Mirror mysteries!

The early Wedge cars had some generic aftermarket mirrors (some people claim they were ex-RangeRover) fitted to the doors - in fact, some cars only had one on the driver's door - but as time and fashion dictated, TVR created an aerodynamic-looking pod that mounted at the triangular 'fillet' at the top front of the door.

I believe that some cars had manually-adjustable mirrors fitted in these pods, but our interest here is with the electrically-adjustable variety more commonly encountered.

The pod itself is made from GRP, in two parts: the main shell and the 'bowl' that the mirror sits in. The bowl is secured to the main shell by two self-tapping screws, accessible down the holes visible at diagonal corners. Unfortunately the screws have a tendency to rust and getting the pod apart can  be difficult.

Once the bowl is removed, the electric actuator will be visible; it's held to the bowl by a few screws. Four wires supply the internal electrics; the actuator is marked with the wire colours. The actuator has been identified as having been used on various cars dating back to the late 1980s, including the SAAB 9000! Note the precision bodgery employed by TVR to create an access hole for the wiring in this pod:


Actuator removed from bowl:


If you need to take the pod off the door, first remove the mirror as shown above, then remove the two nuts from inside the pod. You may need to take the interior door trim off to get access to the screw heads while you do so...


Turning to the inside of the car, the mirror controls comprise a three-position rocker switch and a miniature joystick, both mounted on the centre console switch panel. The rocker switch centre position is OFF, with the 'left' and 'right' positions selecting the appropriate mirror to be adjusted. With the switch OFF, operating the joystick will produce an audible 'click' from each mirror, although the mirrors won't move. 

The circuit diagram for the mirrors is here:

The circuit also shows which wire should go to which terminal on the joystick. Wires often get pulled off when rummaging around behind the centre console, and connecting them in the wrong order could produce some odd results! Incidentally, it's scary how time flies when you have a TVR, I see that I drew that circuit several years ago!

The mirror actuator contains a motor and a solenoid. The motor drives a pinion that moves either of two racks attached to the mirror itself; one in the horizontal plane and one in the vertical. The solenoid moves the pinion between the two racks, thus providing both axes of movement using only one motor. Cheap, but effective! The solenoids are wired in parallel and are permanently fed, unlike the motors which are disconnected when the rocker switch is in its centre position, hence the clicking you can hear when moving the joystick is the solenoid moving the pinion back and forward.

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