DIY Replica Power Spoon Mirrors on AE86

yellowsnow4free
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DIY Replica Power Spoon Mirrors on AE86

Postby yellowsnow4free » Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:23 pm

Hey everyone, so here's a project I started a couple years ago with the intent of writing a DIY when I was done. I'm gonna switch between pics of the driver and passenger mirrors because I didn't document the driver side as well as the passenger one, but the process is the same.

It all started when I purchased these for $30.67: http://www.ebay.com/itm/1994-2001-Acura-Integra-2-3Dr-Power-Rear-View-Racing-JDM-Side-Mirrors-Left-Right-/381139137307

At the time I had read a couple posts about adapting cheap replica spoon mirrors for a Honda/Acura to an AE86, but nothing really concrete or definitive. So I went onto eBay and bought the cheapest pair of knockoff power spoon mirrors I could find, which at the time happened to be these:

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I had a feeling that all these cheap spoon mirrors on eBay would be the same, but the backing plate would differ depending on the application; here's what mine looks like (for a DC2 Integra):

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Wiring

The first thing I wanted to tackle was wiring, because I wasn't even sure if it would be compatible with the existing AE86 wiring. The passenger side was a breeze, and it was just a matter of soldering on the male AE86 power mirror connector (can be pulled from tons of Toyotas at the junkyard) onto the spoon mirrors:

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The driver's side had problems, however. I tried all combinations and none of them worked properly; one direction (up/down or left/right) was always inverted. I actually returned that mirror and was sent a replacement, but the issue still persisted. Not sure if this is a problem or just what it is, but I decided to pull the mirror apart and try to fix it.

You need to undo these 4 clips to pop the glass off. I used a screwdriver to pop 3 of them, and after that the last clip can be slid off. Adjust the mirror position by hand to do this. Be careful not to damage or chip the edge of the glass.

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From there you should be inside looking at something like this. To remove the motor assembly you'll need to undo the 3 screws. Be careful, the heads strip easily, and I didn't find an exact replacement at the hardware store.

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The backside of the unit has a cover that pops off, exposing the wiring and how they're connected to the motors:

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After some thinking, I found out that the shared ground on the motors wasn't correct, so one direction would always be reversed. I desoldered the board and fixed it like so:

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Mounting

With the wiring sorted, the next step was mounting the mirrors.

The bolts that come with the spoon mirrors are M6x1.0, and the AE86 mirror screws are M5x0.8. Luckily, of the 3 mounting holes on the AE86 door, the bottom 2 will accept a M6 bolt without modifications. I decided to bolt the spoon mirrors up with just the M6 bolt on the bottom, closest to the driver:

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Then I pivoted the mirror so the bottommost part of the plastic was resting on the lip of the AE86 door:

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(disregard mirror positioning here)

This setup happened to leave the top of the spoon mirror just a hair above the AE86 window trim; not bad, IMO:

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However, the mirror itself wasn't even close to usable orientated this way:

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But for now, let's focus on mounting.

I bought a cheap piece of aluminum locally and cut it down with hand tools, files, and a low power dremel. Couple that with some M5 rivnuts and misc. bolts, washers, spacers, and grommets from the local hardware store and I was left with something like this, passenger side shown:

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Which looked something like this when bolted up to the mirror:

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(disregard that the motor has been reattached in this pic)

Notice the rubber grommet used for the wires. Much smaller than the hole on the spoon mirrors themselves, but it keeps the wire in place and doesn't allow them to rub on the aluminum.

The M5 bolts I bought were actually too long, so I had to modify the mirror by adding holes for the excess screw lengths to go to. Could be avoided, but I like the fitment.

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Adjusting Motor Angle

So now you've got a spoon mirror housing ready to bolt up to your car, but it won't sit at the proper angles for viewing. What to do now...

Remember those 3 screws that hold the motor unit to the spoon mirror?

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I found the trick is to space the backside of the mirror so it'll sit at a different viewing position.

At my local hardware store I found some spacers that fit the motor screws perfectly, with dimensions as shown:

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Before going to the next step, I'd recommend you adjust the motor unit by hand so it's level all around.

Place it on the backside of the motor unit as shown:

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There won't be many threads that reach the mirror housing, but it'll work. Get the bottom screw started and slowly put the other 2 screws in and tighten them all. When you're done it should look something like this:

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From here I found that with the shimmed motor unit, the glass rubs against the plastic housing on the mirror. But have no fear! There is a fix.

Go back to the glass that was attached to the motor unit by the 4 clips (what you removed earlier to access the screws holding the motor unit in). The backside reveals the glass is attached to a plastic mounting piece, that is held in by some kind of foam adhesive:

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My tool of choice is on the left, the wide pry bar from Harbor Freight's trim puller set. Ironically, you don't want to "pry" the plastic piece off for risk of damaging the glass. Instead, just push it in a ways all around and eventually you can slide it all the way through:

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From here you'll want to remove all the residual adhesive from both the backside of the mirror and the plastic mounting piece. The plastic is a lot easier, but you'll want to be careful with the glass. I used the same scraper (held flat against the glass) and removed a lot of it, and some bug and tar remover for the more stubborn bits (rubbed it in, let it soak, then scraped):

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Lastly, I carefully used a little rubbing alcohol to remove the remaining adhesive. Put the glass aside for now and set your sights on the mounting plastic:

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I wetsanded this unit (it hadn't been sanded yet in the above pic) with 320 grit to get a nice surface to remount the glass.

