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13 minute read
Thread for possible Fox mirror replacement
Compliments of 90quattrocoupe @ vwvortex.com
Now we all know how bad the Fox mirrors are. You hit them once, and they are gone, even if you just bump up against them. Finding good one in the JY is getting tough. They are just as bad as the ones on our cars.
I would like this thread to be about possible replacements. So if you find a possible replacement, show the install here, and we can get it added to FYI/FAQ. But just don't speculate here about this model car mirror might fit or that model may fit. If you have a solution post it with install instructions, otherwise post ideas somewhere else. Don't gum up this thread. Thank you.
I spend a certain amount of time in the JY, due to having various older VWs and Audis in the family. So I have been looking for mirror to replace the Fox one. I believe I have come across one that will work. This is the install.
Since I did not want to do this to my car without a fall back, I purchased a Fox Wagen door when Pick your part had 1/2 price day. This is the door.
This is an upclose picture of the outside door area for the mirror.
This is the inside door area for the mirror.
This is the car I removed the mirrors from. It is a Nissan from around 1988. It is from a 2 door, the 4 door mirror has a larger footprint, and won't fit.
This is the passenger door mirror as it comes. Has a rubber seal around the bolt in area of the mirror.
This is a picture of the back side of the mirror. You can see where is says 2dr on it. Make sure you get the right one.
This is the rubber seal removed from the mirror. I removed the center raised section with a one sided razor blade, so I could use the outside area for a templet. I got an extra one from the JY. I removed the wrap around rubber piece, that is next to vent window, from the seal, because it would not allow the mirror to sit flat on the metal trim.
I put the cut up rubber seal on the outside Fox metal mirror trim, lined it up where I wanted it and marked the metal trim. This can be rotated for the way you may want it on your car. You could trim the front of the rubber to move the mirror forward, or maybe rotate the rear down. Up to you.
I put the marked up metal trim back on the door to see how it looked.
I removed the metal from the metal door mirror trim. Then I used the rubber seal from the Nissan mirror to make sure I had removed enough of the metal. Front side.
Back side with the rubber on the trim.
I put the outside metal trim back on the door, so I could mark the door itself, for metal removal.
I removed the door metal. Then I put the metal trim back on to see if I had removed enough of the door for the mirror to fit. Then installed the rubber seal to make sure it fit also.
I took the center section of the Nissan mirror seal, that I had cut out, held it up inside the cut out area of the mirror and marked the inside of the door for drilling. Actually didn't do a very could job of alignment. Drilled holes were off. Here is a picture from the outside of the drilled holes. I just ground away the are for the center hole, because there was not enough meat to drill.
I installed the mirror.
This is a picture of the inside of the door with the Nissan mirror installed. I just used some bolts I had laying around.
This is a picture of the bolts I used, compared to the stock Nissan bolts. The Nissan bolts are too short, as the area to mount the mirror on the Fox is wider than on the Nissan. The bolts I used are 6mmX1.0 thread pitch and 35mm long.
I will probably use a bolt more like the Nissan when I can find them. I am also going to use a plate made to fit the area inside the door to stiffen up the area for the bolts. The center bolt does not have much to rest on. You will have to remove the raised area on the back of the plastic window trim, because it hit the bolts. You will have to figure out how to install your trim piece. Right now I am going to plug the hole with a plug and probably use velcro to hold it on.
Now these Nissan mirrors are pretty available, and are in very good shape considering they are as old as our Fox mirrors. There is a plug in the bottom of the base of the mirror. A screw holds the mirror to the base. You can tighten the screw if the mirror seems a little loose. I will take some pictures of this another time.
As a side note, the outside metal trim from a Wagen does not fit a 4 door or vise versa. They are different and have a different part number. I believe the 2 door is the same as the wagen.
Well worked on the plate for holding the mirror on the car a little more rigidly. I took the interior trim and taped a piece of paper to the back, and highlighted the ridge on the back side. Cut out the paper templet, and then cut up a plate out of 1/8 inch plate aluminum I had laying around. I used aluminum for two reasons. One it is easy to work with and two, being a little thicker it fits the ridge on the inside of the trim better.
This is what the plate looks like when it is finished.
Next, I had to trim the inside of the Fox interior window trim. I ground down the holders for the trim, and then had to notch the ridge slightly as it interfered with the screw holding the mirror. You can see the notch in upper left corner.
This is the modified trim plate.
This is a picture of the holding plate inside the interior trim piece.
This is a picture of the three screws I got to replace the hex heads I was going to use. These are stainless 6mmX1.0 thread pitch by 35mm long.
This is the mirror assembled, with all the modified parts on it, except the interior trim. I ran out of light, so you will have to wait til tomorrow to see the mirror mounted on the door with the plate and interior trim piece on. I may have to use a counter sunk flat screw on the upper hole, as the ridge is thinner there and my interfere with the trim. Or maybe just shave the head of the screw a little.
I left out something last time. Don't forget to modify the outside rubber seal that goes between the outside metal trim and the door. I did, but here is the modified rubber seal.
Pictures to update the installation a little.
This is a picture of the mirror installed with the holding plate installed. I felt this plate would add and little rigidity to the mirror installation. With the gap between the inner and outer mounting surfaces, and the large hole where the center bolt goes, this was needed. Now it is very secure and holds real well.
This is a picture of the trim piece place over the hold plate. It is being held where the trim fits behind the rubber trim for the vent window. I will do some velcro later, when mirror is installed on a car, not just a door.
This is a picture of the bottom of the Nissan mirror. You can see the rubber plug at the junction of the mirror and mounting base.
This is a picture of the rubber plug removed. There is a screw there to adjust the tension on the mirror. If the mirror seems loose, you can tighten this screw.
I looked at the MKII mirror, thinking that they would be close.
The bolt hole pattern is really wide spaced. You could not use the outside metal trim from the Fox. If you notice in the picture of the Fox with the MKII mirrors, there is no outside metal trim. You can't use the MKII outside metal trim either, as it is way too large to fit the Fox.
The MKII mirror does not have a gasket at the base of the mirror. The only gasket on the MKII is between the MKII outer metal trim and the door. The MKII mirror base has ridges on the inside of the base, which will keep it from sitting flush with the door. You could always take more metal off the outside of the door to compensate. The base of the MKII mirror is concave, which would keep it from sitting flush, especially with no outside rubber seal. Even with using the inner MKII rubber seal, the mirror will still leak. On the MKII mirror, there is a hole at the rear of the base mount. This fits up against the outside metal trim on the MKII, but would leave a gap on the Fox. Water can run in here and then down the inside along the adjuster cables, rusting them out.
You could not use MKII mirror on a 4 door Fox. Window would be in the way of running the adjuster cables.
Don't even know if you can use the Fox inside plastic trim piece.
Here is a picture of the mirror bases for the Fox(on the left), 80's Nissan(in the middle) and the MKII flag mirror(on the right)
This picture shows the ridge line on the MKII base. This would hold the mirror out from the door, unless you removed the more metal. This picture also shows the hole at the back lower right of the mirror. This is usually flush against the MKII outside metal trim, but would be exposed on the Fox.
There is one other plus for the Nissan mirror. It will fold back against the window if you need to do this. Neither the Fox nor MKII mirror will do this.