How to: - Rearview Mirror Replacement w/pics | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

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How to: Rearview Mirror Replacement w/pics

Glacier991

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Ok... this is not rocket science, but the first time you do it, it can be scary... with that in mind, let's walk through this, with pictures.

Ok to start your mirror is IN your lap - fell off. Let's go from there. You are going to (obviously) need to reattach the mirror, hopefully in the spot from whence it came off. Mirrors usually do not depart without leaving a trace. So, to make sure we get it back in the right spot, on the OUTSIDE of the windshield, mark a square around THAT spot. I am using a grease pencil, but what you use matters not so long as you can find the spot again.
15286dscn3697.jpg



After marking the outside I use a razor blade to scrape the remaining glue from the inside.


15286dscn3698.jpg


The mirror that fell off will have retained the "button" you need to put back on the glass. Getting it out can seem impossible. There will be one or two "slots" to release the button. This is from a FORD although not an explorer... see the single slot?

15286dscn3700.jpg


FORD makes a special tool for removal, here it is, not because you NEED it but to show you the basic idea behind it.

15286dscn3702.jpg


Here it is beside another workable tool, a jeweler's screwdriver -

15286dscn3703.jpg


Once you see the guts of the mirror attachment all this makes more sense.. here is what it looks like - see that bent up tab that "retains" the mirror?

15286dscn3705.jpg


If you add the FORD tool it fits like this (now you understand why it releases the mirror ...

15286dscn3707.jpg


Do not buy some general purpose adhesive. Get the real thing... you can buy a "kit" for about $8 or just the glue for about $3. Here is what you get for $3


15286dscn3715.jpg


A tube of adhesive and a tube of activator. The activator is spread on the glass (I tend to swipe the button lightly too, hasn't seemed to hurt any). To glue the button start by cleaning the interior glass well. Remember you have the grease pencil marks to show you WHERE to clean. As for the button I like to begin my scraping it clean with the edge of the razor blade, then "flat sand" it...

15286dscn3709.jpg


Before you do ANY gluing make ABSOLUTELY sure you get the proper orientation for the button. It is VERY easy to install it upside down, and if you do, you are screwed BIG TIME. CHECK CHECK and recheck...

15286dscn3711.jpg


Once you have it etched in your mind how the button is oriented on the glass, it's time to glue!

First break the applicator tube and rub the activator on the window glass where you'll mount it, you have lots so do a generous area. Like I said I lightly do the button too. Put the adhesive on the button..

15286dscn3712.jpg


carefully position it and using finger pressure without any movement press and hold it place for a couple of minutes. (Turn on the car radio and listen all the way through a song works too). Not a great photo but this is my finger pressing the button is the pre-marked square

15286dscn3713_1_.jpg


Here's the finished button in place. Aren't you glad we marked that square?

15286dscn3716.jpg


All that is left is to give it 30 minutes or so and carefully slip the mirror back on.

15286dscn3718.jpg


It's done. Like I said not rocket science but you definitely do not want to get it on wrong. It may NOT come off without breaking the windshield!

Happy Exploring

Chris

ps. don't forget to clean off your grease pencil marks !
 
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RangerX

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Great write-up, Chris!

I use a small piece of masking tape lightly stuck on the outside of the windshield to mark the location.
 
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'96explorereddiebauer

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Wow!!! Excellent write-up!!! I'm sure this will go to the "Useful Thread" forum. Again, excellent!!! Good job!
 
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Glacier991

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Thanks. A labor of love returning all the great help I've gotten on this board.

Happy Exploring

Chris

ps. I encourage others to post pics or (as Dogfriend has done) movies illustrating points.
 
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dogfriend

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My GF used to knock the mirror off my Ranger windshield practically every time she used the truck. On the Ranger, you didn't need the special tool - it had a setscrew instead to hold it on the button.

Where did you get the rear view mirror adhesive? I used the Permatex brand, but didn't get the best results (maybe I didn't clean well enough). It looks like you might be using a better brand of adhesive.

Excellent writeup :)
 
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Glacier991

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Dogfriend... this was permatex. About the only DIY brand I've found. I've had reasonable luck with it. (which means nothing is forever!).

Hmm and WHAT is that GF doing in that truck? <wink>

Thanks for the kind words.


Happy Exploring,

Chris
 
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F14CRAZY

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I skipped the special adhesive and used JB Qwik/Weld (it might be Quick). It has stayed up for for months and refuses to fall. I also cleaned th surface with alcohol after scraping.
 
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woodychitwn

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So does anybody know how to replace the rearview mirror on the Limited? The wire cover running to the automatic headlights and electrochromatic mirror just fits between the mirror and headliner, and it's pronged at either end. So the mirror won't fit if the cover's on, and the cover won't fit if the mirror's on. It almost looks like you've got to remove the overhead console to get to it.
 
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Jmulv

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im sorry for bringing this thread up but i had to comment on what a hell of a write up this is. i just obtained my explorer a few weeks ago when my mom gave it to me and i wish i had known about this board sooner. around 6 months ago my mom drove into the wall of the garage and completly knocked off the sideview mirror (typical soccermom). anyways i didnt bother seeing if i could replace it myself and she took it to some autobody repair place. well 500 dollars later :eek: i almost puked when i saw this thread. thank god it wasnt my money.
 
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unclemeat

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I just wish you had don this last week. Mine fell off last Tuesday and I fixed it over this past weekend.
 
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dogfriend

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unclemeat said:
I just wish you had don this last week. Mine fell off last Tuesday and I fixed it over this past weekend.

Check the first post. This thread is almost one year old :p
 
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Lloyd10977

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woodychitwn said:
So does anybody know how to replace the rearview mirror on the Limited? The wire cover running to the automatic headlights and electrochromatic mirror just fits between the mirror and headliner, and it's pronged at either end. So the mirror won't fit if the cover's on, and the cover won't fit if the mirror's on. It almost looks like you've got to remove the overhead console to get to it.

What I found that to "get 'er done" on the Limited is to clean the button thoroughly as described above, unplug the mirror and remove it from the bracket, and then reinsert the button into the mirror bracket (sans the mirror). Clean the reattached button well to ensure no fingerprints or dust of any kind. Apply a healthy amount of masking tape to the side of the mirror bracket facing you.

Now this part requires some timing! Quickly now, apply the adhesive to the button and then attach the bracket to the wire holder. Quickly apply the button/bracket/wire holder assembly to the glass and secure with the tape, adding more if necessary to immobilize it. Then go and have a soda, coming back about an hour later, reattach the mirror to the bracket, plug in the wire and pat yourself on the back!. :thumbsup:
 
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NCDan

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Your mirror may be slightly different as far as how the button is held in place. My 2000 Explorer Sport mirror has a flexible plate with two small "bumps" that hold the button in place (see the first photo.)

To remove the button, you'll need a pair of pliers and a flat head screwdriver. Take the pliers and squeeze down the plate while you insert the screwdriver in the gap at the other end of the button. Push gently to pop the button out of position. Be careful not to apply too much pressure or you'll send the button flying across the room. Don't ask me how I know.

ZlrY3PS.jpg
 
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