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Thread: Wing Mirror Location

Forum to discuss Austin Healey Sports Cars

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    Jedi Hopeful Griz's Avatar
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    Wing Mirror Location

    I understand that the factory rarely mounted wing mirrors on Healey's, that they were usually added by the dealers and therefore there is no standard location. One of the last details to complete on my BJ7 restoration will be mounting the wing mirrors. I'd like input from the "brain trust" here on where they look best and are most useful. FYI the mirrors I have are the flat Lucas style. My thoughts are that too far forward and they may be almost useless, and too far back toward the windshield and there may not be enough adjustment in the swivel to see behind properly (especially on the passenger side).

    Griz

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    Jedi Hopeful aero3113's Avatar
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    Re: Wing Mirror Location

    I have one mirror on my 56 100, it's on the left fender. I find it useful, I just look over my shoulder for the right side. It's 16 inches forward of the windshield post.

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    Yoda HealeyRick's Avatar
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    Re: Wing Mirror Location

    Mine are mounted over the middle of the wheel openings because that's where the big holes were drilled by the original owner. Frankly, wing mirrors are a PITA. You can't adjust them from the driver's seat, you either need a helper or have to make multiple trips back and forth to make the adjustments. Then, once you get them in perfect adjustment, someone will walk by and knock them out of adjustment for you and you start all over again. If you go to a car show, plan on spending an extra half-hour to fix them from those inadvertently bumping into them. If you do use the wing mirrors, the convex ones will give you better coverage. I think people are happier with the ones that mount on the windshield posts, but there is something very British about the wing mounts.


    Rick

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    Jedi Warrior CLEAH's Avatar
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    Re: Wing Mirror Location

    I don't have side view mirrors at all. I think that unless they are mounted on the door, close to the driver (like on all modern cars) a side view mirror does not do much. I have considered the type that clips onto the vent window, but so far find not having one acceptable.
    Hugh
    1965 BJ8
    1958 AN5


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    Jedi Trainee red57's Avatar
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    Re: Wing Mirror Location

    Mine are the convex style and mounted on a line with the rear edge of the hood/bonnet - someone else installed them long before I got the car but I have come to believe it is the best place for them. They are far enough forward to see thru the windshield rather than thru the side curtains and yet close enough to adjust while sitting in the car. The off-side one is just above the inside mirror so one glance allows both mirrors to be scanned and the drivers side thru the windshield means not taking your eyes off the road for long.

    I have seen lots placed at the highest part of the wheel arch but as Rick said, then you have to get out of the car to adjust them, or have someone else do it for you.

    The ones that use the side curtain hole can't be used with the curtains and besides, it means turning your head too far from straight IMO.

    Dave

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    Darth Vader Michael Oritt's Avatar
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    Re: Wing Mirror Location

    This is one of those personal choice items but as you can see in the photo I installed mine forward over the wheel openings and I find it much easier to see them than ones mounted on the door or close to the windshield. I use the convex Lucas style mirrors.

    Best--Michael Oritt
    1954 Austin-Healey 100 Lemans
    1958 Elva Courier (FOR SALE)
    1959 Elva MK IV Sports Racer
    1961 Ginetta G4

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    Re: Wing Mirror Location

    Quote Originally Posted by Griz View Post
    I understand that the factory rarely mounted wing mirrors on Healey's, that they were usually added by the dealers and therefore there is no standard location. One of the last details to complete on my BJ7 restoration will be mounting the wing mirrors. I'd like input from the "brain trust" here on where they look best and are most useful. FYI the mirrors I have are the flat Lucas style. My thoughts are that too far forward and they may be almost useless, and too far back toward the windshield and there may not be enough adjustment in the swivel to see behind properly (especially on the passenger side).

    Griz
    Griz,

    We had a fun thread a while back on mirrors! (See link below.)

    Thanks,
    Duane

    http://www.britishcarforum.com/bcf/s...=Duane+mirrors

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    Moderator Editor_Reid's Avatar
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    Re: Wing Mirror Location

    Best recommendation: Don't mount mirrors anywhere that require drilling holes. Neither my BN2 nor AN5 have permanently mounted exterior rear-view mirrors, and I do not miss them. I much prefer to turn my head to clear the lane next to me anyway. (I do occasionally use suction-cup mounted ones purchased through amazon.com when on a long trip, and they're better than anything "period correct" anyway.) Mirrors that can be mounted in side curtain mounting holes (not an option on your BJ7 of course) or attached to the "quarter light" frame (wing window frame) are good options.

