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Side mirror ball & socket too loose

The side mirror on my truck uses a ball and socket adjustment method. Over the years the ball is now too small for the socket, and the mirror won’t stay in the proper orientation, moves when I go over a bump. The ball is about 1/3 inch diameter. I of course realize that I could just buy a new mirror. But any ideas for an inexpensive fix? I’ve already tried sanding the ball & knocking the edge of the socket with a punch to better stake the ball in place, neither was effective.

stick it with a toothpick or 2. Pound it in a bit.
Then break them off so they are not visible

Good idea. That’s definitely worth a try. No harm done if it doesn’t work.

Adjust it to your liking, then put a couple of spot welds on it. Side benefit, your wife won’t fiddle with the adjustment if she drives your truck!:grin:

Would soft wire work better?

I thought about gluing it in place. The problem is that the folks at Ford in the early 70’s hadn’t quite achieved full comprehension of what happens when somebody walking by knocks into the mirror. Which is something that happens all the time apparently. Now they hide the mirror behind a cowl-like gadget, but then the mirror was just sticking out the side, open to all wh might o bump into it. So I’d worry that any sort of permanent fixation method would result in the entire mirror getting knocked off the side of the truck eventually.

Make a spacer from a small section of shelf liner. Sandwich it between the ball and socket.

That would be a difficult task I think. If there was something I could paint the ball or otherwise apply that would simultaneously make it a little larger and also have a sticky texture, that might work.

I don’t know what it’s made of. But can you drill a hole, tap and use a set screw?

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Thin brass shim stock around the ball.

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That’s what the shelf liner does. What exactly makes it difficult?

With the ball already in the socket how would you then apply shelf liner paper to it?

There’s two choices.

Position the mirror where you want it, then run a bead of clear Gorilla glue around the joint between where the ball/socket meet.

Or? Replace the mirror?



This is more or less what it looks like

Glue it.

If you were restoring the truck, you would need the mirror anyway


It was assembled, it can be disassembled. If that is not possible for you, then why not just buy a generic replacement. It’s not a show truck…


Have to take exception – not on that part specifically – but on general principle. There are numerous mechanical gadgets which were obviously assembled, but can’t be disassembled afterward. At least not without damaging them. Many of the current versions of CV joints are an example.


It’s that type of attitude that will keep you from ever fixing certain things. You may have to heat up a joint to expand a part or know exactly where the hidden from view tabs are located to disassemble something, but I have yet to run across anything I couldn’t take apart, repair and then reassemble. This includes hard-potted electronics assemblies, plastic fused cases etc. Like I said, if it’s not possible for you, then you really only have one choice…

Maybe try one of those ignition control modules that are encased in that epoxy like goo. I don’t think those are going back together the same if you do get it apart.

The mirror, you could probably get apart. The glass may be glued in and have to be heated or something to get the glue to release. Then once you’ve got the glass out, you’ll probably have access to disassemble the rest. But I don’t think I’d go to that kind of trouble to stick shelf paper in there…

One more idea occurs to me. Drill a small hole in the part of the mount where the socket is, toward the ball. Screw a self tapping screw into the hole and tighten it so it holds the ball in place. About 5 minutes’ work and you can always loosen the screw if you need to reposition the mirror…