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Swap out manual dimming mirror with an auto dimming version

SportTrac101

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Has anyone tried swapping/replacing a manual dimming center rear view mirror with an auto dimming version?
 
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koda2000

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Has anyone tried swapping/replacing a manual dimming center rear view mirror with an auto dimming version?

I have this mirror in most of my trucks. Along with the Auto Dimming mirror feature it has the Auto Lamp feature. I'd like to install one of these mirrors in my '01 ST, but I would assume that the minimum requirement would power and ground for the mirror to work. Getting the Auto :amp feature would require more I'm sure.

I'd be happy with just having the auto dimming mirror work. If power and ground are needed the wires may already be there under the headliner panel, IDK. Let me know how you make out.
 
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CDW6212R

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Those are low current circuits, and it's been done many times. The wires will have to be added, but it ought to be three only if I recall correctly.

The auto dimming I believe is just a wire which runs to the main light circuit, which uses a super low current to trigger the light relays.

You just need to find the circuit diagrams to help you make the proper connections.

Be sure you get the right mirror though, Ford changed the mounting method in the late 90's. It used to be a set screw that held the mirror on the glass bracket, you will need the style which presses on/down from above, no set screw just a kind of tight spring/clip thing. Mine are a hair loose because they won't get really tight.
 
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koda2000

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The wiring diagram only shows only a few wires related to the automatic mirror...

2 from 2 fuses (hot at all time and a hot in run) a ground and another the appears to come from the backup light circuit that presumably turns off the dimming when you're in reverse. there also a wire that goes to a parking lamp relay.

I tried to copy and paste the PDF file here, but I can't figure out how to do it.
 
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CDW6212R

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I forgot about that reverse sensing wire, that can be skipped or ignored. I think Eric with his 99 Sport with Mounty front end was one of the first to do it here. He was the first to make a big thread about his 302 swap also, boy that's been a long time. I hope he is doing well.
 
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koda2000

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I forgot about that reverse sensing wire, that can be skipped or ignored. I think Eric with his 99 Sport with Mounty front end was one of the first to do it here. He was the first to make a big thread about his 302 swap also, boy that's been a long time. I hope he is doing well.

I assume both power wires must be 12V and I understand the ground wire and reverse wire. I would think the wire that goes to the parking light relay would be for the Auto Lamp feature. Maybe one power wire is for the lights and the other is for the dimmer...?
 
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CDW6212R

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Yes, those are two different circuits. I don't know how many versions there may be of them, but I've liked the one in my 98's the best, which have a sliding adjustment for the light timer.

My 93 Limited had a separate switch on the mirror to turn off the automatic light function, but not control of the time it'd stay on when the key is turned off. I forgot how that was adjusted, but I kept that mirror for my 99(the glass was all broken and the mirror already gone(in JY for a short time)). I prefer the older type that has a set screw to mount the mirror. That one has always stayed tight, the 98 mirrors vibrate a little.
 
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koda2000

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Yes, those are two different circuits. I don't know how many versions there may be of them, but I've liked the one in my 98's the best, which have a sliding adjustment for the light timer.

My 93 Limited had a separate switch on the mirror to turn off the automatic light function, but not control of the time it'd stay on when the key is turned off. I forgot how that was adjusted, but I kept that mirror for my 99(the glass was all broken and the mirror already gone(in JY for a short time)). I prefer the older type that has a set screw to mount the mirror. That one has always stayed tight, the 98 mirrors vibrate a little.

My 2000's/2001 all have the sliding bar light timer adjustment and are the non set-screw type. Maybe something I'll look into installing over the winter when I'm looking for a little project. I wonder if getting the Auto Light to work would just be a simple wire to the right relay?
 
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CDW6212R

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Yes, that's an easy project really. When I was rewiring my 99 using the 93 mirror, I had to locate the main headlight wire at the switch, and found it in the headliner wiring(99 Limited) to tap into. The wire you will need is a small gauge like everything at the switch, and it takes almost no current to trigger the lights through that wire. So any mirror with light controls in it can trigger the lights of the 95+ Explorers.

I love the low current systems, though with lots of relays it's much harder to trace things if you have to.
 
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koda2000

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Yes, that's an easy project really. When I was rewiring my 99 using the 93 mirror, I had to locate the main headlight wire at the switch, and found it in the headliner wiring(99 Limited) to tap into. The wire you will need is a small gauge like everything at the switch, and it takes almost no current to trigger the lights through that wire. So any mirror with light controls in it can trigger the lights of the 95+ Explorers.

I love the low current systems, though with lots of relays it's much harder to trace things if you have to.

When you say low current, I'm thinking you mean low voltage, what you're really saying is low amperage. Yes, relays are great for that purpose.
 
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CDW6212R

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It is all 12 volts, just the PCM runs primarily 5 volts for many things. The relays let the vast majority of the wiring be tiny wires, instead of bigger 12 and 10 gauge wires. OEM's have always kind of gotten away with the smallest gauge they could, which over decades means a lot of wiring is very fragile and more likely to fail from vibrations or basic handling, let alone the current. I think 20 years from now the 1990's Ford dash wiring will be still usable, small and still pliable, but not on the verge of failing at any time. That will also mean that the bigger main feed wires will be the weakest links, plus the relays if they are 40 years old.
 
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