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157 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

I wasn't planning on doing the mirror delete any time soon... But someone smashed my side mirror and I thought it was a good opportunity to jump on it.

Here is my reaction when I found out about the damage...

First, I just removed the side mirrors and drove around like that until I was done with this DIY mod...

This is an easy DIY mod but it will still take 3~5 days of time. Mostly because there are lots of waiting around for the parts to dry.

I thought I would post the process of what I did here since I haven't seen examples of this kind of side mirror delete process here.

*As always, YOU are responsible for any modification that you do on any vehicle.
*Use safety and take your time and use proper tools and materials.
*Check your state laws about driving around without side mirrors. I am personally waiting for new mirrors to arrive.

You can use this tutorial to remove side panels and unhook side mirror connections

First step is to clean the parts. After disassembling the parts, I soaked side mirror mounts I am going to use in a bucket of warm water with a bit of dishwashing soap in it. This is a technique used to make plastic models but applies directly here.

Make sure you get all the grimes off.

Here are the parts after being cleaned. Leave it out and wipe off water and wait until it dries off.

I should come right out here and say that it is mega important to make sure they have to be completely dried. Something like this step, you can totally cheat and use hair drier. But later steps with bondo and paints, you want to make sure they are completely dried before moving onto next steps.

I also used vinegar to clean off any mineral deposits on the nuts and bolts from the water damage. Just soak it in vinegar for a while and clean it off with water & dry.

Next, I used dremel to cut off the mirror rest part. These side mirror covers are very hard plastics. It used up couple of saw blades (shown in the picture).

Here is what it looks like after you cut them. Don't worry too much about making them flat with the rest of the surface at this point. Just try your best to get it close to it.

This is about how I got close to the flat surface.

Here is what it looks like from the other side. We will be closing up the holes you see here.

Also, at this point, clean the edges of where the cuts were made. You will find some melted plastic parts clinging onto the edge. It's also a good idea to wash it one more time.

Use masking tape to block off the holes.

Again, you don't have to be too careful here. Just make sure all the edges are sealed and the tape is on fairly flat.

I used Bondo to fill up the hole. Here are tools I used.

I also watched few tutorials on Youtube and found this one very useful.

And... here is what it looks like after I filled up all the possible areas that needs to be filled. To be honest, if I have to do this again, I will use resin. It's a lot less viscous and you can just pour them into the holes instead of trying to "caking" them into small holes... As you can see, it becomes very messy.

When it starts to set, it's soft enough to use hard edges and clean off access parts. Especially around where rubber seal will be placed.

I also let it cure over night before moving on to the next step to make sure it was dry enough to sand.

Here is what it looks like after it's dried and masking tape off.

(Continued in part 2 below)

157 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
(Part 2)

Alright~! It's ready to start sanding. I am using one of those electric sanding machine you can buy for about $30. I am using grade 80 sandpaper first.

Sand it down to make it flat to the surface. Left is sanded down surface and right one is before it was sanded down.

Again, ignore small holes and scratches on the surface. The goal here is to sanding it down to have even overall surface.

Here are both parts sanded down. As you can see, there are lots of small holes on the surface.

We will be applying extra amount of bondo on the outside to fill up those holes.

I also decided to save two holes extending from where you use bolts to mount the side cover. I can always patch them in the future and repaint over it easily at this point. But I decided to save them so I can use them to mount mirrors I ordered.

That why I stuck those straws on the holes I am saving.

As mentioned, apply more bondo. BTW, I mixed less harder on the bondo than recommended. I thought this would give me more time to work with it before it starts to set.

After it's completely dry (again, very important), remove the straws and start sending them down again.

At this point, I am moving up the sandpaper grade. Next one I used was 220, 300, 400.

Surface should feel fairly smooth by now. But if you look at it up close, you will still see small holes and scratches.

Here is another picture of unclean surface.

Use filler (Bondo makes these too) to patch them up. It's much softer than Bondo and you want to apply generous amount and press them into the holes for sure.

Now we start high grade sanding. I am using 600 sandpapers here. The surface will start feeling really smooth now. Make sure you sand all surface at this point.

These babies are now ready to paint! Once again, make sure they are completely dry!!!

Here it is after the first coat of primer (still wet).

I applied 4 coats of primers and wet sanded the surface with 1000 grade sandpaper.

And... I painted the black paint on them. I went for about 3 coats of paint.

And... start applying clear lacquer. Here it is after the first coat of lacquer.

And... Voila! here it is after 3 coats of lacquer and all dried!

I can't stress enough to make sure for the paint to be completely dry before applying another coat.

Also at this point, you can use compound to buff the surface. It will make it super shiny. I didn't do super clean job with the surface so I am stopping the surface treatment at this point.

Now... start putting it back together.

Here they are~! You can see the small holes on the side which I wanted to make sure to protect it from water damage.

So... I used those cheap vinyl plugs you can get from hardware stores. Wrap the stem with electrical tape and plugged the holes for now.

Here is what they look like up close.

I found it very difficult to drive around without side mirrors. So until I can install Raydyot replica mirrors I ordered, I am using these for now... It's not perfect but it helps.

While I am at it... here is my interior set up right now...

Well, that's it! Thanks for going through a long page with lots of pictures.

It was a fun project!

resident old fart
2,075 Posts
Great writeup! Just thinking of all those PFM shells laying around after they've had the guts robbed out of them. The angles of the base make them useless to use here in the States but they'd make perfect donors for this project.

1,216 Posts
Nice write up bro, love the results, curious tho on what mirrors look like? Any pics? By the way if you're near Downey you should come by to Bob's Big Boy on Monday night

157 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Very good writeup, and I can't argue that it looks clean, but isn't your rear visibility majorly impaired?
I actually installed Raydyot style mirror over the weekend. I will post a pic soon.

I would love to make it to OC for the meet... But I am in the San Fernando valley... A bit too far... :(

Sorry for the bandwidth pic issue btw... I gotta switch to a better pic hosting service...
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