How to: Jeep Wranger TJ mirrors on a Jeep Cherokee XJ

I've always hated the mirrors on my 1997 Jeep Cherokee XJ. They're too small and they look dumb! A rugged, manly vehicle deserves rugged, manly mirror. Right? I got these mirrors from Amazon for less than $40 for the pair and I'm really happy with them. They're for a TJ Jeep Wranger but they also look like YJ mirrors. 

First thing I did was pop the door panel off and remove the old mirrors. They're held on with three torx bolts. A little care was needed in squeezing the electrical connecter through the grommet.

Next, I took the gasket that came with the new TJ Wranger mirrors and marked the holes that needed to be drilled in the sheet metal. All I did was bolt the new mirror to this thin section of sheet metal, which is not ideal because it could get ripped out of the sheet metal if it snags a tree or something, but the vicinity of the creases and folds in the metal makes it a bit stiffer in this spot so that helps a little. I could have used longer bolts and bolted all the way through both sides of the door (the outer sheet metal seen here, and the inner "skin" that's behind the plastic door panel. However, I didn't know if it would interfere with the window at all, and I also didn't think about it before buying the shorter bolts. If it's not strong enough I'll take it apart and do this as I don't think it will be a problem with the window. 

I could just barely reach my arm inside the door far enough to reach the back of the bolts to get the nuts and washers on. It was possible, but it was a stretch! I guess I have normal length and girth arms, not terribly skinny but not body builder arms either. I had to remove my jacket because it was making my arms too thick to fit though.

Here's how I did it myself without asking someone to hold the mirror while I worked the nuts onto the bolts: The first bolt to go on wasn't a bolt at all, it was a sheet metal screw. If you notice in the pic above, one hole is actually smaller than the other two. I screwed the mirror do the door, and it held tentatively. Then I got the two bolts on. Then I removed the sheet metal screw, drilled the hole the larger size needed, then installed the last bolt. Worked like a charm!

Here's a mistake a made. I didn't use the plastic "gasket" that came with the new mirrors on the passenger side and the mirror didn't fit flush with the sheet metal. This made it very jiggly! When going down the road at a meager 10mph, the mirror was jiggling so bad I could not even see out of it. I had to re-do it with the gasket in place, this fixed it. Mostly. 

However, the gaskets that came with the mirrors were not flat, they had circular tabs that stood proud of the surface about 2mm or 3mm. I presume those tabs fit in the TJ door or something. I cut them off with a saw. 

Tah-dah!

installing wranger tj mirrors on a jeep cherokee xj installing wranger tj mirrors on a jeep cherokee xj installing wranger tj mirrors on a jeep cherokee xj

Next, I'll need to make little "mirror delete" panels that will glue/rivet to where the old mirrors where located. Should be easy. I need to do this before it rains.

Here's the mirrors I bought from Amazon:

The location is perfect. They're actually taller than the stock ones even though they're bolted much further south. They look perfect too, in my opinion. They should have been installing these mirrors from the factory! However, I admit they're not as functional. They're manual mirrors and the old ones where motorized. They're also probably less aerodynamic. But who cares! They look cool!