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///M3 Forum
The BMW E46 ///M3 is the M version E46 and puts out an amazing 333 HP and 262 lb-ft of torque at stock specs! There are an amazing amount of modifications for both the coupe and convertible models so read up and get started modifying your cars today!

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Old 08-26-2014, 11:17 PM   #1
rama1200
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Another rear view mirror leak victim! Are the guts of the vert's mirrors the same as

My rear view mirror started melting ... My son likes because it looks like the Sahara dunes....

I decided to replace it... And since i am broke, I went to the local junk yard and found a beautiful mirror, clown nose and all, from a 4-door 3 series e46... The dimming works great and the objects look so clear... It's like watching tv....

I even got a rain sensor... Everything for about usd $40.

I noticed that my key stopped working... So I did some research and voilą... I found the problem.... The mirror with no antenna...

I have a vert, by the way...

I am thinking of replacing the guts...

Do you guys know if the guts of vert's mirrors are the same as the coups or sedans?


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Old 08-27-2014, 05:18 PM   #2
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I know for a fact that the wiring through the pins in the connectors is different.

Per BMW on the ZKE (Central Body Electronics) system: For the E46 Convertible, "the antenna for the FZV system is incorporated with the receiver into the interior rear view mirror."

The receiver for hardtops is a part of the antenna amplifier which is located in the C pillar.

So ... the guts of the mirrors are different, at least for the keyless entry system.
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Old 08-28-2014, 01:31 AM   #3
rama1200
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Another rear view mirror leak victim! Are the guts of the vert's mirrors the ...

Thanks...

I mean, since the old mirror has the antenna and the new one doesn't, just remove the board circuitry from one into the other?
Even if some basic soldiery might be required?

I would just open then both, but I don't want to mess one up and end up with two non working ones.... I guess I will have to...


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Old 08-28-2014, 10:36 AM   #4
hlmiii
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Got it.

They are both rectangular, right?
The replacement has a clown nose.
Your convertible mirror does not, correct?

Then, you will not be able to just do a straight and simple swap of the guts.

What you COULD do is swap out the mirror assembly itself.
It is a 1/8" thick sandwich of glass, liquid, electronics, etc. These mirrors seem to be very similar, if not identical, since the mid-2000's onward. You will need to make sure the wiring is correct - all such mirrors may not be compatible with all possible connecting circuitry. I know this from a previous failure; after subsequent success I have not researched to topic further.

The most problematic issue is getting the case(s) open without scaring the seams. The outer clamshell is held together tighter than any other BMW component I've ever opened, and the seams are a fairly soft and fragile plastic. It is possible to open the halves, but you will need to be extremely careful, go slowly, have appropriate tools with smooth edges, etc.

I have swapped out electronics from the E46 mirror, the E9X mirror, and the 135 mirror. It is doable. The clown nose itself and the sensor that it covers changed a bit from 2009 to 2011, both in size and color.

One final thing to consider - if the mirror(s) have either/both the homelink buttons and/or the SOS feature, then you may need to figure that into your work, if you swap more than just the mirror itself.

If you need more help, information, etc., let me know.
Good luck.

(FWIW - radar-mirror.com does a perfect and permanent and overnight mirror replacement for around $100.00. I'd go this route ...)
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Old 08-28-2014, 08:28 PM   #5
Teslazerok
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The coupe's circuit board is basically the same shape as the housing and takes up all the available space. So I'm sure the vert's is the same as it's housing too.

I really doubt you can retrofit the vert internals without basically building a new circuit board from scratch, unless it just happens to fit in the sedan housing.
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Old 08-28-2014, 09:06 PM   #6
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FWIW I cracked open my original oval leaker and it looked like the antenna is just a loose length of wire.
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Old 08-28-2014, 10:16 PM   #7
rama1200
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Thanks, all.
Open it it is, then... Labor weekend project.


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Old 08-28-2014, 10:38 PM   #8
Cazz
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If the mirror glass is the same size, you can just swap them. You have to reattach a wire at the top and bottom of the glass.
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Old 08-29-2014, 10:08 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cazz View Post
If the mirror glass is the same size, you can just swap them.
This, as I mentioned earlier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cazz View Post
You have to reattach a wire at the top and bottom of the glass.
Also correct. I wouldn't suggest it unless someone has some previous experience with small electronic work and has a careful touch.