Here's what I used, since it was laying around my house:

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Basically you want to put it all over the flat side of the mounting piece:

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At this point you want to carefully reattach this piece to the motor, doing your best not to move the motor:

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From here, position the glass so it's centered in the mirror housing. You'll notice the upper-right corner (for the passenger mirror) has a little of the foam tape exposed. Since the tape I used was white, I decided to cut some off. I used a pencil to mark it with the mirror in place, then cut a line parallel to the pencil line maybe 3mm down from it. When you're done you should be left with something like this:

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From here you can remove the backing on the tape and put the mirror in place for good. I just eyeballed the mirror centered in the housing based on the gaps and whatnot.

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Finally, you can now mount your mirrors and celebrate! Be careful not to overtighten any screws, since you don't want to warp the metal mounting plate on the AE86 (if you do warp the metal, you can easily push it back into place; I used the handle of a screwdriver).

Here are some pics of my finished driver's side:

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Updates

08/03/2017

Pulled the driver's side (spoon) mirror off as well as the passenger (OEM power) one to install some kind of gasket to prevent leaks into the doors.

Driver's side revealed some markings on the door trim where the spoon mirror housing was mounted:

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With the mirror removed I cleaned up the metal area to prep for placing a gasket there. I also used a black paint pen to fill in any areas with missing paint. Using a 2mm thick adhesive foam sheet from Michael's (yes, I buy a lot of my DIY stuff at a craft store) I formed a gasket:

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With some of the leftover foam sheet I also made a gasket to put on the mirror themselves, hoping it might give some cushion between the door trim and mirror housing. I also sanded the mounting side of the mirror with 320, 600, and finally 1200 (or 1500) to get a nice smooth surface (didn't take pics though):

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Before mounting both mirrors I also cleaned the trim near the mirrors with some Meguiar's MXT Tech Protectant, which is now discontinued, but it's basically just a vinyl, rubber, and plastic cleaner, conditioner, and protectant. I also used this on the spoon mirrors themselves once they were mounted.

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Also, with both mirrors mounted I was able to see how much adjustment both mirrors have. The driver's side is great, but the passenger side has just enough adjustment in terms of left/right; with the mirror all the way to the left I can see the side of my car. I suppose another option (possibly even in place of spacing the motor mechanism) would be to space between the mirror glass and plastic mounting piece (I'm imagining wedgelike shims to point it in specific directions); something to think about I suppose.

But for now I must say I'm pretty happy with them! I'll see how I like them as I drive the car more once school starts.
Last edited by yellowsnow4free on Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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CloudStrife
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Posts: 255
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2016 2:23 pm

Re: DIY Replica Power Spoon Mirrors on AE86

Postby CloudStrife » Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:41 pm

Great write-up, thanks!

But what's the benefit here? Looks? I guess they're more aerodynamic than stock square..

yellowsnow4free
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Posts: 183
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:55 am

Re: DIY Replica Power Spoon Mirrors on AE86

Postby yellowsnow4free » Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:54 pm

CloudStrife wrote:Great write-up, thanks!

But what's the benefit here? Looks? I guess they're more aerodynamic than stock square..

I've had issues with my power mirrors since I bought my car. The driver's side would shake a bit at high speeds (I know there's a writeup on that) and the internal spring in my passenger one broke (twice!) so it won't fold in and stay put, although ironically it doesn't shake like the driver's side one...

So honestly it wasn't a question of weight or aerodynamics, but I just wanted a pair of new power mirrors and didn't want to shell out for Murakami's or revert to manual mirrors.

CloudStrife
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Posts: 255
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2016 2:23 pm

Re: DIY Replica Power Spoon Mirrors on AE86

Postby CloudStrife » Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:24 am

Yes it's quite strange the driver's side rattle..

It happens on most JDM chassis, and even if you get replica mirrors from China, I've heard it will still shake at higher speeds.. Bugs the hell out of me.. lol.

Do you have any pics of them on the 86 from far away?

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yellowsnow4free
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Posts: 183
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:55 am

Re: DIY Replica Power Spoon Mirrors on AE86

Postby yellowsnow4free » Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:33 am

CloudStrife wrote:Yes it's quite strange the driver's side rattle..

It happens on most JDM chassis, and even if you get replica mirrors from China, I've heard it will still shake at higher speeds.. Bugs the hell out of me.. lol.

Do you have any pics of them on the 86 from far away?

No pics from far away yet. I need to get the gaskets done and mount the passenger side mirror still. I'm hoping to do that before a local meetup on Friday, so I will likely take pics then (especially since I'll have the car cleaned up then too :P)

CloudStrife
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Posts: 255
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2016 2:23 pm

Re: DIY Replica Power Spoon Mirrors on AE86

Postby CloudStrife » Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:04 pm

Lol I gotcha I gotcha, got look spiffy. Can't wait! Thanks for the write up.

yellowsnow4free
Club4AG Enthusiast
Posts: 183
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:55 am

Re: DIY Replica Power Spoon Mirrors on AE86

Postby yellowsnow4free » Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:26 pm

CloudStrife wrote:Do you have any pics of them on the 86 from far away?

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CloudStrife
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Posts: 255
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Re: DIY Replica Power Spoon Mirrors on AE86

Postby CloudStrife » Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:29 pm

Looks great man, and your hachi ain't too bad either!

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