Tempo/Topaz Mirror Conversion

For All 1983-88 Cougars / Thunderbirds

Page Revised: 10 May 2019


Tempo/Topaz Mirror Conversion

Article by
Eric Dess

Tired of dealing with chrome that fades and wrinkles and peels off your Cougar's outside mirrors? Or are you looking for a full custom mirror look? Well, we've got a great solution for you, using parts that Ford had already manufactured.

These flush-mount mirrors are from a 1980's-early 1990's two-door Ford Tempo/ Mercury Topaz. They feature a two-piece housing, lighter weight, paintable plastic, flush mounting, and are easier to clean and repair. Surprisingly, very few modifications have to be made to get them to fit onto the door of a Cougar or Thunderbird. The aluminum window trim near the stock mirror needs to be cut back (you can guess very easily at this). One of the three mounting holes needs to be enlarged a bit. And that's it—the wiring harness will plug right in, and when you tighten the mirror down on the inside, it fits absolutely flush on the outside. You may also want to drill a hole underneath and toward the front of the outer housing so that when you wash the car, water will drain out of the hole instead of waiting to fly out at 40 mph. Plus, if you ever break a mirror or fry a mirror motor, it's much easier to get to the mechanism with this two-piece setup than with the stock mirrors.

Just for your information, the Tempo mirror trick works really well on 1983-86 cars, but for some reason it's not as smooth of a job on 1987-88 cars. While it can be done, it's much more of a chore to do.

The look is totally custom, fitting in very well with our door, and all using stock Ford parts. When searching for these mirrors, look for 2-door Tempos and Topazes, because some of the later 4-door models had their own unique mirror that won't work on our cars. By the way, if you've been contemplating using a different car's mirrors, a viewer has used Taurus/Sable mirrors on his Thunderbird but said it was more trouble than it was worth. The Tempo/Topaz mirrors are much easier to find and install.

For an in-depth instruction manual on doing the Tempo/Topaz mirror conversion, download the PDF file here:

Download Guide