[s-cars] Retrofit 93-94 Mirror to 97?

Igor Kessel igor at s-cars.org
Fri Dec 12 09:42:25 EST 2003

Sean Douglas wrote:

> Sorry if this has been brought up before, but does the bigger 1993-94
> right mirror fit on the S6 without modification? Is it a straight swap?
> Can anyone confirm the years of the bigger mirror?
> I'm sick of making lane changes with  my fingers crossed :-)
> Thanks,
> Sean
> Sean Douglas
> 1997 Audi S6 - MTM Stage 1+
> 1990 Audi 90Q20V

below is my homework and BTDT on the subject. BTW, Jimmy, since this is 
a recurring topic, perhaps the write-up could be added to the 
www.urs4.com site? I have a few pix, which I am attaching for Sean, but 
they will not be able to go through to the list.

The '94 - '97 A6/S6 and the '96 - '98 A4 LHD (Continental) market Audis 
came with the smallish RH side mirror. Coupled with the solid headrests 
of the later cars they limit the visibility and hinder the right lane 
merges. This "feature" mirror has compromised the car's safety so badly 
that it was dubbed the "Suicide Mirror" by the sarcastic folk on the 
S-Cars List.
Fortunately there is a way out. The real, full size mirror can be built 
using the parts of a later A4 and/or A6. When building a full size 
mirror for my '97 S6 I ended up using the original S6 mounting triangle 
piece, the A6 motor bracket, the A4 shell and the A4 mirror glass. 
Needless to say the same sarcastic folk on the S-Cars List has dubbed it 
the "Franken Mirror".

Here is the detailed project description.

The '99 forward Audi A4/A6 RH side USA market mirror is comprised out of 
three parts. Below is the break down by model, p/n and list price.

1. The shell:
	a) A4 part: 8D0 857 508 GRU, $66.30
	b) A6 part: 4A0 857 508 3FZ, $66.30

2. The mounting bracket w/motor:
	a) A4 part: 8D1 858 532 L 3FZ, $90.45
	b) A6 part: 4B1 858 532 BF 3FZ, $120.50

3. The convex glass:
	a) A4 part: 8D0 857 536 M, $45.45
	b) A6 part: 4B0 857 536 H, $62.95

First you need to decide which parts to use.

§1. Keep in mind that the shell and the glass *ABSOLUTELY* have to 
belong to the same model since they have a slightly different shape. I 
used the A4 parts coz its glass was cheaper. The more expensive A6 glass 
listed above is the cheapest convex one available in the USA. The rest 
of them are of the expensive auto-dimming variety. The second reason 
behind my choice of glass was that I already had completed the same 
project on my wife's '98 A4. Her car is painted the same Pearl White 
colour as my S6 so I decided to keep the things interchangeable just in 

§2. Paint the shell, either yourself or elsewhere. I painted both shells 
myself with great results and mind you my colour is absolutely the worst 
to match no matter how you look at it.
If you would like to paint the shell yourself read on. If not - skip to §3.
Try to obtain the OEM Audi touch-up paint IN SPRAY CANS. The Pearl White 
one ("Magnolia Pearl Effekt") comes in three cans for three different 
steps. I can't sing enough praises to the quality of the German paint 
and of their spray cans. I would strongly advise to buy the universal 
pistol grip for standard spray cans (costs only a couple of bux at any 
Home Depot) as it enables the near professional uniformity of spray.
If your car is white or Pearl white I would recommend buying a can of 
white primer and re-priming the shell. The A4 shell comes primed (the 
GRU suffix comes from the German "GRUNT" - "Primer") and its colour is 
bluish-grey. If you fail to re-prime the shell in white I guarantee you 
that the resulting colour will be a shade darker than your white or 
Pearl white car is.
The painting process is straightforward. Degrease the shell with 
Methanol or your own favourite solvent. Make sure not to wash the 
"GRUNT" away! Wear latex gloves and a painter's mask. Spray like the 
pros do (you *DO KNOW* how the pros paint, right? Otherwise don't even 
attempt to do it, save yourself a lot of grief and delegate the whole 
thing to a paint shop). Coat lightly in multiple passes, dry for 15min + 
between the coats, put about 3-4 coats for each stage.
Bake 1 - 2 hrs between different stages. That's 4 stages times 4 coats 
each for us with Pearl cars. I utilised my wife's small electric 
convection oven and a thermometer. Baked the shell at ~ 60° to 70°C for 
about 2 to 3 hrs each time. Better safe than sorry.

