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  #1  
Old 05-23-2002, 03:49 PM
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Door mirrors of different shapes...why? (124/201)

I have always wondered why on the 124 and 201 series chassis that the driver's door mirror is rectangular shaped and the passenger's door mirror is square... Everyone that I know has just shrugged their shoulders on this one... Any ideas?

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David
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  #2  
Old 05-23-2002, 04:29 PM
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I always assumed it was to reduce the width of the car?
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  #3  
Old 05-23-2002, 07:48 PM
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Maybe Benz designers think (as I do) that every lane change requires an eye check, not just a mirror check. The passenger's side mirror is the smaller one and should be relied upon less than an actual viewing. Sometimes I don't even use it for a lane change because I've done headchecks. Of course, that's not really a good explanation for why the driver's side mirror should be larger.

I'm sure you've noticed that in W124s the driver's side mirror adjustment is mechanical while the passenger's side is electrical. Ever wonder about that?
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  #4  
Old 05-23-2002, 10:07 PM
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If the passenger side mirror were mechanical, it would require the driver to reach accross the car to adjust its position, thus it is much more convenient to make it electrical. I guess Mercedes thought that they could make the driver's one mechanical becuase the driver does not have to reach anywhere awkward to adjust it. Thus it would be very inconvenient for the passenger mirror to be mechanical, but they can get away with it for the driver side mirror.
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  #5  
Old 05-23-2002, 10:07 PM
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actually, the passenger side mirror is the larger of the two. this is to provide for a larger mirror in addition to a convex one resulting in an increased field of view.

as for the driver's side not being electrically adjustable, you don't have to reach across the car to adjust that mirror, therefore there really isn't a need to make them BOTH adjustable.

i know they're both adjustable on later models, but there really isn't a need for them to be. it's just an "added value"
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  #6  
Old 05-24-2002, 10:31 AM
za_w124_200e
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Nope, the passenger mirror is the square one (unless u have a euro spec mirror on a US car)

I think the size of the mirror has to do with optics:
i agree with dtanesq in that it must be for quick checking, but also to make the car smaller for the good old european streets ...

any other guesses ??

L
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  #7  
Old 05-24-2002, 12:17 PM
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agreed, the passenger mirror is square, however, it is the larger mirror. the driver's side mirror is rectaglular and perhaps extends out further from the side of the car, however it terms of overall size, the passenger side mirror is most definitely larger. at least, it is in north america.

i agree that people should shoulder check each time that the change lanes, however i would think that it would be contrary to MB's commitment to safety to equip a vehicle with smaller mirrors to effectively force you to shoulder check because you can't see anything in the mirror.
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'94 W124.036 249/040 leder; 8.25x17 EvoIIs
'93 W124.036 199/040 leder; 8.25x17 EvoIIs, up in flames...LITERALLY!
'93 W124.036 481/040 leder; euro delivery; 8.25x17 EvoIIs
'88 R107.048 441/409 leder; Euro lights
'87 W201.034 199/040 leder; Euro lights; EvoII brakes; 8x16 EvoIs - soon: 500E rear brakes
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  #8  
Old 05-24-2002, 08:57 PM
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check your viewing angles from the driver's seat, the large, squarish mirror allows the driver to see both close (bottom of the mirror) and far away (top) objects because of its increased height. Now, the drivers side mirror is much closer and at a steeper angle to the driver, so it is long to allow you to view close to the car (near the driver) and far away (far edge of the mirror). You see... mercedes did think of almost everything. I don't know why they didn't continue this design, as I think it makes for the best rear viewing area of any car. And about the automatic adjust on the right side only, the car is after all teutonic... and so it just has to be efficient, so why waste money on an electric motor for a lever a foot away from the driver? It might break, and that will just lead to more expensive repairs. Leave the driver's side mirror manual cause he doesn't have to strain to get to it, and the passenger side has to be automatic because it would be uncivilized for someone to have to reach over and repeatedly have try to adjust his mirror....
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  #9  
Old 05-25-2002, 01:16 AM
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Let me tell you one thing, the mirrors on my 190 even though are shaped different, the performance is excellent. You really don't notice until you drive other vehicles. I have owned my 85 Mustang Gt for 15 years but dont trust the passenger mirror on my 190 I do trust it. The system is far superior..
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  #10  
Old 05-25-2002, 04:55 PM
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W124/201 Exterior Mirrors

Interesting how everyone, in way or another, almost got the right answer.

