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  1. #1
    Saab Fan
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    22 Oct 2019
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    Nevada, USA
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    13
    Saab(s)
    2009 9-5 Griffin Sedan, 2001 9-3 Viggen Convertible
    Thumbs Up:   8

    Power-folding mirror repair - Saab 9-5 +M06

    Power-folding mirrors were an option on the 2006 and newer OG 9-5 (aka Dame Edna) cars for the US market. It is not uncommon for these units to "fail" over time, whereby one or both of the external door mirrors fails to fully close or open when requested via the dash button. While this can appear like some sort of motor or even a mechanical failure, its generally the failure of a very small switch in the "shut off device" or SOD. Turns out these units are remarkably similar in many makes of automobiles. This repair was inspired by the driver's door mirror on our 09 Griffin sedan, which would only close or open halfway without some "manual" assistance, along with some information collected on the web. There are other options, of course - like finding a used/salvage mirror assembly or buying a new mirror assembly - but these are going to come at a substantial cost.

    In this tutorial I'll attempt to break down the fix step by step. In short we'll be removing the mirror glass and back cover, removing the SOD, removing the polyswitch/fuse and soldering in a new one, and then reinstalling the SOD and reassembling the mirror. This is really pretty easy, encourage you to give it a shot.

    Parts needed:

    Replacement "polyswitch" or "resettable fuse"

    Tools and Supplies needed:

    Soldering iron
    Flat head screw drivers (small and large)
    needle-nose pliers
    hook & pick set
    wire cutter/stripper/crimper
    Soldering supplies
    silicone caulk
    dielectric grease
    weatherproof crimp connectors (small, 18-22 gauge) or shrink tube or electrical tape
    magnifying glass/glasses
    Aluminum tape, clamp and/or vise (optional)

    Time estimate: 1 - 2 hours

    Difficulty: It is relatively easy to do but you must be comfortable with soldering electronics.

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    Sourcing the resettable fuse(s):

    The power folding mirrors utilize something called a shut off device or SOD to shut down the folding function if there is some binding/obstruction. Contained in the SOD is a polyswitch or resettable fuse that degrades over time and then fails completely, preventing your mirror from completely folding or folding at all. I'm led to believe that the GM SOD uses a 250mA (that's 0.25 Amps) 50V resettable fuse, and most information I've seen suggests you use a slightly higher capacity fuse as a replacement. These can be sourced for peanuts from the likes of Mouser or Digikey here in the US, and I went with 300mA 72V fuses from Littlefuse, part number RXEF030-2. They cost about 40 cents each, and big spender me purchased 5 just in case I screwed up and will need to do the passenger side mirror at some point. Shipping is more than the fuses.

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    Removing the mirror glass:

    You may wish to reference the online workshop information system for official instructions, but here's my version. First, with the car switched on, position the mirror glass all the way outward using the switch on the door. Now outside the car, manually "fold" the mirror all the way forward toward the front of the car. It'll go from the a) normal position to b) forward position:

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    TIP: put a blanket or rug on the floor underneath the mirror, just in case you were to drop the glass or the cover onto your concrete garage floor. A broken glass or scratched cover will definitely take away from the joy you'll feel in having fully-functional mirrors again.

    In the gap between the mirror housing and the glass is the wire retaining clip, which WIS calls a lock spring. You'll want to use a screwdriver or maybe even some needle-nose pliers to bring the ends of this wire spring together (ie towards the center) and then out away from the glass to release the lock spring from its retaining notches on the backing plate. I suggest you protect the mirror housing with some tape to prevent scratches. You may have to pull on the mirror glass abit to create room for your tool.

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    With the lock spring unseated you should be able to pull the mirror glass + backing plate outwards, separating it from the mirror housing.

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    Wiring is still attached of course, so use your small screwdriver to unplug the heat wiring connectors. The purple/black wiring is for the autodimming (electrochromatic) function, which I believe will be there with any power-folding mirror setup, and has a connector which can be unplugged with help of small screwdriver.

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    Once the wiring connections are unplugged, set the glass and lock spring aside for now.

    Removing the mirror cover:

    This is the most challenging part of all, especially if its your first time removing one (or you've slept a few times since). First, these clips are a pain to undo and second, one of them is essentially buried under some wiring (location 3 in my photo) and you'll try to convince yourself that its not there. It is, trust me. A photo from me, plus the SaabWISonline picture, pointing to the locations. Note the orientation of the top inboard clip (location 2 in my photo) is vertical, while the other three are horizontal. Official instructions to remove the cover.

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    Before attempting to remove the clips, reposition the mirror from the forward position to its "normal" position. With a larger flathead screwdriver placed between the clip ears, twist the screwdriver blade to separate the clip ears off of each of the four mounting points on the frame. Be careful with the clips, as the ears can break off if you're too rough with them (ask me how I know).

