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Austin Vert's Power Mirror Tutorial - Part 6


Hi and welcome. We will deal with setting up the mirror motors in this tutorial. You will recall we did a motor alighnment test when we were making our brackets. The plastic rattle can top we used represented the Thunderbird mirror motors that we will be using in my invention. The design of these motors and the original backing mirror plates works in well with our needs to bring the project off. The motors themselves are well designed, robust and functional. For example, you will notice on the back of the motor an arrow and lettering which says TOP and is molded into the plastic. This arrow is important for us because it tells us we need to keep the arrow at 12 o"clock when we mount the motor to the face of the upper bracket. This is true for both left and right mirrors. Also, exactly where this arrow is located, you will see a notched line in the motor bezel as well.This notched line mates or marries up exactly with a little plastic spline or tab which is molded into the bezel of the plastic mirror backup plate. On that subject, you will find several plastic tabs on the circular bezel of the plastic backup plate.

The idea is that this circular bezel mates into another circular bezel on the motor and presses in and they click together. This action will hold the mirror glass and backup plate on quite securely at all times. If you ever need to remove the backing plate, then it will prize away from the motor housing by gently but firmly placing the tips of your fingers under one edge of the backing plate and prizing the plate upwards. When doing this, try to support the other end of the backing plate as well at the same time. That puts much less strain on the motor housing and backup plate.TIP: Try and minimize the number of times you remove and refit the mirror glass and backup plate as this will end up weakening the tabs on the circular plastic bezel and give you a weaker clamping grip of the backup plate to the motor itself. Also, on the back of the mirror motors, you will see a small rectangular raised piece where the wires come out of the motor body. We will talk more about that shortly.


So, getting started, here's how it works. The original T Bird motors were attached to the original housings using three small but long threaded bolts that go through the motor itself. You won't be using these original bolts, but buying new ones.They will be a fine threaded bolt featuring a phillips domed head. The size will be - 3mm / 1/8 inch and be 35mm / 1 3/8 inches long and 50mm / 2 inches long. The 35 mm bolts get used for the drivers side and the 50mm bolts are used for the passengers side.

With my invention i could have just used normal nuts to go with these bolts. But a much better idea was to make up another gal steel locking plate 3mm / 1/8 inch thick , that would accept all three bolts. This locking plate is a smarter way to go all 'round. That sits right behind the back of the upper bracket. Now as i said before, the idea is to have the motor mounted to the upper bracket face and be able to move around slightly in all directions for making final adjustments. The locking plate idea lets you do this quite well. Also, we need to take care of that raised wire tab at the back of the motor. This is done by inventing a circular spacer plate which is glued to the back of the motor housing. This spacer or packer plate levels up the back of the motor and provides a good even surface for the motor to move around the face of the upper bracket.

So we need to construct these two components first up.You will see drawings for both items. Lets make the locking plate first up.Taking your gal steel flat bar which is 50mm / 2 inches wide x 3mm / 1/8 thick , cut your paper template out with scissors and place on flat bar. Mark out with fine marker pen the outline of the shape i have given you. Now cut out the shape i have given you using a hacksaw or jigsaw. You could use a hole saw for this application - i tried to but it would not cut successfully through the 3 mm thick steel properly at all. (A top quality, new blade was used there with no luck)Looking back on it now, i have come to learn that you MUST use cutting oil at all times when you are using a hole saw to cut metals. That brings success. So cut out the shape, and sand down to the edge lines, and smooth off your edges. You will see on my drawings that i have provided the location of the three motor mounting holes. These should be accurate and line up with the holes on the motor housing.

But i think a better way would be to place your locking plate behind the motor, hold in position while you dip the old bolts in some wet paint, pop them through the three holes with wet paint on the end tip of the bolt, and mark the locking plate in that fashion with the wet paint. That is a very accurate way of making sure your holes line up very well. Next, center punch these marked out holes, and drill out the steel ready for thread tapping.Your drill bit size will be 2.5mm / 11/32 inch. Drill the three holes out, then proceed to tap the holes using a 3mm / 1/8 inch tap thread. Now try the bolts you will be using into the locking plate and see how they line up coming through the motor housing. These threads are fine pitched as well.

Now we will make the spacer plate for the back of the motor housing. Again, see my template design, cut it out and keep aside. The material we will use for this spacer will be aluminium sheet plate 2mm / 1/16 thick. This thickness is ideal for clearing the raised tab on the back of the motor housing. The finished diameter will be 60mm 2 3/8 inches. Using your 65mm / 2 9/16 inch hole saw blade, cut out a perfect circle in the plate 60mm in dia. Best to use your drill press for this job. Now smooth down edge with wire wheel. Using my paper template, mark out where the notch out will be for the raised tab.Hack saw out the notched area to be remove and use your flat file to smooth out uneven edges. Also, mark out where the motor bolt holes are located and using a 9mm / 3/8 inch drill bit, drill out the three bolt holes. Now we are ready to glue the backup plate to the back of the motor housing.Sand both surfaces with 80 grit dry paper, mix up the epoxy glue, and apply to both surfaces. Position up the backing plate carefully to the motor housing. You can spring clamp these pieces together if you want. That then when done, will see these components finished, and ready for the install later on. BTW - You will have noticed that i have chosen steel for my locking plates instead of aluminium. The reason why is because aluminium threads are too weak to take up the torque needed to tighten up the fine threaded bolts securely.

In my next tutorial we will be building up the two mirror backup plates that will take on the mirror glasses.







Wow that is so awesome stuff Greg! Thank you very much for sharing this whit us All 😎 Regards Lars 🇩🇰

So I'm a proud owner of one Mach 1 73! Regards Lars DK73whistling
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