\ How To Tighten Up Loose "Tow Mirrors"
How To Tighten Up Loose "Tow Mirrors"
Last Updated: Feb 24, 2015
This fix is for the members that have the "tow mirrors" or "large mirrors" on your truck.
If your mirrors are loose and the wind pushes them around when your driving down the road, then this is the "fix" for them.
What will happen on these is the "head" that is on the aluminum "pole" will not have enough grease on it or the lube has dried up and they get hard to rotate on the pole then when trying to rotate them, the #40 torx bolt in the bottom of the pole will either loosen or the "star" washer will dig into the aluminum pole and then the pole rotates and gouge's or grinds some material off the bottom of the aluminum pole and it will be loose from then on.......unless you pull it apart and fix it.
The mirror "head" is really just pushed straight down onto the aluminum "pole' that is secured to the mirror "arm" by way of a Torx #40 flat head machine screw that is installed on the bottom of the "pole"
The first thing to do is to get the "head" off of the "pole".
You might want to spray some WD40 or similar under the mirror head where it is slide onto the pole. This will lubricate the pole so you can slide the head upward and off of the pole.......it is just slid down onto it, so you should be able to pull it off.
You can also tilt the mirror glass all the way down so you have a slight opening at the top that you can shine a flashlight into and see the top of the pivot pole and direct some WD40 onto it to help in sliding the head off the pole.
If your having trouble getting it to pull upward, you might want to let that WD40 soak in some. Also, removing the mirror from the door so you can turn it upside down might help as well.
Here's a picture showing a head almost removed from the aluminum pivot pole.
You can also see the flat head T40 screw in the bottom of the mirror arm........that connection is what you will need to tighten back up, because more than likely, it is rotating at that point and you don't want it to!
The mirror head should rotate on the aluminum pivot pole, not the pivot pole on the arm!
Here is the pivot pole that is removed from the mirror arm......that T40 screw is going to be tough to loosen at first, so resist the urge to hole the pivot pole with a pair of vice grips or channel lock pliers! You do not want to mark up that pivot pole!!
You may even want to try and loosen that T40 screw BEFORE you try and pull the head off the pole....this will give you something to "hold the pivot pole with".
You can see here how that star washer (that is there to help keep the pivot pole from turning) will chew into the soft aluminum pivot pole if the connection to the mirror arm is loosened. See the aluminum bits?
Another thing NOT TO DO is.......don't try to loosen these torx head screws that are inside the mirror head!
You may think that if you loosen these, you can pivot the head on the pole easier.......Don't do it! The mirror head will be forever loose and it will be trash......ask me how I know this!!
Here are those torx head screws.....LEAVE THEM BE!
And the mirror head after it is slide off the pivot pole.
When putting this back together, you want to spray some white lithium grease into the pole hole, as this is the connection that you want the pivot action to take place......not on the T40 bolt at the bottom of the pole!
If you get the mirror head off and you need to use a pair of pliers to hole the pivot pole while you loosen the T40 bolt in the bottom of it, make sure you first remove the plastic "pivot limiter" and grasp the pole at the very bottom so if the pliers do leave a mark (and they will!) it will be below the point where it pivots. If the pole is scarred up any where it is designed to pivot, then you wont have a smooth pivoting mirror!
Here you can see the plastic "limiter" and how it will slide off the pole once you get the head off and then use pliers to hole the pole.
It also helps to use a ratchet and socket with a T40 bit in it to loosen and tighten the T40 bolt......it's in there tight usually and you want it tight when your done with it also.
When putting mine back together, I used a small dab of red threadlocker on the T40 bolt as well....
After the pivot pole is tightened again, mack sure to lube the pivot hole in the mirror head.....I used white lithium grease here.
On the pole too!
Put the plastic limiter back on the pivot pole and then slide the mirror down onto the pivot pole.
And your done!
One thing you can do if the bottom of the pivot pole is scarred up from the star washer, is to file the pivot pole bottom flat again to restore the surface so the star washer can "bite" into it again. Just make sure you keep the bottom of the pole nice and flat if you file it.......if it has any convex to it, then the star washer is not going to bite into it as well as if it were flat!
Hope you enjoy your "new" easy to rotate but no longer free spinning tow mirrors!
Created By: axel breaker earl
Wow, very nice write up sir!
axel breaker earl
I will do some more in the future I'm sure. I do like how MBS has a forum dedicated to write up's from the members.....a very good feature indeed!
thank you very much for the write up, i'll do this as soon as i get time.
Well I have to say its nice to see you Axle on here. I love all the pics you have of everything.
axel breaker earl
Feel free to update this as you do yours also......the more info, the better!
so i tried this today but was unsuccessful. i could not get the mirror off the pole. i filled the thing with zep 40 so i'll give it tonight and try again tomorrow. the mirror rotates much more freely now but still turns with the pole and screw. i even gave the screw some heat and still nothing. hopefully i have better luck tomorrow.
axel breaker earl
You might want to just take the torx screw off/out if you can do this, that way you will be able to slide the plastic limiter off the bottom of the pole and then you can grip the pole better with a pair of Vise Grips or the like.
Did you tilt the mirror glass down to gain interior access and spray some penetrating lube into the top of the pole area?
As usual great write up Ear!!
I thought I was experiencing this exact issue but it turned out my Torx screw was loose, that was it (This is the one Earl says you can/should loosen NOT the others). I say this so others know to simply check that first and if you need to do a rework follow Earls write up above.
taking the screw out was the first thing i tried. its stuck in the pole good. it would just turn the entire pole in the mirror. my only option is to get the mirror off.