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Old 11-05-2009, 05:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 09 Forester heated mirror upgrade

So after upgrading my Tacoma, I couldn't resist doing it to the family scooby as well.

As always, proceed at your own risk, I in no way assume responsibility for mistakes in this article.. If you don't feel comfortable performing this work: Don't! Or ask some questions clear it up. Proceed at your own risk!!

Of course the 09 forester was a little bit more challenging, as in not as much spaced out as the 02 Taco, and a little easier, as in I only had to tap in to the Rear defrost circuit to make it happen.. Here goes.

I installed Burco #3801 heating elements into the mirrors. In short: The mirrors have to be removed from the car, to route the wires thru. The mirror & plastic backing have to be removed to install the heating element. The doors panels have to be removed in order to do this.

Our 09 forester 2.5X has two spare wires that run from the connector inside the cab to the connector near the mirror (the black w/white stripe, and Red wires). It appears that Subaru uses the same wiring harness for the doors, and for the main body harness omits the mirror wires.

I have the 09 FSM wiring diagram, and almost thought that all I'd have to do is install the heating elements, and wire them to the door harness, however, found that the wires in the door connector didn't have power when the Rear Defrost switch was activated.

Disassembling the doors:
1: pop off tab on door opening handle tab, remove screw. Same on handle.

2: Two more screws are hidden under the power window switches. This silver trim panel pops up, I used a flat head screw driver, slid it under the back end, and popped it off, it takes more force then you think! I thought I'd break it, but that didn't happen.

09 Forester heated mirror upgrade-doorscrew.jpg

3: After all 4 screws are out, you can pop the door panel off, it has perhaps 7 of those fasteners, start at the bottom and work your way around popping them out of their holes, then lifting the panel up and out.

4: you can leave the door panel hanging by the cables for the latch, didn't seem to hurt ours. You'll have to unplug the wires for the 'paddle light', and the door lock and window switches.

09 Forester heated mirror upgrade-doorscrews2.jpg
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09 Forester heated mirror upgrade-fusebox.jpg   09 Forester heated mirror upgrade-mirror.jpg   09 Forester heated mirror upgrade-wires1.jpg  
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Old 11-05-2009, 05:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Nice write-up. Thanks Taco. Don't think I will need this one as I am in FLA, many here will though!!!
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Old 11-05-2009, 08:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Bookmarking this for later.
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Old 11-06-2009, 03:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Part two:

OK, so the door panels are off. Now pop the interior mirror panels off, the small triangular one, and you'll see the 3 socket head screws to the mirror and the wires. It's easiest to remove the mirror elements from the housing while they're still on the car. Now that the mirror & plastic backing plate is off the car, you can install the heating element.

09 Forester heated mirror upgrade-mirror.jpg

1) Separate the mirror from the element: One way to do this is to put it in the oven @300F for 2 mins, and the adhesive is soft enough to work the mirror out. I found some wood shims very useful to help me with that.

2) I used Brakeclean to clean off the adhesive of the back side of the mirror.

3) I just stuck the heating element on the backing plate, careful to line the terminals out the square hole, that they perfectly fit in.

4) Using some Liquid Nails Mirror adhesive, put a bead around the mirror, and re-assemble the mirror / backing plate.

Now It's time for some wiring:

1) The mirror housing is off the car, and its time to fish the wires thru the joint where the mirror folds in. On the bottom you'll see a plastic cap, which pops off.

2) Remove the 3 T-25 Torx screws. Now you'll have a half inch to fish the wires thru.

A note on the wires, I use 18 gauge. The resistance of the heating elements was something like 15 ohms, so at 14v (car running), we're talking around 1 amp... Not that much really, and easily handled by 18g.

For making connections, I like 'heat shrink butt connections', and my handy ratcheting style crimper.
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Old 11-06-2009, 04:03 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Pt 3

09 Forester heated mirror upgrade-wires2.jpg

Now the mirror housing can be installed on the door, bolted back on. Now here's the time saving trick - Subaru has two wires in the door's harness that aren't used. There's 5 wires, and only 3 go on to the pwr mirror's. So we're going to use the two wires (Red, and Black w/ white stripe) to run the power thru the doors.

Cut the two wires, and connect them to the two new wires in the mirror.

09 Forester heated mirror upgrade-drharness.jpg

Now picking up those two wires in the cab. You'll have to remove the trim. It simply pops back, and you can bend it back to get at the connector.

