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<!-- google_ad_section_start -->How to repair a door mirror twisted off its bracket<!-- google_ad_section_end -->
How to repair a door mirror twisted off its bracket
Re-assembly of a door mirror which has come apart
Published by chr1s
06-09-2014
Difficulty Level: 3

User Rated:
Difficulty Level: 3

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Removal from Car

If your door mirror has been twisted forward and appears to have broken off, then do not despair, it may go back together, with a bit of effort. Have a look through the photos in this guide, to see whether yours is broken or just come apart with no damage to the components.
By far the biggest part of this job is in making a special tool to apply pressure to the spring, whilst manoeuvring the parts back into position. The difficulty rating is more for the tool than the mirror removal, repair and refitting. If you are in the Cardiff area, I can loan you the tool I made.
If replacing the mirror assembly (rather than repairing), then follow steps 1-9, 26-33.

This guide was compiled when repairing the passenger side mirror on a 2012 Lounge TA, with electrically adjustable and heated mirrors and the outside temperature sensor.

I was greeted by this yesterday:
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[LIST=1][*]Tilt mirror forward (so it reflects sky, or would if it wasn't hanging off), whilst still electrically connected.

[*]Prise glass up along the bottom edge, to unclip it from the motor mechanism. I used a spatula to spread the force, as suggested by someone on another thread. Take care because it could crack.

[*]Unclip the two heated mirror contacts at the terminals on the glass.
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[*]Prise off trim panel off inside of door, with the door open. Its held on by three spring clips.

[*]Remove the four screws (8mm socket) holding the assembly to the door take care not to drop any behind the door card (like I did )
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[*]Unclip the electrical connector. The mating connector is clipped into the metalwork, and can be pulled out to make it more accessible. To separate the connector, there is a locking clip which needs to be released by squeezing.

[*]Remove the assembly from door.
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Old 15-12-2016   #1
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Re: How to repair a door mirror twisted off its bracket

A big thankyou for this post - and thankyou for taking the time to be so detailed. My family thought I knew what I was doing!
I returned to my panda to find the offside mirror hanging by the wire. I found this post and fixed it in around 40 minutes using the information. After removing the mirror and mount from the car I did the rest of the job in the house. My variation was to improvise a spring compression tool from a coach bolt and some larger 'mudguard' washers. I marked the position of the slots on the post on the plastic surround fit and engaged. Then refitted the spring and compressed it using the coach bolt. Using a pair of long nosed pliers as a twisting tool I then turned the slots on the post to the marked engaged position. Refitted the mirror and job done.
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Old 18-01-2017   #2
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Re: How to repair a door mirror twisted off its bracket

Brilliant and very well written guide. Just bought a new Panda so I hope I will not need this but I think its great. Many thanks for the time you have taken on this.
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Old 08-03-2017   #3
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Re: How to repair a door mirror twisted off its bracket

This happened to me earlier this week, I clipped the bin that we had put out by accident and bent the mirror back. When I pulled it back int place it popped off its mount.

I actually managed to do it on the car in about five minutes once I realised it wasn't broke.
First I removed the mirror trim cover.
I used a hammer with a wooded handle that was just the right diameter to push the metal collar down against the spring.

I got my partner to hold the mirror in place while I used the hammer like a T bar pushing down on the head and using the wooden handle to locate the metal collar and push it into place. Because the handle was a softish wood it deformed slightly allowing it grip the collar so I could twist it to locate the clips.

Clip the trim back on - job done.
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Old 02-04-2017   #4
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Re: How to repair a door mirror twisted off its bracket

Had mine ripped off by a cyclists. Had to buy new one (40).Thing was, dealership wanted 180 to put on new one, and so saved myself 140.And it was so easy to replace.
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Old 12-05-2017   #5
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Re: How to repair a door mirror twisted off its bracket

Thanks for the good description and pictures. I've successfully made the tool but am unable to push hard enough down to counteract the spring pressure. The spring compressor solution sounds promising but can't quite understand how it was done.

