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Front Window Regulator and Motor Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Front Window Regulator and Motor Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

****

Tools:

Plastic prying tool, door panel clip tool, flathead & Phillips screwdriver, 10mm wrench, T20, T30 Torx drivers, rivet gun, trim panel tool

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz E320 (2003-09)
Mercedes-Benz E500 (2003-06)
Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG (2003-06)

Parts Required:

Window regulator, vapor barrier, vapor barrier seal, door panel clips, six rivets 5mm x 12.5 mm, zip tie

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. 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.

The window regulator on W211 models is held in with rivets. Be prepared to drill or grind them out to remove them. You will need new rivets when installing the new 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 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 seven inches up when measured near the lock pull (green arrows).
Figure 1

Lower the window until it is about seven inches up when measured near the lock pull (green arrows). Use a piece of paper or notebook to measure the distance if you don't have a ruler handy. Remove the door panel. See our tech article on door panel removing. Disconnect the battery. See our tech article on battery replacing.

Slowly peel the vapor barrier (green arrow) off the door.
Figure 2

Slowly peel the vapor barrier (green arrow) off the door. Be careful not to tear the barrier while removing it. If the vapor barrier tears, replace it. The red arrow points to the butyl seal you are separating from the door.

Working at the bottom of the window regulator, loosen the two T30 Torx fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 3

Working at the bottom of the window regulator, loosen the two T30 Torx fasteners (red arrows). Once loose, detach the window glass from the rubber inserts in the clamps. 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 4

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.

Cut the zip tie at the top of the window motor (red arrow).
Figure 5

Cut the zip tie at the top of the window motor (red arrow). Disconnect the window motor electrical connector by squeezing the release tabs and pulling it off (green arrow). In the following steps, replacing the window motor and regulator are both highlights. You do not have to remove the window glass when replacing the motor. However, I suggest doing so, as it limits the possibility of the regulator moving with the motor detached from the weight of the window glass.

Window motor: To replace just the motor, remove the three T30 Torx fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 6

Window motor: To replace just the motor, remove the three T30 Torx fasteners (red arrows).

Window motor: Pull the motor straight out of the regulator to remove it.
Figure 7

Window motor: Pull the motor straight out of the regulator to remove it. It may be bound due to pressure on the cables. Twist it a small amount while pulling if needed.

Window motor: When installing the new motor, you will have to rotate it back and forth to get the splines on the motor and the regulator to align (red arrows).
Figure 8

Window motor: When installing the new motor, you will have to rotate it back and forth to get the splines on the motor and the regulator to align (red arrows).

Window motor: Once seated, install the fasteners and connect the electrical connector.
Figure 9

Window motor: Once seated, install the fasteners and connect the electrical connector.

Window regulator: With the window motor electrical connector already disconnected, next you have to remove the rivets.
Figure 10

Window regulator: With the window motor electrical connector already disconnected, next you have to remove the rivets. Use a drill or a grinder and remove the six window regulator rivets (red arrows). Remove the visible head of the rivet. Then knock the rivet through the door using a small punch.

Window regulator: With the rivets removed, lift and unhook the tops of the window regulator from the door (red arrow).
Figure 11

Window regulator: With the rivets removed, lift and unhook the tops of the window regulator from the door (red arrow). The outer rail is shown. The inner rail is similar.

Window regulator: Remove the window regulator rear rail first then the motor side of the regulator.
Figure 12

Window regulator: Remove the window regulator rear rail first then the motor side of the regulator. Be careful not to snag the wiring harnesses or scratch the door paint when removing. Start by pushing the outer rail toward the inner rail. Move the window motor and inner rail as far in as it will go. Then push the outer rail up (red arrow) and pull the bottom of the inner rail out of the door (blue arrow).

Window regulator: Then slide the inner rail over at an angle and feed the top of it out of the door.
Figure 13

Window regulator: Then slide the inner rail over at an angle and feed the top of it out of the door. Then remove the regulator from the door. Reverse the removal steps to install the new regulator into the door. Then align the regulator with the door panel and hook it into place at the top.

Window regulator: Be sure to paint any bare metal from grinding the rivets (red arrow).
Figure 14

Window regulator: Be sure to paint any bare metal from grinding the rivets (red arrow). Then align the regulator with the holes in the door. Be sure that all six holes are orientated correctly. Then place a rivet (green arrow) into the rivet gun.

Window regulator: Install the rivets (green arrows), holding the regulator against the door as you secure the rivets using the rivet gun.
Figure 15

Window regulator: Install the rivets (green arrows), holding the regulator against the door as you secure the rivets using the rivet gun. The outer lower rivets shown. The remaining four rivets are similar. 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 it was 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 so, 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. Hold it for two seconds. Open the window. Hold the window switch until the window glass reaches the bottom of travel. Hold it for two seconds. 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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