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An Aero-like Mirror Conversion Idea

 
Old 03-02-2014, 05:13 PM
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Jerry Feather
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Default An Aero-like Mirror Conversion Idea

Don't get excited yet, or dismayed, because I am going to mislead you at the outset by taking you through my whole thought process and some development before I tell and show where this idea really is at this point.

The thought process began with my paying about $550 for a new complete Aero mirror set on eBay. I jumped on that listing thinking that it was going to be pretty rare, but then the seller immediately posted another complete set at the same price.

Then I began thinking that there must be some other kind of mirror that might be adapted the the 928 and look pretty good and not cost so darn much. So, I bagan paying closer attention to other cars as I drove around to see if I could spot something that might look good. I actually saw a few, like on a BMW, I think, and maybe on a Buick. Then it occurred to me that if I was able to adapt something like one of those to my 928, as soon as someone asked about it I was not going to be interested is telling that my mirrors were off of a Buick.

The other thing I noticed in my search was that so very many of the late model mirrors are not mounted on the door sheet metal but rather up in the front corner of the door window. When I put these thoughts together I decided that the thing to do was to make a new design of Aero mirror body, one that would be able to use all of the inards of the Porsche Aero mirrors, but one which fits into the corner of the window.

So I started working on some forms, or bucks, from which I could make some fiberglass molds to make the bodies out of. Here are some pictures of what I did in that regard.
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Old 03-02-2014, 05:30 PM
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Jerry Feather
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I had an opportunity to take these wooden bucks with me to CA and when I was meeting up with Randy V, and in showing these off, I discovered that I had missed the verticle angle of the mirrors by about 10 or more degrees. That would have to be fixed, and might even reaquire me to start over.

However, some thoughts about this project were bothering me. One was that the Aero mirrors have been criticized for being a little too small. Another thought was that doing these the way I was going would likely dictate these being painted body color. If so, since the trim around the window is all black that was going to break up the nice outline of the window which would, in my estimation, disrupt the lines of the car; and I didn't want to try to paint a black outline on these or even try to design the base so it would emulate the black window trim.

Another minor problem was going to be that these new mirrors would not articulate.

Another interesting thing I learned in this process was that the mirrors are not symetrical with each other. That of course makes sense because the driver does not sit in the middle, so the angle needs to be different to accomodate, rather than just rely on the adjustment of the mirror glass itself. You can see the asymetry I put into the bucks in one of the pictures where they are sort of lined up with the edge of my bench.

So, I set this project aside for a while.
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Old 03-02-2014, 05:56 PM
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Not too much later, for some reason I came across some mirrors on eBay that look very much like the 928 Aero mirrors, that are slightly larger, that articulate, and that can be painted body color, but still have the base and a bit under the body of the mirror finished in black. Guess what? They are Porsche Boxster mirrors. And, they mount in the front corner of the door glass.

The best part is that thay can be had on eBay for about $35 to $45 or so each and they come with all the features that one might like. The problem is, of course, they do not fit the 928.

Nevertheless I took one of the ones I have bought to a Porsche Social and asked one of our erstwhile enthusiasts what he thought about the idea of this mirror being on a 928. He could not however get past the idea that "they wont fit." So I was deprived of his thoughts, from a styling standpoint, about how these might look on a 928. I haven't tried that on anyone else yet, except here, now, I guess.

However, here are a couple of pictures of those mirrors in conjuntion with one of my Aero mirror bodies for comparison.

You can see that the Boxster mirrors are slightly larger and very similar in shape. You can also see that the only piece of the mirror assembly that will need to be changed is the base plastic; and I think the metal mounting framework inside will need only minor modification, so that these can be bolted up in the 928 door corner, but outside the glass so the window will roll up and down next to the mirror and not in place of it as on the Boxster.

The base of these mirrors is black so the outline of the windows will not be disrupted.

The angle of the door glass on the Boxster is about 17.5 degrees, and I think the 928 is about 23 degrees. That difference can be accounted for in the molds for the new bases.

I wont be putting much if any time into this project for a while since I have some other ones going right now that are more important, but when I get to to point of painting one of my cars is when I'll need to finish this up because that is the time that the hole in the doors will get to be filled. In fact, that is likely the only time, a new paint job, anyone else might be interested in this conversion because of the body work required.
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Old 03-02-2014, 06:29 PM
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Jerry,

Your mirror concept is nice but attachment would be very tricky
and worse would require the mirror/door mount openings to be filled
and the entire door painted, which then may not match the car,
requiring the fenders and rear quarters blended and some
terrifying hate mail.

Why not design a nice lite affordable aero mirror that fits the Flag mirror base. So the owner's mirror bases are reused with your product.

If they could cost $300 a pair or less that would be great.
These could use the mirror glass from the Aero mirror to save time and money
on your end .

Nice wood work btw
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Old 03-02-2014, 07:40 PM
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Very interesting.
Strosek did mirrors like this.
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Old 03-02-2014, 07:53 PM
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The reason why most car manufacturers no longer attach the mirror at the door triangle is wind noise. Apparently, it is much easier to reduce and isolate the wind noise when the mirrors are mounted to the door shell. I don't know the reason why this is the case, though.

There would have to be a mechanism to allow the mirrors to fold-in, when there is an impact. Otherwise, you'd have damage to the door frame and glass every time you enter the garage a bit too close.

