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Human

Busted my passenger side mirror

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I can't freakin' believe I did this. I was backing the Vert out of the carport this afternoon, caught the passenger mirror on one of the support posts, and snapped it right off😨. The carport is only 10 ft. wide, so I have to pull the car way to the right to be able to open the driver's door and to get the garbage and recycling carts past the car on the left side. The last time I pulled it in, I just got a bit too close and wasn't watching closely enough when I was backing out. Dumb mistake on my part.

I checked the inventories at the two salvage yards I use and they didn't have a W-body Cutlass in stock from which to harvest a mirror, but I've got a couple on my eBay watch list. Anybody know if any other W-body mirrors are compatible with a Cutlass Supreme? The nice thing is all the CS mirrors were black, so matching the color isn't an issue, as long as the finish is in decent shape; otherwise, I'll be getting a rattle can of gloss black and hoping for the best. My spray painting skills aren't exactly the best.

As a short-term fix--or maybe long-term, depending on how well it goes---I got a tube of JB Weld this evening and I plan to try to glue the mirror back together this weekend. It looks like a pretty clean break along the base, so maybe it'll work okay. I certainly have nothing to lose by trying. 

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That sucks!   Post a picture if you can.  If you can't fix it, then I'd recommend buying a replacement mirror off of a nationwide salvage yard website like car-part.com.   I found one on the site from a black 1995 vert, they even have pictures of the car.   

I've done it before and the parts have been ok.   You have to pay for shipping, but it's not too bad.    With a painted part you have to expect some scratches or peeling clear coat, but on an older vert the side mirrors are probably due for a repaint anyway (I know mine are!).    

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Yeah, I'm pretty bummed about it, especially since my mirrors are (or were, in the case of the passenger side) in unusually good shape for their age with the car having spent most of its life garaged. I went to a salvage yard last fall and spent an afternoon and a little over $100 scavenging parts I needed and thought I might someday need off of a '95 CS coupe but one thing I didn't bother with was the mirrors. because they looked so much worse than mine. I'm sort of wishing now I'd gone ahead and grabbed those while I had the chance. I'm getting ready to go outside and take things apart so I can try to repair it. I'll let you know how it goes.

UPDATE—Once I got the mirror off the car, I found the damage was considerably worse than I had first thought. The three studs that hold the  mirror in place were all broken out of the mirror with small pieces of plastic surrounding them and lots of little pieces of plastic missing. I was thinking it was a solid piece of plastic but I was wrong. What deceived me was the foam weather seal. Once I had that out of the way, there was nothing to hold the plastic. Those studs were a big part of the problem because I couldn't push them far enough into place to make the plastic pieces meet. So now I'm on to plan B, which is to find a replacement mirror. 

ONE MORE UPDATE—I took another look on eBay and found a used mirror in reasonably good shape for $40 w/free shipping and guaranteed delivery by next Thursday. I guess I know what I'll be doing next weekend.

Edited by Human

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So here's a photo I snapped of the snapped-off mirror, taken just before removed it. I was pretty mad with myself when it happened, but I stayed surprisingly calm about it. I'll be glad when the new mirror comes and I can get everything put back together.

IMGP7060.JPG

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Fortunately, all W-body Cutlass Supremes had black mirrors from the factory, regardless of body color. I've already bought one off of eBay and it should be here in a couple of days.

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So the replacement mirror arrived today, a day after eBay's "guaranteed delivery" date. It's in very acceptable condition, although not quite as nice as the original one was before I broke it. The only issue I'm seeing is an inventory number written across the glass with a yellow paint pen. I can't seem to get it to come off without scraping the glass with a sharp blade, which has left a few fine scratches. I've tried a range of things from Simple Green to acetone but nothing has really touched it. I'm planning to put it on the car tomorrow and to be a whole lot more careful backing out of the carport in the future. 

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Did you try brake clean? Acetone is a decent solvent but it can be sort of picky with what it dissolves.