09 Forester heated mirror upgrade-wires1.jpg
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Old 11-06-2009, 04:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Great write up..... just a FYI the 2 wires you use already in the door are for the factory tweeetrs....
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Old 11-06-2009, 05:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Putting it all together

So now we have the wires ran into the cab. Double check with a multimeter - you can simply test for resistance on the two wires - should read around 15 ohms, and you know you're wires going thru the door to the mirrors are all good. Now's a good time to re-assemble the door.

The panel under the glove box also pops off with the three buttons, and the wires can be run to the engine compartment.

I used a coat hanger, and elect. tape, taped the wires to the hanger, and poked it thru the big rubber grommet on the passenger side, and the same on the drivers side. Connect the wires, zip tie them nicely out of the way.

Here's how I ran my wires in the Engine compartment. They're in the Blue split-loom insulation.

09 Forester heated mirror upgrade-wireroute.jpg


Split-loom insulation will keep those wires protected for the life of your vehicle. The wires get ran to the fusebox.

And for the next trick. Tying it into the R. Defrost circuit. It's nice because the rear defroster circuit is just how Subaru powers the heated mirrors too! It has capacity to handle a couple extra ams, and it has a nice timer that shuts off in 15 minutes.. And I think it won't run the heater when the engine is off, to avoid draining the battery.

09 Forester heated mirror upgrade-fusebox-copy.jpg

4 tabs hold the fuse panel in the box, push them in and work the panel up. Splice the power lead to the mirrors into the Red w/ Blue stipe.

You can verify that you have the correct wire with the voltmeter, check for continuity between the R. Defrost 25A fuse, and the terminal that corresponds to the wire on the bottom of the fuse panel. It's just good to be sure!

I ran the ground to the ground connection just behind the fuse box.

Hope this helps!
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Old 11-06-2009, 05:38 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Tweeter wires

Good of you to know TC, I also recognized the factory tweeter wires, and didn't use them.
09 Forester heated mirror upgrade-tweet.jpg

Just to make this as clear as possible, here's the two wires I used.
09 Forester heated mirror upgrade-doorwires.jpg

My hunch is that subaru just saves a little effort by using the same door harness for models w/ and w/out heated mirrors. The wires weren't connected to anything on to door side of the connector, also they weren't connected to anything on the cab side. So I felt pretty free to use them.
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Old 11-06-2009, 07:11 AM   #9 (permalink)
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All Canadian 09/10 Foresters come with heated mirrors as standard, so you would think the wiring should be compatible. Good write up for those who do not have them but want them. And they work real well too!
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Old 11-06-2009, 06:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the positive feedback! It was a fun project - I enjoy mods that really expand the functionality of the car. Installing a remote start is next on the list.

The heating elements I got from Hubcapsplus.com, $25 each, so this really doesn't cost all that much. And will really be transparent in function, as it's wired into the stock system.
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Old 11-07-2009, 03:57 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I guys I can try to do the same on my 08?
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Old 11-07-2009, 06:22 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default 08 Mirrors

Well, in concept it would be the same, however, the 09 is revised so much, so the wiring will be different I'm sure.

That said, if you can locate the same wire on the underside of the fuse panel, you're golden. To test for it, use the multimeter, pull the R.Defrost fuse, and the wiring connection closest to the fuse, and figure out which wire it is by testing for continuity (i.e. 0 ohms) between the terminal and the fuse. It might even be the same colors.

Taking the doors apart might be different too, I'm sure you can figure it out if you look around. Have fun!
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:37 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Taco,

Great write up, I'm planning on doing this to my Forester before the cold weather sets in.

One question for you, you state:

"It's easiest to remove the mirror elements from the housing while they're still on the car."

I assume that you are talking about removing the glass mirror from the black housing. Can you tell me how to get the glass mirror out. Does it just pop out ? I'm thinking about prying on it with a putty knife.

Thanks for any advice !!
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Old 10-11-2010, 03:29 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I did this mod over the weekend and now I have heated mirrors

Props to TacoShmo for the write up, it was very helpful

Here are a couple of additional notes:

1) As noted above, the heater elements are $25.00 I ended up buying the complete heated mirror glass from the dealer for $50.00. For me it was worth the extra $25.00/side not to have to mess with the whole heat in the oven and then glue in the elements process. Just my take on it.

2) I didn't want to fish the wiring from the mirrors through the firewall and splice into the red wire with a blue stripe under the fuse box. I got to thinking that that mysterious red wire with a blue stripe must travel to the rear of the car. After a little searching I found it right in the plug that has the red and black wire that comes out of the driver side door. That made for a clean install.

Now all I need for the winter is some good snow tires
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:04 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Fantastic write up.
The all weather option was one thing missing (not available) on my XT Premium.
This is DEFINITELY on my mod list.
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