This article is one in a series that have been released in conjunction with Wayne's new book, 101 Performance Projects for Your BMW 3 Series. The book contains 272 pages of full color projects detailing everything from performance mods to timing the camshafts. With more than 650+ full-color glossy photos accompanying extensive step-by-step procedures, this book is required reading in any 3 Series owner's collection. The book was released in August 2006, and is available for ordering now. See The Official Book Website for more details.
Installing M3-style mirrors is one of those neat projects that can really add some spice to the look of your car without taking up too much of your time. The total install time for a pair of mirrors should be less than two hours.
The mirrors are attached to the door with three bolts hidden from view by a small plastic panel that is easily popped off the door. Once the panel is popped off, you can unbolt the old mirrors and bolt in your new ones.
The toughest part of the job is actually finding a set of mirrors that will match your body color. If your car is white or black, there are usually aftermarket mirrors available in those two colors. Any other color will need to be custom-painted to match your body paint. There are many different mirrors out there, and they vary in quality. I prefer the German OEM mirrors from BMW, but they can be quite expensive (about $200 each from PelicanParts.com).
Some aftermarket mirrors are manufactured with an additional lamp in the side. This can be wired to either to your parking lamps or your turn-signal lamps. Either one requires additional wiring to be threaded through the door, so I usually don't recommend this approach. Most of the cars I have seen with lamps in the side of the mirrors don't actually have them connected, they are just for show.
If you would like to see more technical articles like this one, please continue to support Pelican Parts with all your parts needs. If you like what you see here, then please visit our online BMW catalog and help support the collection and creating of new and informative technical articles like this one. Your continued support directly affects the expansion and existence of this site and technical articles like this one. As always, if you have any questions or comments about this helpful article, please drop us a line.
You donÃÂ't need to remove the door panel to access the mirror mounting points. Simply pry off the top plastic piece (inset photo) and slide it upward to remove it. Underneath, you will see the three bolts that hold the mirror to the door. Disconnect the wire harness, remove the bolts, and the mirror should fall right off the door. Make sure you grab the mirror while removing the last bolt or it will fall and scratch your paint.
Shown here are the M3-style mirrors installed. This particular mirror set contains an extra lamp inside the mirror, a neat feature but one that requires you to run extra wires through the door harnessÃÂ--generally, more trouble than itÃÂ's worth.