DIY: How to install JDM Power Side Folding Mirrors on an RSX
After a long hiatus from blogging, due to time constraint, I am back and will start today’s entry off with a comprehensive do-it-yourself guide to wire up a pair of JDM DC5 Integra power folding mirrors onto your USDM Acura RSX. The beauty of this project is it does not require you to slice or splice any OEM wires. Not one. Be sure to read the entire guide before proceeding. As with all my other DIY guides, it was written for reference and documentary purpose only. Use the information contained within at your own risk.
Before I proceed with the guide, I’d like to give Krisen Type-S and George Type-S (both on Club RSX) credit for their original inputs and DIY guides on the Club RSX forums. Their original concept helped expedite this potentially week long project into a 9 hour weekend project. This guide will show you how to install JDM DC5 power folding side mirrors without cutting any wires, wired up to function as close to OEM-spec as possible.
I originally purchased these mirrors from HMotorsOnline for a total of $175.00. The price and package includes two mirrors, a JDM mirror switch and a “relay”. To the readers that are interested in adding power folding mirrors onto their RSX, do NOT buy the “relay” that is usually sold with the mirrors. This is what the alleged relay looks like:
As it turns out, the JDM DC5 power folding side mirrors do not use an external relay that older Hondas did, i.e. EG6, EK9, DA9, DC2/4, etc. The relay is built into the JDM switch in the form of a dual polarity switch. Whereas the power folding mirrors in older Hondas utilizes an external relay to control the flow of electricity through the mirrors, the JDM DC5 switch coverts the polarity of the electrical currents depending on the position of the power folding mirror switch. Save yourself $25.00 and omit the “relay” when you invest in your power folding mirrors. Upon further investigation, this relay is actually the keyless entry unit – the exact same one that is located near your radio unit. Go figure.
1x Variety of screwdrivers; flathead and Philips
1x vinyl electrical tape
1x socket & ratchet set with 8mm socket
1x JDM power folding mirrors; driver side and passenger side
1x JDM power folding mirror switch
1x metal coat hanger, undone
1x roll of 16-18 AWG wire:
2x 2-pin Honda male connector plugs, part #: 04321-ST5-305:
2x 2-pin Honda female connector plugs, part #: 04321-SH2-307:
4x Honda male pigtails, part #: 04320-SP0-G00:
4x butt crimps:
Preparing the JDM DC5 Power Folding Side Mirrors for Complete Swap
This is the fun part. This step will involve the complete disassembly of the JDM power folding mirrors. We disassemble the JDM mirrors so we can swap the inner power folding arms into the USDM housing.
1. Using a paperclip, a micro flathead screwdriver or a terminal de-pinning tool, de-pin the 5 wires from the JDM mirror plug. Make a note of the position of the wires:
Carefully guide the pigtails through the grommet on the inner weather cap, then remove the inner weather cap from the outer lower arm and set it aside:
Locate the white plastic harness clamp and unscrew the single 4×10 self-tapping screw, then put the clamp and screw aside:
4. The next few steps involve removing the mirror from the actuator. This step is easier than it appears. Start by wrapping your flathead screwdriver with a liberal amount of masking tape, then push and pull the mirror so that the lower corner closest to the lower arm shows a big gap:
Carefully pop the mirror out by wedging your flathead screwdriver between the two clips on the mirror and the surface of the actuator. The two clips to pop out is indicated in the following image:
Carefully separate the mirror from the actuator. The passenger side will have a stick adhesive in-between, while the driver side won’t (as far as ’05-’06 models is concerned). Once the mirror is partially separated from the actuator, dislodge the additional 4 clips as shown to remove the mirror completely. This can be done by pulling the mirror up so it’s on a 90-degree angle and perpendicular to the actuator, then simply pull the mirror up and out:
Set the mirror aside, then remove the three bronze colored screws that is securing the actuator onto the outer mirror housing:
6. Unscrew the three self-tapping screws on the bottom of the lower arm, separating the mirror housing from the lower arm in the process:
7. With some careful force, push the joint cap out with your flathead screwdriver and set it aside. The cap is simply clipped on:
8. The next part is a bit tricky. Pull on the actuator so that the inner locking pin is separated from its socket. Once this pin is dislodged, guide the actuator assembly out of the mirror housing:
Perform the same procedure on the opposite mirror to completely disassemble it. Next step: door panel removal.