While nothing ventured nothing gained, if the mirror assembly is ruined, it may not be possible for radar-mirror to accept and repair.

And yes, there is an antenna wire inside the mirror.
"the antenna for the FZV system is incorporated with the receiver into the interior rear view mirror."

Good luck this weekend.
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Old 08-29-2014, 11:03 AM   #10
DSilk56
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My convertible has an oval (or ovalish) rear view mirror, not rectangular, and it does have the red "clown nose" on the bottom side.
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Old 08-29-2014, 11:17 AM   #11
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Would you be opposed to getting the standard mirror? (non-autodimming)

I have one and am happy because its not something I'll ever have to worry about.
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Old 08-30-2014, 09:10 PM   #12
rama1200
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Another rear view mirror leak victim! Are the guts of the vert's mirrors the ...

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Would you be opposed to getting the standard mirror? (non-autodimming)

I have one and am happy because its not something I'll ever have to worry about.

Hi ac_2007, the autodim is not a must a this point... My main goal right now is to get the remote key back working and to get the stains off the mirror.... But right now my main thing is the remote key....



Thanks.Click image for larger version

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Old 08-30-2014, 09:16 PM   #13
rama1200
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Another rear view mirror leak victim! Are the guts of the vert's mirrors the ...

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Hi ac_2007, not really, the autodim is not a must a this point... My main goal right now is to get the remote key to work.Attachment 571318


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This is what I'm facing at this point.... Click image for larger version

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The mirrors, oval or rectangular, have 2 electric boards. In the oval from my vert, the clown nose light is connected to the same board that holds the antenna key fob antenna wire...

In the rectangle mirror I got from the salvage yard, the clown nose light is the only thing in that board... No other electronics.

The idea is to switch those boards only... Not the "main" boards... The shape and size of the small boards is the same.... The I will try to re-wire the harnesses.... May be color match the pins?

Any ideas or diagrams would be appreciated here..

Thanks guys.


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Old 09-01-2014, 05:18 PM   #14
hlmiii
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Best wishes with this.


I am out of assistance. I've never seen a schematic of the interior of any mirror. Just remember that you are dealing with two separate issues - different mirror panels (oval vs. rectangular) and different models (convertible vs. coupe/sedan).

For the latter, again - the wiring going into the mirror is different for the two models. You will need to sync up the input wiring of the replacement mirror that is fed from top of the windshield with the wiring of the mirror panel itself that is then fed into the connector. There is a good chance that something will need to be changed. (I learned this from burning a mirror that was not connected the way it wanted to be. D'oh!)

Good luck. Let us know how it goes.
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Old 01-09-2015, 07:38 PM   #15
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Bumping this old thread to see if there was any success? I just bought a rectangular mirror for the Homelink feature after reading that they are universal fit, except none of the articles I read mentioned anything about the convertible antenna... BOO! Also trying to figure out how to disassemble the mirrors without breaking them. Any help would be greatly appreciated, since I don't know if I will be able to return this.

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Old 01-09-2015, 11:53 PM   #16
bmwvuk
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Leaking mirror

Trust me, save yourself the aggravation and send it away to radar-mirror and be done with it. Why torture yourself? I sent mine away on 12/31 and got it back today just like new.
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:15 PM   #17
rama1200
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Originally Posted by FFWD View Post
Bumping this old thread to see if there was any success? I just bought a rectangular mirror for the Homelink feature after reading that they are universal fit, except none of the articles I read mentioned anything about the convertible antenna... BOO! Also trying to figure out how to disassemble the mirrors without breaking them. Any help would be greatly appreciated, since I don't know if I will be able to return this.
Hi FFWD,

Sorry I don't have good news.

I had no luck with the mirror project.... I'm still driving around with the old faded mirror (now cracked for some unknown reason).

I used the square one I got at the junk yard (the one that I was going to transplant) for a while, but the antenna issue really blows... I like to be able click my remote to open my door (even if it is a disctance of 5 ft)... so I re-install the faded one.

The main problem is the lack of litterature of the internal circuits/pins/etc. I couldn't re-wire it to adapt one to the other.

Taking appart the shell was also a pain I useed regular flat hear... mine is a 2003 so it was/is all brittle/crystalized already so the little tabs just cracked a the smallest pressure... I had to use supper glue to put it back together.

