It was a short but extreme feeling winter here in St. Paul. We really did not get snow until sometime in December or was it January, and this was followed by week or so of extreme (for the Twin Cities) cold. Then, throughout February, we received snow; a lot of snow. The vernal equinox was nearly a month ago, and we had been having progressively warmer days, longer amounts daylight, as well. The Mississippi River in Lower Town St. Paul, went over its banks last week and since started to go down.

Often times in Minnesota and the rest of the Upper Midwest, we get these last hurrah snowstorms. Earlier this week, we received one such snowstorm.


Up until the snowstorm earlier this week, I had been working on our 2002 F150. It’s parked at the top of our driveway, in front of the garage. At the moment, it is immovable. The intake manifold has a coolant crossover, and there was a gasket that sits between the aluminum intake surface and the plastic/polymer manifold. The gasket was not sealing correctly, and a very small amount of coolant was making its way into the combustion chamber and subsequently out the exhaust. The intake manifold, vacuum hoses, alternator, injectors, ignition coils and a host of other parts are detached at the moment. I will possibly write about this adventure at a later date. The main point is that the pickup is nearly in the way for getting the GMC Savana Hound Hauler parked on the parking pad in front of our fence.

Needing to move the Savana, and in an attempt to not hit the F150, I backed up and turned away from the pickup. On the passenger side of the van, is a row of trees and brush. Not bothering to clear off the recent snow from the van, I figured, I’ve got this. I got too close to the trees and tore the passenger side rearview mirror off.

The last time we looked into replacement mirrors for this ride, we were shocked to see mirrors with power adjustment were averaging a couple hundred dollars. Not this time, when I looked on Amazon, I was surprised to find one for about $45.

Zip ties to secure the broken mirror in the mean time. Plastic shroud removed, exposing retention nuts.

The mirror unit is relatively straight forward to replace. I used a 10mm socket with an extension to remove the three retention bolts located behind a plastic shroud. There is a fairly short, but very helpful video on Youtube that explains what needs to be removed from the door to get at the wiring harness. The Houndmobile is a conversion van, as such, there is a bit more junk in the way to get four or so pieces of plastic removed, but the process was basically the same.

Likely incomplete list of tools/materials:

  • 10 mm socket
  • Socket extension (2″ to 4″ should do)
  • Socket wrench
  • Phillips-head screwdriver (#2 for the majority of the screws)
  • Small Phillips-head screwdriver (#0 for the conversation van wood piece; likely unneeded if your van is stock)
  • Flat-head screwdriver for pushing plastic clips in to release
  • Steel or aluminum wire (think electric fence thickness wire)
  • Needle nose pliers to for pulling steel wire
  • Bandaids (I poked a finger with the steel wire)

Basically, remove plastic bits around the door handle until wiring harnesses are exposed. The white connector in the photo is the fellow you will need to disconnect. The mirror and associated wiring should just pull away from the vehicle.


To get the new wiring from the mirror to the connection point, I used a very stiff piece of steel wire, fishing this up to the top left where the mirror mounts. With a bit of jiggling, I was able to get the new mirror’s wiring pulled through and connected.

This was a fairly easy, maybe 45 minute project. I probably spent more time hunting for a tiny Phillips-head screwdriver for a piece of wood panelling that needed to be removed.