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Old 04-02-2015, 03:31 PM   #1
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Question C5 Side Mirror Replacement Repair Question

Hi Guys.

I'm new to this forum and am (Finally) a proud new (used) C5 2002 Corvette Vert. owner. I hope I'm posting in the right place and sorry for bringing up an old topic, but I had a drivers side electrochromic mirror that was gold colored all the time. I had read up on them in the forums and decided to replace it with a heated only GM mirror P/N 12530715. I didn't want it to leak out and destroy paint. I got it replaced and looks correct, but only problem now is it doesn't move correctly. It will move in all directions (up, down, left & right) a little bit then stops. If I want it to move more I have to press the button again and it will move more and stop. It seems to move the full range of motion but will not move fluently as it should. I had read in a forum of this problem but saw no resolution. If anyone can shed some light on this, It would be greatly appreciated. I was also wondering about the wiring (two black wires) for the heated mirror. Does the polarity matter on the connectors? The original mirror connectors where running vertical and the new connectors run horizontal.
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Old 04-02-2015, 09:19 PM   #2
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Sounds like you have something bound up inside the mirror. Since you didn't have one to go by, how did you know how the wires should be ran? Did you do BOTH mirrors and if so, at the same time?
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Old 04-03-2015, 07:43 AM   #3
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Thanks for the response junkman

I just did the drivers side. the passengers side looks fine for now. I wired the two black heater wires to the connectors and hope I got it right. wish they would have color coded the wires and indicated a + or - on the back of the mirror. I taped up the electrochromic connection and tied it up out of the way. Guess I'll have to pull it out again and see If I did something wrong.
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Old 04-03-2015, 08:56 AM   #4
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There is no polarity for the heater element. I would remove the mirror again and try again. Here is my write up on doing that. With the mirror removed see how the motors operate.

The Electrochromatic mirrors have a long history of failure. You can replace just the glass and plastic surround without removing the housing from the door. I got mine from Corvette Central and replaced my bad glass about 4 years ago. Except for auto dimming you would never know the difference. You can get replacement electrochromatic mirrors but they are more expensive and still prone to failure. Here is the DIY I developed.

Removing the C5 Mirror Insert

This guidance is for removing just the mirror insert (with plastic surround) in cases where the actual mirror has an issue or you need to access the motor assembly behind it.

The mirror housing can be left attached to the door

Before you start, place a blanket under the door so if you drop the mirror it will not break and if any of the positioner pins come out they will not be hard to find, There are 4 of them.

Move the mirror all the way up or down so you can get your fingers behind the mirror.

Placing some tape around the housing edges before you start so as to not scratch the housing paint would be a good idea.

The mirror connects to the motor assembly with 5 snap in connections.

One is the main pivot ball in the center, The other 4 are smaller with one above, below, left, and right of the large center pivot.

The 4 smaller ones are driven by the motor assembly to position the mirror.

Have a friend hold the mirror housing while you pull on the mirror insert.

The mirror insert should “pop” out and be released.

Note: Now you will have to remove the heated mirror wiring connector and if equipped, the connector for the auto dimming.

One or more of the position pins may come out with the mirror insert or just fall on the ground. This is OK and not an issue.

If any pins come out they should have a spring attached to them so don’t lose the springs. The pins actually are inserted into the springs.

When I removed my mirror insert one pin came out with the spring still attached to the mirror insert. I simply removed it from the mirror insert just reinserted it into the motor assembly before I put the mirror insert back on. Everything worked just fine after I finished.

The mirror insert has “cupped” like connectors that the pivot and pins fit/snap into.

Use a good silicone type lubricant on the pins, pivot, and mirror insert connectors to make reattaching the mirror insert easier.

Please note the 4 pins have a small protrusion that has to be aligned correctly to match the mirror insert connectors . Not hard to “eyeball” the correct alignment but if not close the insert will not snap back onto the pins.

You should now be ready to reinstall the mirror insert.

Reattach the one or two wiring connectors.

If your new mirror does not have the electrochromatic feature (and the original did) just tape the wires off and make sure they are stuffed back so they don't interfere with the mirror motion. It will be apparent which wires are for the heating element versus the auto dimming.

Have a friend support the housing so it does not move when you press the mirror insert back in.

I recommend (must do or similar) cut a block of wood to cover as much of the mirror as possible so when you press in back on so you distribute the pressure and don’t break the mirror. Also place a small towel or soft material between the block and the mirror so as to not scratch the mirror.

As you start pressing the mirror insert in, try to put move the mirror insert and motor assembly so it is not tilted like you did when you removed it. You want all the pins and pivot to snap in at one time.

It takes a good amount of pressure to snap the mirror insert into place. That is why you need a friend to hold the housing and you need to lubricate the pins/pivot and the mirror insert connectors.

If it does not snap in with “reasonable force”, remove the mirror and double check the alignment of the 4 pins. I found out that I had not correctly aligned them all and had to redo that and then it snapped in.

When I reinstalled my insert I did not have a friend to help so I had to press with one hand while I held the housing with the other. It takes good amount of pressure to snap it in but I did it with one hand.

Good luck.


Remember if you are replacing the motor assembly there are 2 types. One with Memory and one without. The one with Memory has 2 connectors, not one. The one with memory has an additional 4 pin connector.

Also, you can see what the inside of the housing looks like in this link. Look at Post 5.


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Old 04-03-2015, 09:44 AM   #5
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Thanks. Dadaroo...

Will do. Guess I know what I'll be doing tomorrow. I'll re-post my findings.

Thanks for all your help.
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