• 2019

A Reflection on Mirrors


When driving through tight places, one component might be the most vulnerable. And that’s the exterior side-view mirror, especially the one on the driver’s side. When pulling out of the garage, the garage doorjamb can be a real obstacle for both sides of the truck. The drive-up window, and the ATM machine, are also natural enemies of the driver side mirror. Let’s face it, mirrors get banged up. The glass can be broken, or, in the worst cases, the whole mirror assembly is damaged and must be replaced.

Ram Pickup Body Styles

Over the last 20 years or so, there have only been two different body styles for the Ram 1500 pickup truck. The DR body style was built from 2002 to 2008. That truck had its own style of outside rearview mirrors (see Figure 1). The DS body style has been built since 2009 (see Figure 2). This newer body style has a larger mirror than the previous generation. Let’s review replacing the mirror glass and mirror for each of these body styles.

Figure 1 – DR Mirror

Figure 2 – DS Mirror

DR Ram 1500 Pickup

Any mirror maintenance is more easily done with the mirror off the truck and on the workbench. Thankfully, the DR mirror is easily removed. First, partially remove the door trim panel to gain access to the mirror. Then, disconnect the wire harness connector, and remove the three nuts that secure the mirror in place. Carefully separate the mirror from the door.

There are three styles of glass for this mirror: the standard mirror, the tow package mirror for trucks built before 4/16/07 and the tow package mirror for trucks built after 4/16/07. For trucks built before 4/16/07, the major difference between the two styles is that the tow package mirror has a small convex mirror insert to view a trailer hooked up to the truck. Disengage the housing retainer clips and remove the cover. Disengage the lower clip from the motor, then slide the mirror glass upward and remove the glass from the motor.

Note: When disconnecting the wire harness connectors from the heated mirror glass terminals, note the location of each connector and its respective terminal for installation reference.

For trucks built after 4/16/07, a locking tab was added to the plastic backing on the mirror glass. To remove the mirror glass, tilt the mirror inboard. From the outboard side of the mirror, slide a flat blade screwdriver (3), or trim stick, behind the mirror glass (1) and depress the locking tab (2). This is shown in Figure 3. While depressing the tab, slide the mirror glass toward the inboard side of the mirror housing and off the housing adapter attaching points.

Figure 3 – Pressing The Tab On The DR Mirror

To install the standard mirror, connect the wire harness connectors to the heated glass mirror terminals, if equipped. Position the mirror glass so that the four alignment holes are over the 4 feet of the mirror motor. Engage the upper retainer clip to the top of the mirror motor and slide the mirror glass downward until the lower clip is fully engaged. Position the mirror housing onto the mirror and fully engage the retainer clips.

To install the tow package mirror, connect the heated mirror glass electrical connector to its respective terminals. Install the mirror glass onto the motor. Apply pressure equally over the center portion of the mirror glass to fully engage the retainer clip.

Finally, position the mirror on the door. Install the three nuts that secure the mirror to the door and tighten the nuts to 60 in.-lbs. Connect the wire harness to the mirror, then install the door trim panel.

DS Ram 1500 Pickup

Removing the mirror from the DS Ram pickup is done in the same manner as the earlier Ram trucks; however, instead of disconnecting the wire harness connector, the harness needs to be disconnected from the door module (the door module was new on the DS body). As was the case with the DR truck, three nuts secure the mirror to the door that must be removed.

There are two styles of mirrors on the DS Ram truck: (1) standard mirror, which is 1 piece of glass, and (2) a 2-piece mirror in which the smaller, outside mirror is a blind spot mirror (see Figure 4). To remove the standard mirror glass, move the glass to the full down position. Firmly grasp the mirror at the top and pull it out to separate the upper mounting clips. Separate the lower hinge type clips and remove the glass assembly. Disconnect the electrical connectors, if equipped.

Figure 4 – Blindspot Mirror

With the 2-piece mirror, remove the blind spot mirror (or spotter mirror) by moving the blind spot mirror glass fully outward and the main mirror glass fully inward. Then, firmly and carefully grasp the blind spot mirror and pull it at an angle to release the mounting clips.

Using a trim stick, carefully pry up on the main mirror glass from the bottom to release the glass from the actuator. Remove the glass from the actuator and disconnect the electrical connectors.

To install the standard mirror glass, position it into the housing and seat the lower hinge-type clips fully. Push the top of the glass back into the housing and seat the mounting clips fully.

The blind spot mirror is installed just as easily. Position and align the glass to the actuator tabs. Push the glass back into the housing and fully seat the clips. Verify operation of the mirror.

To install the main mirror glass on the 2-piece mirror, connect the electrical connectors, and then position the glass onto the actuator. Position the four glass tabs over the four tabs on the actuator. Using a trim stick, gently pry down on the mirror glass and seat the glass fully onto the actuator. Verify the operation of the mirror.

To install the mirror back on the truck, fit the wire harness, if equipped, through the door. Position the mirror on the door. Install the three nuts that secure the mirror to the door and tighten the nuts to 60 in.-lbs. If equipped, connect the wire harness to the door module. Install the door trim panel to finish the job.

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