Gen II Volvo Mirror Replacement/Upgrade

Gen II Volvo Mirror Replacement/Upgrade

8/1/2015

Nuke-E wanted to replace the mirrors for his Gen II Volvo.  He wound up replacing the style of his mirrors.

I thought I'd post this info just in case someone else has a similar problem.  I have a Showhauler motorhome on a 2004 Volvo VNL truck.  Since I bought it, the driver's mirror mechanism had enough slop that large bumps would cause it to rachet down.  Not a terribly big deal, but on rough roads I was frequently fiddling with the controls to move it back into position.  Also, the passenger side mirror arm had been broken and held in place with wire ties.  So I needed two new mirrors--but didn't want to pay the ~$850 each that Volvo wanted.  I thought the mirrors on the newer trucks were a better design, with metal arms (instead of plastic), and the mirror glass is bigger.

I couldn't get an answer from Volvo about interchanging the mirrors, but it looked like the doors were the same.  I figured I could handle the wiring if different, and bought a pair of used power and heated mirrors from Vander Haags.  What follows is a short description of what's involved in swapping them out.  It probably took about an hour total to do this.  When I get a chance, I'll confirm bit sizes.

What you'll need:

  • Mirrors from a ~2006 or newer VNL
  • Metric Allen wrench (5mm?)
  • Torx ratchet/driver (T27)
  • Ladder/step stool
  • Second set of hands (you can do it yourself, but it would probably be a lot faster with 2 people)

Here's what I did:

  •  
    Here's one of the old mirrors.

    To get it off, remove the cover on the bottom of the lower arm and disconnect the antenna wire and motor/heater plug.

  •  
    Then, open the door and remove the the three Torx screws holding the lower arm on at the door hinge.
  •  
    Then remove the two Torx screws holding the support arm on above the middle of the window frame (on the passenger side one of these will be an allen bolt).
  •  
    Finally, remove the two Torx screws on the upper mirror arm while supporting the mirror. There's a small hook on the upper arm; lifing slightly will let it come free.
  •  
    Old mirror removed.
  • As much as I hate the phrase, installation is the reverse of removal. When you lift the new mirror into place, hook the upper arm on the door and start a screw on the upper arm to make sure it can't fall off while getting everything in place. The wiring on the new mirror will plug into the old connections with no modification.

Some finished pictures:

New mirror, after installation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The biggest surprise since installing the new mirror is how much better you can see between the mirror and A-pillar--the lower arm's shape takes it largely out of your field of view out the left window.

For purely entertainment value, here's a video of one of the mirror replacement maneuvers (without a helper or a ladder): https://docs.google....Sy1kS2t0QTdkSWs

This one took quite a bit longer because of the rigged repair someone had previously attempted, but should give you a feel for the process.  This was my first attempt at a time lapse video, and it ended when the wind knocked over the tripod.

Additional Comment:
Question: Do you know how to get the mirror case apart to run wires inside down through the doors?

Response:
Are you trying to run wires from the mirror into the door?  Or into the door from the cab?  Either way, I don't think the mirrors help you much--the wiring runs direcly from the mirror into the cowling that extends down from the base of the windshield.  To access that wiring on the old mirrors, there's a plastic cap over the bottom part of the mirror arm.  On the newer ones, the wiring just loops over a hook on the underside of the mirror arm.