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BMW M3 CSL BMW E46 3-Series
M3 Mirror Install
Written by: Jordan Buser (http://www.performanceix.com) September 13, 2001

Tools Needed:
BMW Part #: 51 16 7 893 468 - Right Side Mirror Housing (for coupes with power seats)
BMW Part #: 51 16 7 893 597 - Left Side Mirror Housing (for coupes with power seats)
BMW Part #: 51 16 7 893 553 - Right Side Mirror Glass
BMW Part #: 51 16 7 893 558 - Left Side Mirror Glass
10mm Socket Wrench
Wire Cutters (if 330ci)
Dental Pick (not necessary, but helpful)
Screwdriver with star and flat head bit
Electrical Tape

Estimated time: 1 Hour


1. The first thing you are probably going to want to do is actually to secure the glass to the motor mechanism in the mirror housing. There should be an adhesive surface with some temporary paper. Take a look at how the back side of the mirror glass interfaces with the motor mount. Notice that there is a small loop that can be rotated to slide the lock over the pegs of the mirror glass once they are in position. You are going to want to position the glass so that you can stick a small screwdriver in there and rotate that lock to lock the glass in position. Remove the adhesive paper and place the mirror on the mount. Use a small screwdriver to turn that loop and lock the mirror in place. Repeat for both sides.
2. To disassemble the door, start by removing the triangular plastic piece that sits on the cabin side of the rear view mirror base. Get your fingers behind this piece on the top and pull out. Once that pin is released, slide the piece up and pull out to remove (see picture to understand pin and slot location).
3. The next step is to remove the door panel. This can only be accomplished by removing the five star-head screws securing the panel. The image shows the location of the screws. The three in the armrest can simply be unscrewed, but the other two are a little tougher to get at. Behind the door handle, you will find a small circular cap that is hiding one of the screws you need to remove. This is where the dental pick would come in handy. Personally, I used a very small flat head screwdriver but scratching this piece could be done easily if you are not very careful and using a dental pick to remove it would be easiest.
4. The other difficult one is behind the plastic piece that says "AIRBAG". Before you start, look at the image of the piece out of the car to understand how it secures itself in the door panel.
5. Take a flat head screwdriver and insert it behind the piece on one side, perpendicular to the edge of the piece (see image). Push in to compress the clip and pry the piece out. You should be able to get one side out and then move to the other and remove it in a similar fashion. It may take some coercing, but the piece should come out relatively easily.
6. Once the screws are removed, the only thing holding the door panel intact is a series of clips. Start in the corner of the door panel where you previously removed the triangular plastic piece and simply pull the panel off. It will almost sound like you are breaking the clips as you work your way across the top of the panel and disengage the six clips, but do not worry, they are just noisy. Once you have disengaged the top clips, work your way across the bottom in a similar fashion.
7. Remove the panel by pulling it up and away from the door (to accomodate the lock knob on the top of the panel) and remove the two wire harnesses and the cable connecting the door handle. The image to the right shows the door panel completely removed (pay no attention to the fact that the triangular plastic piece is still intact, we only discovered after the fact that this piece should probably come off first).
8. Disconnect the wire harness connecting your stock mirrors to the memory module (I think that is what it is) mounted on the inside of the door. Remove the two 10mm bolts on the cabin side of the mirror base. These are the only bolts securing the mirror so be prepared to remove your mirror at this point. Remove the mirror and try to weasel the round circular plug through the opening it passes through. Bolt your new M3 mirror (using ~25ft lbs of torque) on in the same manner that your stock mirror was bolted (with the wiring running through of course) and get ready for wiring...
9. OK, now for the wiring... my car is a MY2001 330ci with a 12-pin connector running my mirrors whereas I am told the MY2000 328cis and 323cis have the 6-pin connector that the E46 M3 mirrors come with. If you have a MY2000 323ci or 328ci, your job has been greatly simplified and you must now simply connect the new M3 wire harness (6-pin). If you have a 330ci do not worry, it will not be that much more difficult. Of the nine wires running to the stock 330ci mirrors, four are useless (for our purposes): blue, orange, brown, and white. The remaining wires (red, green, gray, and two black) will match up perfectly with the new M3 wires and all you have to do is expose the copper wires and simply match up the colors. Wind the two (red-red, green-green, gray-gray, and two black-black) together and use your electrical tape to mask the connection off.
10. All that is left to do is reverse the previous steps by putting the door panel back on (making sure that all of the plastic clips snap back into place), screwing in the five screws, replacing the caps (circular and AIRBAG), and replacing the triangular plastic piece. Clearly, this piece should be replaced by inserting the bottom post first, sliding the piece down to lock in, and then pushing the top in. This should be apparent since you pulled it out paying attention to the way the posts work.