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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 11:11 am 
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Location: Eastern Ontario
Sorry, terrible thread title. Couldn't resist. :D

I know I'm not the only person who's noticed the number of aerodynamically designed concept cars that use video cameras instead of conventional side mirrors.

Image

So I did a little searching, and learned that it's not just techno-bling that leads designers to the video parts bin: according to a couple of credible sources, side mirrors contribute significantly to the total drag of a vehicle. Anywhere between 3 to 10% of total Cd depending on the mirror and vehicle design. I found that surprising.

So I ran a test to see if I could detect mirror MPG penalty on my 98 Firefly:

- driver's side: replaced the "fixed" style stock mirror with a folding mirror from a 93 Swift - and then folded it back (then covered the open hinge with a smooth spacer plate)
- passenger side: removed the mirror and covered the mounting hole with a plastic plate
- compared this configuration to the stock configuration

Found mpg improved an average of 1.27 mpg (US) or 2.3% with the "new" configuration compared to stock, on back-to-back, bi-directional, speed controlled runs at 55 MPH.

For the full details on my site, click the image:

Image

http://www.metrompg.com/posts/mirrors.htm

.

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Last edited by geometro on Tue Sep 05, 2006 8:20 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 6:49 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2005 4:36 pm
Posts: 493
Location: Roscommon, MI
Pretty cool, now what do you plan on doing about it for a permanent solution?

I've always noticed the cars Chip Foose builds on Overhaulin' rarely have side mirrors, though obviously for asthetic reasons. I've never seen anything in their place, like a camera system, so is it legal to drive a car with no side mirrors? I know a lot of cheaper cars come from the factory without a passenger mirror.

I think it would drive me crazy though not having mirrors. I could probably make do with just the rearview.

Edit: I should have read your page first. The legality seems okay, but I suppose you intend to stick with the driver's side folding mirror?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 8:12 pm 
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Location: Eastern Ontario
Funny - I've never noticed that on Overhaulin'. Watched it a bunch of times and didn't pick up on it.

As you saw on my site, it's legal in Ontario and also Texas, I learned. One mirror on the car is required (not specified where, as long as it provides a view of traffic approaching from the rear).

I'm keeping the drivers mirror, but folded back on the highway. It'll be needed on those rare occasions I'm carrying something big that blocks the view out the back window. Or - when pulling away from the curb when there's a large vehicle parked behind, blocking the view.

I've been driving like this for a week or 2 now with a couple of convex mirrors inside the car just beside the door glass (in the corners), so I actually have an OK view to the side/rear. They compensate well enough that in general I don't miss the passenger mirror. But...

One situation where I have missed having the mirror on the outside was this: on a multi lane road, stopped in a line of traffic, but the lane to the right is flowing freely. Van/SUV/something parked on my rear bumper, filling my inside mirror, so now I can't see around to the right of it to see if it's safe to pull out into that right lane.

That's the only situation where I've genuinely missed having that mirror. It wasn't a big deal - I just didn't pull out. And if it had been a smaller vehicle behind me, I would have been able to see through it.

Other situations may arise, and I'm making note of them with an open mind. If I decide it's a genuine safety issue, I'll put it back on.

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Last edited by geometro on Tue Sep 05, 2006 8:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 8:19 pm 
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Jomo Herder

Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2004 8:44 am
Posts: 267
Location: Unionville, Va
just as some info, i believe in virginia you are required 2 mirrors

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 8:24 pm 
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Location: Eastern Ontario
Thanks for the info. That's another reason for keeping the driver's outside mirror, even if it's folded most of the time: other places I go to may require it.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 4:41 am 
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Moderator & FAQ King
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Location: Surrey, BC
Here in BC, you're required to have a passenger side mirror if your windows are tinted.

One issue I have with using video camera as replacements for mirrors, is the video display. Because it's not a reflection of distant scenery around you, you're required to quickly refocus your eyes to a very close on-screen image. Another minus with the video is that it's likely to be washed out in bright sunlight. Positives aspects include not being blinded at night if someone is shining their headlights at the camera, and the ability to position cameras in places that would be impractical for mirrors (like on the outside of the C pillars pointing at your blind spots).

