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Re: no side marker - add side bliner in Mirror?

I like it as well, really disappointed I could not use more of the LEDs. After cutting the excess when doing the truck I had 6 left on each piece. Well I tried to solder wire onto one of the leftover pieces and ruined it. I was then left with only 6 LEDs, 3 for each side. Soldered wire on the ends and coated it with liquid electrical tape and tested to make sure they worked. After ensuring they worked I started to take the door panel off (very easy thanks to your write-up), mirrors then came off and ran the wire through the door. I must say the hardest part of the whole mod was running the wire through the door-to-body loom protector. Ran my wire to the BCM and found both of the wires and labeled them (very small wires and tight area to work with but I was determined).

The whole thing took me about three hours, not too bad since I stopped every now and then to have a beer...haha! Two of those were spent on the drivers side and the other on the passenger. The passenger was much easier because I already knew exactly what to do to remove the door panel, the door-to-body loom consisted of less wires so it made fishing it through much faster, and it was closer to the BCM.

If I could do it all over again I would double the amount of LEDs per mirror. Who knows I might redo it in the future but I'm not too worried about it since I have the side markers on my Bu.

On another note, what do you have up your sleeve DrivenDaily? What are those extra wires you ran through there for, I'm dieing to know!

 

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Discussion Starter · #22 · (Edited)
Re: no side marker - add side bliner in Mirror?

The door-to-body was the hardest for me as well. If you end up redoing it in the future, at least all the wires have been run, so it's just a matter of getting the mirror off. But, you might be able to just pop the glass and work it right there, saving a bunch of time!

Since you asked, what's up my sleeve is I'm seeing what I can do to get some heat in those mirrors. If I can get one or two small light fixtures that I can hide inside something to keep the light from escaping then they'll generate some heat for me. I'm also working on getting the remote start to energize the seat heaters, but only when the rear defrost is on, and only when it's cold enough out to need them. But the extra wires in the front doors are for getting the driver's window hooked up to my express module and working with the remote as well. As you may have read in other posts, I can roll all 3 of the other windows up/down from the factory fob, thanks to some fancy wiring at the BCM. The driver's window is still stock.
 

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Re: no side marker - add side bliner in Mirror?

I see, I was surprised to find out the mirrors were not heated to begin with. I myself don't mind but for those folks located in areas with colder weather it must be a PITA. When doing my driver side I was stuck there for a little while, I must have sat there for like 15 minutes thinking to myself..........how in the heck did DrivenDaily fish not one but like four wires through this door-to-body thing?..........haha!

I highly recommend this mod for anyone with an 09+ Malibu, the added lighting will give you some more peace of mind on any type of commute and much safer!


 

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Re: no side marker - add side bliner in Mirror?

Heated mirrors aren't exactly a must here - I actually used them more during the summer or foggy periods of time than during the winter on my last car. But it's a rather weird omission on GM's part considering they have them on Aveos and such.

I think the mod could use a bit more refinement, I mean I don't know what kind of space there's to work with there but having a plastic shield of some sort over them (that would also blur the lighting and make it all look less... I dunno, Christmas-ish) would be nice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 · (Edited)
Re: no side marker - add side bliner in Mirror?

All,
When I was doing this mod I was looking for a way to add heat to the mirror cavity. If I find a way to do it I'll share it with everyone.

Aprime,
The flexible SMT LED light strips are installed as they came out of the package, lacking only the paper I peeled off of the 3M adhesive strip. I don't have access to any kind of plastic moulding equipment so I chose to use them as they are. They come in a soft, smooth "tube" - they're moulded into the plastic. I guess I could have maybe scuffed them up so the light would be diffused, but I didn't think of that. Darn. I guess I'll just have to be happy with clear, precise dots of light instead of little, blurry spots.

If you were to spend a little time investigating you'd know there's almost no room for the LED strips, let alone a diffuser housing.

I'll say this: The wording of your comment above still seems to be somewhat peevish and insulting, but it's better than the one you left about the guy who was showing off his gray 'Bu and new wheels. Improvement takes time. Keep trying.
 

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Re: no side marker - add side bliner in Mirror?

I'll say this: The wording of your comment above still seems to be somewhat peevish and insulting, but it's better than the one you left about the guy who was showing off his gray 'Bu and new wheels. Improvement takes time. Keep trying.
Yeah well, hopefully he's trying. He needs to try harder though....;)
 

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Very nice, it's not my style but props on it. I am waiting on a how to for the express up and down windows :) Also maybe a express close sunroof.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Very nice, it's not my style but props on it. I am waiting on a how to for the express up and down windows :) Also maybe an express close sunroof.
Dude, shhhhh! You're giving away my secret! I am in the process of finding what I need to do to write and reference the how-to. What I'm planning to do is also include just that last comment - how to auto-close the sunroof.

But don't tell anyone, okay?

;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Dang, looks like the cat's outta the bag! :)
 

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You would be my hero if you can figure out how to add auto up and down to all the windows and the sunroof. I bitch about it all the time to the wife haha.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
You would be my hero if you can figure out how to add auto up and down to all the windows and the sunroof. I bitch about it all the time to the wife haha.
Send the cape! :D

I have the "other" three windows on mine already working with express up/down from the factory switches. Fronts can be done on each door, rears can express only from driver's switches.

I also added a little trickery by altering the factory wiring slightly so that I can run the three windows up/down from the factory remote!

