View original topic: Floppy power mirror fix Page: 1, 2  Next
dubbified Thu Nov 24, 2011 4:28 pm


It seems mysteriously after picking my van up from my shop disaster... the driverside power mirror is now flopping around. Both the lady and I are certain this was not a problem before.. but, we're trying to move on from that.

Hmm, so, what I see, there is no resistance to movement, the mirror body can be lifted Up, off the primary mount, yet it seems gravity of the primary mirror body hold it down on the mount, wires hold it from being removed.

removing the two mounting screws does not allow it to be removed for inspection.

Is there a ideal method to remove, disassemble/fix these?

I'd looked over the bentley, but not figuring this out..

Trying to do some basic fixes on my van today.


ragnarhairybreeks Thu Nov 24, 2011 4:42 pm

Maybe this post on how I repaired a broken power mirror will help


syncrodoka Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:02 pm

Remove the plastic cover at the bottom of the base holding onto the door. Push in the hole towards the bottom and pry the cover down. It sounds like the nut has come loose, with the plastic cover removed you will have access to it(blue loctite is your friend).

dubbified Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:05 pm

Thanks guys.. That diy gotsta go on the FAQ!

Awesome. I'm breathin easier this can be fixed.

It seems the nut is off, screw and post seem intact, but I need to remove the leads and pull the mirror as it seems the wiring has to be out to retighten.

I will pry off the cover, and pull it for this fix.

curious how to remove the mirror without disaster.

ragnarhairybreeks Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:31 pm

The wires can stay in place, just the nut re-installed and tightened. I assume the nut is hanging on the wires when you looked at it?


syncrodoka Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:40 pm

I have a pair of duck billed pliers that I used to tighten the mirror nut last time with the wires in place.

dubbified Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:52 pm

Sad news.

I read the post provided. I did not fully understand the NUANCE of this multistep removal process.

Not the fix itself is of concern, but the SAFE Removal of the Mirror.

I did not realize how EASY the mirror itself is intended to come off.

To keep people from the same disaster.

Perhaps a step 1-? needs to be in order.

Do not unscrew the mirror base from the door first. This will not accomplish anything and make your day harder.

There are wires inside the mirror which must first come out, before you can remove the setup from the door.

Step 1. Look at the internals.

Pay attention to the backside of the mirror, motor, internals behind the mirror, the rather large two tongs sitting on the back of the piece to the right, have large ears. You're supposed to lift up on those, which unlock the mirror from the motor backing.

You pry, you will break the motor and plastic parts of the gimbal, and motor, thus having to track down a power mirror gimbal.

1. To separate the mirror, one would insert a flat screwdriver or similar prying device between the mirror body, and strike that tab, lifting UP.

That would disable the internal locking mechanism which mates the mirror to the mechanical gimbal which is driven by motors. be careful.

Simple adherence to this one step, you would avoid breaking the white plastic pieces which otherwise cannot be gotten to without prying, and breaking the axis pins.

Oh damn I'm upset.


Once the tab is lifted, the mirror comes free from the gimbal.

2. Heating elements, remove the two leads from the mirror, set the mirror aside.

3. Use a screwdriver and remove the Four screws that hold the internal mounting plate from the mirror upper body. This is the left most piece in the image. One upper, lower, left and right, they're very small, use a small/thin phillips.

4. The motorbody is mounted to the primary gimbal, and the plate you just removed, it is ok to pull the leads right out of the gimbal/motor as they have markings on the motor itself, as to which color wire goes where.

5. Removing the leads through the mirror body (upper most piece in image) It is ideal to find one wire at a time, pulling each wire down/out of the Mirror stud/base connection.

It will be a real trick to get the thin leads back in, but.. you will figure it out.

Assembly is reverse process.

I will update this once I figure out how to either fix the busted gimbal due to my puppy dog pulling.. or replace it and have gone through the reassembly process.

My hard lesson learned.. these mirrors are not like the Golf mirrors which come right off the manual gimbals.

DONT PULL LIKE A PUPPY DOG. It all comes out with a process, and its much easier than you think!

syncrodoka Thu Nov 24, 2011 6:03 pm

If you broke the plastic carrier for the power mirror you can source them from eurovans, passats and mid 80s to early 90s jettas.

ragnarhairybreeks Thu Nov 24, 2011 6:08 pm

Sorry if my post misled, I should have included a ref. to the Bentley where the mirror tab movement is described well.

