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Old 07-10-2009, 01:57 PM   #1
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Mirror Delete Cover, Ford Escort

I've actually been running around with my side mirrors pulled off for quite some time, but only recently got around to making exterior cover blanks for the mounting locations.

In a nutshell, taking the (power) mirrors off is probably too simple to warrant much of a write-up, but here's the quick and dirty of it in 3 sentences:

- Remove interior cover screw and slide cover piece off.
- Remove mirror mounting screws from the inside of the door.
- Disconnect mirror wiring harness.

Too easy.

Now for the good part, making and mounting a cover plate.

- Suitable cover blank material such as 1/16" ABS or similar
- A dull pencil or crayon
- Razor knife
- Three 3/8" or shorter stainless or chromed machine screws (#8s or #6s are probably best)
- 1/8" drill bit and drill
- 180-220 grit sandpaper and sanding block


Take one blank sheet of paper and tape or firmly hold it, like I did, against the exterior mounting location. Then take one dull pencil or crayon and do quick rubbing of outline for the mirror mounting. (It's surprisingly simple and quick to do.) Take this rubbing to a workbench/cutting table and cut out your pattern. Comapre the cutout pattern to the door to check your accuracy, then either repeat or move onto the next step of cutting out your actually blanking plate.

You may want to tape your pattern down to your plate material, or you can probably just get away with holding it like I did if you are careful. Place the pattern on the back side of your material and with the razor knife, lightly score your intended cut line along the edge of the pattern. Take your time and don't try to cut too deeply, but you want to make a deep enough scoring that you can easily retrace it without the pattern. If you screw up your first time scoring, relax, it's just the back, go back and retrace a better line. Once you have a good cut line scored out, carefully go back several times with the knife, progressively cutting a little deeper into the material until you are able to cut all of the way through.

You may not have as straight a cut as you want, but thats the nice thing about ABS, it's easy to sand quickly down to shape and the sanding block helps out allot in leveling the edges out.

Be sure to produce a second pattern for the other door, or at least make sure the first pattern matches - and reverse the shape when cutting the second side. Otherwise it might not match quite right, and you don't want two left or right side covers. (Don't ask me why I mention that last part. I'll just say that even having thought about that issue beforehand, things happen between the first and second beer.)

For mounting, I tried to come up with an easy way to reuse the original style of mounting, but it just seemed like too much effort with a 1/8" drill bit and a gaggle of stainless machine screws already on hand, so I drilled new holes into the door frame.

Be sure to set your pattern firmly into position to drill each hole - CAREFULLY CHECKING BEHIND IT so that you don't drill into anything important like the window track - OR A ROLLED UP WINDOW! (No, I didn't screw that part up.) Being that this cover piece is triangular, plan to drill three seperate holes through the pattern into the frame similar to how I did it, otherwise it just won't set on tightly. Drill one hole at a time and install the respective screw through the cover into the door. I recommend starting with the forward corner since this will allow easy flexing and viewing of the space behind the cover for successive holes.

Once you have all of your holes drilled and screws installed, you may have some bowing of the cover material away from the frame. An easy way to fix this is by removing one or two screws and enlarging the holes slightly in the cover plate. Then reinstall the screws while pressing the cover firmly against the frame.

I have not worked on interior covers yet, but the same process appears to be viable.

Addendum: To compensate for much of the reduction in side view, I have installed a 5-panel interior wide view mirror. It has handily filled in blind spots that the exterior mirrors allowed, but created others, specifically behind my head, creating a need to more carefully check to the left with a head turn before lane changes, and of course limited vision below the window line which hinders backing.

I plan to make small pod add-ons to house a couple of wide angle 1-1/2" mirrors to solve both of those issues.
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Old 08-02-2009, 04:56 PM   #2
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How about mirrors like this?
I know they're expensive, but it's a good design to copy since it fits inside the air bubble that forms as air comes off the base of the windshield.

For those of you who find this thread more than 5 days from now, that link will expire, so just search ebay for 'evo Ralliart mirror'.

Dave W.
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Old 08-02-2009, 08:26 PM   #3
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It's also worth mentioning that the Pony version of the Escort had an optional mirror and came standard with a cover plate for the passenger side.

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Old 08-04-2009, 08:25 PM   #4
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There is a motorcycle/scooter junkyard in Raleigh, NC I've been trying to find time to get to in the hopes I can find something smaller to replace my drivers side mirror without spending a lot of cash.

Though I'm going to do a delete on the passanger and think I'll be following your advice on making a cover for where the mirror was.

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