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Old 04-23-2012, 09:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default $75 Runabouts (Tex Evolution mirrors)

Part 1.

Some time ago, I obtained a single late style Runabout mirror from Sam Goodwin MX5; I thought I'd bide my time until another one turned up. Well, another mirror didn't, at least not for an outrageous price.

So I looked for an alternative; I was never convinced these Runabouts were really worth $300-400 they seem to sell for new. A bit of detective work lead me to the Tex Automotive Evolution; this is a mirror made for the classic Mini, and it was more or less, base aside, identical to the Runabout M2 mirror. It looks like Runabout get these mirrors made in the UK by Tex Automotive. The selling price of the Evolution mirrors is about £50; $75.

Runabout v Evolution compared:







Now the Evolution mirrors are not a direct bolt on to the MX5; the base is a little smaller, and the angle of the arm is designed for a more vertical door panel



Runabout


Evolution


So a base adapter had to be made.
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: $75 Runabouts (Tex Evolution mirrors)

Part 2.

The base adapter needed to be a block of some sort, drilled for the stock door fitting, and tapped for the mirror base. To adjust the angle of the mirror, the block needed to be made into a wedge.

The Tex Evolution mirror follows the practice of all Tex mirrors. A small plastic block with rivenuts fitted is supplied, which is intended to fit to the stock mirror mounting points on the Mini. The mirror is then screwed to the plastic block.

1. First I needed to test my concept; would a wedge base, shaped, work, and could the Mirror be fitted as Tex intended. So a piece of foam was shaped. I used the Runabout base as a template, but any roughly ovoid shape could be used.

2. Work the foam into a wedge.


3. Mark up door mounting points on the foam blank.


4. Fit the plastic mounting block to the foam blank. This indicated to me that the block had to be used; there was not enough space between the door mount points and holes tapped for the mirror base. I wanted the mirror base to fully cover the door mounting points.


5. The foam blank was marked up for the Runabout base and the Evolution base




6. The foam was then shaped up and the mirror trial fitted.



The idea seemed sound.
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: $75 Runabouts (Tex Evolution mirrors)

Part 3.

1. I used a bar of aluminium for the base adapters.


I've never really worked metal before (skipped metal work at school) so had to make up techniques as I went. Its important to wear eye protection and heavy clothing for the more brutal stages.

2. First I worked the bar into a wedge shape. Heavy duty work was done with an angle grinder. Because aluminium is soft, I could also use a rasp normally used for woodwork, to shave the metal. During work, a light coat with primer was used to locate flat spots. A file was used for fine work. Only a rough wedge was needed, because there was going to be a lot more work on the bar before the final step.


3. Once a decent wedge was achieved, the bar was sliced up into base sized chunks. The chunks were marked up for the area of the base of the adapter


Again, angle grinder, files etc were used to work the aluminium into a rough shape.



4. Once the bar was shaped, it was marked up for the shape of the Evolution base. This allowed me to drill the aluminium for the holes for the door fittings.



5. The base could start to take a proper shape. The additional tools to the armoury were a cylindrical grinding bit and a flapper sanding bit, which allowed more subtle curves to be shaped.



The various stages the aluminium goes through as it comes to shape


6. I had decided to make the adapters sided; to give them a leading and trailing edge. So the adapters needed to be mirror images. So as the second adapter took shape, I referenced it against the other side, just to make sure it was roughly taking the same shape.


7. After a quick crude polish, the adapters were assembled to the mirror. The Tex mirror bases are not flat; they have a light curvature, so you have to use the supplied rubber finishing gasket.





The bases were looking promising.

8. I decided to tap the bases for M6 bolts, and not use the M4 screws supplied; just seemed a little insubstantial (more importantly, my M4 tap was broken).



Note, the plastic blocks are sided; I opted to flip them over. The door fixing screws need to be counter sunk. The actual holes need to be enlarged a little; I found on my car, the captive nuts in the door skin were at slightly different angles. I assume over the years, as the stock door mirrors have gotten stiffer, efforts to adjust the mirror have resulted in a little distortion. Ovoid holes allows a bit of wobble, and avoids cross threading.

9. The aluminium adapters were then give a final mirror polish and fitted.







Maybe I will try and increase the wedge aspect, but the mirrors work well, and give a better field of view than I got with my M2-1002.

Last edited by roadsternut; 04-23-2012 at 10:17 AM.
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: $75 Runabouts (Tex Evolution mirrors)

wow...good work on the bases.
you should slap a few of these "kits" together and sell em
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:12 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: $75 Runabouts (Tex Evolution mirrors)

Where to buy these mirrors; I've not recommending any particular place, but these are available in the UK and US.

A UK source:

http://www.minispares-online.co.uk/?...8&prod_id=2161

£48 for the pair, which is a similar price to what I paid.

A US source:

http://www.gbcarparts.com/proddetail.asp?prod=MI-MDM01


The aluminium bar cost me about £4, so my total costs was £52, or about $75.
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:14 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: $75 Runabouts (Tex Evolution mirrors)

Quote:
Originally Posted by phillyb™ View Post
wow...good work on the bases.
you should slap a few of these "kits" together and sell em
No fear; too much work to do in metal. I don't know if people would be interested in these in resin/glass fiber or carbon fiber.

This pair took me about 3 weekends.
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:58 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: $75 Runabouts (Tex Evolution mirrors)

Great job, they look really really good!
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Old 05-03-2012, 01:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: $75 Runabouts (Tex Evolution mirrors)

This is great! Gonna have to try this out. Thanks~!
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Old 05-03-2012, 05:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: $75 Runabouts (Tex Evolution mirrors)

impressive work & very nice alternative. if you begin selling these adapters as a kit, please PM me.
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: $75 Runabouts (Tex Evolution mirrors)

Quote:
Originally Posted by phillyb™ View Post
wow...good work on the bases.
you should slap a few of these "kits" together and sell em


Nice kid, I'll take one when you have extra time.
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:10 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: $75 Runabouts (Tex Evolution mirrors)

How many would be interested in the mirror bases in aluminium; you would need to source the mirror yourself. I'm looking into how these could be made by someone who knows what they are doing, not me.
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:30 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: $75 Runabouts (Tex Evolution mirrors)

i would be interested, but obviously price is always a concern...
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Old 06-22-2012, 08:58 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: $75 Runabouts (Tex Evolution mirrors)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cxmoney View Post
i would be interested, but obviously price is always a concern...
+1. If it's reasonable, I'd be all over it. As I don't have a machine shop, doing this myself and making it look good vs. buying a decent looking, decently priced set is an easy choice...
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Old 07-04-2012, 02:24 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: $75 Runabouts (Tex Evolution mirrors)

great work, count me in on this as well!
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