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Replacing your Window Regulator and Motor
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing your Window Regulator and Motor

Time:

3 hr

Tab:

$75 to $200

Talent:

**

Tools:

Hex key set

Applicable Models:

Porsche 911 (1965-89)
Porsche 912 (1965-69)
Porsche 930 Turbo (1976-89)

Parts Required:

New regulator, new window motor, white lithium grease

Hot Tip:

Be careful not to scratch the window or the paint on your door

Performance Gain:

A window that works

Complementary Modification:

Door handle replacement, door stop replacement, window switch replacement, speaker upgrades, door panel replacement, window channel seals, window slot seals
101 Projects for Your Porsche 911

This article is one in a series that have been released in conjunction with Wayne's book, 101 Projects for Your Porsche 911. The book contains 240 pages of full color projects detailing everything from performance mods to changing your brake pads. With more than 650+ full-color glossy photos accompanying extensive step-by-step procedures, this book is required reading in any Porsche 911 owner's collection. See The Official Book Website for more details.

Have you gotten tired of having to open your door and get out to retrieve your burger at the drivethru? Perhaps it's time to replace your window regulator, or power window motor. The difficulty of this project varies depending upon which year car you have, but the results are immediate and quite rewarding. Not much is better than driving in your 911 with the sunroof open and the windows down on a nice sunny day. Having a broken window regulator can surely put a damper on that.

The first step in replacing either the regulator or the power window motor is to remove the door panel. For cars equipped with power windows, disconnect the battery as well before you start. Make sure that you eliminate the power window motor as a potential problem before you start tearing into your door. Double-check all the fuses that control the power windows, and swap out the relays to make sure that there isn't a problem with them. If one of the windows works and the other doesn't, then chances are that it's the window motor or the window switch.

For details on removing the door panel, see Pelican Technical Article: Door Handle Replacement. When you have the door panel removed, check the window switch to make sure that it's working properly. Try swapping the two switches, or plug in a new one. If there still is no response from the window, then the motor probably needs replacing. Check to see if power is getting to the motor when you press the switch. Of course if there is plenty of noise coming from the door and the window isn't moving, then it's quite obvious that the motor is fine, but the regulator needs to be replaced.

Make sure that you remove the door's speakers as well, if your 911 is so equipped, and that the window is rolled down (if possible). Reach down into the door through one of the access holes and remove the power connections from the motor. Make a note of which connection goes where.

Now remove the bolts that hold the window regulator inside of the door. These will require a hex key set. Although the entire process can be done with the door attached to the car, gravity has a tendency to make the job a bit more difficult. Removing the door is not an easy job, however, if for some reason you are planning on removing the door at a later date to do some work on it, now would be a good time.

After you remove the bolts that hold the regulator and motor assembly to the door, the regulator should be able to be moved around inside the door. Be careful not to scratch the glass when you are moving items inside the door. Maneuver the regulator so that you can see the three bolts that attach the motor to the regulator. Unbolt these three, and remove the motor from the regulator. Be careful when you remove the motor, as the window spring may make the regulator spring around a bit inside the door, and you want to make sure that it doesn't scratch any of the window glass. The motor can be tested on a bench by applying 12 volts DC to the two terminals. If it doesn't turn, then chances are that you have a broken window motor.

After the motor is removed, you should be able to slide the bottom part of the regulator off of the track that is attached to the window glass. Push the glass up to the top, and tape it to the top channel of the door. After the regulator is free, it should be relatively easy to pull it out of the door.

Inspect the regulator for wear. It should be relatively easy to figure out if the regulator is broken. The usual points of failure are the plastic rollers, and also the points where the regulator pivots and is riveted to itself. If you have a new regulator on hand, compare it to the damaged one, and you should be able to see the problem.

Installation of the new regulator is straightforward. You might have to negotiate the alignment of the window and the attachment of the motor inside the door. It make take one or more tries to get it right. The regulator spring is designed to be compressed when the window is lowered, so it might be easier to reinstall if the window is raised about 3/4 of the way up the channel. Lubricate all moving parts of the regulator with white lithium grease prior to the installation. Make sure that you also spread plenty of grease on the plastic wheels and inside the track at the bottom of the glass.