I bought a replacement mirror for 50 (the garage wanted 140) and fitted it successfully. It seemed a bit flimsy but worked ok. My wife then went to the garage to complain that the outside air temp indicator wasn't working.They took one look at the mirror and said "tell him to buy a proper one"! There's no temp sensor in the cheap ones (I thought the plug was maybe for heating).
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Old 10-06-2017   #6
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Re: How to repair a door mirror twisted off its bracket

Quote Originally Posted by muttleysdad View Post
This happened to me earlier this week, I clipped the bin that we had put out by accident and bent the mirror back. When I pulled it back int place it popped off its mount.

I actually managed to do it on the car in about five minutes once I realised it wasn't broke.
First I removed the mirror trim cover.
I used a hammer with a wooded handle that was just the right diameter to push the metal collar down against the spring.

I got my partner to hold the mirror in place while I used the hammer like a T bar pushing down on the head and using the wooden handle to locate the metal collar and push it into place. Because the handle was a softish wood it deformed slightly allowing it grip the collar so I could twist it to locate the clips.

Clip the trim back on - job done.
Thanks very much, muttleysdad. This was extremely helpful

I also didn't want to take the full assembly off the door, nor make my own tool. As you did, I:

- Popped the actual mirror out of the frame from the left. I just used my fingers so I could get a better feel for how much force I was applying to reduce the risk of cracking the mirror.
- Unscrewed the four screws that hold the mirror mount assembly inside the mirror's outer case
- Squeezed the retaining tabs inside the housing to pop the back section out. This was surprisingly tricky for me: there's one small tab in the corner nearest the door that was easy to miss.
- Then I replaced the four screws to hold the mirror mount back inside the outer case (but with the back of the case now removed) to make the next step easier.
- I located the mirror back in place over the bracket as best I could, and used the end of my mallet's handle to press down on the top of the metal cylinder and compress the spring. This was really hard and took a few attempts. First difficulty was making sure that the protruding flanges on the bottom end of the cylinder were lined up with the gaps between the retaining ridges inside the plastic cylinder on the bracket that I was trying to push the metal cylinder down into. Then just applying enough force was tough; I really had to get my whole body weight over it. A quarter-turn clockwise when I thought I had pushed it down far enough resulted in the metal cylinder being retained inside the plastic one and the mirror was reattached!
- Then just clip the back of the housing back on and clip the mirror itself back in

Definitely tricky, but should be doable for anyone with a bit of patience and decent amount of upper-body strength!
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Old 18-12-2017   #7
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Re: How to repair a door mirror twisted off its bracket

Thanks all for the above guide and posts, really helpful.

Similarly, I wanted to do this without removing the internal trim and cable. I was struggling with the brute force approach, I didn't have anyone handy to hold the mirror body in place. So I modified Jimmy's method slightly and managed to do it as follows:

1. remove glass (pops out with finger pressure, as per JimmyBigNuts post). If you have heated mirrors, disconnect the two wires from the back of the glass, they are spade connectors and will come off if you pull gently.

2. unscrew mirror mounting (4 screws).

3. unclip the body-colour housing from the back of the unit. You can now access the top of the metal tube. Refit the mounting with the four screws before you lose them.

4. use a large (150mm+) g-clamp to press on the top end of the tube, compress the spring and push the bottom end of the tube down into into the bracket. This is fiddly. I had the clamp upside down, so i could aim the screw part of it at precisely the bit of tube I wanted to. Also stuck a little adhesive pad on the underside of the door bracket so the clamp would not slip on the angled plastic, which helped. Patience required to get this to work, but it has the advantage of holding everything in place, and compressing the spring at the same time. Also the screw pressure from the clamp makes it easy to compress the spring (which is very strong), and means you can take your time, and have a tea break when you feel like it

5. Once the spring is compressed, you will need to rotate the tube so the lugs on its bottom edge locate under the plastic wall of the bracket, WHILE THE CLAMP IS IN PLACE. To do that, I used a hammer and a thin drift/bar to carefully tap the top of the tube in a clockwise circular direction. There were two small notches in the flange at the top of the tube, you can tap the inside of a notch with the hammer and drift. I only rotated it about 20 degrees, which seems to be enough to hold it in place. You could use a long screwdriver and hammer, you just need to be careful about slipping and cause damage.