Acura RSX Door Panel Removal Instructions
The next step involves removing the door panel. If you do not know how to remove the door panels, read the guide “DIY: How to remove the door panels off an Acura RSX” for instructions on how to properly remove your door panels.
Preparing the USDM RSX Mirrors for Complete Swap
With the door panel removed, we are ready to move onto the next step and prepare the USDM mirror to accept the JDM interior parts.
1. Pop out the interior mirror garnish. It’s held on with a single clip. Then unplug the mirror. Finally, unbolt the three bronze 8mm nuts to release the mirror from the door frame. Place the USDM mirror on a microfiber cloth or shop towel on your workspace. This will protect the paint finish from inadvertent scratches.
2. Disassemble the USDM mirror using the steps illustrating the disassembly of the JDM mirror. Note: 2002-2003 USDM RSX mirrors will not have heated mirror feature and thus will only have 3 wires coming out of each mirror plug. 2004-2006 USD RSX all have heated mirror feature and will have a total of 5 wires. All year model Canadian RSX will have heated mirror feature, thus 5 wires on each plug. Keep this in mind for subsequent wiring instructions.
A Note on JDM DC5 Mirror Orientation and Angle
No doubt when you install the JDM lower arm onto your door, you will encounter problems with visibility on the passenger side because of the way the JDM DC5 mirror is angled. If you compare the USDM passenger side mirror vs the JDM “passenger” side mirror, you will immediately notice the arm is slightly protruded on the USDM mirror:
And if you look at your USDM driver side lower mirror arm and compare it to the JDM “driver side” lower mirror arm, you’ll see the reverse; i.e. the USDM driver side lower mirror arm will be shorter than the JDM counterpart. The reason is simple: Right hand drive versus left hand drive. Technically, the JDM “passenger side” lower mirror arm is the driver side on an RHD vehicle, so it is short just like the USDM driver side and vice versa. That’s the reason why there is a discrepancy with the angle. As of now, there is not direct bolt-on fix to correct this. That is, the JDM folding arm will not bolt onto the USDM lower mirror arm, so you will need to use the JDM lower mirror arm. Fortunately, there is a fix that will solve this problem.
Rewiring the JDM DC5 Mirror into the USDM Mirror Housing
This step involve stripping the USDM wires and inserting it into the JDM DC5 mirror sub assembly. If your RSX is not equipped with heated mirror feature, you can skip all the steps with an asterisk (*) next to the step number.
*1. Remove the two defroster wires from the USDM mirror completely.
*2. Pop out the power folding motor cap with a flathead screw driver. There are two clips that hold the cap down:
*3. Take the terminal end of the defroster wire you’ve removed from the USDM mirror and insert it into the JDM DC5 wire bundle. You may need to tape the defroster wires onto a coat hanger to maneuver it through the rubber housing:
4. Reinstall the JDM actuator subassembly into the USDM mirror housing with 3 screws.
5. Secure the USDM mirror housing onto the JDM lower arm with 3 screws.
*5a. If you have heated mirrors, reconnect the defroster on the mirror with the defroster wires, then snap the USDM mirror back onto the JDM actuator.
5b. Snap the USDM mirror back onto the JDM actuator. For the driver side, you need to cut the JDM actuator as illustrated:
The reason is a pin on the USDM mirror will not clear the JDM actuator. Keep in mind this is only applicable to the driver side.