Before you reinstall the regulator, it's probably a wise idea to inspect and replace the window channel guides if they are worn. These are the two channels that guide the window as it is raised and lowered by the regulator. They can be removed from inside of the door. Also worth replacing is the window slot seals. These inner and outer "window scrapers" keep water from dripping down into the recesses of the door.

Before you close everything up inside your door, it's probably a wise idea to test the proper operation of the window. Hook up the power connections to the window motor, and try to raise and lower the window. Or, if you have manual windows, install the crank and see if the motion is smooth and uniform. Also make sure that you adjust the stop positions of the window once you have reinstalled the regulator. There are screws located on the regulator that control these stop positions.

Unfortunately, this procedure works best for the 1974-89 911s. On some of the earlier cars, the opening in the door is not large enough to remove the regulator. Instead, the entire window frame and glass must be removed as well, and the regulator pulled out of the top of the door--this varies by car (for example: 1969 912 this is not necessary).

The window regulator is one of the more common items to break on the 911.
Figure 1

The window regulator is one of the more common items to break on the 911. Plastic wheels on the regulator combined with regular wear causes them to break and the window to stop working. The motors seldom fail, but when they do, they can be expensive to replace.

This photo distinguishes the six bolts that fasten the regulator to the door from the other bolts that hold on the window channel and the door lock mechanism on a 911SC.
Figure 2

This photo distinguishes the six bolts that fasten the regulator to the door from the other bolts that hold on the window channel and the door lock mechanism on a 911SC. After you remove these bolts, you should be able to rotate the regulator so that you can access and remove the window motor. Changes in regulators over the years result in different mounting and adjustment methods. The general procedure is the same for late-model cars.

These three bolts fasten the window motor to the regulator.
Figure 3

These three bolts fasten the window motor to the regulator. Be careful when you remove the motor, as the spring on the regulator will snap back, and the resulting movement can damage either the window glass, or the door lock mechanism.

With much negotiation, the window regulator can be removed from the lower part of the door.
Figure 4

With much negotiation, the window regulator can be removed from the lower part of the door. Rotate some of the arms into the correct position in order to pull the regulator out of the door. Make sure that you have the window pushed up all the way before you try to remove the regulator.

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Comments and Suggestions:
ronz Comments: Great article and very helpful. However, the last paragraph caused me some unnecessary work. After removing the window frame and glass on my 1969 912 coupe, I struggled to get the regulator out through the top, then discovered that the regulator could be taken out through the hole in the door fairly easily.
October 11, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it. I will have the article updated.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
mark Comments: I bought a 1986 carerra coupe project car. The doors are off as previous owner was trying to run down an intermittant passenger window failure. The car was last started in 2012. New switches were installed per previous owner.How do I test each motor/regulator and switch function with door off of car?
June 5, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You would have to supply fused power and ground to the circuit, then connect the switches and operate them, as you monitor voltage to the motor. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Bill Comments: Nick - Sorry; connector I was asking about was on a 1988 911 coupe. Had some sort of guide sticking up through the middle that I thought held it on, but gave a a few back-and-forth pries with a trim tool and it finally came off. One other question, though: when I got the motor and regulator out of the door, the window rail came loose from the window. It was badly rusted, so I'm replacing it. Is there any form of adhesive used to hold it to the bottom of the window, or does the window just jam into it with the rubber strip along the bottom of the window? Do you guys sell that rubber strip as well as the rail? Thanks.
April 29, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Good question, if the clamp bolts tight, no adhesive is needed.

