Leave it to Brian to sort this one out, being our resident electrical geek.
JDM, CDM, KDM, EUDM; those letters are utterly meaningless to most but very significant to us car enthusiasts. In an effort to build what we can’t buy and/or simply stand out in a crowd, we often wind up seeking factory parts for our cars from other markets around the world. Sometimes it’s a substantial revision like the classic JDM front end for an Integra, but other times it’s something small that could easily go unnoticed even by fellow owners at first glance. Say, a set of mirrors, for example.
This is a photo borrowed from the previous post on the site but for good reason. Notice the trio of Foci, including Brian’s Titanium. Now, take a closer look at the mirrors. See it?
This is a mirror that should be familiar to most Mk3 owners here in North America. Granted, not all Mk3s had turn signals in their mirrors but for our purposes we’re comparing like for like so that’s what we’re using. Notice that the signal cuts into the painted mirror cap…
…and notice that here, it doesn’t. That is your biggest clue as to something being, well, different.
So, yes. Brian did some internet hunting, test fitting, and wiring trickery (with more to come), and the result is a mod that is so subtle, most likely won’t pick up on it on the first, second, or even third pass (or more) but is one that I know he is extremely pleased with: European mirrors!
Some reading this may be wondering “why” and that’s a fair question to which there are a few answers, with the first simply being “because he can”. The second I suppose, would be what I touched on at the start – we’re always on the hunt for ways to set our cars apart just that much more and get what we can’t get here.
It’s not just the turn signal placement making these different however, as there are actually a few other changes between the Euro mirrors and our North American units. The first, admittedly not shown all that well here thanks to the angle of the photo, is that the Euro mirrors are actually shorter – they don’t protrude as far from the car.
The second has to do with their glass. Our NA mirrors feature the smaller blind spot mirror built in to the assembly, positioned in the upper corner. The Euro mirrors trade that for a convex outer section providing a larger field of view than the mirror would otherwise be able to offer. And third, they’re actually power folding as opposed to our manual units. BLIS is also available, as shown via the icon in the photo below.
Kindly, Brian has provided me with a few notes from his testing and install for those wanting to know more about fitting these to a North American car:
-First, they are not plug and play. The Euro mirrors have 12 pin connectors, North American have 10. At this point in time Brian has all of the basic functions working (turn signals, heat, motors, puddle lamps) but BLIS and power fold still have to be wired in.
-Second, to make your life easier you’ll want to specifically grab a set from a LHD country as opposed to RHD; this is so that the air temperature sensor will be on the correct side to connect to the car’s wiring. Otherwise it will be housed in the opposite mirror and therefore have nothing to connect to.
-And third, you’ll also want LHD mirrors for our LHD cars because the glass is side-specific; they do not have the same amount of convexity.
All things considered there are a handful of reasons from which to pick as to why you’d want to fit a set of Euro mirrors, and all are perfectly valid. For Brian, it was really a matter of “all of the above”.
Obviously there are still a few final touches to make to have these mirrors fully operational as they would have been on their original European car, but hopefully this provides some useful information or maybe some inspiration for fellow Mk3 enthusiasts. If you’re not overly fussed about BLIS or the power folding and just want a subtle cosmetic change and something different, here’s a relatively straight-forward alteration that can be made to any Mk3. However, being the electrical geek I’m sure it won’t be long before Brian has these things folding and lighting up their icons too.
And with that, we conclude our last regular post and last “install” for the year, before we run our annual review posts and head in to 2020. Be sure to check back soon for those, and as always thanks for reading!