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Old 02-01-2019, 12:39 PM   #1
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Manual to Power mirror swap...

Hi!

After lurking for a while I have finally decided to use the forum and ask a few questions... and I presume there is no obvious answer for my specific case-

Long story trying to keep it short: Uncle bought a 1997 Quigley E250 (Cargo RB) way back in 2000. I've only heard bits and pieces of the story, sounds like he bought two Quigleys, sold one of them for the amount he paid for both of them. He ended up finding a severely rolled EB passenger van and refitted the interior to have more "creature comforts" than a cargo van. He passed in '05, and my dad acquired the van from his estate. Currently it is what I use for transportation between SF California and Bozeman MT for university. (The mirrors are ridiculously stiff/hard to adjust in CA. Forget about adjusting them in Montana... I want mirrors that I can fold in and pop out without having to re-zero and fuss about with. If I can have power mirrors, even better.)

As it sits, the van seems to have (working) every power option, except for power mirrors (Drivers door only has windows/lock function, no switch for mirror controls)

I've had both driver and passenger door interior panels off when replacing the OEM speakers (They had disintegrated to dust over the last 22 years), and noticed there was an unused 6-plug adapter on the wiring harness that goes to the control switches on the drivers door... I'm getting a suspicious feeling the only 6 plug connector on a harness that goes to driver controls could only be for power mirrors.

I've seen a few videos here and there about how to install 4-bolt mirrors onto 3-bolt vans (Basically saw off the unnecessary bolt), but nobody has ever showed the wiring for these mirrors.

If anybody has done a manual-to-power mirror conversion, would they be willing to confirm or deny if it was a "plug & play", even if the van came with manual mirrors from the factory?

I have seen mirrors for $200 and the drivers control switches for ~$40-50, but both usually have the wires cut off of them (Because leaving the connectors on would make my life too easy.....).

Any suggestions on where to source parts for power mirrors? Or just go with manual towing mirrors and avoid wiring issues?

Thanks for any help, and apologies for a long-winded question.
-Erik
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Old 02-01-2019, 01:01 PM   #2
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The power mirror switch is 8-pin.

There should also be a 3-pin connector for the mirror head. If those connectors are in the door, you should be good to go. It seems like all XLT vans were pre-wired. Other trims, it was hit and miss.

New switch at Napa is like $12, so don't over pay for a used one. The cover plate will be the same from '97-'08, and most wrecking yards probably wouldn't even charge you for that piece.
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Old 02-01-2019, 01:19 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by carringb View Post
The power mirror switch is 8-pin.

There should also be a 3-pin connector for the mirror head. If those connectors are in the door, you should be good to go. It seems like all XLT vans were pre-wired. Other trims, it was hit and miss.

New switch at Napa is like $12, so don't over pay for a used one. The cover plate will be the same from '97-'08, and most wrecking yards probably wouldn't even charge you for that piece.
Maybe it was an 8 pin connector... All I remember is it was a 2-wide, 3 or 4 pin long connector that was battleship grey. It's been a year since I did the speaker swap, and foolish me didn't take pictures of the interior of the door. I might have enough time here Saturday morning to rip the door apart again before it starts to snow all of Sunday.

Not sure if it's XL or XLT. If I had to bet, I'd probably sooner go with the former than the latter, but I'll grab the VIN on the way to my next class. My bet is the VIN says E24 (Regular E-series 250 cargo van) on it, I'd be surprised if it said S24 (SuperDuty E-series 250 cargo van).

I'll try to have a look at it between classes today. Any easy way to tell XL from XLT? Gut is telling me the info card on the door is probably where it would say. Window sticker is long gone, VIN decoder looks like it will only tell me if it's an E-series, what model of E series, and whether it was a "SuperDuty" or not.
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Old 02-02-2019, 04:59 AM   #4
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If you have photos of the suspect connectors that would be extremely helpful. An image of the drivers door hand-hold mounted control switch panel would be very helpful too.

The in-door connectors should be brown or grey, two rows of three metal terminals in each. If they're present and unused its a high probability wiring was added at the factory which would be a bonus HOWEVER that wiring may not be instantly compatible with the 2003 and later power mirrors, towing or those awful "dual element" versions. (Fortunately those were replaced in 2007 with a much better rear view mirror piece.

Adding the 4 stud versions to doors prior to 2003 is a bit more complicated than simply sawing off one of the mirror base studs. The three and four stud versions have slightly different mounting hole locations so that has to be addressed. I did this and didn't find it all that easy as some suggest it is---and I consider myself fairly handy with tools.