I'm sure we can get you the rubber strip.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Bill Comments: Any tricks to disconnecting the wiring plug from the window motor? Doesn't seem to want to just pull off and from what I can see, there is some form of plastic clip from the motor sticking up through the middle of it. But that clip doesn't seem to pull out or push in in any way to release the plug. Don't want to break anything... Thanks.
April 26, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What vehicle? Can you share a photo of the electrical connector? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Rich Comments: My driver's side window in my '89 911 targa goes up and down just fine, except it stops about 1/8 inch from the top, leaving a small gap. The repair service recommended by Porsche and Sewichley Porsche here in Pittsburgh says I need a new regulator and quoted me a little over $500 which is your price for a motor. I had a picture of what you label the regulator, and you call it a separate part from the motor. I was given a part number 911 542 935 46 which doesn't match anything I can find on your site. All I seem to need is a regulator. Please advise.
October 8, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We can get you the regulator.

I’m not the best with part numbers.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Rick Comments: Your technical article re 911 window regulator/motor says: Also make sure that you adjust the stop positions of the window once you have reinstalled the regulator. There are screws located on the regulator that control these stop positions. BUT HOW ?
September 13, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: By tightening or loosening to adjust the limit stop. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Wilbo Comments: Passenger windo on 1986 911. Very slow closing. I've heard replacing felt? Windo tracking/regulator? Window motor? At the very least it looks like I will need to remove the door panel? Any advise will be greatly appreciated. Thanks
July 30, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If you detach the window from the regulator and move it up and down, you will be able to see if it is binding in the track or if it is the regulator. Once you figure out what is causing the slow movement, replace that part. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Wilbo Comments: I think I have enough info reading the feedback here, but here goes. My 1986 911 has an extremely slow speed closing. I've heard replacing the felt? Or windo trackin/regulator? I'm pretty sure I will need to at the least remove the door panel and go from there? Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks
July 30, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If you detach the window from the regulator and move it up and down, you will be able to see if it is binding in the track or if it is the regulator. Once you figure out what is causing the slow movement, replace that part. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
mainzerphoto Comments: Just repaired the regulator in my 964. The unit came out very easily by removing the motor from the regulator. There were 3 Torx headed bolts to remove as this was a replacement regulator.
the motor gear wheel had stuck in the toothed rack due to bad alignment/adjustment of the regulator. No parts were needed.
The drivers side worked so I knew the fuse, relay and switch was good there. Swapping switches proved they were all good so into the door I went. Be sure to tape the window in the up position.. Also when putting the regulator back in, slide the 2 wheels into the track first, then bolt the motor back on. Refasten lightly, test, and if good, tighten up. This took 10minutes.
July 17, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Excellent!! If you don't like to clean the sticky stuff off of the window, there are suction cup tools made to hold the window up. http://www.pelicanparts.com/Mercedes-Benz/catalog/ShopCart/TOOL/POR_TOOL_WTD122_pg28.htm This is similar to the one I use. Just apply it to the window in the raised position against the inner or outer window scraper, also gives you a nice grab point which will keep the fingerprints to a minimum. Nothing worse than greasy finger print smears saturating the window scraper. - Casey at Pelican Parts  
Bill Comments: Thanks for the help. Are the motors side specific or interchangeable, passenger to driver side?
August 28, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: That's a good question. I am not sure. You will need to check the part number for each side. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
abach Comments: The motor can be also repaired. Once You take it off the regulator You need to unscrew it from the plastic transmission. After that You can just pull out the plactis cover which holds the brushes. The problems with the motor are linked only to the graphite brushes. Mostly they will stick due to overheating in the plastic housing and will not move out to make contact. That is why sometimes hitting the motor with a hammer helps. However the best is take them out, clean the channel they move in and assemble. Make sure the springs behind the brushes guarantee a free movement of the brushes.
August 19, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Thejester Comments: In my 1985 911, the widow motor move the window down fine, but slow on the way up. Now, it is not coming up at all. Can you suggest where I should start? This is the driver side. Thanks
August 18, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like a binding window regulator. I would start there. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
white-tt Comments: The driver side window on my '83 SC started to rise slower than usual, and then stopped altogether the next day. It still goes down at full speed. I was able to pull on the window while pressing the switch up and bring the window back to a closed position. The motor makes zero noise when I press the switch up now. Does this sound like a sticky regulator, or a dying motor?
