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How to Replace a Side Mirror on a Ford Ranger (With Photos)

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I've been tinkering with cars for a decade, and have replaced almost half of the parts on a number of Ford Rangers.

Introduction

A broken side mirror can be very annoying; it also poses a safety hazard to you and others while on the road. Luckily, replacing your Ford Ranger's side mirror is much easier than you might think. It's a job that can be done in about 30 minutes! In this article, you will be guided (with photos) through the process of replacing your Ranger's side mirror.

A broken driver-side mirror.

A broken driver-side mirror.

Tools You'll Need

You'll need the following tools to complete this repair:

  • A Phillips screwdriver
  • A Torx screwdriver (size may vary depending on year and model)
  • A socket wrench
  • A deep socket (size may vary depending on year and model)

For a 2002 Ford Ranger, you'll need a T20 Torx screwdriver and an 11mm deep socket.

From left to right: a Phillips screwdriver, a Torx screwdriver, a deep socket, and a socket wrench.

From left to right: a Phillips screwdriver, a Torx screwdriver, a deep socket, and a socket wrench.

Step 1: Removing Your Door Panel

how-to-change-a-car-mirror

Unscrewing the Phillips Head Screws in Your Door Panel

Begin by opening your door. You will need to remove the inside panel to access the bolts that hold your side mirror in place.

You will find Phillips head screws in the armrest as well as the bottom left corner of the door panel. Unscrew both.

Once you have the screws out, be sure to put them in an easy-to-find location where they will not be misplaced. A good way to ensure this is to place them in a small bowl or jar.

Unscrewing the Torx Head Screw in Your Door Panel

Next, you will find the Torx head screw inside of your window crank handle. You will need to pry off the outer casing of the window crank handle with a screwdriver. You should not force the casing too hard; light to medium pressure should be sufficient.

Once you have removed the outer casing, move it to the side and you can access the Torx head screw with your Torx screwdriver. When you have removed the screw, the crank handle will come off. Place the handle to the side in a safe place.

Detaching Your Panel

Now you are ready to remove the door panel. There are tabs in the panel that fit into slots in the door, so you will need to lift up on the panel to detach it. Make sure you clear the lock pin as you lift the door panel. Once the lock pin is cleared, pull the panel away from the door and it should come off easily.

Step 2: Removing Your Old Side Mirror

After the panel is removed, you will see a thin, paper-like covering on the metal in the right upper corner of your door. This is called a dust protector. Peel this away and put it in a safe place. Behind the dust protector you will see three holes. These holes provide access to the three screws that hold your side mirror to your door.

At this point, you'll need your wrench with the deep socket attached. The deep socket will allow you to reach and loosen the nuts through the access holes.

Loosen each nut and set them aside. When you get each nut completely loose, be sure to carefully pull them off so they rest in the socket. You don't want them falling inside your door! After each nut is off, remove your old side mirror and throw it away.

Step 3: Installing Your New Side Mirror

Take your new side mirror out of its packaging and double check that there are no cracks or issues with it. The last thing you want to do is install a faulty piece.

Your side mirror will have three threaded bolts attached to it. Insert these through the three holes left in the door from your previous mirror. While holding the new mirror against the door, put a nut into the socket on your wrench and carefully tighten it onto the top bolt of the new mirror.

Once this first nut is tight, you can let go of the mirror and put on the final two nuts. Be sure to not over-tighten the nuts! This can cause damage to your new mirror and/or create a hassle for you down the line should you ever need to remove the mirror again.

Step 4: Replacing Your Door Panel

After you finish putting on your new side mirror, return the dust protector to its original place covering the holes. If the adhesive is weak, you can lightly brush it with rubber cement to help it stick in place.

Next, set the door panel's tabs into their slots and push it back into place, making sure to get the lock pin back in its hole.

Finally, screw the Phillips head screws and the Torx head screw back into their places on the door panel and click the crank handle cover back into place.

Great job! You've just successfully replaced your Ranger's side mirror!

2002 Ford Ranger XLT with a new side mirror.

2002 Ford Ranger XLT with a new side mirror.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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