§3.  Either shell fits either mounting bracket. In fact the early '98 A6 
utilised the A4 shell and glass. In the middle of the '98 m/y the A6 got 
their own shell and glass. You can use either of the mounting brackets, 
but the A6 one is slightly easier to adapt since there is no need  to 
Dremel away the front piece of the bracket where the spring sits.

The mounting bracket itself consists of three parts:
Part "A" - plastic/Aluminium triangle piece that is mounted to the door. 
This piece is car-specific and has to be replaced with the part off the 
S6 since the doors are different in the shape and in the glass to door 

The mounting bracket has a vertical hollow axel onto which the pivoting 
Part "B" is mounted and it is spring loaded to allow to fold the mirror 
alongside the body (that click-click sound when you fold the mirror is 
made by the recesses in the heel of the Part "B" when it jumps over the 
matching tabs of the Part "A"). This part is a fancy shaped metal 
bracket that houses the Part "C" - motor. The A4/A6 and S6 motors will 
have to be swapped since the plug pin-outs are different but that's so 
easy that I won't even go into details here.

The trouble is that the axel in Part "A" in the S6 is shorter than the 
one in the A4/A6 and that the Part "B" in the A4/A6 piece is thicker 
than that in the S6. The shorter axel of the Part "A" of the S6 does not 
clear the thicker Part "B" of the A4/A6 with the OEM spring installed. 
W/o this very stiff spring the mirror will be loose on the mounting. In 
fact if you put the OEM locking C-clip onto the shaft all you get is 2 - 
3 mm of clearance whereas you need at least 12 - 14 mm to install the 

This major problem was solved when I realised that I could use several 
spring (a.k.a. the "Belleville") washers in place of the OEM spring. I 
ordered them from McMaster-Carr catalogue.

§4. Draw the pin-out diagrammes of the electrical plugs of both your 
original mirror and of the mounting bracket that you have bought. Open 
the latches on both plugs, pull the contacts out and fish the wires 
through the hollow shafts on which the motor housings pivot. Unscrew the 
three long screws that secure the motors to their housings and remove 
the motors.

§5. Disassemble the mounting bracket of your original mirror and of the 
mounting bracket that you have bought. For that you'll need to fabricate 
a semi-circular tool out of at least 1mm thick steel ribbon. Shape it up 
with a mallet over a suitable long socket. With this tool positioned 
over the top washer, compress the spring in the vise to relieve the 
pressure on the locking C-clip. Remove the C-clip, the OEM washer and 
the OEM spring. Repeat for the second assy.

*********** WEAR GOGGLES! ************

Note the difference in lengths of the respective hollow shafts.

§6. Install the Part "B" of the mounting bracket that you have bought 
onto the Part "A" of your S6. Put two Belleville spring washers (with 
their crowns pointing in the opposite directions) in place of the OEM 
spring over the hollow shaft of the Part "A" of the S6. You may need to 
adjust the number and/or orientation of the Belleville spring washers on 
your particular mirror as to see that the Part "B" is not loose on Part 
"A" yet it can still be "click-click" folded. Once satisfied, put the 
OEM washer over the packet of Belleville spring washers and compress the 
washers with the tool described above until the OEM washer clears the 
two slits in the hollow shaft of Part "A". Insert the C-clip back. You 
may want to enlist an assistant since you will desperately need a third 

*********** WEAR GOGGLES! ************

§7. Fish the S6 motor wires back through the hollow shaft of Part "A" 
and assemble the plug per your drawing. Secure the motor on Part "B" 
with the three OEM screws.

§8. Mount the newly Frankenised mounting bracket w/motor to the door. 
Reconnect the plugs and reassemble the inner door panel.
Mount the painted shell over the assy. Don't forget the small screw that 
goes inside!
Mount the bottom plastic piece that came as part of the mounting bracket 
w/motor and secure it with the two screws provided with it.
Connect the two defroster contacts to the mirror glass. BE VERY 
CAREFULL! The glass is very fragile. Position the mirror with its big 
round plastic receptacle on the back against the similar round 
receptacle on the motor. Position all your fingers squarely against the 
mirror glass roughly over the round plastic piece and gently press on 
the glass until it clicks home.

Enjoy the safe driving with the full size RH side mirror!

Igor Kessel, © copyright 2000

Igor Kessel
two turbo quattros

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