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  1. #1
    Dark Ride's Avatar
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    Auto-Dim Rearview Mirror w/ compass

    I've heard there are two different brands of autodim mirrors. I'm looking for the better of the two brands obviously, with a compass, and possibly a external thermostat. I'm curious what years/vehicles got these.

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    Mitch
    -Mitch Reed
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  2. #2

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    The Gentex mirrors are the better ones. Those can be found in a variety of GM vehicles. Parkavenues, bonnevilles, auroras, silverados, yukons, tahoes etc....

    The Gentex mirrors may have be stamped with either Gentex, or GNTX.

    I would steer clear of the On star mirrors. No need for the extra buttons that will be useless in your vehicle.
    1989 Buick Regal GS Four Seater | 3.1L&nbsp; 440T4 |&nbsp; No Longer with a Black hood * For Sale come spring? *<br />1994 Chevy Silverado Z71 | 5.7 L&nbsp; 4L60 - E | 1 of a few<br />2000 Buick Regal LS | 3800 Series II&nbsp; 4T65-E| 1 of Many

  3. #3
    Dark Ride's Avatar
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    What years did they start using Gentex ones?
    -Mitch Reed
    1998 Grand Prix GTP Supercharged
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  4. #4

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    The Gentex ones are far more popular and much easier to find. They were used all the way from about 97 on up.
    1991 Buick Regal GS - 121k - 3800 SI - 440T4/4T60 - White/Silver Two-Tone - Grey Sport Interior *DEAD*
    1991 Chevrolet Lumina Euro 3.1 - 116k - 3.1 - 440T4/4T60 - White - Blue Interior *SOLD*
    1997 Chevrolet Monte Carlo LS - 180k - 3100 - 4T60-E - Torch Red - Grey Interior *TRADED*
    2002 Pontiac Grand Prix SE - 195k - 3100 - 4T65-E - Teal - Charcoal Interior *SOLD*
    1993 Chevrolet Caprice Classic - 189k - 5.0 - 700R4 - Maroon - Maroon Interior

  5. #5

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    Mid-90s on up on a whole slew of cars, but keep in mind they slightly redesigned them around '00 or so depending on the car. I've never heard of a Gentex mirror failing, while the Donnellys leaking is very common. They were available on too many makes and models to mention, GM and otherwise. You just have to kind of look around while in the yard.

    BTW, I just cut myself pretty bad Saturday while trying to remove the windshield mounting button off a self dimming compass mirror that had some glass stuck to it. I knew I was in trouble when I saw how deep the cut was, and how bad it was bleeding when I didn't apply pressure. Had to go to the hospital. Got 6 stitches.
    1990 Pontiac Grand Prix SE McLaren Turbo (1 of 2749 SLD ), 1989 Pontiac 6000 STE AWD (1 of 1376 SLD )
    1990 Pontiac Grand Prix STE McLaren Turbo (1 of 1000 SLD ), 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Special Edition (1 of 1341)


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    I should also mention that a lot of Non-GM vehicles that got the Gentex auto-dim mirrors were usually just auto-dim only,and didnt' have the compass. Basically, stick with finding one from a GM and you should be fine.

    Here is what the Donnelly's in GM's look like. These were usually found in 2nd Gen W's without onstar...but were also widely used in many foreign made vehicles, as well as some Ford and Dodge trucks.


    And here is the Gentex that was found in a lot of GM's. The most popular vehicle i've found these in is the Full size GM trucks (Silverado's, yukons, Sierra's etc...) as well as some larger GM luxury cars, (auroras, park avenues etc)

    Earlier Intrigue GLS models also came with that same style of mirror/compass...but they also had map lights. These were only found on Intrigue GLS', so they can be kind of rare.



    I have the Donnelly mirror in my Regal, and so far there hasn't been an issue with it. However the Driver side mirror did fail and drain out...and that one was a Gentex
    Last edited by Regal_GS_1989; 09-14-2010 at 01:20 PM.
    1989 Buick Regal GS Four Seater | 3.1L&nbsp; 440T4 |&nbsp; No Longer with a Black hood * For Sale come spring? *<br />1994 Chevy Silverado Z71 | 5.7 L&nbsp; 4L60 - E | 1 of a few<br />2000 Buick Regal LS | 3800 Series II&nbsp; 4T65-E| 1 of Many

  7. #7

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    I added a gentex dimming/Compass/Temp mirror to the Lumina. They are almost impossible to find the the JY so your best bet is to get one off of ebay. Looks like they are going for around $30 + shipping and you will need the temp sensor which goes with another $20. But you may be able to find a compatible one in the JY. This is assuming you don't mind not having map lights since as stated above only the super rare GLS mirror has them.

  8. #8

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    The Intrigue mirror w/maplights is not all that desirable. It drains the battery when wired up in a 1st gen W because in the Intrigue, it's power is BCM controlled.
    I have an Intrigue mirror that's been disconnected for years. I'm thinking about replacing it with a non-lighted mirror and adding the overhead console w/domelight.

