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Exterior Mirror Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Exterior Mirror Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

***

Tools:

Plastic prying tool, flathead screwdriver, 4mm Allen

Applicable Models:

BMW Z3 Coupe/Conv (1996-02)

Parts Required:

Mirror, Mirror cover, mirror glass, door panel clips

Hot Tip:

Tape door to prevent scratches

Performance Gain:

Proper mirror function

Complementary Modification:

Have door panel trim clips on hand in case they break when removing

When repairing the exterior mirror you may replace the glass, the mirror housing or the complete mirror. The mirror glass wears over time from water contamination and loses its reflectivity. You can replace just the mirror glass when this happens. The housing can become damaged from impact or from the harsh environment. This can also be replaced. I suggest replacing the mirror glass along with the housing, as sometimes the mirror glass breaks when it is removed. The complete mirror assembly is also available and can easily be replaced. One caveat when removing an exterior mirror from a Z3: the mirror has to be rotated in order to access the fasteners. In my area the pivot corrodes and can break. This will leave you needing to replace the mirror, when maybe you only wanted to remove it.

Replacing the complete mirror requires that you remove the inner door trim panel. Each door panel is equipped with an SRS airbag. For safety reasons, be sure to disconnect the vehicle battery before beginning work on the door panel. See our tech article on the battery.

Avoid marring the trim. Work with a plastic prying tool or wrap a screwdriver tip with masking tape before prying out the trim panels, switches or electrical accessories.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches. 

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability. 

Vehicle models change and evolve, as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

In this article, I'll go over the steps involved with all parts of the exterior mirror. Locate the part you want to replace and follow the steps.

Mirror glass replacing:
Mirror glass replacing-Using a plastic prying tool, gently lever out mirror glass.
Figure 1

Mirror glass replacing-Using a plastic prying tool, gently lever out mirror glass. Glass will pop off the retaining clips. If glass is cracked or in the condition where you think it may shatter, cover mirror with tape to prevent pieces from falling off.

Mirror glass replacing-Next, (on vehicle with heated mirrors) remove electrical connector from holder, then disconnect by pulling apart.
Figure 2

Mirror glass replacing-Next, (on vehicle with heated mirrors) remove electrical connector from holder, then disconnect by pulling apart. To install new glass, connect electrical connectors (if equipped with heated mirrors) then gently snap mirror glass into place.

Mirror replacing:
Mirror replacing-Remove door trim panel from door.
Figure 3

Mirror replacing-Remove door trim panel from door. See our tech article on Interior Door Panel Removing. Peel back vapor barrier from door. Be careful not to tear it.

Mirror replacing-Disconnect mirror electrical connector by pulling is apart (green arrows).
Figure 4

Mirror replacing-Disconnect mirror electrical connector by pulling is apart (green arrows).

Mirror replacing-Once the electrical connector is disconnected; you have to remove the wire for the mirror from the mounting ring.
Figure 5

Mirror replacing-Once the electrical connector is disconnected; you have to remove the wire for the mirror from the mounting ring. Use a small flathead screwdriver and lever plastic ring (green arrow) out of door. Then remove the wire from the ring and check that it will not snag on other wires when you remove the mirror.

Mirror replacing-Next; rotate the mirror 90° to expose the fasteners.
Figure 6

Mirror replacing-Next; rotate the mirror 90 degrees to expose the fasteners. Then, remove the two 4mm Allen mirror fasteners. (green arrows) When you get to the last fastener, support mirror from outside so it does not fall off.

Mirror replacing-Once the fasteners are removed, remove mirror from vehicle while feeding wiring harness through hole in door.
Figure 7

Mirror replacing-Once the fasteners are removed, remove mirror from vehicle while feeding wiring harness through hole in door. When installing, reverse order of removal instructions. Be sure to replace any damaged door panel clips. Properly route all wiring as before.

Mirror trim cover replacing:
Mirror trim cover replacing-When replacing the cover, you will want to have it painted before installing it.
Figure 8

Mirror trim cover replacing-When replacing the cover, you will want to have it painted before installing it. Remove the mirror glass, following the instructions listed above. You can also remove the mirror from the vehicle, but it is not necessary. Once the glass is removed, remove the four T8 Torx fasteners (green arrows) from the mirror.

Mirror trim cover replacing-With the fasteners removed, separate the trim covers and remove them from the mirror.
Figure 9

Mirror trim cover replacing-With the fasteners removed, separate the trim covers and remove them from the mirror. This photo shows removing the front trim cover.

Mirror trim cover replacing-This photo shows removing the rear trim cover.
Figure 10

Mirror trim cover replacing-This photo shows removing the rear trim cover. Install new trim covers and align tabs. Then install fasteners and tighten. Install mirror glass and check mirror function.

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Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 02:07:55 AM