Ford Escort Mirror Removalby Jody L. Campbell
Introduced in 1981, the Ford Escort was the domestic solution to compete with the influx of import compact cars. Its tenure ran until 2003 when it was replaced with the Ford Focus. Removing the side view mirror on the Escort employs two different procedures, depending on whether the mirror is powered or manual. Neither procedure is overly complicated. If you are replacing the mirror, there are some affordable aftermarket mirrors available.
To remove a powered mirror on a Ford Escort, you will need to remove the interior door panel. This allows you to access the wire harness connection to the mirror, which is anchored under the panel. Start by rolling the window down all the way. While not necessary to remove the door panel, it will prevent damage from occurring to the window and give you more room to work. Locate and remove the screw in the door pull cup. This is the small recessed area where you place your hand to swing the door shut when you are seated. Remove the cap and screw from the door handle trim. Next, pry the window control module (if equipped with power windows) from the upper armrest area. It simply clips into the armrest. Be aware it is connected by a wire harness to the window motor. Disconnect the harness by unplugging it. Locate and remove the two pushpin retainers on the door panel. The door panel is now ready to be removed. Before you begin to pry it from the door frame, pry the mirror sail off the front of the window/door border. The sail is triangle shaped and covers the interior door panel opposite the side view mirror. Begin prying the door panel from the door frame. There are seven or eight retaining clips that will need to be unseated. Start from the bottom of the door panel and then work your way up both sides. Once the door panel is free, all you need to do is reach behind it, locate the wire harness running down from the mirror and disconnect it. The speaker wire is connected to the bottom of the door, but you do not have to fully remove the panel. Set a milk crate or suitable size box beneath the door frame to rest the door panel on without compromising the speaker wire. For the powered mirror, you'll need to feed the wire harness through the access hole and then remove the mirror.
For manual mirrors, simply remove the interior sail molding. Removing the door panel is not necessary since there is no anchored wire harness underneath. This is where removing the manual or power mirror employs the same procedure. Locate the three retaining nuts revealed by the removal of the sail. These nuts are securing three studs attached to the side view mirror. Use a ratchet or socket wrench to remove the three nuts. When removing the last nut, reach through the open window and support the mirror with one hand in case it is ready to drop. In most cases, if the mirror has been on the vehicle for a while, it may be slightly stuck to the door from being exposed to the environment. A protective foam rubber seal/gasket is between the mirror and the door. It is not uncommon for this gasket to adhere to both the door and the mirror. If necessary, once the last nut is removed, go the the mirror and pry it off gently by hand. Be careful not to scratch the paint on the exterior door panel. For the manual mirror, simply remove it once the bond (if applicable) is broken. For reinstalling the mirror(s), simply reverse the removal procedure.