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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Greetings everyone!

Some of you may be familiar with a common issue with our M5s where the side mirrors fold/unfold but do not stop in the proper position during their sweep. Sometimes the mirror will choose a random spot to stop, other times the mirror completely rotates upward or downward, only stopping once it reaches its mechanical limit. The temporary fix is to simply grab the mirror and manually snap it back into its detent when the other mirror is a full bottom sweep. I promise you this is only a temporary fix...ask me how I know.

Here are a couple example videos of what i'm talking about: (Video credit goes to their respective creators.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AB6foYm-6v0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uUNISa5yZM

This issue is also common with non ///M e6x and e9x with Magna mirrors.


The solution:

Thanks to our friend Troy Jeup for sending me some "R&D parts" ;) I was able to take a look into the root cause of this.


1. The mirror needs to be completely removed from the car to take it apart down to the level we need to. Pull the tweeter cover back above the door panel, and you will see 3 T30 bolts that hold the mirror to the door. Take them out, unplug the mirror and put the mirror on a bench.

2. Tilt the mirror glass all the way inward, grab it by the outside edge and pull it off the mirror motor. Do this carefully....there is a ribbon cable attached to the mirror glass you have to unplug.

3. Look for 4 small T15 black screws, these hold the front half to the back cover of the mirror shell. Take them out, and split the mirror case open.

4. Now look for 4x silver T15 screws, these hold the mirror motor clamshell to the rear mirror shell.

5. Now, you should have this:



Carefully remove xirclip circled in green off of the mirror spindle. You will need to reuse this so be careful not to break the tabs off! If you do break it, you can get a new one form your local home improvement store in hardware. Once this is off, you can access the internals of the mirror pivot spindle.

6. Separate the spindle pieces, but keep them in the order they were stacked!!





7. The black flat piece you see is a protective cover for the motor assembly. There are 4 tiny torx screws holding it on; take them out and remove the cover. Look for a little silver pin. (see the tip of the pry tool.)



See how the pin is stuck and sitting flush with the surface? This is BAD. This pin sits freely inside of a machined socket, along with a spring under it to make it spring loaded. What happens is, small debris gets into the socked and causes the pin to stick. The pin should be moving freely in its socket, and should be sticking out ~5-8mm in its natural position.

This is how it SHOULD look:




This little guy needs to move freely. You should be able to push him down, and he should spring back up with NO STICKING!

If your mirror isnt stopping, it is because this pin is stuck down. Flip the assembly over, and you will see a small in hold behind the pin on the assembly. You need to poke a small drift into the hole to pop the pin out from the back if you cant get it out from the front. Once you get it out, clean it really good and lube it up.






Function:

Unlike the e53 & e46, these mirrors do not use a micro switch to stop the motor.





Look at the above pictures closely. You can see that there are 3 little "ramps" and "divots" in the disc. The spring loaded pin rides on these "ramps" as the mirror is spinning. When the pin is stuck down, these ramps simply ride over the pin, so the mirror keeps spinning. When the pin sticks up, under spring pressure, it will catch one of the divots which are keyed with the disc as the mirror spins. The the pin catches the divot, it creates a mechanical stop for the motor, current spikes, and the mirror sees this as the mirror reaching its stopping point and cuts off the motor.

Clean everything up real nice and reassemble. The parts are keyed so they cannot be installed off-axis. Use plenty of lube on the swash plates too; it will quieten the mirror operation significantly!

Reinstall your mirror at it will work properly again. :)
 

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Thank you for the excellent post.

The stuck pin is likely related to the common problem of mirrors tilted slightly downward. My workaround was to manually point the mirror toward the ground, and cycle the tilt mechanism.

Now that you have shared the internal mechanism, it's time repair my mirrors.
 

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I think what actually happens is that when you "work/twist" the mirror aligning it back up, the pin may come loose because you force it across the latching detents. This causes strong vibrations/pulses which -may- dislodge the pin accidentally (only for it to get stuck back in on the next round). It must be cleaned and lubed. Mine got stuck in winter. It may have had wet grime and salt in it; pretty logical. I think using the mirror regularly may help too. I don't use the folding function very often allowing the pin to rot stuck.

