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Chevy Tahoe
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How do you replace a passenger side mirror on a 1999 Chevy Tahoe?

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April 20, 2007 3:17PM

First off, I imagine that you are talking about the mirror housing and not just the plate of mirror glass. If you are talking about the mirror glass itself, that is a simple remove and replace with an after-market piece of mirror glass. Auto Zone or Advance Auto Parts, or the generic equivalent, should have the plates. I would advise staying away from the GM store - they are EXPENSIVE to buy there. Now, if you are talking about the housing - the part that contains the motorized deflection element, this is a bit more involved. First, the tools you will need include a 1/4" drive ratchet with a variety of sockets - 1/4", 5/16" and a wobbler and a 3" extension. A large flat-bladed screwdriver is necessary to pop the triangular shaped trim piece that covers the interior-access nuts. Some electrical tape will come in handy to hold the nuts so you don't drop them into the door, never to be seen again. Also, a piece of flexible wire - a thin piece, is nice for holding back the power cords. The outside element is fits throught the door with three projecting studs, and is retained by three nuts. You will also have to contend with the power cable for the motor, and possibly heat, if so equipped. Power only is a 6 head pin while power plus heat is an 8 pin head. Now you're ready for the fun part, especially if you do NOT have 6" fingers that are 1/4" in diameter.... First, take the screwdriver and gently pop one side (doesn't matter which) of the triangle shaped trip which covers the interior area of the mirror assembly. Next, using the wire or tape, grab hold of the power cable on the inside the truck side. Anchor it to the door or tie it off so that the cable cannot drop into the door panel. Separate the two sections of cable - one to the truck side, the other to the soon-to-be-gone mirror side. Next, using the ratchet backed up with a piece of tape to catch a falling nut, reach in and remove TWO of the nuts from the bottom of the three that are there. Take a breather - you will need it while you perform the blind removal of the third, and last nut. First, make sure that the outside mirror is taped or ziplocked into position. Once you loose that third nut, it is going to want to follow the law of gravity and go somewhere. You have to prevent this or bye-bye nut. Having a helped do this is OK, IF YOU HAVE A GOOD HELPER. I have found better service from a piece of duct tape or zip-tie; you make your choice. Once that third nut is out, the mirror is ready to spring free. Give it a tug-n-jiggle and out it should come. By now you should check the operation of the replacement mirror BEFORE you install it. There's few things more frustrating than to install a dead part perfectly! Assuming the mirror responds right, you are ready for the finale. (I mention this part because I once installed a power only mirror into a Tahoe LT with HEATED mirrors and didn't realize the connectors did not "connect" until AFTER i had installed the mirror, tightented the nuts, and...you get the picture. That's the "remove" part, now for the "replace". Guess what, it's the opposite of "removal", but with some warnings. First, Remember to connect the power cable! Also, use tape to seal the nuts into the socket before you try to spin them onto the studs. These are small nuts, on the end of a wobbly extension or flex-drive, and it is easy for them to pop off the stud and down into the door. A bit of tape or putty in the socket will keep them in there until you have them on the studs and snugged. When you are removing the socket from the nut, be extra careful that the socket does not come off the extension and drop into the door. Finally, check out the operation of the mirror and pop that trim piece back into place. I've done three of these mirror swaps and it seems to take about an hour to gather the tools and do the work. It's nice to be able to do it without interruption, too, so try to find some quiet time to knock this out in.