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E46 Convertible
The E46 vert forum. Talk about dropping your E46 top here.

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Old 10-17-2013, 02:35 PM   #1
Dave
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Definitive answers to questions about Vert mirrors and keys

Most places you look, you'll see mirrors for sale (including my own) listed as "coupe-only." My understanding has always been that the convertibles have a receiver for the key remote that the coupes do not, and therefore there's another mirror. Someone on M3F that repairs mirrors suspects, but has not confirmed, that this receiver can't be retrofit.

When I bought my 11/03 build M3 vert in 2012, I had a leaky mirror and very weak key range. It DID work, though. My mirror was oval.

Unwilling to be mirrorless, I bought a leaking mirror from a Coupe owner and sent it for repair. It came back to me looking brand new and when I installed it, my key reception improved from terrible to slightly above terrible. (But still worse than poor.)

Confused, I decided to look up the difference. My understanding, again based mostly on word of mouth and memory, both of which can be wrong, was that maybe the verts came with a different, non-oval mirror, and that mirror had a different receiver in it.

So off to RealOEM I went...

where I learned that all coupes, pre/post 3/03 freshening, used the same part number - 51169142225 - for non-SOS mirrors. All were oval. SOS mirrors aren't oval and end in 962. Non-M verts of my vintage get the rectangle mirror, part number 51169123513 if Homelink is included and 51168257722 if it's not.

Even more interesting is that non-M non-verts don't offer the homelink one... but their rectangles are cheaper. 51169134416 (which goes back to 1992, it seems) or 51169134459 look to be the options in an 02 330Ci. (With a more expensive integrated phone option on the later years... but still no homelink.)

Do we have an expert on this? Do all M3 rear view mirrors have a key receiver? Does the convertible have a secondary key receiver? If my keys are weak should I start to blame the KEYS, not the receiver (as I previously thought)? Why are the part numbers on non-M coupes and verts different, but the parts on M3s the same?
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Old 10-17-2013, 05:21 PM   #2
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I'm told that mirror P/Ns are unreliable, with some having the same numbers despite different features (homelink, non, etc). That's dumb.

If I pull my oval mirror (purchased from a coupe), my remote doesn't work. So that answers that question (no second receiver). But might that mean that any mirror is equipped for vert keys?
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Old 10-19-2013, 08:35 AM   #3
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Good starting information as I'd never heard this. If I come across something I'll add. Where is cityjohn, he knows a ton about verts.
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Old 10-20-2013, 10:12 PM   #4
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I've learned a few more things and seen photos of the inside of the mirrors now. This coming week we're going to try to implant a radio receiver from my oval mirror into a Homelink mirror that doesn't have it.
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Old 10-20-2013, 10:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
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Even more interesting is that non-M non-verts don't offer the homelink one... but their rectangles are cheaper.
I bought a rectangle mirror from a dealer back east that has Homelink and works with my key transmitter. I'll look up the part number fwiw.


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Where is cityjohn, he knows a ton about verts.
Right here John! I opened my oval mirror to find a loose grey wire that is the antenna. I'd imagine you could just add that to any mirror and figure out which pin it goes to.
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Old 10-20-2013, 11:28 PM   #6
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Nice.
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Old 10-20-2013, 11:46 PM   #7
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So you mean I'm not the only one who has to be close enough to touch my car to unlock it with the remote? Would love to know a fix for that!
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Old 10-21-2013, 07:07 PM   #8
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My goal is to get one of the cheaper homelink mirrors (1/3 the cost of a dealer) and mod a receiver into it. Preferably one where the antenna/receiver is more sensitive or my signal is somehow amplified.

I'd love to find some way to test whether it'd improve with a new key... before spending the money on a new key, of course.
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