Side View Mirror replacement/repair - Part 2
#7) What you see now is the positioning motor. It is held in place by (3) T10 screws. To remove the motor, unscrew the screws and carefully unclip the wiring harness. Be careful not to damage the thin rubber seal that sits around the motor/gimbal assembly. When re-assembling, make sure seal is in the proper location and not damaged or twisted. The lower side of the seal fits in a groove on the motor base, the upper side fits in the groove lowest to the bottom of the gimbal. Also, a dab of dielectric grease on the terminals before you plug in the wiring harness would be a good idea. My terminals were slightly corroded. If your motor is not working and you decide to get a new unit from Ford, they supply a motor kit, part number E9SZ-17D696-A. Obviously, a salvage yard is also a good source for components.
Mirror backing plate removed exposing motor
If you are just replacing the motor, follow the steps above, in reverse, to re-install the mirror See sections below on repairing the motor components if your motors work, but the mirror doesn’t move.
#8) If, for some reason, you need to remove the aluminum frame inside the mirror housing (maybe yours is broken and you have a replacement from the junkyard, or maybe your working junkyard mirror is the wrong color and you want to switch your shell so the color matches), here is the procedure. Remove the two Torx T10 screws from the bottom of the mirror. The studs that attach the mirror to the door are also threaded into the aluminum housing inside the mirror. They do have inverse Torx heads on the ends, and if you happen to be lucky enough to have a female Torx socket that small, by all means, use it. If you don’t have one, here’s how to remove them: Thread one of the 10mm nuts (that secured the mirror to the door) onto the stud, with the washer surface facing up (backwards from what you normally would). Then thread another nut on top of it so the washer faces of both nuts mate. Use the 10mm wrench to hold the bottom nut stationary, and tighten the top nut onto the bottom nut using the socket and ratchet. Don’t tighten too much, just enough to jam the two nuts together. You can now use the socket wrench on the top nut to loosen the stud. Follow the same procedure for the other two studs and remove them completely. The aluminum frame will fall right out. Remove the wiring harness by pushing the grommet through the hole in the mirror.
Studs before removal
Stud removal using jam nuts...sorry about picture quality
Alternate method for stud removal:
A small vise grip clamped down on the very end of the stud (the Torx portion) worked to remove two of the three studs on my mirror. The third one crushed and twisted, so I had to use the jam nut method described above.
To re-assemble, follow the above steps in reverse.
Only screw in the studs partway, then try to start the T10 screws in the proper place. The aluminum frame supports the mirror shell, and can actually change the shells shape slightly. If you don’t start the T10 screws before completely tightening the studs, the holes might not line up.
While you have the mirror out and possibly have the shell disassembled, it would be a good time to try to buff out any marks, abrasions, blemishes and such. My shell had scuffs on it left by the plastic barrel I hit. With some fine polishing compound and a soft rag, I was able to remove the scuff marks. You might want to do the same to yours since it is such an opportune time.
To re-attach components that have come loose:
If your mirror didn’t work, you should have found the cause by now. Either one or both of the motors that drives the positioning gimbal quit working, or the gimbal or one of it’s components is broken or mis-located. Replacing the motor will repair either of these conditions. If the motors work and the gimbal has been broken loose somehow (perhaps from an impact with a plastic road barrel, which happened to mine) it can sometimes be fixed. There are two plastic gear racks that mate with the motor gears on the gimbal that translate the motor movement to the mirror. The gimbal ring itself is attached to the motor plate by a pivoting, see-saw type assembly. The see-saw has T-shaped pins on each end that fit into T-shaped recesses on the gimbal. Mine had broken loose from the impact, and one of the gear racks had come out of it’s socket. I reinstalled the see-saw unit back into it’s notches. This can be somewhat tricky. You must put one end of the see-saw into it’s T-shaped hole, and the other end of the see-saw must be above the gimbal ring. Then you squeeze the gimbal ring from the sides….making it longer in the direction parallel to the see-saw. At the same time, manipulate (carefully pry) the see-saw into the other T-shaped pocket. This replaces the gimbal back on the motor assembly. Then you just snap the balls of each of the gear racks into it’s appropriate socket. It will be quite evident where it goes.
Seesaw on top of gimbal showing T shaped pins on either end in T shaped pockets
To attempt to replace gear racks:
If your gear racks have broken, I’m not sure if they can be replaced. If you have an old mirror, you may be able to salvage a set (each motor has two…a right and a left.). I have experimented with replacing racks that have come loose. It’s not as simple as just pushing them back onto the motor gear. You must pull off the back cover of the motor housing plate, it just slips right off. Then you can clearly see the metal screw bushings where the screws that attach the motor to the frame will go. If you push these bushing out from the rear, you can then pry up on the part of the motors where the gears are. The motors will move upward slightly, and this will allow enough space to push the gear racks into place. Make sure the balls on the racks face the outside so that when you put the motors back in place, you will be able to snap the balls back into the gimbal.
If your mirror came off the backing plate:
The mirror glass is held onto the backing plate by two spots of glue that when spread out, are about the size of a quarter. Around the outside of the mirror is a small bead of silicone to seal out moisture. The glue I used was a two-part plastic adhesive system that comes in a dual syringe. The stuff is a super strong polymer and smells quite badly when mixed. Clean your mirror and backing plate in soapy water and dry thoroughly. Mix up your glue, and apply two spots a little smaller than a dime to the backing plate. Set the mirror in place on the backing plate and press down a bit, then carefully pull the mirror back up. Apply a tiny (1/16”) bead of silicone around the outside edge of the mirror about ½” in from the edge, going around the previously applied glue spots. Set the mirror back in place, pushing gently, and wipe off any excess glue. Allow the glue to dry thoroughly before inserting back into the mirror gimbal.
Final Assembly - Inserting mirror backing plate into gimbal assembly
When the mirror is back into position on the vehicle, the mirror plate just pops back into the gimbal. Align the three tabs on the back of the mirror backing plate with the three tabs on the gimbal, and push the plate into place. You should hear three clicks as the plate pops into place. If you don’t hear all three, push on different parts of the plate to ensure that it is properly secured.