Eventually I'll bypass the factory express on the driver's door and have all four doing the hurley burley!

I hope to have the how-to done fairly soon. Stay tuned!

I like red.

For the cape.

And maybe a lightning bolt to represent 'lectricity!
 

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Sweet write up! I got the LED's a few days ago and can't wait to try tackling this soon. I am poking around my car now and looking at the BCM and I see that the wires are in a very tight spot for soldering. How did you go about it any tips?

Is it safe to pull the J1 plug out of the BCM and access the wires that way? There doesn't seem to be much play in the set of wires. Not even enough to find the right ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Sweet write up! I got the LED's a few days ago and can't wait to try tackling this soon. I am poking around my car now and looking at the BCM and I see that the wires are in a very tight spot for soldering. How did you go about it any tips?

Is it safe to pull the J1 plug out of the BCM and access the wires that way? There doesn't seem to be much play in the set of wires. Not even enough to find the right ones.
Thanks for the good words!

I used a butane soldering iron. It gets really hot, really fast, and it's cordless. For the wires that I had to splice into I used a wire stripper (small scissor-style, not the kind on the big crimpers) to section off a piece of the insulation, then a razor to carefully slice that piece, then just peeled it away. You only need to bare a section of wire about 1/8 to 1/4 inch long, then wrap the new wire around it. Don't do it like a twist tie - that's just lumpy. Instead, take the new wire and put the insulation up against the original wire's insulation, then just spiral wrap the exposed new wire around the original. You might need to trim the new wire a little so it doesn't extend past the opening in the original wire. Solder, then cut 2 or 3 short pieces of electrical tape and wrap the joint, then a piece of spiral loom wrap or similar to act as a guard against rubbing.

The J1, 2, and 3 plugs are locked in place. I'm sure you can figure out how to unlock them. Pulling the plug out of the BCM is how I got the wires I was modifying into position so I could get them clear of the rest of the loom. And you're right, it's tight! Just take an extra second or two when plugging it back in to be sure it's lined up correctly. No need to cause an issue, eh?

I think that so long as you don't pull the power to the BCM then you shouldn't have any issues with it forgetting its programming. I've even had the battery cables disconnected several times with no issues. There's gotta be something inside there that keeps its memory alive for certain lengths of time. Imagine a few years from now when it's time to get a new battery: "Hey, Gomer, can you put a battery in my car?" "Sure!" "Hey, Gomer, how come I can't use my accessories any more? What'd you do to my car?"
 

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Thanks Daily! I should pick up a butane soldering iron. I had one that was battery powered for some other head unit install and it was a piece (as you would expect...really batteries driving a soldering iron??).

With your writeup and a little more time this evening I was able to 'practice', getting the door off and investigating and it didn't take long. I had trouble though with the latch cable. That is the only thing standing in my way and doing this mod! I looked, twisted the door around to get a better look, but I was unable to find a way to detach the cable. I am sure I could figure it out with a unobstructed look to check it out, but those are never present with cars. The latch cable has too little slack to simply leave the rest of the door attached. care to help a follower out?
 

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Thanks Daily! I should pick up a butane soldering iron. I had one that was battery powered for some other head unit install and it was a piece (as you would expect...really batteries driving a soldering iron??).

With your writeup and a little more time this evening I was able to 'practice', getting the door off and investigating and it didn't take long. I had trouble though with the latch cable. That is the only thing standing in my way and doing this mod! I looked, twisted the door around to get a better look, but I was unable to find a way to detach the cable. I am sure I could figure it out with a unobstructed look to check it out, but those are never present with cars. The latch cable has too little slack to simply leave the rest of the door attached. care to help a follower out?
You really don't need to take it off. I did mine with it attached, just put something on the floor so that it has something to rest on (I used a bucket).
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
It's a tricky little devil getting it off. Like elcomp suggests, put a bucket or blanket maybe so it's supported.

If you're still just absolutely, positively serious about getting the cable off, then read on. As I recall (it's been 2 1/2 months, now!), you need to squeeze the little tabs on the ferrule that holds the end of the cable housing in the handle bracket. They need to be worked thru the bracket just as far as the nose that is sticking thru, then you can run the cable thru the slot and work the end off the handle.

I'm not sure about the squeezy part, but they DO need to move just far enough to let the nose clear the bracket. I believe that the hole it snaps into is rectangular, but my memory is hazy on that as well.

The biggest thing you need to accomplish is getting the nose out of the bracket. Be careful and it'll come out with only a little finessing. (Is that spelt right?)

Hope this helps. If not, then I'll take a look (maybe this weekend) and see if I can help a little more. Glad you're benefitting from the article!
 

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Sorry off topic..

How did u remove the back housing from the mirror..? Did u just use a flat head to pop it out since I can see all that's holding it are clips. The reason I ask is because i want to buy that cover to match my paint on my whitemalibu and the dealer told me that piece doesn't come off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 · (Edited)
It's a little tricky, but just take your time. I had to stop and try again. Use a small flat screwdriver to release the two clips on the end nearest the window. Once they are just barely loose then work the bottom edge out of the groove in the housing. Once that much is loosened (but not completely free!) then you'll have a little more room to get the other clips loose. Use your noodle, too, but don't overthink it. Take a look at the close-ups in the article and use them to help guide your efforts.
 
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