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BMW Technical Article

BMW E36 3 Series Window Repair
Jared Fenton
Wayne R. Dempsey

Difficulty Level: 3
Difficulty scale: Adding air to your tires is level one
Rebuilding a BMW Motor is level ten

     In this tech article, I will go over the steps involved with repairing the window guides on the BMW E36 3 Series. Has your window dropped to the front, causing the glass to come off track?  Well here is the answer to your problem.

     The first step is to remove the inner door panels. This is done by first prying off the inner door handle frame. Simply pull it to the rear and it will come off. Next, remove the mirror switch by prying it out of its holder. Now, unscrew the door lock push buttons at the rear of the doors. Remove the plugs in the armrest, and remove the screws underneath. Now remove the door panel by pulling the panel outward at the lower edge of the door. Slowly work your way around the perimeter of the door panel until you have released all the clips holding the panel to the door. Now remove the door panel and carefully peel back the protective plastic sheeting under the panel.

     Now, with the door panel removed, take a look inside. You should see the window guides inside the door. The most common culprit is the widow guide slider separating from the window arm. We will need to re-attach these pieces in order to fix the window.

     Itís quite likely that the glass has come out of the window guide as well, so you will need to carefully maneuver the glass back into the guides.

     Start by maneuvering the window up and down so you can slide the window arm back on. It may take a while to get the guides aligned correctly. It may be necessary to replace the plastic slider that fits in the guide, depending on how badly it may be worn. In order to get the slider piece off, you will need to remove the retaining clip. Just slide it backwards and it should come off.

     Itís quite likely that the glass has come out of the window guide as well, so you will need to carefully maneuver the glass back into the guides. Once you have the glass sitting in the guide correctly, push the ball on the control arm into the white plastic clip. Now comes the tricky part. You will need to keep the ball in the socket while you re-install the retaining clip. Just use some perseverance and elbow grease and it will go in.

     Now, grease the window guides. This will keep the windows sliding up and down smoothly. Check that the window opens and closes correctly. If it doesnít, you will have to adjust the angle at which the window opens and closes. If you look towards the rear of the door, you will see a bolt holding the window mechanism to the door frame. Loosen this bolt Pushing up on the window arm will cause the window to move closer to the opening edge of the door. Pushing down on the door does the opposite. It moves the window away from the edge of the door. Once you have adjusted the window mechanism, tighten the bolt back down.

     We can now start to reinstall the door panel. Start out by first placing the plastic sheeting back over the door frame Next, take the door panel and install the upper edge into the window channel, making sure that it is correctly aligned with the mounting clips. Next, line up the plastic pins with their respective holes in the doorframe and working your way around the perimeter, pop the panel back on to the door.

     Re-install the armrest screws and pop the cover plugs back in as well as the inner door handle and window mirror switch. The last step is to screw the door lock button back on.

     Well, there you have it - it's really not too difficult at all.  If you would like to see more technical articles like this one, please continue to support Pelican Parts with all your parts needs.  If you like what you see here, then please visit our online BMW catalog and help support the collection and creating of new and informative technical articles like this one.  Your continued support directly affects the expansion and existence of this site and technical articles like this one.  As always, if you have any questions or comments about this helpful article, please drop us a line.

Comments and Suggestions:
Pier Comments: how would you attach the widow guide slider to the window?
Is it supposed to stay in place with just the metal clips or should there be some kind of glue?
November 3, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What kind of vehicle? Can you share a photo of the slider? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
sydney Comments: can not open door with remotmy remote key fob does not work...Where do I start
October 27, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If you have second remote key, start by trying it. If not, check the vehicle for fault codes. then monitor the vehicle lock circuit for the remote key signal. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
bigroyal Comments: this is my 1st bmw and it has some problems both front window have falling down iv already takeing the panels off and on the driver side bottom of the window is alot selacone its a 92 325i
November 23, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: - Nick at Pelican Parts

Sounds like the window regulator might have to be replaced, you also should check to make sure the bracket that is part of the glass is tight. If it is loose you are going to have to replace the glass also.

Got more questions?  Join us in our BMW Technical Forum Message Board, and ask a question to one of our many automotive experts.
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