June 14th, 2003 : Side-View Mirrors
All my truck had for side-view mirrors were clamp-on peeps ... barely any help when I needed to see what was on the road behind me ... so I ordered new stock mirrors. After checking prices in all the catalogs I've gathered, the best buy was through The Truck Shop -- special thanks to my ChevyTalk pal, VWNate for pointing me to that resource! They offer four different round mirror types -- three were five inches round and one was five and five-eighths inches round -- I bought the largest type. PS -- The kit does not come with washers and nuts! But thirty-eight cents and a trip to my local hardware store took care of that.
The first thing I do whenever I buy something that's metal or rubber, is to give it a good coat of GIBBS Penetrating Oil -- GIBBS penetrates the metal and stops rust from ever happening ... and since the mirrors would be subject to rain and snow, I put 2 coats of Rain-X on the glass.
Using some reference photos that I had, I started by drilling holes for the passenger side (you can feel dimples on the underside of the cowl, but the photos worked better for me) ... and if you can have a pal hold the mirrors in place while you sit in the driver seat and check positions for viewing, you'll be right on the mark. Also, I kinda did my own thing -- holding the mirror bracket on the cowl area, with the rubber mounting gasket in place (to avoid scratching the paint), I tried different positions ... if I went too far up, I could feel the mount rocking ... so I moved the mount downwards until there was no rocking-movement and marked it there. With a piece of masking tape under the mount, I made my marks and drilled two holes.
Note: Be careful -- there are seams under this area and if you wind up drilling into the middle of one, it could be trouble!
Next, I put some clear RTV silicone sealant around the drilled holes (to keep rain water out), carefully placed the rubber gaskets over the holes and installed the mirrors. Getting the washers and nuts onto the bolts from under the dash-area was a bit tricky, but manageable ... once I got the nuts good and snug (by hand) with lock washers on, I simply tightened the bolts from the outside and, luckily, didn't need to hold the nuts while doing so (thanks to the lock washers) -- the bolts tightened up nicely.
Just as I finished the passenger side, dark ominous clouds started threatening and filling the sky ... I grabbed my camera, took the shots you see above and ran into the house. As soon as I got inside, it started coming down in buckets -- cats and dogs were bouncing off the roof for about twenty minutes - non-stop! Then, just as suddenly as it started, it stopped. I took a coffee break and then went back out and installed the mirror for the driver side.
As soon as I finished adjusting both sides, I cleaned up and went to my Mom's for dinner. Perfecto! I could see beautifully on both sides -- what a difference!
PS!! -- Make sure you soak the mirror-post and ball-end with GIBBS Penetrating Oil! After only 10 days (7 or 8 of which were full of rain) I noticed major rust on these parts! Man, oh man! You would think they would use stainless steel parts for these things!!! But they don't ... sigh. "My kingdom for an intellegent manufacturer of truck parts!!!"