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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, T25, T30 Torx drivers

Applicable Models:

R56 MINI Cooper Hatchback (2007-11)
R56 MINI Cooper S Hatchback (2007-11)

Parts Required:

Window regulator, window motor

Hot Tip:

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

Performance Gain:

Functioning power window

Complementary Modification:

Replace regulator module

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. The regulator is 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. 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, the mounting points for the window regulator to inner door panel may have failed. This is common, as the plastic mounting points shear off. If your vehicle suffers from this problem, replace the inner door panel.

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 you're 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 three inches up when measured near the lock pull (red arrows).
Figure 1

Lower the window until it is about three inches up when measured near the lock pull (red arrows). Remove the door panel. See our tech article on door panel removing. Disconnect the battery. See our tech article on battery replacing.

Working at the inside corner of the door, remove the window motor electrical connector by pressing the release tab (red arrow) and pulling it straight out.
Figure 2

Working at the inside corner of the door, remove the window motor electrical connector by pressing the release tab (red arrow) and pulling it straight out.

Remove the four window motor T30 Torx fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 3

Remove the four window motor T30 Torx fasteners (red arrows).

Lift the window motor straight off the inner door panel (red arrow).
Figure 4

Lift the window motor straight off the inner door panel (red arrow). If stuck, slightly rotate and wiggle it as you pull it away.

The regulator drive (red arrow) is captured via mounts at the rear of the inner door panel.
Figure 5

The regulator drive (red arrow) is captured via mounts at the rear of the inner door panel. It will stay in place when installing the new motor. If you're just replacing the motor, stop here and reverse your steps to reassemble it. Once done, perform the window initialization, as noted in the final step of the procedure.

Now to the outside of the door.
Figure 6

Now to the outside of the door. Working along the trim strip, use a plastic prying tool and lever it up and remove it. Start at the end of the door and work your way toward the mirror (red arrows).

Working at the inner door panel, remove the two plastic plugs (red arrows).
Figure 7

Working at the inner door panel, remove the two plastic plugs (red arrows).

Working through the holes the plugs were removed, loosen the T30 Torx screws (inset).
Figure 8

Working through the holes the plugs were removed, loosen the T30 Torx screws (inset). These fasteners have to be loosened to allow the glass to be pulled from the mounts. The screws will feel loose at the halfway point. You then have to keep unscrewing them until they feed out of the second part of the clamp. Only then will the fastener be out of the way of the glass.

Pull the door glass out of the rear corner of the door first (red arrow), moving it up and sliding it out of the door.
Figure 9

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

Working at the door speaker, disconnect the electrical connector by pressing the release tabs (red arrow) and pulling the connector straight off.
Figure 10

Working at the door speaker, disconnect the electrical connector by pressing the release tabs (red arrow) and pulling the connector straight off.

Working at the door harness connector, press the release button (red arrow).
Figure 11

Working at the door harness connector, press the release button (red arrow). Then open the connector latch (green arrow). This will disconnect the electrical connector.

Next, the window seal has to be detached from the door.
Figure 12

Next, the window seal has to be detached from the door. Start at the outer corner. Remove the two plastic clips (red arrows) using a trim panel tool.

Then at the inner corner, use a trim panel tool to lever the seal away from the door (red arrow).
Figure 13

Then at the inner corner, use a trim panel tool to lever the seal away from the door (red arrow).

Now it is time to remove the inner door panel module (IDM).
Figure 14

Now it is time to remove the inner door panel module (IDM). Start at the outer corner; peel the door seal away to expose the fasteners. Remove the four T30 Torx fasteners (green arrows). Then remove the reinforcement plate (yellow arrow).

Working at the outer corner of the IDM, remove the four T30 Torx fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 15

Working at the outer corner of the IDM, remove the four T30 Torx fasteners (red arrows).

Working at the inner corner of the IDM, remove the four T30 Torx fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 16

Working at the inner corner of the IDM, remove the four T30 Torx fasteners (red arrows).

Working at the upper corner of the IDM, remove the three T30 Torx fasteners (red arrows) and the 10mm nut (yellow arrow).
Figure 17

Working at the upper corner of the IDM, remove the three T30 Torx fasteners (red arrows) and the 10mm nut (yellow arrow). Remove the small reinforcement plate behind the nut. Be sure not to misplace this piece.

Lift the IDM up as you pull it away from the door (red arrow).
Figure 18

Lift the IDM up as you pull it away from the door (red arrow). Support it and do not let it hang. Remove it just enough to detach the inner door handle cable. Grab the door handle cable where the cable enters the door handle and pull it away (yellow arrow) from the IDM. Be careful not to tug on the cable housing, as it can pull out of the sheathing in the door latch. When removing the cable, note the routing, as it goes through the regulator rail. If you do not reinstall it correctly, the regulator will hit the cable.

Remove the IDM from the door.
Figure 19

Remove the IDM from the door. Place it on a soft work surface, like a blanket. Now you have to separate the IDM (yellow arrow) from the window regulator (red arrows).

Start by removing the three T25 Torx screws (red arrows).
Figure 20

Start by removing the three T25 Torx screws (red arrows).

Detach the window regulator from the IDM by sliding it up (red arrow) to remove the lower mounts from the IDM (yellow arrow).
Figure 21

Detach the window regulator from the IDM by sliding it up (red arrow) to remove the lower mounts from the IDM (yellow arrow).

Next, with the regulator detached, unclip the two tabs for the regulator drive (red arrows).
Figure 22

Next, with the regulator detached, unclip the two tabs for the regulator drive (red arrows).

Hold the drive clips away from the drive (yellow arrow) as you lift it up and pull it out of the IDM slot (red arrow).
Figure 23

Hold the drive clips away from the drive (yellow arrow) as you lift it up and pull it out of the IDM slot (red arrow).

With the regulator removed (red arrow), peel the window seal (yellow arrow) off and transfer it to the new regulator.
Figure 24

With the regulator removed (red arrow), peel the window seal (yellow arrow) off and transfer it to the new regulator.

Install the new regulator to the IDM.
Figure 25

Install the new regulator to the IDM. Slide the lower mounts into the slots in the IDM. Then align the tabs (red arrow) with the top of the regulator.

Install the IDM to the door.
Figure 26

Install the IDM to the door. Reroute the door handle cable as it was before. Install the window motor on the new regulator. Then install and tighten the fasteners. Slide the window glass, front edge first, into the door cavity. Then push down on the window glass to seat the glass. Then look down into the door and align the holes in the glass with the regulator clamping screws. The remaining installation steps are the reverse of removing. Properly route the wiring harness as they were before, and be sure that the door seal is aligned correctly. You may have to align and adjust the window glass when replacing a regulator. The regulator has toothed wheels (red arrow) that are turned with a special tool. You may be able to lever them with a long flathead screwdriver. However, I have only been told about that technique and have not tried it myself. If adjustment is needed, 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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