Removing the rearview mirror glass - Nissan : Datsun ZCar forum :Nissan Z Forum: 240Z to 370Z
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-10-2009, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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Removing the rearview mirror glass

This came up last month and I have found the solution. IF YOU ARE READING THIS B/C OF A SEARCH, READ ALL THREADS TO GET ALL THE DETAILS.............

First, remove the mirror and bracket from the car. Then you CAN loosen the screw in the back and remove the bracket. Take the mirror and put it in a zip lock plastic bag and run it thru the dishwasher that has the heat turned on. Usually you can tell because of the steam after the last cycle.

Once it goes thru that immediately take it out and the plastic shell will be pliable. The glass itself is thicker ( ~ 1/4") on the narrow side than it is on the long side (~ 1/8"). I took two 1/8 screwdrivers and started it the middle of the smaller narrow side. Insert one in the middle and work your way to the left with the other screwdrvr. I had to use the other screwdriver down the right side as well.

Here is a picture of the inside shell so you can see the lip that holds it. I kept it large so you could zoom in if need be.

PS. For the side mirrors I just immersed it in boiling water for about 10 sec, but the dishwasher method may work also.
[attachment 9992 DSC_2530.JPG]

Chattanooga, TN 82 white w/ red na coupe 153,000 83 2+2 330k mi 82 Black/buck 126k mi
White82 http://www.zcar.com/members_rides/ma..._876147.0.html
Heater valve repair http://www.zcar.com/70-83_tech_discu..._895221.0.html
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-10-2009, 08:25 PM
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Re: Removing the rearview mirror glass

Cool! There has been alot of posts asking how to do this lately and now there is a definite answer.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-10-2009, 10:00 PM
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Re: Removing the rearview mirror glass

I wonder if, after you heated and removed the old glass, if the plastic remains pliable enough to insert the new glass without breaking, or if you should put the mirror assembly through another hot cycle in the dishwasher first before making the attempt?

Bob, in San Diego, 83 280ZX Turbo Coupe 5 speed. Visit http://xenons130.com/reference.html for ZX Manuals, or http://www.xenons30.com/index.html for Z manuals. Blue's Tech Tips http://www.atlanticz.ca/zclub/techtips/
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-10-2009, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Removing the rearview mirror glass

Once the glass is out you could drop it in boiling water and dry it off. If it were a quick swap though it'd probably be ok.

Here is another question: Once it IS out, is there anyway of touching up the mirror backing?

Chattanooga, TN 82 white w/ red na coupe 153,000 83 2+2 330k mi 82 Black/buck 126k mi
White82 http://www.zcar.com/members_rides/ma..._876147.0.html
Heater valve repair http://www.zcar.com/70-83_tech_discu..._895221.0.html
Black 82: http://www.zcar.com/members_rides/82..._901420.0.html
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-11-2009, 11:07 AM
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Re: Removing the rearview mirror glass

Good question. I assume that the Day/Night action is accomplished by gluing two wedge shaped sections of glass together, then silvering the back side that will be inside the housing.

Among my other expensive hobbies, of which I consider my ZX Turbo to be one of them, is Amateur Astronomy. I've been interested for years in building my own telescope, including grinding and polishing my own primary mirror. Once upon a time, amateurs would take the final figured and polished mirror, and apply a silver layer to it. The process was long and difficult, involving several rather nasty chemicals (silver nitrate, and others), plus the silver tarnished rather too quickly, in a matter of months or less, and was delicate and easily damaged. So, the way it is done now, is to have it aluminized in a vacuum chamber. Aluminum lasts a lot longer, many years. Probably decades when protected inside the mirror housing of our Z cars.

One fellow that does such things, is named Royce.

http://www.rfroyce.com/

He does not do the aluminizing himself, he subcontracts it to a lab, but you can get a referral to the company that aluminum coats his mirrors. It very well may be that they would perform this task for you, even though it is not the type and shape of mirror they are used to handling.

Astro mirror coatings are usually billed according to the diameter of a circular glass disk. I imagine they would need the approximate square centimeter or square inch area of the mirror to offer an estimate. But off hand, I can't think of a reason this would not work.

Bob, in San Diego, 83 280ZX Turbo Coupe 5 speed. Visit http://xenons130.com/reference.html for ZX Manuals, or http://www.xenons30.com/index.html for Z manuals. Blue's Tech Tips http://www.atlanticz.ca/zclub/techtips/
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Re: Removing the rearview mirror glass

After a little more Googling, I discovered a fellow on Ebay that offers astronomical mirror aluminizing services. IMHO and experience, the price is very reasonable. For up to 78 square inches (10 inch diameter round mirror) he charges $35, plus shipping from Pleasanton, California. Add $15 if the mirror needs to have the old reflective coating stripped. After applying the new aluminum coating, he overcoats that with Silicon Dioxide, which is a very hard transparent protective coating that greatly reduces oxidation and contact damage, extending the life of the coating.

I sent him a message, describing the work, and asking about whether he can do this work for you or not, and when he sends a reply, I will post it here for you.

Besides this fellow on Ebay, there are other services available, with some Google searching. I used "mirror aluminizing service" as the keywords for my search.

Bob, in San Diego, 83 280ZX Turbo Coupe 5 speed. Visit http://xenons130.com/reference.html for ZX Manuals, or http://www.xenons30.com/index.html for Z manuals. Blue's Tech Tips http://www.atlanticz.ca/zclub/techtips/
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-11-2009, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Removing the rearview mirror glass

Collectively: WE ARE WIZARDS!

Chattanooga, TN 82 white w/ red na coupe 153,000 83 2+2 330k mi 82 Black/buck 126k mi
White82 http://www.zcar.com/members_rides/ma..._876147.0.html
Heater valve repair http://www.zcar.com/70-83_tech_discu..._895221.0.html
Black 82: http://www.zcar.com/members_rides/82..._901420.0.html
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Re: Removing the rearview mirror glass

Check the phone books (yeah, i know...old school...) for places that sell/re-silver mirrors. If U find any, talk to the guy that does the work abt what U need done. I've seen it done and it is a seriously crappy way to make a living - if U survive. Very nasty stuff working w/ the chemicals.

Rusty but running.
Polish cell phone and two tubes of Aluma-seal.

And, now we are historic.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-13-2009, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Removing the rearview mirror glass

I did the transfer today. Got the old one out but had to reheat the case again before I put the glass back. I did put a lite coat of vaseline on the top and topcorners, snapped right in.

Chattanooga, TN 82 white w/ red na coupe 153,000 83 2+2 330k mi 82 Black/buck 126k mi
White82 http://www.zcar.com/members_rides/ma..._876147.0.html
Heater valve repair http://www.zcar.com/70-83_tech_discu..._895221.0.html
Black 82: http://www.zcar.com/members_rides/82..._901420.0.html
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Re: Removing the rearview mirror glass

Thanks for keeping us updated on the experiment.
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