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Rear Window Regulator Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Rear Window Regulator Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

****

Tools:

Plastic panel clip tool, flathead screwdriver, socket set (10mm), small hook pick tool

Applicable Models:

X3 E83 (2004-06)
X3 E83 facelift (2007-10)

Parts Required:

Rear window regulator, Vapor barrier, Vapor barrier seal, door panel clips

Hot Tip:

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

Performance Gain:

Functioning power window

Complementary Modification:

Replace window seal

The window regulator is the mechanical track and guide for lifting the door window glass. The rear door of your vehicle has a window regulator with one cable operated sliding track mounted to the glass. The regulators are constructed of metal rails with a cable driven track.

The plastic window mount is known for breaking on the rear regulator. See how to replace at the end of this article.

The window regulator has an electric motor attached to it. 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.

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.

For safety reasons, be sure to disconnect the vehicle battery before beginning work on the door panel. See our tech article on the battery.

Be sure to use plastic prying tools when working on interior trim panels and other components. Alternatively, wrap the tip of screwdriver or other metal prying tool with masking or electrical tape to avoid marring trim items.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been 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. Questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Remove door panel. See our tech article on door panel removing.

Working at the outside corner of the door, lever off the door latch wiring harness (red arrow).
Figure 1

Working at the outside corner of the door, lever off the door latch wiring harness (red arrow). Then disconnect the electrical connector by squeezing the tabs and pulling straight out (inset).

Peel the door vapor barrier off.
Figure 2

Peel the door vapor barrier off. It will come off easier if ambient temps are around 60°f. Be prepared to slowly cut the butyl tape securing it using a plastic scraper. You will likely need a new vapor barrier, and at the minimum butyl tape when reassembling. Be careful not to scratch door finish (red arrow) like my subject vehicle. This was a remnant of a past repair.

Lever off door window seal straight up (red arrow).
Figure 3

Lever off door window seal straight up (red arrow). Once levered off door, slide off toward rear of vehicle, feeding seal out to remove.

Lower window until it is about 4 1/4 inches up when measured near end of glass (red arrow).
Figure 4

Lower window until it is about 4 1/4 inches up when measured near end of glass (red arrow). Disconnect battery negative cable. See our tech article on battery replacing and reconnecting.

Disconnect window motor electrical connector by pressing the release tab and pulling straight off motor.
Figure 5

Disconnect window motor electrical connector by pressing the release tab and pulling straight off motor. Then, lever the wiring harness out of window motor using a trim panel tool (red arrow).

Next you will have to disconnect the window glass guide from the window regulator.
Figure 6

Next you will have to disconnect the window glass guide from the window regulator. Use a screwdriver to press the tab at the glass mounts toward outer door skin (red arrow). Once the plastic tab is detached, pull glass up to remove from mount.

Secure door glass in place at top of travel using string tape (red arrow).
Figure 7

Secure door glass in place at top of travel using string tape (red arrow).

To replace the motor; remove the three T25 Torx fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 8

To replace the motor; remove the three T25 Torx fasteners (red arrows). To replace regulator with motor, skip to step 10.

Pull motor straight off regulator.
Figure 9

Pull motor straight off regulator. Align splines (red arrows) when installing new motor. 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.

Remove the three 10mm window regulator fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 10

Remove the three 10mm window regulator fasteners (red arrows).

Pull top of regulator out of door and feed down (red arrow).
Figure 11

Pull top of regulator out of door and feed down (red arrow).

Then remove regulator from door top first, feed it out at an angle.
Figure 12

Then remove regulator from door top first, feed it out at an angle.

To replace the window glass clip, rotate it to unclip from rail (red arrow), then unclip the cable from the clip (inset).
Figure 13

To replace the window glass clip, rotate it to unclip from rail (red arrow), then unclip the cable from the clip (inset). Be sure cable stop is centered when installing new clip. Clean window glass track and lubricate with white lithium grease. Install new window regulator into door. Remaining installation steps are reverse of removing. Properly route wiring harnesses as they were before. 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: Sun 5/28/2017 03:21:05 AM