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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good thing this is technically my wife's car. Last summer she accidentally popped the clutch while idling (trying to park) in front of a wooden retaining wall and cracked the bumper. Luckily that's hardly visible because it's so low down.

But just now while backing out of the garage she managed to let the side mirror catch the garage door opening and it just ripped off a 1.5x1.5x1.5 triangle of the plastic. Nice huh?

So what's the deal here guys? Does the whole door have to come apart to get a new one on? Do I just buy the shell and swap my innards into it? Should I buy used (eBay?) etc? TIA

2003 LMB passenger side fwiw if anyone has one 4 sale.
 

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Door trim panel has to come off to remove the tweeter housing/sail panel cover so you can remove the mirror housing. In theory the guts can be removed and swapped into another housing but I don't know that you can actually acquire the housing without the internal parts. If you get an entire mirror assembly to replace it with do be sure to save the guts from the cracked one as spares in case something non-cosmetic ever breaks on the new one.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks. I've got a bead on one from eBay already. The housing is from a 2001 though...and my car is a 2003. There weren't any changes to this component during the production run right?

Also they sure as heck look like LMB in the photos, but how can I confirm? The guy seems to be parting out a whole car so he prolly has the VIN. Does the M5 VIN indicate the color with one of the digits? If so I could get it from him and post it here. I'd hate to buy an Avus Blue or some other blue avail. back then by mistake.

Here's a pic. LMB or what?

 

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No mechanically I don't believe there were any differences to this part throughout the E39 M5 model run. As you said the only difference was that Avus Blue was the color for MY2000. Going by the picture I think you're pretty safe, looks like LMB. If worse comes to worst you could just have it repsrayed before installation if you have to.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thx Strike...yeah I couldn't remember when LMB became the only blue. Good deal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
OK guys I got the eBay part today. Actually in better shape than my broken one. Guess that driver was less of a tailgaiter. Anywho couple questions.

The glass looks non-standard and I may need my old glass put in. Anyone know how to do this offhand? I assume it just pops out, but I don't want to guess and wreck it.

Also, I have the standard E39 .pdf repair manual that was/is avail. for download here. As y'all know the M5 isn't covered specifically in it. The door disassembly is in there. Does that apply to all E39's or is the M5 'special?' Passenger door if it matters.

Thx in advance. :7:
 

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Door disassembly is the same for all E39's. As the base of the mirror housing is aluminium you may find that the Torx bolts that hold the mirror in place have corroded and won't budge, if so you'll have to drill them out which is not very easy.

Glass is easy to remove, there is a small tab at the bottom of the glass, this moves sideways (out from the car body IIR), use a thin screwdriver, and releases the glass. Then you just disconnect the heater and dimmer connections.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Well good news. I finally got the side mirror installed! Looks good as new:



The bad news:


While my OEM glass survived my wifes brainfart it didn't survive me. Call me ignant, but I didn't realize they were auto-dimming and therefore liquid filled. That makes them a bit brittle compared to regular mirrors imho.
My old housing was cracked in just such a way that one of the two thin metal 'guides' got jammed in the crack my wife made. One too many fiddles with it and suddenly it was a goner.
Anyways...I knew buying this that I was getting non-OEM glass. I saw the aspherical 'line' down the glass in the eBay photo (and not fluid filled btw). No big deal at that time, but suddenly I find myself with mismatched glass.
They look pretty close in the daylight, but tonight will be the first night drive with them. I hope this glass isn't too bright compared to OEM.
Anyways I figure I have two options. See if the eBay seller hasn't sold his driver-side yet and offer to swap the glass with him. He's parting out two M5's...doesn't sound like an owner. This would actually help the buyer of that mirror because if he/she buys that glass
they'll also have a mismatched set.
The other option is a used passenger-side OEM piece. New seems to be retarded expensive. So...if anyone here has a spare (very good condition only) and wants to sell (or heck even give) it please let me know.
Not the end of the world of course either way. Lemme know guys...PM's are fine.
 

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Why TF do you let her drive it? I'm ashamed of you...
 

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OK guys I got the eBay part today. Actually in better shape than my broken one. Guess that driver was less of a tailgaiter. Anywho couple questions.

