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If a mod could add this to the "FAQ/Howto section", that would be great. This information currently does not exist over there (or I wouldn't have written it). Thanks

Follow this guide at your own risk , I'm not responsible for your screwups and have put warnings in place where I think someone could screw something up.
So, I finally sat down this weekend and took pictures and wrote up text explaining how to replace your autodimming rearview AND the rain sensor for those MKIV cars that are equipped with it.
A point to be clear on: SWAPPING AUTODIMMING MIRRORS EQUIPPED WITH RAIN SENSORS IS NOT THE SAME AS STANDARD MIRRORS. When I posted about doing a writeup on this, there was no shortage of assclowns coming in to tell me "OMG, someone already DID a writeup on this upgrade!"
It's different. Trust me, I've worked on both types of rearviews.
The major point of difference between the autodimming rearview and the regular rearview is simple - the base is completely different, and the autodimming rearview slides down off the base while the regular rearview twists off their respective bases.
This writeup will explain how to replace both your rain sensor and your rearview should the monochromatic fluid burst in yours as it did mine - this has happened to several people... a pic is at the end of this thread for reference.
So, to get started, I just want to post some part numbers as best as I can and show a dissection of the R32 rearview/rain sensor setup in full.
First off, this is the rearview fully assembled with the rain sensor intact, for your reference:

Make a note of the white bundle attached to the top of the mast that hides the wires. This routes all the wires and mounts the wires to the inner roof of your car. There is a better shot of it in these dissection pictures - one from far away and a closeup:


There are six wires total - three for the autodimming mirror and three for the rain sensor. As you can see from the dissected pictures, starting from left to right we have this layout of parts, I will list them with what looked to be the part numbers as printed on the inside - some of these part numbers MAY have been superceded in ETKA and all of them are for a BLACK rearview setup. The last three digits of the part number (01C) denote the black color and will be different for beige or grey mirrors:
* White wire tray "conduit" :: 1J0 971 615-AR
* Black wire channel cover, one half (with tab, as shown) :: 3B0 857 594 01C
* Black wire channel cover, other half (no tab) :: 3B0 857 591 01C
* Black mirror base cap, driver side :: 3B0 858 547 01C
* Black mirror base cap, passenger side :: 3B0 858 548 01C
* Black autodimming rearview :: 3B0 857 511 C 01C
* Mirror wiring (3 wires + connector? not sure) :: 4B0 971 833
* Rain sensor wiring (3 wires + connector? not sure) :: 4D0 972 643
* Actual rain sensor :: 1J0 971 411 A
All of these parts are available from 1stvwpartsdirect and their parts catalog will pull them up (I checked all of them). The trim pieces are $5-10 each, the rain sensor is around $150 and the rearview is around $200. Undergrund VW parts sells everything listed above, assembled, as a kit, for around $125 if memory serves correctly.
Anyway, here is how to replace things:
First, here is the assembled rearview on the mirror. Notice the plastic conduit piece is backwards (thank you, previous owner
).

For the first step, you will need to remove the plastic trim pieces. Easiest way to do this is to squeeze the seams (front and back) of the trim pieces and they will pop apart. Here is an example:

Next, pull down the wire connector from inside the rearview and pull it apart. It takes a little force to pull it apart without tools - if you look closely on the side of it, there is a little square, this is a "catch", sliding a skinny flathead in here will push the tab down that sits in here holding the connector together, making it a lot easier to pull the connector apart.

Once that connector is undone, you can take off the mirror by sliding it down towards the dash - if yours is stubborn like mine, I found a nice little trick - give the mirror base a very slight twist while pushing down - be careful not to force it down and smash the mirror into your windshield
Here's a picture of the base and the mirror sliding off of it:

After doing this, the rain sensor should pop out. As you can see of mine, the housing to protect the PCB from shorting out is missing - yours will probably look different, and you may need to slide it up towards the headliner to remove it from the mirror base. When reassembling, you will notice a small notch in the mirror base for it to fit into.

