Cars / e34 / Body & Interior / Side View Mirror Disassembly

Side View Mirror Disassembly

Article by: Liam Furlong

Article applies to: all E32 and E34 models.

Disassembly of the e32 wing mirror for respray is possible but slightly destructive.

With some patience and care, it can be ‘broken’ so that it can be put back together again after.

When the mirrors are built in the factory, the back cover has plastic posts on it that stand up.

These go through the metal plate that gives the mirror its strength.

Next, the posts are heated and melted by a prong or press type instrument that flattens the head of the post onto the metal plate.

You can see in this picture the melted heads, including one that I have already cut:

The face cover fits together with the back cover. There are several push fit clips around the edge of the covers, and a final post is melted on (the middle post on the wire side).

This article won’t go into detail about removing the wing mirror, as others have covered this extensively, and the Bentley manual covers this, too.

Once you have a wing mirror off the car, and have removed the glass:

1. Remove the motor assembly

2. Trim the plastic heads in a way that allows the metal plate and back cover to separate, but leaves maximum post remaining.

In the image above, see the top right post as an example.

  • Some would do this with a drill, which would work
  • I used a knife to trim away the edges of the melted section
  • Be especially careful with the post where the face cover is attached, as it is all
    plastic, too
  • Un-clip the face cover from the back cover.

a. I started where the bracket for the triangle that mounts on the car meets the mirror so any damage would be hidden.

b. Slowly work around the mirror separating the pieces, I have a couple of clips break, and found two places where the plastic appeared to have been glued.

Also, 30 years of dirt had jammed it good.

4. Once these pieces come apart, the mirror will be in three pieces, ready to spray:

Reassembly is the opposite.

When it came to gluing the posts back into place, I used ‘gutter and roof silicone’ as this stuff will survive almost any temperature without melting.

I taped everything together and left the silicone to set for 24 hours.

Here are some other pics:

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