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I was asked to describe how I retrofitted my 2010 Mazda 6 GT with the folding blinker mirrors from an 2011-2013 Mazda 6 GT. While my method may not be the one you choose; it's the way I went about it to get the functionality and OEM appearance.

Now, there are many aftermarket versions I've seen on ebay and amazon etc. But they just..don't...cut it. And IMO; they look down right fuuugly. Plus you may loose a lot of functions if you happen to have a GT. It seems the sleekest and most productive way to get the oem look and functionality IS to have the originals. So........

My first task was lo locate the rare and hard to find GT model. What I mean by that is the "Folding mirrors w/blind spot monitoring, w/heated glass, w/auto dimming, w/down accent light". Having ALL that which came with the top of the line model was gonna run me $250-$400 in parts from the dealership. PER SIDE! And then there was the cost of the harnesses if you tried to go total factory.

I had been looking for brand new ones like this on ebay for years. Never saw them. But last winter I found a guy who was selling the WHOLE assembly with all of that, for $50 a mirror. NEW! Sure I could TRY and find one on a junker, but I had no luck with that anywhere. Not ones with all the features. And if I did, it was weathered and scratched. So I got lucky. He sold them in 2012-2013 colors so of course any color I picked would be wrong. I decided to purchase new cover plates from the dealer and have their paint shop paint to match. Looked great! (They stopped doing paint to match covers from the factory in 2011. Same for the backup cams and roof antenna's. All part of cost cutting measures presumably). So you can only order the blinker mirror covers Un-painted.

I did NOT take step-by-step photo's on this particular project
. I had no idea I'd be on here doing a "how-to" at the time. So this explanation's gonna be kinda long.........:grin2:

FIRST, note that the mirrors for a 2011-2013 Mazda 6 are direct fit plug and play. No drilling new holes. NOW comes the hard part........Somehow you have to figure out how you are going to run power to the blinkers; as the pin does not exist in the door harness for this. I bought the door harnesses from the dealer for a 2013; BUT it has to be noted here that while the harness may have the pin you want for the mirrors, the AUTO -DOWN passenger window wiring is now deleted. You really aren't going to be able to just swap out harnesses. Further more; after you have taken off the door panel; you'd have to remove the vapor barrier as well and really dig into the door. And after alll that; you have to order another intermediate harness that goes between the door harness and the interior main wire harness. OH! and remember the missing wires for the passenger auto feature? Ummm yeah, you're gonna loose that feature. And IF you DO replace that main harness, you will also never get the passenger auto dimming mirror function back (should you ever want this) because that was also deleted in the newer years. So best to NOT do this. It will end up costing you hundreds. And for what? A blinker light on your mirror? Um no thanks.

SO..........what iiiiiiiiii did was; I had to figure out how to get a wire into the car from the door without drilling. In the olden days of cars, there wasn't stupid harness connectors that mucked things up like this. Just a bundle of wire that passed through the door boot and you could slide your finger in there from both sides like a Chinese jigsaw puzzle. So it was easy to pass new wire through the door. Say for like running new speaker wire.

Instead; what I did was take a 22awg black stranded wire that was at least as long as the front of the car to the back, and I passed it through the gap in the fenders into the engine bay. (You need to remove the wheel mud guards to gain access to the front of the car). Guide this wire all the way to where the blinker wires are for the front bulbs. (I wire tied this wire to the existing loom tubing that was already passing the fender wall into the engine compartment). With the wire AT the headlights.....you need to connect to the blinker wire. What I did here is cheat. Without altering the existing factory wiring (splicing, cutting etc.), I opted to solder on a bent-straight paperclip onto the wire, the heat shrink tube that. That gave me a solid pinpoint to poke through the rubber grommet that surrounded the blinker wire in the bulb housing from behind. This SAME theory goes for the door harness by the blinker mirror. Solder a paperclip to the other end of the wire and shove that clip through the EXISTING mirror harness connector where the blinker would get power from. I zip tied that wire to the existing mirror harness so that pin wouldn't pull out of the socket. Once that pin inside the housing touches the mirrors plug pin; whamo! You got power. The ground wire the blinker needs is already tied to the ground wire in the mirror that's being used for the heated glass. I know this because I ripped apart the inner harness of an ebay junker mirror I THOUGHT had the Auto dimming glass in it. (Bad buy on my part). But the apparently at the factory, they made the ground wire for the blinker Y-split in with the ground wire that operates the heater element all inside the mirror housing. So you technically only need the active blinker wire from the front headlight. And THERE; RED=12V, BLACK=G and BLUE/RED was what I assumed the blinker wire color was that goes back into the car from the engine compartment's main wiring harness.

