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Interior/Exterior :: Replace mirror covers (WITHOUT breaking the clips!)

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Interior/Exterior :: Replace mirror covers (WITHOUT breaking the clips!)

  #1  
Old 04-04-2007, 06:00 PM
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Interior/Exterior :: Replace mirror covers (WITHOUT breaking the clips!)

AUTHORS NOTE: If you have a 2nd Generation MINI (2008+ for the hard top, 2009+ for the cabrio), THE MIRRORS SEEM TO BE DIFFERENT on that car and are prone to breaking if you use this technique. This post is in "1st Gen MINIs" for a reason! Some people have reported success in using this technique on 2nd Gen MINIs, but be warned tha tthe mirror glass seems to be attached with firmer clips on that model, and this technique may lead to broken glass. if you have a 1st Gen MINI (2002-2007 for hard top, 2008 for cabrio) then this is the thread for you!) OK, on to the technique:


I've read all the other How-To's out there that talk about using a dental tool, screwdriver or other tool to remove the mirror covers... Usually one breaks one or more of the very fragile plastic securing clips in the process.

So I tried it that way. 25 minutes later I still hadn't got the first cover off. I'd release one clip only to have it pop back on when I released a second. I'd already broken one clip and another one was making ominous cracking noises. Much cursing ensued. I was not a happy camper.

Then, quite by accident, I hit on the correct way to swap out the covers - you have to remove the mirror! Following this process is not only much faster than any other method (you can have the covers off and replaced in less than 5 minutes) but also guarantees that you will not break any of the clips!

Tools:

Your hands
Towel


That's it. Seriously.

Process:

1. Spread the towel on the floor under the mirror. This way if the cap pops off and falls to the ground, it won't scratch.

2. Push the upper edge of the mirror in all the way.

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3. Hook your fingertips under the lower edge of the mirror and pull outwards. You'll feel the clips securing the mirror pop free. Let the mirror dangle from the wires - there's no need to disconnect it.

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4. Here's a shot of the circular "puck" that the mirror clips to - this is the thing that moves when you adjust your mirror. You'll see a matching ring of clips on the back surface of the mirror glass. the clips are quite durable and will bend, not break. I've also pointed out the 5 securing clips that hold the mirror cover to the frame.

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5. Using two fingers, release the clips. I find it easier to free the two bottom clips first, then push upwards on the three clips on top. Be careful- the cap can pop free unexpectedly (but hey, that's why you spread a towel on the floor - you DID follow step #1, right?) The old cover is now free. NOTE: If you can't get your fingers into the clips, feel free to use a butter knife or any flat tool to lift them. Be careful if you use a tool - it's hard to break the clips with just your fingers, but if you use a metal tool you can apply too much force. The clips are obviously designed to be removed with two fingertips.

6. Press the new cover to the frame. Check to see that all 5 clips are engaged.

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7. Re-center the "puck" with your fingers.

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8. Press the glass straight back onto the "puck". Wiggle it a bit and you'll feel it "snick" back into place.

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That's it! You replaced your mirror covers and didn't break any of the clips in the process! Give yourself a big pat on the back and enjoy your car's new look!
 

Last edited by ImagoX; 09-05-2009 at 02:39 PM.
  #2  
Old 04-04-2007, 07:24 PM
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yayyyy!!!
maybe one day when i buy some new mirror caps ill change them. gotta bookmark this page!!
 
  #3  
Old 04-04-2007, 09:19 PM
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AWESOME!
 
  #4  
Old 04-04-2007, 09:23 PM
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This should be a sticky!
 
  #5  
Old 04-04-2007, 10:18 PM
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So I spent thirty minutes carefully prying the mirror off of the 'puck' (aka power mirror actuator) when all I needed to do was tug?:impatient
I'll be curious to see if there are any mirror clip failures. (hopefully not!)

Note that ImagoX shows a heated mirror (with the two black wires on the outside edge) non CWP cars may not have these.
Nice job, Matt!
 
  #6  
Old 04-04-2007, 10:20 PM
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You're awesome!!! I agree on the sticky.
 
  #7  
Old 04-04-2007, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by ImagoX View Post
...quite by accident, I hit on the correct way to swap out the covers - you have to remove the mirror!...
This is exactly how the MINI Service Tech swapped out both of my mirror covers in about 5 minutes!
another sticky vote for a great write up.
 
  #8  
Old 04-05-2007, 04:44 AM
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I could've used this about 3 days ago :( Oh well, I only broke one clip with the screwdriver method.
 
  #9  
Old 04-05-2007, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Eric_Rowland View Post
I'll be curious to see if there are any mirror clip failures. (hopefully not!)
I've had my mirrors off 4 times now and so far they look as good now as they did the first time. That's probably more than most people will ever have them off. Given the plastic they used for the actual glass clips (which is that rubbery, flexible stuff - not the brittle kind used on the mirror cover clips) I'd be comfortable pulling them off a dozen more times.

Originally Posted by VicSkimmr View Post
I could've used this about 3 days ago :( Oh well, I only broke one clip with the screwdriver method.

Yep - I feel your pain. Hopefully the next time will be easier on you. Glad this was helpful.
 
  #10  
Old 04-05-2007, 07:14 AM
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Once again, NAM Works!

Thanks Imagox for taking the time to document this - I'd read about this method here on NAM but had never "seen" it. Now I can proceed with my Cover Swap-out free of 'broken clip paranoia'!
 