From what I remember there are 2 tabs at the bottom (near clown nose), 2 at the top (around 10 pm and 3 am) -- (It will be appreciated if any other members can chime in here to confirm this point- Thanks).

bmwvuk's suggestion is not bad http://www.radar-mirror.com/Mirror_Repair.html... I just haven't taken the time to research long term feed back about radar-mirror... If any member here can vouch for them, I would go for that too... I'm not in a hurry... Also I keep my eyes open for local junk yards (3series verts).

Good luck
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:56 AM   #18
hlmiii
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Again .... the easiest, cheapest and best chance of overall success/lack of problems is to just send the unit to Radar-Mirror.
Contact them today, pull the mirror tonight, ship it Tuesday and it will be back in your hands by Friday.

Over. Done.
Approximately 30 minutes of your time, complete from start to finish.

It is impossible to get the same results with the same overall cost and, especially, effort.
Added bonus - no damage to case, interior, etc.
Added added bonus - no retrofit wiring.

I took mine apart ONLY out of curiosity. It was a bad mirror, it did not have Homelink, it did not match the convertible wiring, etc. I was simply curious as to the insides, the assembly technology and so on. It was an educational experience that I wanted to be able to apply to possibly similar situations in the future. And I could easily afford the cost to lose a mirror if things didn't go right.

What I learned was that replacing the insides for any reason - adding features, fixing leak problems, wiring for retrofit and/or coupe/convertible changes - is NOT feasible. There are way too many issues that all have to go perfectly correctly. The biggest one is getting the mirror unit apart: cracking open the mirror clamshell is virtually impossible without leaving some trace. The exterior plastics are soft, with almost no way to deflect them and spread them apart. The internal clamping mechanism is quite strong and has many clips inside that have to be released together. The internals are relatively fragile and small.

I love fixing things, as well as enjoy being stubborn and not giving in. Operating on the BMW mirrors is the only project I know that I will NEVER undertake again.

Send the mirror away. Period.

As far as the long-term reliability of the Radar-Mirror work - my oldest repaired mirror is over 4 years old, and I have never heard of any failure of the company's work.
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Old 01-12-2015, 12:06 PM   #19
hlmiii
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FFWD View Post
I just bought a rectangular mirror for the Homelink feature after reading that they are universal fit, except none of the articles I read mentioned anything about the convertible antenna.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rama1200 View Post
I like to be able click my remote to open my door (even if it is a disctance of 5 ft)... so I re-install the faded one.
The main problem is the lack of litterature of the internal circuits/pins/etc. I couldn't re-wire it to adapt one to the other.
To be clear - there are two separate items involved in this thread: the Homelink transmitter (and receiver) and the Keyless Entry antenna for door lock/unlock.

The Homelink antenna is contained in the mirror itself, regardless of couple/convertible/sedan.
Rewiring of the mirror itself is not necessary in any situation in order to have functioning Homelink. Just get a mirror with the Homelink buttons. Power to the Homelink will need to be addressed - see below.

It is the Keyless Entry antenna that is in the mirror of the convertible, only. That would require rewiring a mirror - the antenna from the original mirror would have to be transplanted into a replacement, non-convertible mirror, and the connector wiring would need to be changed. Ugh.

Homelink: what does need to be resolved and possibly rewired is the POWER to the mirror that powers Homelink (as well as the compass, etc.)
The power wiring in a convertible involves the car's wiring from the windshield headpiece and headliner.

The wiring and the location of the remote components for the convertible is different than on the coupe. The harness in the overhead console is different on the two models, as is the harness involving the mirror connector. In my convertible situation I had to go into the console and sunshade areas and tap off another wire for +12 volts and also for ground. The two wires were then fitted with connector clips and run down into the correct physical and electrical locations to connect with the connector that comes with the mirror.

Keyless Entry remote: what needs to be resolved is the ANTENNA in the convertible mirror (which is not in the coupe mirror). That antenna would need to be installed into a non-convertible mirror AND the connector pins/pinouts would need to be corrected/added for proper interface with the mirror-headliner connector. Not fun.

[Note: this is from memory of two+ years ago. A detail may not be 100% accurate, but the overall description is correct.]
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