Getting the mirrors completely off the car is quite involved as you will have to pull the internal door trim off. The internal trim is delicate with lots of wire and plastic light pipes attached. Be patient and careful! After that you will have to pull the window trim off and the tweeter enclosure. That will get you to the mounting nut. I did this last winter, and I got long teeth when I discovered I had to go that far. And I never got to the root cause.

CHARIOT got one of Troy's mirror modules for the same reason I guess. This is great work. Again, thanks. I will take both of my mirrors off this summer and give them a good lubing before we get back to NE winters. (No, I won't stop driving my M5.... I'm an addict).
 

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Getting the mirrors completely off the car is quite involved as you will have to pull the internal door trim off. The internal trim is delicate with lots of wire and plastic light pipes attached. Be patient and careful!
If you're going to completely disconnect all the wires that go to the door card, disconnect the battery first! If the airbag is disconnected while the battery is connected, it will throw up a restraint systems fault and the errors will need clearing before it goes away.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Do not unplug anything but the mirror! Unplugging and removing the whole mirror/door trim/door panel is not necessary. Remove the Phillips screw in the inside of the door edge and you can pull it slightly back and access the plug no problem. The window trim only needs taken loose in the corner as well. :)
 

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Do not unplug anything but the mirror! Unplugging and removing the whole mirror/door trim/door panel is not necessary. Remove the Phillips screw in the inside of the door edge and you can pull it slightly back and access the plug no problem. The window trim only needs taken loose in the corner as well. :)
Chariot: I am trying to figure out your statement of not having to remove the whole mirror: You stated at the beginning of this thread that the mirror completely has to come of the car. Having looked at the mirror's internals before, that has been my assessment. Is there a way to get to the fold-up motor without taking the mirror off the door?

Last time I checked, I had to back off the interior door trim panel. Actually, I removed it completely as I think you can stress the wiring and light pipe attachments very easily if you let it "hang/dangle". After you can remove the window/tweeter trim as the door trim folds over it at the bottom. Behind the window trim we find the mirror attachment screws. Is there an easier way / shut-cut?
 

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I think he's saying you don't have to remove all the trim, not that you don't have to take the mirror off - certainly I don't see how you could do all this with the mirror still on the car...
 

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I think he's saying you don't have to remove all the trim, not that you don't have to take the mirror off - certainly I don't see how you could do all this with the mirror still on the car...
I agree..... I am going for it today. However, I think what happened on my mirror is that the plastic motor cover/seal got partially ripped apart by the jammed mechanism. It got expelled behind the mirror when I worked on it last. So, we will have to see what we find. Perhaps I can get a piece like that from an old mirror. Perhaps I can approach Magna (they have the M5 mirror on the front page still!)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You only need to pull the window trim & door panel back far enough to enable you to access the 3 screws that hold on the mirror. There is only 1 connector you need to unplug for the mirror itself, then just pull the mirror off the door and feed the wire for the mirror through the hole.
 

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OP, the pics are no longer available.
Can you PLEASE reload them.

i think ALL of us will need them sooner or later. Sooner - in my case.

Huge Thank You for your time and write-up. And another thank you (in advance) for re-upping the pics.

ysgi
 

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I was able to do this with the mirror still installed on the car, couldn't find an easy way to remove the trim inside the door to remove the mirror.
 

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E39 M5 Side mirror wiring?? Want to test folding motor

I have a set of E39 M5 Original BMW (not aftermarket) mirrors. I would like to check the fold mechanism on a workbench and I assume that the mirrors fold when the motor gets power and un-fold if polarity is reversed? Can anyone tell me which are the wires for the fold motor?
 

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In the e60 it is a LIN message that folds the mirror, or at least post LCI. Pre LCI has an translator module in the door. I am not familiar with how it is done in the E39. In the E60, the folding motor is controlled by the 'puck' that the actual mirror glass attaches to. It contains the electronics to do the folding and communicates with the gateway module in the dash via LIN.
 
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