Repairing flipping chrome mirror

Discussion in 'Small Garage Products and Services' started by STAGE III, Sep 13, 2017.


    STAGE III Lost Experimental Block

    IMG_2163.JPG IMG_2156.JPG IMG_2157.JPG IMG_2156.JPG IMG_2157.JPG IMG_2159.JPG IMG_2162.JPG IMG_2152.JPG IMG_2154.JPG IMG_2153.JPG Okay you are rolling in your lean mean fighting machine,elbow out the window,tunes jamming,and massive power on tap just a foot thrust away!

    Ehhhh......let's see what kinda ride is behind me at the traffic light that I am about to leave wide eyed in my monumental carbon footprint when the light clicks green,heh hehhhh.

    Grab your beautiful chrome Buick mirror and rotate it to see the victim behind you when you suddenly hear a pop and now your mirror is doing a rag doll head flop.

    Cool factor has been mildly injured so you keep holding the mirror up till you get out of sight!

    Well,unfortunately even in privacy you realize that NOT EVEN DUCT TAPE can fix this!!!!

    While examining the overall mirror follow the chrome door mount up to the bottom of the mirror head where about a 1/4" post extends into the untold mysteries lying behind our mirror into the head of the unit.

    The 1/4" post going into the mirror head has a ball swivel mounted at the top which is then sandwiched in between two machined seats which allows the mirror head to be adjusted to your desire.

    So far so good until we get to the top ball swivel fastener plate. The swivel ball sits in a machined seat in the mirror head itself and then 3 posts extend beside & above the swivel ball. The 3 posts secure a machined metal seat to also allow the swivel ball to move by hand on that end.
    The weak link in this design is that the 3 cast posts securing the top swivel plate are secured by staked on fasteners. I guess they had threads of some form and eventually the hammered flat fastener heads eventually fail releasing the top plates pressure on the swivel and you end up with an unmanly limp mirror:oops::confused:

    So how do we fix this?

    You can try and heat gun the mirror adhesive mounts behind the glass and maaaaybe get lucky and save your mirror. In my case the 47 years of dried adhesive wasn't about to turn loose on mine so my 13 years of bad luck on mirror breaking is now ticking.

    This is a very tricky repair if you don't have the basic tools,magnification lights,know how to drill & tap straight but here is how it is done. Hey! It's broken already you can't make it worse UNLESS you want to send it out for SEMI-professional repair at which point that lucky stiff needs it as original and complete as when broke so he has the best chance of success.

    The first thing you are going to need is a points file or a very small Dremel cut off wheel in order to remove the mound of metal left at the top of the broken post. This needs to be as flat as you possibly can get it .

    Adjust the chrome mirror mount in the direction needed so that the upper swivel mount will lay as flat as possible against your now filed flat broken post and give you a good point of reference for center.

    Next get a high-quality snapper punch and make the critical decision of where you think dead center is. If you are incorrect your drill bit or tap or both can come out of the side of the small diameter mounting post ruining it so this is the most critical portion so get it right.

    Select a very small diameter drill bit of your choosing and follow it with an equally small tap I used a 4–40 tap on mine .

    If you drilled it straight, tapped it straight, then throw some Loctite in for good measure aside from needing a new mirror you have just repaired and increasingly difficult to find almost 50-year-old Mirror! CONGRATS!

    I will be glad to try and repair these for members in exchange for my motto of "I will work for Buick parts!" But due to the potential inconsistencies of cast parts I cannot guarantee success each time but I am very very careful.The day I run into an air pocket in the porous metal all bets are off though,but so far so good! : )

    Best of luck to all of you and remember When better cars are built,Buick will build them !

    Sorry the pictures posted out of order but I haven't eaten today and it's almost 230 so you just have to figure that one out on your own ha ha Ha ha ha ha ha
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
    Smokey15 and TorqueMonster1 like this.
  2. JoeBlog

    JoeBlog Platinum Level Contributor

    That came out quite nicely. Very sound methodology, too. You'd be welcome in my garage anytime!
    TorqueMonster1 likes this.

    STAGE III Lost Experimental Block

    Thank you my good man : )
  4. BYoung

    BYoung Stage me

    This should be a Sticky
    TorqueMonster1 likes this.
  5. Brett Slater

    Brett Slater Super Moderator Staff Member

    Agreed and done!
  6. Brett Slater

    Brett Slater Super Moderator Staff Member


    What size screw did you use on this and when you had it apart, how come you didn't do the other two?

    Or did you subscribe to the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" theory?

    STAGE III Lost Experimental Block

    Howdy Brett, I don't even remember what I had for breakfast so don't recall probably #8 or 10. The other two weren't under the same stresses but I restaked them for good measure,no sense making more work for myself : )
  8. Brett Slater

    Brett Slater Super Moderator Staff Member


    So you did do the other 2 as well?

    STAGE III Lost Experimental Block

    i used a punch and restaked them
    Brett Slater likes this.
  10. Brett Slater

    Brett Slater Super Moderator Staff Member

    To detach the top part of each nut? Or whatever it's called?

    STAGE III Lost Experimental Block

  12. Brett Slater

    Brett Slater Super Moderator Staff Member

    I'm going to attempt the extra wobbly LH mirror I have here this week first and see how it goes.

    STAGE III Lost Experimental Block

    I here ya, good luck man
    Brett Slater likes this.
  14. Hawken

    Hawken Hawken


    How do you remove the mirror glass for this repair?

    - Ken
  15. Duane

    Duane Member

    A hammer?
  16. Ryans-GSX

    Ryans-GSX Have fun, life is short.

    Good job Fritz. When the new glass is in it will work great and no one will ever know its a repair.
    STAGE III likes this.

    STAGE III Lost Experimental Block

    Sorry I am away from things watching out for my Mom but Duane has the correct answer & thank you Ryan for the compliment.

    I attempted to use the heat gun to make the ancient adhesive pliable again to remove the mirror intact but it was not possible, so it became “hammer time”.
    TorqueMonster1 and Brett Slater like this.
  18. Duane

    Duane Member

    That's a great way to recycle a part and make it usable again. Hats off to you for figuring that one out.
    STAGE III and TorqueMonster1 like this.
  19. 2dtrak

    2dtrak Well-Known Member

    I have soaked the mirror head over night in adhesive remover or goof off and u can snake a plastic trim removal tool thru the lower opening on mirror and the glass will usually pry out with out breaking or damaging the silvering , have done it several times when restoring these mirrors and works well on saving oem mirror glass
    Brett Slater likes this.
  20. Brett Slater

    Brett Slater Super Moderator Staff Member

    Did you use the same method John used to sure up the wobbly mechanism?

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