Once you've gotten this far, you can follow the directions here to remove your overhead lighting console. This is only requires removing three screws, so I didn't bother taking photos. Long story short: Pop off the cover for your sunroof controls, it just pops out when you catch an edge on it. Next, fold down the addition visor piece just between the overhead light and windshield, then remove the single screw holding it in (+ head screwdriver). Next, pop off the overhead light cover by pulling it down from the windshield side and sliding it out. Remove the two screws holding it in (+ head screwdriver). Once you drop out the overhead light console, you should see the ass-end of the white wiring loom as shown in the 2nd or 3rd picture above, as shown here:

There is no easy way to explain how to get this out and I couldn't quite figure out how to do it "properly". This will give a breakdown of how I did it - Be very careful, there is a thin metal edge around the circumference of the headliner...DO NOT bend it all out of shape.
* Locate the two wire connectors for the mirror and rain sensor power. They are attached together by a plastic piece which is fastened to the inner roof. Slide this plastic piece off of the inner roof, then separate the two connectors from it using a small flathead screwdriver.
* There are three pins that hold this white wire tray to the inner roof. The first one is literally between the two screw holes that held the overhead light in palce - draw a fictional line between them - that is #1. The other two are in the section that looks like this <>. Basically, they are at the farthest point, like this <:> the dots represent the location of the two pins. If you pull slightly at the white tray, you should be able to see this.
* I took a screwdriver to bust the connectors out. I could not find any other way to get them to come out and the replacement piece I had from UndergroundVWP had the rivets attached still, so I didn't care.
* Once the white tray is free of the inner roof, slide it out...I found it easiest to pull it out towards the rearview, it didn't seem to want to pop out from the overhead console hole.
To reassemble, you should be able to just follow this tutorial in reverse.
This is what a "blown out" rearview looks like. I am lucky this thing never leaked out any of the oily monochromatic fluid contained in the mirror.

Here's a gratuitous pair of pics of my car just because I love it. I recently rewired a lot of lighting crap in the front, threw new clears on the bumper and the fenders, lowered the car with a Koni Sport kit ... pics speak for themselves



Hope this helps someone. If anyone wants to host these pics for me, I'd appreciate it



Modified by shifty.org at 6:37 PM 8-26-2006
 

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Re: HOWTO: Replacing rain sensor and autodimming rearview mirror (shifty.org)

thanks alot man, my mirror does'nt auto dim anymore so I'll be doing this very soon.
 

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Re: HOWTO: Replacing rain sensor and autodimming rearview mirror (automan21)

nice... will be added to the new DIY/FAQ thread.
 

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Re: (shifty.org)

Hi
I have a PDF written a while ago about how to do the Autodimming swap but no-one ever put it up here. It's way too long winded anyway.
Here's one I made up a couple of weeks ago.
Below is a few tips just to clarify some stuff.
At the bottom I've shown the pins for the wash/wipe relay (Connector T18a). It's the large relay with 192 written on the top. The relay plate positions show where the pins plug in and the wires can be soldered or spliced into the wires behind these two points.
Earth point 2 in the dash panel wiring harness - basically any convienient earthing point. My advice is to take the earth point either on the steering wheel or the driver's side foot well and trace an earth wire back a bit where's it's easy to access and close enough for the wire to reach and solder/splice the mirror earth wire into it.
T10 - Orange connector in plenum chamber - This usually confuses people so i'll explain probably the best way to find it. Best thing to do is screw off the fuse holder and all the lower trim below the dash on the drivers side so you have some space to work and look up behind the corner of the dash (you may need a torch). The plenum chamber is rammed way up into the corner. The other way to find it is to remove the black plastic bit at the bottom of your front window (not that easy). I'm sorry i haven't got any pics of this procedure but i'll try and get a better description up soon. If you have any trouble getting to it i'm sure i can help out.
Comments and suggestions are welcomed.
Baz
Baz



Modified by Bazmcc at 8:54 AM 8-27-2006
 

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Re: HOWTO: Replacing rain sensor and autodimming rearview mirror (shifty.org)

http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif for doing a proper DIY on the auto-dimming mirror w/ rain sensor. I'll be using this shortly!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Re: HOWTO: Replacing rain sensor and autodimming rearview mirror (shifty.org)

Well, looks like my nice used mirror from UGVWP bubbled in the past couple of days. Bubble is relatively large, about 3" wide and 1" tall. The rest of the mirror hasn't darkened, but ther bubble is definitely there.
Anyone know if these stupid things are able to be maintenanced, or am I just shafted with "that's what you get when you buy used parts"?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Guess not! Ah well, I have the old one on hand, I suppose I can tear that apart if nobody has any clues to share. I'll just keep all that great info to myself afterwards
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It came with the car.
When you choose not to buy the no-options versions of most 2000+ year modern vehicles, they often come with auto-dimming rearview.
I think it was stock in all GTI/VR6's
 

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Re: (shifty.org)

I replaced my mirror with one from UGVW, but mine came out of an R32 so it was relatively new. Also when i replaced mine, I didn't have to run the wires again, I just unplugged the old, busted mirror and plugged in the new mirror to the existing plug.
I think the best way to protect the mirror is to use a sun shade that keeps the interior somewhat cool and protects the mirror from direct sunlight. From what I gathered using the search, these mirrors usually bubble during the summer when the interior gets really hot.
 

