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Anatomy of a side mirror

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Old 08-06-07, 11:29 PM   #1
Pearlpower
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Default Anatomy of a side mirror

As the miles and years pour on with a few examples, the side mirrors is an area that can cause some grief. Here is a brief write up on how to service the side mirrors on these cars.

Issue: Continuous clicking noise from mirror anytime the car is placed in reverse and the mirror only tilted half way down. Mirror was adjusted fine. My car is out of warranty.

Options:
1) New mirror-guessing here-$350.00-$500.00 installed.
2) Fix the current mirror using parts from another mirror. Mirror assembly does not need to be removed from car.

I picked up a side mirror for a pretty good deal off of Ebay and though it was not the correct color, I was only interested in the guts.

OK, first thing is to remove the mirror. Grab the mirror on the bottom and yank out with a quick tug towards you. The bottom of the mirror should pop out and then the top of the mirror slides out. You will then see the image below.Often times just one side of the bottom mirror comes out. Just pull on the other side.
E-These two leads are for the mirror heater. Just pry them out from the mirror using a flat head.
A-Those slots is where the top of the mirror slides into/out of during an R/R.
B-This is where the mirror snaps into/or out of during an R/R
C-Once the mirror is out of the way-remove this screw and the spring behind it. The white plastic square mirror holder can now be pulled out. Be gentle as there are two plastic worm bolts attaching this to the motor arms. Just give it a tug and work it out.
D-Now remove these 3 phillip screws which hold the front and rear housing together. This is the tricky part as on the bottom right Marked E is a plastic piece that snaps both pieces together. Moving the housing up and down will get it to lodge loose. In my case the tiny little clip snapped but no big deal as the mirror goes back just fine. You may be able to pry into the inside end of the mirror by removing a plastic clip (not shown). Get this and everything else is easy.


Click the image to open in full size.


This is the housing frame. No need to remove the mirror from the car which makes things more complicated. The line points to the position sensor which slides right off the motor housing.

Click the image to open in full size.

The two leads are for the two motors. One for up/down and the other for left/right. They pry right off with ease.
Click the image to open in full size.

Front and rear housing. Notice the 3 clips that need to be squeezed to remove from the frame.
Click the image to open in full size.

OK, after I tested the replacement mirror I noticed that one of the motors was bad (thus the price I paid). So I used one of my good motors in the motor housing which easily separates. Both motors are the same(notice part#) and interchangeable. Inspect the worm gear on the end as this could be a potential issue. There are 6 areas that can cause issues with the mirror. The primary one appears to be the worm bolt pictured below which strips over a period of time. The motor arms that grab the worm bolt can also wear over time causing the clicking. I had to replace both a plastic worm bolt and motor arm on mine as they were wore in the middle which explains why my mirror stopped midway while tilting down and just clicked.

Click the image to open in full size.

Back of the mirror. A-tilts into the slot and B snaps in the frame above. Notice where the heater leads go on the left side.
Click the image to open in full size.

Motor housing separated. Notice the gears in there? Inspect for wear or broken teeth. Only takes one.
Click the image to open in full size.

OK, this is the motor arm. The motor spins this and the arms go into the threads on the worm bolt which in turn moves the mirror around. If the tiny little arms are not sharp and worn then they will not fit into the grooves and click click click.
Click the image to open in full size.

SEARCH WORDS: side mirror, click, clicking, tilt, tilting
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Last edited by Pearlpower; 04-05-10 at 10:29 PM..
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Old 08-06-07, 11:29 PM   #2
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This is the mirror holder with the two referenced worm bolts as I call them.
These are plastic and wear. One of mine was wore only a tad but enough to cause me issues. They swivel in place and pop right out. Use some white lithium grease on every contact portion of the gears.

Click the image to open in full size.

This is a rear shot showing the motor leads plugged in. They are just 12v leads so testing the motors is as simple as running 12v to them and checking for spin.
Click the image to open in full size.

Some notes.
The chrome trim piece is attached to the housing with two screws and cannot be removed unless the housing is split.

Parts are not available from Lexus so a good used mirror would be in order.

Be careful of the paint on the housing while separating.

Internal parts are the same whether passenger side or drivers side mirror. Only difference is the mirror and housing. For this I used parts from a passenger mirror to fix my drivers mirror.

