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Rearview mirror and interior lighting upgrade.

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This project is quick, easy, and should cost around ten bucks. :brows:

Since we all know the stock interior lighting in our trucks is not the greatest, and the 20 year old mirror is loosing it's silver, here's a way to improve both in one shot.

Pick up a lighted rearview at the JY from any late model car in good shape for, in my case, $3.



This was a Donnelly mirror out of a GM vehicle. It has two map lights on the bottom with switches on the front and a 3 wire connector in the back.


First thing I did was figure out the wiring which was pretty easy with google. The orange wire was 12V, the black is ground, and the white is switched ground.

Now for a power source. Since I have swapped the dash harness with an 89 XJ, it was pretty easy for me. However, you can tap off of either b-piller light and get the same results. I used the XJs wiring harness that ran up the passenger side that fed the vanity mirror, keyless entry, and dome/map lights. I removed all the keyless entry wires which left me with 4 wires.

Here is the harness after removing the needless stuff. You can see the vanity light plugs about in the middle.


Even if you can't find this harness from the JY, you can make one with(4 wires) or without(3 wires) the vanity option.

My headliner and interior trim is out right now so this was a good opportunity for me. I drilled a hole between the visor clips down close to the window to pass the wires through. Be careful not to push to hard and hit the roof or that the bit catches and spins the drill into the window.


I wasn't planning on one that big but the connector on the back of the mirror needed to pass through it. You could probably do without this, but I didn't want to take a chance of the wires causing the headliner to bow out.

Since the vanity plugs are already on my harness, this left me with just having to splice the three for the mirror. The wires should be pink 12V, black ground, black with white stripe switched ground.


I soldered them and then wrapped them up, but you can do what ever makes you feel comfortable about it. I then fed the connector end for the mirror through the hole, ran the wire along the top and down the passenger a-pillar with the stock wire ties.


Now if you are tapping off the b-pillar light, you would just run it back there instead.

Again, since I have an XJ harness, there is a convient plug for me under the glove box for me to use. The fourth wire which is purple(12V) is for the vanity light and I'm pretty sure it is from a different power source than interior lighting.


If your lucky, you'll find a mirror with the little wire cover that hides the wire going up the window.


And here's the results.

With door open, they both come on with the rest of the interior lights.


And with door closed, you can operate them with the switch independently.


Now you could go for the fancier ones with temp and compass or what not but you would then need to tap an additional power source and run extra wires.
I think this keeps it close to the era for the truck.

One final note, when you get the new mirror, it will probably have a wider mount then what is on the original windshield. They make adapters for this or you might find it with the mirror in the JY. Since I just had the windshield replaced, it came with the wider mirror mount.


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I did this mod in my rodeo a few years back.. You can find those mirrors in most 90's GM cars, trucks, suv's. I think I still have the pin out for the wires somewhere. I know my mirror has a circuit in it that keeps the lights on for 12 secs after the door is shut. That feature helps out vastly when you fumbling for your keys and switch in the dark.

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I pulled the same mirror at the JY out of a GMC sonoma pick up. I also found a compass and temp auto dimming rear view out of a dodge durango. I went with the comp/temp. I wish it had lights too but o well. They do have them out there with lights but are very hard to find. I think I am going to use the lighted mirror in my scrambler project. Great write up!

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