Buying my '15 Ram EcoDiesel off the lot for a decent price, I wasn't able to get all the options that I wanted. One of them was the Flip Up Tow Mirrors. I had bought a pair of slip on tow mirrors to go over my existing mirrors, but I did not like them. So after hearing a lot of positive reviews, I bought aftermarket tow mirrors from 1Aauto.com. You have to go through all of them carefully, as you have to see which options your mirror has and match it up to the options in the particular mirror. For me, it is Power Adjust, Power Fold, Heated, Turn Signal, Puddle Light. The only option they didn't have was the dimming feature that tints the mirror. No big deal. One issue I did have while ordering, you can buy them in pairs (reduced pricing) or individually. Every time I get notification that a limited number of pairs available, they would sell out quick. So, I bit the bullet and ordered them individually.
Upon unboxing, I wanted to see any differences in quality. 1st I noticed was the gasket. I took the gaskets off the stock mirrors and swapped them with the aftermarket. While doing that, I noticed the inside of the stock mirrors were aluminum, while the inside of the aftermarket was plastic. The aftermarkets were still 14 pounds each. But, these days, plastics are unbelievably strong. We will see how they do.
During my pre install research, I found out that the stock tow mirrors have an additional bracket. I was able to locate that bracket, and got a pair, part numbers 68078242aa
. Unfortunately, I didn't realize until after the door was apart, that the door only has a hexagon hole where the mirrors mounted. I could order the factory nutserts, part #06507161AA
, but then I would need a Nutsert tool with the proper M6x1.00 adapter. So, I went down to Harbor Freight, and pick up their Threaded Insert Riveter Kit 45 Pc
. The 1/4-20 Nutserts worked great.
After mounting, I tested all the movements. Of course, because my truck came with non towing mirrors, the door module (yes, there is a "computer" in the door) doesn't recognize the flipped orientation. To me, it just takes a second of thinking to remember that, and when flipped, out is up, etc. That could be a drawback to some people.
There was one issue though. The drivers side on the new Rams have an Ambient Air Temperature sensor. I started my truck, and I see on the display -40 degrees and my check engine light came on. I unplug and replug the wires into the Door Module, and nothing. Since we will be leaving shortly, I just put everything back together. Well, apparently, these trucks are "smart". 85 degree day, and trying to use the AC, and the HVAC system sees -40 from this and basically says, "You fool, way too cold for the Air Conditioning." Yup, no AC. Luckily, the tow was only an hour away, and I was somewhat content that 1A auto was already shipping out a new mirror to replace this one (and telling me no need to send back the bad one). Heck, I have a parts mirror now. But, being the tech guy that I am, I had to make this mirror work. I would install a resistor, thermistor, or whatever, to trick the truck to thinking it was seeing a valid temp. After my trip, while trying to meter out the stock mirror from what wiring colors/pins I could find on Google, I notice something... a hatch.. with a little probe sticking out. I opened it. Wire colors matched. Checked the aftermarket, and there was a hatch. Took out both AAT sensors, and swapped them. Sure enough, bad sensor.
Side by side comparison.
Good look at the difference in build quality and gasket material.
Mirror install with the door panel off. 1st of the 3 nutserts are inserted into the door.
Mirror Installed with the aftermarket bracket.
Sensor from the stock mirror.
Sensor location in the aftermarket mirror.