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Old 05-21-2012, 03:47 AM   #1
my2sense
 
Drives: 2007 Red 5dr RS
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DIY: Adding LED turn arrows to side mirrors

Since it's a long weekend in the land of the North, I finally got off my arse and completed another of my project: LED turn arrows in the side mirrors on my 2007 Hatch.

I kind of did things out of order and added the arrows into the mirrors first before even removing the mirror housing from the car! I wasn't sure if I was able to remove the plastic backing and didn't want to take everything out and have to put everything back if I wasn't able to separate the mirror from its plastic backing (step 2).

I apologize for not having all the photos and steps. I wasn't thinking of doing a guide when I started. This is from memory only so use this post as a guide only and not a how-to step-by-step manual...

0) Buy LED arrows from ebay. I bought my amber ones from these guys but you could try the red ones for less than half the price I got them for.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-Amber-14-S...892a3d&vxp=mtr

1) I took out the mirror by pushing on the tilting mirror upwards, pushing on the top of the mirror and pulling on the bottom of the mirror.

IMG_4201-post.jpg

Here's what it side mirror housing looks like without the mirror. The red boxes show where the plastic backing snaps onto the mirror housing.

IMG_4015-post.jpg

2) To separate the mirror from the plastic housing, I followed this youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KM2u...eature=related.

Just like in the video, you only need to heat the plastic edge. I think I went around the edges for about 30 seconds with the heat gun. Be careful you don't do it too long at one spot otherwise the heat will melt the plastic.

IMG_4036-post.jpg

IMG_4058-post.jpg

Success! The back of the driver side mirror had sticky double sided tape on the spot where I wanted the arrow so I had to clean and remove the sticky tape and also part of the brown tape in the middle of the mirror (red box):

IMG_4067-post.jpg

Be careful when you do this. If you scratch the back mirror surface, it will show up in the front. I have a few scratch marks on the front but you can't tell unless you are looking for them.

3) I had to dremel out a small spot on the plastic in order for the led to fit:

IMG_4089-post.jpg

4) Here's what the arrow looks like fitted to the back of the housing:

IMG_4105-post.jpg

5) I then reheated the outside edges of the plastic backing and reinserted the mirror back into the plastic housing. (Sorry no photos)

6) Remove the side door panel by following the these steps:

http://www.yarisworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2305

IMG_4167-post.jpg

7) I then removed the side mirror housing by removing the 3 bolts holding the mirrors to the side of the car and then removed the 3 screws at the bottom of the mirror housing.

8) Separated the mirror cover from the housing by pressing in the tabs within the housing and snaked the LED wires to through the back. Popped the cover back on the housing after.

IMG_4181-post.jpg

9) I then taped and snaked the wires through the part where the power mirror wires goes through the mirror housing:

IMG_4187-post.jpg

Once I got this far, I wasn't sure how to do the wiring. I read the few YW threads on how others wired up their LED covers but thought it required too much work. Being a believer of less is more, I decided to connect the arrows to the side markers instead, which was only a foot or so away.

10) I popped out the side marker by sliding the marker towards the front and then lifting the back part outwards. I then poked a mechanic's wire through the fender's weatherstripping and surprising enough I was able to thread it through to the side marker's opening.

IMG_4189-post.jpg

IMG_4190-post.jpg

11) Pushed the wire into the fender's weatherstripping to hide the wire on the fender side and zip-tied the wire to the outside of rubber boot where the standard speaker/power wires normally goes from the door to the cabin.

IMG_4175-post.jpg

11) Tapped into the 12v wire of the side marker (green wire) and connected to the + of the LED arrow. I grounded the LED arrow's - wire to a bolt on the door.

12) Put everything back and here's what the arrows look like:

Driver:

IMG_4200-post.jpg

Passenger:

IMG_4193-post.jpg

IMG_4194-post.jpg

Notes:
  • It took about 3 hours to complete. Difficulty was easy/moderate. My biggest concern was separating the mirror out of the plastic backing
  • On my car arrow is brighter on the passenger side mirror than the driver's
  • Our mirrors are not as translucent as some other cars. Therefore the arrows are not as bright/visible as I like. I tested the arrows on a spare Ford Explorer side mirror that I had and the arrows were clearly visible even in sunlight.
  • I bought the amber arrows since it fitted our car's yellow turn signals but I wonder if red would be brighter
  • It looks cool at night but they're pretty much invisible during the day
  • Just in case you haven't gotten the point yet, the arrows are not that bright, lol. It looks brighter in the photos than they appear in real life.