Lastly, if you do a mirror upgrade - why not add LED style indicators that most modern cars have today? I'm sure my former clear lens vendor could provide the lenses for this - if you can't make an existing set-up work.
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Old 03-02-2014, 08:19 PM
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Great idea for a new product. Much cleaner than the original door mounts.
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Old 03-02-2014, 08:43 PM
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Hey Jerry: Take a look at the mirrors in the recent thread with pictures of Blau928's Aston Martin; you may be onto something. It reinforces your thoughts of the mounting points at the door triangle.
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Old 03-02-2014, 09:00 PM
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you rock
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Old 03-02-2014, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by The Fixer View Post
Jerry,

Your mirror concept is nice but attachment would be very tricky
and worse would require the mirror/door mount openings to be filled
and the entire door painted, which then may not match the car,
requiring the fenders and rear quarters blended and some
terrifying hate mail.

Why not design a nice lite affordable aero mirror that fits the Flag mirror base. So the owner's mirror bases are reused with your product.

If they could cost $300 a pair or less that would be great.
These could use the mirror glass from the Aero mirror to save time and money
on your end .

Nice wood work btw
I think this is actually a very very good idea!

Alan
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Old 03-02-2014, 11:48 PM
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Thanks, Matt and Alan. There is probably always a better idea than the one I have, but the logic behind this one is escaping me.
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Old 03-03-2014, 04:59 AM
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Hi Jerry

Decided to do exactly this on my car..sometime ago. I'm mounting mine on the outside so the window goes behind. I am welding a plate to the door as im doing lots of work to mine, so its not going to be plug and play

Geoff
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:18 AM
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These Boxster mirrors (and actually off a Porsche Coupe) for the years 1996 to 2004, I think, can be disassembled with some minor prying and the removal of a few screws, mostly phillips head, but the basic outer shell requires a tiny torx to remove three screws. Then the frame of the whole thing, including the base and the hinge, are free of all the cover pieces. When I get the right size torx driver I'll take one of these apart and take some pictures of it.

When I get that done I am going to hand locate the base on the door shell I have been working with to see how the base can be made to accomodate the different angle of the 928 door window.

The base of these mirrors is held to the door in the Boxster with three beefy screws. I plan to use these screws to hold a clamping plate that I will have to fabricate which will clamp the base of the mirror to the top and bottom flanges on the door skin. I think there will be enough clearance then in back of the clamping plate, if it is not too thick, for the window to pass behind. This clamping plate will be in lieu of the welded plate that Geoff is utilizing.

I'll post a picture of the flanges that I am talking about later because they don't show up in the pictures above very well.
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Jerry Feather View Post
Thanks, Matt and Alan. There is probably always a better idea than the one I have, but the logic behind this one is escaping me.
Jerry the whole point is that it eliminates the body refinishing & paint requirements for your other version (or to some extent even for the Aero mirrors). It is also easily replaceable to stock flag condition later. The cost of the mirrors is one factor - but for a nice car the cost & risk to perfection of filling & painting large holes in the door is very significant. For you this is probably a relatively easy decision/implementation... but not for most I think.

I think in your current idea - its very good that the mirrors are pretty cheap and Porsche - but I think totally changing the mounting method and requiring body fill & panel repaints will be a non-starter for most - sorry - I just don't see it being a big draw given total cost & complexity. Of course its also not a stock look for any year - and some folks that would do an upgrade to Aeros would NOT consider a totally non-factory (928) look version anyway.

A hybrid verison that closely matches the Aero look on a flag base might be close enough - depends on how a mock-up would actually look.

This is a relatively small market to start with - just based on early car Aero fitments we see. I believe there is more interest that is held back by cost, complexity and functionality (aeros don't work acceptably well on pre-S4 cars, they can be made to... but nobody does).

So any retro fit of modern mirrors also really need an (available) electrical harness that converts it easily plug & play for use in either Flag S4's (easy - just connectors) OR pre-S4 cars that are incompatible electrically with these later mirror motors. You need a (mini) relay harness for this - that relay could live in the mirror...

Alan

Last edited by Alan; 03-03-2014 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:38 AM
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Agree with Nicole, Also it must be a more cost effective method than door mounting or it wouldn't be done so much today.


Jerry, you are a great craftsman. We all crave more product offerings for our 928s and i thank you for, and appreciate your efforts.

The mirror in the door triangle looks great on the Stroesek,
but on a stock 928 when mounted in the triangle it may look cheap.

Door mounting is appropriate for our 20 century classics.
It looks higher quality. Newer is not always better.

Re Filling the door openings:

I tacked in aluminum sheet (careful not to warp the aluminum) and filled the mirror mount openings on my recent project 928 doors.

The bodywork was perfect 6 months ago. I use only the highest quality filler
and very little. I checked it carefully before i primed and it was spot on.

Well it shrunk a few mils over the past 6 months, and the openings can be seen at certain angles or in certain light. Both doors.

If the car was black, it would be seen from 20 feet.

I will have to remove my doors, sand them, fill again, primer-seal, sand again and paint them again. Not what i had planned on doing this spring.



This mirror product as mounted in the triangle might be more problematic to most than you think.

I would like make a lite (manual for now) 928 RS Aero mirror which utilizes the factory Flag base and is ordered and shipped primed for painting..

Note: This would be a great product to manufacture using 3D printing.



Originally Posted by Nicole View Post
The reason why most car manufacturers no longer attach the mirror at the door triangle is wind noise. Apparently, it is much easier to reduce and isolate the wind noise when the mirrors are mounted to the door shell. I don't know the reason why this is the case, though.

There would have to be a mechanism to allow the mirrors to fold-in, when there is an impact. Otherwise, you'd have damage to the door frame and glass every time you enter the garage a bit too close.

Lastly, if you do a mirror upgrade - why not add LED style indicators that most modern cars have today? I'm sure my former clear lens vendor could provide the lenses for this - if you can't make an existing set-up work.
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Last edited by The Fixer; 03-03-2014 at 12:08 PM.
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