In fact, the passenger's side mirror (square) on W124/201 cars is shorter than the driver's side mirror (rectangle) so the overall width of the car would be a bit narrower. This is very useful in most streets in European cities and towns (without resourcing to expensive electric fold mirrors used on the S and some M classes).

Another plus was that designers found that drivers tended to scratch more often the passsenger's side mirror than the driver's side. A shorter mirror on the passenger side would definitely prevent the accident prone device.

To mantain the viewable area of the shorter passenger's side mirror, its height was raised, making it square (and in fact a littler larger in area than the driver's side mirror: 150 sq. cms. against 127 sq. cms.).

Also, at the W124 press realease brochure, designer Mr. Bruno Sacco accounted for the nice assymetric look the mirrors provided, braking tradition at that time.

Finally, for the electric control for the passenger side mirror issue, Mercedes-Benz insisted (for its Teutonic nature, as stated before) that there was no need to have the driver's side mirror electrically controlled, since it was so close and at easy hand reached distance (read between lines: cheaper to produce!).

After 1993, when the outside mirrors where included within the Memory Feature for the electric seats, M.B. decided to make the driver's side mirror electric, even if the Memory Feature was not included as an standard in most markets.

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Last edited by A. Rosich; 05-25-2002 at 05:01 PM.
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  #11  
Old 05-26-2002, 12:19 AM
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JUST TO BE SARCASTIC>>>
My two cents worth is this: The two mirros are different sizes yes, and yes all your info is fine and good...BUT...I am thinking the real reason they are different is...two parts = more to stock = more expensive for us to replace! Ever replace a mirror on a W201 or W124? HOLY COW! Think about trading in your oldest child for new mirrors! THe blue tint is great, the heated glass is great, the view they allow is wonderful! BUT , are these things really worth over $150 each! Even online you are looking at over $200 to replace the pair and rid yourself of the common scratches and black spots from the glazing comming off fromteh back of the mirrors! I love the cars, but come on!
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  #12  
Old 05-26-2002, 06:37 AM
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So now I finally know why.

My question now is, is it possible to do a couple of things...

1. Chaneg the passender mirror for a similar shaped one to the drivers side? perhaps a right hand drive car has this?

2. convert the manual mirror to electric on the drivers side?

Just curious is all. Imagine if ou could easily adapt a symmetrical mirror look and all.

Alon
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  #13  
Old 05-26-2002, 11:49 AM
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Rosich is dead on about driving in european medieval towns and cities. Even with the little Renault we rented, my wife had to bend the passenger mirror back into place about 4 times during our 2 weeks driving through westerm europe.

Peter
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  #14  
Old 05-26-2002, 09:48 PM
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Peter: Ever try to drive around a W140 in those streets? That is why they have standard electric fold outside mirrors. And even with that feature most of the times you are closer than you might want to.

Alon: the base mounts for each mirror are completely different, so replacing a square passenger's side mirror with a rectangular driver's side mirror seems like a complicated job. If you changed the whole passenger door with a R.H.D. driver's door it could done in a snap, but costwise is not very smart. Finally, you may convert your W124 driver's side manual mirror into electric very easy. As usual, Mercedes-Benz has an aftermarket retrofit kit that includes all parts (including a new electric mirror). Although, beware: it is not cheap!

Christopher: Right and left hand mirrors have to be different parts, regardless if they are the same or different shape.

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  #15  
Old 05-27-2002, 01:06 AM
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the convex right passenger-side mirror also helps locate the parking line when backing up into a parking lane ...

in any case, I like the asymmetric, purposeful look, which is reinforced by the single-arm panoramic wiper ...
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