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Re: HOWTO: Replacing rain sensor and autodimming rearview mirror (shifty.org)

Quote, originally posted by shifty.org »
This is what a "blown out" rearview looks like. I am lucky this thing never leaked out any of the oily monochromatic fluid contained in the mirror.


Haha, mine DID leak, infact all of the juice leaked completely out and made a puddle on my shift boot. It emptied out so well that now I continue to use it, sans auto-dim function.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Re: (2K_GLX)

Quote, originally posted by 2K_GLX »
I replaced my mirror with one from UGVW, but mine came out of an R32 so it was relatively new. Also when i replaced mine, I didn't have to run the wires again, I just unplugged the old, busted mirror and plugged in the new mirror to the existing plug.
I think the best way to protect the mirror is to use a sun shade that keeps the interior somewhat cool and protects the mirror from direct sunlight. From what I gathered using the search, these mirrors usually bubble during the summer when the interior gets really hot.

My UGVW mirror came from an R32 as well.
I only replaced the wiring because I had to replace the rain sensor on mine after noticing the damned thing didn't have the proper backing and was potentially shorting to the base stuck to the window.
My car stays in covered parking 90% of its life and is never out in direct sunlight that would hit the mirror. It actually bubbled when it got cold out. Not trying to deiscredit what you're relaying, but my experience was totally different

I think I might just take the old one and drain the fluid. I can live without autodimming I guess. I guess I can contact UGVW and see if they'll be champs about this and offer a replacement free, or at cost or at reduced cost or some crap. If not, I might just buy a new one instead.
 

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Re: (shifty.org)

Quote, originally posted by shifty.org »
My UGVW mirror came from an R32 as well.
I only replaced the wiring because I had to replace the rain sensor on mine after noticing the damned thing didn't have the proper backing and was potentially shorting to the base stuck to the window.
My car stays in covered parking 90% of its life and is never out in direct sunlight that would hit the mirror. It actually bubbled when it got cold out. Not trying to deiscredit what you're relaying, but my experience was totally different

I think I might just take the old one and drain the fluid. I can live without autodimming I guess. I guess I can contact UGVW and see if they'll be champs about this and offer a replacement free, or at cost or at reduced cost or some crap. If not, I might just buy a new one instead.

Mind if I ask what you paid for your mirror from UGVW?
 

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Re: (dremhmrk2)

http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif for this DIY and your black mirror
http://****************.com/smile/emthdown.gif http://****************.com/smile/emthdown.gif to my stock whitish grey mirror that doesnt match my new headliner!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Re: (dremhmrk2)

Quote, originally posted by dremhmrk2 »

Mind if I ask what you paid for your mirror from UGVW?

I believe it was $125 (did I post the amount above? I think I did, but can't remember).
This came with everything you see in the first picture above - mirror, trim pieces, rain sensor, wiring and all. From dealer, this entire package would cost around $450. From 1stvwparts.com, this would cost around $350. Used it's $125. Fair price, but ... used parts are used parts and have no gaurantee of the quality or life of what you're getting. I have no idea how much heat and abuse my mirrror took on at the lot of UGVW before it was sold to me, and that could have been a contributor in the lack of longevity.
On a more positive note, the bubble has lifted to the top of the mirror and it hasn't yet darkened, so ... I might be good until next year

EDIT: Yeah, I gave the price above - $125 it was for the complete kit. Or, if you want new and only need the mirror, it's $200 for just a replacement OEM mirror (part # is above) from Zeb @ 1stvwparts. Shipping takes a little while, but their prices are at least 15%-20% cheaper than your local dealer, and at least 5-10% cheaper than any other online retailer/dealership parts depot.



Modified by shifty.org at 3:20 PM 10-27-2006
 

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Re: HOWTO: Replacing rain sensor and autodimming rearview mirror (shifty.org)

Thanks for taking the time to do this writeup. Struggled to find any assistance anywhere else.
 
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