Introduction: BMW Z3 E36 Outside Wing Door Mirror Roadster Coupe Corroded Snapped Spindle Repair Fix Kit Installation Guide Instructions

The Problem

The OEM mirror base and internal pillar are made from cast aluminium; these corrode and eventually the pillar snaps rendering the mirror useless.

It is a very common fault with Z3 models for the wing mirror base to corrode and spoil the appearance of the mirror. This connects to the internal pillar/ spindle / frame, within the mirror which also corrodes and eventually snaps leaving your mirror hanging redundant. This spindle is also the mechanism that allows you to fold in the mirrors. The original base and spindle is made from cast aluminium, this is a poor quality cast and material for the environment in which the part is fitted, inevitably these components will oxidize / rust and snap. Previously the only option was to replace the complete mirror at vast expense from BMW. This causes further issues of colour matching and respraying to match your vehicle. The OEM part will also have the same internals which would just fail again.

Symptoms of the fault

Oxidised mirror base, snapped mirror spindle, mirror and base snapped and no longer joined leaving the mirror hanging.

Vehicles affected and compatibility

Z3 E36 E37 E38 1994-2002 Roadster and Coupe.

Part numbers:

Mirror component part numbers:

51168397039, 51168397042, 51169069794, 51169069795, 51168397880, 51168397877, 51168397879, 51168400297, 51168400298, 51161394107, 51168413515, 51168413516, 51160016542, 51160016543, 51168413517, 51168413518, 51160016544, 51160016545, 51168397040, 51168397041, 51169069796, 51169069797, 51168397878, 51167001039, 51167001040, 51168413515, 51168413516,

Our solution

Fit our improved design replacement glass fiber strengthened mirror spindle and base unit and fix your mirror for the life of the vehicle.

Replace your oxidized mirror base and snapped mirror spindle with our glass fiber strengthened plastic base and spindle. This can be fitted extremely quickly to your current wing mirror repairing it for the life of your vehicle. Our repair saves the cost of a new mirror / colour matching of the new mirror, which would just fail again because of the quality of the original aluminium parts. Our spindle operates in the same way as the original allowing you to fold in / out the mirrors with no danger of snapping or corrosion. The material of our item has been very carefully chosen to suit the strength and weatherproof properties needed to last the life of the vehicle. The base of our item can be painted to match the vehicle or left in the black finish shown, either way looking far superior to a corroded aluminium part. Replace just the parts that fail within the mirror and restore for life, our item comes fully constructed and can be fitted very quickly using our video and pictorial guides.

Our kit

1x Constructed pillar and base unit as shown, featuring stainless steel sleeve, ring block, spring and fitting screws.

Step 1: Remove the Mirror Glass

Clamp the mirror unit down to stop it moving around. If clamping in a vice be sure to use soft jaws.

To remove the mirror glass you will need a small plastic pry bar or a flat blade screwdriver, take care not to damage the glass.

Adjust the mirror glass so you’re able to slot the pry bar under the glass and gently lever it back until you see the mirror pop off. Sometimes it only pops off on one side, if this happens move the pry bar to the side that’s still attached and lever it off there also.

Step 2: Remove the Mirror Cover

Once the glass is removed you will see four T10 Torx screws, remove these.

Once removed you will be able to lift both covers off of the mirror spindle.

Step 3: Remove the Servo Motor Form the Mirror Spindle

Remove the four screws and detach the servo motor.

On the back of the motor there are 4 wires which you need to remove, these four wires just pull out of the motor. Remove the wires by attaching pliers to the spade end and pulling, do not pull on the wires as the wires may separate from the spade connector.

When all four wires are removed the motor is free to be removed from its casing.

Step 4: Remove the Wiring From the Mirror Spindle and Base.

Remove the wiring from the spindle and base. The wiring can be pulled out from the spindle/base, be careful as there are a few places the wiring can snag.

Remove the rubber seal from the base, this pulls off.

The seal will normally be very dirty or have bits of paint attached to it. It's good practice to give the rubber seal a good clean so as when it comes to refitting it will sit correctly on the new base.

Step 5: Fit the Wiring in to the New Mirror Base/spindle

Before fitting the wiring in to our new base/spindle wrap the tip of the wiring in a little bit of tape. This will allow you to feed the wiring through the base/spindle easier.

Slot the connector end of the wiring that you have just taped up through the base of the mirror and up until you see another cut away, push through the cut away, this will allow the wiring to go through to where the motor sits.

Step 6: Fit the Servo Motor

The servo motor should be orientated on the spindle so as the writing on the back of the motor is the correct way up.

Unwrap and push the wires in to their designated slots on the motor, making sure the connector is fully inserted. The text on the rear of the motor indicates which colour wire to connect to each slot.

Once all four wires are in place you can slide the motor into position on the spindle.

Once you have the motor in place fasten with the 4x screws.

Step 7: Fit the Wing Mirror Cover

Lay the back mirror cover down, slot the spindle in the cover making sure the tabs on the cover line up.

Slot the top section of the mirror cover on top, making sure the tabs and screw holes line up.

Take a look around the mirror covers to check they are lined up correctly, there shouldn't be any gaps all the way around.

Screw the four T10 torxs in.

Step 8: Fit the Mirror Glass and Base Seal

Line up the mirror on to the servo motor and click back in to position. Once it has clipped back into place you'll be able to move the glass side to side up and down.

Fit the rubber seal on the bottom of the mirror base.

Step 9: The Finished Wing Mirror

You can now refit the mirror to the vehicle.

If you need any further guidance on this install or would like to purchase the parts shown please call us on +44 01843 446643 or email us at . Please also check out our instruction guide on YouTube.

Installation is carried out at installers risk, if unsure please contact us or a professional, X8R Ltd cannot be held responsible for any adverse result of installing this product or any injuries caused by install, if in doubt ask a professional. All images and texts are copyright X8R Ltd 2013.