Tapping into this wire HERE at this location is important because you want the side mirrors to blink when you lock/unlock the car, when the alarm goes off, when you use the hazards, when the blinker comes on! etc......... ONE wire receives this signal in ALL cases and that's why I chose to tap directly there. At the source.

So in summary: Make your wire by soldering a paperclip to one end and heat-shrink tube it, shove the clip through headlight blinker wire boot; route the new wire along fender wall, pass through fender gap to door boot, zip tie around the door boot with the new wire hidden BEHIND the boot so it will go un-noticed, tuck the new wire under the rubber grommet that goes into the door after the boot so you don't introduce water into the door, pass this wire UNDERNEATH the weather strip on the door, route it up to the mirror plug, solder a paperclip at the door to the other end of your new wire, stick the paper clip pin wire you just made into the mirror harness for the mirror, zip tie the new wire to the harness to keep it in place, then plug the mirror harness into the mirror.

NOTE: the easiest way to determine what pin in your new blinker mirror uses to activate the blinker, is to use a 12v source and ground. I just used the car battery and a wire with a paperclip stuck to it to touch each one of the pins until the blinker light in the mirror stayed lit. That's how I knew which pin slot to shove the paperclip into. I know I know........your all saying that a paperclip is kinda hooky, but bear in mind, trying to use a harness plug from the newer models will have different wire colors and/or missing wires and u may have to cut them all and re-splice and I didn't want to over complicate this. I realized the blinker will either light up or it wont. Plus you will need something tiny and straight like a paperclip to mimic a PIN. And it worked out great! Slid right into the existing empty pin hole in the harness I needed.

NOTE! You will LOSE the passenger auto dimming feature on this project. They did not manufacture one for 2011-2013. But at least the wiring is there should you desire to go back to 2009-2010 stock. IMHO, I'd rather gain the folding mirrors and blinkers than worry about the passenger dimming. Never needed it. But I DID almost rip my mirror off while backing out of the garage once! So I'll take it!

Hope that helps! Again, sorry I do not have guided photo's. But at least I have before and after? Feel free to ask any questions if you feel I missed something in the write up. (As if I wasn't long-winded enough already)? :grin2:
 

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Thanks for the overview. I followed a similar path with my 2006 Mazda 6s GS when I added the blinker mirrors to my car.


My only change here would be to skip tapping into the 12v feed at the front blinkers, and instead tap into the wires leading to the rear turn signals that are located underneath the driver side door sill plate. It makes for a much easier run, with the added benefit of not having to worry about water getting into your connections in the engine bay area.


I'm still mulling the idea of trying to track down the official Mazda intermediate harness that goes between the door jamb plugs and the dash harness. I have scoured numerous times, but have never found that part listed.


But honestly, seeing it's just the 12v feed that the door blinkers need, I might just run the wire myself and skip the harness altogether. I wasn't aware that Mazda was using a shared ground, so that eliminates one wire run.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the overview. I followed a similar path with my 2006 Mazda 6s GS when I added the blinker mirrors to my car.


My only change here would be to skip tapping into the 12v feed at the front blinkers, and instead tap into the wires leading to the rear turn signals that are located underneath the driver side door sill plate. It makes for a much easier run, with the added benefit of not having to worry about water getting into your connections in the engine bay area.


I'm still mulling the idea of trying to track down the official Mazda intermediate harness that goes between the door jamb plugs and the dash harness. I have scoured numerous times, but have never found that part listed.


But honestly, seeing it's just the 12v feed that the door blinkers need, I might just run the wire myself and skip the harness altogether. I wasn't aware that Mazda was using a shared ground, so that eliminates one wire run.
Several online photo's of the cars breakdown of the harnesses are available. A google search will bring these up. And even going to your dealer and asking the parts dept for it, and giving your vin, they will be able to help get the harness number you are looking for.

You said you went into the Drivers side door harness for the blinker wire; but how did you get the wire from between the door into the car? I did not want to drill holes or jack with the existing harness. Which is why I took the path that I did. Fact is you still have to route a wire INTO the car from somewhere.

In my case, water will not get into the wires in the engine bay as the run I made tapped into the front headlights and not the side turn signals. And the front headlights have bulbs that go into the headlamp housing at a straight vertical. Water would have to shoot up through the plastic engine guard and directly upwards into the bulb. I guess I didnt even think of just tapping at the side signals. But I'm glad I didn't. Sometimes the easiest path isn't always the best path. I would have had water issues in that regard I suppose.

Good suggestion. Thanks for adding to the write up!:grin2:
 
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