Anyhow, how did it work. Flawless. Mirror works as it should with no issues.
Lee

UPDATE: Pics posted again due to popular demand. Please do not PM for further instructions unless pics are down. Thank you.
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GX470 w/dual exhaust, KNN CAI, 55w HIDs &35w HID fogs,LED side markers, Vaistech, etc. AMG E55 10sec, with no cheater gas, other project cars.
Z32 Project-800hp track car.
Prior, blown GS400, SC430, SC400,SC300, IS300, many others

Last edited by Pearlpower; 10-26-08 at 08:02 PM..
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Old 08-06-07, 11:35 PM   #3
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wow lee, thank you for all the pics! although without any captions, i have absolutely no idea what's going on and what to be fixed, but this is just great!!!!!!!

call it crazy, both of our mirrors had the same problem. after my wife and i switched seats, sometimes the mirror will start clicking and "stuck" after putting in reverse. no clue why

both of our mirrors were replaced under warranty. i thought that's just me since i didn't see anything posted here before. asked the tech and he has never seen it before neither. so strange

and now, seems like you had the same problem!!!!!
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Old 08-07-07, 12:01 AM   #4
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You caught me in the middle of posting before I added the captions Henry.
This appears to be a common issue with most Lexus's though the internals are a little different. I did not feel like removing my door panels and taking the mirror out so this option worked out well and it only cost me $20.00.
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GX470 w/dual exhaust, KNN CAI, 55w HIDs &35w HID fogs,LED side markers, Vaistech, etc. AMG E55 10sec, with no cheater gas, other project cars.
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Prior, blown GS400, SC430, SC400,SC300, IS300, many others

Last edited by Pearlpower; 08-07-07 at 12:40 AM..
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Old 08-07-07, 12:31 AM   #5
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haha now with captions it's so much better lee

thanks again for the thread. as i experienced errors in BOTH of my mirrors, i was thankful they were under warranty. this is big, i didn't know it's a common problem!!!

guess we shouldn't tilt the mirror that much at all, hah
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Old 08-07-07, 11:25 AM   #6
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This thread will save you guys a lot of money.

The mirror assy will cost you MSRP $627 (driver side) and $467 (passenger side).
You can find used ones on eBay, but they may have the same issue as well.
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Old 08-07-07, 01:54 PM   #7
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i wonder why the driver side is so much more expensive?

but yeah, i was lucky it's done under warranty.... both sides, saved me over a grand.....
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Old 08-07-07, 02:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rominl View Post
i wonder why the driver side is so much more expensive?

but yeah, i was lucky it's done under warranty.... both sides, saved me over a grand.....
Maybe the noise from the driver side annoys us more than that from the passenger side.
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Old 08-07-07, 10:03 PM   #9
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Default European mirrors

Does anyone know if a european spec mirrow is available? I purchased some for my BMW in Germany. They have a vertical line on the outer 25% and beyond this line the mirror is extremely convex. The result, there is no blind spot. I think they are not legal here but if available, they are well worth the retrofit. Surteco
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Old 01-04-08, 05:12 PM   #10
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Default Respond to - Anatomy of a side mirror

Lee, Just want to say thank you very much for posting pics and instructions on how to remove the side mirror assembly. Someone stole the glass from my mirror and I had to repace it. With your pics and instructions, I was able to do that. Your instructions were very helpful. Thank you!!!

Bruce

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Old 01-04-08, 06:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bnn007 View Post
Lee, Just want to say thank you very much for posting pics and instructions on how to remove the side mirror assembly. Someone stole the glass from my mirror and I had to repace it. With your pics and instructions, I was able to do that. Your instructions were very helpful. Thank you!!!

Bruce
Bruce, welcome aboard and glad to be of help.
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Prior, blown GS400, SC430, SC400,SC300, IS300, many others
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Old 05-07-08, 08:01 AM   #12
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Does someone know the difference between a mirror of a SC430 2003 and 2004?

Does the motors and gears are the same ?
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Old 05-07-08, 09:49 AM   #13
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All years use the same parts.
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Change is a good thing...... right?
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Old 05-07-08, 02:00 PM   #14
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Very good info!!!! Thanks so Much for sharing as this will definately save all of us some money at a time in the future!
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Old 10-26-08, 08:02 PM   #15
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BUMP, pictures added back to server due to a few requests.
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Prior, blown GS400, SC430, SC400,SC300, IS300, many others
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