July 7, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: COuld be a binding regulator or faulty motor. If there is no noise, I would suspect the motor. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
MN-Pdad Comments: I have a 92 C2 and the rider side window will not operate. I had this issue a while back and tapped the motor and it started working. not so luck this time. I have swapped switches and nothing. Fuse is good not sure if the relay would be the issue since the driver side works?
The switch on the rider side does seems to be in need or replacement. One question I have is do all three switches need to be operable to have the rider window operate or am I looking at a window motor replacement as well?
TIA
Kris
May 27, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If tapping the motor made it work, the motor may be faulty. I would check to see if the motor gets reversing polarity voltage as the switch is pressed to open and close the window. If it is, the motor is faulty. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Adam Comments: All of s sudden the drivers' side window in my '74 911 won't go up/down when I use the manual window roller. It seems very loose and just spins effortlessly with no corresponding window movement. I followed Mr. Dempsey's book and removed door panel and window regulator. Upon inspection it seems ok, but I believe the problem is that the teeth on the flywheel does not "catch" on the inside part of the handle/roller. I don't know what the regulator looks like when its fully operational but am wondering if the flywheel teeth needs to be "attached" to the handle/roller. If so, how is this done? My guess to my problem is that the teeth simply separated from the handle. How to fix? Or do I need a whole new regulator. Also, when I removed the regulator the "coil" piece on the regulator fell off and I can't seem to re-attach it. Is this something that I need or can do without? Thanks very much.
May 24, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If I remember correctly, the handle crank is attached to the regulator, as one unit. If the gear is not making contact, the regulator is faulty. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Mirk Comments: Hi. The outside driver side window scraper rubber on my 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet split and needs to be replaced. Before I screw it up, I am just wondering how tough a job it is to remove the old one and replace it with a new one. Are there clips involved, or is it as simple as yanking the old scraper felt out from the inside so as to not scratch paint and pressing the new one in in its place? If not, does the door need to be disassembled to get to it? Thanks!
April 20, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: if I remember correctly, they lever off, then press the new one into place. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
mike Comments: have had my '88 911 since 1993. power windows have always worked just fine' Started car yesterday to go for short drive and neither window will move. Press the switches and nothing happens. Never heard of both failing at same time. Any ideas what the problems might be? Probably unrelated but central lock system quit a few months ago too.
April 15, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like a blown fuse. I would start there. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Chris Comments: My power window operates very slowly. I was going to remove it to see what the problem might be, but I can't get the wires off the motor. I appears to be the original motor. I'm attaching a picture. Can you tell me if I need to cut the wires to remove the assembly?
Thanks
March 23, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Follow the harness away from the motor. There should be an electrical connector. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Danny Comments: My driver side window on my '76-911 Targa won't seal to the Targa roll bar rubber or the Targa roof rubber. Both of these are new. The window seems to be leaning out further than the passenger window. Any advice on adjusting this window would be much appreciated.
October 26, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Is the regulator new? Could it be worn of bent? Start by inspecting it and checking if it is bent. There should be slotted holes in your door that the regulator bolts to. I would raise glass, then adjust regulator in slotted holes until it is flush with seal. Then lower glass and adjust about 3mm higher. of course be sure the glass is not too high.- Nick at Pelican Parts
Bobby Comments: The passenger side window on my '74 911sc wouldn't go down or up. My car have manual window roller,any advice would be appreciated.Thanks
October 25, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Does it move at all, for example a few millimeters before jamming? The regulator could be jammed or something could be stuck in it. I would remove the door trim and inspect it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Ed Comments: The driver side window on my '91 911 Turbo wouldn't go down. I swapped the switch and it still wouldn't work. So I took the motor and the regulator out and tested the motor-it works. The regulator is also intact. Now, I'm thinking the window was only stuck? Does this happen? Or, could the motor be "weak" and need replacing? Any advice you can offer would be appreciated. Thanks
February 6, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Make sure the brown wire on the switch is a good ground. A broken ground wire will stop the window from working - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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