The Family Truckster© has been replaced by Econosaurus©
She’s ready to tow, right out of the box- except for the mirrors. How can FORD offer a “HD Tow Package” option and neglect to include a pair of decent towing mirrors?
So, after some interwebz Googlefu, I found exact fit replacement telescoping towing mirrors. I was pretty surprised not to find a YouTube tutorial, which brings me to the reason for today’s post. No video but, I will provide a handy step-by-step with pictures on how to change out your 2003 Econoline mirrors.
The FORD replacement mirrors were $700 for the pair. I found a set of knock-offs on eBay for $170 delivered. The first thing I noticed after pulling the existing mirror was two of the four mounting studs on one, and one stud on the other had stripped out of the backside of the mirror. The whole structure was plastic, while the aftermarket replacements had an all metal structure. Wonder what FORD charges for this plastic junk at their parts counter?
Step 1. Remove the triangle shaped trim at the opposite side of the mirror. It’s held on by a metal expansion clip in the middle, and a lip at the bottom so, pull it away from the door beginning at the top. It should pop right off. You’ll see the mirror mounting studs.
Step 2. Pop the electric door and window panel out of the door cover using a flat head screwdriver. There’ll be a little niche on one side to insert the screwdriver. That pops out pretty easy. Pop the small panel at the door handle the same way. At this point you can access all four screws holding the door cover on. Once you remove those, simply pull straight up on the whole door trim cover, and lift it away.
Step 3. You’ll notice I started to peel the plastic cover off but, you won’t need to do that. I found it’s easier to simply remove the door speaker to get at the mirror control connector.
Step 4. The mirror control connector has a friction post that keeps it fastened against the inside of the door. Reach thru the speaker opening and give it a good tug to remove it. You can disconnect the whip for the mirror there.
Step 5. You’re ready to disconnect the mounting bolts. If they’re like mine, you’ll need some needle nose pliers to grab the backside of the stud where it stripped out of the mirror base.
Step 6. That’s all there is to it. There’s a foam backing pad with adhesive on one side that you’ll need to stick on the mirror but, other than that, simply reverse the steps from here with the new mirrors. One other note: you might want to test the mirror before reassembling all the trim; one of my mirrors had the wiring wrong, flipping the up/down and left/right axis.
With how easy replacing these mirrors are, it’s a no-brainer to go with the telescoping mirrors as opposed to a set of “slip-on” or bracket mirrors, like the McKesh. That’s not to say the McKesh product isn’t good; I’ve heard they make a quality product. But, I can’t imagine why you’d want to go thru the trouble of manually mounting a pair of mirrors each time, when you can simply telescope or collapse when needed.
See You Down the Road!