Look, not all modifications are going to be power adders or whatever. Every once in a while you are allowed to make a modification that is purely for style points, and this is one of those times. Our new-to-us 996 Turbo project car needed something to set it apart visually, and we wanted an easy project that could be done in a short afternoon wrenching session. Carbon fiber is often used in Porsche exteriors, particularly in the watercooled era, so it can’t be said that this isn’t something the factory would have done, so therefore I’m okay with it. It is definitely purely about aesthetics, because the mirror caps might be an ounce or two lighter than the factory plastic housings, but that certainly won’t make a difference in performance. We just want the car to look a little cooler, and I think that was accomplished with these mirror caps. At least from 10 feet.
There are ridiculously inexpensive carbon mirror cap covers you can order from a variety of eBay sellers, and they’re junk. Don’t bother, it’s a stick-on accessory that looks about as cheap as a pack of bubbble gum. These are actual replacement mirror housings, meaning the original pieces need to be removed from the car. As it turns out, that’s the easy part.
To get the mirror housings removed, you first have to remove the mirror glass, which is as simple as pushing the glass to one side so you can get your fingers behind it, then popping it out of the electric mechanism. There are likely two wires going to the mirror, you can disconnect these and tuck the mirror away safely to avoid cracking or chipping. At the back of the mechanism there are three small torx-head screws holding the housing to the car. Remove those and wiggle the existing housing off of the car.
Now you can slide the new carbon mirror housings onto the same spot, pop in those same screws, and reconnect the mirror glass. It’s really that simple, or at least it is if you don’t somehow loose one of the screws, strip out one of the screw holes in the carbon housing, and generally completely lose your mind in the process. Even with all of the dropping things and cursing, I still managed to get these installed in under an hour, and I think they look pretty good. The driver’s side mirror looks like it fits considerably better than the passenger’s side, with regard to fitment. The passenger mirror features a pretty significant gap at the point where it meets the body of the car, and I really hope that doesn’t develop a whistle.
Overall the quality of the carbon looks pretty good, and the weave is attractive. Just don’t look too closely at the panel gaps. These mirror caps are built by Rennline, and I ordered this set from ECS Tuning here in Ohio. If you want a set of your own, it’ll run you $350. It’s a fairly inexpensive and easy modification that makes a solid visual difference. If carbon is your thing, I recommend these.