Fitting convex glass into door mirror

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mike202

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How I put convex glass into my cab door mirror.

I tried to tighten up my loose passenger door mirror recently, by tightening the bottom cap nut and unfortunately snapped off the post. So I bought a new cab door mirror from A. Schofields as they say it is top quality and has longer thread than other repro mirrors to screw into the cab door.

https://www.alanhschofield.com/ourparts/prod_2578955-Stainless-Front-Door-Mirror-Top-Quality-Right-6879-211857514W.html

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The mirror came with a plain glass lens, i.e. the reflection is a simple 1 to 1. I had previously fitted a convex lens replacement to the old mirror (in 2013) like modern cars have, so the field of view is wider, and I wanted to do the same again. My bus is LHD so the off-side mirror, i.e. right hand side, is very important for me to be able to see what's there behind when changing lanes etc.

I had a spare convex glass I from the pair I bought from an EBay supplier in 2013, and put this in to replace the plain glass. I could have just used the convex glass from the old mirror but I damaged the backing silver removing it.

It's a fairly easy process to do; I removed the plastic beading from around the new mirror. It just pulled out with some effort, from around the glass. It was nice and supple probably because it was new. Then I removed the mirror glass with a plastic tool so as not to damage the mirror body.

Unfortunately I couldn’t do this without breaking the glass, the same happened last time, so to be careful I wore protective goggles and gloves. It was glued in firmly with four blobs of clear sealant. As the glass is not going to be used, it doesn’t matter if it breaks any way.

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New beading is the lighter grey colour.

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New mirror in front

I found with this new mirror, the fitted glass was slightly wider than the convex glass replacement, and so the new beading was a bit loose. I was easily able to re-use the old beading, from the broken door mirror which I knew would fit.

I test fitted the convex glass with the old beading to make sure it all fitted well in the new door mirror.

Next I cleaned the inside of the stainless steel mirror and just left the old blobs of sealant on. I put four new blobs next to them. I made sure there was enough new sealant to secure the glass to the mirror housing. Then I stuck the new convex glass on top fitted with the grey beading, and checked it was installed ok.

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I didn't aim for a water tight seal between the glass and the mirror housing as it would probably end up more likely trapping some water in the housing, leading eventually to rust. I left it 24 hours for the sealant to cure, before installing the new mirror with the wide view, convex glass on the cab door.

I had to loosen the cap nut on the new mirror in order to fit it to the door, so I marked where it was tightened to with a sharpie pen before I loosened it, so when re-tightening I didn’t over do it!

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Any comments good or bad welcome. The last mirror glass I replaced didn’t fall off after seven years, so I am pretty confident this one won’t either.
I didn't bother with replacing the near side mirror glass, I manage fine with the plain one.


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mike202

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sparkywig said:
That's on my list for when the deluxe bus hits the road, Mike.
Out of interest, where did you get the convex glass from?

It was a while ago when I bought them, but it was like this one I just found which look the same.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Left-side-Wing-door-mirror-glass-for-Vw-Transporter-T2-67-79-/332529678179?_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l49286


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Moseley

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Just in case anyone comes across this post when wanting to fit convex glass, I would strongly advise against the Auto Wares ones. The quality is really pretty poor, and the design is flawed compared to an original one, meaning the nut on the mirror arm will eventually loosen over time if the mirrors get adjusted / folded repeatedly over time, but also when tightened the mirror just binds up - something which an OG one doesn’t do.

I’ve just battled to try and remove all the sharp edges and rough casting / chroming on the bits that need to rotate, and even with that I’ve still ended up using an original VW part for the piece that screws into the door.

Save your money and buy a good original set of mirrors and some aftermarket glass.
 

Moseley

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That’s interesting to read as I haven’t seen anyone else’s reviews of these mirrors. A bit disappointing though when they are charging £50 a mirror.
I’ll post up some pictures later when I strip the one I haven’t done yet, and compare it to an original one. People can make their own minds up if they want to splash the cash then. I will say that the view in the mirror is much improved, but based on the quality of the metal parts, I’m not sure how long the glass will stay looking good for.

On a slightly different note, the SSP ‘washers’ I bought from VWH to protect the paintwork when screwing these on are only fit for the bin. They are made of rubber, and just pucker up and distort as the mirror is tightened. I will be taking this up with them separately, as £2 is a joke for what it is. I will be making my own ones out of some nylon.
 

Graham L

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Just in case anyone comes across this post when wanting to fit convex glass, I would strongly advise against the Auto Wares ones. The quality is really pretty poor, and the design is flawed compared to an original one, meaning the nut on the mirror arm will eventually loosen over time if the mirrors get adjusted / folded repeatedly over time, but also when tightened the mirror just binds up - something which an OG one doesn’t do.

I’ve just battled to try and remove all the sharp edges and rough casting / chroming on the bits that need to rotate, and even with that I’ve still ended up using an original VW part for the piece that screws into the door.

Save your money and buy a good original set of mirrors and some aftermarket glass.
That’s funny because I run 2 of them on 2 different buses and haven’t had any issues??, have you contacted Steve Parsons @ Autowares to let him know as I’m sure he will want to fix it??
 

Moseley

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That’s funny because I run 2 of them on 2 different buses and haven’t had any issues??, have you contacted Steve Parsons @ Autowares to let him know as I’m sure he will want to fix it??
Hi Graham, fair point, it’s always good to hear other people’s experiences in case mine was a one-off. Judging by the photos of the product on Auto Wares page, I suspect not, but I will reach out to them for a response. However, I will post some photos as it is only fair to share more details than to make sweeping statements. People can read, interpret and comment as they see fit then.