  9. #9
    Wheels's Avatar
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    There was a guy on ebay that use to sell the Gentex autodimming mirror with compass. The neat thing about it was that he could change the color of the LCD compass lights. So instead of the green LEDs, he could change it to red, orange, blue, purple, etc. He had the pontiac redish color that i wanted but never bought. Anyone know who i'm talking about? I dont remember his ebay name.

  10. #10
    gpchris's Avatar
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    Is there any wiring involved in installing the gentex mirror? Do they have lights on them? I've been seriously considering this mod for a long time. My stupid iPhone compass never stays calibrated.
    2009 Pontiac G8 GT 6.0/A6

  11. #11

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    The Gentex ones are just snapped together and can be opened with a credit card (use an expired one, because the credit card will get ruined). Then you can remove the blue filter and replace it with whatever color filter you want.

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    Wheels's Avatar
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    Oh really? Well thats good to know because he wanted $75 for a new. Our local salvage yards sell them for $10.

    GPChris... some have maplights, some dont. Its pretty easy to install and wire up. I believe the autodim/compass only have 3 wires (i could be wrong though).

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by GnatGoSplat View Post
    The Intrigue mirror w/maplights is not all that desirable. It drains the battery when wired up in a 1st gen W because in the Intrigue, it's power is BCM controlled.
    I have an Intrigue mirror that's been disconnected for years. I'm thinking about replacing it with a non-lighted mirror and adding the overhead console w/domelight.
    I know we've discussed this many times before, but this still bugs me. I'm having trouble understanding how this is possible. Regardless of whether the BCM controls it in the Intrigues, it doesn't make sense to me that it can still draw power from a source that receives no power with the ignition off in a different car.



    Quote Originally Posted by gpchris View Post
    Is there any wiring involved in installing the gentex mirror?
    If you're getting one that has just self dimming and a compass, wiring is a breeze. The compass is self contained, so all you will have to do is run the +12 wire to a source that comes on with accessories, and then ground the negative. The third wire, usually green, is to disable the self dimming feature when the car is in reverse. A useless feature to most people, and subsequently, is very, very seldom installed. If you get one with temp as well, you will need a temp sensor mounted near the grill as mentioned, which you will also have to run back to the mirror.



    Quote Originally Posted by gpchris View Post
    Do they have lights on them?
    Very few Gentex mirrors have map lights built in since the cars they came in usually featured overhead console lights and/or dome lights. As several above mentioned, one of the very few GMs to get them as an option was the Intrigue, and only in the GLS trim. There are a few other newer vehicles like some Land Rovers that have the same mirror, except with the addition of the outside temp feature in a dual display. Of course, the GLS' will be hard enough to find in the yard, let alone newer Land Rovers.

    Through the years, Gentex has just added more and more features to their mirrors. First was the motorized ones that would go back and forth themselves to dim the mirror in the presence of bright lights from behind. Then came the electro-chromic self dimming, self dimming with compass, self dimming with compass and temp (had to push a button to toggle back and forth between the two in the display), self dimming with compass and temp in a larger dual display, self dimming with compass and LED map lights (the GLS), self dimming with Home Link!!!!, OnStar, etc. Check out their site. It's pretty crazy how many variations they have of the mirrors.

    Oh, but please also keep in mind that there are many different part numbers even for identical looking mirrors. This is because depending on what vehicle they came in, the sensitivity of the sensors will differ due to ride height, factory window tint, etc. For example, the rate and severity at which a mirror will dim in a truck or SUV will vary significantly from that of a mirror that comes in a car. Not that it will matter greatly IMO, but preferably, you want to grab one from a car.



    Quote Originally Posted by gpchris View Post
    I've been seriously considering this mod for a long time.
    DO IT!!!! You will not regret it! I could never have a car with an "ordinary" mirror ever again. In fact, the Donnelly mirror in one of my sister's GTP just started leaking. I'll be switching it out for a Gentex this weekend. Wiring will be easy on that one since it already has the positive and ground for the self dimming Donnelly. Already did the same for a local ClubGP member's GTP last year.
    Last edited by RareGMFan; 09-14-2010 at 09:50 PM.
    1990 Pontiac Grand Prix SE McLaren Turbo (1 of 2749 SLD ), 1989 Pontiac 6000 STE AWD (1 of 1376 SLD )
    1990 Pontiac Grand Prix STE McLaren Turbo (1 of 1000 SLD ), 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Special Edition (1 of 1341)


  14. #14
    jrcuttymann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GnatGoSplat View Post
    The Intrigue mirror w/maplights is not all that desirable. It drains the battery when wired up in a 1st gen W because in the Intrigue, it's power is BCM controlled.
    I have an Intrigue mirror that's been disconnected for years. I'm thinking about replacing it with a non-lighted mirror and adding the overhead console w/domelight.
    If you are going to add an overhead console with lights there is no reason to change mirrors just don't wire up the light circuit( which is separate from the electrochromatic circuit in the mirror), and you should have no problems
    'When someone shares something of value with you and you benefit from it, you have a moral obligation to share it with others

  15. #15
    AL's Avatar
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    My 03 has the Gentex mirror with the compass and outside temp in 1 display, so if thats the one you want, you know it came in at least 03 GPs

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