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DIY: Do It Yourself
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Old 07-13-2009, 10:04 AM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Glendale, AZ
Posts: 226
My Ride: 2004 330i ZHP
DIY Swapping Side Mirror Motors into Replica M3 Mirrors

This was written up due to some people on here wanting to know how to tear down and swap their existing side mirror motors into replicas. This is specifically for the Euro-Division mirrors but the same principal should apply to other replicas. This DIY is for the ribbon cable motors


Here is a much anticipated write-up on putting ribbon cable motors into the ED M3 replica mirrors (or possibly any replica-type mirrors). My car is a 2004 ZHP Sedan with the ribbon cables. The tear down of stock mirrors/motors should be the same for the 6-pin/12-pin/ribbon/etc cables.

*Editor note: When I refer to the back of the mirror I am referring to the "base" side of the mirror. The base being the part that attaches to the car. Also note that I was able to source a set of old 330i mirrors from a member here and didn't need to sacrifice my own set of mirrors for this install.

* IMPORTANT NOTE: The ribbon cables are EXTREMELY delicate! I can't stress this enough! Use very delicate hands when pushing and ESPECIALLY pulling on the cables. If you are pulling on the cable you BETTER be pushing on the other end. These things will snap in a heartbeat and then...well...your gonna have to source another motor.

The pics on this DIY is for the driver side. The only difference on the passenger side is that there is only one ribbon connector instead of two on the driver side.

Step 1.
Tear down your doors and remove the stock mirrors. There are numerous writeups on tearing down your door so i'll let you source that info yourself. Here is another link (yes it is for replacing speakers but the principal is the same) http://www.my330i.com/mod46.php. Just behind the top speaker there should be three star/torx bolts that hold the housing on. The easiest way to do this is with the window DOWN. That way you can have one hand holding up the mirror while another loosening up the screws from the interior. The last thing you need is a massive scratch down the side of your doors.

Step 2.
With the mirror out, find a flat space and assemble your tools:
Large(r) phillips screwdriver
Small(er) phillips screwdriver
Set of picks (the orange set I have is the one that comes from BSW to tear down the interior)
Some electrical tape
1'-2' of feeder wire or pullstring or something like that.

Step 3.
Mark off the white connector to show where the pins go and so you know which cable will go to what connector.

Step 4.
Using one of the picks, push in the pins on the connector and slightly pull on the connector as you push in on the pins

Step 5.
When both are out it should look like this:

Step 6.
Using the pick again, pop off the small plastic cover:

Step 7.
Pull the cable through the back of the base

Step 8.
Flip the entire thing over and pop off the mirror. Its held in there with four plastic clips. If you have heated mirrors then pull off from the OPPOSITE SIDE that i did in that pic or else you might break the cable connected to the mirror. Just like I did in the second picture. But since I don't need heated mirrors here in Phoenix, it was no big deal.

Step 9.
Using the smaller screwdriver, take off the four screws holding the plastic front piece.

Step 10.
Pop the four tabs that are holding the metal frame to the body.

Step 11.
With the metal frame pulled apart from the body, you'll have to feed the cable through the "spring" setup. Slowly push the cable in from one side while pulling it from the other till it is completely out. *NOTE: It might be necessary to pull off the existing OEM tape and kinda rework the cables to get it straight enough to fit through the spring.

Step 12.
Once the cable is free, remove the actual motor from the metal frame with the three screws. Once those screws are removed your left with nothing but the motor and ribbons

Step 13.
Grab the new housing and feed your feeder wire or pull string into the base hole and pull it out the mirror part.

Step 14.
Tie/Tape up the ribbon cable on the mirror side and slowly push it through from the mirror side to the base side. The hole that the wires go through to the base are a lot smaller than they really should be. It may be very very tight (thats what SHE said) to get the wires through so try and wiggle them as you push from one side and pull from the other. If it gets too tight try and put some lube on there (thats what SHE..... nevermind) like dishsoap.

Step 15.
Push through as much cable as you can as you move the motor into place. If you don't have the heated mirrors you can tuck those parts of the cable back into the housing somewhere. Use the SUPPLIED screws from Euro-Division to fasten the mirror motor to the housing. Do NOT reuse the old screw set. They may look identical but they aren't.

Step 16.
Put on the provided mirror holder. There should be four audible snapping positions that pop onto the stock motor.

Step 17.
Pull off the piece of paper on the double sided tape and press firmly (but carefully) to put the mirror glass on the mirror holder. * NOTE: Try to put the mirror on at the back/base side FIRST. If you do it the other way you will scratch the front of the inside of the housing removing some paint when the mirror moves and you position everything..... ask me how i know!!!!! argh! Try to eliminate the need to put the mirror on and then remove it and reposition it over and over. While the double sided tape is probably pretty good, you don't want to mess up the strength of the tape if possible. I realize that this might be hard to do, as it took me three-four times to get it lined up the correct way. During this process, i would gently move the motor in as many directions as I could with the mirror glass on so as to make sure I wasn't rubbing in any one direction.

Step 18.
Tape up the ribbon cable as best you can using the natural folds in the cable. Again, be gentle when taping up and folding. Then push the connectors back onto the pins, making sure to put the ones with the sharpie marks together correctly

Step 19.
Put the mirror back on the car. Reverse the directions in step 1. but do the following:
1. Loosely hold the mirror on the car by finger tightening the three screws/bolts.
2. Plug in the connectors
3. Plug back in your mirror switch
4. Turn the key in the ignition to the Auxillary position
5. Try all your directions to make sure it moves (also try your memory seat buttons as these should move the mirror as well....if you have memory seats)
If it works, then tighten the bolts up and finish up the door

Step 20.
Repeat the process for the passenger side. It will be the same with the exception of only ONE connector on the cable vs TWO on the driver side.

Paint on them is awesome!
They don't have ANY wobble like some(most?) Replicas do. The hinge seems very tight and strong
Looks like my old M3 mirrors! Freakin love it

The hole that goes from the base to the housing is WAYYYYYY to small. Jason (or any other Euro-Division rep) you need to fix this ASAP!!!!!!!!!! The longest part of this entire thing was not the tear down of everything it was the feeding of the cable into the hole. It is extremely bad! I feel sorry for those guys without ribbon cables cause they might have to cut and splice to get it through the hole. I even tried to tear down the base from the housing but was unable to unscrew the 6 point (not Torx but more Hexagon shapped) and ended up destroying a screwdriver bit on it, so said F it and then wiggled the cables through. If some of you do have a problem with getting the cable through, the only thing I can honestly suggest is to try drilling it out more.

I am keeping a sharp eye on the double sided tape thing. Here in Phoenix, we easily have over 110 degree 8 hr days. I am gonna give it a week and then see how easily the mirror moves or comes off. My personal suggestion is to use a couple of strips of the 3M double sided tape that body shops use. Pepboys here sells the stuff and its the next best thing just shy of glue.

I'll post up pics of the end product tomorrow after I have cleaned up the car

Last edited by bullfrogs_M3; 07-13-2009 at 10:11 AM.
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