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Discussion Starter #1
So I wanted to do Raydot mirrors on my car but I'm not too keen on the standard method of mounting by making an adapter plate out of flat stock to allow the mirror to screw to the stock holes - don't think it looks that great and don't want to have to take my door panels off and unbolt the mirrors every time an adjustment is needed. Figured there had to be a way to hack up some standard NA manual mirror bases to make them work. Picked up a pair of manual mirrors from 2ndChanceRoadster (thanks Alex!) and made it happen. Quite happy with the results...

Parts / Materials:
Pair of Raydot mirrors (I got mine here)
Pair of NA manual mirrors
2 1/4" x 2" bolts
2 lock nuts for bolts
4 1/4" ID x 3/4" OD flat washers
Two part epoxy (I used Loctite brand, JB Weld would be just as good)
Rattle can primer, paint and clear
Sandpaper (~60 grit for smoothing metal, ~400 grit for paint prep)
Clear silicone

Tools:
Drill w/ standard size bits
1" hole saw
Dremel w/ reinforced cutoff wheels & 1/2" 60 grit sanding drums
Small round file
Rivet gun w/ aluminum rivets (3/16" I think, but I just got some out of my bin that fit)
Screwdrivers and sockets / wrenches

The Raydot mirrors attach using a ball and socket type joint, with the ball portion on the mirror and the base being the socket. The good news is that the Miata mirror is also ball and socket - unfortunately the ball is on the base and the mirror has the socket... The Miata base needs to be modified to have a socket instead of a ball.



First step is to get the mirror apart. Using a small flat screwdriver carefully pry off the black ring that holds in the glass. Be careful not to crack the glass. Once the ring is off, the glass comes right out.



Inside you'll see that the Miata assembly is held together by a single nut and bolt and uses a spring to keep tension on the parts such that the mirror is tight enough to not flop around, but not securely bolted in where you wouldn't be able to adjust it.



Most parts from the base will be reused - the spring, the hemispherical pivot (used to provide a flat surface inside the ball for the spring to rest against), base and its plastic cover. The nut and bolt we won't reuse because the bolt is smaller in diameter than the carriage bolt used with the Raydot and would provide too much play in the mirror mount.



In the bottom of the mirror body there is a thin metal piece inside the socket. The piece is simply glued in place. Pry it out carefully with a knife or small flat screwdriver. Be very careful in doing so not to cut yourself with your implement or with the metal piece itself. Also watch out you don't bend it trying to pry it out - a really easy thing to do if you try to rush.



The socket removed:



The socket piece from the Miata mirror fits the Raydot mount almost perfectly - it's as if this was meant to be!



Before installing the socket on the Miata base the ball needs to come off. I screwed the mirror onto the door to hold it in place while working with it - if you've got good paint you might want to consider using a bench vise or your neighbor's Miata door. Using some masking tape, mark off a straight cut perpendicular to the shaft of the base.

Using the Dremel with the cut off discs, carefully cut around the line to remove the ball piece. The cleaner and straighter your line now, the less sanding/grinding you'll have to do later.



Once the ball was off I used the 60 grit sanding drums to thin the material around the edge of the mount and taper it inwards so that the socket cup fit in deeper.



Using the two part epoxy, mount the cup to the base by filling in underneath. I also put a small amount around the outside where the cup and base meet. On the underside, embed one of the flat washers in the epoxy, pushing it up against the bottom of the cup. The washer will provide a surface for the bolt to mount against. Let the epoxy dry for a day and then sand the outside smooth. I went a step farther and took an angle grinder to the top to grind it flatter and ensure no epoxy showed from the outside. If you're painting the bases this isn't such a big deal. I opted instead to strip the paint with a wire brush, then use some 60 grit sandpaper to give the shafts a brushed look to complement the mirrors themselves.



In case anyone's curious, this should give you an idea of what the mirrors would look like with the base mounted vertically as with the original Miata mirrors. I preferred to mount the bases "upside down" so the mirrors stick out horizontally.



The finished base. Plastic covers were sanded, primed and painted black to match the mount of the Raydot mirrors.



On to the mirrors themselves... Two screws secure the mirror to the housing. Once these are removed the mirror and bezel come right off exposing the inside. As delivered, the Raydots have a carriage bolt captured inside the mirror mount, which is riveted to the mirror body with a metal plate inside for reinforcement. Drill out the rivets carefully to disassemble the mirror body/mount.



