fitting dimming mirror?

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Boosh
Joined: Sun 30 Nov, 2014 22:40
Posts: 324

  Z3 roadster 1.9i

fitting dimming mirror?

Post by Boosh » Sun 15 Mar, 2015 07:09

Hi all,
I recently obtained an auto dimming rearview mirror, with the intention to fit it to my Z. Having a look around the forum, I've unearthed a few threads that claim that no Z3 ever had them fitted. Is that correct? Has any of you done it and would care to explain how to do it? Naively, I was like a kid at Christmas, looking forward to a new gadget. Talk about raining on my parade... Still, I keep my fingers crossed...
Thanks,

Boosh.

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Southernboy
Joined: Thu 07 Oct, 2010 13:39
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  Z3 roadster 3.0i
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Re: fitting dimming mirror?

Post by Southernboy » Sun 15 Mar, 2015 10:15

DaveZ3 has recently fitted one into his Z3..... I'm sure he'll be along to tell you about it. As far as I know, he has replaced his OEM mirror with one from the Mini which has the auto-dimming function...and correct, no Z3 was ever fitted with an OEM unit.
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Jonttt
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Joined: Sun 28 Dec, 2008 16:32
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  M roadster S54
Location: Liverpool

Re: fitting dimming mirror?

Post by Jonttt » Sun 15 Mar, 2015 10:45

North american cars had them but not European market cars.

The main problem with them used to be the fluid leaking which acts as a corrosive on the interior trim.

I researched this a lot many years ago and decided not to bother. There used to be a full guide on how to do it and a company that offered various mirror options eg including downlights etc..... Not sure if you can still find them on google. There may even be a thread or two on here about them.

So its certainly possible. Wiring wise I think it depends which alarm system you have exactly how you do it ie some Z3's have electrics in the existing mirror which needs transferring over etc..... Long time since I looked into it so I can't remember all the details.

ps it may tell you something that it was not something many (if any) tried including me after research ;-)
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David
Joined: Mon 16 Sep, 2013 19:33
Posts: 439

  Z3 roadster 1.9i

fitting dimming mirror?

Post by David » Sun 15 Mar, 2015 11:16

Hi Boosh, Southernboy is correct. I obtained a rear view mirror from a convertible Mini, which has the same windscreen mounting mechanism as the BMW. Apologies; I don't have many pictures as I took them for my own reference to remember which wires went where!

I decided to go with a convertible mini mirror as it is oval, and looks similar to the ///M rear view mirror.

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ADVANCED WARNING - DO NOT KEEP REMOVING AND REPLACING THE MIRROR FROM THE WINDSCREEN MOUNT... This will cause the windscreen mount to round its edges, resulting in the mirror wobbling/vibrating when driving.

Here's what I did:

- I opened up my Z3 mirror, and transplanted the remote locking antenna into the mini mirror (used hot glue to hold in place, but you may not have to do this if your mirror is the same shape as the current one).
I followed these instructions for opening the mirror up: http://www.z3mirrors.com/remote_entry.htm

- Next, I decluttered the mini mirror by removing its antenna, and remove all the wires from the autodimming sensor other than the red and brown wires (12v and earth), required for power. (Autodimming sensor was attached to the back of the mirror glass, and therefore not pictured.)

Image

- I then spliced the brown wire of the autodimming sensor into the loom of the remote locking antenna

- I soldered the red wire from the autodimming sensor to a length of wire and ran it along the top of the windscreen, down the A pillar and under the dash to one of the centre console light bulbs. I used the ashtray light bulb as it is the easiest to access; you dont need to remove the centre console, only the ashtray itself (two screws). This way, the autodimming mirror only functions when you have your side/dipped lights on, as opposed to wiring it to the red wire of the remote locking antenna which is live constantly.

So far so good with mine, it works a treat! (Below was the first trial for, before making the wiring permanent.)

