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Updating 1997 Express to 2012 Dual Split Mirror
#776776 May 27th 2021 12:53 am
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 39
Likes: 2
OP Offline
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 39
Likes: 2
Found something I had forgotten I had honestly. 3-4 years ago I had picked up a set of the newer split mirrors for a 2012 Express and never got around to installing them. Needed to pull the door panels anyway to repair them and change the blown door speakers and tweeter out. I now have the newer mirror on the older van and have it fully functioning. Upper portion is power and heated. Lower portion moves manually.

Gotta love when GM engineers make changes to something that should have been a bolt-on and go! Had to unpin the connector on my new mirror, then use a 9V battery to figure out which wires ran which motor on it. Then had to find and duplicate pinouts matching the OEM 97s function. Mirror is for a 2012 van and I put it on my 1997. Obviously not listed to fit my 97 but my previous Titan spoiled me to the dual mirror setup when towing. Same door pocket, same mounting setup, same sealing surface and seal, same connector, same number of wires, just a totally different pinout. Pinout corrected, new mirror is installed and it has been tested. Works 100% correctly, including the heater element for the heated mirror function. Looking back, the way idiots drive around here, should have ordered them with the built-in turn signals and wired that function into the van as well.

I know we have several other 96-2002 GMT600 van guys here as well. While I have not done the passenger side yet I am sure the harness is probably the same on the mirror side for both left and right mirror. Door panel has to come off but it is a good time to fix where they break with some decent epoxy to strengthen the door pockets and glue the broken tabs back on that have fallen to the bottom of the door that makes them rattle going down the road. Also a good time to upgrade those blown out raspy sounding door speakers and replace the worn out/broken switches.

The last two pics ahow the correct pinouts for LH side of the brand of mirror above. The 1st picture is the side of the connector with the index tab on it. The two black wires both go to a resistance heater for the heated mirror function and as long as one side gets 12 volts and the other side a ground it will heat regardless of which black wire gets pinned to which side of the connector. There are 2 grey wires, the one with the colored tracer goes to the flat side of the connector opposite side of the index tab. Last picture showing the pins are in different locations although the connectors are the same.

So far I have only gotten the left side done as I just did it tonight. Will update on the RH pinout if it is different. Was not hard to figure out either way though.

Be sure to solidly tie and tape a piece of wire to the old mirror harness before you pull it out of the door. Then attach it to the new mirror to help you guide the new harness through the channels in the door.

If your van has manual mirrors it is a much easier swap as the manual version of these bolts right in place without removing the door panels. Only have to remove the little mirror bolt cover cap above the door panel.

It is nice to be able to have the upper mirror set to see the action in the next lane, especially if it has to be set way out wide to see around something like my 8' wide travel trailer yet be able to see right against the whole length of the van with the smaller mirror from a single glance. Makes backing in a tight parking space or judging the distance from a curb much easier.

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Last edited by 1983G20Van; May 27th 2021 1:19 am.

1983 G20 Conversion Van, 350 TPI, Reed Hydraulic Roller cam, Ported 906 Vortec, Edelbrock 3817 TPI-Vortec Base, Doug Thorley Tri-Ys, Dual 2 1/2" exhaust, Speed Density 7730 ECM tuned by ME, 700r4 by ME, Stock 1,600 rpm converter, Rebuilt Stock 10 bolt with posi by ME, 3.08 gears, 358 RWHP @ 5,200, 384 RWTQ @ 3,400, 14.66 @ 95.43 w 2.28s 60'
Re: Updating 1997 Express to 2012 Dual Split Mirror
1983G20Van #776779 May 27th 2021 1:49 am
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 3,345
Likes: 38
Rust N Dents
Rust N Dents
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 3,345
Likes: 38
I love those dual type mirrors.
I have them on my truck.

That's a pretty good upgrade.

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1 member likes this: 1983G20Van

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