    Next-best advice: Mount them close to you, such as on the door. This is especially important with flat mirrors. I once owned an MGA and the Dreaded Previous Owner mounted flat mirrors way out there on the wings, above the wheel arches. They were useless, and most ironic of all, the one on the right wing was mounted so that it was exactly behind the interior rear-view mirror for the driver's line of sight. That's what happens when you get fixated on appearance and lose sight - literally - of the actual utility of an item.
    Reid Trummel
    Editor, HEALEY MARQUE magazine



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    Darth Vader John Turney's Avatar
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    Re: Wing Mirror Location

    Mine are mounted forward, about even with the rear of the wheel opening. The left is flat and the right is convex. I don't have too much trouble with people knocking them out of alignment, I can see them well enough, but they do provide a limited view. They are also in the way when working in the engine compartment.
    John, BN4

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    Darth Vader Michael Oritt's Avatar
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    Re: Wing Mirror Location

    If you like mirrors close and own a 6-cylinder roadster (not convertible) there is a mirror made that has a stud at the base of the upright that replaces the screw in the windshield stantion. I bought one for my ex-wife's 3000 MK I and and though it was an easy no-holes installation the angle of the mirror placed it directly behind the stantion when sitting in the driver's seat. I bent the rod which made things somewhat better.

    Though I think mirrors close to the driver require one to take his eyes off the road, as said this is a matter of personal taste though why some people (such as our moderator) find mirrors over the wheels useless is beyond me.

    Best--Michael Oritt
    1954 Austin-Healey 100 Lemans
    1958 Elva Courier (FOR SALE)
    1959 Elva MK IV Sports Racer
    1961 Ginetta G4

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    Jedi Knight
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    Re: Wing Mirror Location

    We use the the quarter light mirrors, tightened onto the glass of the vent window. I found it impossible to change lanes to the left with the top up without a passenger looking through the rear window in the top to advise if it was safe. We bought the rectangular one first and were very pleased with it (AH Spares, part MRS112); I bought the MRS 113 convex mirror and installed it on the passenger side, and have now gone to the round mirrors on both sides. I really prefer the aesthetic of the rectangular to the round, but vastly prefer the safety of being able to see dang near everything that the convex/round mirrors provide. And, no, they're not inexpensive.
    If a person really likes the look of a fender mounted mirror on their BJ7/8, then a thought would be to install it/them wherever you think they look best, but treat them primarily as a decorative addition (like a badge bar), and use the quarter light mirrors. Or - if you never drive with the top up, just keep ye olde old body flexible enough to shoulder check all the time. Doug
    1959 pristine 948 cc Bug-Eye; DCOE, 5 speed; bought 1971
    1960 BE bought 1971 & stored since; body tub restored and reassembling (1275; etc.)
    1962 AH 3000 BJ7; 3rd owner (1982?); in shop Oct. 2015 for paint job - home soon!
    1962 VW Meyers Manx clone dune buggy; stripped last winter and being reassembled
    1969 Kawasaki 500 H1 Triple, orig. owner; stored since 1973, but runs again! 1999 Buell S3

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    Jedi Warrior roscoe's Avatar
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    Re: Wing Mirror Location

    My BN2 had already had the left wing drilled when I got it. I'm not sure what the measurment is but I am roughly 5'7" and if I loosen my shoulder harness a bit I can reach forward and adjust it while driving but it is as far as I can go. I have to rember to remove my hat when I do it as I have lost more than one while driving where I couldn't safely stop. I use the wing mirror alot if the top is up. Hardly ever if it is folded.
    Jon Robbins
    1956BN-2 (do it all yourself, you'll be glad you did)

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    Darth Vader steveg's Avatar
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    Re: Wing Mirror Location

    When I got my car at the beginning of the millenium, it had a horrible pot-metal accessory mirror on the door. not knowing any better, I went ahead and drilled the hole for the Lucas mirror and replaced the flat mirror with a convex one.
    It's nice and close up for a wide angle of view - even with the side curtain in place. Never been sorry.

    PS - think a sports car looks better with mirrors. Now if I could figure out how to get repros of the mid-50s italian mirrors a-la Maserati 300S (for a price I could afford), that would be cool.

    screenshot.1219.jpg
    Steve Gerow
    Altadena, CA, USA
    Maker of most complete Big Healey rear disc kit
    Check out my galleries:
    http://www.pbase.com/stevegerow

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    Re: Wing Mirror Location

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Oritt View Post
    ... though why some people (such as our moderator) find mirrors over the wheels useless is beyond me.
    Hi Michael. Long time no see. Miss you at Fall Delegates Meetings. Maybe Conclave in Indiana in July this year?

    I find that a flat mirror mounted far away, such as above the wheel arch, provides such a small area of reflection that it is akin to looking through a paper towel roll, providing a view of only a tiny portion of the lane next to me.

    I have three cars with outside rear-view mirrors mounted on the driver's door (none of which are Healeys) where they provide a pretty good view of the left lane to my rear. Two of the cars came to me that way, and I installed one.

    One is the 1974 914 with the original equipment mirror there. On the Lotus Elan there was a Lucas bullet mirror already there and I didn't want to hassle with removing it and getting the holes filled and having to paint the door. The Alfa Duetto is the only one where I voluntarily installed a mirror. I did so after noting how hard it was to see traffic to my left rear with the top up, although the top is up maybe once every few years, at most. However, I already had an OEM mirror and didn't want to mount it where it would be less useful in the usual place part way out on the wing. I know two other lifetime Duetto drivers here who also mounted mirrors on the driver's door.