I will re-iterate the warning about the electrical tabs on the heating element on the mirror. They can be broken easily, beware if you want to try and remove the female spades.


dubbified Thu Nov 24, 2011 6:17 pm

Oh, your post really got me in a right direction and had great information!

I did not realize how important it was to properly remove that mirror..

So, hopefully others can read this and we can save them from having to $hell out some dough, and avoid further headache!

Good news, the mirror stud isnt broke, it was unthreaded, and can be fixed.

Thanks for the guidance on the sourcing parts, without a doubt, I will try and get that in hand tomorrow.

Plenty of yards around selling those parts.. hopefully I can find one quickly.

Now.. on to my electrical gremlins as I have three days off to fix all this.. :)

Thanks again for your combined help!

davideric9 Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:35 am

FWIW, I remove the door panel and remove the wires from the connector and then pull the mirror off the door with the wires still connected to the mirror. Not sure which is quicker, maybe unplugging the wires from the back of the motor, but fishing them back into the mirror while connected to the door seems a like it may be tedious.

dubbified Fri Nov 25, 2011 6:55 pm

I did pull through, leaving on the body while I fixed the base.

I managed to lube the important parts, and threadlock the nut.

Also, I managed to pop the outer ring into the axis pins, there is one upper responsible for up/down movement and that's in good shape.

Then, I soaked the boot in light orange cleaner overnight, dried and will use some silicone grease to renew the rubber a bit.

Tommorrow I plan on getting it reconnected.

Sadly I have no real way to test this, as I need to pickup a mirror control joystick deal.. the last one shorted out when I was detailing the interior, it got wet.

RaxAdam Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:35 am

To clarify, here, the only way to tighten floppy power mirrors is to disassemble the entire unit?! This seems really involved :? , are there no simpler solutions to getting the mirror functional again? I'm very hesitant to start taking the whole damned thing apart!

Any suggestions much appreciated.


kamzcab86 Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:55 pm

dubbified wrote: Thanks guys.. That diy gotsta go on the FAQ!

Just an FYI: Title changed 'cuz this thread is now in the FAQ. :wink:

syncrodoka Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:02 pm

RaxAdam wrote: To clarify, here, the only way to tighten floppy power mirrors is to disassemble the entire unit?!
Pull off the plastic cap at the bottom and you will have access to the nut to tighten the assembly. I have had good success with pulling of the nut and putting on some blue loctite before tightening it all back up.
You may have better access if you remove the assembly from the door but a full strip is not needed.
Good luck

RaxAdam Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:29 pm

@ synchrodoka - thanks. What tool did you use to tighten it up? We can't get it into place. & how exactly did you pull it off to put the loctite on? I'm hitting the road tomorrow AM & a ziptie through the triangle window is my present solution, which works while the high wind blows on it, but is less than ideal inside the city! But I've tried everything I can think of to get the nut in place, all to no avail - my fingers don't fit in the space, ditto for all pliers we've tried. The wires are really the main issue it seems, but gravity's not exactly helping...!



RaxAdam Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:06 pm

On closer inspection, what I took to be the nut has no threads, there's just a spring, then a white washer, then a metal cap of sorts that doesn't have any apparent mechanism to secure it in place. Any direction on this one would be much appreciated.



RaxAdam Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:37 pm

Alright - >1h in the cold and I've had 3 people go at it, no one can get the damn nut screwed in again! What's the trick? Sounds like plenty have had success just popping the bottom open and screwing it on, but the spring pushes so damn hard against the nut that none of us have managed to get the nut in place, hold the wires out of the way [i]and[\i] tighten. As soon as we go to turn the nut, the whole F*!#ing thing falls apart.

Guess I'm taking the door panel off - :S


Thor-bob Sun Aug 09, 2015 11:39 pm

It finally happened....... passenger side mirror went all floppy-like.

I was cleaning the glass, and it went limp when moved forward.

Took it apart and found the nut and plastic washer unthreaded, BUT the washer is broken - now what? Are the washers available? Delrin replacement?


1990 Carat

ALIKA T3 Tue Aug 11, 2015 1:33 am

Isn't the washer split from factory?

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group