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2006 R53 Hyper Blue/White Cooper S
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks

Dont doubt this has been covered somewhere but am interested in fitting an auto dim rear view mirror to my car if it's an easy plug and play thing to do?

Is it correct that the facelift car already has the wiring to operate the auto dim function vs the pre fl where the wiring needs to be run?

Appreciate any advice, as if it's a simple swap I might just go get one. TIA (y)
 

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2006 R53 Hyper Blue/White Cooper S
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Discussion Starter #2
......so I quickly dropped the mirror and it seems my existing wiring harness has three wires....with three wires going into the existing mirror (for the remote locking sensor I can only guess).

Does this mean it likely doesnt have the necessary pre wiring to power it? My car is a Chilli Pack car but otherwise pretty stock.
 

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2006 R53 Hyper Blue/White Cooper S
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Discussion Starter #3
For anyone interested I've bit the bullet and bought an auto dim mirror from an early R56....covering the process and a basic how-to (assuming it all works as planned) in my project thread
 

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2006 R53 Hyper Blue/White Cooper S
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Discussion Starter #4
I've sorted this by the way, mirror installed, cabled and working as one would hope.

I can quickly confirm a few things but all the key detail is in my project thread......

The facelift isnt pre-wired for an auto dim mirror (well my 2006 car wasnt) so it isnt a simple plug and play as some web resources would suggest.

Due to the facelift car having its remote locking receiver installed within the rear view mirror itself (rather than a dedicated module sat in the headliner as per Pre FL cars) this does mean that there is a permanent 12v feed and ground wiring already present at the mirror care of the factory loom for the remote locking receiver.

The R56 rear view mirror is exactly the same as that fitted to the R50/R53 facelift, the only physical difference being that the remote locking receiver board in the R56 mirror is of a different type (the RF frequency used on the R56 is different). Therefore an R56 mirror can be used, but it will require for the remote locking receiver to be swapped for the one in your existing R50/R53 mirror. In summary, if you bought an R50/R53 facelift auto dim mirror you probably wouldn't need to swap the receiver board, on an R56 mirror you definitely have to. R56 mirrors seem more plentiful and cheaper, also you'll have no concern around whether you are buying a facelift or pre FL R50/R53 mirror so in my mind the R56 mirror is the best bet.

The R56 mirror I had employed torx screws on the locking receiver board, with all other screws being phillps head. Worth noting if you buy an R56 mirror as you'll need a suitable small torx driver to remove the board.

No wiring modification needs to be carried out on the cars wiring itself to make this work. Simply once the mirror is popped open you need only splice the orange wire running to the remote locking board (the permanent 12v live for the remote locking) with the red wire running to the auto dimming board on the back of the mirror glass (what would be the 12v power feed for the auto dimming board from the factory). Simply put you jumper the auto dim circuit onto the existing remote locking circuit thus providing it with a permanent 12v live feed from the remote locking circuit. I dont know for certain but pretty confident this is ultimately fed from a fused 10A connection for the central locking from the fuse board. To perform the jumper you simply cut the red wire within the mirror itself and can either scotch lock it to the orange 12v wire or if preferable soldier it to the orange wire and wrap/heat shrink it. I went scotch lock as it was quick, easy and if done properly no less of a job. There is a picture of how this is done from one of my compadres in my project thread.

In terms of draw backs over the factory installation there are two, but in my mind pretty meaningless as they have no real impact on real world functionality.....

1. The mirror is permanently powered, not switched with the ignition so is always on regardless of the ignition state. Not a big deal as the intelligence is all within the mirror so during the day (I.e when it isnt dark) it wont dim anyway. I suppose its plausible if someone pulled up behind your car at night with their lights on and left it there for ages it would result in a small power draw on the cars 12v system but the likelihood is massively rare and I doubt the drain on the system is big anyway.

2. The mirror will not be deactivated when the car is put in reverse as of course there is no reverse sensing circuit as there would be with a car that came with auto dim from the factory.

You can wire it as per the factory if you are comfortable to run the additional switched 12v and reverse sensing wires from the requisite places but it's a much bigger job, I would say for not a great deal of gain.

Anyway, a low cost, super useful mod if you're like me and missed having an auto dim mirror in your manual dimming facelift car. Note the Pre FL can be done in a similar way, though you need the specific 1st gen pre FL mirror ideally and also the mirror wiring is different. There are three wires in the pre FL mirror and it is necessary to wire the 12v and ground wires for these into the 12v and ground for the clock. It works in exactly the same way.

Note the R52 convertibles are a bit of an oddity as they have their own mirror with a different mount. Also I've been given cause to believe from another R52 owner that the wiring that exists in the R50 and R53 hatches may not exist in the R52's as the locking module may not be in the mirror....so this may not be such a simple task on an R52 sadly.

Hope you find this useful, any questions feel free to put them here or send me a PM.
 

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2006 R53 Hyper Blue/White Cooper S
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Discussion Starter #7
cheeky little mod. (y)
Cheers bud was a bit of an ass to figure out but got there :ROFLMAO:

Anyone without the visibility pack that misses not having an auto dip mirror just hope this helps them out (y)(y)
 

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When I had my E46 M3, I remember a very common problem with the auto dipping mirror being that the fluid would leak over time rendering it useless. There was a company who did a replacement part for a fraction of the OEM. They were called something like 'mirror man'. I replaced my door mirrors (blue tinted with a magnified section and compatible with the heating element) and the interior auto dim. I remember the door mirrors were something like £10 a side. BMW of course wanted something like £100 per side.
I bet if you google E46 mirror replacement you'll find him. Worth referencing for future requirements or for anyone now who needs a mirror.
 
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