 

Weren't originals all metal? I had a metal passenger side one on the buick. Walked into that thing once in a tight garage and I was bruised for a week.

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So I got the mirror put in this morning. The more challenging part was getting the door panel mounted back in place. One piece of hidden damage that I didn't notice until I got the mirror put in is the metal backing plate is slightly bent so that two of the corners are out from the window frame by a few millimeters. I'm not really sure what to do about that since I'm sure the piece is made of the cheapest pot metal possible and will snap if I try to straighten it. Guess I'll put that on my boneyard shopping list. But right now, there's only one thing left to do and that's take the car out for a drive!

@GabsOlds: Yes, GM was very late to the party when it came to folding mirrors. My 2011 Impala doesn't even have them.

@vipmiller803: I haven't tried brake cleaner but I'm sure I've got some in my shed. I'll dig it out and give it a go. I have no idea whether the mirrors on a W-body Cutlass Supreme were ever made of metal, maybe they were back in the late '80s or maybe Buicks got metal mirrors as a way to position it a little further up the food chain from Oldsmobile. I had a '91 CS coupe a long time ago but I don't remember whether the mirrors were metal or plastic but I'm thinking they were plastic. The ones on my '95 Vert are definitely plastic, as is the one I just put on. The eBay seller didn't specify what year model it came off of. The listing just said it fit a '90-'97 model. 

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On 3/30/2019 at 11:09 AM, Human said:

 

@GabsOlds: Yes, GM was very late to the party when it came to folding mirrors. My 2011 Impala doesn't even have them.

 

GM was very selective about that one.

 

W body mirrors are fixed throughout the whole run  but for some reason the later N bodies and J bodies got mirrors that could fold but they would return to position via a spring.

 

The N body thing is even funnier because Grand Ams got 2 different mirrors depending if it was SE or GT. One of them would fold and have the spring, the other wouldn't because the design was a dual post mirror.

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I wonder if it was a grease pencil? But you'd think would have come off with what you tried... I had grease pencil on glass and only thing that took it off was Lysol All Purpose Cleaner- cut the grease.

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No, it was definitely not a grease pencil, it was from the same type of yellow paint pen they use at the u-pull-it type yards to mark parts when you buy them. I got about 97 percent of it off, but there's still a little  bit visible, not that it's terribly noticeable at the moment with all the pollen that's on the car.

28 minutes ago, sean1991olds said:

I wonder if it was a grease pencil? But you'd think would have come off with what you tried... I had grease pencil on glass and only thing that took it off was Lysol All Purpose Cleaner- cut the grease.

 

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54 minutes ago, pshojo said:

Ever notice the earlier ones were cast metal, then eventually went plastic. The cast ones are quite heavy

 

On ‎4‎/‎7‎/‎2019 at 10:29 AM, MemphisMan said:

My '91 CS coupe has one plastic mirror and one metal one.  Way down on my list is to find another metal one so they match.  

I just checked guys, yes, the early ones are indeed metal.  Both of my 91 and 89 International's have metal mirror housings.

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1 hour ago, pshojo said:

Ever notice the earlier ones were cast metal, then eventually went plastic. The cast ones are quite heavy

I don't remember ever noticing whether my '91 CS coupe had metal or plastic mirror housings. The '95 vert definitely has plastic. If MemphisMan's '91 had one of each from the factory, then '91 may well have been the year the changeover occurred and the switch to plastic happened as supplies of metal ones ran out, not necessarily at the same time.

Edited by Human

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31 minutes ago, Human said:

I don't remember ever noticing whether my '91 CS coupe had metal or plastic mirror housings. The '95 vert definitely has plastic. If MemphisMan's '91 had one of each from the factory, then '91 may well have been the year the changeover occurred and the switch to plastic happened as supplies of metal ones ran out, not necessarily at the same time.

Not sure when they changed to plastic, MemphisMan's car may have had a replacement at some point for the same reason you have.  I know he hasn't had to replace one while he's owned it.

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