6. Insert all terminal joints through the rubber grommet of the inner weather cap.
7. Reinsert the terminal joints back into the plug in the same order it was originally removed. If your RSX is not equipped with heated feature, you will insert the terminal joints back into a 3-pin plug instead of a 6-pin plug. Regardless, two new wires will be hanging aloof (BLK and WHT wires). These two wires are the power folding wires:
8. Insert the two pigtails from the WHT and BLK wire into a Honda 2-pin female plug, part # 04321-SH2-307:
Preparing the Wiring for the JDM DC5 Power Folding Mirrors
If you’ve gone this far, then you are ready to wire up the JDM DC5 power folding mirrors! This is probably the most time consuming step. It’s not difficult to do, but routing the wires through the rubber door grommet is a painstaking experience. Let’s start by preparing the corresponding male plug for the newly assembled 2-pin power folding plug.
1. Take a Honda 2-pin male plug, part # 04321-ST5-305 and insert two male pigtails into it, part # 04320-SP0-G00:
2. Reinstall the mirrors back onto the door frame.
3. Connect the 2-pin male plug created in step 1 with the 2-pin female plug housing the power folding wires, then strip the end of two wires connected to the 2-pin male plug created in step 1.
Adjusting the JDM DC5 Lower Mirror Arm to Compensate for the Angle Discrepancy
Remember we mentioned how the JDM lower arm is slightly off angle? If you reinstalled the mirror without making adjustment and sit in the driver seat, you’ll notice the difference. Furthermore, because of the shortened arm of the JDM mirror, you can only move the mirror so far. The following illustrates the problem:
To compensate for the discrepancy, you need to adjust the three 8mm studded bolts on the mirror.
If you compare the height of these bolts found on the JDM mirror to the USDM mirror, you’ll notice that the bolts on the USDM mirror is slightly raised while the bolts on the JDM mirror is flush with the base of the threads. You’ll need to take a 8mm socket and manually adjust the bolt sitting on the lower corner closest to the fender such that it sits a little raised:
The adjustment is all trial and error. You may have to make several adjustments before hitting the “sweet” spot.
Routing the Wires Through the Door
This step is quite possibly the most time consuming. Take the metal coat hanger you have and unravel it.
1. Cut two pieces of 16-18 AWG wire at 10 feet each, then attach the wire to one end of the unraveled coat hanger with tape:
Unfortunately, there is no easy way to do it. I found that it was much more difficult to route the wires through the driver side versus the passenger side. So basically, what you do is take the coat hanger with wires attached to it and route them through openings on the chassis from the interior, through the rubber door grommet and finally into the door frame. For both driver side and passenger side, only the kick panel needs to be removed to access the routing point.
2. Partially remove the plastic sheet covering the door frame. Chances are, the cream colored sealant is still moist and creamy to the touch. Careful because it will stick on you if this is the case. My car is a 2005 and the texture of the sealant felt like it was fresh out the factory.
3. Continue to route and maneuver the coat hanger with wire attachments through the interior, through the door grommets and into the door frame. Once you can feel it, pull it out.
4. Remove the tape from the coat hanger and release the two wires. Pull the coat hanger through and completely remove it from the door frame. Using a wire stripper, strip off about 1cm off the end of the two wires you’ve just routed through. Then attach one routed wire to one of the two stripped wire on the 2-pin Honda male connector with a butt connector and attach the remaining routed wire to the remaining wire on the 2-pin Honda male connector with another butt connector. The power folding feature is almost wired.
5. Make sure the wires are connected and cleared, then reapply the plastic sheet cover over the door frame.
6. On the passenger side, place the two wires inside a protective wire loom. You can optionally attach terminal connects at the end of these two wires. I attached one wire to a male bullet terminal and the other wire to a female bullet terminal:
