Replace side mirror on 500SL


#1

My husband’s mid-life crisis car, a convertible Mercedes 500 SL, needs to have the driver-side mirror replaced (just the glass). The replacement mirror costs over $500! Would it be advisable to just cut a regular mirror to fit and glue it in (we don’t need the fancy heater attached)?



Should we just pay to get the replacement part?



Any ideas are greatly appreciated!


#2

Call your local glass shops. I had a side mirror (just the glass) replaced a few years ago for under $100. If the housing is not damaged you only need the glass, and it should not be hard to find someone to cut a new piece for you.

The shop that did mine was just a regular glass shop, not an automotive shop.


#3

There are also places that will sell you a glue on mirror that you glue directly over what’s left of the old mirror. You can order the right size specifically for the vehicle. Just do an internet search. www.auto-glass.com/carmirror.htm is one of many sites that came up when I searched using the keywords broken car mirror glass.


#4

Unfortunately, I do think that is a dealer part and you will have to replace the entire thing. You may be able to find a used part, do you have a local euro car junkyard? I wouldn’t hack it with replacement glass, especially if you ever plan on selling the car. If you are worried about a $500 mirror, you will not want to own this car when it needs real work.


#5

Thanks all for the help - it is really appreciated!

And yes - isn’t it rather sad…We can either afford the car or the lifestyle - just not both. The next humiliating post will be about whether or not to use duct tape to fix the top : )


#6

I know what you mean, I just paid $1400 to fix the AC in my wife’s.


#7

E-Bay is now showing three 107 chassis mirrors running from about $40 to just over $100.
Recycle yards would also be a good source. Try Silverstar or Patomic German Auto recyclers.

If the car is a 500SL instead of a 560SL, then it is a euro model. Certain parts will have to be euro only, but most body parts (other than bumpers) will just be for the 107 chassis.

Replacement soft tops can be had from around $370 to $500. Replacing the top is NOT an easy DIY job. In fact, we won’t even try them anymore. Find a good automotive upholstery shop who deals in soft tops.
A duct tape patch, when done from the inside and a fabric glue on the outside will hold for a couple of weeks. When the top starts to disintegrate from age and sun damage it’s time to bite the bullet and replace it. The rear windows demise can’t be far behind.

Benzman


#8

Benzman, I assume the OP is talking about a U.S. spec R129, 500SL (1990-93), not a R107. I don’t think they gave the year.


#9

And Craig, you would probably be exactly right. I’m too use to working on the older chassis I guess. The euro 107’s were nice cars though…

But again, even the 129 chassis parts can be had at specialty recycle yards for a fraction of new factory parts. I’m not always a fan of used parts over factory new, but in many cases, like this mirror, it’s the right choice.

Benzman


#10

I’m not always a fan of used parts over factory new, but in many cases, like this mirror, it’s the right choice.

I agree, if they can find a good one, they’ll save a couple of $100. I found them on Adsit for $314 without the housing if that helps:

http://www.adsitco.com/category.asp?CID=220


#11

I have a 2002 Park Ave whose driver side mirror was very cloudy. The dealer wanted about $200 to replace same. I had a local glass/mirror shop remove it and replace it with plain mirror.They cut the mirror to the exact shape of the old one. The heater wires were left inside unconnected. The job was perfect. You would never be able to tell the difference. They removed everything, installed the mirror and put everything back on. Total cost was $20. That is what I did and never looked back.


#12

A glass shop can cut a mirror to fit and install it for you. I had this done on a Volvo for about $35. It took them 5 minutes. I can’t see any reason you’d need “factory original” in this case. If it were the whole mirror assembly I’d say try to find a used one on Ebay or in a junk yard, but just the glass, no way.


#13

Yes that can be done, and it looks sorta “OK” if they do a decent job. The previous owner did that to one of my cars, it was a PITA to undo it and make it correct.


#14

If it’s done right it won’t look “sorta” OK, you would not see the difference.


#15

I could probably live with it if it looked and functioned exactly like the original. These guys were talking about disconnecting the heater, etc.; that wouldn’t work for me. Also, I don’t know if the correct glass has any factory markings that would be lost with this replacement.


#16

The factory Mercedes mirror has a special coating to help prevent glare. That is why it’s so expensive to replace.

I suppose if the owner is not concerned about keeping the car original a piece of regular mirror glass could be put in. A 500SL is still a very nice car, and I’d hate to do that if it was mine.

A replacement Mercedes mirror glass can be had for about $320, with .3 hours labor (20 min.) required to install it. It’s then done right.

I’m seeing where there were some problems with the heat element in the outside mirrors of the 129’s. This caused the mirror to darken over time. Because of this I recant my advise to buy a used one from a recycler, and get the new style glass from the dealer.

Benzman


#17

I’m seeing where there were some problems with the heat element in the outside mirrors of the 129’s. This caused the mirror to darken over time. Because of this I recant my advise to buy a used one from a recycler, and get the new style glass from the dealer.

I hadn’t heard about that, good info. Does the dealer sell just the glass?


#18

Yes, and it should be on the shelf for a 129. Probably about $30 to have them install it.

This is not just a Mercedes problem either. A lot of the newer cars are coming with self dimming anti glare outside mirrors sitting in front of a heating element.
As near as I can tell it is going to be about $400 to replace these mirror glasses in any of these cars.

Such is progress.

Benzman


#19

Such is progress.

LOL, I don’t have that problem with my 82.


#20

I have bought several made-to-fit mirror glasses from Safelite Autoglass. I’ve even bought a couple for Benzes, but not a 500SL. The mirrors are made to fit, and glue pads are provided for attachment. they have both heated and unheated ones. The number I use is 316-262-2000. They make them at another location, and may be willing to tell you where you can buy them in your area, or ship one to you. I’ve yet to pay more that $15 wholesale, even for a heated one.