The electrical schematic is fairly simple and straight forward---see if you can obtain one if you're considering this sort of upfit. You'd need to locate on for your particular year---they do change from year-to-year.

HTH
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Old 02-02-2019, 11:53 AM   #5
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If you have photos of the suspect connectors that would be extremely helpful. An image of the drivers door hand-hold mounted control switch panel would be very helpful too.

The in-door connectors should be brown or grey, two rows of three metal terminals in each. If they're present and unused its a high probability wiring was added at the factory which would be a bonus HOWEVER that wiring may not be instantly compatible with the 2003 and later power mirrors, towing or those awful "dual element" versions. (Fortunately those were replaced in 2007 with a much better rear view mirror piece.

Adding the 4 stud versions to doors prior to 2003 is a bit more complicated than simply sawing off one of the mirror base studs. The three and four stud versions have slightly different mounting hole locations so that has to be addressed. I did this and didn't find it all that easy as some suggest it is---and I consider myself fairly handy with tools.

The electrical schematic is fairly simple and straight forward---see if you can obtain one if you're considering this sort of upfit. You'd need to locate on for your particular year---they do change from year-to-year.

HTH
Just went out and grabbed a couple of photos... 8-pin connector (2x4). With the way Ford (Or more probably my uncle) wrapped the wires up so they wouldn't get snagged/damaged, it's pretty hard to see which colors are going into the connector.

I had a long winded backstory of the van, but the short version is that: I know this van is a '97 cargo E-250. It had (as I understand) a minor engine or electrical fire. Somehow my uncle acquired it before it went to the insurance company, van has a clean title. I know that it had basically a new interior swapped or hand fitted to the interior (EB passenger interiors don't play nicely with RB vans, but the doors, dash, etc, were swapped). Everything electrical works. a spare 5.4L block with fire damage is still in my uncle's workshop. Pretty sure motor, maybe trans, and a lot of electrical also came from this donor van. Donor van is long gone, it was described to me only as a severely rolled van with assorted gruesome details.

The inconsistencies begin with: If the donor van had power mirrors and my uncle was smart enough to swap all of the other electrical wiring, why he would have not sourced power mirrors at the time (Particularly since he was savvy with electronics)? Further inconsistencies include (rear) interior panels that have small "10/96" stickers on them, which match date of production of this van (10/96, MY '97).

I don't know the specific history of the van. The van is older than I am (20), all the people who know the history of the van have to try and recall back 15-20 years, and those memories aren't very specific or helpful in this context.

The van came with two manuals for 2001 wiring diagrams. I'm just going to go out on a limb and say that the donor EB van was 2001, and presuming the electronics were swapped, the electronics in the van should be for an '01. Haven't seen anything to tell me otherwise, hopefully they weren't vastly different.




As I have written this post I've looked at the wiring diagrams and the photos I have.. Diagram says that "Exterior Rear View Mirror Switch" has OG/LG (Battery), -- -- (Not used), DG (Right L/R control), RD (Left L/R Control), BK (Ground), YE (Left/right selector), DB (Left up/down control) and VT (right up/down control).

In picture are 6 wires, all but Violet. Not pictured (but remember seeing) was a violet wire going into this connector as well.

Unfamiliar with posting images here, will make an album on Imgur and link below:
https://imgur.com/a/cQUTzJk (Album is listed as "hidden", hopefully can still be accessed by direct link...)

--
Yes: When taking the door panels off the first time, I snapped the little flimsy clip that holds the driver controls into the door. Yes, that is a sawed up painters stick with some epoxy. It works better than OEM.

The purple decals..... That's a long story, cut short they are courtesy of my mom. I've wanted to remove them since before I got my drivers licence.

--

Also noticed the page before "Power Mirrors" in the wiring diagram... Power seats! I guess I'll add that one to the list for next summer.

Sorry for the long post!
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Old 02-02-2019, 01:31 PM   #6
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That is the mirror control connector in your pic. Also, the rear trim panels do look like XLT trim panels, so you probably have all the wiring in place. If the donor van was badly damaged, the mirrors probably were too.
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Old 02-02-2019, 02:18 PM   #7
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That is the mirror control connector in your pic. Also, the rear trim panels do look like XLT trim panels, so you probably have all the wiring in place. If the donor van was badly damaged, the mirrors probably were too.
So.... slowly piecing this together. Planning to rip both doors apart when the weather gets nicer to ensure needed plugs are where I think they are supposed to be.