  #11  
Old 04-05-2007, 07:21 AM
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Pulling from the bottom of the mirror is important I've seen someone removing it by pushing the inside all the way in an pulling on the outside. the mirror flexed and shattered. I guess there is too much glass between the outside edge and the clips.
Ill definately be passing on this technique
 
  #12  
Old 04-05-2007, 07:24 AM
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I actually removed the mirror by accident the first time - I was pulling on the lower edge to try to get a bit more clearance for my tool and it just popped free! Freaked me out, let me tell you.

After seeing how it was secured, it was obvious that the engineers designed the glass to simply pop free when the proper pressure was applied.
 
  #13  
Old 04-05-2007, 07:44 AM
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Matt - excellent write-up and photos, thanks!
The mirrors are actually very easy to pop off and on. I did this when I installed my Convex Mirrors so I could caulk them with silicone. I also don't think it matters which wires plug in to the two receptacles for those of you with heated mirrors. I was careful to plug them in the way they came out, but unless someone has any other thoughts I don't think it matters.
 
  #14  
Old 04-05-2007, 08:54 AM
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WOW, Great thread

As im installing the JCW carbon mirror caps next week, this is very usefull. Had i not seen this, i too wouldve tried to remove the caps without removing the mirror and probably broken a few clips in the process. Thanks a bunch !
 
  #15  
Old 04-05-2007, 01:16 PM
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How do the new covers look after you installed them?
 
  #16  
Old 04-05-2007, 01:28 PM
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I took a pic but forgot to put it online - I'll do it later. the Union Jack covers were fun, but a bit too "busy" for everyday use. The new black ones look fantastic - very agressive IMHO. totally completes the look of the car, I think. I love that I can simply take tmy more "fun" covers with me to places like MINI meets and the Dragon and just swap them out in minutes - it's like changing the car's hat or something for a slightly different look.
 
  #17  
Old 04-05-2007, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by ImagoX View Post
I've had my mirrors off 4 times now and so far they look as good now as they did the first time. That's probably more than most people will ever have them off. Given the plastic they used for the actual glass clips (which is that rubbery, flexible stuff - not the brittle kind used on the mirror cover clips) I'd be comfortable pulling them off a dozen more times.
Good deal! I probably damaged them more by repeated stabbing at them (in vain) with my jeweler's screwdriver!
This method makes sense - it's got to come off somehow, and the 'prying the clips from the back' method was JCW (crap.)
Matt is my hero!
 
  #18  
Old 04-05-2007, 01:46 PM
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I also agree on the sticky!

I'm swapping my mirror caps in a couple weeks and I'm so happy I stumbled upon this thread. Thank you so much!
 
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Old 04-22-2007, 02:59 PM
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There is another way--quick, easy, and you don't have to remove the mirror...This is an old post of mine from the Mini2 forums:


http://www.mini2.com/forum/faq.php?f...ng_mirror_caps

The first part of the faq is good--you do want to put the mirror down, at start at the clip closest to the window. But doing these one clip at a time is darned near impossible. Instead, get three old butter knifes for the top clips (you don't have to worry about the bottom two clips). Slide the first butter knife through the gap in the mirror underneath the first clip, slide it in underneath the clip until the clip is elevated. Repeat for the remaining two top clips (The knives will stay in place once they're in properly). Pull off the cap (It will release fairly easily with a good tug now; if it's not releasing easily, push down gently on the three knives and it should slide off--again, you don't have to do anything with the bottom clips).

Done, and it takes literally a minute to do, and you don't have to worry about dropping the cap on the floor.

I think it's probably a safer way to do it too, as very little torque is required to pop the cap off doing this (I was concerned I was going to scratch the edge of the mirror doing it the faq way). I struggled with the method in the FAQ for about ten minutes, which I couldn't get to work for me. Since it was only supposed to take ten minutes, I figured it was time to give up and try something else.

Don't know if this will ever be of any use to anyone, but this is a much quicker and easier way than the faq, at least for my mechanically disinclined self!
 

Last edited by cct1; 04-22-2007 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 04-24-2007, 07:27 PM
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This worked like a charm...I did both mirrors in less than 5 minutes... THANK YOU!!!
 
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Old 04-24-2007, 08:51 PM
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Man that's the most helpful advice I've used from NAM yet. My mirror popped off a while back when the door was slammed (4 yr old daughter ) and when I re-attached it it was upside down (it may look symmetrical but trust me it's not). The gap at the top was a little wider than before. I tried in vain for an hour or so trying to get to the clips to bend them open to no avail and finally gave up. After seeing this method I went out to the garage and bam- off in 15 seconds and reattached correctly. Thanks much ImagoX .
 
  #22  
Old 04-25-2007, 09:01 AM
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No problem! Glad to be of help!

Now if we can just get this one stickied...
 
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Old 05-15-2007, 11:33 AM
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Thanks so much for this thread ImagoX!

I went down to Irvine Mini this morning and bought my caps. After reading your thread, 10 minutes later and I was done. I would have had no idea how to install these and of course the dealer didn't know but said they'd do it for me, for a price. They said it is very difficult. Ha!



Next up, the checkered side panel decals for the turn signal area.
 

Last edited by RonP; 05-15-2007 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 05-15-2007, 11:56 AM
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Looking good!
 
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Old 05-16-2007, 11:03 PM
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Nice how-to!
 

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