Image

Follow my instructions at your own risk. I accept no responsibility if anything goes wrong, but claim all credit should you love the mod ;)
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Gazza
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  M roadster S54
Location: Romford Essex

Re: fitting dimming mirror?

Post by Gazza » Sun 15 Mar, 2015 12:23

I've added a link to this thread in the Z3 Knowledge Base.
Gazza

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Boosh
Joined: Sun 30 Nov, 2014 22:40
Posts: 324

  Z3 roadster 1.9i

Re: fitting dimming mirror?

Post by Boosh » Sun 15 Mar, 2015 19:40

Hi David,
Thanks very much for the step-by-step guide. My dimming mirror is the same oblong shape, and does not have the red plastic 'bubble' thing underneath. As I did not pay for it, I've got nothing to lose! I shall give it a go in the week, as soon as I can find my soldering kit...
Thanks again, and, of course, all credit to you if (when) that works.

Boosh.

Boosh
Joined: Sun 30 Nov, 2014 22:40
Posts: 324

  Z3 roadster 1.9i

Re: fitting dimming mirror?

Post by Boosh » Mon 16 Mar, 2015 16:15

Hi David
I followed you guide to retro fit an E36 dimming mirror. I got to the stage where the original cables were fed through the new housing, and went to check that the central locking was still working, which it did. I then disconnected all cables off dimming mirror apart from red and brown, which I soldered onto same colour cables on original loom, as I don't mind dimming function being live even without lights on. However, central locking isn't working anymore, and dimming mirror won't dim. What have I done wrong, and how can I fix it?
Hope you can shed some light. I've tried to program key to car using thread from forum, but made no difference. Keep my fingers crossed,

Boosh.

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David
Joined: Mon 16 Sep, 2013 19:33
Posts: 439

  Z3 roadster 1.9i

Re: fitting dimming mirror?

Post by David » Mon 16 Mar, 2015 17:18

Does your mirror consist of a front and rear sensor? Make sure the front sensor is still connected to the main PCB, and if that has an additional earthing (brown) wire, make sure that is still connected.

Without pictures I'm not much help I'm afraid, as I didn't use the same mirror as you.

Hope something I've said has helped!
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Boosh
Joined: Sun 30 Nov, 2014 22:40
Posts: 324

  Z3 roadster 1.9i

Re: fitting dimming mirror?

Post by Boosh » Mon 16 Mar, 2015 17:53

Panic over! Epic music! Sweet smell of success! One of the central locking fuses had blown and needed replacing, and my key needed re-tuning, which I learnt after a quick search. All working fine, now.
Yes, my mirror has front and back sensors. I wired the lens straight onto central locking feed and ground, so my mirror is always live. If that setup drains the battery, then I'll follow David's guidance.
Overall, it is a fiddly job, the most daunting being opening the mirror casings without leaving marks. The new casing is just about thick enough to house the central locking board, resulting in a gap a tad wider on one side, but I put some insulating tape all around the seam to disguise it. Looks pretty good, even if I say so myself.
Of course, all credit goes to David, and mistakes were mine only.
Thanks again,

Boosh.

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David
Joined: Mon 16 Sep, 2013 19:33
Posts: 439

  Z3 roadster 1.9i

Re: fitting dimming mirror?

Post by David » Mon 16 Mar, 2015 20:36

Good to hear it Boosh,

Did you take any photos along your way to add to the thread?
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Boosh
Joined: Sun 30 Nov, 2014 22:40
Posts: 324

  Z3 roadster 1.9i

Re: fitting dimming mirror?

Post by Boosh » Mon 16 Mar, 2015 21:59

Didn't think of it, I'm afraid. To be honest, not much I could have added to your previous post. Only that the new mirror did not have a central locking motherboard in it, and therefore a ridge between two central screws had to be filed in order to accommodate the board from old mirror. I was a bit dubious about doing away with all wires but two (red and brown) from new mirror sensor, but that did the trick.
As I said earlier, all credit to you.
Thanks again for my new gadget,

Boosh.

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