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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, socket set

Applicable Models:

BMW X5 (2000-06)

Parts Required:

Window regulator, window glass plastic retainers, vapor barrier, vapor barrier seal,

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 front door of your vehicle has a window regulator with two sliding tracks mounted to the glass. The window regulator has an electric motor attached to it. The electric window motor can be serviced separately. Fortunately, 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.

Remove the door panel and door vapor barrier. When peeling the vapor barrier off, be careful not to tear it. If you do, replace it. See our tech article on door panel removing.

Lower the window until it is about 5 1/2 inches up when measured near the lock pull. Disconnect the battery negative cable. See our tech article on battery replacing and reconnecting.

Once the door panel is removed, remove the three 10mm air bag mounting bolts (green arrows).
Figure 1

Once the door panel is removed, remove the three 10mm air bag mounting bolts (green arrows). Then, remove the air bag and disconnect the wiring harness by pulling it straight off the air bag. When removing or installing the air bag harness, be careful to route the wires properly and avoid kinks or breaks in the wiring. Set the air bag aside. Always store the air bag with the mounting bracket down. Remove the vapor barrier from the door by peeling it away from the door. If stuck, use a plastic prying tool to gently lever the barrier away from the door. Be very careful when removing the vapor barrier. It tears easily. If it is reinstalled with a tear, an interior water leak can develop.

Using a plastic prying tool lever off the outer trim and window seal assembly.
Figure 2

Using a plastic prying tool lever off the outer trim and window seal assembly. Also lever the inner window seal off of the door using a plastic prying tool. Start at the edge of the door and work your way inward, lifting up as you lever. Replace the seals if they are worn.

Loosen the two window attaching screws three turns (green arrows).
Figure 3

Loosen the two window attaching screws three turns (green arrows). Do not remove them. Pull the door glass upward, releasing the mounting points from the window regulator. Then pull the glass out of the door rear corner first, moving it up and sliding it out of the door. Store the door glass in a safe place.

Next you will have to disconnect the window motor electrical connector (green arrow).
Figure 4

Next you will have to disconnect the window motor electrical connector (green arrow). Press the release tab and pull the connector straight off the motor.

Now remove the five 10mm window regulator-mounting fasteners (green arrows).
Figure 5

Now remove the five 10mm window regulator-mounting fasteners (green arrows). Feed the rear section of the window regulator out the rear of the door cavity followed by the front section.

Remove the three mounting fasteners for the window motor (green arrows).
Figure 6

Remove the three mounting fasteners for the window motor (green arrows). Transfer the motor to the new regulator. Installation is the reverse of the removal process. Close the window with the window switch. Fully up, the window should contact the window seal uniformly. If it does not, adjust it. Carefully peal back the vapor seal to expose the rear regulator mounting nuts and loosen all the window regulator nuts. Move the window up manually to adjust its position. Tighten the window regulator nuts when the position is correct. (The glass should retract into the seal 6mm/0.25 in.).

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Comments and Suggestions:
pashby Comments: Just a quick question in case you get this in the next 30 minutes; how difficult would you say this job is for a 1st timer who has moderate mechanical skills? Thank you.
November 30, 2016

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Page last updated: Fri 12/2/2016 03:06:01 AM