6. remove g-clamp.

7. refit the body-coloured back, lightly grease terminals, reconnect heating wires and press the glass back in place.

Depending on how easy you find it to fit the g clamp, it should not take much longer that 20 minutes.
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Last edited by philski; 18-12-2017 at 13:49.
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Old 09-02-2018   #8
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Re: How to repair a door mirror twisted off its bracket

Had the a similar problem as Muttleysdad above (wheelie bin) only it was the bin that was moving... I'd strongly recommend getting the assembly off the car. I used a plastic shoe horn to prise off the internal trim - a screw driver blade will certainly do the job but will also nearly always bruise the plastic.

The 4 8mm bolts are really big fat self tappers with quite a course thread so they come out with a relatively few revs; this might catch you out and as mentioned they will drop down behind the door card. To disconnect the cable I found it easier to remove the clip that holds the cable plug to the door by squeezing the Christmas Tree clip with a pair of pliers from the outside of the car and pushing it though the hole. This allows the plug assembly to be pulled into the car making it easier to see how the clip works that has to be sprung to unplug; then unthread the cable and you have the mirror off.

Follow the excellent instructions above, mine had the temp sensor which has to be popped upwards to get the mechanism out of the shell; unthread the cable from the tube and spring. Now reattach the mechanism by the 4 screws into the shell leaving the cable out the back of the shell.

My variation on the tool was to use a 9/16 socket with 1/2 inch square extension bar see picture. The socket locates the bar in the tube that the mirror spring sits; with the bar end on the floor have a few practices spring compressions with just the mirror shell - its a stiff spring! The spring needs to be squashed by something towards 10mm i'd estimate and the tube locates like a bayonet light bulb fitting; you push it in, rotate and release.

Now introduce the mount on which the shell sits, there are some odd compound angles so the key is to ensure the two halves are mated flat against each other and all lines up. Check that the "bayonets" or lugs (there are 4) on the plated tube are aimed at the matching grooves and note which way you have to twist the bracket part (the bit that fixes to the car) to engage these lugs.

Deep breath and push down steadily and smoothly then rotate take the pressure off slowly and be amazed that it has all engaged and hey presto its sorted. Thread the cable back etc etc. I took the photo of the tool post reassembly but am not prepared to pull it all down again to take step by step images. (no photo since it looks like I need to use drop box?)

I did put some petroleum jelly (Vaseline) on the ends of the spring and on the plastic interface between the two plastic bits (the shell and the bracket). On inspection the mirror is designed to fold in both directions (contrary to some thoughts on here) I think it was caught with an upward force and possibly due the material was a bit less compliant during a cold spell (although I might have expected something to crack).

How on earth they assemble these in a production environment; I don't know..?
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Old 08-05-2018   #9
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I know this post is a few years old but this just happened to my 500 and I wanted to share how my husband and I fixed it. We followed these instructions but when it came to the tool needed to help compress the spring and turn the cylinder we came up with something else. Instead we took the spring off; compressed it using clamps and by hand; then used a few cable ties to hold it in the compressed state. It needs to be compressed almost as fully as it can go (aim for no gaps between the coils). We then reassembled the wing mirror using the compressed spring and were able to easily turn the cylinder. Then we cut the cable ties off and the spring tension was released. Here are some pictures too... Note that the second picture of the spring with cable ties was not tight enough... We had to compress further!
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Last edited by Csr; 08-05-2018 at 08:44.
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Old 11-11-2018   #10
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Re: How to repair a door mirror twisted off its bracket

Fantsatic post, and was able to repair my broken mirror today. Big "Thanks" to Chris for sharing such a detailed guide, and for letting me use the special tool that he made for the job. Saved a fortune, and pretty straightforward when you follow the instructions Chris has laid out.
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