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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This guide involves the 02+ USDM Lexus IS300 and the 98-01 (exact years unconfirmed) JDM Toyota Altezza with the non-heated and non-electrochromatic side mirrors.

Note: The intent of this thread is to simply provide information to those wishing to perform this retrofit; Due to the compulsory custom fabrication, a step by step walk through is neither practical nor beneficial.

The first step is of course to disassemble both sets of mirrors. The only thing worth noting about the disassembly process is in order to remove the glass mirror from the housing, pull up from the bottom of the mirror as illustrated below:



Once disassembled, you should have the following pieces:











Topics of interest:
The side mirror mounts of the JDM set are angled for RHD and will never be aligned correctly for LHD use.
Likewise, the mirror glass of the JDM set is also designed for RHD.
The JDM housing is smaller than the USDM housing which must accommodate the larger USDM heated/electrochromatic mirrors.
The USDM spring loaded mechanism and the JDM power folding motor share no mounting points.
The USDM mirror cover attaches with clips whereas the JDM mirror cover is held via screws.
The 4-way mirror motor assemblies are all identical and share the same part number.

With this information, it should be noted that there are several extents to which this retrofit could be performed. The JDM Housing and motor can be attached to the USDM mounts to achieve the correct viewing angle. The JDM mirrors can then be used if losing the heating & auto dimming functions is acceptable. In order to retain these functions, significant dremeling of the JDM housing must occur in order to physically accommodate the larger USDM mirrors.

Another approach is to fabricate mounting points for the JDM motor inside the USDM housing which will of course allow for the use of the USDM mirror and mount. This is the preferred yet most time-consuming solution. One such method in which to attach the JDM motor to the USDM housing is illustrated below:



Although there are originally 6 points of attachment for the JDM motor, I felt that the 4 points depicted by red arrows were sufficient. Note that the mounting post indicated by the blue arrow can be used to ensure proper alignment of the folding motor by attaching the 4-way mirror motor to its three mounting points before creating any new mounting points.



An area on the back of the housing was dremeled to allow the mounting of a thin piece of stainless steel to provide two mounting points. All holes were then drilled and tapped to allow the threading of screws. Also, custom spacers were created out of copper tubing to allow the screws to be torqued appropriately without deforming the housing and/or motor bracket. Note that the plastic used in the folding motor bracket is very dense and strong enough to provide a competent mount when threaded properly.

The electrical connections are fairly straightforward. The JDM mirror pigtail
connector (shown below) possess the following wiring pinout:



1: Pink w/ Green stripe
2: No Connect
3: Green w/ Red stripe
4: Green
5: Pink w/ Blue stripe
6: Pink w/ Black stripe
7: Blue w/ Yellow stripe
8: Blue w/ Red stripe
9: Gray
10: White w/ Black stripe

The USDM harness colors match exactly with the exception of a blue wire which goes to the JDM Blue/Red wire. The additional Green & Green/Red wires control the power fold operation and therefore connect to the blue & green leads of the folding motors.

Note: the auto dimming wiring is present in the passenger side mirror, but 02-03 US spec passenger mirrors do not possess this capability (unsure of 04+). Therefore, the two wires can be used to control the fold operation in order to avoid having to run additional wire. The wires of concern are Pink & Gray within the mirror unit and can also be located in the passenger kick panel, in a front 20-pin connector as the white/red (pin 8) & green/red (pin 20) wires. Splice into these wires in the passenger kick panel to avoid having to run additional wire through the passenger door grommet

Overall, the retrofit is fairly clear-cut but highly involved. Although a successful retrofit provides 100% OEM functionality and quality, I would suggest if at all possible to source a set of LHD, heated, autodimming, and power folding mirrors to significantly decrease project time consumption.

EDIT For clarification:
I've received a lot of messages from people who connected the motors to the pink & gray wires asking why it did not work. The pink and gray wires are present in both doors and are connected to the auto dim function of the rear view mirror. However, ONLY the driver's (left) side mirror of US cars actually dims. Maybe this was changed in 04+, but for 02-03 only the driver's side mirror has the white gel stuff on it that makes the glass dim. To verify, remove your passenger mirror glass and check to see if it has the white gel with the attached connector like the driver's side mirror, or simply shine a flashlight into the rear view mirror light sensor and check to see if the passenger mirror actually dims.

Because the passenger mirror does not auto dim, I suggested using the pink and gray wires on the passenger side to avoid having to run wires through the door grommet which is a huge pain. You will still need to run 2 wires from the mirror switch through the driver's side door grommet to the passenger kick panel. At that point find the front 20-pin connector and the white/red (pin 8) & green/red (pin 20) wires. Cut these wires and solder the cut wires to the 2 wires from the mirror switch. Now the pink and gray wires that are already present in the passenger side mirror housing can be cut and connected to the folding motor. This process is simply an optional time saver instead of having to run the 2 wires from the mirror switch through the passenger door grommet into the passenger door and up to the passenger mirror.
 