[Update May 26: See post #9 for what they look like with the Burco mirrors]

Hope that helps anyone who was thinking of adding LED arrows to their cars. Once again some steps may be missing but it's pretty obvious when you do it.

Oh yeah, a big thanks to all the other DIY's on YW. It would probably take me 3 times as long to figure out how to do anything without those posts.

Last edited by my2sense; 05-27-2012 at 01:20 AM. Reason: Attached photos instead
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Old 05-21-2012, 05:55 AM   #2
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Nice DIY. Thanks
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Old 05-21-2012, 10:18 AM   #3
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Great information!
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Old 05-21-2012, 02:06 PM   #4
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Awesome! Thanks for adding to my to-do list! :0P
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Old 05-21-2012, 02:46 PM   #5
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Nice manual, thank you

My only comment would be - non-protected wire under the fender, such wires also better somehow to be fixed under the fender (may be remove the wheel and plastic protection inside the well cover) to prevent movement/shaking of the wire

Anyways, great job, thank you - will likely try to replicate myself
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Old 05-22-2012, 09:16 AM   #6
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Drives: 2007 Red 5dr RS
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I've ordered a pair of Burco mirrors fro eBay to see if they are more translucent than the OEM ones. If they are then they should allow the LEDs to shine through the glass and be visible during the day. Hopefully should arrive by next week.

BTW, I shined a 2w LED flashlight through the mirror from the back and could hardly see it on the front. I'm surprised that the LEDs even showed up at all! Night brightness is okay but still could be brighter too.

I will update once I put the Burco mirrors in.
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Old 05-22-2012, 09:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by my2sense View Post
I've ordered a pair of Burco mirrors fro eBay to see if they are more translucent than the OEM ones. If they are then they should allow the LEDs to shine through the glass and be visible during the day. Hopefully should arrive by next week.

BTW, I shined a 2w LED flashlight through the mirror from the back and could hardly see it on the front. I'm surprised that the LEDs even showed up at all! Night brightness is okay but still could be brighter too.

I will update once I put the Burco mirrors in.

I have a set of LED mirrors that Garm from MicroImage imported from Thailand to see if they would fit. It turned out that the plastic backing plate is slightly different, so I had to transfer the glass and LEDs over to my OEM backing plates, but the difference in translucence was incredible (and the arrows are very daylight visible).

With The OEM glass if you held it up and looked through it at a light, you could see the bulb, but nothing else. With the ones intended for the LEDs, you could see everything, like you were looking through sunglasses.

Here's the difference with the LEDs shining through:

OEM glass:
OEM Glass.jpg

LED compatible glass:
LED Glass.jpg
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:55 AM   #8
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Nice I got an idea now as to what to do, I can run the wires to the existing wires from the LED in the mirror covers to
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Old 05-26-2012, 11:54 PM   #9
my2sense
 
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Update with Burco mirrors

So the Burco mirrors just arrived. The bad news is that they are about a 1mm smaller all around the perimeter of the glass so they don't go underneath the plastic backing. However, they come with black sticky 3M double-sided tape that seems to do the job. They seem to fit perfectly inside the plastic backing and I didn't even need a heat gun to put them in.

On to the good news. They are way way more translucent than the factory glass. The two photos below should explain why I couldn't see the arrows in the day and only okay at night. I shone a 1W LED flashlight from the back on the glass in a darkened room. Same manual exposure on both photos (ISO400, f/5.6 1/15sec):

Burco glass:
IMG_4219-post.jpg

Factory glass:
IMG_4220-post.jpg
In case you're wondering, the tiny red dot that the arrow is pointing to is the LED trying to shine through.

And here's what they look like in the daylight sun:

Driver side mirror:
IMG_4223-post.jpg

Passenger side mirror:
IMG_4226-post.jpg

Even though the Burco glass were a little smaller, I am still very happy with the result.

Total cost of project:
$16 -> LED Arrows
$16 -> Burco driver side mirror
$20 -> Burco passenger side mirror
--------------------
$52 Total

Satisfaction score:
  • WIth factory glass: 3.5/10 (mainly for night time only since you couldn't see anything during the day)
  • With Burco glass: 9.5/10 (would be 10/10 if the Burco glass was just a tad bigger)
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Old 05-27-2012, 12:14 AM   #10
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Very cool DIY and results!
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Old 05-28-2012, 02:16 AM   #11
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Great DIY!
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