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Frankenmirror
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campism
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:31 pm    Post subject: Frankenmirror Reply with quote

Okay, laugh if you must, but the Westy drivers out there will instantly grasp what I’m trying to accomplish here. There you sit high, wide and handsome in your bad ride, just cruising down the road with everything going perfectly, except for your inability to see out the back due to the position of the stock rearview mirror and its lousy, badly-angled view past the upper cabinet in the back. If there’s a car back there you’ll see its hood and windshield and that’s all you’ll see, and if there is no car you’ll see about 30 feet of pavement. I do use the outside mirrors but it would be nice if the inside mirror were more useful. In a passenger van using the same mirror there’s no foot-deep ceiling fixture intruding into your field of view so you see much better.

When I bought the van the PO had installed a second mirror lower and glued to the glass. That worked fine until a state inspector ordered it removed as a “distraction.” Sounds like the state doesn’t want me checking my six.

I found posts from guys who’ve recommended Bay mirrors (thanks, hiram6), but after I found one at a junkyard I learned that its stalk is the same length as the Vanagon stalk and that was I need is a certain year Bay Westy mirror, much harder to find. Having spent a whole 5 bucks I figured I could afford to hack this one up. I hacksawed it in the middle, drilled each part and screwed in a 4-inch length of all-thread. The result tended to vibrate a bit with the mirror’s weight at the end of that flexy length of thread so I braced it against the glass. Hold a brick at arm’s length and imagine the difficulty in keeping it steady in that position.


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Now the mirror is about at eye level. It works okay, but still vibrates a little. I’d try it again, but would make the cut closer to the mirror next time to position the brace nearer the weighty part, and that would probably eliminate the vibe. And I still need to prettify it a little. Maybe a lot.
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hiram6
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry dude, I feel like I led you down a path here brother.

I grabbed one at a boneyard for $5, and had no idea that it was a rare version. I'll post up pics of mine installed, with measurements so people know which one to look for. It really is the real deal, I can see out the back window easily, with no blockage by the a/c cabinet.
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campism
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naw, man, it's cool. Live and learn, right? Anyway, it was the inspiration to try improving something that needs it. Thing is, if the one you found were reproduced I'll bet every Vanagon Westy driver out there would buy one.
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presslab
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I cut mine like yours, hammered some copper water pipe over the metal part on each piece, and extended the mirror so it touched the windshield. I used a rubber bumper where it touched. It works pretty good, not bad looking either. Smile I'll get a pic up later.
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Vsyevolod
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I put a second mirror on the dashboard. It was from my FLAPS and was designed to be a glue-on replacement for a windshield mirror. I mounted a block of wood to the dash, about 4" tall. Then screwed the mirror mount to that wood piece and there you have it. Sorry, no photos, the van made it to Ashland last August before deciding to give up the ghost.

Having two mirrors was ideal for me. The upper mirror gave me the view of two cars behind me, while the lower mirror gave me the long view out the back. I wouldn't want just one mirror in a Westy.

Stephen




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240Gordy
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

all the big trucks and all the big buses have no rear view mirror, only side mirrors.
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stevey88
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why don't you install a rear view mirror that has a glue on base to the glass ?
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campism
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I may again and dispense with the upper one but that'll leave an unsightly hole to be dealt with. You know, it's just one damn thing after another. Might be an idea to convert that mirror stalk to a mount for dual map lights or something like that. Who knows?
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hiram6
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevey88 wrote:
Why don't you install a rear view mirror that has a glue on base to the glass ?


I did this before finding the baywindow mirror. To me, one of the generic glue-ons was too far away from me when mounted to the windshield. BTW, if you try this and don't like it, it is truly amazing how easy you can unglue that base with acetone. It practically jumped off the windshield!!!
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spitsnrovers
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice mod campism. I've been plagued with this problem as well - being taller than average, and installing higher than original seats.

I mounted a mirror to the junk box mounted on the dash, but it vibrated too badly to be of use.

I picked up a "glue to the windshield" version from the junk yhard, but will heed your warning about the highway troopers.

Like the idea of extending an original like you did.

thanks for the input.
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DAIZEE
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought a clip on wider mirror with 1/4 of the right side being panoramic. I feel much more comfortable with it than the original which is still there under. Then I balance both outside mirrors and there is not a spot I can't see without moving.

Go Westy has a stick on rear view enhancer, I forget what its called but it changes the shape of the rear windshield from flat to convex. I'm thinking of getting one.

Here in Ontario you would probably be charged with windshield obstruction as they are going after anything on the windshield that interferes with seeing. Even going after some GPS, not all but some. I got my extended mirror from Canadian Tire (it was on sale). I know where there is a better one but they are so popular they seem to always be back ordered.
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JeffRobenolt
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is something that fits in the original mirror hole perfect to fill it.

Can't see the forest thru all the tree's??

I have a windshield mount auto dim, temp, compass, homelink, led light mirror.

Take your stock mirror and rip the rubber coating of the base. Cut the stem off and clean it up on a grinder. Wire wheel to polish or paint to taste.

Most cars today come with windshield mount mirrors, can't see it being a problem. With the hole covered it would take a van owner to realize it is not factory and a van owner will be impressed.

I'll take pic's when I get home.
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presslab
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is mine. The tarnished copper almost matches the brown color. Laughing
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campism
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool. Time to revamp mine. How is your mirror for vibrationlessness?
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JeffRobenolt
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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buildyourown
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just get fisheyes for the side mirrors and learn to use them. After years of driving trucks with canopies and no windows, I never look in the rear view.
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presslab
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No vibes at all. Mine touches the glass, you can just see the little clear rubber bumper in the pic.

Your mirror looks different than mine, you might need to angle the pipe a bit.
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jizae
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would show you MY rear view setup, but I dont have pics on me right now; I'm in California, where the revenue enforcers would love to find one of those custom rear view mirrors to give you a citation for (supposedly for blocking the driver's view, or some BS like that- the same violation they give somoeone for having anything hanging from the rear view mirror in CA)..

To solve my rear view action, I have TWO rear mirrors: I have the regular stock one, but THEN I have a second rear view mirror that I got from the junkyard from some GM or Ford car or truck- I forgot specifically what make and year, but it really doesnt matter, go to a junkyard and get one out of ANY car or truck that you like the width, size, and view from it...
...So what I did is I glued it onto the dash itself upside down, where you can adjust it from its stem/base the same way you can your regular overhead stock rear view mirror. That way you can see everything you otherwise CAN'T behind your cabinet... Scenery behind you, mountains, trees, whatever..
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campism
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right. I stated initially that I did have the dual setup that got kiboshed by the state inspectors so I'm working on alternatives.
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jizae
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whoops! You did say that- I dont know what the state's laws are where you are, so perhaps that extended rear view mirror would be considered legal there- I can only speak for my experience in California, and I havent heard of or seen anything against the dual mirror setup unless it was unusually large or something.. Well, other than the alternatives mentioned above, thats all I can think of.. Good luck 2 u!
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