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Side View Mirrors?


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Not to pick on you for being young, Andy, but if you were old enough to remember the late '60s and early '70s you'd remember that right side mirrors were not common on any cars back then. Shoot, even high-end companies like Porsche charged extra for the right side mirror through the late '70s. (And Porsche charged a lot for them! Not cheap.) So there really isn't a story about why, the answer is that not many other cars had them either.

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Arne's exactly right, it's just how things were.

But there were reasons for it. On smaller cars like the Z, the right side mirror wasn't really necessary because you could see pretty well out of it with a simple head check. I plan on returning to the single stock chrome mirror (I've got some hideous turbo ones now) as soon as funding allows me to.

Cars have 2 mirrors today because it's legally required.

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Arne's exactly right, it's just how things were.

But there were reasons for it. On smaller cars like the Z, the right side mirror wasn't really necessary because you could see pretty well out of it with a simple head check. I plan on returning to the single stock chrome mirror (I've got some hideous turbo ones now) as soon as funding allows me to.

Cars have 2 mirrors today because it's legally required.

Not to pick on you for being young, Andy, but if you were old enough to remember the late '60s and early '70s you'd remember that right side mirrors were not common on any cars back then. Shoot, even high-end companies like Porsche charged extra for the right side mirror through the late '70s. (And Porsche charged a lot for them! Not cheap.) So there really isn't a story about why, the answer is that not many other cars had them either.

Thanks ! that was very informative! Learn something new everyday! haha

hahah. Now that is what I'm talking about old school!! Looking behind outside the car..

:devious:

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My 78 has both mirrors. though only 1 of them (the passanger side) is still on. It's that black style mirror. I'm gonna take it off and put it on the driver side LOL (from the looks of it they're the same, it doesn't have that weird lens to make it wider)
They were either dealer installed or aftermarket. 78s came from the factory with one mirror in the US. I believe that 8/78, the beginning of the 79 model year was the date that passenger side mirrors became manditory in the US.
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It was just cost cutting. Some S30z's had mirrors on both sides (JDM fender mirrors for example), just not in the US. No untill the later style mirrors that were on the 280Z.

I believe Japan required two mirrors on the front fenders. They did not go to the door mounted type for a long time, and they still produce cars with the fender mirrors.

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They were either dealer installed or aftermarket. 78s came from the factory with one mirror in the US. I believe that 8/78, the beginning of the 79 model year was the date that passenger side mirrors became manditory in the US.

I'll probably know if it was dealer or not when i pull it off to swap it to the other side. I never do use a passenger side mirror. I drove a bug before i got my Z, it only had a drivers side. My bronco II had both, but it was a farily small truck, and those BIG side windows made it easy to look around.

I trust my own eyes more than mirrors.

doubt this makes it any different, but my Z is a 5/78, and was first registered 11/78 (basically meaning it was never bought till november)

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my Z is a 5/78, and was first registered 11/78 (basically meaning it was never bought till november)

Well it doesn't mean that it sat on the lot 6 months. A 4-5 month turn around from the time a car is produced until it hits the lot is common. Especially if the car has to be shipped from Japan.

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.........doubt this makes it any different, but my Z is a 5/78, and was first registered 11/78 (basically meaning it was never bought till november)
When I say 8/78 I mean build date. Registration date means nothing in this case. The point is that your passenger mirror is not factory installed. No such thing on a 78 or earlier in the US.
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When I say 8/78 I mean build date. Registration date means nothing in this case. The point is that your passenger mirror is not factory installed. No such thing on a 78 or earlier in the US.

oh, i didn't mean it as it could be factory installed. half me thinking it was dealer installed, and half me rambling

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Well it doesn't mean that it sat on the lot 6 months. A 4-5 month turn around from the time a car is produced until it hits the lot is common. Especially if the car has to be shipped from Japan.

Really? hmm, never knew that XP

One thing that is a bit funny, is that i bought it pretty close to november. Had i had more money, i would've registered it in november.

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Okay, I'll recant my statement about the 8/78 date, which I found by searching the internet, because I've seen 79 and 80 vehicles without a passenger side mirror so obviously, that's wrong. But I'll stand on the fact that no 280Z ever came from the factory with a passenger side mirror. The only mirror option I see in the 78 model line up brochure is dealer installed 'dual racing mirrors'. The standard is a 'Sebring-type racing mirror' drivers side only according to the same USA model line up brochure.

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Then that might make mine dealer installed.

Maybe, maybe not. The same mirrors that the dealers installed on the Black Pearl were also being sold to the general public and could be found in most auto part stores at the time.

I purchased a set for my 240 back in the early 80's from one of the local parts stores here in Houston.

So the dealer or a previous owner could have installed them on you car.

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I purchased my car in 1976 with the same mirrors as the 78 black pearl. Mine were dealer installed at the time. You can see them in my web site under closeups.

You can tighten the floppyness of them by sliding out the mirror part and tightening the screws that hold a plate on, if that does not work add a piece of duct tape to the little ball inside and then tighten the screws.

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Mine came with them and I assumed they were dealer installed. They are made of white metal and are gradually disintegrating. The ball has erupted through the bottom of the mirror shell - I have done some weird stuff to keep them intact - unfortunately every time either of the doors gets a hard close (no slamming alowed) one or both of the mirrors shift.

The point of my post is be careful how much you tighted the screws if there is any sign of corrosion - the shell will collapse eventually. Then you to will have only one mirror.

Good luck

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This is an interesting thread on mirrors. Right now I'm stuck with two (I guess aftermarket) mirrors on my '72. They are black and attach to the doors with something that resembles some Darth Vader life support hose. They, generally speaking are crap, not looking good or holding a functional position for any length of time. I've picked up several 'originals' from u-pull-it yards, and intend to replace the driver's side.... leaving me with the options of finding a 'match' for the right side or filling the mounting holes, etc. I somewhat like two mirrors. I recall reading in the archives that a left-side can be mounted on the right if the mirror is rotated 180 degrees, but that the 'fit' is not ideal. Can that be verified by any members here? I can't seem to find the thread again where I read that.

Also, thinking out loud here, aren't right-side mirrors for the older Z's available? Logic would tell me that some non-USA configurations with right-hand-drive would have had the right-hand mirror mounted as standard equipment (and likely available as replacement parts). Can anyone lend any substance to my thought on this? If it is so, do any of our friends in right-hand-drive environments have any mirrors available?

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I never knew that the U.S. DOT ever actually required a passenger side mirror.

Thinking back it seems like the right hand mirror that came on my 82 Charger was an option. I could be wrong however, since that was 26 years ago... I remember someone I knew had an 81 or 82 model without a passenger side mirror.

I always just assumed that all cars ended up with dual mirrors for purely marketing reasons.

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