    All of that said, I never, ever change lanes without looking over my shoulder. Maybe a habit developed in flight training decades ago?
    Reid Trummel
    Editor, HEALEY MARQUE magazine



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    Darth Vader Michael Oritt's Avatar
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    Re: Wing Mirror Location

    Reid--

    I'm not planning to be at Conclave this year but if Black Hills 2019 comes to be I will do that for sure!

    I like being able to sweep the mirrors from right through center to left by moving my eyes but not my head!

    Best--Michael Oritt
    1954 Austin-Healey 100 Lemans
    1958 Elva Courier (FOR SALE)
    1959 Elva MK IV Sports Racer
    1961 Ginetta G4

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    Moderator Editor_Reid's Avatar
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    Re: Wing Mirror Location

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Oritt View Post
    Reid--

    I'm not planning to be at Conclave this year but if Black Hills 2019 comes to be I will do that for sure!
    Then put it on your calendar - it is ON. (And it's going to be in September 2019; I don't know the exact dates yet.)
    Reid Trummel
    Editor, HEALEY MARQUE magazine



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    Jedi Hopeful Griz's Avatar
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    Re: Wing Mirror Location

    All good info friends thanks...gives me a lot to think about. Interesting that to some wing mounted mirrors are a waste. Truth be told, I was not looking forward to drilling holes in my nice, new, shiny paint. I may have to look into the quarter-light mounted ones.

    Griz

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    Jedi Warrior Bob McElwee's Avatar
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    Re: Wing Mirror Location

    We had a member in our Healey Club who was a salesman at a Healey dealership back in the day. He said the 'proper' location for wing mirrors was 1" outside the fender bead centered on the Knock-Off. We had no reason to doubt him.

    I had a BJ8 with convex mirrors mounted as above. Once I go use to the relationship of the traffic to how it looked in the mirrors, I really liked them a lot. As Michael said, could sweep left, center, right without moving your head. I also must have bumped them a thousand times in the garage myself. Also had another BJ8 with them mounted to where i could just reach the left one sitting in the seat, leaning forward and reaching. I also got use to using them. Of the two positions, i think i liked the forward position better.
    Bob McElwee
    '62 AH Tri-Carb(sold)
    Miss BT

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    Yoda glemon's Avatar
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    Re: Wing Mirror Location

    It is really a matter of taste and preference, but count me among those that love wing mirrors. The flat ones are no good, but I learned to love convex wing mounted mirrors when I had my MGB/GT, my first closed car. You look at the mirrors much closer to your line of sight and there is really no blind spot. No matter how I adjust door mounted mirrors there is always a blind spot and I have to turn my head to look at them anyway so I just turn around and look back. I trusted my fender mount mirrors, had a pair on my 100 too.

    I do agree with Reid on the idea that with an open car (my Healey hardly ever went out with the top up, and when it did my head brushed the top) you don't really need the side mirrors.

    If you are putting them on for looks (and functionality of course) I have attached a picture of where they were mounted on mine. I think they look good an an old Healey, TR, or Jag. A bit of a PITA to adjust, but I would bet many that don't like them have had a flat mirror, not a wide angle.
    greg_lemon01.JPG

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    Yoda Randy Forbes's Avatar
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    Re: Wing Mirror Location

    I am in complete agreement with Michael Oritt as regards side view mirror placement and usefulness.

    For the first twenty-some years I had the Healey, I used flat-glass mirrors centered on the front wheel openings, and they gave all the field of view of adjacent lanes that I needed or desired.

    Around the turn of the century, I renewed the mirror heads (stainless shells starting to look mottled) and opted for convex glass. With these mirrors, I can almost see the back of my head, and way more field of view than needed for city or highway driving (I think I get the idea behind those Wink mirrors).

    One of the first things that a Performance Driving Instructor teaches their pupils is how to correctly adjust their mirrors. You DO NOT need to see the edge of your own fender (if you don't know where your fenders are...). Once you learn how to set your fender mounted mirrors, they are very useful (MUCH MORE SO than the door mounted side-view mirrors on our M Rdstrs or Coupe).

    As to the matter of the wing mirrors maintaining adjustment, GET THE #%$@ SPRINGBACK BOOMERANG MIRRORS that can't be bumped out of adjustment! I fold my mirrors in 90* every time I put the car cover on it, and then snap them back into position for each next drive. I have not put a wrench on them (that locks the adjustment) since I put the new heads on 12 or 14 years ago. They stay where they are set , though I do keep a 9/16" flare-nut wrench in the bottom of the door for insurance (along with a screwdriver to prevent the Webers from needing adjustment; think about it).

    These are the same stems/heads that were already fitted to my car when I bought it in 1978, so if you're losing your settings because someone bumped into your car, your life could certainly be made simpler:



    https://www.europaspares.com/exterio...y-h6-head.html



    Flat: https://www.europaspares.com/exterio...head-flat.html
    Convex: https://www.europaspares.com/exterio...rror-head.html

    Two (2) mirrors and two (2) stems cost less than $72.00 (+ shipping).





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