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Rear Window Regulator and Motor Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Rear 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, T20, T30 Torx drivers, rivet gun, trim panel tool, masking tape

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, four 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 front regulators are constructed of metal rails with a cable driven track, while the rear window regulator is one metal rail, centrally mounted in the door.

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. If your window is going up or down slowly, the issue may be the plastic pulleys are worn, requiring a new regulator to remedy the issue.

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 the rivets. 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 two inches open when measured near the lock pull (red arrows).
Figure 1

Lower the window until it is about two inches open 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. Let the vehicle sit for 15 minutes

Working at the side airbag, disconnect the electrical connector by pulling it straight out.
Figure 2

Working at the side airbag, disconnect the electrical connector by pulling it straight out.

Slowly peel the vapor barrier off the door.
Figure 3

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

Peel the vapor barrier (green arrow) off the door until you have access to the window motor (red arrow).
Figure 4

Peel the vapor barrier (green arrow) off the door until you have access to the window motor (red arrow).

Working at the top center of the door working through the slot, loosen the T30 Torx fastener (red arrow).
Figure 5

Working at the top center of the door working through the slot, loosen the T30 Torx fastener (red arrow). Once loose, detach the window glass from the rubber inserts in the clamps.

Pull the door glass out up to the closed position, then secure it in place using masking tape (red arrow).
Figure 6

Pull the door glass out up to the closed position, then secure it in place using masking tape (red arrow). The window tends to stick to the rubber in the clamp (inset). I find releasing it with a plastic panel tool makes getting the glass out easier.

Cut the zip tie at the top of the window motor (green arrow).
Figure 7

Cut the zip tie at the top of the window motor (green arrow). Alternately, you can remove the sip tie mount from the window regulator using a trim panel tool. Just be careful not to damage the mount or the harness will not be secure. Disconnect the window motor electrical connector by squeezing the release tabs and pulling them off (inset). 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.

With the rivets removed, lift and unhook the top of the window regulator from the door (red arrow).
Figure 8

With the rivets removed, lift and unhook the top of the window regulator from the door (red arrow). Be sure to paint any bare metal from grinding the rivets (green arrow).

Remove the window regulator by moving the bottom of the regulator toward the vehicle, then sliding the top out of the door to remove it.
Figure 9

Remove the window regulator by moving the bottom of the regulator toward the vehicle, then sliding the top out of the door to remove it. Be careful not to snag the wiring harnesses or scratch the door paint when removing it.

To remove the motor, remove the three T30 Torx fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 10

To remove the motor, remove the three T30 Torx fasteners (red arrows). 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. 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. Once seated, install the fasteners.

Reverse the removal steps to install the new regulator into the door.
Figure 11

Reverse the removal steps to install the new regulator into the door. Then align the regulator with the door skin and hook it into place at the top. Then align the regulator with the holes in the door. Be sure that all four rivet holes are orientated correctly. Then place a rivet (red arrow) into the rivet gun. Install the rivets, holding the regulator against the door as you secure the rivets using the rivet gun. The upper rivet is shown. The remaining four are similar. Slide the window glass down into the regulator clamp. 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 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 the 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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