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Rear view mirror trim replacement

2530 Views 9 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  dlearl476
If you have had experience with replacing the trim on a W163 rear view mirror, please post your insights here. I am trying to figure out how to remove the trim from the mirror without breaking it, and I've had no luck so far.

Below is a picture of the trim piece I am trying to remove.

The mirror in our ML broke and I asked the dealer to take a look at it. I had thought it was just dislodged. They broke it even more, and completely destroyed the trim. As a new mirror was quoted as $1800 (can you believe it!), I bought a used one off of eBay. It didn't have trim and, I did not realize that the trim is not available separately. I put the original broken trim up with double sided tape, but I've been searching eBay for a replacement mirror since. It is hard to find a tan auto dimming mirror with space for the rain sensor and intact trim for a reasonable price. So I finally found the pictured mirror (not auto dimming) for less than $30 on eBay. Now I am trying to figure out how to switch out the trim on this mirror to the mirror in the car.

Any help will be appreciated!


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Thanks for the reply. I already have that document. I am trying to remove the big trim piece, as in the picture I attached.
Remove the overhead control panel first.
The mirror is not installed - the picture I uploaded was of the mirror I am trying to remove the trim piece of. Again, I am trying to remove the trim piece from the rest of the mirror. This is why I'm hoping someone with experience of doing it before can chime in. If someone has done it before, they should know what I am talking about.
The larger trim cover appears to be clipped onto the metal plate attached to the spring clip.

Stick a wedge between the edge of the plastic trim and the spring clip, then pry them apart. Then you should be able to slide the front edge of the metal plate rearward, out of the clips on the trim piece. Check on your old one before you break the replacement.
Thanks for the reply! I got the plate out of the two clips, but the piece still seems to be wedged around the "neck" of the metal piece. You can't slide it down far before the neck cover part gets caught on the ball. I'm not sure if it's possible to remove it without taking the mirror apart. I'll have to keep messing with it until I get it. Or break it.
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Finally got the mirror sorted

So after many months, I finally got to tinkering with the mirror again. I was able to assemble a properly working mirror out of three mirrors I had on hand. (1) My original auto dimming mirror, where the ball joint mechanism broke. (2) The replacement auto-dimming mirror that I bought and have been using since. And (3), the manual mirror with the intact large trim piece that I got on eBay for ~$25.

My original mirror had two issues - the clip around the socket was loose, and it appears that the dealer epoxied something in there may years ago when I complained about a loose mirror. It was not possible to put the clip back. Additionally, there are two metal clips that hold the ball & socket to the rest of the mirror. These metal clips clip to plastic tabs. One of these tabs were broken off and the metal clip gone, on my mirror. I suspect this happened the last time I took the ML in for the mirror and had to get the replacement.

First of all, it is not possible to take the trim piece off without separating the metal ball from the plastic socket. The ball is held in the socket by a metal clip. This is what came loose on my original mirror and was not possible to clip back in. Every time I needed to separate this, I put the mechanism in the freezer (after taking the mirror apart), and then heated up the plastic socket with a hair dryer. That made it pop out fairly easily. I did the same to pop it back in - cooled the metal ball and heated up the plastic socket.

Secondly, it is very easy to take these mirrors apart. No tools needed. The two halves of the mirror simply snap apart. There are little plastic clips all around. This allows access to the inside. The mounting mechanism (ball and socket) is attached to the rest of the mirror with two metal clips, which, again, are very easily released by hand. Everything is plastic, so I was very careful not to break any of the clips. They seem a little brittle after all these years.

Thirdly, it never gets easy to pop the mirror off the windshield. I was able to do it twice as I didn't realize how broken my original mirror was the first time I fixed it. Both times I was able to pop it off without removing the overhead console. I was able to get a screwdriver in to release the clip, even with the trim piece on (but without the top trim piece). But that said, I would much rather take ten mirrors apart and put them back together, than pop one off the windshield.

My final mirror is made up of the ball joint mechanism of #2, the glass and electronics of #1 and the trim cover of #3 :smile
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