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WoW! First you were asking me for info and now your writing the JDM
mirror Bible. I love it! Youve just given me the inspiration to rework
and customize the motors for the USDM housing. I would like to know
how the viewing angles come out. +REP
 

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Discussion Starter #5
WoW! First you were asking me for info and now your writing the JDM
mirror Bible. I love it! Youve just given me the inspiration to rework
and customize the motors for the USDM housing. I would like to know
how the viewing angles come out. +REP
You provided my initial inspiration just knowing that it could be done ;) As far as the viewing angles are concerned, my mirrors are literally mounted in the exact position as before within the USDM housing and since I continued to use the USDM mount, the viewing angles are completely unaltered. I forgot to mention though the only issue which is not completely addressed in my install. Since the motors are from a RHD and the brackets from a LHD, the motor stop positions are reversed with respect to the bracket angles. Thus the passenger side will fold in a bit too far and the driver side doesn't quite fold in enough. This issue could probably be fixed, but I folded in the mirrors and asked two people if they noticed anything unusual about the mirrors and neither had any response so I chalked it up to being overly anal and decided to skip this modification. If you do decide to tackle this issue, take pictures of the disassemble motor housing and I will try to come up with a solution. I'm curious whether the motor stop is mechanical or electrical in nature.
 

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nicely done! im impressed. :) +rep
 

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Great write-up. The mods should add this to the DIY thread.+ rep
 

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Thanks, i was not looking forward to grinding the jdm housing or trying to color match the covers(last batch of paint had to much metallic).I knew it could be done , I just didn't give it enough time as I should have. Ill give it another look, and a lot more time. I will also look in to the auto dimming of the passenger side mirror. I do recall all three mirrors dimming, although I could be wrong. Great work + rep
 

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Too much to read right now but + rep.
 

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Hey austin, can you elaborate on the 4th mounting point that is
not clearly visible. I will be doing this on the weekend.
Thanx!
 

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Very nice write-up!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hey austin, can you elaborate on the 4th mounting point that is
not clearly visible. I will be doing this on the weekend.
Thanx!
The screw is not present in that photo but once you examine the pieces it should become clear what needs to be done. On the USDM housing there is a vertical screw hole present at the 4th arrow location, so I simply dremeled a small tab off the JDM motor bracket which allowed me to then drill and tap that location for a screw. If you don't have a tap set, I suggest picking a cheap one up (a la Harbor Freight). Also, don't forget to use a lubricant when threading new holes.
 

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The screw is not present in that photo but once you examine the pieces it should become clear what needs to be done. On the USDM housing there is a vertical screw hole present at the 4th arrow location, so I simply dremeled a small tab off the JDM motor bracket which allowed me to then drill and tap that location for a screw. If you don't have a tap set, I suggest picking a cheap one up (a la Harbor Freight). Also, don't forget to use a lubricant when threading new holes.

Nice. I just realized your from L.A. I got to harbor freight all the time.
Lot of disposable tools, great for the price. We might have to kick it
just incase I screw things up.:p Nah, I should be cool, You did a good job with this, I must admit!
 

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+ rep man for a good write up i been trying to tackle this for the last 3yrs . do you have a wirring diagram on how to connect the jdm relay to the mirrors and switch . example : dont know if you know about the honda powerfolding mirrors diagram . more or less like that .. let me know thanks again for the step by step.. ;)
 

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Lol this is so weird. I was watching eastern promises the other day and the mercedes viggo was driving had folding mirrors. I was like, "Thats sick, I wish I could do that on the IS300."What do you know theres a diy on it. However, it seems way to difficult so ill just forget about it lol. +rep.
 

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As far as the viewing angles are concerned, my mirrors are literally mounted in the exact position as before within the USDM housing and since I continued to use the USDM mount, the viewing angles are completely unaltered.
this is exactly what i did when i mounted JDM folding mirrors on my scion.

I forgot to mention though the only issue which is not completely addressed in my install. Since the motors are from a RHD and the brackets from a LHD, the motor stop positions are reversed with respect to the bracket angles. Thus the passenger side will fold in a bit too far and the driver side doesn't quite fold in enough. This issue could probably be fixed, but I folded in the mirrors and asked two people if they noticed anything unusual about the mirrors and neither had any response so I chalked it up to being overly anal and decided to skip this modification. If you do decide to tackle this issue, take pictures of the disassemble motor housing and I will try to come up with a solution. I'm curious whether the motor stop is mechanical or electrical in nature.
the motors are a mechanical stop. I believe the motors actually turn the mirrors the same amount, but due to the different mount angles one folds in more than the other. in a few cars i've checked out in japan, the right hand side mirror does not fold in as far as the left side (exactly opposite from ours)
 

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Someone needs to sticky this.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
+ rep man for a good write up i been trying to tackle this for the last 3yrs . do you have a wirring diagram on how to connect the jdm relay to the mirrors and switch . example : dont know if you know about the honda powerfolding mirrors diagram . more or less like that .. let me know thanks again for the step by step.. ;)
The early style Altezza mirrors like the ones used in this guide do not have a relay box. The only wiring necessary for these mirrors is already explained above.

the motors are a mechanical stop. I believe the motors actually turn the mirrors the same amount, but due to the different mount angles one folds in more than the other. in a few cars i've checked out in japan, the right hand side mirror does not fold in as far as the left side (exactly opposite from ours)
Thanks for the info. I could have verified this fact simply by mounting the JDM mirrors and folding them inward before disassembly, but sadly I did not. If that is the case then I probably won't bother with trying to alter the motor stops.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Now I have a question for you all. My local dealer wants to charge $7 a piece for a pigtail wire (a 6" piece of wire with a connector pin on the end which inserts into the plastic connector housings). I had wanted to make plug & play harnesses for the install but obviously this is a pretty steep price considering there are 9*2 wires on the mirror switch alone. Anyone know of a cheaper source to obtain the crimp on connector pins? I have all of the actual connector housing part numbers needed, but apparently you can not order the crimp connectors and must instead rely on your local dealership to have the correct connector in stock in their wiring repair kit.
 
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