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Front Window Regulator Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Front Window Regulator Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

****

Tools:

Plastic prying tool, door panel clip tool, flathead & Phillips screwdriver, 10mm wrench, T20, T25 Torx drivers, E12 inverted Torx socket

Applicable Models:

BMW 525i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 528i xDrive Sedan (2009-10)
BMW 528i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 530i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 530xi Wagon (2006-07)
BMW 535i xDrive Sedan/Wagon (2009-10)
BMW 535i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 535xi Wagon (2008)
BMW 545i Sedan (2004-05)
BMW 550i Sedan (2006-10)
BMW M5 Sedan (2006-10)

Parts Required:

Window regulator, vapor barrier, vapor barrier seal, door panel clips, plastic window retainers

Hot Tip:

Have door panel trim clips on hand in case they break when removing

Performance Gain:

Functioning power window

Complementary Modification:

Replace vapor barrier

The window regulator is the mechanical track and guide for lifting the door window glass. The front door of your vehicle has a window regulator with two rails, while the rear door only has one rail. They each have an electric motor and function similarly. The regulators are constructed of metal rails with a cable driven track.

The electric window motor can be serviced separately; however they do not fail that often. You will need to swap the electric motor over to the new window regulator you are replacing. The electric motor can be installed in any position, as it does not have a mechanical stop. Do not worry about the installation orientation when reinstalling.

The most common failure in the power window system is the window regulator. The cables fail, usually at the ends close to the motor. There are springs to absorb the tension when the window reaches its end stops, but over time the plastic in this area will fail.

When replacing a window regulator, it is important to inspect the window guide and seal. The seal can wear and this increases friction on the window when going up and down, which stresses the window regulator. This can lead to premature wear of your window regulator and repeat failures. If needed, replace this component also.

If your window is loose, inspect the plastic retaining clips, as they may be worn out. If your window seems to go up crooked, give it a push and a pull, if it moves a few inches in any direction, the clips may be faulty. Inspect them. If they are not worn out or broken, replace the regulator.

Remember that your car may have been serviced before and had parts replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve, as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Lower the window until it is about eight inches up when measured near the lock pull (red arrow).
Figure 1

Lower the window until it is about eight inches up when measured near the lock pull (red arrow). Use a piece of paper or notebook to measure the distance, as shown here. Remove the door panel. See our tech article on door panel removing. Disconnect the battery. See our tech article on battery replacing.

On models with door modules (red arrow) (to Sept.
Figure 2

On models with door modules (red arrow) (to Sept. 2005), working at the inside corner of the door, remove the electrical connectors by pressing the release tabs and pulling them straight out. The upper yellow connector will have to be disconnected once the module is removed from the door. Then detach the harness from the bottom of the module. Remove the two outer T25 Torx fasteners (blue arrows).

Pull the module away from the door.
Figure 3

Pull the module away from the door. Then press the release tab and pull the final electrical connector out of the door module. Be sure the vapor barrier port and seal for the door module is in good shape when reinstalling (blue arrows). Also replace the vapor barrier if needed.

Detach the wiring harness from the mounting points (red arrow) along the top of the door.
Figure 4

Detach the wiring harness from the mounting points (red arrow) along the top of the door.

Disconnect the window motor electrical connector by squeezing the release tabs and pulling it off (red arrows).
Figure 5

Disconnect the window motor electrical connector by squeezing the release tabs and pulling it off (red arrows).

Slowly peel the vapor barrier off the door.
Figure 6

Slowly peel the vapor barrier off the door. Be careful not to tear the barrier while removing it. If the vapor barrier tears, replace it.

Working at the bottom of the window regulator, loosen the E12 inverted Torx fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 7

Working at the bottom of the window regulator, loosen the E12 inverted Torx fasteners (red arrows). Once loose, detach the window glass from the rubber inserts. The window tends to stick to the rubber. I find releasing it with a plastic panel tool makes getting the glass out easier.

Pull the door glass out of the rear corner of the door first, moving it up and sliding it out of the door.
Figure 8

Pull the door glass out of the rear corner of the door first, moving it up and sliding it out of the door. Store the door glass in a safe place.

Working at the window motor, disconnect the electrical connector by pressing the release tab and pulling the connector straight off the motor.
Figure 9

Working at the window motor, disconnect the electrical connector by pressing the release tab and pulling the connector straight off the motor. Then loosen the E12 inverted Torx fastener (red arrow) for the window motor support.

Working at the window regulator, cut the zip tie securing the cable to the door (green arrow).
Figure 10

Working at the window regulator, cut the zip tie securing the cable to the door (green arrow). Then loosen the two lower 10mm window regulator fasteners (blue arrows). Then remove the two upper E12 inverted Torx window regulator fasteners (red arrows).

Remove the window regulator from the rear rail first (green arrow).
Figure 11

Remove the window regulator from the rear rail first (green arrow). Then remove the motor side of the regulator. Be careful not to snag the wiring harnesses or scratch the door paint when removing.

Remove the three T25 Torx window motor fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 12

Remove the three T25 Torx window motor fasteners (red arrows). Then pull the fasteners straight up to remove them from the window regulator. Install the window motor on the new regulator. Then install and tighten the fasteners. Install the window regulator into the door front side of the regulator first. Then install the regulator fasteners. When you tighten the regulator fasteners, try to align it in the same position it was before. The mounting holes are slotted to allow for adjustment. Returning it to the original position will make adjusting (if needed) much easier. Reattach the regulator cable to the door as it was before. Slide the window glass, front edge first, into the door cavity. Then push down on the window glass to engage the clips. The remaining installation steps are the reverse of removing. Properly route the wiring harness as they were before and be sure that the vapor barrier is properly sealed. You may have to align and adjust the window glass when replacing a regulator. If you do need to do this, I suggest picking up a repair manual as there are many specific steps involved in doing so. When the vehicle battery is disconnected or power window components have been replaced, you have to initialize the power windows. A sign that you may need to initialize the window is your one touch window feature is not working as expected. Use the following steps to initialize your power windows: Close the window. Hold the window switch until the window glass reaches the top of its travel. Open the window. Hold the window switch until the window glass reaches the bottom of travel. Activate one touch operation to close the window. Once the window closes, confirm that one touch operation works in both directions of the window glass travel. If so, initialization is complete. If not, repeat the steps.

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Page last updated: Fri 12/2/2016 02:39:13 AM