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    I found that painter's tape can make a nice "handle" for the cover, as it helps to put some light tension on the cover while you're attempting to unseat the clips. Useful if you're doing this alone and don't have a helper.

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    Here's a look at the inside of the cover and the clips themselves. A nice reference point, prior to attempting removal of the cover.

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    With the cover off, set it aside. You've just completed the most difficult part of the job in my experience! Take a breather here before moving on.

    Removing the SOD:

    With the cover removed you will now be able to see the mirror frame, wiring and the SOD.

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    Remove the SOD from the frame by pushing upwards - the SOD will slide out from its mounting ears on the frame.

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    Unplug the 3-wire connector. Cut the yellow and white wires, noting that you will be reconnecting them once your workbench tasks on the SOD are completed.

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    Removing the "old" resettable fuse:

    Now for some work requiring finer motor skills. With that, get yourself situated with a nice area to work at your workbench or kitchen table (if you're brave). You'll note that the SOD has the resettable fuse protruding from the resin. Note that I've protected the wiring coming from the SOD with some aluminum ducting tape - this'll help ensure I don't have casualties from my soldering iron...

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    Use the small screwdriver, picks/hooks, and the soldering iron to "excavate" the resin from around the resettable fuse. The soldering iron does a good job heating up the resin, which makes it much easier to remove with the screwdriver or pick. Our purpose here is to expose the "legs" of the old resettable fuse, onto which we'll be soldering on our new fuse.
    TIP - Be careful not to bend the leg wires too much here while you're removing the resin - we don't want to break the wires! A magnifying glass/glasses help, and go slow and steady.
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    Once you think you've got enough of the resin removed, cut the old fuse's "head" off of the legs just below the orange/yellow material. Here's what it'll look like once the removal operation is complete (not a great picture, sorry).

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    Clean and straighten up the wire legs, as prep for soldering.

    Attaching the new resettable fuse:

    Clean any resin that's stuck on your soldering iron. With a wire clipper or other tool, remove the wire legs below the 'zig zag' section on a new resettable fuse. Apply some flux to the exposed wire legs on the SOD and to the wire zig-zag area on the new fuse, and holding the head of the fuse with a small pliers or hands-free vise, proceed to solder the new fuse head onto the SOD's wire legs. Pretinning the legs and your iron can help here. The orientation of the fuse is not important, it works either way, so don't worry about that.

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    Once the new fuse is soldered in place, fill the void in the SOD with silicone caulk to protect the connection from the elements. Let the caulk cure for abit, some list misting with water can speed this up.
    You've now got an SOD that's as good as new!

    Reinstall the SOD into the mirror frame:

    First step here is to reconnect the yellow and white wires that were cut earlier. I went the soldering route here (not pretty) and I used some liquid electrical tape to cover the soldered connection. I wished I had just used some small gauge 18-22ga crimp connectors instead. You'll need the crimp connectors that have the shrink tubing built in.

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    Note: in the pic above you can see the silicone fill in/around the new resettable fuse in the SOD.

    The SOD can now be remounted back into place on the cast mirror frame. Slide it under the mounting ears until it hits the stop bumps. Reconnect the three-wire connector and place it into its mounting ears. Note that in the picture below the connector isn't mounted correctly - it should be vertical as shown in previous pic.

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    Now would be a great time to power up the car and test whether the mirror folds as should. Pat yourself on the back, well done. If there is an issue, its likely with your soldering or you got a defective fuse - go back and fix if needed. Doubt you'll have to do this as mine was successful first shot.

    Refit mirror cover and glass:

    The mirror cover snaps into place, nothing complicated there. A heckofalot easier than removing it was!
    Refitting the glass is also pretty straight forward. Just reconnect the Purple/Black connector and plug, as well as the brown and black connections. Using some dielectric grease on the connections is always a good idea. Also reinstall the lock spring onto the backing plate of the mirror, noting how the ends of the wires fit into the mounting ears.

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    Now snap the mirror into back onto the motor's attachment ring. A firm push will seat the mirror's lock spring onto the motor.

    Clean finger prints off of mirror and cover. Marvel at your handiwork. Go find some excuse to fold the mirrors.

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  2. #2
    Frank
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
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    previous: 2006 9-3, 2001-06 9-5, 2011 9-4X
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    Your post was stuck in the moderation queue but is visible now.

    Another awesome tutorial with great pictures. Thanks!

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  3. #3
    Saab Fan
    Join Date
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    Nevada, USA
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    Saab(s)
    2009 9-5 Griffin Sedan, 2001 9-3 Viggen Convertible
    Thumbs Up:   8
    With the mail issues we are experiencing here in the US, I've ended up with a duplicate order of these resettable fuses. If anyone here in the US would like me to mail them a couple for their project just PM me.

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