The glass looks non-standard and I may need my old glass put in.
I may be mistaken, but I think the aspheric mirror glass was Euro (or or at least German) OEM.
 

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I may be mistaken, but I think the aspheric mirror glass was Euro (or or at least German) OEM.
Someone mentioned this yesterday, I think. I have the curved edge on my UK car, on both mirrors I seem to remember, which for some reason I don't think is the norm, it's usually just the drivers mirror.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
It's not over yet! argh

Welp after having the new housing/mirror on for a couple days I've found a new problem. I regularly find the mirror tilted down.
It's obviously not returning all the time from the 'reverse dipped' state. I played with it last night in the driveway.
If I'm in reverse long enough for the mirror to tilt all the way down it will come all the way back up.
If I'm only in reverse long enough for it to dip part of the way and then go back to neutral it won't return most of the time.
The distance it goes down seems to be a factor fwiw.​

So I'm thinking I need one of the motors out of the old housing. Looks like there are two. One real close to the joint (for housing up/down)
and then one right behind the glass for all of the glass tilting movements. Looks like 3 screws and one bunch of wires to release it.​

Sound reasonable? Anyone fixed this failure before? Thanks guys.​

:confused3

P.S. The mirror always responds to manual controls when stuck in the dipped state. It just gets stuck when being controlled by the car.
It's easily moved back into position with the driver door control pad. Very odd.​
 

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Welp after having the new housing/mirror on for a couple days I've found a new problem. I regularly find the mirror tilted down.
It's obviously not returning all the time from the 'reverse dipped' state. I played with it last night in the driveway.
If I'm in reverse long enough for the mirror to tilt all the way down it will come all the way back up.
If I'm only in reverse long enough for it to dip part of the way and then go back to neutral it won't return most of the time.
The distance it goes down seems to be a factor fwiw.​

So I'm thinking I need one of the motors out of the old housing. Looks like there are two. One real close to the joint (for housing up/down)
and then one right behind the glass for all of the glass tilting movements. Looks like 3 screws and one bunch of wires to release it.​

Sound reasonable? Anyone fixed this failure before? Thanks guys.​

:confused3

P.S. The mirror always responds to manual controls when stuck in the dipped state. It just gets stuck when being controlled by the car.
It's easily moved back into position with the driver door control pad. Very odd.​
Mine does the exact same thing every now and again. Annoying. Usually when I've only been in reverse a few seconds. I've tended to enable the tilting feature only only when necessary now to stop it from happening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Anatomy of a side mirror

Well I took the glass tilt mirror out of my broken housing and swapped it into my car. Took 5 minutes. I couldn't get the mirror to get stuck the few times I tried it. We'll see.
For the record this thing is pretty easy to take apart. A T15 or T10 torx (the housing screws varied year to year 2001 vs. 2003 housing) is all you need.
You can remove the glass, glass tilt motor, glass tilt motor base, and yes EVEN the housing without taking the door apart. Had I known that I may have called BMW to see if a new housing was an option.
Dunno if a new housing + painting woulda been more than I paid for the whole assembly used ($310 shipped).
Anyways the top picture was hidden damage. It's the aluminum plate that connects the housing tilt motor to the painted base plate. My 'knuckle' gap looked too big after the accident...this explains why.
The housing tilt motor is held to the painted base by two screws hidden behind the removeable foam. Of course to swap this the whole assembly would need to be off the car. Bummer.
And as mentioned above there's no way to get the wires through the painted mounting plate (and my damaged plate also) without cutting. Pretty stupid imho, but the room just isn't there to get the harness
plug through.
So as far as I can tell if your housing tilt motor fails you're cutting wires to replace it. Unless of course the motor wires can be removed from the motor upon further disassembly. I like you guys, but I just wasn't
going there. ;)

Hope this helps one of you guys in the future. :haha2:





 

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I know I’m resurrecting an old thread, BUT I wanted to chime in. You don’t have to cut your harness to get it out of the plate. The harness head actually comes apart where you can slip it through the opening. I’ve opened up various BMW harnesses and this is generally how it’s done. I actually was just in my passenger side mirror today and noticed this dilemma as well. I have a lazy folding mirror and the motor mount wasn’t the problem L I guess I’ll have to try to source the internal parts from somewhere.
 
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