Fixed: e28 power mirror motors - e34's fit.

E28 technical advice asked and given! Troubleshooting, modifications and more.
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Gubernaculum
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Fixed: e28 power mirror motors - e34's fit.

Post by Gubernaculum »

My door mirrors were both floppy (the mirror part, not the housing) and the motors didn't work on my 88 535i.

I removed the mirror glass (stick a screw driver in the hole underneath and rotate the white plastic locking mechanism) and found that the plastic inside had deteriorated so much that the glass was barely held on, and the motors were all rusty.

I didn't want to replace the entire housing, so I found a e34 (1991) 525i in the junkyard. The glass removed the same way, and I found that the motor mechanism can be transplanted onto the e28. It looked exactly the same. Just pull the wires out of the back with needle nose pliers and transfer them over. e30 mirror motors are the same as well, but I used the 5 series ones. e36's use a different glass attachment mechanism so they wouldn't work.

Just an FYI if anybody has the same problem I did. I couldn't find much info on the problem, so here it is for posterity.
ElGuappo
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Re: Fixed: e28 power mirror motors - e34's fit.

Post by ElGuappo »

Its going to be a matter of WHEN, not IF, for most all E28s soon.
When you think about the abuse the side mirrors take, with door opening and closing and driving vibrations, its a wonder they last as long as they do.
Both glass inserts on my 528 are floppy, after getting new housings from a friend with what were thought to be good steady mirrors.
Good on you for getting out there and trying it. :up:
Shawn D.
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Re: Fixed: e28 power mirror motors - e34's fit.

Post by Shawn D. »

Great info -- thanks!
jonh
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Re: Fixed: e28 power mirror motors - e34's fit.

Post by jonh »

I recently had this same issue. My power mirror motors were horribly corroded, particularly on one side where the rubber boot had slid off.

Image

Unlike Gubernaculum, I had no issues fitting e36 mirror motors. I found that they not only fit but were identical in patent numbers and basically everything (other than corrosion) to my original e28 mirror motors. The e30, e31, e32, e34, e36, and Z3 all had the same part number for their mirror motors (51161394107) at the online parts sites I checked. Here's a pic of one of my e36-sourced replacements for comparison.

Image

Mirror Motor Part Number: 51161394107
Manufacturer: IKU Holland (now MCi)

I also found during my search that some 70's and 80's Alfas also used these same motors. http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/alfa-ro ... motor.html So if you see one in a pick-n-pull, you might check those too.
Shawn D.
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Re: Fixed: e28 power mirror motors - e34's fit.

Post by Shawn D. »

Thanks, johnh -- great info!
south26
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Re: Fixed: e28 power mirror motors - e34's fit.

Post by south26 »

If anyone needs the e34 mirrors I have them.


Andy
Dana in Reno
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Re: Fixed: e28 power mirror motors - e34's fit.

Post by Dana in Reno »

I found this older post when looking for a solution for the door mirrors on my 535is; both had floppy glass and had stopped responding to the controls. Knowing the mechanisms in e30 and e34 BMWs were the same was helpful, but I guessed that since those cars are about the same age as the e28, used mirror mechanisms might not be much better than the ones I had. With that in mind I looked for new mirror motors. None of the usual parts suppliers listed them for the e28, but I found some listed for an e30 and ordered a pair. They fit perfectly and the wiring connections were identical to the originals. With new motors and new glass my mirrors are restored.
anpk05
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Re: Fixed: e28 power mirror motors - e34's fit.

Post by anpk05 »

Dana in Reno wrote:I found this older post when looking for a solution for the door mirrors on my 535is; both had floppy glass and had stopped responding to the controls. Knowing the mechanisms in e30 and e34 BMWs were the same was helpful, but I guessed that since those cars are about the same age as the e28, used mirror mechanisms might not be much better than the ones I had. With that in mind I looked for new mirror motors. None of the usual parts suppliers listed them for the e28, but I found some listed for an e30 and ordered a pair. They fit perfectly and the wiring connections were identical to the originals. With new motors and new glass my mirrors are restored.
So did you get e30 mirror motors? Were the motors direct fit or does the wiring needed cutting and splicing ?
Kyle in NO
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Re: Fixed: e28 power mirror motors - e34's fit.

Post by Kyle in NO »

Did you not even read the previous post?
Dana in Reno
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Re: Fixed: e28 power mirror motors - e34's fit.

Post by Dana in Reno »

This is an old thread, but in case anyone is still looking, the mechanisms from e30s also work. Did both of mine with e30 pieces from Pelican Parts.
garageboy
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Re: Fixed: e28 power mirror motors - e34's fit.

Post by garageboy »

Should I intend to remove the unpainted, working, 2/87-prod 528e mirrors entirely from my soon-to-be-junker car before said junking? Are folks generally looking for these and their innerds? (you can actually see the corner of my drivers' mirror in the signature photo below. haha)

After 30 years of driving E28s, I've NEVER had any of my garaged cars need mirror parts. The switch could get funky now and again but that's it. So I'm asking. Thanks. :)
Mike W.
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Re: Fixed: e28 power mirror motors - e34's fit.

Post by Mike W. »

garageboy wrote:Should I intend to remove the unpainted, working, 2/87-prod 528e mirrors entirely from my soon-to-be-junker car before said junking? Are folks generally looking for these and their innerds? (you can actually see the corner of my drivers' mirror in the signature photo below. haha)

After 30 years of driving E28s, I've NEVER had any of my garaged cars need mirror parts. The switch could get funky now and again but that's it. So I'm asking. Thanks. :)
Yep, I've had switch problems, repairable by mechanical cleaning, but the only mirror problems I've had were of my own doing because of taking the mirror glass out. They're supposed to be removable, and are, but it seems when I've taken the glass out I've broken that locking ring, which will kind of lock back in, but eventually will unlock. I forget exactly what I used, but some sort of glue, lightly, to keep that locking ring from rotating. I didn't want to permanently glue them in, but did want them to stop falling out attached only by the heated mirror wires. That's not a good look, I know, I've done it. :roll: (and my cars aren't even garaged)
hayden_duffy5
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Re: Fixed: e28 power mirror motors - e34's fit.

Post by hayden_duffy5 »

You guys totally rock! I was just going to post a new thread on side mirrors and whoola! Here it is! I am looking for a parts source for the mirrors and inner parts. If anyone has these parts or can recommend where to obtain them, it would be appreciated. I'm going to need both left and right.

Hayden
Shawn D.
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Re: Fixed: e28 power mirror motors - e34's fit.

Post by Shawn D. »

hayden_duffy5 wrote:I am looking for a parts source for the mirrors and inner parts. If anyone has these parts or can recommend where to obtain them, it would be appreciated.
Make a "WTB" thread in the parts subforum, then.
HayekFan
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Re: Fixed: e28 power mirror motors - e34's fit.

Post by HayekFan »

Just a heads up that apparently not all E34 power mirror motors are compatible with E28s.

I just bought this E34 mirror on eBay:

Image

The motor assembly is completely different and the glass snaps in rather than twisting in. (It's the same type as in this Youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8hC5cLbudE)

The part number is 51168181545. This number comes up as an E34 mirror but is different than the number listed upthread (51161394107).

Moral of the story is to confirm compatibility before pulling the trigger on an E34 mirror because it is not a given.
Dana in Reno
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Re: Fixed: e28 power mirror motors - e34's fit.

Post by Dana in Reno »

I bought new e30 motors from Pelican Parts. They were identical to the originals and fit perfectly.
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