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 6:30 am 
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abby normal
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Location: NorCal, USA
Not to jack the thread, but this is one of my favorite subjects... :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

Nothing like getting in a car with badly adjusted mirrors :huh:
A few links to different sites for adjustment info:



http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl= ... en%26lr%3D

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl= ... en%26lr%3D

Some pictures of blind spots and coverage areas:

ImageImage


It bothers me that an accident could be prevented with a little time and care.

And fewer of the accident cries of the latte drinking phone talking dingbat:

"I did not SEE you!"


[/RANT] :)


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 6:38 am 
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Location: Eastern Ontario
I'm with you 87T1. Here's another how to adjust properly link: http://www.cartalk.com/content/features/mirrors/

Before I took my mirrors off, they were properly adjusted :D

Those round convex mirrors fix the problem, but with a drawback: they have a significantly different depth of focus compared to flat mirrors (and slightly convex passenger mirrors), and require you to refocus your vision in the same way Lihtan pointed out for video screens. Meaning you can't steal a quick "glance" - it has to be a more deliberate "look", with safety implications (less time spent looking ahead).

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 6:10 pm 
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This afternoon I was glad I still have the driver's side mirror: picked up a 4x8 sheet of coroplast (to make a belly pan / undertray), stuffed it half way in the hatch, and of course couldn't see anything out the rear view mirror.

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 Post subject: mirrors/aerodynamics
PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 2:48 am 
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Location: Lummi Island
I had one of those 5 panel panoramic mirrors in a 1970 wankle rotory powered VW fastback and the coverage was so good that you really didn't need the side mirrors, I think they are still available.
Aerodynamics really come into play at speeds over 50mph. I had a friend who raced a mazda RX-4 in unlimited class (295hp in a 1200lb car)
He picked up 5mph at speeds over 150mph by simply duct taping the hood/fender gap and the windshield.

M.Mech 94 2 door metro.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 10:50 pm 
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Location: greenfield aka greentucky, Indiana
if anyone gives a rat hootus I have a mk2-3 passenger side mirror delete laying in the garage. I'll take $25 shipped for it.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 11:14 am 
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Location: Columbia,MO
Does anyone know if there is a law that states you have to have side mirrors on a vehicle in the US. I'm thinking of deleting both door mirrors and putting a huge rear view mirror in.
Josh

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 8:33 pm 
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Location: Ottawa
I was wondering if mirrors can be modified to flow air more behind them. Ideally a mirror with let say a gap in the post that mounts the mirror to the car. If that area could be modified with some kind of diffuser or spoiler to push air behind the mirror, what difference would that make?


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2006 3:59 am 
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BlackestSS wrote:
Does anyone know if there is a law that states you have to have side mirrors on a vehicle in the US. I'm thinking of deleting both door mirrors and putting a huge rear view mirror in.
Josh

Check with your State's DMV. In NY, you need to have one on the driver's side. Other side is optional.

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1994 Metro - MPG project (getting an XFi G10)
1992 Swift - Parts car (gone)
1991 Swift - Parts car (gone)
1990 Swift - Parts car
1997 Metro - Parts car (gone)
1993 Metro - Parts car
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2006 12:20 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2005 11:00 am
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Location: WOODSTOCK, ONTARIO
Gasoline Fumes wrote:
BlackestSS wrote:
Does anyone know if there is a law that states you have to have side mirrors on a vehicle in the US. I'm thinking of deleting both door mirrors and putting a huge rear view mirror in.
Josh

Check with your State's DMV. In NY, you need to have one on the driver's side. Other side is optional.


In Ontario the law states one rear facing mirror. I actually called the police station to find this out before taking the doors of my Cherokee just to make sure I was legal. And to clarify, the rear view mirror on the dash is considered one rear facing mirror.

Also, the multi panel mirrors mentioned further up are called WINK mirrors and can be purchased at circle track race shops for about $30-40 depending on how wide you want. We have run them on all 3 race cars and I have seriously thought about mounting them in my street cars.

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