I've found thankfully two videos on YouTube that seem to be reasonably helpful.



I'm assuming that the grey 8-pin plug plugs directly into the mirror controls (I thought I would have to find a connector between that plug and the mirror controls).
I am assuming that all years of Econolines with power mirrors have 6-pin plugs that go down the door and attach near the hinges. I never thought to look there when I had the doors apart for the speakers.


Re-watching the 4-stud mirrors onto a 3-stud door, I agree it is more involved than I thought it was. Looks like that guy had two studs that lined up and drilled two more holes so the other studs would line up. Seems like that might not be too bad, having four points of connection rather than three.

If JWA comes back, perhaps he can say if the process he went through was similar.

Parts list so far seems like it would be mirrors ($150-200) and a switch ($20?), unless I need to source wiring for it.
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Old 02-02-2019, 02:31 PM   #8
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The connector plugs directly into the switch, which will snap into the new switch cover plate (shared with windows and locks switches).

The newer mirrors do have a 6-pin connector, but only 3-pins are used. Your existing wiring should have 3-pin connectors. Probably taped up to the speaker wires. The pigtail is short, so it may be tucked in behind the sheetmetal. You'll have to unpin one of the connectors to match them up, or built an adapter harness.
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Old 03-22-2019, 11:13 AM   #9
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Hate to bring this thread back from the dead so quickly..

Quote:
Originally Posted by carringb View Post
The connector plugs directly into the switch, which will snap into the new switch cover plate (shared with windows and locks switches).

The newer mirrors do have a 6-pin connector, but only 3-pins are used. Your existing wiring should have 3-pin connectors. Probably taped up to the speaker wires. The pigtail is short, so it may be tucked in behind the sheetmetal. You'll have to unpin one of the connectors to match them up, or built an adapter harness.
Everything is exactly how you said, i just had two quick questions that I was hoping someone might be able to elaborate on.

Regarding the connectors, I was thinking about just cutting both the 6 and 3 pin plugs off and using wire nuts to hold things together (I don't really intend on removing the mirrors any time soon), unless someone knew the part number for the mirror 3-slot connector. I've looked a little bit, but haven't found anything obvious.

Looking at the mirrors I realize both the top and the bottom studs will line up, but a lot of the studs coming off the mirror don't appear to be perfectly round.. I'm thinking that a good way to get these holes in exactly the right spot is to take a piece of printer paper and make a template (Cut some holes for the studs, make sure that the paper slides onto the mirror like the mirror would slide onto the door, then just color in the areas on the door i need to remove).

Does anyone else have other/better ideas for getting these holes in the right spot? I presume that if the top and bottom studs line up well the mirror will fit nice and flush with the door where it is supposed to sit, whereas the two studs in the middle of the door probably don't have to be perfectly drilled so long as you can put bolts on the other side to help fix the mirror to the door?

--I decided trying to fit these mirrors in the university parking lot was probably a bad idea (Drop a screw or loose part, never find it again)... I'll be home (Bay Area CA) in about a month, just trying to collect some extra data before I get home so it's a hopefully simple and painless install.



Thank you for your help
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Old 03-23-2019, 10:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Offroading_is_Fun View Post

If JWA comes back, perhaps he can say if the process he went through was similar.
The second video you posted shows a great way to locate and drill the needed extra holes. Do be advised the extendable towing mirrors MIGHT have the stud bosses in the mirror base slightly offset from the stud's longitudinal axis which means simply drilling a hole through the door shell won't necessarily allow the new mirror base to properly set flush against the door shell.

If that's the case the step drill could be used to enlarge the stud hole only on the outside enough so that stud boss will fit against the door. I can't tell from the video if the studs and bosses are perfectly aligned so that part you'll have to discover while in-process.

I made thin cardboard templates from my "new" 4 stud mirror base gaskets and experimented with getting the outside holes large enough so it would fit flush against the mirror base simulating how the base would fit against the door shell. The outside holes must simply allow the mirror base to fit against the door so you can achieve the best clamping force needed.

The idea of using printer paper for a drilling guide is great especially if that's most understandable to you. My method worked "perfectly" only because it was how I thought it would work best. Not sure the finished results would agree but since everything was covered up (and this was over 10 years ago) it worked well enough.

Not sure that's as much help as wanted but feel free to post again if something needs further explanation.

Oh BTW----when working to remove/install these mirrors simply roll the window down, eliminate the need for extra hands.

HTH
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