7. Route both driver side and passenger side wires toward the power mirror switch panel on the driver side.
Preparing the JDM DC5 Power Folding Mirror Switch for Connection
Couple of notes to be aware of when it comes to identifying the wires on the main power mirror switch harness. There are three different variation:
- JDM power folding mirror harness
- USDM harness with no heated mirrors
- USDM/CDM harness with heated mirrors
The following diagram illustrates what each harness should look like:
Your main concern is pin #7 and pin #8. These two wire exists on the JDM wire harness and they connect to the two power folding mirror wires on each mirror. They are none existent if you have an ’02-’03 USDM RSX with none heated mirrors. If you have a Canadian RSX or an ’04-’06 USDM RSX with heated mirrors, pin #7 is vacant while pin #8 is occupied by an ORG wire. Additionally, pin #1 is occupied by a BLK/YEL wire. These two wire control the defroster on the mirrors: the BLK/YEL wire on pin #1 is the power source input which becomes active on IGN. It also powers the mini LED inside the heated mirror switch. When you press down the heated mirror switch while your key is on IGN, the BLK/YEL completes the circuit with the ORG output wire on pin #8, and power flows to the defrosters from the BLK/YEL wire through the ORG wire.
Regardless of what year model RSX you own, the fundamental step required is to de-pin the two wires occupying pin #7 and pin #8 of the JDM wire harness. Release the snap lock from the harness and de-pin the wires using a paperclip or a micro flathead screwdriver:
If you Have an ’02-’03 USDM RSX with None Heated Mirrors…
Simply de-pin the two wires in pin #7 and pin #8 from the JDM mirror harness and insert them into the corresponding vacant slot in your USDM mirror plug.
If You Have an ’04-’06 USDM RSX with Heated Mirrors or Any Year Model Canadian RSX…
De-pin pin #1 and pin #7 from your USDM/CDM mirror plug, tape up the terminal joint individually with vinyl tape and stash them away, then insert the wires de-pinned from pin #7 and pin #8 into the corresponding slots in your USDM/CDM mirror plug.
The JDM wires in pin #7 and pin #8 are each supposed to be forked. Chances are, the forked end of the wire were cut when you’ve acquired the JDM switch. Here’s an example of what I’m describing:
If the wire is already forked, simply attach terminal connects at the ends. In my case, I attached one end of the BLU/RED wire with a male bullet terminal connect and the other BLU/RED forked wire with a female bullet terminal connect. For the WHT/RED wire that is not forked, we need to attach another wire to it to create a fork.
1. Cut a small piece of heat shrinking tube and then slide it into the unforked JDM wire. Strip the end of the JDM wire to expose the copper wiring. Then take a 3″ piece of extension wire, 16-18 AWG thick and strip the ends to expose the copper wires. Thread one end of the extension wire onto the stripped end of the unforked JDM wire:
2. Solder the wires together to form a singular joint.
3. Slide the heat shrink tube down to cover the soldered joint, then apply heat on the heat shrink tube to activate it, sealing the soldered joint in the process.
4. You may attach end terminals to the newly forked wire. I attached one male and female bullet terminal connect respectively.
5. All you need to do now is take the wires you’ve routed through the doors and connect them to the forked JDM wires on the switch. The trick is you need to wire each mirror opposite of the other in order for them to fold/unfold in sync. Here is a diagram illustrating the wire configuration.
Notice that the BLU/RED wire is connected to the WHT wire on the driver side and the BLK wire on the passenger side instead of connecting to both BLK or both WHT wires on each mirror. Same concept applies to the WHT/RED wire. You may need to test out the polarity of the wire before making any final crimps. I recommend testing with an alligator clip connectivity test kit (you can buy one for less than $5.00 at AutoZone). Once you’ve identified the wires to connect and verified that the mirrors fold and unfold as it should, it’s time to secure the wires. I attached opposite bullet terminal connects on the routed wires, then plugged them into the bullet connect on the JDM wire attached to the switch harness.
The Completed Product
The power folding function will only work if your key is turned to the IGN position of your ignition switch. For now, the heated feature is already wired on the mirrors. The DIY guide to activate the heated feature will be made available in the future as a separate DIY guide. Right now, the two heated wires from the switch is lying dormant while wrapped in vinyl tape.