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Open Roads Forum  >  Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)

 > Mirror folds up in high winds: solved (but not pretty)

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profdant139

Southern California

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Posted: 03/18/20 07:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you have a fancy truck with rock-solid built-in extension mirrors for towing, stop reading. This post is a waste of your time. But if you use clip-on mirrors, this might be of interest.

Most (and maybe all?) side mirrors on trucks are designed to pivot when pushed. I'm not sure why -- maybe for tight parking spaces? Usually, the pivot capability is unimportant, as far as I can tell.

But there is a downside to this feature: sometimes, when there is a bad headwind and a two-lane highway and oncoming truck traffic, the cumulative gust of wind will push on the extension mirror, which causes the entire driver’s side mirror to suddenly pivot inward toward the side of my truck.

This collapse is not a fatal problem, but it is startling, and it is annoying to have to roll down my window and re-position the mirror until the next gust comes along. (Pro tip – if you are wearing a baseball cap, take it off and tuck it under your leg before you open the window, or else it could fly off your head and out the window. Don’t ask how I know this.)

So, what to do about this problem? I tried a little wooden wedge to keep the mirror from pivoting. Sometimes that works, for a while, till the vibration causes the wedge to fall out.

The other day, I realized that if I could make a little block of wood to fit into the channel between the truck and the mirror housing, that would prevent the mirror from pivoting. Here is what the channel looks like – notice that the sides are not at 90 degree angles and the channel is not symmetrical:

[image]
[image]Click For Full-Size Image.

So here is the small block of scrap wood that I fabricated to fit into that channel – I apologize that is such an ugly piece of wood, but it’s a prototype. If it works in a really windy environment, I may make it out of nicer wood:

[image]
[image]Click For Full-Size Image.

Notice the upper right corner of the block – I had to glue on a small wedge to fill a gap due to the asymmetrical geometry of the channel. And also, one of the edges of the block had to be rounded with a wood rasp to fit more precisely into the contours of the channel.

Also, note the groove along the top of the block – it is for a cable tie to hold the block in place.

So here is the block in the channel, without the cable tie:

[image]
[image]Click For Full-Size Image.

And here is the block with the cable tie in the groove:

[image]
[image]Click For Full-Size Image.

I think this will work – I shoved pretty hard on the mirror and it would not pivot inward. I hope this helps someone with a similar problem.


2012 Fun Finder X-139 "Boondock Style" (axle-flipped and extra insulation)
2013 Toyota Tacoma Off-Road (semi-beefy tires and components)
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Lwiddis

Monterey, California

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Posted: 03/18/20 08:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good idea. Spray paint it black and no but you will see it.


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watt solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL flag pole. Prefer boondocking, USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state camps. Bicyclist14 yr. Army vet-11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad


Naio

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Posted: 03/18/20 08:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice!

FYI, I think the pivoting mirrors are for going through narrow spaces and car washes.

I had to fold my mirrors in to make it between two fence posts, a few days ago [emoticon].


3/4 timing in a DIY van conversion. Backroads, mountains, boondocking, sometimes big cities for a change of pace.


Yeti plus

S.W. Ontario

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Posted: 03/18/20 09:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have the big GM mirrors on my truck, that extend out for towing. Some of my younger friends thought they looked like Dumbo the Flying Elephant ears on the side of the truck. Every time we go on a ferry, the mirrors get folded in, so people can walk past.
on last summer's trip to Newfoundland and Labrador, we had 14 boat rides of various lengths and pulled the mirrors in on all of them. I haven't had the same problem as you but I do like the handy work. When you make the keeper, use a black cable tie, as they usually have UV stabilizers that the natural ones don't have.
Brian


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Old-Biscuit

Verde Valley

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Posted: 03/18/20 09:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Your correct........it ain't pretty

Maybe stuff some weather strip foam between arm & base of mirror using a plastic putty knife.
Take up the looseness and provide some resistance

????

*Pivot posts wear out.


Is it time for your medication or mine?


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profdant139

Southern California

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Posted: 03/18/20 09:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hmmm . . . I forgot about ferries. Someday, when this silly bug goes away, we are heading back to British Columbia, and I will need to pivot the mirrors.

Yeti, great point about the black cable ties.

And Old Biscuit, the ugly lumpy plywood block is doubly offensive to me -- I am a reasonably skilled woodworker, and I usually work in oak or walnut. Construction grade plywood scrap is an abomination, but this is just a prototype, I keep telling myself. [emoticon]

MrWizard

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Posted: 03/19/20 12:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A nice polished finish on a piece of Ebony colored wood
Will help you feel better about it


I can explain it to you.
But I Can Not understand it for you !

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steveh27

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Posted: 03/19/20 04:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It may be similar to mine on my 1997 Dodge ram van MH. I removed the cover and there were screws to adjust the tightness of the swivel. One seemed stripped. The dealer wanted to sell me the whole unit for $100's. I bought the next larger size screw and a tool that reamed the hole to that size, put it together and it works great for about $15.

gbopp

The Keystone State

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Posted: 03/19/20 04:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Be proud of it, it's a Redneck Repair. And it gets the job done. [emoticon]

drsteve

Michigan

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Posted: 03/19/20 07:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Pulling the mirror in allows me to get close enough to reach the drive thru ATM without undoing my seat belt and leaning out the window.


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