First up, here is a comparison between an Auto Wares and an original mirror. The main issue is how the mirror arm fits into the door mount. Notice the location of the gap - there needs to be a small gap somewhere to allow the mirror arm to be moved in and out.

On the original mirror, the gap is at the nut end. This is because it has compressed the spring inside which adds resistance to the arm movement to stop it flapping about, but allows it to be moved without excessive force.

On the Auto Wares, the mirror arm doesn’t actually fit inside the door mount properly. At first I thought it was just remnants of casting material, but even after sanding this off I realised that the conical parts are actually at different angles, so there is nothing that can be done to make it sit flush. The knock-on effect is that when doing up the nut, it just tightens against the door mount, meaning it can no longer move and obviously risks shearing.

EB0FCF12-5A3B-4EEA-80E5-22A0B3F5BB31.jpeg

The next issue is the components used inside the door mount. The original has a key feature - it has a hex on the threaded shaft, and a corresponding washer with a hex on the inner. This is fitted to ensure the spring and lower nut rotate in the same manner as the mirror arm, so it can move in and out without loosening the nut over time. The Auto Wares one is missing this feature.

3CB6C36B-CDC2-49BC-88CA-361AF825CA73.jpeg

As a workaround, it might work to stack some additional washers under / on top of the spring to increase the tension on it. I’ll give that shot to see if it helps, but so far I’m not impressed given the cost of these.
 
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I’ll post up some pictures later when I strip the one I haven’t done yet, and compare it to an original one. People can make their own minds up if they want to splash the cash then. I will say that the view in the mirror is much improved, but based on the quality of the metal parts, I’m not sure how long the glass will stay looking good for.

On a slightly different note, the SSP ‘washers’ I bought from VWH to protect the paintwork when screwing these on are only fit for the bin. They are made of rubber, and just pucker up and distort as the mirror is tightened. I will be taking this up with them separately, as £2 is a joke for what it is. I will be making my own ones out of some nylon.
I have to say I have had no issue with the pair I got from auto wares. I didnt have oem mirrors anyway, but these were definitely superior to the aftermarket mirrors I had. The finish on the fittings was good, and no problems so far with anything loosening off. My only worry is that although the head may be stainless, the arm is i assume chromed, and we all know how good modern chrome work is.
 

Graham L

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Hi Graham, fair point, it’s always good to hear other people’s experiences in case mine was a one-off. Judging by the photos of the product on Auto Wares page, I suspect not, but I will reach out to them for a response. However, I will post some photos as it is only fair to share more details than to make sweeping statements. People can read, interpret and comment as they see fit then.

First up, here is a comparison between an Auto Wares and an original mirror. The main issue is how the mirror arm fits into the door mount. Notice the location of the gap - there needs to be a small gap somewhere to allow the mirror arm to be moved in and out.

On the original mirror, the gap is at the nut end. This is because it has compressed the spring inside which adds resistance to the arm movement to stop it flapping about, but allows it to be moved without excessive force.

On the Auto Wares, the mirror arm doesn’t actually fit inside the door mount properly. At first I thought it was just remnants of casting material, but even after sanding this off I realised that the conical parts are actually at different angles, so there is nothing that can be done to make it sit flush. The knock-on effect is that when doing up the nut, it just tightens against the door mount, meaning it can no longer move and obviously risks shearing.

View attachment 2628

The next issue is the components used inside the door mount. The original has a key feature - it has a hex on the threaded shaft, and a corresponding washer with a hex on the inner. This is fitted to ensure the spring and lower nut rotate in the same manner as the mirror arm, so it can move in and out without loosening the nut over time. The Auto Wares one is missing this feature.

View attachment 2629

As a workaround, it might work to stack some additional washers under / on top of the spring to increase the tension on it. I’ll give that shot to see if it helps, but so far I’m not impressed given the cost of these.
I’m not sure Autowares make all the components themselves buy I know they make the mirror head and obviously the convex glass, I think your review on here is quite damming considering you haven’t even contacted them to discuss it, I know Steve well and I think it’s somewhat unfair to post this without any comments from him on a closed forum. People like him and Butty have spent their time and money to try and make some better products and I know he will be mortified by your comments. I will screen shot the comments and send them onto him as I think that’s only fair and the right thing to do so he has a right to reply.
 

Moseley

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I’m not sure Autowares make all the components themselves buy I know they make the mirror head and obviously the convex glass, I think your review on here is quite damming considering you haven’t even contacted them to discuss it, I know Steve well and I think it’s somewhat unfair to post this without any comments from him on a closed forum. People like him and Butty have spent their time and money to try and make some better products and I know he will be mortified by your comments. I will screen shot the comments and send them onto him as I think that’s only fair and the right thing to do so he has a right to reply.
For reference, I have contacted Auto Wares yesterday and added everything I’ve put above. The photos are with Steve to review but he has already reached out to me with an initial response.

I’ve certainly seen far more damning comments made by others on this forum relating to products 😉
 

Earlybayowner0000

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I love mine . Had my Bay 18 years and wish I’d added them years ago . They have quite simply transformed my driving confidence and improved the safety of changing lanes and reversing. Quality is top notch and they fitted extremely easily. It’s by far been the best addition and I often talk with many people at shows who also recommend them. When I bought a split , the mirrors were the first thing I changed to autowares too . I have no doubt they could save my bus from a collision or even save more than that . Customer service is also extremely good , I’ve other products too and I’m sure this will get sorted.
 

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