With the rivets drilled out, determine the center of the raised area of the mount (where the bolt was trapped) and drill a small pilot hole. Using a 1" hole saw, carefully drill using your pilot hole to start. The aluminum mirror bodies are very thin - be sure not to bend or crush them.



Incidentally, the hemispherical spring mount from the inside of the Miata base fits quite well inside the Raydot mount. The hole, however is made to fit the smaller bolt. Snap the washer out and discard it. Using a 1/4" drill bit, enlarge the hole in the plastic piece so the new bolt will fit.



With the 1" hole cut, reattach the mount to the mirror body using rivets. I actually used a small amount of clear silicone to glue the mount in place to make it easier to keep everything aligned while installing the rivets. To allow for additional adjustment, use the round file to elongate the slots in the mirror mount and allow the bolt to move farther forward and back.



Once the mount is secured with the rivets (you'll note we tossed the steel reinforcemnt plate - it's not really necessary and it's a PITA to drill through), use the Dremel and sanding drums again to grind out the hole in the body so that it's flush against the cavity in the mount. Follow up with the round file to deburr the hole so you don't cut yourself later.



All that's left now is assembly... The bolt comes up through the base, then the mirror, the hemispherical piece, spring, flat washer and lock nut. Tighten the lock nut enough that the mirror can be adjusted with a small amount of effort. If you get it too tight the mirror will be very hard to move. Too loose and the mirror will get knocked out of adjustment too easily.



Reinstall the mirror glass, mount and enjoy!



 

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Discussion Starter #5
looks good. Does it vibrate?
Car's in pieces so haven't had them out on the road, but see no reason they would vibrate any more or less than a stock manual mirror (which was never a problem on my prior cars). They certainly feel plenty solid. Suspect the only way it might be an issue is if you don't get the nut sufficiently tight.
 

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Thanks. I saw your picture posted in the I made it myself thread, and was hoping you'd make a how-to.
I'd like to change my mirrors, but don't want to spend a ton of $$.

I would guess you get a better view rearward by mounting them sideways like you did, right?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I would guess you get a better view rearward by mounting them sideways like you did, right?
Honestly I'd expect you to get a wider range of useable view by mounting them vertically... If you're adjusting your mirrors correctly you don't want to see the side of the car (it's wasting part of the mirror).

The mount provides 360 degrees of rotation capability around the axis of the shaft, but limited "tilt". Mounted horizontally the rotation goes up and down and the "tilt" side to side. Positioning the mirror up/down doesn't usually require much adjustment from center so the tilt limitation would be less restrictive that way. Mounted horizontally like I did the limited "tilt" restricts the amount you can adjust them side to side but you get unlimited adjustment up/down that you don't really need.

That said I was able to adjust them to a position that's fine for me. Really these mirrors are so small anyway this is very much a "form over function" mod - if you're looking for the best possible rearward view this isn't for you. Not recommended for folks who have the bad habit of not checking over their shoulder before changing lanes.
 

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So I wanted to do Raydot mirrors on my car but I'm not too keen on the standard method of mounting by making an adapter plate out of flat stock to allow the mirror to screw to the stock holes - don't think it looks that great and don't want to have to take my door panels off and unbolt the mirrors every time an adjustment is needed.
Erroneous. I just have to take the mirrors off. Not once did I have to take the door panels off.

And with convex mirrors, I never have to make any adjustments on mine.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Erroneous. I just have to take the mirrors off. Not once did I have to take the door panels off.

And with convex mirrors, I never have to make any adjustments on mine.
Sorry to offend...?

Personally I'd rather not have to take ANYTHING apart to make an adjustment.

I got the convex mirrors too... Didn't know they came with a force field that keeps idiots from bumping them in parking lots and such... They should put that in the description!
 

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Bringing this back from the dead, as its been in my bookmarks for a rather long time... I've been planning on doing this but was concerned about destroying my mirrors. Ended up getting a second set, so took them apart last night.

Thought I would share - use a hair dryer or a heat gun on the thin metal socket before you pry on it. The first of the two took a while to figure out how to get out. After heating up the second, I had it out in around 3 minutes. (The heat causes the glue to become a bit more elastic and stretchy.)
 
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