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Auto dimming mirror installation


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Several months ago someone asked about installing an auto dimming mirror from a Riviera. Well these eyes are getting old and tired and what with high riding SUV's and brighter headlights boring through the back window I decided I needed the option. I installed it on a 90 convertible which is easier that the coupe since the trim below the front bow is easy to remove to get to the wiring. If your interested here is what you have to do.

First get an auto dimming mirror with the cable attached(Important). I was lucky to buy one off ebay for $25.00, the local junk yard wanted fifty. Who ever took the one I got off the car also snipped the wires past the connector which helped me but is not absolutely essential.

Remove the trim above the mirror by removing both visors, the visor latches and a screw in each upper outer corner. (The top needs to be down to get to these) The visors have wiring attached so don't pull too hard on them. The connectors for the visor wires are tucked in a nitch above the visor mounting hole and are wrapped in a sponge rubber tape. You have to take off the tape to get the connector apart then you can remove the visor. Pull apart the connector for the remote antenna and the trim can now be removed from the car. Remove the Reatta mirror by first disconnecting the connector, also wrapped in foam tape, loosen the star headed screw in the body of the mount and lift up.

On the Riviera mirror there is a three wire ribbon cable. The one closest to the mounting stalk on the back of the mirror is for "hot on run" power. This corresponds to the brown/white wire leading to the connector for the Reatta mirror. The middle wire is ground and corresponds to the Reatta black wire. The outer wire is to turn off the dimming effect when backing up. I don't look in my mirror when backing up, I was taught to look over my shoulder out the back window so I didn't hook this wire up. If you need this you have to run a wire from the reverse switch up to the mirror.

Tricky GM used the same connector for the regular mirror and the dimming mirror, but reversed the male/female ends so you can't just plug in the dimming mirror because you have two plugs. If you were lucky to get the entire plug/socket assembly cut off the plug and solder on the socket. If you didn't then you must cut off the socket from the Reatta mirror with enough wire (2 inches is good) to splice and solder it on to the ribbon cable from the Riviera mirror. Another thing GM did was reverse the wiring. If you look at the plug or socket you will see the wire connections are marked A B C. When you are soldering make sure that the wire closest to the mounting stalk is soldered to the wire leading from the A connection and the center wire is soldered to the B connection. If you ran a wire from the reverse switch that has to be attached to the third wire. Electrical tape all the wire so they don't touch and you are ready to reinstall the mirror.

Before you get too far test the mirror for proper function. Mount the mirror, hook up the connector, turn the key to the run position, turn the mirror switch to the full on position, cover the detector on the back side of the mirror with your finger and shine a flash light into the detector on the mirror side. The mirror should turn a noticeable green. If it doesn't the first thing to check is to make sure the brown/white wire leads to the wire that is closest to the mounting stalk. If everything is right then reverse the disassembly instructions to reinstall everything you took out. I taped my connectors with electrical tape in lieu of foam tape.

The Riviera mirror is larger the the Reatta mirror, but fits without a problem and, of course, you lose the courtesy lights built into the Reatta mirror. If you have any questions E-mail me direct or post your question here on the forum.

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The Riviera mirror is a 1/4 inch wider and higher. I notice it when I adjust the mirror and my fingers brush the trim on the windshield header where they didn't before. No big deal. It is a simple one hour job to switch to the Riviera mirror. The only problem is having to replace the plug at the end of the flat cable. All the electrical tape is hidden behind the trim piece so the splice does not have to be real neat.

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