Mercedes C280 Mirror Repair RennsportKC
Had this MB C280 come into the shop for a broken trunk spring attachment and a pair of floppy mirrors. The trunk spring was actually easy, the welded tab the spring attaches to broke off, but there was another area for attachment that worked just fine. I had to disassemble the rear trunk, remove the spring, install the spring in the new location, mounting it in the orientation that it will not come off, then reattach the other end. No pictures, it was pretty self explanatory. The other option would have been to try and weld the broken piece back on, but due to the amount of space available, it would have been pretty tough.
The mirrors are made to tilt forward and backwards in case you hit something, so that the mirrors don’t completely break off. They can do this via a heavy spring in the mirror pivot assembly which will return the mirror to the original position and hold it there. The issue with these cars is the spring attachment points will break off and the mirror can flop around with no spring pressure.
After removing the plastic mirror housing, You can see our spring’s outer attachment point. Typically this is the end that breaks off and releases the spring. Unfortunately, both our mirror housings were broken off at the other end.
You can see the broken tab on the main mount area to the body. The spring should be attached to a tab here.
The mirror assembly is extremely expensive, so we have to improvise a repair. If the outer spring attachment breaks, you can zip tie/wire tie to a couple other locations to make it work, unfortunately when the inner breaks, you have less options. Since the aluminum is pretty thick, I drilled a hole in what was left of the attachment point. Then I flipped the spring around so that the open end was able to slide through the hole.
The one of of the spring is looped close, so we will make that the outer end.
The end of the spring could be cut so it would slip through the hole, but since the outer end is typically the end that breaks (hasn’t yet, but likely will eventually), I decided to do the quick fix on that end using zip ties around the main body of the mirror frame, versus putting it back on the fragile holding tab where it might break later. After that, the mirror housing was put back in place, and out the door she goes!
In the end an hour of labor versus an hour of labor plus 2 $600 mirror assemblies, makes this a cheap quick fix. Normally we don’t try repairs like this and always replace with new parts, but sometimes it is hard to justify that cost for something so simple on an older car.