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Not So Simple Mirror Replacement

Ted Kell
10/16/2012  
34 comments
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GTOlover
User Rank
Platinum
Re: dealer vs aftermarket?
GTOlover   10/17/2012 9:57:51 AM
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Your last statement is so true to my experience. I replaced the distributor in my 1993 Suburban due to an intermittent engine stumble (misfire). The problem did not go away and got worse. I spent 3 weeks, more money, and computer diagnostic software (reading ALDL data from ECM) to try and resolve this issue. I went back to the distributor that I bought from aftermarket 'big box' store. Replaced it with an OEM AC Delco unit. Truck runs perfect!

Moral of this experience, careful buying aftermarket. The do it yourself type, like myself, may be desperate and end up going to the dealer (luckily I have a friend who tipped me off).

l_jhanson
User Rank
Silver
Mirror Replacement / connector location
l_jhanson   10/17/2012 10:48:56 AM
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I work in the auto industry and specifically with connectors... There are several potential causes for the issue reported...certainly the designer not discussing the connector placement with service is one... Others could be: No mounting surface near the mirror that had sufficient clearance to prevent rattle; No surface that would accept the available connector mounting style; Cost prevented design of a custom connector or fastener for the application... The designer could have simply found himself/herself between a rock and a hard place...

Jim_E
User Rank
Platinum
Brake lines
Jim_E   10/17/2012 11:22:42 AM
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Battar: There is no room to leave the old lines in place, and no desire to leave the rusty old things there. 

It's amazing the way that the lines are routed.  The two lines from the master cylinder run down the top of, and then outside frame rail, to about under the driver's seat where the ABS module is located on the inside of the frame rail.  The two lines loop over the frame to the module, then three lines come out of the module (two for the fronts, one for the backs) which also loop over the frame.  All five of those bends by the ABS module is where mine were really rotted out.

I was looking online for some pictures, but nothing good.  This is close, but the bends at the ABS block on my lines are angular and factory bent, unlike these home bent lines:

http://m.corvetteforum.com/off-topic/3135578-ot-but-relevant-if-you-own-a-2000-2007-chevy-truck-especially-if-towing-vette.html

I could attach a picture of mine, but it doesn't seem to be possible on here, and I'm too lazy to host it. :)

 

GTOLover: I agree that OEM is better in some instances.  I used the GM optispark (aka optipuke) distribution on my Trans-Am, as well as choosing GM O2 sensors.  A lot of us noticed when tuning the ECM, that aftermarket O2 sensors did not perform as well as the GM ones.

twk
User Rank
Silver
Re: Mirror Replacement / connector location
twk   10/17/2012 2:37:00 PM
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Good comment I_jhanson.  I Started this one because I was particularly irritated by the observation that there was plenty of space, mounting surface, clearance, and routing opportunity to have done this better.  The cable space from the mirror to the inaccessable connector is very nearly open enough to insert my arm.  I am a retired aerospace and commercial product designer and have faced such situations before.  I acknowledge that if is not addressed early enough in the design cycle it will not get changed for many very good reasons.  This one I saw as simply making a couple of wires a little longer and not having to change connector or mounting and allowing the mirror change to be done in about five minutes in the parking lot.  I doubt the mirror is preasembled onto the door before going on to the vehicle because it would make the door assembly very difficult to handle and stock. 

Re an earlier comment, I did experience one of lifes small triumphs in making the change.  I got all 11 of the little plastic door panel mounting clips out and back in place without destroying a single one.

 

bobjengr
User Rank
Platinum
NOT SO SIMPLE
bobjengr   10/18/2012 5:51:01 PM
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I had a very similar occurrence on my 2005 S-40 VOLVO.  Broken driver's side mirror.   On this model, the mirrors are motor-driven and adjustable from inside the car.  Fortunately, only the external plastic cowling was broken and not the superstructure of the mirror itself.  The movement was still operational but the looks were not too pleasing.  After several conversations with my wife, (she won the argument) I ordered the entire replacement mirror.    The cowling was not a repair-part item.  I had to order the entire assembly.  A neighbor up the street worked his way through college as an auto mechanic so I thought he would be a good bet and aid my efforts to get this repair done in a judicious manner.   (Silly me!)    We ended up having to take apart the entire interior portion of the door.  So many parts that I took pictures of the assembly as we moved through the process.   We did get the new mirror in place but only after a three hour "adventure". 

Cadman-LT
User Rank
Platinum
Friends
Cadman-LT   10/18/2012 11:47:27 PM
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I can relate to what you had to go through. I am lucky enough to have a couple friends that are mechanics. They always help me figure out the best way to do things on my car. 

Cadman-LT
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Friends
Cadman-LT   10/18/2012 11:50:43 PM
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I forgot to mention this. If you want to change the spark plugs on my car the shop will usually charge you to pull the motor. Ridiculous I know. My mechanic friend showed me how to use a come-a-long to winch it to the side and no problem. I always ask these guys before I start any fix on my car. They know all the tricks. Learning how to do it for the first time always is hard. 

Cadman-LT
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Friends
Cadman-LT   10/18/2012 11:55:58 PM
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I respect mechanics, the ones you can trust anyways! They have a pretty hard job in my opinion. They never know what they have to fix from day to day and they have to figure it out. I can do it with computers, but I am just not that good with cars, espcially the newer ones. I can fix a 79 but not a 2009. 

Nancy Golden
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Mirror Replacement / connector location
Nancy Golden   10/25/2012 3:37:06 PM
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I sometimes wonder what drives these decisions - I have seen designs altered to utilize extra stock that was in inventory or to be able to use already certified parts so that the company didn't have to go to the time and expense of getting a new part that might be a better choice certified...

Also, I can't help but wonder if the designer really cared about accessibility. The automotive repair shop is probably happy to charge an extra 2-3 hours on a repair. I often dig into an appliance or electronics device that has stopped working to see if there is a fix within my capability and it seems more and more that accessibility has gone to the bottom of the priority list, with initial cost being the driving factor...if we are turning into a throwaway society regarding small electronics, unfortunately that poor thinking may be bleeding over to other areas of manufacturing.

John
User Rank
Gold
that's normal install
John   10/25/2012 3:52:25 PM
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I can't say I have ever replaced a side mirror before, but I have been inside of car doors pleanty of times and they all are about the same.  I havn't seen much difference from foreign to domestic.  The nicer cars seem to have hooks that hold the panel to the door shell instead of xmas tree push pins.  Sticking your arm inside of a door shell isn't ever fun and the water shield never goes back on like it was unless you have the seem sealer and didn't stretch the cover.  I do suggest a panel removal tool and a piece of felt to make it much easier and not marr the finish.

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