As it always happens with old cars, some really unusual things start to brake. It's almost like all of the parts of the car are asking for retirement, while I'm forcing them to serve year after year. This time it's the rear view mirror, which came off very unexpectedly in the middle of our drive to Carmel. Well, another reason to go to TechShop
), where I've been doing all car related fixes. They have a car port adjacent to metal shop, which I used to make this repair.
So, let's get to it. You will need to purchase Rear View Mirror Glue from your local auto-store and it's only about $4. You will also need a flashlight, pair of latex gloves, some isopropyl alcohol, paper towels and dry erase marker.
Step 1: Sanding the Metal Button
First step -- scrape of the remainder of the old glue. And to do that it's better to use disc sander, as you really want to create a flat surface, rather than using sandpaper and a block.
There is a disc sander in the metal shop, which can do this job perfectly. In the photo below the disc is actually spinning, but flash created a "stop action" effect. Second photo shows what the surface looks like after sanding.
Step 2: Detach the Button From the Mirror Assembly
Separate the button from the mirror assembly by turning it with pair of pliers about 60°.
Step 3: Mark the Mirror Location
Using dry erase marker, mark your old mirror location on the outside of the glass.
Step 4: Clean Both Surfaces
Clean both the glass and the metal button using small amount of isopropyl alcohol (can be purchased at any drugstore) and a paper towel. If necessary, use scraper to clean the glass, though in my case it came off clean. Make sure not to leave any residue on the glass, you really need to be gluing to the glass and not a thin film of grease or dust.
Step 5: Figure Out What's in the Glue Package and Unpack It
Unpack the blue, put the gloves on and check the instructions of the glue. This particular one call for bending the container with the primer until the glass inside snaps and releases the glue, which then can be applied through cloth tip.
Step 6: Apply the Primer to the Button
Apply the even coat of the primer to the metal button, making sure entire contact surface is covered. Start the timer for 1-2 minutes and in the mean time prepare the adhesive.
Step 7: Apply the Adhesive
Apply just one drop (they don't give you more than that anyway) of the adhesive to the primed surface. It will spread out when you press the button against the glass, so don't worry about distributing it.
Step 8: And ACTION!
Now you have to act quickly and precisely. Push the button in the right direction against the glass and hold it there for about a minute. At first it's going to be slippery so it's hard to push and hold it still, but in a matter of seconds it sticks and doesn't move. Keep pushing gently, while watching the time. Once you let it go, don't try to move it, just let it sit there for about half hour.
Step 9: Cleanup
Cleanup after yourself, safely get rid of remaining glue before anyone tries to taste it. Clean the marks on the outside of the glass and enjoy the view of newly re-attached rear view mirror button.
Step 10: Wait for 30 Minutes and Attach the Mirror!
Be patient and wait for 30 minutes before trying to attach the mirror assembly to the freshly glued button. Do something else in the meantime, such cleaning up the mess in the trunk or socializing with other techshop inhabitants. Once done waiting reattach the mirror and start enjoying the rear view on your way back home. You're going to appreciate that view now at least for few days :)