removed

Next follow the wire loom that goes from the mirror to the first plug, carefully pull the plug off its
fastener and unplug it. Return the female end back on the fastener, don't let it hang loose otherwise it could cause a rattle. With a 10mm 3/8 ratchet and short 1 extension, remove the mirror stud fasteners. (note: I found my driver side to be a little loose as I removed the nut fasteners.) The mirror should slide out of the door with the wire loom sliding through a rubber grommet, now work the grommet out of the sheet metal and discard of the old mirror and small
grommet. (Note: this and everything else from here is easier with the window down.)

Mirror plug removed from wire loom

Now before you try and install the new mirror make sure you have everything in place if you are working alone. You will need the driver side supporting backing plate and the three stud fasteners supplied in the kit. I set everything on my floorboard so it was in reach. Now slide the mirror into the door, give it a good push because the studs get tight. With the other hand slide your bracket on to the studs, let go when secure, and start the stud fasteners. DON'T drop your
fasteners like I did, I had to get a magnet tool out to find it in the door.

Driver side supporting backing plate

Tighten the three stud fasteners up using a torque wrench. They need to be torqued to 40 lbs and start with the top fastener, followed by the front, and then the rear. Tighten these up sequentially to keep adequate pressure on all three studs. (note: I used thread locker on the fasteners, you don't have to but I felt better using it) Once you get your mirror torqued you then need to remove the factory power mirror joy stick type switch. I also thought Ill just leave it there but the rear stud doesn't clear the round cylinder shaped switch.

Factory power mirror joy stick switch removed

Tug on the switch toggle and it should slide off. Now unscrew the ring fastener and unplug it from the door wiring harness. The replacement plug for this newly found hole is included in the kit. It comes gray and you requires paint to match the interior. Once painted and dry, just snap it in place.

Switch toggle removed Replacement plug installed

You now have the more difficult side nearly complete. I recommend leaving the door panel still open while you repeat the procedure on the passenger side In case you missed anything and can still go back and do it.

Half done....

Drivers side mirror installed Comparison of new and old mirrors

After you've finished torqueing the passenger side mirror all that is left is sealing the door panels
back up. Remove the bright yellow one way plastic fasteners that you pulled out, there should be two on each side that need replacing. Slide the new ones in place, line them up to the holes they go in, and push firmly to make sure the door panel gets seated in tight. Reinstall your three screws on each side.

Here are a few before and after pictures of the mirrors. Even with the new mirrors not flipped out, they provide a superior over the small powered mirrors. With them folded out I can now see all the way down the side of my trailer no problem.

Old mirror New mirror New mirror in tow position

I am very happy with these mirrors. They seem well made and work well. I also really like the way they look too, their squarish form and sheer mass really make the truck look more like a big diesel pickup than a half ton.

New mirrors installed New mirrors in tow position

Tools that are required: #2 phillips screw driver, 10mm socket (some models use an 8mm fastener), 3/8 ratchet, 1 3/8 extension, and torque wrench.

Source

Mecbanicsville Dodge
Mechanicsville, VA

Phone: 1-800-559-6698

E-Mail: Keith@pageauto.com

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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